It is ironic that gaining such heavy responsibility lifted a weight she didn’t know she was carrying on her shoulders. A disaster, the explosion at the Conclave with so much loss of life, including Most Holy, brought her deeper faith as she alone survived. Marked by magic and freed from her titles. Evelyn Trevelyan never asked to be blessed, never wanted to lead, and now that both are thrust upon her, she does not know how else she could live.
The gilded cage of nobility is such a cliché, but she sees it as a truth now that she is outside the cage. The balls, the suitors, the formal dinners and gowns and the etiquette, all held her back. She understands that now. She has more responsibility than ever, a staggering list of priorities and a longer list of people who need her help. But this is more real, more her , than any of the social niceties she has practiced since she could walk. The people at the Crossroads have enough to eat, the Dales are safe from deserters, and trade flows again through the Emprise. All done by her hand. She never knew she could do so much with these two hands. She did not see the bindings but she now knows her hands were bound before the Conclave.
She sleeps in cabins and tents and sometimes bedrolls under the trees. She eats game cooked over a campfire, berries foraged in the forest, fish she caught herself. No canopy bed or banquet could ever compare. Her family would never approve of the man she’s chosen, but he is hers and he was her choice. She’s not sure she could explain this to him, how much it matters not only that he chose her but that she chose him. A path in her life that was her own, after so many years of following the road laid before her. It’s strange that Evelyn had to leave home to find where she really belonged. Maybe you cannot see your cage when it is all you know.