Lady Katarina Emberhill: The eldest child of Duke Peter and his wife, Lady Alexia, Katarina often found herself at odds with her father. Strong-willed and stubborn, she often pushed the boundaries as far as what was considered “acceptable” and proper in a noble born young woman.
Upon the birth of her younger brother, Katarina was made the secondary heir, as her brother, young Peter, was made the primary. While it was traditional that the male heir be given primacy, the distance with which Duke Peter kept his daughter was notable. Rumors among the elite and well-connected suggested that she was either mentally unfit or possibly even illegitimate as an heir, which was why Duke Peter selected his younger child over her.
Regardless of the truth, Katarina’s relationship with her father had become extremely strained as she grew old enough to have her own opinions on the matter. While close to her mother and brother, it was a rare occurrence for her to end any conversation with her father on remotely civil terms.
Hector’s assassins struck during a time when Katarina had taken to wandering the dark and hidden corridors of Castle Ember. Hector had sent the disgraced armsman, Covle Darkbit, to capture her, but he was unable to locate her in the warrens beneath Castle Ember. Instead, with the help of her own armsman, Bulmor as well as a halfblood scout from her father’s army, she was able to escape.
After a harrowing flight, pursued by Vendakar assassins, Katarina finally escaped to the Duchy of Marovingia, where she took refuge with her mother’s father, himself a nobleman and general in Marovingia’s Legion. She grew to adulthood there, tutored in statecraft by her grandfather and trained in how to defend herself by the scout Gerlin and her armsman Bulmor, as well as her cousins.
Katarina was surprised by Hector’s offer of reconciliation, but she thought it worth the risk, given the assurances of protection Hector swore to the Duke of Marovingia. With a small group of mercenaries to support Bulmor and Gerlin, she set off for the Duchy of Masov, to see what she can do to bring peace to her homeland.