History of the Willowriches
Title: History of the Willowriches
History of the Willowriches
Cienwen Gendilsen grew up in the town of Fairport in the county of Torre. She was the middle child of a merchant family and spent much of her youth working with the local empath guild learning the art of healing, as well as the lore of plants.
The Gendilsen family traded in handcrafted wares of cotton, linen and some wool. They were known throughout the area for their outstanding skills in needlework, from embroidery to quilting. Cienwen developed a quilting for woman’s linen bodices that was much sought after.
After Cienwen turned eighteen she was often seen lingering around the market proper during trade days, but most especially when the young man from the village of Enged came into town. She was always a proper lady, staying well clear of the ruffians and always kept her head covered with the hood of her cloak. She was not a flirt by any means but a shy, quiet admirer. The young man took note of her instantly and began to look forward to her arrival at the market. After several months of noticing Cienwen lingering around his booth, Glynis decided to approach her.
Glynis Willowrich was a good man, the son and only heir to the Willowbend Farmstead. He instantly noted that Cienwen wore an ivory cloak pin carved into the shape of a rose upon her fine linen cloak and knew exactly what he must do. The day he approached her he did so with a circlet made of white rosebuds bound together by soft red linen ribbons.
Instantly the pair was a match. Within the year they had wed and Cienwen moved to the small farmhouse in Willowbend. The land was wide and the property enormous. Glynis tended the land with hands hired from the village of Enged and would once a month, during the summer season, brings his wares to Fairport for trade. Ceinwen would travel with him, happy to visit with her family.
In turn the village of Enged was very happy with the newest member of the Willowrich family. Trained in the arts of the Empath, Ceinwen was a blessing to them. She quickly filled the space left beyond by the old herbalist and was soon called upon for all manner of aid, from birthing babies to healing ailments and mending broken bones.
Six years after their marriage two things happened at once. The first was that most of Ceinwen’s family was lost at sea on a trade expedition that was making its way to Solhaven from Fairport. The krolvin invaders left little, indeed if anything, of those that had defended the boat. Those few Gendilsen’s that survived, her youngest sister and brother decided to move to Highmount with their mother as she had family that hailed from there. The times between their visits were far and few until they were reduced to letters by courier.
The second thing that took place that year was the birth of the couple’s only child, Glyndwr. He was a happy child who grew up upon the farm with his parents. Long about his seventeenth birthday the couple could see in him a craving for knowledge. Using Ceinwen’s untouched dowry, they couple sent the young man off to the Seminary in Fairport to learn the ways of a warrior. Within two years he was the top of his class and within four he had graduated as a paladin of Oleani. The parents were very happy for their now twenty-one year old son and gifted him with a magnificent horse, thus spending the last of Ceinwen’s dowry.
Glyndwr began to travel the lands spreading the goodwill he had learned to those that were in need. He was a pious man, well liked by those he met and fought in many battles.
Long about his twenty-fifth birthday Glyndwr found himself in Ice Mule Trace and decided to visit the Abbey there. Unfortunately, unbeknownst to him, the Abbey lay in ruins. He traveled to the town proper. His goal was to write to his parents upon his birthing day to see how they were doing. The young woman that aided him in sending his missive soon began to fill his days. The pair was inseparable during the two months that Glyndr stayed at the town in wait of a reply from his parents. The young woman was a beautiful singer and would regale him with stories she had heard while growing up in the Abbey. In turn, Glyndwr would share stories of his home, his travels and his life.
Long about the fifty-eighth day of his visit, Glyndwr received a reply to his letter. The reply was not good, his father was in failing health and his mother feared her arts could not keep him this side of the Gates for long. Glyndr needed to return home. Upon an impulse, Glyndwr went to the Lady Oleani’s temple and spoke a quiet prayer to the altar there. None know for certain what words he spoke but when he entered the temple he wore only a simple tabard, hose and bore nothing within his hands. Upon leaving he was unchanged save for the small item he bore in his hand.
With purposeful steps he moved to the young woman and took to kneel. He presented her with the item, a crown of ivory rosebuds bound together by soft crimson ribbons. The young girl was overcome by emotions and at first could not look Glyndwr in the eye. She murmured something regarding her mixed parentage, the name she had been given to display her unsavory birthright and the fact that she could bring no dowry to the table.
Glyndr smiled to her and said these words.
“Cast off the name that does not suit you and come be by my side. There I will give you a new name. I will call you Siofria, which means little elf in my people’s tongue and you will be known as my Lady to all.”
