Boren Hextall and Rosemayre Hextall’s middle child, Johanne favoured her mother’s keen mind and cool beauty. After her mother’s death, the young woman was of great assistance to her father in managing the Hextall family’s lands and accounts. Far too great a help to suit Johanne’s young step-mother, Jayelle.
Always with the appearance of deference and courtesy, Jayelle slowly turned father and daughter against one another. Boren had always doted on his only daughter, and it was an easy matter for Jayelle to convince her husband that the best way to insure for Johanne’s long term security was to wed her to an established and powerful lord. The parade of decrepit and decadent widowers hand selected by Jayelle sickened the young woman.
Feigning helpless confusion at Johanne’s rejection of her senior suitors, Jayelle next convinced her husband that a younger mate who had proven his worth on the field of battle could keep Johanne safe from the hands of dornish seeking revenge against the family of the infamous Boren. Thuggish brutes with the barest sheen of civility proved no greater attraction to Johanne.
With tensions rising between father and daughter, Jayelle turned her attentions to the young woman. There was nobility in service to the gods, she whispered, surely her father could not oppose a call to serve as a Silent Sister. Such a keen mind would be wasted whelping pups for brutish oafs or feeble old men, the septons had access to the greatest libraries in Westereos Jayelle would remind her step daughter. And all Johanne would have to do is foreswear her inheritance. A price without cost, the young dornish assured Johanne, as Sander Hextall would inherit as the eldest son.
Of course, Sander would not inherit a thing were he to die tragically in the service of his house clearing the path for Jayelle’s only child to reign in House Hextall. But Jayelle knew just the man to tutor her eldest step son and convince him to take to the desert and restore honor to his family name. And the desert is a dangerous place.