shelbs
oswin

It is currently WINTER in WESTEROS during the year 303 AC. The new moon cycle marks a full twenty years since the Mad King was murdered, and his son King Rhaegar ascended the Iron Throne in his place. Though the year is fresh, war in the Narrow Sea has left the Free Cities of Volantis and Tyrosh in ashes, and the Long Night continues to beckon from the Northern fringes of the Seven Kingdoms. With the Queen Lyanna presumed dead, the citizens of the realms look only to each other for survival.
[x] SURPRISE! Please enjoy our new skin, and let the staff know if you find any bugs! (Shelbs accidentally overwrote the old skin and posted this too soon so it's entirely possible the dumbass she forgot some things!)
[x] THE FATE OF TYRION LANNISTER HAS BEGUN! Mass thread HERE! If you play a character that has been selected as judge, please join in asap! Otherwise the thread is open to all wanting to participate!
[x] Keep an eye out for a new mini-event we have been planning! The bloodshed fun is never over!
[x] As always... we are in need of MALE characters!
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Alias: sHELBS
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Age: 44
Sworn To: House Lannister
Born to: House Dayne
Location: Casterly Rock
Title: Nobility
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ASHARA LANNISTER

WESTERLANDS [A]

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May 2 2018, 12:45 PM
ooc: timed just days before Tyrion's trial

Though her reflection appeared the same, the fine lines that had begun to form at the corners of her mouth and eyes were still in the same place, the color of her lips and eyes were as they always had been, her shoulders the same height and her gowns the same length, there was still something inside Ashara that seemed different. It was not a comparison she could define in the reflection looking back at her, not some physical fixture that she could observe, but it was there… within her breast, in the flat of her abdomen, deep in the fibers of her being, she could feel it. It was not like a brewing storm, darkening the skies and rolling in with a thunderous roar, but instead it reminded her of the sandy, turbulent winds of Dorne, the unexpected ambush of sand and storm that could very well choke a man without a single drop of water. There behind her violet gaze, stirring up with the tumultuous gusts of her past, present and future, she watched it tear its away across the landscape that was her soul. The desolate, flat and white-hot plane that was left was the sheer essence of her rage, the seemingly unending desert of her anger that sought only one sip of oasis. Tyrion.

With a sharp, uncharacteristic hiss through the bridges of her teeth, Ashara waved away one of her handmaidens, still too angry to feel the pang of guilt once the girl scurried away. Her purple eyes glowered upon the flurry of fair hair as she departed the chamber, leaving her charge instead in the company of the armored guard lingering nearby. Appointed by Tycen himself and elevated to her captain, rarely was Ashara without the man, and trying to gather herself, she turned her glare to him instead. “I would go now,” she instructed, her lips moving quickly and deliberately over the words, silently daring him to refute her. She watched as he hesitated, lowering his eyes and pausing upon his own breath. Ashara felt her blood spike even hotter at the sight of it. “It is no place for-” She stepped forth, no longer the sad widow of Tywin Lannister, but the woman who had ruled fiercely and diligently for many years as Lady of the Rock. Even the sword at her guard’s side did not seem to help him as he appeared to shrink away from her, the sound of her very heel when stepping towards him silencing any further attempt at objection.

“Lord Tycen would not wish it,” he countered at last, softer this time, as if despite his protests, he was already preparing for the long journey into the bowels of the palace. Though it was Ashara’s shadow he followed, it was by Tycen’s hand that he was even an armored guard of House Lannister to begin with, and it was this very sense of placid loyalty that had the widow of the Rock almost glowering at him. “You have no place to assume my son’s desires,” she snapped, the words seeping angrily through her teeth as she finally moved for the door behind him. While it may be true enough, that the Dark Lion would be loathe to hear of his mother’s visit to the black cells, surely he would be even more loathe to hear that she had been allowed to go unattended and unguarded. Not even her son’s reach would keep her from journeying down there, searching for the very object of the raging sandstorm that continued to whorl behind her gaze.

