Catherine Diem

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Catherine Diem is Darien Avan's mother.
When Vandiel the younger assumed the throne of Diemed he looked east for expansion intending to settle the sparsely populated lands between Diemed and the rebllious barony of Roesone. When Veladin Avan succeeded in Avanil, he looked west for similar expansion seeing the lands of Taeghas and Brosengae as key allies - or enemies - in the age long struggle for dominance with Boeruine.
Both regents were therefore eager for a mutual peace to protect their rear flanks, and so Vandiel's sister, Catherine Diem was married to Veladin Avan, Prince of Avanil, securing peace in the west. The Avanese took this opportunity to cultivate friends and allies in Diemed, and from the lands that were part of Catherine's dowry, the Princes of Avanil have established some authority in Diemed. Vandiel himself married Faelnie Isilviere of Taeghas. Aerona Avan, Vandiel's sister was also married to Gaelin Isilviere, linking the three families even more tightly.
In addition to her son, Darien Avan, her other children include Noelon Avan and Lauriel Avan.
Now quite elderly Catherine has grown frail and rarely ventures from her manor save for the Festival of Flowers in spring which she has sponsored for nearly three decades. Despite her housebound life Catherine stays well informed and her son values her guidance, keen wit, and absolute loyalty immensely. The Princess Dowager of Anuire maintains an extensive network of spies and informants throughout Avanil and beyond and is the ultimate arbiter of etiquette in Avanil - perhaps all Anuire. Catherine's annual debutantes ball opens 'the season' in Avanil to which everyone who is anyone attends and misbehavior at the event is certain to result in social ostracism for the rest of the year unless redress is made immediately.
Catherine's one great regret is the ongoing rift with the house of Boeruine, she has ceaselessly tried to arrange an appropriate marriage and her attempts to match Princess Aubrae Avan have resulted in a serious rift with the the strong-willed heir to Avanil. Catherine bears a serious grudge against the church of Ruornil due to the secession of Medeore from her homeland of Diemed and has staunchly opposed any consideration by the Prince to gain influence amongst the faithful of Ruornil's Celestial Spell.
Catherine has strong support from the Western Imperial Temple, who have often used her influence on the Prince to try to persuade him of their arguments, she is similarly on good terms with much of the nobility of the realm. Catherine has however always scorned trade as common and refused to consort with sorcerers, and she has amassed many enemies along her life, mostly from realms hostile to Avanil who suffered from her subtle blows and nobles who were undermined by her dealings. While few would be foolish to strike at the Dowager Princess and risk the fury of her son, those petitioners who seek to gain prestige through her patronage are fair game for vengeance.
Like many wealthy nobles Catherine often sponsors 'worthy' adventurers to deal with problems that bother the realm, her family, or win further prestige for Avanil. Those adventurers who prove unworthy are however ruthlessly hunted down lest they shame her - those adventurer's foolish enough who scorn the anger of the elderly Catherine swiftly come to realize that one does not become 'the most loved and cherished lady of all Anuire' without a will of iron and sufficient brutal pragmatism to shame an executioner.

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