This is part of a series of posts I’m writing to introduce characters from the Castle Keepers epic fantasy series. This week, it’s Beathas of Ailsa.
Beathas of Ailsa
In short: Hauflin, female, in her mid-90s, magic-maiden, living at Moon Meadow
Family and Teen Years
Little is known about this magic-maiden and so far, nothing has been revealed about her family or younger years. She arrived at Moon Meadow when Bronwyn was just a boy. She made a home there in a small cottage on the top of a hill surrounded by lush gardens and several waterfalls feeding into a large pool. Before the series ends, much more will be revealed.
Where I Found Her Name
Ailsa was another Scottish/Viking/Gaelic name that appealed to me. It “originates from the language of the Vikings who named a Scottish island in the Firth of Clyde, Alfsigesey (meaning Alfsigr, or Elf Victory). As a result, it’s meaning has evolved to “supernatural victory”.
Hauflins have a tradition of naming daughter’s first with an original name and then their mother’s (meeme’s) name. With this in mind, Beathas’ mother’s name was Ailsa. Isla’s mother’s name is Maura (Isla of Maura).
Boys are given an original first name and their father’s (das’) surname. Liam Jenkin’s father’s last name was Jenkin, and Liam would give all his sons the same surname. Isla of Maura’s daughters would be given an original name and ‘of Isla’ would be added to the end as a ‘surname’ (for example: Dianna of Isla).
History in Real Life
Beathas was not part of the original story, though there were a few magic-maidens who provided information and magic items to the original group. These people were brought together in one character named Beathas.
Role in Novels
Shadows in the Stone: Although Beathas is mentioned many times, characters visit her cottage at Moon Meadow and we feel her presence, she doesn’t actually show up in this book. By the end, we have a good sense of who she is because of those who know her – Bronwyn, Alaura and Isla – and their impressions of their shared experiences.
Scattered Stones: Beathas has two small but vital scenes in this novel.
Beyond the Myst: And there lay the mystery. Beathas does not appear in this novel.
Revelation Stones: She appears in one scene, gives Isla an item that helps her and she is thought about several times.
Healing Stones: This novel will be written in January, and I believe Beathas has at least one scene. Until it’s written, I don’t know anything else.
Others: I feel Beathas will be around for several more novels, providing guidance, magic items and the stubborn in-your-face facts some characters need to hear. And let’s not forget the ear-pulling to get someone’s attention. Honestly, I have no idea where her and Bronwyn’s relationship came from. It’s a mystery, but gosh I love their interactions.
A snippet of a scene with them together in Revelation Stones.
“Remove your clothing save your shirt and trousers.”
Bronwyn eyed Beathas. It sounded like an order. When he opened his mouth to protest, she stopped him.
“Do it now. We don’t have time for petty debates. You must obey immediately without question if we’re to save Alaura.”
He stood and removed his cloak and vest, tossing them on a nearby chair.
“Everything,” Beathas said firmly. “Boots, socks, sword, daggers, belts. Remove it all.”
Was this necessary? Or did she want to disarm him? When he was done, she inspected him.
“You wear a singlet. Remove your outer shirt.” When he made a face, she frowned at him. “I’d have you strip to your shorts if you weren’t ridiculously bashful.”
He gulped. She knew too well the old Bronwyn, the young man who had never loved a woman. He didn’t wear shorts, so he’d keep on his trousers. “Is this—?”
“It is. You’ll thank me later.”
He unbuttoned his shirt and added it to the pile. “What am I to do?”
“As you are told without hesitation.” She motioned him towards the bed. “Lay beside her. It will save us from picking you up off the floor.”
He prepared to comment, but her expression left no room for doubt. He climbed onto the bed and settled beside Alaura. When he moved to grasp her hand, Beathas swatted him away.
“You’re not prepared.” She continued to stir the contents of the bowl. “Reserve your strength. You’ll need it.”
He nursed his baby finger, the one that had taken the brunt of the attack. He had never known Beathas to be so forceful. She had always been a sweet woman who had offered him gumdrops when he came to visit with his dad many years ago.