|Lyrna Al Nieren|
Princess of the Realm
Appearance and Personality
Princess Lyrna is considered one of the most beautiful women in the realm. She has flawless porcelain skin, a soft curve to her face, and lustrous red-gold hair. However, during the events of Tower Lord, she is badly burned and is largely unrecognisable until Weaver heals her. She seems to has inherited much of her fathers shrewdness and calculation, more so than her brother Malcius; Vaelin comments about her her "The woman lies like others breathe."
When they were young, the King schemed to marry his daughter to the son of the Battle Lord Kralyk Al Sorna. He sees his own son Malcius as too weak to be King, and wants Vaelin by his side, since Kralyk was so popular with the commoners. However, his plans were ruined when Vaelin is given over to the Sixth Order of the Faith.
After Vaelin Al Sorna meets the King to ask for justice for the man he killed in the Test of the Sword, Lyrna arranges to meet with Vaelin in her secret garden. She tries to dissuade him for entangling himself in her fathers schemes, and instead leave the Sixth Order and marry her as her father had once planned. Vaelin refuses, and leave, disturbed by Lyrna's attempt to manipulate him. It is later revealed that Linden Al Hestian, the man the King orders Vaelin to murder in the Martishe forest, is killed because he is an unfitting suitor for Princess Lyrna.
Princess Lyrna and Vaelin meet infrequently over the next few years, frequently discussing the Aspect massacre. Lyrna theorises that the massacre was a cunning ploy to obscure it's one objective; possibly to raise Tendris Al Forne to Aspect and so drivee a wedge between the Orders, or possibly to kill Vaelin. They also discuss the Seventh Order.
By the end of the war in the Alpiran Empire, King Janus is gravely ill. When the Alpirans offer peace terms, and the return of his heir Malcius, in exchange for the Hope Killer, Janus tries to refuse the offer and doom his own son. However, Princess Lyrna accepts the peace offer on his behalf. Janus dies a few days later, and Malcius is raised to the King of the Unified Realm.
While her father saw Lyrna as a trusted advisor, King Malcius leaves her with no real place at court, preferring his own boundless supply of advisors. Lyrna instead dedicates herself to researching the Dark.
When King Malcius recieves an emissary from the Lonak offering peace with the Realm, Lyrna is sent as the King's ambassador to meet the High Priestesss. Lyrna meets a Lonak guide called Davoka at the Sixth Order garrison in the Skellan Pass. They head north of the twenty day journey to the Mountain of the High Priestess, accompanies by fifty Realm Guards, and three Sixth Order brothers one of which is Brother Commander Sollis.
Two days into their journey, their camp is attacked by a large war band of rebel Lonak's, who disagree with the High Priestess making peace with the Unified Realm. They led by Davoka's own sister, Kiral, a servant of the One Who Waits. With their force grievous depleted and many wounded, Sollis proposed that they return to the garrison in the Skellan Pass. However, Lyrna and Davoka insists on pushing on with a small group of five. They make for a volcano, where Davoka's knowledge of the periodic lava flow helps them loose their pursuers.
After a brief respite in the village of a chieftain called Alturk, when Lyrna falls sick with a fever, they continue on towards the Mountain. However, the rebel war band eventually catch up with them. As Sollis, Davoka and the others prepare for the fight, Alturk's war band fall on the rebels having used Lyrna as bait. Davoka drags her sister Kiral from the melee with a rope around her neck.
Four days later they reach the Mountain, seemingly an ancient built tower of unknown design with some kind of broken steam driven device within. Lyrna is taken below to see the High Priestess,with Davoka and Kiral. The High Priestess exorcises the servant of the One Who Waits from Kiral, using a mysterious black liquid. Dismissing Davoka and Kiral, Lyrna and the High Priestess speak alone. Their conversation is ambiguous, hinting at the Volarian invasion, Lyrna's ascension to the throne, and potentially dark future. Before she leaves, Lyrna is given the peace agreement and also two gifts; a book on philosophy called the Wisdoms of Reltak, and a drop of the mysterious black liquid on her throwing knife.
Princess Lyrna leaves the Montain the next day. Davoka comes with her to act as ambassador for the Lonak to the Unified Realm. They return to the Skellan Pass and then on to Cardurin, where she has meets the vehemently ambitious Fief Lord Darnel of Renfael. Concerned about the troubles in the fiefdom, she goes to visit powerful noble and arch-rival of Darnel, Baron Banders. She learns that Banders illegitimate daughter Ulice has had a son by Darnel called Arendil. Lyrna demands to take Arendil as a ward prevent conflict between Darnel and Banders escalating.
