King Rhys had four children: the Princes Urien, Maxim and Hugh, and the Princess Olwen. Urien married his second cousin, Delfine in a happy marriage that was as much for love as for strength. Unfortunately, they had much trouble conceiving, suffering several miscarriages and even one child stillborn.
Meantime, Maxim had pursued a woman from the house of Llewellyn, and had by her many children, the eldest of whom they named Tristan, and the youngest girl being so much fairer than her dark siblings that they named her Wynne.
Seeing that Delfine could not bring a child to term, both Urien and his bride fell into a deep despair. Maxim was called upon to run more and more of the kingdom - so much so, that Maxim began to dream that he would become king himself one day. Thus it was to Maxim's dismay when Delfine bore to term a little girl, whom they named Isobel. Although Maxim warned against giving the throne to a woman, Urien called upon Deirdre's prowess and wrote it into law that the monarch could be a Queen.
Some years passed, and Maxim grew distant from his wife, bitter and angry towards everyone, for that his ambitions were thwarted. Thus, when Isobel was sent to holiday with her uncle - while Delfine went into another confinement - Maxim devised a plan. He befriended his young niece, often taking her to the highest tower to speak with the ravens there. She delighted in them, and grew to love her uncle and the open air.
When news arrived that the Queen had failed to carry to term once more, and that Isobel was being summoned back to court, Maxim made Isobel promise to write him weekly. This she did without fail, confiding in her kindly uncle how she feared for her mother's sanity, now that she had lost so many children. She begged her uncle to come and comfort the Queen, as he had comforted Isobel.
Seizing his opportunity, Maxim visited Castell Gwyr, where it was evident to all that not only was Delfine's health on a knife's edge, but that King Urien's own sanity hung upon the survival of his wife. So one cool night, as Maxim visited with Isobel on the castle parapets, the uncle took his niece into his loving arms, and lifting her, threw her violently over the castle wall and to her death. He arranged for Delfine to find the body, the sight of which killed the Queen soon after. And Urien himself went mad and ceded the kingdom to Maxim's rule...until Olwen was summoned to set the throne to rights.
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(c) Emily C. A. Snyder