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.
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Alias: Stormie
Age: 60
Sworn To: Targaryen
Born to: Stark
Location: Winterfell
Title: Lady of Winterfell
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Joined: 10-December 17
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Dec 19 2017, 09:00 PM

She got up, as she did many mornings, at the rooster's crow. Lyarra was not a slothish creature and had no intentions of becoming one now. Certainly her bones ached a little more and it was slightly taxing taking on the days tasks with as much vigor as before. Often, she allowed Catelyn to take more of the responsibilities here and there. Dark eyes search the bed beside her and find Rickard missing. She had gone to bed alone, and it appears that her Lord Husband had decided to sleep elsewhere. Her brows furrowed and there was a fire to her heart--a mixture of jealousy, anger and disappointment. Somewhere along the lines he had lost his fire for her, and Lyarra knew some other creature now had it. She had no proof but the gut feelings of her womanly instinct. Lyarra was not stupid, she knew her husband had the occasional dalliance. Between the whores that followed the war camps or a mistress when she was heavily pregnant, she knew that Rickard was no Rhaegar. The King was almost feverishly faithful to his many wives. It was a pity that they never seemed to last long. Even her own blood. She sighs outwardly and pushes back the memory of her lost daughter. Ringing a bell by the bedside, in emerges her maid.

The Stark matriarch watches as the woman stokes the fires, bringing a bit more light to the room and pulls out a dress. "My Lady, the Maester is predicting it to be very cold. Should I pull out your furs?" Lyarra nodded, choosing a simple gown of green and a grey fur cape over it. Her maid brushed her hair and the plaited it away from her face. She glanced at herself in a mirror, noting the small bits of grey her hair held. Youth was fleeting but the old she-wolf still looked good for her age.

She left the confines of her bedroom, making her way down to the kitchen to dictate the meals for the day. She then collected the bills from the various vendors from her the kitchen maid, before going out to the grounds. There she found the new kennelmaster, finding that one of the new dogs had a cut on it's foot and that the Direwolves had broken one of the doors again. She sighed, thanking and cursing the Gods for sending her House's emblem back into reality. She allowed the kennelmaster to order the supplies to reinforce their enclosure. It's only then that the stablemaster comes to her to ask for the materials to shoe two of the horses who lost them on the last hunt. It would seem that this day would be harder than most. She approved his requests, and then sighed again. She was briefly distracted by watching her grandchild riding a pony and one of the direwolves rubbing against her before trotting off to do whatever a direwolf did. Strange creatures the direwolves were--but strong and every embodiment of House Stark.

Lyarra visited the Maester, to ensure he had all the supplies required and gather his ledger of accounts to go over them and add what needed to be added from this last week. She brings them to one of her favorite rooms in all of Winterfell. It was a library, small but comfortable. Already she had seen her maid start a fire in there to keep out the cold and set a blanket up for her to add to her already warm clothes should it be necessary. She set down the ledgers on the desk. A knock at the door brings breakfast. For the first time that day, she feels the grumbling in her stomach. With a small smile she thinks that she could not possibly calculate the finances of Winterfell without something in her stomach. The fresh bread mixed with the smell of bacon was irresistible. She takes her time eating, enjoying the warm feeling that came with it and the cold bite of the mint tea in between.

As she works on the ledgers, she notices some small amounts of money missing. And then there was a bill from a tanner for a new fur cape with matching fur-lined gloves. She read it thrice to be sure before sitting back and contemplating her next move. Again she feels her heart turn cold with the rage of betrayal and the jealousy for a man she feared no longer loved her. And yet, she was the old she-wolf--steadfast and still fatal. She was not a wife that would cause a scene and let everyone in Winterfell know. Instead she would confront her husband in private. Now. Her head turns towards the chair where her maid was repairing someone's sock. (If she had to guess, she would think it to be Robb's). "Marianne, could you fetch my Lord Husband for me please?" The girl nodded, putting down the holed sock and went in search for Rickard in god knows wherever he had holed up for.
Dec 10 2017, 10:08 PM
[dohtml]<div class="n-site-template">
<h1><group>Lady Lyarra Stark</group></h1>
<h2>59 years old. the old she-wolf. the North. Monica Belluci.</h2>
<h3>Stormie. 31. Eastern. PM/Discord.</h3>
<div class="maincontents scroll">

Lyarra doesn't much remeber most of her earliest days. That was in the heyday of the Starks, when the halls were filled with laughter and the crypts nearly empty. These days it seemed quite the opposite. The crypts seemed more full by the year while her family seems to be the last of it's kind. She remembered her mother being kind but fierce. She remembers her father to be filled with wanderlust and fantastical tales of adventures abroad. When Branda was nine and Lyarra was six, they were shipped off to the Vale to be fostered. Lyarra remembers the Arryns being kind, if not a little absent to her and her sister. She was taught all the fine arts of being a lady, of entertaining both herself and an audience. Branda was always the most imaginative of the pair, creating stories and games for them to play. Lyarra excelled more in the arts of keeping a house, arranging feasts and enteraining various ambassadors with witty and intelligent conversations. Her sister would show off her skills in the arts and often stole the spotlight from Lyarra. In her youth, Lyarra hated her for it. Wasn't it enough she was the oldest and objectively the more fun? Lyarra often hated her for it and was convinced that Branda would be married to some high and mighty Lord while she was married off to some small Lord whose thoughts would never entertain her mind and expect her to pump out babies like a cow.