Despite the heat that saturated her spine and twisted her muscles into stiff, relentless knots, there was still a cool shudder that rippled down her shoulders once she descended into the black cells. There were no windows, no holes nor cracks in the walls, yet there was somehow a damp draft she could feel against her nape and around her ankles as she walked. She had taken the torchlight from the gaoler at the gates, her long fingers wrapping about the shaft of wood as if it was the dwarf’s neck she sought to grasp, but even then, so dark was the very air she breathed that she could not even spy her own shadow. Purple eyes glowing beneath the yellow flame, she strode quietly down the wet stone floors, ignoring the squeaking of rats as they fled from the approaching light. Aside from her own heartbeat, or the sound of her heels upon the ground, she could hear nothing… no sign of life, no breath of a presence down here in this choking darkness. Was Tyrion even still alive? Would it be his shrunken, twisted corpse she’d come to find in his cell? The thought did not seem to satisfy her, even if it would be a well-deserved end. The man could not die. Not yet.

Ten paces straight, she recalled the gaoler’s instructions, his gruff, ugly voice echoing through her ears even now in the silence. Seven paces left, she turned, seeing nothing, following only the bare stone at her feet and the closed, empty cells she passed. Twenty paces right. Fifteen, sixteen… she felt her knuckles turning white the harder they gripped the wood of the torchlight, nearing the cell that housed the very monster of her reality. Seventeen, eighteen… What would she come to find? Would he look anything like she remembered? Nineteen, twenty… With the very key she’d been given, Ashara moved to unlock the cell door, her blood curdling at the sound of the groaning iron hinges as it fell open. Though she peered into the small square cell, the torch was not enough to illuminate little more than a sort of aura around her, and she could not see the far wall opposite or its corners. If Tyrion was inside, she had yet to find him.

“Speak,” she commanded, her voice piercing the eerie and cold darkness around them. What was it the Starks always said? Winter is coming, and surely the black cells would feel it first. “Speak, so that I may know you still live and breathe.” Taking a deliberate step forwards into his cell, she brought the torch with her, her eyes long since adjusted to the darkness. "So that I may know you continue to grace us with your presence."
Mar 30 2018, 11:43 AM
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CASPAR ARRYN, 39 - <i>Lord of the Gates of the Moon</i> (<b>Donny Lewis</b>)

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A father to a number of stillborns, a husband to a wife who took her own life, and now still grieving the loss of his eldest daughter and heir Sharra, one could say Lord Caspar is but an empty shell of a man. The dutiful, honorable and effective young lord that once helped unite the Vale, bringing the region under his cousin Elbert's single rule and abolishing years' worth of turmoil between the two families, seems to be but a distant memory. The brave man who willingly disavowed himself of his claim to the Eyrie, working tirelessly to restore the Gates of the Moon to its former glory, seems to have all but receded into the pensive, worn and at times mournful lord he is now.
<p>
But then he met Ashara Dayne. Though a Lannister widow, he sees little of the red and gold of her late husband's House, and savors the nurturing Dornish warmth of her ways. Once the closest friend to Princess Elia and godmother to little Rhaenys, their two losses have been the most permanent weights attached to her heart, accompanied only by the fairly recent murder of her husband Tywin. No longer Lady of the Rock, she has yet to choose a true residence, for nearly four years journeying between Sunspear, Summerhall, and eventually the Red Keep once more. It was during the union of Prince Aegon and Princess Visenya did she finally lay eyes upon the handsome, dark-haired and bright-eyed lord from the Vale. He, kind and polite, immediately charmed her for their first conversation, and she found herself looking for him more and more as the weeks passed. When it was time for him to return to the Vale, they shared their first kiss, and as sad as it was, Ashara refused to believe it was farewell forever. They continued to share letters as often as possible, and it was not long before their hearts truly began to pour.
<p>
When the King called his banners for those to join the fight in the Stormlands, it was here that she watched Caspar's daughter Sharra return from battle in a painted box of bones. She was the first to greet him when he made the journey once more to the Red Keep, to receive his daughter's remains and, perhaps, to find the most loving of companions waiting for him. Though he ensured his late heir was returned to the Gates of the Moon for burial, Caspar remained in the Red Keep, unable to leave the company of Ashara and realizing, even in his loss, he feels life (and maybe even love) returning to him.
<hr>

SO THAT'S OUR TIMELINE! The two are still in the palace, and it will be up to you if Caspar decided to join the fight in Tyrosh. Perhaps he returned with some pretty bad wounds? Just another reason for Ashara to nurture him, lol. I envision these two eventually wanting to marry each other, not for political or monetary gain, as they are both widowers, and she likely would never be able to conceive another child at this age, but their sheer devotion and love for each other would make them a fine union.
<p>
I am willing to plot just about ANYTHING! Hit me up on PM or Discord!

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Apr 23 2016, 04:55 PM

More to be added..

