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"She made an utterly convincing Baba Yaga, no doubt of that, with her stringy gray hair falling across her clenched, tangled eyebrows, her crow-bright glare."
―Ekaterin meeds Ma Roga[src]
Ma Roga was the only surviving member of the Vashnoi marauders, a bandit gang operating in and around the Vashnoi exclusion zone at the time Miles Vorkosigan was born. She escaped the death penalty when the group was captured because she was pregnant; rather than be imprisoned she asked to be permitted to return and live in the zone away from everyone else. Piotr Vorkosigan granted her request, and she remained there for more than thirty years - long past the time a prison sentence would have ended. She claimed that she wanted to live there and that at death she wanted to be burned in her hut.

A few years after her return, she discovered a clearing where mutie babies were abandoned to die; she took to collecting the infants and raising them as best she could. Most did not survive long, but two who did were Jadwiga and Ingisi. The locals quit leaving infants there once lift-van clinics began serving the last of the hamlets to the west of the area.

The District rangers knew of her home, but felt no need to explain her presence to the District authorities. When Ekaterin Vorkosigan discovered the home and children (with Jadwiga likely to die of cancer in a short time), she made plans to take them out of the area. Ma Roga responded badly to this news; setting fire to her hut and attempting to kill her son Boris and the two children.

AppearancesEdit

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