<p>When she was ten, the news of her father's disappearance was sent by Raven--and though her mother always maintained that Rodrick had abandoned them, both girls were firmly decided he had rather been killed in one of his grande adventures. It seemed a more suited, and just end to the Wandering Wolf. Thus being, not a tear was seen from either of the Wolf cubs at the Vale. The fierce mother that they had known was reduced to a weeping widow. Lady Arya never truly recovered and mostly reclused herself.

<p>As luck would have it, Branda fell in "love" with a young Lord Rodgers. Lyarra could barely remember the house her husband belonged to these days. Amberly perhaps? Either way, it didn't matter much as the young Lord Rodgers was betrothed to some other minor house. Yet, when her stupid sister found herself in a motherly way--their fierce mother came out from her slumbers and quickly arranged a marriage between the young Lord Rodgers and Branda. Lyarra was not even invited to the wedding or asked to participate and any childhood bond that may had keep their sisterly bonds as teenagers was broken. Lyarra never forgave her for that. Still, three years later with Branda having as many children, and having lost her figure due to the pregnancies, the still virginal Lyarra was married to her cousin Rickard who was a bit older than she.

<p>Thus she left the Vale at 16 years old, to return to her birthplace and take a position that she was determined she could handle. Stubborn and fierce like her mother, Lyarra accepted her lot in life with dignity and grace. She found Rickard to be good looking, with a strong chin and a chiseled build. He needed a partner to bring Winterfell back to its former glory and Lyarra was strong-willed enough to do it without fuss or expecting much in the way of gratitude. Their families had lost so much and their numbers diminished. It was not long though, before war broke out. Their brief, impassioned newlywed romance was cut short. Rickard left into the war of the Ninepenny Kings. It was shortly thereafter that the Maester confirmed she was with child. Lyarra was excited to tell him the news, but erred on the side of caution. It was only a few weeks later when the child was lost. Since it was early, she had managed to keep it extremely quiet--and though she mourned and worried about her role as wife. Regardless she ruled Winterfell well, settling desputes not with her own swords but with her words falling exactly in line with Rickard's rulings. She kept people fed, the homes well stocked, and peace in the North. When he returned joyous, drunk on victory and relief from getting from getting out alive she had thrown a large feast, with wine and mead flowing freely. His affection was given freely and with such vigor, that their first child was concieved. Lyarra never once mentioned the child they lost to him.

<p>While Lyarra relished being a wife, being a mother brought her more joy that she could even imagine. Brandon was a crier but it was often she would get up herself and settle him back to bed with quiet words and lullabies she learned from her maids in the Vale. Then came Eddard, who has always been quiet--even as a child. Standing back in Brandon's shadow but who reminded Lyarra of herself. She encourage Eddard perhaps more because of it. Lyanna came next and Lyarra was beside herself trying to raise the wildling. She swore in secret to Rickard that their daughter was nothing short but a wildling snuck into their cradle. And yet Lyarra was ever patient with Lyanna. It would seem that her patience had no bounds, taking every day by stride and doing her best to raise her children with loyalty and strength. Finally Benjen blessed their lives. He was always seemingly the outsider, but also was the instigator in so much of the trouble the four of them would get into. Lyarra remembers that she never could get him to fall in any sort of line like his elder brothers and sister.

<p>As they aged, she saw them becoming their own people. She watched as they earned their knighthoods and hosted their first feasts. She watched Lyanna be engaged to Rhaegar--though she feared for their house in the face of treason against the Mad King. She stuck by Rickard's side through the wars and rebellions. It was the War of the Seven that nearly broke them. She had begged him not to take all her sons to war with him. She would most likely lose their daughter if the rebellion was not successful--must she lose all her children? He had denied her everything, she had pleaded to at least leave Benjen behind. Still, her years of faithfulness, of loyalty and love seemed to fall by the wayside and Lyarra remembers her anger towards her husband. If he thought Winter was cold, his departure for war was ever colder. She had kissed her children goodbye, and had not even laid eyes on Rickard. There was no warm hopes of a swift reunion and no doubt if she had not been a true lady--she would of hoped for an arrow through his heart. Even his promise of a child when he returned fell on deaf, frozen ears. Her sons taken to the battlefields, and her daughter sent away to protect her from the Mad King. Lyarra was left alone in Winterfell similarly to those first years with the first war Rickard had left her for. Lyarra remembers vowing not to mourn her husband should he return on his shield. She would simply put him in the crypt with all the others and not give him a second thought. It was a childish vow but at the time she took great comfort in it.