All PB's are only suggestions!


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<i>My son, my firstborn.</i>
<p>
19. Casterly Rock.
<p>
Though he is the only dark-haired Lannister in all of Casterly Rock, Tycen is also the only Lannister to have ever inherited both golden-flecked, green eyes of late Lord Tywin. Half-Dornish, one would not be able to tell even despite the chocolate color of his hair... for his temperament and his nature all pay homage to the roaring lion of his House. Pragmatic, calculating, Tycen is often thought to be another Tywin Lannister in the making, and though his mother Ashara was somewhat set aside as Tywin's widow, Tycen has only stepped forth in aiding Lord Jaime into his succession.
<p>
With Tybolt's death in the King's wars, it is Tycen who has been made heir to the Rock, having long since maneuvered Myrcella out of the line of inheritance by betrothing her to Rodrik Greyjoy. With his mother's own sense of cleverness, a marriage of his own has been arranged, matching he with the hand of Winterfell's very Sansa Stark. The two will soon be making their way to the Rock from King's Landing, as they have taken up temporary residence in the Red Keep since the recent royal weddings and now the war announcement.
<p>
Filled with a sense of vengeance since Tywin was killed, Tycen has made it his utmost priority to find Tyrion and bring him to justice. Having employed a large network of his own spies, he has been working tirelessly in finding any morsel of information on the Imp's whereabouts. Now that the dwarf was found in Tyrosh, one could say the new heir to the Rock is beginning to see a haze of red, wanting only to look upon his half-brother's head on a pike for the destruction he has tried bringing House Lannister.

</div></div><div class="rig"><div class="bigup">Tycen Lannister</div><div class="smup">play by - charles devoe</div></div></div></div><div style="width: 336px; font-family: calibri; font-size: 8px; text-align: right; text-transform: uppercase;">thanks!</div><link href='http://fonts.googleapis.com/css?family=Lobster' rel='stylesheet' type='text/css'></center>[/dohtml]

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<i>Too good for this world.</i>
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16. Casterly Rock.
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Sweetened (or spoiled) by her Hightower blood and ennobled by her Lannister, Myrcella will likely one day be known as the Light of the West after her aunt Cersei. Yet this will never be enough for her, as she takes great pride in her status as a member of House Lannister and, much like her father's sister, believes she deserves the title of Queen. Entitled much like her mother Lynesse, it is Myrcella that actually holds ambition, however, and her uncle Tyrion does whatever he can to encourage the notion that she (and all women like her) have much change to bring to the Seven Kingdoms. A great supporter of Queen Lyanna because of how much she has done for the fairer sex, it is still Queen Lyanna's position she so dearly covets.
<p>
I cannot say Ashara and Myrcella were particularly close as she was growing up, although Ashara is the only grandmother she's ever known (aside from her Hightower family, of course,) I think these two may have garnered a deeper relationship upon the passing of Tywin. Myrcella was absolutely distraught when his death was announced, and I can definitely see Ashara moving to console her or at least share in her grief. Really, Ashara adores her and probably has a lot of advice to give for the girl who wishes to be queen.. XD

</div></div><div class="rig"><div class="bigup"><S>Myrcella Lannister</S></div><div class="smup">play by - brooke perry</div></div></div></div><div style="width: 336px; font-family: calibri; font-size: 8px; text-align: right; text-transform: uppercase;">thanks!</div><link href='http://fonts.googleapis.com/css?family=Lobster' rel='stylesheet' type='text/css'></center>[/dohtml]
Apr 7 2016, 04:57 PM
still during the royal wedding

For the first time in what felt like many moons, Ashara dreamt. She dreamed of Dorne, of Starfall and of Princess Elia. She dreamed of the war and of the men who had held her hostage. She dreamed of Rhaenys' death, and she dreamed of Casterly Rock and the lion lords that prowled its caverns. She dreamed of the King and his dragons, of her brother and his sword, and she dreamed of her children and her husband. Tywin. She saw his face in her dreams, for the first time since he'd been put to rest, but it was not the face of the man who had just left her. It was Tywin as she remembered him, still virile in his thirty-something years when he first made her his wife. Golden-haired, strong, proud... unsmiling as ever. In her dreams, she did not have to face the harsh reality that he was gone. Reaching out, vowing her love for him, Ashara was completely unaware that she continued to do so in the waking world - her arms grasping onto her savior and her lips moving to promise time and time again her devotion. Colors of red and colors of gold and purple and red and black and orange and yellow coated the images flickering behind her closed eyes, deaf to the maester and acolytes that surrounded her bedside.

