The Trapped Circle
Mad old baglady who claims to be a Countess in Exile
An older woman in badly outdated, faded finery.
Ushiyo, a bent grey-haired grandmotherly type querulously claiming to be a noble in exile, who mostly seems to shop. She is clearly barmy (for example, she talks to folk who aren’t there or have been dead for years) but has money, and various entertained locals have almost adopted her, treating her as if her wild claims are true, offering various courtesies and honours to the ‘countess’ (of the (mythical) county of Ithil, in Farfordshire, one of the Hundred Kingdoms (true story), as anyone in earshot knows). She buys sane things sometimes, like groceries or candles, but she seems to take utter delight in purchasing with an entirely straight face items that have sat on shelves gathering dust for years in case someone actually needed a left-handed Wonkameter replacement spring fastener. She is in fact left-handed. It is rumoured that she has passed along a missing family recipe from a recently deceased relative more than once, but such rumours tend to be ‘friend of a friend heard’ sort (two recipes, one smithing chant, and one ’here’s where I hid the money’ thus far). She sometimes sends packages by messenger to (presumed) relatives in odd places. No one knows where she lives, but she apparently manages to eat and bathe very regularly. She has the appalling but sometimes charming manners of an old saucy aristocrat, coupled with madness and an odd sense of humour. She has a standing offer (a quarter-dinar) to anyone who returns her purse (claimed thrice, once after it had been snatched, twice because she left it somewhere).