Brígiða Vadesbana (formerly known as Brighid Anraith) is a late mid-9th cen Irish woman from the area between Kildare and the Norse settlement of Dublin. Her name is actually Máel Brigde inghean Áeda, but as she currently spends most of her time amongst the foreigners in Dublin or Jorvik who have named her Brígiða Vadesbana, that's what she most readily responds to these days.
Her father, Áed mac Dúnlainge, a younger son of minor nobility with ties of kinship to the kings of Osraige through his mother, met her mother Eithne inghean Máele-Brigte; the daughter of lay-servants of the Abbey at Kildare when he traveled to the fairs at the Abbey. Before he left he married Eithne, and promised to devote his first born child to St. Brigit's service in thanks for the wife he took from it.
He died before her first birthday during a skirmish between the Osraige and an invading Viking force. Her father's family did not approve of the match with her mother, so when her mother died while she was still young, her family sent her to be fostered by a couple from her mother's family at the abbey. Her foster-parents were Cináed mac Riacáin and Bébinn inghean Flainn. It is there that she developed her fascination with string and her obsession with cheeeeeeeeese. Having no vocation for the church but considerable skill with textiles, she left when she was able, and has made her way since as a weaver and dyer of luxury items.
After travelling on Norse trade ships for a period of time she found welcoming kinfolk she had not realized she had in Jorvik, including a couple (Kenneth of Shaftesbury and his Lady Wife Vivien of Shaftesbury) who promptly adopted her, to her surprise. Shortly thereafter she found herself even more astonished by becoming betrothed to a minor baron (Baron James Douglas) she met at an inn. She's still not sure how this happened, but suspects plotting on the part of her kinfolk. Being not unsatisfied with the match she has decided she will most likely go through with the marriage. Someday. It will make her mother happy.
Brígiða is what she has been called since she first left the Abbey and began dealings with those speaking Northern tongues. They had difficulty pronouncing her real name and when they understood it's meaning, one of them decided they should just call her Brígiða, a name they have gotten from the Saint and begun using to name their daughters. She must not be very devout, for she find it bothers her less than her upbringing says it should, to be named so straightly after a Holy Saint.
They later named her Vadesbana (Woad’s Bane) as a nickname given due to her propensity towards blue hands, and messing with woad vats.
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