When she would wake, it was not for long. Her mind swirled and her conscious remained only long enough to choke down a swallow of water before returning to the dreams that waited for her. The sun set and rose again thrice over before she at last opened her eyes, this time long enough to catch vague details of the room around her. Where was she? What had happened? Second by second Ashara's mind began to turn, if ever so slowly, yet it took even longer for her body to follow suit. It was as if she had to consider each and every finger, every limb and muscle attached, to remember how to use them. What had happened? Fatigue plagued her, making her feel heavy and immovable, and it was almost too easy to let her lids slip back over her purple gaze and let unconsciousness take her once more. "My lady," someone said at her side, "my lady, please, you must keep your eyes open." It almost seemed impossible. Did they know what they were asking of her? Did they know she could not even respond to them? Her voice felt like a ghost in her throat, not even something she could reach down and summon, so dry and so parched that it was painful even swallowing. Apparently the discomfort was evident around the tendons of her brows, for she soon felt an unyielding metal rim against her lip and cool water flooding past into her mouth. "Drink." Drink? Ashara did not yet even know how to move her legs, much less drink.

The choke and sputter that soon followed, however, forced her to sit forwards, burning through what little energy she had before she let herself fall back onto the pillows. Her chest labored, Ashara looked around with a weak gaze, recognizing the details of her own chambers and faintly relieved for the familiarity. Still, though. What had bloody happened? Why was she here, and why did it feel like she had just slept for three moons? "Again," coaxed the maid's voice from beside her, and this time, the Lady Lannister summoned enough strength to lift a hand to push her away. "No," she stated dryly, almost inaudibly, but it was enough and she could feel the girl finally leave the bedside. For long moments she considered falling back asleep, for she still felt heavy and so painfully weak that even lifting her head was an immense effort. But still, Ashara was never known for her failures, and with all the strength she could muster, she pressed her elbows into the mattress and slowly, gradually pushed herself off from the pillows. Her head swirled and she almost felt dizzy, as if her skull suddenly had an axis it threatened to spin on... "What," she exhaled, attempting to steady herself as she pulled herself forwards until, finally, she sat upright. Head bowed, Ashara breathed. "Happ-" her eyes closed, her mind spinning again, but she refused to let it take her back down to the bed. "Happened...?"
Jan 13 2016, 03:35 PM
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<h1><WEST>lady ashara lannister</west></h1>
<h2>42 years old. Shara. Westerlands. Anahi Puente</h2>
<h3>shelbs. 23. gmt-6. pm me, yo.</h3>
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<center><font face=script><font size=5><i>Septa Lorayne</i></center></font></font>
<p>
Ah, House Dayne. With their dark hair and paler skin. And their damned (Seven forgive my tongue) purple eyes. The eldest boy, Alrik, came out of his mother's womb looking like a true Dornishman. His eyes were a molten brown and his skin was not as terribly washed as the siblings who followed him. And I would know! I was the one who pulled them from betwixt Lady Dayne's legs each time. Alrik, Arthur, Ashara and Allyria, all in respective order. And each one was different, from the way they slipped into my arms to the way they first suckled at a nursemaid's breast. None of them were truly peculiar in their early moments, perhaps none other than strong and overly-large Arthur, but even then, I saw nothing special in the Dayne siblings.
<p>
I could never tell that to the Lord of Starfall, though, much less to his lady wife. They denied their children nothing, and where I would have frequently given them the rod, they were merely given their hearts' desires. I could scarcely oversee their education and upbringing without my liege or Lady Dayne directing my ministrations, and over time, it almost became unbearable. Alrik was at least half-way decent, obedient enough for his lessons and accepting enough of his future position as Lord of Starfall. Arthur was all the more difficult, wishing to trade his quill for that of a sword, and while I berated Lord Dayne for allowing his second son to become more of a half-wit than a true lordling, it meant nothing in the end.
<P>
And then there was Ashara. Seemingly perfect, sweet, beautiful Ashara. She was the second of her siblings to sprout out of the womb with purple eyes, paying homage to their House's old ties to Valyria... but not even I was impressed. She was another mouth to feed and another mind to teach, and though I was a much younger woman then, I had already been through more than just one ringer with her brothers Alrik and Arthur. When she cried for seemingly no reason, I ignored her until I knew her mother or father would soon come running. When she begged for something like an insolent brat, I would use the rod on her. To Ashara's credit, she learned faster than her brothers. She learned how to self-soothe and problem solve almost surprisingly early. It was not long before I knew I could trust her in not having to supervise her so closely.
