Colyne Stewart, April AS XXXVI (2003)
Once, not so long ago, the spirits of Ealdormere met to discuss the heritage of Septentria. For though the Baron and Baroness had ruled the land wisely and justly for many years, they aged, and soon the land would need new protectors.
The animal spirits put forward the Badger to be Baron, and this was agreed to readily enough, as the Badger was loyal, courteous, fierce and strong. But who was to be Baroness?
For days they argued, putting forth one candidate after another. They discussed Duchesses, Countesses, Viscountesses, Dames, Mistresses, Ladies and untitled women. None, however, was satisfactory to them all. So they talked and talked and talked.
Then the sky spirit looked down and saw a mortal woman walking through a field of flowers. Her face was flushed with a smile, her head turned up to the sun, and she sang as she walked. When she came to an animal she stopped to regard it and it came up to her and begged to be petted.
And when she came across a person she would stop and converse with them. The spirits watched as her infectious good nature would creep into the other person’s countenance, changing a surly frown into a laughing smile.
When she came to the hungry she gave them food, when she came to the poor she gave them coin, when she came to the friendless she became a friend.
The spirits of Ealdormere looked at each other and found themselves smiling with the woman’s smile.
And so they made her the Baroness of Septentria, she of the laughing face, patron of good will, our beloved Gaerwen of Trafford.