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Marguerida Lanart-Alton is the daughter of Lew Alton with Thyra Darriell-Scott. Marguerida or Marja, as she is nicknamed, was born on Darkover and raised off-world in the Terran Federation since her father was a diplomat and represented Darkover in the Galactic Senate.

Marguerida Alton is a strong-willed woman who attended University and has traveled to many worlds collecting songs and music. 

Having come into her full laran late in life, Marguerida had many problems and discovered the old saying is true: "an untrained telepath is a danger to themself and to others". She possesses the full measure of the Alton Gift as well as a small measure of the Aldaran donas. During a dangerous journey to the Overworld, she returns with the Shadow Matrix embedded in her hand.

Like most of the laran users of Darkover, she has bright red hair, she also has golden eyes. 

Married to Mikhail Lanart-Hastur, she has mothered three children, Domenic, Roderick and Yllana, as well has fostered her sister-in-law Ariel's son and daughter, Donal (now Mikhail's paxman) and Allana.

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