House Redwyne is one of the most ancient, most influential and most prosperous families in the Reach. Rulers of the golden island of the Arbor since the Age of Heroes, the Redwynes' vineyards and orchards flourish like no others, providing the known world with some of its finest wines and sweetest fruit. Masters of the sea as well as the land, they also command one of the mightiest fleets in Westeros, with hundreds of ships fit for war and trade under their control. Founded by the fabled Gilbert of the Vines, these former kings of the First Men have for centuries grown more and more intertwined with their noble peers, their lineage extending from the extinct Gardener kings of old to the esteemed Tyrells of today. Currently, this distinguished and wealthy house is headed by the young lady Willemina Redwyne, also known as the Silvervine.
The vast and bountiful demesne of House Redwyne encompasses the great southern island of the Arbor, separated from the rest of the Reach by the Redwyne Straits. Its warm shores of sun-kissed sand and rock contain the picturesque port towns of Ryamsport, Vinetown and Starfish Harbor. Moving further inland, the extraordinarily fertile soil of the Arbor's golden plains and hills are home to a wide array of vineyards and orchards, split apart by gentle streams and lush forests. The lords of the Arbor rule over it all from their ancestral keep, a beautiful castle which sits atop a hill in the heart of the island. The Redwynes' defenses are bolstered by the several smaller forts and towers scattered throughout the Arbor, owned by the not inconsiderable population of landed knights that are sworn to them. Beyond the Arbor itself, House Redwyne also governs a number of smaller isles surrounding it. These are Stonecrab Cay, the Isle of Pigs, the Mermaid's Palace, Horseshoe Rock and Bastard's Cradle.
Paxter Redwyne (ruled until 301 AC)
Euron Greyjoy's invasion of the Reach exacted a devastating toll on the Arbor, which Lord Paxter Redwyne had left largely unprotected as he led the bulk of his forces through the siege of Dragonstone. Although Ser Loras Tyrell's valiant assault of the stronghold freed Lord Paxter from his duties in the Narrow Sea, the relief came too late to save his home. By then, the island had already been taken by the Ironborn, its ports ransacked and its population decimated. Those who were not killed during the occupation were taken hostage, with many of them turned into thralls or sold into slavery. Among those lost before the Redwyne fleet arrived back in the Arbor were Lord Paxter's wife, Mina Tyrell, and his only daughter, Desmera. The former had been murdered in the family's keep, seemingly for trying to defend her household from the raiders, while the latter had been abducted, never to be seen again.
The liberation of the Arbor proved to be a brutal affair, the might of the Redwyne fleet finding its match in Euron's men. Heavy casualties abounded on both sides but, in the end, Lord Paxter was able to reclaim his family's seat and regroup, his eyes now turning to the Whispering Sound, where the Iron King himself was leading an assault on Oldtown. The great naval battle near Oldtown became House Redwyne's most heroic victory, as well as its costliest. The Arbor Queen
sunk with its captain and its crew, along with the majority of the remaining Redwyne fleet, but their sacrifice ensured Euron Greyjoy's first major defeat at the hands of the combined strength of the Arbor and the Hightower.
Lord Paxter would have been succeeded by the eldest of his twin sons, Horas, but tragedy struck once again not long after his death, when the Sept of Baelor burned. Both of his sons, though declared innocent of the charges levied against them by Cersei Lannister, had been there to accompany their beloved cousin, Margaery Tyrell. The catastrophe left few survivors, and Horas and Hobber Redwyne were not among them.Desmond Redwyne (ruled from 301 AC to 318 AC)
With the deaths of Paxter and his sons, and his daughter's disappearance, the inheritance of the Arbor passed onto his younger brother, Desmond. A knight of some renown, less pious than his peers but remarkably skilled in strategy, he promptly severed all ties to the Iron Throne, joining the growing chorus of Reach lords who blamed King Tommen I and his Lannister kin for the chaos and bloodshed which had now struck at the heart of the Reach itself. With what was left of House Redwyne's military strength, Lord Desmond joined forces with Willas Tyrell, the new Warden of the South, and helped lead the campaign to expell the Ironborn invaders from the mainland.
Following the final victory of the knights of the Reach against the Crow's Eye, the new Lord of the Arbor set his sights on the other war which was now underway further north. Despite the exhaustion from a year of vicious fighting, Lord Desmond answered Stannis Baratheon's call to defend the Wall against the Others without hesitation, bringing with him hundreds of Arbor knights and whatever resources he could spare. His brave service alongside other great warriors of the Seven Kingdoms earned Lord Desmond the respect of his peers. By the end of the War for Dawn, he had established himself as a tried and tested battle commander and formed many personal bonds with other notable veterans.
