My mum always told me the story this way:

"Once upon a time, there was a woman. The woman had wonderful daughter, a bastard by the local lord.

"He was an ok guy, and treated them well, but mostly they mother and daughter left the lord alone, and he left them alone.

"Then, one day, his house as massacred.

"They didn't search out all lord's bastards in the town, they didn't think they mattered.

"The daughter was his only bastard. Almost no one cared about her, even though she was the last child of the lord — she was just a bastard. If anyone had though always would care, she would've been found and killed along with the rest of his family.

"Except for the Dornish. They didn't care about legitimacy. And she was the last of the lord's house, and if she married their price, their children would be both Dornish and of the lost house. They'd have claim to everything the house had once had. So they did just that. And who are those children?" She's always smile at me at this part.

"Me," I would murmur sleepily.

"You," she would nod.

We actually have some other siblings too, but they weren't born yet then. And when we were little, we all shared a room. Ishan and I were scared of the dark, but Miri wasn't. She loved it, she was never scared, and she never walked into anything. So we shared a room; just having her there made us feel safer. When Ishan or I thought their was something under our bed, she would just roll her eyes, or if she was already in bed and almost asleep, complain a little, but she would always come over, craw under our bed, and say, "Yeah, there's nothing here."

So when our mother was telling the story, she'd be sitting on a little stool between our beds. So when she said, "You," she'd be talking to all of us, and she meant you as a plural, meaning all of us. "You Alanna," she'd say to me, "will inherit all this one day." She'd wave her hand around, meaning the palace we lived in. Then she's turn to Ishan. "You Ishan, are going to get back everything lord once had." She'd gesture north. "And you Miri," she'd go over and smooth Miri's hair since there wasn't really anywhere to point for this one, "will pick whichever palace you want, and we're going to get it for you."

I'm the oldest, and Miri's 11 months young than me, and Ishan's 14 months young than her.

Three years after Ishan, our mum had a baby who died. I don't know anything about that one, I don't even know if it had a name. She won't talk about it.

After that baby, she was really upset for a long time. I was 5 at the time, and they all tried to hide it from me. But I think that what happened is that after the difficult birth, she was physically hurt and unwell for a while, so she wouldn't go near out dad. Then, later, she wouldn't because she never wanted to have another baby, fearing it would die. I really don't know, but that's my theory. Anyways, when I was 10, my little brother was born.

I've got 6 little siblings now: Miri, Ishan, and the 4 little ones. Edessa. They're between 10 and 15 years younger than me, so I'm not very close to any of them. They're adorable, and I love them and everything, but Miri and Ishan are the ones I grew up with, and shared a room with and everything.