Barwnes Ariana verch Gwenllian, O.L.
Ariana verch Gwenllian was born around the turn of the 15th century in the cantref of Cedewain in Powys Wenwynwyn (modernly northern Wales) to a wool merchant named Ieuan ap Thomas and his wife, Gwenllian ferch Owain. Shortly before the birth of Ariana, Ieuan was killed, causing Gwenllian to sell the farm and move back to her native lands of Powys Fadog. When Ariana was born in her mother’s homeland without a father, she was given the metronymic “verch Gwenllian”.
Ariana was raised during the Last War of Independence – a time of tumult and strife as Owain ap Gruffydd had proclaimed himself Prince of Wales in revolt against the English crown. Gwenllian was an active member of the rebellion, aiding the Welsh efforts alongside her family. Too young to have any political inclinations, Ariana spent most of her time reading any book that she could get her hands on (but preferred stories of Knights and Ladies, and books on lineages). One day while in town, Ariana crossed paths with a young Baron by the name of Cormac Mor, who was on a diplomatic mission from Scotland. Over several lively discourses, the two became fast friends.
Looking to keep her daughter safe from any recourse from her actions as a rebel, Gwenllian approached Thegn Cormac to negotiate terms of service wherein he would supply Ariana with an education and training to become a herald of the court – a new and burgeoning field. He agreed, and with the terms set, Thegn Cormac and Ariana returned to his lands in Scotland where her education was continued.
After many years of tutelage, and thanks to the friendly Scottish-French relations allowed by the Auld Alliance, Ariana was placed as a court herald and herald-painter in the French court.
Ariana was granted a Court Barony from Alexander and Tahira during the year of the Great Plague, and elevated to the Order of the Laurel by Valrik and Drada in AS 57 for her heraldic research efforts.
More on her life is still unknown at this time, and will be updated as new information is discovered.
Outside of medieval shenanigans, Stephanie is an avid reader, Lego enthusiast, amateur photographer, and costume dabbler.
She lives in San Diego with her husband Chris, and three cats: Luci, Ivy, and Rose.
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