[Feb 28,2014- Original Date this should have been written]
The call of the Raven could be heard early that morn and with a wicked shout would alert the Stark Maester of its presence and the missive it carried. The scroll tied to its leg was concealed in a tubular container, shielding it from the snow and rains of winter. Once revealed, the proud and eminent crest of House Arryn would be seen; pressed into the blue wax which held the letter shut. In one final flourish, the curling hand inked upon its parchment would neatly declare its recipient. Anya Stark.
My dearest Anya,
You must know by now that the winds have carried me north and back to the hallowed halls of your forefathers.
But you cannot know the pain and the fears which have driven me from the capitol and which shall keep me far from those walls for some time to come. I trust that you can believe me when I say that, I had no choice but to return to the Vale. It is high time that my son knew what it felt like to sit upon the wooden throne of his father and his grandfather before him and it is only right that I should sit by his side.
I have, of course, taken Stewardship in place of Lord Eric who has thus far, done an admirable job as caretaker of the Vale.
You are a mother now, Anya and I cannot tell you how it pains me to know that you brought your little one into this world and that I was so far from your side. But perhaps, now you might know how easy it is to abandon everything and everyone in the hope that your children might come to feel safer and happier. It has been some time since I have seen Myranda laugh and smile but now her voice fills the halls at our winter castle.
These things shall always mean more to me than a council position or the weighted purse of some nobleman.
Be wary of those winding steps to the Hand’s Tower, dear sister. There have been many who sought to climb so high and have only come to fall or come tumbling back down.
Storms gather on our shores and even now, I gaze upon the order to send fifty of our ships south to aid in the defence of the capitol. Take care of yourself.
May the Gods, old and new see you safe and cared for.
Signed: Caecilia Arryn
Dowager Lady of the Eyrie and Lady Steward of the Vale.
The parchment was rolled after she reread it about three times, expression contemplating and thoughts rushing through her head. So many unanswered questions.
What happened to the child within you then? Are you really fairing well, Caecilia? How are the children? I am glad Myranda is happy within the home of my forefathers…even though when I recall my days back when I was her age, there was no ounce of happiness or reason to laugh. Althalos worries me, especially with you not around, Caecilia. But I understand…the capital is a place that drives everyone away eventually.
“My Lady Anya…Lady Anya?” a soft voice appeared behind her along with a gentle pat on the shoulder.
Blue eyes fluttered opened in a sudden panic stricken haze as the falcon straightened out in the sofa unaware of her sudden drift into thoughts.
“Do not worry my lady Anya, I came to inform you that the preparations for Little Lord Raiphen’s name day are finalized for the day.” The gentle hand accompanied with the sweet voice soothed her.
Thoughts still rushed within her blurred vision, palm moved to seal her lips with a yawn as she eyed the now crumpled parchment roll in her hand that her fingers gripped upon unintentionally. Low sigh was released as she put it away into one of her books. I will reply, I need to reply…but not now, today is my little wolf’s day…
A few days passed, the Baratheon-Stark hunt was a success. The letter of her good sister remained in the back of her mind. I will reply, she kept reminding herself.
Her husband decided to bring her with him to the tower of the hand where he has been residing ever since his new position as Hand of the King. She was drained and tired during the hunt even though she did not participate but the wolf within her was growing and her belly did not hide the fact any longer. Why now, My love? she pondered as he left her to rest alone within the tower while he dealt with his duties.
Hours passed as she rested. Form ventured down to her husband’s office hoping to see him, yet there was no proof of his return apart from the letter he left informing her he went to seek his brother’s presence. It reminded her of the conversation she had with the black lioness wolf. Rhialta. Heavy sigh emitted again as she dragged her form over to the large window. Blue gaze looked down upon the capital from above. It gave her that familiar fear of falling that caused her to back away quickly from the window. I won’t fall, I will not. I am sorry Rhi, sorry I did not hug you. She dropped her form over the couch and closed her eyes wrapping her palms around the golden necklace that Rhialta gifted to her for her name day.
Hearing uncle Wulfric’s name announced silenced the voices in her head.
Lokhe, please come back soon, my love. She watched as uncle Wulfric took his leave and instantly the smile she formed with so much strength faded as she took support of the table to compose herself. As much as she showed the courage, she was deeply fighting the inner voice within that was raging through her head. I must be strong, we must leave. I am sorry Caecilia, I cannot reply after all.
She shook her head and slowly moved herself by the window and leaned to the red brick walls looking out into it at the sky and taking slow deep breaths. The fear she developed for heights was not dominant for her thoughts and heart was out to her husband out there.
Weakness is not acceptable, she must remain strong, especially once Lokhe returns, the gods only know how much harder it is on him that it drove him away from her for the whole night and day when they hardly had any time left with each other. The conversation replayed in her head and as time passes she prepared herself mentally for…what is to happen.