Her voice, mock coy at first, sharpened with an ambition as keen as hunger, as strong as madness:
– Ganth's narration, Blood and Ivory: A Tapestry, "Hearts of Woven Shadow"
Lady Rawneth, also known as the Witch of Wilden, is the RandirMatriarch, and Kenan's mother. She's also the patron of the Priests' College. She practices native magic including shadow sorcery and shadow casting.
Rawneth has bound many Randir, though a matriarch binding is against tradition. She only binds her favorites. Many of her followers file their teeth to symbolize their allegiance to her.
Rawneth was born the daughter of the previous Lord Randir.
Young and ambitious, Rawneth tried to seduce Greshan, with the goal of contracting to him and having a half-Knorth son, the next Highlord. Greshan's grandmother Kinzi, seeing Rawneth's intentions, forbade the match, and banned Rawneth from Gothregor and the Women's Halls. Rawneth introduced Greshan to her favorite cousin Roane, who became his friend. At Tentir, Greshan and Roane called upon Ganth one night, that ended with Roane's death. Subsequently Gerraint tried to make a match between Ganth and Rawneth, to heal things between their houses, though this did not take place. After Greshan was killed, Rawneth got Gerraint to agree that if she could restore Greshan, he would recognize any child of theirs as the Knorth heir. Gerraint died that night, so that did not happen, though Rawneth did conceive a son, in the Moon Garden with the changer who had assumed Greshan's form.
Rawneth returned to Wilden, contracted with a Randir Highborn, and her son Kenan was born.
Ten years later, after her father, the old Lord Randir, died, Rawneth took out a contract with the Bashtiri Shadow Guild against his heir, Randiroc. Without a current Lord Randir, she turned to the Highlord—Ganth, at the time—to have him confirm Kenan as the next lord. Kinzi, the Knorth matriarch, had witnessed Rawneth in the Moon Garden with the changer, and couldn't be sure who Kenan's father was—and therefore, whether or not his claim was legitimate. So she summoned Rawneth and her child to Gothregor to have Adiraina read the boy's bloodlines, planning to advise Ganth whether or not to confirm Kenan on that basis. Rawneth knew her son was sired by a changer, and to prevent Kinzi from learning this, Rawneth took out a contract with the Bashtiri Shadow Guild against the Knorth women, resulting in the Knorth Massacre. Then, with no Highlord in power to reject or approve claims to lordship, nor to stop her, Rawneth made her son Lord Randir.
Like all lords and matriarchs, Rawneth is Shanir with the power to bind Kencyr to her. Agaist all customs, she uses this ability more or less openly, and has many bound followers. She only binds her favorites. Some of them, like Wither, have filed eyeteeth that signify this.
↑ 1.01.1Honor's Paradox, "Chapter XV: Wilden", I — " 'I heal.' 'No. You can manipulate soul-images and walk the soulscape, as our Lady Rawneth does. Are you greater or lesser than she?' 'That isn’t for me to say.' 'Then I will. You are lesser because you can only heal, not destroy or create.' "
↑ 2.02.1Bound in Blood, "Chapter V: Fractures", II — "she had long suspected that, contrary to every tradition, Lady Rawneth had more than her share of sworn followers. Her hand stopped again. Trinity, what if Rawneth was a blood-binder too?"
↑ 3.03.1The Sea of Time, "Chapter XX: A Season of Fog", V — " 'Lady Rawneth only binds her favorites.' "
↑Bound in Blood, "Chapter V: Fractures", III — "Shade gave her a death's-head smile, but without the sharpened teeth that those most fervently in her grandmother's service favored."
↑Honor's Paradox, "Chapter XIV: In Sodden Fields", I — "the filed eyeteeth that signaled his joint allegiance to Lady Rawneth."
↑ 6.06.1Blood and Ivory: A Tapestry, "Hearts of Woven Shadow" — " 'You s-sent me to Wilden to make a contract with "that woman," Lord Randir's daughter, to heal the breach between our houses.' "
↑Blood and Ivory: A Tapestry, "Lost Knots" — "Then he changed—into whom, I don't know. I couldn't see his face, but Rawneth did. She gaped like a trout, then burst out laughing, half in hysteria, half, I swear, in triumph. […] Rawneth went back to Wilden that same night, contracted with a highborn of her own house, and some nine months gave birth to Kenan."
↑Blood and Ivory: A Tapestry, "Lost Knots" — "It has been three months since Lord Randir died and four since the Randir Lordan disappeared. My spies tell me that Rawneth contracted the Shadow Guild to assassinate him—[…] Now she insists that Ganth confirm her own son, Kenan, as the new lord of Wilden. […] who is Kenan's father—the Randir noble or the thing in the garden? Without knowing, how can I advise Ganth to accept or reject his claim? And so I have summoned Rawneth and her son to Gothregor while you are also here, since your Shanir talent lies in determining bloodlines at a touch. You will tell me, dear heart, and then I will know how to act."
↑To Ride a Rathorn, "Chapter VII: In the Bear's Den", I — " 'The old Randir lord died, and Rawneth put a contract with the Shadow Assassins on his heir, Randiroc. Your father Ganth was to have sorted out that mess, but then came the massacre of the Knorth ladies and the White Hills. With no highlord in power to stop her, Rawneth did as she pleased.' "