Rise of Rathmore
Bastard born daughter of Lord Rathmore
Mother’s a fool, always has been. She thought she could control me, make me into a version of herself, only luckier. She has no clue how lucky she has been. She was just a handmaiden, one of many in the Lannister household.
No doubt in her youth she witnessed many things that should have given her wisdom, yet she appears to have none. Her claim to fame was allowing herself to be bedded by a nobleman, the heir of his house, no less.
When she discovered herself to be with child, she wasn’t “let go”, a condition many a pregnant handmaiden endures leading to worse conditions, poverty and prostitution. No, she was lucky. She was allowed to remain and perform her duties.
I know she believed the person responsible for this leniency was the father of her children. She told wild stories of this lord’s riches, how he would come for us and raise us as noble children, as lord and lady. Hah!
- Oh yes, I have a twin brother. That’s a story in itself, but for later. –
I don’t believe it was our father who allowed mother to retain her position in the Lannister household. No, it was Lord Lannister himself. Our father was a bannerman of Lord Tywin Lannister, Lord Rathmore of House Rathmore.
In their younger days they travelled together, doing what lords do. Perhaps Lord Lannister saw something useful in our father’s personality. I doubt it, unless it was gullibility. While still a child, I was happy to believe mother’s stories.
But my kidnapping by highwaymen who supposedly mistook me for my younger half-sister, Cyrissa, convinced me crafty old Tywin himself engineered the whole thing to place my father into his debt. Why Tywin, Lord Lannister, wanted control of our gold mines poses a curious question. The Lannisters have gold mines of their own, don’t they?
Things did turn out the way mother predicted, sort of. Her lord did take my brother and I into his household, though she remained with the Lannisters, a handmaid still. She was wrong, of course. Father didn’t take us into his household for love or even duty, but simply to avoid paying another ransom. My kidnapping cost father control of some of his gold mines. He could not bear to lose the remainder.
Brother and I were not treated as family by our younger, but legitimate half-sister, Cyrissa. She tried to bully and order us around as if we were little better than servants. Brother got out of most of that because he had to train to fight. I had to dodge the house staff, Cyrissa, and the guards on the grounds to learn what little I do know about swordsmanship. Archery was easier.
I could watch the lessons from afar and practice at night when the maids and Cyrissa were asleep. Oh there are younger Rathmores, too, I often disregard them as they are no danger to me. The oldest boy is becoming annoying. He watches me all the time. I know my archery is quite good, perhaps he watches so he can be better the same way I did when watching my brother and his cohorts. Yes, that must be it.
I suppose things didn’t turn out too badly for my brother and I. I got what I wanted. While, my brother was trained in the fine arts of the sell sword, I learned archery. I know better than to think I am family. I hope my attempts to pretend obedience towards the “uncles” is believable.
But even if it isn’t, I can now take care of myself. I hope my brother gets what he wants; the Seven only knows what that might be.
May the Seven forgive what I do to the man who tries to toss me the way father tossed mother. I’ll cut out his family jewels or put an arrow in his back, lord or no lord.