Esme
Mistress Esme
No One
No One as Esme
Name: Esme
Aliases: None
Faction: The Reach
Organization: Herself
Occupation: Shopkeeper
Rank: Smallfolk
Age: Sixties

Description

Esme was once 5'3": she is now a hair less than 5'2", a small, spare woman with no more flesh on her bones than a scrawny chicken. She has a longish, narrow face in the midst of which is set a nose of no particular kind, and various other features that don't add up to much, for good or ill; her slightly sallow skin has been well-creased by time; her grey hair has still some brown in it and a tendency toward wispy fly-away strands, which is one of the reasons why she wears those bright headscarves. Her eyes are black, neither small nor large, and regard the world in a manner nonchalantly opaque.

Background

A mild-mannered older man came to Oldtown from the capital in the year 96 AC accompanied by his second wife — a plain little woman named Esme — and a baby boy born to them unexpectedly when she was getting on for forty.

They had suffered a reversal of fortune of which they didn't like to speak, though after a few drinks Lyonel might allow quietly that he'd been a merchant captain, plying his trade between King's Landing and the Free Cities, till misfortune and autumnal storms took his ship. Lyonel returned to his father's trade (it's fortunate to have something to fall back upon, when rising out of it has failed) and opening a butchery with almost the last of his capital, and Esme set up a small cornucopia of a shop in adjacent premises, selling everything from candles to string to onions to fresh eggs (and a few more exotic treats from around the world, courtesy of her husband's old colleagues on the sea) so that a housewife in a hurry might do a great deal of her shopping in one place. (Anything she didn't have in the shop—? Why, you go straight home, mistress, and a boy will bring it round later with your joint and your half-pound of sausages.) They kept themselves to themselves and prospered in a modest, respectable sort of way. There are many like them.

With the years it became clear that their only son Edmyn was slow. Not disastrously so. He never learned his letters but he learned his city, every street and alley therein; and what he saw done often enough, he could do himself. Thus he learned his father's trade well enough to begin taking over the butcher's shop after Lyonel's death in 112 AC. Under his mother's supervision, of course, in this as in all else. He is the most loyal and obedient and conscientious of sons — he is also a large and mild and dimwitted ram worked with consummate care by a concerned little sheepdog.

Trade is good. And, as a bulwark against times when it might not be, Esme has from the early days built up a business in supplying occasional and indeed regular charwomen: humble, reliable persons (a few of them even men) with a preference for honest hard work over selling their bodies. Many a household in Oldtown is trying to get by and put on a good face with a servant or two less than they'd really like; it often happens that the skeleton staff left behind by a noble house requires extra hands to get the manse in order before the lords and ladies arrive with their retinues winding behind them; and sometimes these helpful creatures are even kept on. Somebody always has to do the heavy and the unpleasant work. Preferably somebody who comes and goes and doesn't complain. Only Esme herself knows how many thresholds her eyes and ears cross, all over the city, with nobody looking once let alone twice.

Esme does her own marketing (well, for what she doesn't sell: mostly fruit and vegetables and fresh fish), serves customers in one shop or the other, can often put those looking for work in the way of finding it (when she doesn't need charwomen she might need delivery boys, and she usually hears over the counter when there's a vacancy elsewhere in the neighbourhood), and in various ways is a fixture in her own part of the city. When she's not working herself her colourful headscarves bob along from the docks to the Shambles and everywhere in between, exchanging a courteous word here, treating herself to a bite of something from a street vendor there. She has a weakness for bright colours and cheerful patterns; you can see her coming a mile away.

RP Hooks

  • Need a couple of pork chops? A nice juicy steak? A dozen good brown eggs? Cheese? Garlic? String? Something a little bit trickier to find? As well as running two shops, Esme knows where and how (in Oldtown or far beyond) to get hold of all manner of interesting and unlikely items. She always knows how to sort the wheat from the chaff, too.
  • Have you discovered that, contrary to popular opinion, after the first four years the dirt does get worse?
  • Are you an equally regular and devout communicant of the Seven?
  • Or a fellow small business owner in or near the Shambles?
  • Or are you looking for honest work?
  • Are you fond of… pie?

Quirks

  • Devout

Esme can often be seen lighting candles at the Starry Sept, or a smaller hole-in-the-wall neighbourhood shrine she often passes.

  • Forgettable Face

She's one of those people who just don't fix themselves in one's memory. One could hardly tell her apart from a hundred, a thousand other plain little old women in Oldtown, if it weren't that…

  • Likes Bright Colours

She never will be persuaded that orange and green stripes don't flatter.

  • Counts Those Coppers

A copper saved is a copper earned, and this saying also applies to half-coppers and even to the suspicion of coppers. There's no waste in her household or in either of her shops; and though the charwomen who work for her are paid a fair wage for fair work, her percentage comes off the top first.

  • Wealth: Well Off

See previous.

IC Events

Esme Logs

Related Logs

Logs featuring Esme.

Logs that refer to Esme.

Relationships

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Edmyn
Only Son ~ A gentle-eyed butcher to whose chopping block cows and pigs and little baby lambs scamper with glad and trusting hearts, Edmyn is respectful, conscientious, and loves his mother. So what if he has to take his boots off to tackle large numbers?

Flox

Flox
Friend Husband ~ He comes for dinner on Tuesdays three nights a week and also stays for breakfast.

Camillo

Camillo
Friend ~ In the years Camillo has been an occasional customer he has smartened himself up, begun placing larger and larger orders on behalf of the Hightower, and otherwise provided Esme with food for thought. They have become friends, each reposing a measure of trust in the other.

Audra

Audra
Neighbour ~ This young woman has done well in making a new life for herself, and that's something Esme can respect. Of course, if she were to go back on the bargain, if she failed to hold up her end of the marriage in which all Terris's happiness is rooted, Esme would be distinctly less pleased with her.

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