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<center><font face=script><font size=5><i>Lyonel the Languid</i></center></font></font>
<p>
<i>Written by the hand of Lyonel's attendant</i>
<p>
Ashara! <i>My lord Lyonel laughs.</i> Ashara Dayne! I do remember that songbird. I remember her handsome brothers even better... ah, but any pupil of mine does not escape memory. They call me languid but I am not stupid. Merely calm. Slow-spoken. But enough about me! <i>My lord Lyonel strums his vielle.</i> Enough about me and more about Ashara Dayne, yes? That clever, treasure-seeking girl. That tongue could be as quick as a snake, I recall, and her eyes were purpler than a new bride's amethysts! Not unlike her sweet brother Arthur, of course... <i>My lord Lyonel strums his vielle again.</i> But no matter. She was brighter at things more important than our dear Sword of the Morning. More inept at things less simple and more complex. Too complex for a mere (but talented!) bard and minstrel like myself. When that insufferable old Septa Lorayne gave her a headache, Ashara would come to me for different kinds of lessons. Too bad her brother didn't come, either... <i>My lord Lyonel sighs.</i>
<P>
One would not think it by looking at her, but the girl had a pair of lungs on her that put my own to shame. Where handsome Arthur wielded a sword, Ashara was able to do the same with her voice. She never grew very tall but she could belt a tune like a woman as large as Genna bloody Lannister! <i>My lord Lyonel laughs.</i> The girl was shy, though, shier than a blasted newborn filly. I hated it! My lord <I>Lyonel tosses aside his vielle.</I> Hated it! She always refused to sing at her family's suppers, she always refused to perform for her brothers or even for her lady mother. She demanded private lessons, demanded the room be emptied for all save myself when she came to learn. Even my boy lover! How many times have I said I hated it?
<p>
Pah, Ashara would even leave if she saw I was with my other pupils. Maybe she was jealous! <i>My lord Lyonel laughs again.</i> Jealous of my longer hair and prettier hands, I'd bet. In all truth, the thirdborn Dayne girl was much of an introvert when I knew her. Perhaps she was different with her siblings, but I knew her as a songbird whose feathers were all too easy to ruffle. At least she was quite adorable when she bristled so nervously! It was I who noticed the confidence sprout within her, though, once she had a song on her lips. It was just a matter of getting that bloody girl to sprout balls of steel like mine! <i>My lord Lyonel laughs again, and asks that I leave this for now to attend him.</i>
<p>
<center><font face=script><font size=5><i>Lord of Starfall</i></center></font></font>
<p>
If I'm to go on about one of my children, should I not have to go on about my three others? I know my lady wife would like to, and I know she would not like me showing special favor over any one. She did not even let me keep my Arthur for long, sent to squire under Gerold Hightower at only twelve! How old was Ashara when her brother left? Hmm... eight? Nine? She hated me for it! She hated that Arthur was leaving, hated that she was not going to go with him. She still had Alrik, of course, but Alrik was the heir. Alrik was always the accepting one. Ashara? Ashara not so much. She asked why to an order when Alrik and Arthur said yes, my lord. She was a different girl around her brothers. Outspoken and willful. They brought that light out of her, and I suppose when it was time for Arthur's departure, she was afraid she would lose those qualities her brothers so supported.
<p>
Alrik indulged her in her cleverness, yet Arthur inspired her love for other-worldly things. Things outside of our home of Starfall. And when he left for King's Landing to squire alongside the Prince of Dragonstone, Ashara was livid. Envious and furious. She wanted to go with him, she wanted to see the noise of the Red Keep, she wanted a royal charge and an infamous teacher like Ser Gerold. I can't even recall what she said about her Septa Lorayne, but the words were much too colorful for a girl her age! I could not even admonish her, though. I just laughed and laughed and laughed harder when her face flushed red with fury and she left in a whirl and slammed the door behind her.
<p>
