Sunday, 6 January 2019

Mullein Hyssop

Character Post 75: Mullein Hyssop the Herbwarden

Mullein the Herbwarden is a Hillgift woman who has a good splash of hillfayre blood. This is enough to give her a lot of skill with herbs, a strong understanding of human nature and a slightly more than nodding acquaintance with the hillfayre themselves. She can call cousin with most of them, and has a common ancestor, a Hillgift woman named Maythorn, with the current Hill Lord. Her eyes are not quite the same colour and that is the mark of the hill. It makes the Hillgifters uneasy although they're quick enough to go to her if they need help for ailments or injuries.

Mullein is elderly but lively. Most of the villagers can't remember a time when she wasn't at her cottage beyond the village. There she grows and dries herbs, concocts her salves and potions and keeps a cow and probably bees.
She uses her own salves, so her skin, although wrinkled, is unexpectedly soft. She is a widow with a sensible daughter named Fen. She regrets that Fen has no feeling for herbs, having taken after her father, and is therefore on the lookout for a handy apprentice.

She has a knack for nudging people and events into the ways she considers best, and she's perfectly capable of changing her mind, running with hare and hounds and giving contradictory advice. Mullein is so doughty a woman that I didn't even look for a picture to represent her. Instead, I photographed a rather hale mullein plant in my garden. And no, I did not plant it there.

Mullein appears in the Garlands of Thorn and May series.

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