When I first got the idea for Lei'lira, the image I had for her was very different than she is now. I tend to write some pretty dark stuff, and Lei'lira was going to be different. Sweet. Innocent. A girl with simple needs, and simple desires who nothing dark was ever going to touch. She would be a farmer with a dream to build a horse breeding farm that would one day become known throughout all of Warrick. Perhaps even all of Rynmere. She would be very much a home body whose entire world was her little farm. Home, and family would mean everything to her, and nothing outside her little world would ever touch her.
In some ways, that hasn't changed. Lei'lira is very much a sweet, delicate home body who is happiest in her own little world; her farm. And her dream to build a horse breeding farm is intact. Home, and family really does mean everything to her. But my enjoyment of tormenting my characters has completely shattered my original idea that nothing dark would ever touch her.
Lei'lira was born a noble of Rynmere; specifically, a Warrick. Her twin sister, Lazuli (now retired) was the older twin, and as such, destined to become the next Baroness Warrick. While Lei'lira was aware of this fact intellectually, it never really touched her. When she was a very young child, her father told her that although she was born a noble, it was she herself who would decide her own fate. She could be anything that she wanted to as long as she was willing to put the work into achieving her dreams. Lei'lira took those words to heart.
Lei'lira is a member of the Rynmere nobility, but it is in name only. She has none of the ambitions or political awareness that those of her class normally have. She has no real idea of her "place" in society, and to be honest, even less interest in it. Nor does she have any of the skills that would serve her well in the world of scandal and political intrigue that is the world of the nobility. Lei'lira was raised away from all of that, and has, in fact, rarely ever been to Andaris at all. Were you to ask her, she would tell you that she was a commoner; specifically a farmer. Most of the time, it is very easy to forget that she is a noble at all.
Despite all of that, being a noble has affected her in ways that she never would have imagined. When she was captured by bandits, and brutally violated, she was "punished" by being forced into a rushed marriage to a complete stranger by her formidable grandmother, and the rest of her extended family. The shame of her being "ruined," and the fear of how it would look should she give birth to a child out of wedlock as a result of her time among the bandits meant more to them than her own feelings on the matter. Had she truly been the commoner she sees herself as, she never would have been forced into a marriage that terrified her to save appearances, and the reputation of her family.
Marriage to Drayas Warrick has been worse than even Lei'lira could ever have imagined. Drayas's father was an unacknowledged noble bastard, and while he was always content with his lot in life, Drayas believed that he was owed more than he got. From the time he was a young child, he has always believed that he was a noble by right of birth, and he has never stopped scheming to find a way to take his rightful place among them.
When Drayas was approached with an offer to marry Lei'lira, he never hesitated for even a trill. He knew it was likely that she was spoiled goods...he simply didn't care. She was a means to an end. In Drayas's eyes, Lei'lira wasn't a person. She was his way to the ranks of the nobles, and a brood mare to give him his heir.
And Lei'lira suffered for it greatly. Instead of treating her gently, and easing her into the idea of marriage, he ignored her fears, and began his attempt to breed an heir immediately. The only good thing was that once the "honeymoon" was over, he spent much of his time in Andaris, seeking to improve his place among the nobles, and dealing with his thriving business. When it suited him to do so, he would return to Warrick spend time with his wife. In his arrogance, when it became clear that Lei'lira was pregnant, he convinced himself that the child had to be his. And when he was proven wrong, and faced with twins that had been sired by a bandit, he punished Lei'lira severely for the crime of daring to spite him by bearing another man's children.