Lady Anathema Nayland nee Flint


anathema (n; old tongue): an offering for the gods.

Anathema Flint is the second child and first daughter of two Flints — her father a Flint of Flint's Finger and her mother a Flint of the Mountains. Her older brother, a weak and sickly boy named Arthar, died some years before she was born, leaving a gaping wound in the hearts of her parents. It was because of this that it would be eleven long years before they had another child, and Anathema was her mother's fondest treasure. The first five years of her life she was spent constantly at her mother's side in the southern township of Flint's Finger. Shada Flint was a strange woman even by Northern standards. As a woman of the First Flints, she was deeply religious and highly superstitious. This was a trait passed down through her mother's family starting with her great-great grandmother who was more Wildling than a highborn. By the time Shada was born, this particular line of Flints were so engrossed in their own faith that they were valued as mystics and soothsayers — if such visions were truly gods-blessed, none knew for certain. If it was madness, then it was obviously hereditary.

Anathema was five years old when she began to speak of the whispers. They were voices, she said, and they told her secrets. Sometimes they would warn her of the loose leg of her father's chair or that her mother's maidservant never told the truth. Her mother indulged her in such things, though she always thought they made her father scared — a genuine reason to keep their words to herself. Her father feared his daughter was mad.

When Anathema was nine years old, Shada convinced her husband to allow her to take their young daughter to the Northern lands of the First Flints so that she may know her heritage. Trentin Flint was resistant at first; it was not his wish to marry a woman of the First Flints. They were wild, fierce peoples with the ability to survive the harshest Winters. He would have favored a softer wife, a gentler soul. Perhaps he would have been married to a Riverlander or a Lady of the Vale. But, no. The Flints of Flint's Finger and Widow Watch were mere cadet branches to the mighty First Flints. His permission was granted, and the next he would see his daughter was the day he would give her in marriage to a man of the Riverlands.

Anathema's life with her mother's kin was a strange one. Her mother, who was so graceful and elegant in Flint's Finger, regressed into a fierce beauty. Shada spent several years with her daughter there in the wilds of the far North before leaving her daughter under the care of her mother to return to her husband's side. Under her grandmother's guidance, Ana learned about herbalism, the beauty of the woods, and the ability to read omens of the natural world — from the puffs of clouds to the entrails of animals. When she was thirteen, her grandmother gifted her a family heirloom: a deck of seer cards. She taught her how to read them, how to understand by the way in which the cards were dealt helped decipher what the gods whispered. The voices in her own head only furthered this.

She stayed with her mother's people until she was eighteen, becoming more of a Flint of the Mountains than a Flint of Flint's Finger. She was summoned by her Father from the Mountains. A betrothal had been arranged between the Flints and Naylands, wedding the Flint daughter to a battlefield Knight. Ana was enraged by her father's guile, though it was not her place to argue the purpose of a noblewoman. No longer would she linger with her mother's kin; it was time for her to take her place in Westeros.

Six months after the betrothal had been arranged, Anathema was sent with her belongings and a handful of retainers to the south and into the Riverlands. Though she left the North behind her, she took part of it with her in the form of her own journals and the seer cards. She did not arrive in Hag's Mire until three mere weeks from the wedding. It was not true love, but it was not outright disdain. She was a passionately religious woman, where he was not.

Her marriage to Tyroan was typical of highborns. Their marriage bed was fruitful, yielding two sons and two daughters. They would never find love with one another — but comfort and companionship. Her love fell to their children. Conflicts between Ana and Tyroan came only from her abhor of the swampy Mire and her absolution in her faith. Within the Nayland House, she was seen as an oddity whose day was determined by tealeaves. Perhaps some whispered that she was a woods-witch, perhaps others found her gifts curious. Soon, she armored herself from her goodfamily by keeping her whispers secret. It was only her husband who she took into confidence of what they said.

When Robert Baratheon began to rebel against the Mad King, a letter came from her father to request the Naylands to answer Lord Tully's call. Since the Naylands, like their liege house, were torn between the call of Tully and the call of the Mad King, it was her husband who answered her father's plea and went North to join the Flint forces, including their middle child and youngest son who had been fostered with the Flints of the Mountains as she had been — not a knight, but a warrior all the same. Their eldest son, now a knight himself, did not follow his father into war. He said his duty was to his house. It was the first time that Anathema bade her husband farewell in the face of war. Fearful for her husband's life, Anathema did only what she had the power to do: she prayed.

During the time without her husband, the whispers became louder. Her daughters looked after her as best as they were able, but soon Ana hid herself away in her rooms to pray. She fasted for days, paying attention only to her cards which she read over and over again to know her husband's fate. By the time he returned home, she had almost given into her own madness. It was only Tyroan who could bring her back into reality, and again her whispers fell quiet. It would take several weeks of simple meals and sleep before Ana returned to her normal state.

With the kingdoms now under the rule of King Robert, Anathema and Tyroan turned to peacetime duties. Their eldest daughter was wed to a Goodbrook, while their sons were already finding comforts in their wives. The eldest married a Frey girl while their youngest went, no pun intended, native. Still living with the Mountain kin, he had married a Wull — to his father's great disappointment. It was Anathema who kept up the letters to this son, her favored child.

As the Naylands extended their grasp, the Ironborn soon fell upon the Cape. Once more, her husband was called to war. Again, she went to her omens for guidance, and again they gave her half-answers and contradictions. They angered her so, but now she knew that it was not her purpose to know the fate of her husband before it fell. He was gone for many months, though this time he returned not to a mad wife, but to one merely seeking the comfort of her returned husband.

With her husband home again, and Stonebridge turning into a point of conflict between a father's rightful son and a mother's rightful daughter, she urged Tyroan to go visit their eldest daughter, who was struggling with the birth of her second child. They left Hag's Mire, certain that Lord Tully would see that the issue would not come to swords. Their second grandchild was born stillborn. By the time they heard news of the Charltons and the Haighs marching on Stonebridge, it was too late to return straight home. They now take the long way back, hoping to return to the victory of the Nayland House.



Physical Features

Here stands a dark woman from the far North of some forty years old. She is a shy hand over five feet, and her hourglass frame can only be described as voluptuous. There is something that speaks of Wildlings about the light olive of her skin tone and the darkness of her features, though her face is a graceful composition of a highborn. Her high cheekbones and slender jaw are matched with a pointed nose and generous supply of lips. Her eyes are the color of chocolate with the faintest traces of green ringing her pupils. Thick ebon curls frame her ovaline face before lashing down her back to the curve of her hips.

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