She is not yet fifteen years old as she sits sewing at the great window of the palace she was born in, the child of her father’s murderer swelling her belly under her rich gown. Her face is calm, frozen white as the snow blanketing the conquered Kingdom, as infant gowns and swaddling bands grow under her needle.

The bulk of the six-month child already distorts her narrow-hipped childish form. She fears she will never survive bringing it into the world. Thus she murmurs softly as she stitches the delicate spells into the soft white wool and linen.

“Hatred black and cold as ash, to sustain thee as thy grows. Wrath red as thy getter’s blood, that thou shall spill withall.”

Her revenge kicks suddenly, strong within her, and a small bloodless smile blossoms on her face as she pauses to lay her hand on her belly.