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There's a sudden disassociation when looking at the woman. Her face isn't off-putting with narrow, pale features that register as normal. Dusty, black hair often kept short and brushed in a simple fashion. But the noticeable thing, the thing that makes it hard to look at her without flinching--are the scars. They are on violent display, crossing over the hollowness of an eye and near the corner of the lip. Brutal, in whatever made them and carried off that violet eye. The other is sharp, almost sinister, as though it had some hand in the gruesome disappearance of the other.
Not quite a social creature but very even in temperament, Meriah can 'get-along' as they say, with the majority of people. Though her sense of humor is unquestionably black and she lacks that certain sense of pity even the most ardent cynic possesses. The nickname 'Black Meriah' is certainly well-earned. But when it comes to her job, the street croaker is second to none. Intelligent and sharp, she can come off as moody but it may be a lack of patience for those who believes, 'have been denied the basic intelligence to function' in life.
She grew up on the hard mean streets. A thousand other children just like her running rampant in the streets. Dead mother, drunken bastard of a father, Meriah didn't shy away from finding methods to feed herself. But she wasn't going to be another sticky-fingered orphan, snatching goods off the stalls of merchants. Meriah was too smart for that; weirdly smart.
Smart enough to catch the interest of a quiet old man down by the docks. Former sawbones for a detachment of mercenaries decades ago. So long ago he couldn't remember their name. But he found her one day nursing a cut on her arm. Instead of just sewing it up, he had her do it herself and was marveled by her quick learning.
Years went by and when Meriah was fourteen the old man died. She took enough money from her useless father to buy a plot at the Cemetery and buried the sawbones. Least she could do for him. After that she started doing work for the locals. Charging a small fee for medical services, triage, and so forth that might be too expensive.
When she turned eighteen her father died and that was fine. She used the money he left behind to buy medical equipment and a few old books.
But the scars. Well. Those came during the Siege. A few years later. She saw a wounded man wandering down an alley and when she tried to help, she noticed something was -wrong- with him. The Bringer of Silence sliced out her eye with a knife and cut her face. She screamed, barely managing to escape before a patrol managed to subdue him.
Meriah still struggles with that moment.
Her begrudgingly charitable habits taking a hit, finding it hard to trust others, she became a little more reclusive. It was around that time that folks started calling her 'Black' Meriah. The nickname whispered offhandedly as she passed around the streets in the Lowers. Still aiding some when she could, but always in a spiteful way.