The first time she disappointed her father, Branwyn had yet to be born. The midwife declared that the mother could not be saved. The second time she disappointed him came moments later, when he saw that she was a girl.
Branwyn's entire adolescent life would be spent trying to prove herself to her father. With her mother dead and no sisters to speak of, her only role-models were here five older brothers. At first they were loathe to include her in their activities--training in the yard, hunting, playing at war--but when she proved just as capable as any of them with all manner of painful implements, most notably her fists, they reconsidered.
It was not until she grew to a more marriageable age that her father put an end to her more martial pursuits, insisting that she "start to behave like a real woman." Branwyn did not speak to her brothers for weeks, ashamed that they would never again be able to treat her as one of them. She internalized and quashed her need to be accepted by her father, but anger and determination slowly replaced her self-doubt. Over the years she gradually gained her father's acceptance by pursuing what was proper--matters of court and diplomacy. These activities were joyless for Branwyn, but she was slowly beginning to accept that they were the only thing that anyone would ever allow her to excel at.
The brigands changed everything.
Word of a sudden attack on his sons reached Lord Tisbury's ears near dusk; they were out hunting, but had been waylaid in the woods. He rode out with his scant few guards, but Branwyn rode out faster. She knew the woods, the secret paths. She slew the bandits who held her brothers captive, down to the last man, hunting him through the forest and offering him mercy up to the point when he stabbed her as she was binding his wrists. She cut off his head in return.
Her injuries were many and her recovery long-lived, but Branwyn's father treated her differently thereafter. In time, the people of Tisbury brought back the old joke that their Lord in fact had six sons, and no daughters at all.
And so it was with all six of his children that Lord Tisbury rode out to the battle of St. Albans.
Only one of them would return.