Aye, my daughter was much like me when she was young. I was only laughing to keep myself from crying at the realization. I couldn't help but cry, though, once she finally left for Sunspear to serve the Princess Elia. It was all I could do in the face of her furious demands to have similar treatment as her brother Arthur. But I made sure she would stay here in Dorne, as that was where her heart truly lay, and I made sure the future I secured with House Martell was one befit my only daughter. Newly flowered and getting more beautiful by the day, I cried the morning after her departure, too. I would have to trust her new royal charges to educate her in the ways of the world, of court, and hopefully not too soon, the ways of a wife. Things she was convinced Starfall could not give her, I suppose. Not while Alrik was learning to be lord, and Arthur learning to be the next Sword of the Morning.
<p>
<center><font face=script><font size=5><i>Ladies of Sunspear</i></center></font></font>
<p>
<i>The words of Lady Myrah of House Allyrion</i><br>
You mean that <i>cow,</i> Ashara Dayne? Why would you ask me of her! The girl never cut her hair and I am almost certain I heard she took more sand baths outside than she did with actual soap and hot water in her privy. I never knew why Princess Elia liked her so much, so quickly! We all hated Ashara for it. No doubt it was those purple eyes... Elia and her brother Oberyn were always easily distracted by shiny things. That's all she ever was, truly. Is she dull and tarnished now? Ha!
<p>
<i>The words of Lady Ysella of House Dalt</i><br>
We would always sing together, once the princess and the other ladies had gone to sleep. I was more familiar with Sunspear than she was at first, but before too long, it was Ashara who led me through the darkness and to our favorite spot in the gardens. She was always so nice, and smarter than me. But I at least had as good as a voice as she did, and I helped her learn how to write her own poetry and songs after awhile. And believe it or not, I actually got the girl to sing with me to the Princess Elia and her family! I will consider the Lady Dayne a friend any day.
<p>
<i>The words of Lady Naya of House Jordayne</i>
I do not think any of us liked Ashara Dayne once she arrived to Sunspear. Somehow she had found a position in Elia's household and the two of them befriended each other almost immediately. How? I had been beside the Princess for nearly our entire lives, I was supposed to be her favorite, and yet... Ashara unknowingly and perhaps unintentionally usurped me of that position. The young lass was sweet in nature, but she was too clever for my liking, and I thought that was why Elia liked her so much. In truth, Ashara, with her singing and her purple eyes, she intimidated me. Her brother was likely the next Sword of the Morning and while I reign from a principle noble house of Dorne... Ashara was... well, she was Ashara. Need I say more?
<p>
<center><font face=script><font size=5><i>Loyalty to Royalty</i></center></font></font>
<p>
Y' don't need ta know my name, oye. I'm not even Dornish, and yet 'ere you are askin' me aboot some lass I can barely remember. Y' say everyone remembers Ashara Dayne? I say y' seem ta forget about us servants, us who see your dirty linens. O' course I remember Ashara Dayne. She already had tits when I came outta Planky Town and inta House Martell's service. I never liked the other lasses that served tha Princess, but Ashara was always kind ta me. 'Elped me fold royal bedsheets, she did. 'Eelped me wash them sometimes, too. She once told me we were all servants. Servants to tha gods, servants to tha Princess Elia.
<p>
She said 'er duties ta 'er charge were no differen' than my duties. The purple-eyed lass was never 'fraid to get her 'ands muddy for tha sake of tha Princess or royal family. She'd lie face-down in tha dirt if it meant tha Princess could keep her feet clean. Tha other lasses? I bet they'd walk all ova 'er, too, and follow Princess Elia like tha copyin' sheep they were. Shara, I liked ta call 'er. I surely missed 'er and 'er singin' when she and tha Princess left for King's Landing. And the 'elp, I think I missed tha 'elp more than anythin'. Do y' think she's still 'elping washermaids with tha bedsheets?
<p>
<center><font face=script><font size=5><i>Lucas Bywater</i></center></font></font>
<p>
I would have married that woman. Damn you for resurrecting her memory. My wife shan't know of these words I speak, but Seven know, I gave my heart to Lady Ashara Dayne. Or at least I tried to. The woman was hotter than Dorne and colder than a Northern wind all in one. With her violet eyes and voice of a songbird, she drew me in like a poor moth to torchlight. I ended up resenting her for it, of course, but as I try and mull over the memories I have of her, they seem to be more uplifting than anything. Perhaps I resent her for that, too... she has a way of doing that to you. Making you admire her for the great beauty that she is, so much so that you cannot hate her when she leaves you. I want to hate her for that. I want to hate her so much. Why can I not follow my wife's suit, and harbor for Ashara Dayne the cold bitterness that she deserves?
<p>