In the aftermath of the last battle against the Others, with its four years of harsh winter, Desmond faced the challenge of healing the Arbor from the wounds left behind by the Ironborn invasion and providing the rest of Westeros with much needed food. Although his talents for ruling in peacetime were lacking, his efforts eventually bore fruit, in no small part thanks to the substantial support he received from his wife's family, the Hightowers. A close friendship bloomed between Desmond and his brother in law, Baelor, which in turn gave the still inexperienced Lord of the Arbor a place of privilege in the politics of not just the Reach alone, but the entire continent. On the day of Aegon VI's coronation in the Starry Sept, he was named Master of Ships, tasked with building and maintaining a new royal fleet for the Iron Throne. It was a position for which he proved capable enough in the ensuing years, holding the title and his seat in the Small Council until the day he died.
Beyond his duties as Master of Ships, Lord Desmond also continued to serve the realm as a reliable knight and commander. In 307 AC, as the diminished Redwyne fleet was beginning to replenish its numbers, he personally led a company of Arbor knights to help suppress the Faith Militant's rebellion. His particular lack of concern for the lives of septons who collaborated with the rebels led many to see his actions as transgressions against the Faith itself, while others praised his stern, unflinching commitment to upholding the King's Peace.
Desmond Redwyne died in his bed in 318 AC, finally succumbing to his failing heart, which had grown weak from the strain of his forceful lifestyle. He was succeeded as Lord of the Arbor by his only son, Denys.Denys Redwyne (ruled from 318 AC to 355 AC)
An earnest and mercurial man of the sea, Denys Redwyne had spent his youth sailing far into the known world, carrying with him tales and treasures from the most exotic places and peoples. Although he was an anointed knight like his father, trained from boyhood to wield a sword and ride into battle, he was better suited for navigation and trade than he was for war on land. Indeed, from the moment he inherited the Arbor, he demonstrated that his true worth came from his abilities as a captain and admiral, as he assisted the lords of the Stormlands and Dorne in repelling a series of attacks led by slave raiders from the Basilisk Isles.
Ambitious and disarmingly vivacious even as a man grown, his charisma made him popular with the smallfolk of the Arbor, while his fair dealings with his peers earned him a solid reputation. His good standing in the Reach, however, was undermined from the start by the consequences of his own impulsiveness. Fascinated by Dornish culture from an early age, by the time of his father's death his many voyages to the peninsula had already produced two natural children, both of whom he acknowledged and raised in the Arbor. Although he did not father any other known bastards during his lordship, the stain of his 'Dornish proclivities' followed him for years.
While Lord Denys did not inherit his father's seat in the Small Council, he began his lordship with the Arbor thriving once more and its fleet fully rebuilt, all thanks to his father's hard work and the aid of their Hightower kin. Thus, he was able to turn his gaze outwards, his aspirations far surpassing those of his predecessors. Not content with maintaining the established trade routes between the Arbor and the mainland, he sought to create a trade empire in all but name, one which he would personally lead from the hull of his flagship, a carrack he named the Sunkiss
. He journeyed across the Narrow Sea again and again, visiting as many of Essos' great ports as he could, opening new trade routes with his offers of Arbor wine to sell and Redwyne ships to carry and guard shipments from harbor to harbor. And when he could no longer reach new cities in the east, he went south, touring the Summer Isles and befriending their many princes and princesses. The massive profits from his overseas endeavors allowed him to become one of the houses which the Iron Throne relied upon for loans, increasing his influence beyond the Reach despite his absence from the royal court. Redwyne gold and silver helped fund Aegon VI's grand renovation of the continent's roads, a debt which the Lord of the Arbor eventually forgave, as a show of good faith, following the coronation of Aelyx I.
In the meantime, within his own home, Lord Denys cultivated a large and loving family that was the envy of his peers. Over the course of his life, he fathered seven trueborn children, all of whom survived infancy. And those children, in turn, gave him over a dozen grandchildren, most of them born from unions he arranged with many of the houses that ruled over the major ports of Westeros and the Free Cities.
Tragically, although the early years of Lord Denys' rule were a period of exceptional prosperity for the Arbor, the latter years saw his family suffer many great losses and more than a few scandals, which left him debilitated in spirit and threatened his standing in the realm. In 341 AC, the twins Willas and Mina, his two youngest, died within weeks of each other. Mina passed away shortly after giving birth to two bastards, one of which would not make it past his infancy. She did not reveal the identity of their father to anyone other than her twin, who immediately left the Arbor to search for him. Some suspected that Willas intended to challenge the unknown man to a duel, to punish him for defiling his sister, while others assumed that he meant to force him to marry her. Whatever his true motivation might have been, it is known that he arrived in King's Landing, where he was found dead soon after. The nature of his wounds led to the conclusion that he had either been murdered or defeated in a duel.
Two years later, in 343 AC, Lord Denys' firstborn son and heir, Aladore, caused a scandal of his own when he arrived from his year-long stay in the Vale with a newborn bastard of his own in his arms. His infidelity towards his young wife, the daughter of a prestigious Lysene prince, created a rift between the two, as well as between him and his lord father. When Aladore died a year later, his widow's mourning was conspicuously brief, and the Lord of the Arbor saw his trade with the Perfumed Sister dwindle.
