An Oncomming Storm
[Bywater] Rhae (Bywater) Caswell
Lady-wife of Caswell, Younger Sister, Lady Bookworm
Of all the Bywater siblings Rhae Bywater, now Caswell, is probably the least striking, taking after Maelys in both temperament and appearance both. None would suggest that she is in any way unpleasant to behold, but she is very much ordinary in aspect, so unlike her dazzling mother. Now in her nineteenth year Rhae has grown into a young woman of average height and a gentle, almost frail, build. Though not quite sickly she always was a soft child and as a woman grown she has retained this aspect, with delicate shoulders, an almost painfully slim waist and gentle, graceful limbs. Indeed, her mother much worried if she would at all be able to carry a child for her hips are weak and gently shaped. Her first child has not changed her aspect much, except perhaps for her bust growing a little more pronounced, though already her belly is growing rounder with her second child.
Her face too is slim and a little on the long side, surrounded by flowing, silken hair a colour like matt gold which falls straight and soft like a waterfall down to the small of her back. It goes well with her pale complexion, akin to alabaster, and her large green eyes. The eyes gives the face a sense of earnestness and innocence with becomes it, and the green is a bright shade of emerald like the fresh grass of early spring. Framing them her features are slim and a little sharp reminiscent more of the Bywaters than the Chesters, with an almost hard jawline, a high-ridged nose under which sits a small, almost court mouth, and high cheekbones. Yet for all its regal lines her face still has a soft, gentleness too it far removed from her uncle and in her green eyes there is a warmth and depth so unlike the Lord Bywater’s, and this if anything is her greatest strength for in her own unassuming way Rhae can be ever so beautiful.
Much in keeping with her personality and generally slightly withdrawn ways Rhae is not one for gaudy dresses, nor is she overly concerned by fashion, though with her newfound position as lady of house Caswell this has changed a little. On formal occasions she will now wear a dress suited to her status, most often the white of house Caswell with elaborate embroideries in gold and sometimes black. She is also very fond of half cloaks in black, and whether for those or her travelling cloak she always keeps them attached with a silver broach shaped in the likeness of a rearing griffon. When in private or on travels however she prefers simpler dresses, often just one plain, long sleeved dress with a single over-garment, in muted cream or yellow colours. She also commonly wears a neckless with a seven pointed star, shaped in silver and inlaid with a small coloured crystal for each point of the stars.
Rhae was always a soft spoken, withdrawn and rather shy girl and little has changed with the years. She rarely speaks at a gathering and when she does it is softly and with every word well considered, for she is neither rash nor spirited. Rather she is very much a gentle soul, quiet and unassuming at festive occasions yet always with time to listen and a few soft words of comfort when needed. Many would perhaps belittle her for her shyness and disinterest in others, or simply find her dull and bland, yet Rhea seemingly has no desire to be at the centre of attention, preferring instead to go about her own quiet life. For she is diligent of disposition and thorough in all she does, be it the reading provided to her by the Maester or sewing work for her daughter. She is also a deeply religious woman with a strong belief in the Seven and their teachings, which she very much take to heart. She is, perhaps for this reason, known for her charity and kindness to those less fortunate in her husband’s domain.
Rhae Caswell came into the world in AC 269 as the realm celebrated a second royal son and Lord Alain’s gout worsened to the point he could no longer walk. She was a healthy child and a light that lifted the family out of the darkness of the previous year. Growing up in the secluded Cocklesvale her childhood was a time of peace during which the family and wider realm prospered, though a time of few noteworthy incidents. Rhae was always the silent one amongst a pack of noisome and headstrong children, growing into a withdrawn and somewhat bookish girl that, though she had a good relationship with both brother and cousins, never grew truly close to anyone aside from her parents with one exception, Lord Daeron. She grew up very much in the shadow of her sibling and cousins, but much like her father she never found it in her to complain. Instead she nurtured her love of learning and a quite strong faith perhaps nourished further by her mother, and she was always the favourite student of old Maester Edwynd.
Never one to dream of knights and men in shining armour it was much to her parents surprise when she announced she wished to marry Lorent Caswell, shortly after the War of the Usurper. The two had meet during the families journey to the Shield Islands as the war drew closer, and it seems that in Lorent Caswell she found a slightly fainthearted but kind man of her liking. To the astonishment of both his lady-wife and his brother Lord Daeron not only conceded to her request, though he had few kind words to speak of Lorent, but also deftly brokered the deal, though it cost the house both to hold the celebrations and sponsor the considerable dowry. Thus, four years hence Rhae Bywater became Rhae Caswell and leaf the valley of her childhood. Shortly thereafter Rhae became pregnant and later gave birth to her and Lorent’s firstborn child, a girl named Annara. It was a difficult birth for the frail Rhae, one which too far longer than usually is, for almost half a year Rhae balanced on the edge of death. She did however recover, and as peace once again has settled across the realm her little family seems to be living in comparative bliss.
Though she has long been gone from the Cocklesvale Rhae encountered the young Bywaters on two occasions since the start of 288 AC. Firstly she was present with her husband during the King’s Tournament at Highgarden were they found her in high spirit, though still seemingly a little frail, and she seemed to take great joy in meeting her family once more. She did not however play an active part in the dramatic events of that memorable Tournament. The Caswells also participated in the Tournament at Bywater Greens were it became clear that Rhae was once more pregnant. Though Lord Lorent Caswell stood with the Bywater’s as one of Daeron’s true men the couple played no larger role in the drama that followed.
Alain, she seemed to remember fondly, though mostly as the cute little cousin.
Braedon, is her beloved older brother and she sees deeply fond of him. She even writes to him every now and again.
Duncan, she doesn’t really know.
Thorben, she doesn’t really know but she seemed to take a liking to him during their brief conversation.
Vermillion, she appears to dislike, perhaps not surprisingly considering who he is.