Truth be told, I have little idea on what that woman deserves. I had just earned my knighthood when I met her in the Red Keep. There was a celebration of sorts being held in honor of the Princess Elia's nameday, a masque, and seeing her purple eyes behind her ornate jeweled mask would have given away her identity were I anything but some untraveled boy of the Crownlands. We had come into a dance and I had been unable to forget about her since. Once again, I give you my false gratitude for resurrecting her persistent memory. I trust I have your word that my wife will not know of what I speak now...My wife. It was my forced betrothal to her that forced Ashara away from me. Perhaps she never actually wished to marry me, perhaps a Dayne never wishes to be a <i>Bywater,</i> but the jealousy that flared within her and the unstoppable claim to a territory that was not hers to claim was enough to make her hate me.
<p>
She blamed me for the woman I was to marry. Any affection she had shown me, all of the sweet letters she sent me, and every last quiet moment I shared with her as she sang to me, Ashara took away. You will be honorable to your wife, she said. I will not stand in her way, she said. Of course, I would have been more than willing to keep her as my paramour... she is Dornish, after all, but I knew Ashara Dayne would have more than that. As much as Tywin bloody Lannister, it seems.
<p>
<center><font face=script><font size=5><i>Leone</i></center></font></font>
<p>
She was supposed to be the Princess. They said she was the Princess! Why else would she travel under Martell banners? They said the girl was weak, did that not mean she was stupid, too? We could not mistake it! <i>She was supposed to be the Princess!</i> How could we not see it. The whole time! <i>THE WHOLE TIME!</i> They never told us the color of her eyes, <i>her eyes.</i> We should have known! The Martells do not have purple eyes, this imposter was not Elia, we failed, <i>we failed!</i> I thought we were successful. I thought we would be rich men, richer than that stupid lot of company sellwords in Essos I fought with. We were so close! <i>So close!</i>
<p>
We should have had our way with her. We should have passed her around before that lion man came for her. I should have made her my bed slave for her entire capture. <i>She was supposed to be the Princess!</i> We would not be rich men if we defiled a royal body but she was not royal! We should have known, <I>we should have known!</i> Left her hungry and thirsty, we did, unwashed and half undressed, yes, but we were supposed to be rich! And one of the richest men on this bloody continent had come for her! He was going to pay us, <i>pay us!</i> We were not supposed to be found, we were supposed to be hidden in the mountains but somehow, <i>SOMEHOW!</i> he found us. We expected coin! <I>Coin, coin, coin!</i> Where were his golden treasure chests? HIS GOLDEN TREASURE CHESTS! We should have known, we should have known. He promised us freedom, he promised us freedom if we gave her up. <i>We should have known!</i> I've been down here in the dark since. No light, no light! We should have known! Martells do not have purple eyes, no purple eyes for the Martells. <i>WE SHOULD HAVE KNOWN!</i>
<p>
<center><font face=script><font size=5><i>Lady Ashara Lannister</i></center></font></font>
<p>
Tywin saved me. The King had directed him to, of course, but still. Tywin saved me. Living those months as a hostage had been worth it once seeing the golden lions dancing on the horizon, edging closer with each march. Finally, I was going home. To Starfall or to King's Landing -- I did not care, not then. I did not even care for the rags I wore or the body parts I showed him in my helplessness. Hunger had become my new companion, thirst my new lover and memories of the life I had sacrificed for my beloved friend and charge the Princess had become my restless dreams during the cold nights. Facing Lord Tywin with whatever scrap of dignity I had retained, I escaped my captors and entered the royally-decreed protection of House Lannister. For what I thought was only temporarily. I would go back to King's Landing. I would see Elia again and Rhaegar. Were they crowned yet? What of sweet Rhaenys and Elia's second child? The news that awaited me at the Red Keep was news I could hardly bear.
<p>
Those few weeks after learning of my Princess and her daughter's murders, even despite all that I had done to protect her, are dark and foggy in my memory. The pain is at times inconsolable but I thought I would heal on my own time. I thought I would return to Starfall to my brother Alrik and young sister Allyria. I thought that, perhaps in time, I could even return to Sunspear again. But my forced betrothal to Tywin Lannister, my crude and unsmiling savior, was the end to all of my wounded fantasies. Learning the news from the King himself, a man I once thought a friend, I laughed. For the first time in months, even longer, I laughed in the face of Rhaegar Targaryen. I recalled how Elia had once been proposed to marry into House Lannister, and now I was in her place yet again. This time, captured by lions. I did not doubt she would be laughing alongside me if she could.
<p>
