Mother Mbutu

A stooped elderly bush woman who runs the market in Cheapside


Mother Mbutu is an elderly woman with weathered, chestnut brown skin that hangs loosely from her small frame. Her dark, almost black eyes are in stark contrast to her short-cropped white hair. In keeping with the customs of her people, she wears very little in the way of clothing. Just a loose linen shift, split to the navel and a rather sinister looking necklace that appears to be made of finger bones.


As long as there has been a market in Cheap side, Mother Mbutu has been there to keep things running smoothly. While her actual age is unknown, many speculate that she is at least 130 years old if not older. Also unknown is how she came to be in control of the market and how she maintains control with no obvious security force. One thing is known for a certainty. If you wish to do business in the market, you had better play by her rules. Those who cross her all meet with the same fate. They return to their normal spot the next morning to find another vendor already set up, usually with an imposingly large “assistant” or two to help them run the stall. Those that know her well know her to be good-natured and sprightly and surprisingly sharp for her age. Her closest allies also know that she hears many things on her daily strolls through the market and can sometimes be persuaded to share said information, although some sort of gift is usually required to get her to open up. Many also speculate about the necklace she wears. Some say the bones are from thieves, while others say they belonged to the markets first owner, but they are actually leg bones from a certain species of lizard that is found where she originally came from. Her people wear them as a symbol of status. She gladly reveals this to anyone who would ask but as of yet only three people ever have. Zebulon Phentarious happens to be the most recent. His curiosity and lack of tact lead him to blurt out the words “Whose bones are those?” and since that day she has had a soft spot for him.

Mother Mbutu

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