The cook of Green Rivers
Jaina Caldwell is the cook of Green Rivers. She is a fleshy woman of forty whose well-earned rolls of fat conceal powerful arm muscles. Her brown hair has begun to thin and gray, and she can be heard complaining about her bad back and weak knees, but in truth she remains a vigorous woman, bustling about her kitchen with all the frailty of a runaway ox cart.
Those who have grown up on her family’s cooking think of Jaina as a staple of castle life, a fond good-aunt who can get away with just a bit more impertinence than would normally be tolerated in Connor Darry‘s home. Those who work in her kitchen temper that fondness with a healthy dose of fear. Jaina rules her kitchen with an iron fist, a necessary trait for the manager of a kitchen that can be called upon to feed dozens or hundreds of the master’s guests.
Known to all at Green Rivers simply as “Cook,” Goodwife Caldwell has worked in the castle’s kitchens all her life. Her mother was the castle’s head cook before her, and she performed every job associated with a medieval kitchen before taking over from her mother at the age of twenty-eight. It is not common for serfs in service to a castle to succeed to their parents’ positions in this manner, but after nearly half a century of Caldwell cooking, few at Green Rivers can imagine anybody else running the kitchen.
Jaina’s husband Errold Caldwell is a guardsman in the castle garrison.