An Oncomming Storm
[Bywater] Rhaena (Bywater) Hightower
Lady-wife of Hightower, Elder Sister, Miss Perfect
Rhaena Hightower never had the beauty of her younger siblings, nor the quiet charm of her twin brother, and two pregnancies has certainly done little to amend this fact. A woman now in her twenty-first year she is perhaps best described as pleasantly plump with a roundness to both body and features only slightly offset by her height. She is fairly tall for a woman, in this at least taking after her mother, fairly broad across the shoulders, with solid hips and a build more suited for physical work than the delicate constitution of a young lady. Though as her grandmother has remarked more than once, her wide hips and solid constitution does at least make a good mother. Though always a little plump and ungainly Rhaena is fond of dancing and a decent enough rider when she has to, though recent years of luxury has made her more at home in a carriage than in a saddle.
As if to compliment her less than delicate build Rhaena’s features are perhaps best described as plain, being neither noteworthy nor particularly unfortunate. She is plump of cheek, with softly rounded lines, a nose just a little too large and the faint hint of a second chin, though her jaw is strong and the chin marked. It is not the face that recalls the stories of a soft Reacher maiden nor one of the Princesses in the Tower, but rather reminiscent of a reliable midwife or a strict septa. There is a certain charm to her features however, especially when she smiles, though in a homely sort of way more than anything else. And her softly curled silvered hair which she keeps falling down past her shoulders is very much the storied hair of the Valyrians, though a tone darker near its roots. Her eyes too are beautiful, though the left one is a little smaller, with a crisp blueness as deep as the sea yet sharp and quick like the mumbling streams of her home. They much like her aunt they are eyes that can be terribly disdainful and distant in a way that many would find provoking, yet they are also eyes capable of great warmth both tender and loving which becomes her. Thus Rhaena is perhaps more at home in her current role than ever before, for even her siblings would have to admit that when seen with her little family she seems every inch the devoted mother.
Rhaena also has and has always had a taste for the finer things in life, clothing and apperal in particular, and consequently her wardrobe is both waste and varied. She loves nothing more than the latest fashions from the capitol, favouring exquisitely tailored dresses with much pomp and exaggerations from broad necks and long silken sleeves to puffed velvet and extravagant floral patterns. Especially the latter of these she seems to favour immensely, patterned in all the colours of a field in spring over the simple white of house Hightower, though she often also uses gold from house Bywater. In the art of choosing costumes and clothing Rhaena is indeed a master and very much aware of her own appearance she also apt at choosing attires which makes her appear more slender, while playing up her natural qualities such as the blue of her eyes. She is also most fond of jewellery and upon returning to the Cocklesvale it furthermore became clear that Garth is not a stingy man. Of particular note amongst her collection is a gilded hairnet interlaced with pearls and brilliant little sapphires as well as a heavy necklace shaped in gold like the seven pointed star and inlaid with stones in seven different colourations. It is rare indeed that Rhaena is seen without this necklace.
For she is a staunch believer in the Faith of the Seven, something she has been from an early age, with a strong sense of property and a moral code by which she firmly stands. Of personality she is a stubborn person, brave some would say, and at certainly willing to face down a pack of angry siblings with little but haughty disdain. She is socially apt, quick to read situations and always one to carry herself with great grace, making for an able player in the game of lords and ladies, though perhaps with more of an eye for the game itself than for the goals to be achieved. She also appears a good mother, if something of a strict one, and a dedicated wife who cares deeply for her family, though perhaps not always displaying it to the world.
That said she has a fierce temper, very much like her mother and aunt, both quick to anger and slow to forget, though she rarely deign to retaliate on the spot. Rather she is calculating and at times event a little cruel, knowing well how to bid her time and take her revenge when it will be all the sweeter. In her youth, and perhaps even still, she could also be ever so petty, easily taking offense and quick to demand what she considered hers by right. Though closely linked to her sense of right and wrong Rhaena also has a distinct streak of arrogance and possesses a self-righteousness that at times has driven her siblings to despair. More so than anything else however she is a woman who has always aspired for something more than life in a secluded valley, a soul who longed for both adventures and splendour during her mostly quiet youth.
On what is widely remembered as one of the most joyous days in Bywater during living memory Rhaena Bywater came into life as the first of two twins during the middle of the year 267 AC. The firstborn child of Daeron and Leonette Bywater, though she was quickly followed by her twin brother Aeron. Both were healthy children, without blemish nor fault, and it is said old Alain Bywater shed tears of joy that day as he held the two. From an early age she proved a quick learner and something of a dreamer, enamoured with the tales of great knights and beautiful ladies which her grandfather so liked to tell her. It quickly became apparent however that Rhaena Bywater was perhaps the only member of her which did not quite fit into life in castle Waterdeep. From as early as she can recall she longed for more than the confining valley, her plain parents and the mouldy old castle. She wanted to be a proper lady and live in some large exiting place where she could make friends more like herself. For she was never very close to any of her siblings, always being the strict and proper elder sister and getting into more fights than her parents had perhaps desired. Especially she disliked Alain, her little brother, and always they would exchange endless petty barbs or childish pranks. Only Vermillion Hill she somehow ended up forming a strange sort of friendship with, though it was perhaps more of one-sided admiration than anything else.
As she grew older she took every opportunity to travel, and spent many a month in the glittering fields of Greenshield or admiring the castle Highgarden’s many towers. In particular she remembers with fondness the one time she travelled with her father to Driftsmark and saw the capitol in the distance, though nothing more. And thus she grew up dreaming of life beyond the deep valley of her birth and perhaps her happies memory of that time was when she was told that a marriage has been arranged for her. In 278 AC she was promised to Garth “Greysteel” Hightower, a match she didn’t mind at all, and as soon as she came of age and the war was over she married him in 283 AC. Since that time she has lived in Oldtown and granted Garth two daughters, Lelys and Leonette. Very much a worldly person she appears perfectly at home in Oldtown, enjoying both its dignified history and influx of the exotic and the foreign. It appears she and Garth goes together well enough, though it seems to have more in common with friendship than love, and her two daughters are her pride and joy.
Having first escaped the confines of the Cockleswent valley Rhaena has been in no hurry to return, appearing very much content with her new life. During the Tournament of the Brothers at the Bywater Greens however she returned with her husband and children, on the urging of none other than Lord Daeron. Rhaena herself played little part in the events of the tournament, though her husband took the third place much to her satisfaction. Things did however not go so well for him in the Trail by Seven held at the closing of the tournament, and rarely had she appeared as emotional in front of her siblings than when Maester Thorben carefully tended Garth’s wounds.
Alain, she simply could never like, and the feeling was mutual. Perhaps they simply both tried too hard to be perfect.
Braedon, she seems to not think very much of at all, beyond him being a simple and foolish boy easily manipulated.
Duncan, she does not know.
Thorben, she seems deeply grateful towards.
Vermillion, she oddly seems to remember in somewhat grand and fond terms, if a little vaguely.