Mage: The Gun Quarter
Blood witch apprentice
Madeleine Thien is an unhappy young girl. The oldest of six children, her childhood was a reasonably happy one. However, Madeleine’s mother died to cancer a few years ago, and her father, an Englishman and administrator at a diamond mine in Sierra Leone, took to drinking heavily. All of a sudden, taking care of the household fell entirely on Madeleine – feeding, clothing, and washing five children under the age of 7 (plus her father), meant that there was no more time for school. With her father’s drinking causing his behaviour to become erratic, and jeopardizing his employment, money began to become an issue as well. Worst of all, her father’s brother began to behave in a predatory fashion toward Madeleine. She was forced to grow up too fast, and she dreamt of escape, but she knew if she left she would be leaving her siblings in a far worse place.
Nicholas Black glimpsed the fate of Madeleine with The Orb of Elantris; he traveled to Sierra Leone, and with the help of a curious monkey spirit, contacted Madeleine and made a bargain. Nicholas offered Madeleine the opportunity to acquire the power she needed to improve her life, but she would not agree unless she knew her siblings would be taken care of. Nicholas acquiesced, and he brought Madeleine and her brothers and sisters back to Birmingham via the Umbra.
Back in Birmingham, Nick asked Art Valentine for help with the Swintons. Art contacted Paige Herod, and had her agree that the children could be housed at the Hounds of Artemis Commune, so long as they be granted regular access to their elder sister. Nick then contacted Rangda, and offered her Madeleine as an apprentice in exchange for Rangda dropping her vendetta against Rory Cooper. Rangda saw the potential in Madeleine, and she agreed – the bargain was struck. Madeleine Swinton is now on the road to acquiring the power to change her life, although perhaps not in the way she had dreamed of…