Aubergine “The Potluck Queen”
At the beginning of the Broken Circle, the first knitting witch we meet is Aubergine. She is not the eldest survivor of the Potluck Twelve, although she is Potluck Yarn’s founder and dye mistress. It is she who conducts magical simmers around the dye pot. A Northlander by birth, like all Glacier Born she is exceptionally tall, and has striking features: mesmerizing violet eyes, high cheekbones and long grey hair streaked with white. Her weathered skin looks tanned, her cheeks chapped. She exudes an aura of confidence, and a halo of power surrounds her. She dresses in robes of black and purple, and always seen with some sort of knitted lace wrap or shawl over her shoulders. She favors a handpainted colorway of plums, grays and blacks all call Aubergine.
As was custom in the Glacierlands, Aubergine wed young. She and her husband Cyrus bred fiber animals on a farm filled with sheep, goats and alpaca, in the northern province of Wintergarten, but never raised the children they longed for. Instead Aubergine explored natural dyeing, teaching herself how to shade fleeces from the crystal colored waters that flowed from the Northland Glacier each spring thaw. Quite by accident, she discovered powerful dye crystals that washed up along the riverbanks and their magical effect on fiber, fleece, and knitted garments.
Even when Aubergine was young, Lowlanders had already begun to venture north, invading the Middlelands in search of water. Aubergine learned how to protect the farm by channeling natural forces in small ways as it was rumored the First Folk had done a thousand years before. She created sudden squalls that gusted across the Crystal Lakes along with hailstorms and blizzards to kept the southerners at bay. Even so, Cyrus disappeared after a skirmish between the north and south and his body was never found. Instead of remaining in Wintergarten, Aubergine sought the bucolic Middlelands and took up residence in Bordertown, a thriving city of commerce, the gateway dividing the Middlelands from the Northlands under the shadow of the Glacier.
There, Aubergine founded a fiber art co-operative called Potluck Yarn in the borough of Merchant’s Pass and attracted apprentices from all the lands. Using the magic of the crystals and the luck of the dyepot, she created a circle of twelve women to wield the powers of the crystals in balance with nature. On a silver chain she wore a circlet of twelve amethyst dye crystals, one for each knitting witch in order of her place around the dyepot.
It was a talisman of natural power and for a time there was peace between the North and South. Before the Northland Guard outlawed the use of magical crystals, Aubergine has already amassed enough shards freed by flood waters from the Crystal Caves to last the witches for years.
As war brewed, Aubergine discovered that the fight was not for resources such as water as she had thought, but to rule the natural world. The key was gaining possession of ancient crystals rumored to lie deep within the Northland Glacier, sealed in a series of lost caverns called the Crystal Caves. Through the years, Aubergine was careful with her crystals, never misusing their natural forces. As the girls grew, more and more she turned to the circle of twelve for direction, not knowing that one had turned traitor. In league with the Lowlanders, Tasman sundered the amethyst necklace and stole away in the night, forever breaking the circle of twelve.
As long as the circle remains broken, Aubergine has little power, yet now she must call the remaining Potluck witches to herself, or risk the same chaos that ended the rule of the Ancients. When the First Folk tried to conquer nature, their world ended in ice. Now all fear the world will end in fire as the Lowlanders burn out the belly of the Glacier in search of the crystals that can bring ruin to all.