Lavender Mae “Crazy Mae”
Mae came to Potluck Yarn from an old mining camp beneath the shadow of the glacier. Her mother had died and she and her father roamed the mines in search of rare crystals. When one day he failed to return, some miners in the camp feared Mae had been orphaned, others abandoned. All Mae could certain were her crystals. Women in the camp took pity on the odd little girl and brought her south to Bordertown and the Potluck Yarn boarding school.
There, Mae’s love for crystals bloomed as she studied the magical properties of each shard. She learned how to grind stones to dye powder, mix mordents and combine all to produce enchanting shades filled with peculiar properties. After Smokey Jo lit the fire in the dye shed each morning, Mae would set up the dyes on the shelf near Aubergine’s chair before the great pot. She arranged salt dishes of crushed crystals, pots of liquid rill flour, and shut the more delicate dyestuffs in a cabinet, away from the light, all the while singing as she worked.
Mae was a scrawny child with wispy hair who obviously had spent much of her childhood alone, for she kept to herself, sung to herself and often talked to herself. After the Potluck broke up, magic was forbidden and even crystal dyeing became outlawed. Convinced that she alone could replicate the stolen amethyst necklace, but having no idea how to find the crystals, Mae fled to the mining camps of her youth.
First she ran off to the streams flowing south into the Crystal Lakes, where the freshets yielded the richest glacier flour. There, she lived as a river rat, scouring the shores for rare crystal shards. One day she ventured into a fissure within the glacier and found a small cave to dwell in. She set up housekeeping in secret and over the years has collected a treasure trove of dyestuffs, crystals and other hoard scavenged from the First Folk tombs and beyond.
The Ancients do not welcome Mae’s trespass and curse her with voices that echo inside her head. Unlike Ratta, she cannot understand their Mind Speak and the ceaseless gibberish can drive her insane at times. As no one has encountered Mae in years, Middlefolk conjecture that she was yet another prospector swallowed by the glacier, never to return. The legend of Crazy Mae has become nothing but a bedtime story.