An Oncomming Storm
[Cowden] Lord Gwayne Cowden
Lord of Acklam, The Young Lord
Gwayne Cowden, the Lord of Acklam, is still a young man now in his 17th year. Most would agree him a shapely boy, but though he is commonly seen carrying a sword the young lord is clearly no fighter. For despite having entered the prime of his youthful strength he remains small for his age, with an appearance both soft and tender, quite unlike his younger brother. His bearing is noble, his shoulders broad and his posture both straight and true, yet his frame lacks the weight and surety of the warrior. Instead he is thin, indeed many would name him scrawny, and though well-formed with long, slender limbs he gives a distinct impression of softness, perhaps even frailness. He has a natural agility to his gait, which is swift and soft. But it is the light, springy steps of a fawn and not the steady, strength of a young buck. This impression of boyishness is further reinforced by his soft, unblemished skin and the pale complexion of his face.
Yet despite his youthful and delicate physique, the Maiden has not disfavour the Lord of Acklam and none would suggest young Gwayne is foul to look upon. To the contrary most would agree that he is a handsome boy, blessed with both beauty and a agreeable personality. He has a fine, sharply contoured face dominated by a high-ridged nose and the deep-set eyes of his mother’s family. Much like Lady Myriah Gwayne’s eyes are large and doe-like, yet they are swifter and more curious than hers, filled with joy and laughter. Coloured a vibrant, warm brown they have made many a young maid’s heart flutter. Indeed few that meets him fails to be charmed, for Gwayne’s is a passionate, radiant face seemingly made for kind smiles or grins of mischievous, boyish glee. Short flaxen hair so soft it could rival that of any maid falls in wind tossed curls down around his small face and aside from a fine layer of pale down across his chins he has yet to grow a proper beard. In all, and despite his age, Lord Gwayne Cowden remains a boy of appearance, beautiful and agile, but lacking the weight and gravitas of a man grown.
Though house Cowden has never been amongst the richest along the Cockelswent the young lordship can still afford to dress according to his station, and as one would expect from a youth in his position Lord Cowden is want to wear finely tailored clothes, colourful and richly decorated. Young Gwayne is especially fond of light tunics and finely embroidered doublets, often in various shades of green slashed or decorated with white, silver or gold. One particularly favoured piece is a grape green tunic in fine silk, embroidered along the edges in a complicated pattern of springing stags and twisting branches, all worked with threads of gold. His leg and footwear are usually no less remarkable, and Gwayne is particularly fond of tights with mismatched white and green legs. The young lord is also fond of capes and cloaks, mostly in dashing white or simpler tones of brown, often lined with furs.
As far as wargear goes Gwayne is rarely seen in it, his mother having for the most part screened him from the drill yard. Yet when required the Lord of Cowden rides to forth wearing a well-crafted brigandine in the purest white, with deep green arms and a proud stag springing above the heart in golden brown. To say that he carries it well would be an exaggeration but mounted and with his father’s longsword at his side young Gwayne does make for a striking figure, all be it a more charming than an intimidating one.
Charming is indeed a good way to describe the Lord Cowden. As he has an easy and likable way about him, though again somewhat reminiscent of a boy a few years younger, and a kindness that does him credit. He is empathic and perceptive, at least as far as feelings are concerned, quick to shown compassion to the unfortunate and forgive the flaws of the sinners. Some might mistake his kindness for weakness, but the smallfolk of the Cowden’s domain adores him for it. Long pampered by a caring and overprotective, but well-educated, mother he has been trained extensively in the finer arts of refined conversation and courtly interaction and play the role of lord with great skill. Furthermore, Lord Gwayne has a head for numbers and most other sorts of learning, being particularly well versed in the heraldic traditions of the Reach, and given time he will likely become an able caretaker of his families holdings.
Yet as things stands he remains something of a child, likely the result of his mother’s pampering. He can be shockingly naïve and somewhat irresponsible, relying heavily upon his advisors for judgement and guidance. Yet Gwayne Cowden’s most prominent flaw is however a sharp temper, a tendency to get easily insulted and a perhaps overstatement of his own important, the latter surely a result of his sheltered upbringing. Combined with a not uncommon streak of youthful rashness, these traits makes him prone to reckless and heated decisions often not in his or his family’s best interest. One would hope that, given time, the Lord of Acklam will mature and lay aside his childish ways, yet as things stands he still has some way to go.
Born at the height of summer in the year 271 A.C, to the young Lord Leon Cowden and his wife Myriah (Morr) Cowden, Gwayne was always the older brother destined to inherit his father’s lands. Though the Cowdens were relatively poor and held no Maester his father taught him well, and from an early age the young boy was raised to be a lord. He was taught of ledgers and letters, of his rights and his obligations, but above all his father taught him to show kindness and lenience to his subjects. In time his father could perhaps have taught him the knightly pursuits as well, but in his seventh year the boy was struck down by illness. The dreaded consumption nearly claimed his life, as it did his baby sister’s, and so grievously was he stricken that he remained bedridden for nearly two years.
Shortly thereafter, in 282 A.C, as Gwayne has but turned eleven, his father marched off to war, never to return.
Bereft of his father, and with rulership trusted upon him at a tender age, it was Gwayne’s mother Myriah who would become his most important guardian and advisor. Indeed it is a secret to no one that it is Lady Myriah who has been running her son’s household since her husband’s death, and though Lord Gwayne now has come into his adulthood she remains close by his side.
Though mostly acquainted with him since childhood our Young Cockerels have learned to know young Gwayne Cowden better in recent months. Lord Gwayne played an active, though admittedly naïve and ineffective, role during the predicaments at Market Town. Despite having been indisposed of for much of the night his men was the aggravating party who brought things to a head.
Later he partook in the Battle of Rushside, rallying the meagre forces of his house and though he was not personally engaged in the fighting he showed great bravery in aiding his men.
He arrived with his household to participate in the Tournament of the Brothers held at the Bywater Green and though little involved with the events of that memorable tournament he did gain much acclaim when he managed to rank second in the archery competition.
Recently rumours have suggested that an alliance of marriage is being negotiated between house Cowden and house Wallon, likely involving Lord Gwayne.
Alain, he seem to find pleasant company, despite Alain treating him somewhat like his junior.
Braedon, he didn’t seem to notice much.
Thorben, he conversed pleasantly with, apparently interested in his wisdom and learning.
Vermillion, he didn’t meet.