Mary Van Lieber
The mother of our protagonists.
A wispy woman in the twilight of her years, Mary has always been a stern disciplinarian who was distant and almost cruel to all of her childern, save Childress.
Mary Valen, sister of the king, was wed to Bastion Van Lieber in the early days of the kingdom. Unknown to many, they had long been seeing each other even before the rebellion. A vibrant young woman with a bit of a wild streak, she was insperable from her husband as they solidified the foundation of their House. Though skirmishes with the Xor and disputes with other nobles she proved herself to be a talented diplomat and, on one famous occasion, a fine swordswoman.
At some point before the birth of the kingdom, all tha changed. She became distant, cold, and cruel. A favorite pasttime of servants, the regular targets for her abuse, is to make up wilder and more grandiose stories about whatever changed her into the stonehearted wench that she became.
Even her children can find few good memories of her, as she did very little to raise them and showed them no affection. Only Childress was ever worthy of her praise and attention, a fact that she holds by to this day.