Dear readers, tonight with us is a fun-loving, flirtatious young lady, recently widowed and keen to avoid the nunnery. She volunteers to go to Castle Malwarden as a hostage, hoping to make a second marriage afterwards. She is here to tell about a world full of dragons, plots and treachery.
Tell us a little about where you grew up. What was it like there?
I grew up the world on the other side of the void. You have your smartphones, democracies and airplanes. We have dragons, noble houses, and our own religion. Someone who came over through a portal called us pagans and said our religion reminded her of mediaeval Catholicism. I’m not sure how she would know that. I mean, it is 2015 in both worlds, and she could not time travel.
Still, I wasn’t offended, and I understood what she meant. Our worlds are completely different. You have cybercrime and climate change. We have ongoing wars between different kingdoms and houses, even if we all follow the same religion.
The wars dominated my life as a child. Being high-born only partially shielded me. By the time I was ten, I had lost all of my family, and so I went to stay with my guardians as their ward. It was there that I met Bessy, another noble girl orphaned by war, and we soon became as close as sisters. She is my rock.
Did you have any favourite toys as a child? Any cherished memories?
Being brought up as a noble child meant I had plenty of material possessions, despite the wars. I confess I have always loved the finer things in life.
I’d rather not talk about my childhood. There are too many painful memories there. I’ve lost too many people, and it’s never been my way to dwell on anything painful longer than I need to.
What do you do now?
Well, I’m widowed without children, and I want to marry again. It’s just unfortunate that my behavior has given me a reputation for being overly light-hearted and fickle. Fun to flirt with, good to lie with and agreeable to spend time with but not the right sort of woman to settle down with. No sensible man will propose to me, and few people take me seriously.
However, I have a plan to make people take me more seriously, which will increase my chances of marrying again in time.
What can you tell us about your latest adventure?
My latest adventure is a direct consequence of my plan. My house, the House of Lothwold in the Woldsheart, needed to exchange three hostages with our enemy, the House of Malwarden in the Westlands, in order to ensure that a recently-declared truce is kept.
It is customary for children to be exchanged, but the only actual rule is that they have to be of noble blood. By offering myself as a hostage, people will appreciate me more, thus raising my chance of making another marriage. (My absence will also give them time to forget my past behavior).Continue reading “Lady Hawise (of The Deadly Favour, by Ruth Danes)”