Maeve Nic Fitzgerald (meaning ‘she who intoxicates’) is Queen Tara’s handmaiden and closest friend. Having traveled with her during the contest, Maeve took an instant liking to the kingdom of Aether - and boy is she glad she gets to live here full time! This Pancham will surely explore everything she can in Aether, so get used to seeing her around.
This Pancham is spunky, fun-loving, and generally a high-spirited gal. Armed with a wit as sharp as her tongue, Maeve never hesitates to let anyone know how she feels - a trait that has gotten her into trouble on occasion. She also has a strong pension for rashness, quick to act on her impulses. Maeve always stands up for the little guy; having been a poor girl herself, she understands the frustrations of having less than another, and she never misses an opportunity to help someone in need. Because of this, her sense of justice is keen, and if she spots an injustice, she will stop at nothing to fix it (maybe even willing to stoop to less-desirable methods to do so). That being said, relaxing and having a good time tend to be forefront on her mind: she's goofy, tenacious, and easy-going, making her a hoot at parties. This especially comes out when she's around Tara; she's able to get away with quite a bit around the golden cobra, perhaps more than she should, but it pays to be best friends with royalty.
Maeve grew up in one of the fiefdoms of Ulster: a back-water dirt-poor village with only wooden homes for the people to live in while the local lord occupied a stone fortress in luxury. Her mother stayed at home, cooking, cleaning, and working hard to provide for her daughter; her father, however, was barely able to pay their taxes as the sole owner of a struggling candle-making business. As such, Maeve got no schooling, unable to attend the mediocre classes they offered near the fortress walls, and thus she had plenty of time on her paws to get into trouble. The little Pancham had no self-control, running amok and causing mischief wherever she went (and completely oblivious to the financial punishments her parents would face for her transgressions). She relished the attention she got, though, so Maeve continued her wayward path, quickly becoming the "leader" of a gang of neighborhood kids who patrolled the alleys, performing petty acts of vandalism and even shoplifting on occasion. It was the good life, fast and free, without a care in the world... until she met Tara.
Friends with a Princess
One day, the Ard Rí and his daughter arrived in her town (and the snobbish Pancham really did see it as 'her town') - and Ness declared to all the gathered townspeople that the princess required an escort while he was conducting business in the fortress. Maeve had no intention of volunteering - why would she want to babysit some stuck-up princess anyway? - but to her surprise, Tara signaled her out. The Shiny Ekans made her choice, and Maeve took the little serpent under her metaphorical wings... curious as to how different Tara was from what she thought was royalty. That curiosity eventually became true friendship: at first, Maeve took advantage of Tara's naivety, making her pay for favors or treats, but once she got to know Tara, that behavior ceased. Now she was the one correcting her 'gang,' trying to steer them down better paths; when they refused, she left them for good, turning a new leaf.
Then came a moment she never expected: Tara invited Maeve to live with her at the palace! She couldn't believe it, her, the poor girl from the streets with no education. Tara assured her that she would be a great fit at the palace, promising to give her all the education she wanted - and boy did she deliver! Under Tara's personal tutor, Maeve learned to read, write, and act with proper etiquette; she also learned how to fight, ride a horse, sew, dance, sing, and care for Tara's needs. That was her job after all; the only way Ness would allow a nobody like her to live in the palace was as a servant, and Tara employed the Pancham as a handmaiden. This became a large plus in Maeve's life, as she was able to send all of her earnings to her family, a much-needed boon as her mother had just given birth to triplets. Meanwhile, she continued to work as Tara's servant while, at the same time, being her best friend - a 'best of both worlds' scenario if she'd ever known one! It only got better as they got older, and Maeve gladly became Tara's confidante through thick and thin... including the trip to Aether and all that followed.