After the death of her father Reinhardt when she was sixteen and the death of her mother Hermine less than a year later, custody of Maria fell to her brother Edgar. Regarded as unfit for independent life on account of her fragile disposition by her parents, it fell to Edgar, only two years her elder, to take of his eccentric sister and her numerous bizarre needs. Yet she was brilliant when it came to the reactions of the various powders and solutions she tinkered with, and soon it was her work which Edgar was able to pay debtors off with. The sister he once resented became a lucrative asset to him, provided he kept her content and out of public view.
Maria was more than aware of her brother’s exploitation of her work, but provided he generally kept her in good care and left her to her work, she was content with the situation, allowing him to manage their household. Yet as time passed, she began to expand to assisting various wealthy patrons with alchemical remedies, investigations (it was claimed she could identify a single footprint of an individual in a busy street), and making a brief stint as a research assistant. Her reputation for her success was matched only by her reputation as being socially incompetent and prone to outbursts, as well as her strange requests for working conditions.
Maria’s only close relationship has been to her brother, and they became separated during the Shaping, when Edgar and Maria were away from their home in Pyrae visiting the Earthenwork for some business of Edgar’s; when the king transported those survivors, Maria did not find her brother among them. She brought with her a decent sum of money, her alchemical supplies, rations, and a silver-hilted rapier decorated with etchings of vines and roses that has been passed down her family for generations, according to her mother.
Maria values straitforwardness above all else, and struggles with spoken figurative language (however, in writing this is less a struggle for her; she can understand figurative language, she simply needs to expect its use to pick up on it). She dislikes communicating unless directly beneficial. Having little experience with money, Maria may be less charitable and instead be simply naïve, but she has little attachment to money she does not need. Her brief experiences with violence and the books she has read have led here to a black and white morality, where brutal force is justified against those harming others but completely indefensible against the innocent; both being ambiguous at best.
Maria is paler than many due to spending most of her life indoors; her straw-blonde hair disheveled and prone to sticking up and about even when kept in a tight bun. Her blue eyes are somewhere between wild and tired, constantly looking about from beneath low-hanging lids and above deep, dark bags. Her nose is pronounced with a large bridge. She has scarring above her right breast and on her right forearm from a chemical mishap.