Adiraina's mother died when she was young. In her adolescence, Adiraina touched her mother's death-banner, and went blind, though she gained her blood-sight.
As young girls in the Women's Halls of Gothregor, Adiraina became sister-kin with Kinzi of Knorth. When they were older, they were separated for many years, each serving as consorts. They both went on to become matriarchs of their houses, and then they were together in the Women's Halls again, until the Knorth Massacre.
After the Knorth Massacre, Adiraina alone knew Tieri had survived. Adiraina hid Tieri in the Moon Garden for the next 12 years. She told no one, not even the other matriarchs, for fear that if the assassins knew she had lived, the would return. Years later, Adiraina wondered if part of the secrecy had actually come from her wanting to punish the girl for surviving with Kinzi had died. Adiraina finally told the the Council of Matriarchs about Tieri after died bearing her son Kindrie.
Like all lords and matriarchs, Adiraina is Shanir with the power to bind Kencyr to her.
Adiraina went blind in her adolescence, when she developed her Shanir gift of blood-sight, which allows her to sense blood-lines, going far back. That happened after she touched her mother's death-banner. Blood is woven into death-banners, and after that, she only ever saw what blood shows her. Because of her blindness, Adiraina wears a mask with eyes embroidered on it.
↑ 1.01.1Seeker's Mask, "Part I", II — " 'my own gift is to sense bloodlines by touch—back a hundred generations, if necessary.' […] 'Worth your eyes, was it? All right, all right: we don't know if developing the blood-sight caused your blindness: they just happened at the same time.' "
↑ 2.02.12.2Seeker's Mask, "Part I", II — "the eyes on her gray, velvet half-mask were mere embroideries in silver thread. She had been blind since adolescence."
↑ 3.03.1Bound in Blood, "Chapter II: A Dance in the Dark", I — " 'Lady, have you ever touched a death banner?' 'Once. My mother's. What I saw then… it blinded me. I never saw anything again, except what the blood of the living shows me.' "
↑Seeker's Mask, "Part I", II — "How short that springtime together had been and how long the years apart afterward as each had served her lord wherever he sent her, in whatever distant house or bed. […] But at last the long separation had been over when they both returned to these halls, each now the matriarch of her own house."
↑Seeker's Mask, "Part I", II — " 'I tried to do the same when I concealed her in the Ghost Walks for twelve long years and told no one, not even this council, not until she died in the moon garden, bearing an illegitimate child to an unknown father, to her utter disgrace. She was sister-kin to me, the daughter of Telarien, the granddaughter of my dear, dead Kinzi.' "
↑Seeker's Mask, "Part I", V — "Had that long concealment really been necessary? What if she, Adiraina, had actually been punishing the girl for having survived when Kinzi had not? No, no, NO. 'I didn't have a choice,' she had protested to Dianthe, when at last the secret had to be told. 'You remember what those times were like. […] The assassins might have returned if they had known that any Knorth women had survived.' "