Beatrice is the oldest daughter of a local merchant. At age fourteen she was wedded off to William Brewster, a man twice her age. She was lucky. He was a tall, handsome man in the prime of his life who worshipped his young wife. She was happy and soon with child. And as her belly swelled so did the love between them. But it was not to be… The child, a girl, was stillborn. And something had been damaged, inside. Despite their best efforts, she would not conceive again. The relationship, that had seemed so strong before, turned more bitter with each passing year. William drank ever more of his own brew and Beatrice watched his looks fade. His face turned puffy and pale but for a red drunkards nose. His once-firm, muscular body became a swollen, disgusting thing. He became coarse and violent, beating her, calling her terrible things and she put up with it all thinking that somehow, she deserved it for failing him so. Then, to add insult to injury, he took another woman.
One day, all the bitterness and rage she felt flared high. The brewery burned down that day. And William with it. Her magic was awakened, and has been an essential part of who she is ever since. Left unused it grows and grows inside her – the more irritated she is, the quicker it does so - until she can’t contain it anymore and simply must act.
Now a widow, she’s been forced to sell her house to pay of her mans debtors. And, since there was little chance of remarrying – who want a barren wife? – and anyway she does not want to, she is forced to provide her own living. Beatrice now works at the local tavern, the White Hart, and lives above the establishment. With some frequency, she takes a man up there. For fancy. For warmth and affection. And sometimes for coin.
Not for her the magic of the herbs, flowers and things that grow. In this too, she cannot create. No, her magic is of a different kind… What she’s heard some of her fellow witches refer to, in disapproving tones, as wizard magic. It is the magic of death and destruction and raw energy. And casting it invariably comes at a price.
Above all she loves the greedy, all-consuming and ever-changing fire and her village is often startled by small, unexplained accidents. Those harmed in the fire are invariably men who have scorned her, treated her poorly, treated their wives poorly. No blame has fallen on her yet, after all she is always far from the scene, but some of the women in the village suspect, and the men whisper that she is ‘unlucky’.
Beatrice is a handsome woman, with an aquiline nose, high cheekbones and a mass of thick, brown curls that glow auburn in the sun. She is no thin, waif-like thing, but a healthy mature woman with full breasts and a round behind. Well-aware of her good looks, she will often use them to get her way.
Now in her thirtieth year, she is in the prime of her life. Yet at the same time, the decay is setting in. Tiny wrinkles around her eyes, her breasts not quite as firm as they used to be. Only last week, she discovered the first grey hair and savagely yanked it from her scalp. It frustrates her that, for all her magic, she cannot halt this process.