Esmeralde “The Remedy Woman”
Among Middlefolk, Esmeralde is both feared and respected, for she is a witch who wields crystals as a doctor would medicine. As a girl, she learned to divine power from magic shards, to use to heal or harm at whim. Twenty years later, she is known throughout the lands as a remedy woman who concocts arcane potions from dried roots and herbs infused with crystal dyed waters. She can cure or pox at will. Since magic is now forbidden, the Northland Guard hunts her but she eludes them in the guise of a nomadic gypsy.
Small and slight, Esmeralde travels on foot with a felted pouch she calls her Possibles Bag, filled with mystical tinctures corked in glass vials slung across her chest. The bag’s felted flap slaps her hip as she trudges along little used tracks in worn hiking boots that have seen better days. Although the use of magic is a jailable offense, folk seek her wisdom in mortal matters. Esmeralde would not relish a trip to the dungeons of the Burnt Holes, a place from which it is said no one ever returns.
When the Potluck disbanded, Esmeralde was forced underground to preserve her lore, and now she revels in her elusiveness. Her disguise is as a gypsy healer suits, for she loves to follow craft fairs and traveling shows, selling cough and cold medicines, ointments for rashes and other ailments. She also sets broken bones and delivers the occasional child. Additionally, Esmeralde keeps a secret backwoods cottage south of Banebridge. There she mixes her tinctures and salves, oils and ointments, potions and poisons and accepts patients. She doctors folk with small afflictions in the front room and others with horrible disease on a table in the back.
Esmeralde conspires with her girlhood Potluck roommate Indigo Rose, who once tended the kitchen garden for the Circle of Twelve so long ago. Together they practice conjoined craft in Indigo’s greenhouse in the foothills of Banebridge, conjuring shared visions they think no one else can witness. Unfortunately, these visions invade Aubergine’s mind like bad dreams.