And so Siofria entered the Willowrich family.
The couple traveled with all speed to the Willowbend estate and arrived in three months time, though poor Bastion, their horse, was not trilled with this speedy travel.
Glynis was bed-ridden when they arrived but trilled to see not only his son but also his beautiful fiancé. He was renewed by the return of his son and his health seemed to grow for a time. Siofria was welcomed into the family with open arms and the wedding was set for that spring.
The ceremony was simple and held within a small shrine upon the Willowbend farmstead beneath the shelter of blooming black willow trees. Three days after the couple were wed Glynis died in his sleep, they say he lay close to his wife in his final moments.
Several years passed upon the Willowbend farm, the new couple taking care of the farm while Ceinwen returned to her duties as the village healer. They each led the life they knew Glynis would want from them to and long about the six years later the couple was gifted with their first child. The young boy was strong and bore the slight curve of his mother’s ears. Siofria fretted about this for a time but her cares we set at ease by the loving family that she lived among. Glyndwrson was a healthy boy who did well by his parents.
Ceinwen began to teach Siofria the Gendilsen family craft of embroidery and quilting. She was a fast study and soon found that she enjoyed doing the work while minding her son as much as she enjoyed playing her many instruments.
Six years after the birth of their son two things happened at once. During a terrible storm one of the great willow trees was struck by lightning. The great tree crashed in the groove where the shrine was and the family feared the shrine would be lost. Glyndwr went to investigate the shrine with a few farmhands, while leaving his pregnant wife in the house with his mother. Upon arriving at the shrine he was amazed to find that the tree had split into three perfect pieces. Two had fallen to either side of the shrine while the third lay across them forming a perfect circle. Where lightning had touched the black willow was bleached pure white.
Amazed by the good fortune he had seen, Glyndwr returned to the farmstead to share the good news. As he crossed the threshold he heard the cry of a babe, Siofria had given birth to their second child. He would soon find that she had not given birth to one child but three.
Thus the Willowrich triplets were born.
Mairnwen, also known as Merry, was the oldest of the lot. She was fond of animals from the moment of her birth. Eirawen, the second child born also called Error-not by her sisters, was fond of reading and learning anything and everything she could. Aeronwen, the youngest, was a shy child who loved her plants and gardens but also enjoyed watching the boys and making matches where she could, thus she was nicknamed Amore-wen.
The youngest and last child to be gifted to the couple was a petite child named Rhonwen. She looked much like her sisters in appearance but behaved more like her brother in nature. She came four years after the triplets but was never overshadowed by them, if anything she was spoiled by their adoration and care.
The farm was a wonderful place for the children to grow up. The four enjoyed schooling from their mother and yearly visits to Fairport with the family to sell their wares. They each found their own little niche in life. Oft Rhonwen would scamper off with Glyndwrson to tag along on his adventures on the annual visit to Fairport, while the girls would teasingly drag their sister Eirawen out of the library to the beaches. While they all knew how to swim they grew up far enough away from the sea that seeing the coastline was a novelty to them.
Mairwen and Aeronwen began their studies in the clergy right about the time that Eirawen began to study under their grandmother. Glyndwrson worked hard with his father to learn the ways of the sword and would soon follow in his father’s footsteps as a paladin of Oleani. Little Rhonwen was very fond of an older gentlemen that would while away the winter at the Willowbend Farmstead, and would spend hours on end listening to what the old forester had to say. He had been the friend of her departed grandfather Glynis and without knowing it shaped the fate of the child. She would turn to the path of tracking animals, learning the ways of the land and apprenticing as a forester as well.
Siofria watched her children with pride and joy at Glyndwr’s side. They were proud of the way they had grown and the lessons they had learned by knew that there was much still for them to learn. Siofria and Glyndwr spoke long into the hours of one Fall evening and upon the next day spoke to their children.
It was time for them to find their way in the world. The triplets were sent to Solhaven to find the Lady Fillee, a woman that Siofria had known and been fond of during her years as an orphan in Talador, so that they might join the Sisters of Perpetual Adoration. The parents felt that their lives would be plentiful for the knowledge the three could learn there. Glyndwrson was sent north to study with friends of Glyndwr’s from his days roaming the lands but Glyndrson bade his parents to reconsider and instead traveled daily to Fairport that he might stay close to Rhonwen until she was ready to follow the triplets.