The remainder of Lord Denys's rule was defined less by the unbridled exuberance of his youth, and more by the need to secure his legacy in his old age, specially after the death of another one of his daughters, Samantha. After a lifetime of pursuing good relations with the Martells, he finally succeeded in joining their houses by wedding his grandson, Elyas, to Prince Elio's sister, Antona. More importantly, however, he took it upon himself to raise Willemina, Aladore's only child, as his new heir. The aging Denys spent much of the last decade of his life educating the precocious girl, preparing her to rule over the Arbor when her time came.
The War for the Stepstones gave Denys Redwyne his final moment of glory, as he personally led the Redwyne fleet into battle for the last time. Despite no longer having the audacious spark of his youth, he managed to score a series of victories at sea, albeit at the cost of dozens of ships and, ultimately, his own life. Although he was still one of the finest captains of his time, he was no longer fit to fight, a fact which was made grievously clear when, in the late 355 AC, a blow from an enemy's mace shattered his hip, leaving him unable to walk and in excruciating pain. The courageous Lord of the Arbor lived long enough to see the end of the war and return home, dying a few days later while resting in his family's gardens.Willemina Redwyne (ruled from 355 AC)
Willemina Redwyne's rule over the Arbor began with much of the same vigor that had defined her grandfather's first few years. The young woman they called the Silvervine was not known as a bold sailor, yet she was already notorious for her acerbic wit and her extraordinary understanding of all matters relating to agriculture and trade. She did not share the late Denys' obsession with exotic pleasures, but she displayed a particular interest in grand, ambitious undertakings, specially those which involved wonderful innovations in engineering. Taking full advantage of the enormous wealth she had inherited, she encouraged the construction of aqueducts, roads and docks to aid the smallfolk in the production and transportation of their goods. Lady Willemina's willingness to experiment also extended to her way of dealing with her fellow nobles, although the results of her unorthodox approach to politics were rather mixed. Many were intrigued and impressed by her ingenuity and the riches it could bring, while others thought her a persuasive defrauder.
In spite of her young age and her unusual ways, Lady Willemina quickly proved herself a formidable lady of the Reach, her house's influence still growing as it had under her predecessors. Under her leadership, the Arbor produced some of its best harvests and vintages in decades, and the smallfolk of the island enjoyed an immense improvement to their quality of life, the likes of which had rarely been seen before in the Seven Kingdoms.
This period of abundance lasted until the fourth year of her ladyship, when it was interrupted by the coming of a short but terrible winter and the return of the Shivers, which lasted from 359 AC to 361 AC. Blessed by its own geography, the Arbor did not suffer a cold as brutal as much of the continent did, yet many crops could not withstand even that. The plague itself, on the other hand, never managed to spread too deep into the Arbor since Willemina, following her maester's advice, decreed that people stayed in their homes under penalty of exile and closed off all of the island's ports to any ships coming from the mainland. However, those measures did not prevent the disease from decimating most of the families that worked in Ryamsport's harbor, or from killing her cousin, the sweet little Leyla.
The spring nevertheless found House Redwyne still standing, its wealth largely unscathed and its lands teeming with the seedlings of future harvests. Aerys III's reign thus offered an opportunity for Willemina to assert herself as one of the main contributors to the realm's recovery from the winter and its plague, which she readily seized. In the years that followed, she invested directly into many of the afflicted towns, granted her patronage to struggling artisans, and offered loans to lesser houses whose coffers had been left empty by the expense of feeding their people during winter. Redwyne ships carried Arbor fruit to feed starving peasants all over the Seven Kingdoms, and Redwyne gold compensated those who had lost loved ones or property. All the while, Willemina herself began to work closely with her liege, Florian Tyrell, in the hopes of aiding him in the preservation of the King's Peace.House Redwyne in 364 AC
The words of House Redwyne represent the true essence of their ancestral bloodline in more ways than one. Gilbert of the Vines taught his descendants the value of careful cultivation, of patience and shrewdness. Redwynes do not conquer or steal but, rather, they nurture. They create their own power by growing it from their own fertile soil and nourishing it over time as it slowly spreads its vines in every direction. This has been their method for centuries, and remains their method even today, under the Silvervine's ladyship. Therefor, it could be said the Redwynes do not covet the Iron Throne itself, or even Highgarden. What they covet is something more profound, something which they do not need a crown to possess: true material power, the power which drives everyday life, and the power to guide that same life towards a more prosperous future.
Willemina and her family wish to see the Arbor, the Reach and all of Westeros thrive. And to them, this is only possible through peace, ideally a peace in which they themselves are the ones who water the vines and the ones who reap the sweetest rewards of each harvest. Whatever the cost, whatever the means necessary, honest or otherwise, they will do what they can to either preserve or restore peace and plenty in the realm.