<p>When he summoned him to King's Landing to witness the marriage of Lyanna to Rhaegar, Lyarra was nothing but excited. However, it was only when her sons were accounted for, unmaimed and alive, that her icey heart melted towards her husband. Letters alone had left her unconvinced. It was only when she saw the handsome faces of her boys that she breathed a sigh of relief. Her family was still whole--the numbers of the Starks remained. Her house secure, and even revered for their trust in the new King. Lyarra took the attention with grace and dignity. When the wedding was finished, Lyarra was more than happy to return to Winterfell, and her relationship with Rickard was like they were young again. The flirting, the affection and the sex was as if they were teenagers again.

<p>Rickard left a few more times, for various tasks for the Crown. Warden of the North meant that he was away from her more than he was with her. She welcomed Catelyn Tully into the fold, and found the girl much in the same mindset as herself. She soon became another daughter in her mind and seemed to have the calming effect that Lyarra never seemed to manage for Brandon. It was a blessing and a surprise when she found herself with child again. The Maester worried for her, restricting her activity and leaving her to bedrest when he could convince her. It was here that she was glad that at least one of her sons were married. Catelyn proved very capable of handling most of the day to day tasks while Lyarra submitted to the fretting of the Maester. She likened him to a chicken with it's head cut off, or a worried hen pecking here and there--unaware of what was to be done.

<p>She heavily pregnant, she had met Lady Wylla and found her to be a bit quiet but an appropriate match for Eddard's steady hand. The wedding went off without a hitch, and Catelyn soon found herself with child. It would seem that with a miracle child conceived that Winterfell would be bursting at the seems with laughter. Still with all this, she knew that Winter was coming. Yet the Old Gods smiled on her, and the birth of Elinor went smoothly with no complications to her or her second daughter and youngest child. The next few years were filled with children, with Direwolves returning to the Wolfswood.

<p>It was not long till words of the Stark family rang true. Winter was always coming. Benjen, who had left her skirt folds for the wilds of the Wall was reported missing. No signs of life or death or a struggle. Lyarra did her best to be strong but in the quiet of their shared rooms, there tears and gentle reassurances from Rickard. It reminded her of her own father's disappearance--though she and Branda always maintained that he had simply gotten lost on an adventure. Perhaps it would be the same with Benjen, though Lyarra did not have the imagination that Branda had, and could not help the negative thoughts. Lyanna promised her mother a visit when the celebration at Summerhall was finished. Though Lyanna and Rickard had always been at each other's throats, Lyarra bore her oldest daughter no ill will and welcomed the Queen of the Seven with open arms.

<p>Much to her delight, Lyanna brought Rhaenna with her! While Lyarra loved being a mother, being a grandmother brought a whole new set of joys. Where she had been firm in her mothering, she allowed her grandchildren to get away with things. To them she was comfort when their own mothers had been harsh, or a wisdom filled guide when life seemed unfair. While she loved Brandon and Eddard's children dearly, Lyanna's children were not as readily available. The visit was wonderful diversion from Benjen missing. She spoiled Rhaenna as much as she could and indulged her ever whim. It was only when she paused did she notice the bickering between Rickard and Lyanna.

<p>To keep her sanity, she volunteered to take Rhaenna, Sansa and Elinor to King's Landing. Sansa and Elinor's engagements were arranged. Rhaenna was getting married. It was supposed to be a happy occasion, but she couldn't help to have a sinking feeling as she urged Lyanna to be gentle with her father and kissed her goodbye. She urged Rickard to have patience with their daughter and the Queen.

<p>At King's Landing, she was well treated. Indulging Sansa's and Elinor's
whims while they were there. She helped Rhaenna get prepared for the wedding, answering some rather...uncomfortable questions. At least she was not marrying her half-brother. Visenya seemed more comfortable with her fate than Lyarra was but she was not sure that it was really that different than she and Rickard technically were cousins. And it was a known thing that Targaryen's were rather incestuous. It was a treat for her to see her other grandchildren come to the Red Keep to see their sisters married. Even Aegon, with his Dornish blood so different than the North was like a grandson to her. He treated his siblings with no difference than if they were full blooded. Either way she caught up with each of them.

<p>When Lyanna did not show up, Lyarra's bad feeling only expanded. Her letters to Rickard were answered with no further knowledge. Lyanna was missing. She joined the search party. When they found her Direwolf, any hope of seeing her oldest daughter alive was dashed. Again, the old she-wolf was strong matriarch for the pack in public. She knew the servants whispered about her wailing and she knew that the bags under her eyes were more than just age. Pursed lips never showed the grief that she felt. She could not talk herself out of it the way that she had with Benjen. There was no hope that she was alive if her Direwolf had been slain. She wore a black sash to the wedding of Aegon in mourning for her own daughter and Visenya's mother.

<p>Since her return to Winterfell, she has little intention of leaving much. She holds a small amount of hope that Benjen will be found alive North of the Wall. She would rather her son be a Wildling than dead. She believes firmly that Lyanna will never be found and that she was murdered. She does not want to lose another family member. Lyarra holds an firm fist on Winterfell, while reigning over her family like a Queen in her own right. The Lady of the North has become colder--but she is not frozen.

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