Lady Shiera Karhall is the fourthborn child and secondborn daughter of Gawen Karhall and his wife, Yvette of Brecilidia. She is the current political head of her family, House Karhall. Shiera ascended to the unusual position of a female head of house as her elder brothers Dominic and Roderic killed each other in a duel when they were young, while her sister Isabella married into House Blackthorne (she named two of her sons Dominic and Roderic after the brothers she had lost), leaving Gawen's youngest child as the only heir apparent. Shiera lacks the longevity that many of High Elven bloodlines possess--she looks every one of her 67 years and is often talked or thought of as "Old." Despite of this Shiera's mind is as sharp as any younger woman's and she is known as a capable political leader, a strong and stubborn voice within the Blackthorne councils known for her conservative values (she often sides with her nephew Dominic) and proclivity for pipeweed. Shiera shared a tempestuous marriage with a Brecilidian merchant-lord named Orson for several years, and while they eventually separated, they did have a son together; the knight Desmond, who currently stands as Shiera's heir.