Days later, Lyrna arrives in Varinshold. Hearing the news of Frentis's return to the Realm, she goes straight to the palace. In the throne room, King Malcius is greeting Frentis and his Volarian companion Elverah. When Malcius embraces Frentis, he clasps the King’s head between both hands, breaking his neck with a loud crack. Lyrna reacts instinctively, and launches her throwing knife into Frentis. Meanwhile, the Volarian woman kills the Queen and their children with her Dark ability with fire, and then sets her flames on Lyrna. Lyrna flees before she can see Frentis rises and stabs Elverah in the back.
Princess Lyrna eventually succumbs to her burns. When she wakes four days later, she is on a Volarian ship in chains. Lyrna and one-hundred-and-fifty others are now slaves; no one recognises her because of her burns. She and a man called Iltis, a brother of the Fourth Order, begin to plan an escape. Remembering the words of the High Priestess "Look to the beast charmer when chains bind you", she sees one of the prisoners playing with a rat. The prisoner Fermin has the Dark ability to control animals. Fermin sends the rat to steal the overseer's keys. However, the overseer catches the rat, and storms down to the hold, enraged. In desperation, Fermin influences the red sharks to attack the ship. The distraction allows Iltis to kill the overseer and take the keys. As Iltis releases Lyrna and the other slaves, Fermin can no longer control the sharks and they begin ripping the ship apart. Only Lyrna, Iltis and three others escape the sinking ship on a lifeboat. As they drift in the Erinean Sea the red shark seems to follow them, seemingly still with some remnant of Fermin's consiousness.
After four days, the lifeboat is picked up by a Meldenean ship. The Meldenean's want to throw them back into the sea, but Lyrna convinces them of her usefulness to solve a Volarian encoded message. The message proves to be detailed plans for the invasion of the Unified Realm, and also the Meldenean Islands. The ship sets full sail for the Isles. Until now Lyrna has shrewdly kept her identity a secret, but unfortunately during the voyage she idiotically decides to brag about her skill at keschet / chess. In the Isles, they quickly realise that she is the Queen of the Unified Realm. The Ship-Lords offer he a deal to return her to the Realm, if she will help bring The Shield back from his self imposed isolation since the duel with Al Sorna. She visits his refuge on the Wensel Isle, and convinces him to come back, in return for a stolen kiss.
Lyrna accompanies the Shield and the Meldenean fleet, in their battle with the Volarian fleet. The Shield devises a strategy to attack the Volarians at the stone reef near the Teeth of Moesis; this way the two halves of the fleet won't be able to aid the other. The Meldeneans prowess in sea warfare proves decisive, using their ship borne ballistas to hurl burning pitch onto the enemy ships, and hunting the remainders like wolves. They are aided by the red shark, that hurls itself onto Volarian ships and capsizes them. After destroying the first half of the Volarian fleet with heavy loses, and set said for the others. However, a terrible storm does most of the work for them, sinking over two hundred ships. The final victory is swift and merciless.
Queen Lyrna convinces the Shield to sail the remnants of his fleet to Alltor to help lift the siege there, arguing that the Volarians are their common enemy. The Meldenean fleet arrives just as Vaelin's gathered host has crushed the Volarian force laying siege to the city. The Shield quickly captures the ship of General Reklar Tokrev, only to find the Alpiran chronicler Vernier. The General is already dead, but he takes captive his wife Lady Fornella.
As Lyrna walks ashore, a clearly exhausted Vaelin falls to his knees and recognises her as Queen of the Unified Realm. Holding court in the Fief Lord's manor, Queen Lyrna questions Fornella about the Volarian invasion and learns that the ultimate objective is to also invade and conquer the Alpiran Empire. Afterwards, Lyrna takes her guards and goes to survey the army. While they are walking, Iltis is taken by an arrow in the shoulder. Two assassins approach them, one the unnamed priest who trained Reva and the other the stock Lord Brahdor who backed him. Lyrna and the wounded Iltis kill the priest, but Brahdor siezes Lyrna. Before he can kill Lyrna, a mysterious man saves her. It is later revealed to be Weaver, who after saving her, heals her burnt face.