My new position was clear, though. There was shock, yes, surprise and anger and resistance, but after my initial reaction... I almost felt.... excited. I realized I could not call the Red Keep my home any more than I could call Starfall, knowing the two places held for me more pain than a golden mountain fortress could. So a Lannister I shall be. A second wife to a man rightly colder than the bright and warm realm he rules. A stepmother to children I am closer to in age than mine own husband-to-be. In exchange, I will be Lady of Casterly Rock. A title both long revered and long dormant. A title resurrected for <i>me.</i>
<p>
<center><font face=script><font size=5><i>The Lion's Maester</i></center></font></font>
<p>
After decades of service to Casterly Rock, and after all these years serving Tywin Lannister, I am no longer a man of surprise. You can imagine my surprise, though, when Lord Tywin announced his upcoming marriage to Ashara Dayne. It was news I had never expected to hear. I could expect the drowning of an entire household within the Castamere mines, I could even expect Jaime Lannister killing the Mad King. But Tywin, remarrying? Were I any years younger, I would have laughed. But laughter sounds different in the Rock, and I have lived long enough to see the farces of Tytos Lannister. If all my years of service have served my well, then I can say with confidence that the Lady Ashara tried very hard to please her new husband. I hear she has always been a woman of duty and sacrifice, but I truly admired all that she did to accommodate her new position without compromising herself. These are things a maester can see, for none knew better than I how difficult Lord Tywin was to live with.
<p>
No doubt the man was nothing like anyone else she'd met in her short years. She was an admirable woman, though, and I commended her efforts. When she was finally with child, it had been a pleasure for everyone to hear. Ashara had brought a sense of balance to the Rock, one the painted image of Joanna Lannister still hanging on their bedchamber wall only seemed to disrupt, and a child between Ashara and Tywin was happily anticipated. They had worked well together, the lady through her own misfortunes and Tywin through his eternal grievances surrounding his first wife. At the very least, their marriage is an agreeable one... and the birth of little Tycen just a year into their union was a bit of glue to where Lady Ashara and Lord Tywin still lacked in coming together. He was the only child born of the man who beheld the same gold flecked eyes of green, framed by the dark locks of his mother, and armed with such a nature that some have already been heard to say he is another Tywin Lannister in the making. But, gods will it, he will never rule the Rock, and he is more than likely destined to a life of a famed general of the armies or a knight so skilled that he helps wipe the deeds of his uncle from the realm's memory. His sister Alea is another matter entirely
<p>
<center><font face=script><font size=5><i>Miss Lillyan</i></center></font></font>
<p>
The Lady Ashara has always been the Lady Lannister to me. I was young when I came to serve her, and I'd just had my first child. Amidst her babes and my own, I'd had to learn how to sleep with one of them always at my breast. The woman who had nursed Tywin's other children was of course much too old now, but Lady Ashara kept her employed within the nursery and without the two of them, my new duties as one of the Lannister wetnurses would have been absolutely overwhelming. But, when the little lordling Tycen and his sister Alea were not at my breast, they were always with their mother. She had learned how long each of her babes would feed, and would be there to take them from me almost as soon as they'd finished. Sometimes I felt obsolete were it not for all the milk in my tits, so attentive was the Lady Ashara. She loved those babes, and were it not for Lord Tywin to temper her, no doubt she would have loved them too much. A mother's skirts can all too easily smother her child if she is not careful; this much I have learned in all of my years of service.
<p>
What I have not learned, however, is how my charge has survived the loss of the Warden of the West. Throughout all the time I have spent with her, I have known her to be calm and unwavering, elegant in her confidence and I always admired her for it. I always loved serving her because of it. But Lord Tywin's death was a blow to House Lannister and a blow to his wife, for I have never seen her be so quiet, so somber yet still so graceful and warm that sometimes I have to blink to make sure she is still real. Her daughter is far away in the palace of Summerhall, and I was there when Lady Ashara insisted on making the journey to see her. I fear what time will make of a Lannister widow, much less <i>Tywin</i> Lannister's widow. Is she doomed to spend the rest of her years alone in Casterly Rock, and watch as Lord Jaime's wife takes her place? Can she ever marry again? Could she ever love again? Though I dare not ask her these questions, I continue to wonder them as I tend to her every need and whim.

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