Rhialla’s life started fairly typical of a Varisian girl. Her family was one of the many caravan families of Varisia. Her mother was a dancer and storyteller. Her father was a but unknown. He joined the caravan when Rhialla’s mother was sixteen. He was stopped at the caravan’s camp one night evening when on the caravan’s route, but he came from the direction they were going. He seemed to stop simply to hear Rhialla’s mother tell stories and dance that night. However, instead of continuing on his way the next morning, he charmed his way into the caravan’s scouting group. He was quite capable fighting off bandits and a few monsters who tried to prey on the caravan. He quietly made his way into the caravaner’s trust, and Rhialla’s mother’s arms. Rhialla was born a year later, her father was still guarding the caravan, and someone everyone looked to for a strong arm or advice.
Rhialla grew tall and strong, but seemed to age far slowly than other children of the camp. At first Rhialla’s mother was bothered by this, but after a few harrowings and a long hushed conversation with her father, Rhialla stopped worrying. When others asked, she only said that Rhialla was very blessed. It seemed her father’s heritage was a private matter, but her good nature, strength, and grace encouraged most of the caravaners to leave it be.
When Rhialla was fifteen, she still seemed much like a girl of eight, if a girl of eight was already taller than some of the surrounding adults. That made the next few years much harder for her, because normally a fifteen year old would be closing on adulthood and the loss of a parent would hurt, but not leave them lost. Rhialla lost both of her parents that year. Goblins and Ogres attacked the caravan one night in force. Rhialla’s parents fought side by side to protect the entire caravan, but like many of the adults died at the hands of the monsters.
An older merchant of the caravan took Rhialla in. He and the scraps of the caravan made it back to Wartle, and he swore off the caravan life. The attack had shaken him severely, and his age was creeping on him as well. It wasn’t long before he was more Rhialla’s elderly charge than guardian, and she longed to return to the caravan. He insisted that she stay and make candles to sell. She stayed, learned to make and sell candles, and kept the man until he passed on her 30th winter.
Then she was free, but all she had to her name was the latest batch of candles she’d made, the tools she used, and her guardians overdue rent. So she traded some candles for passage with the next wagon out of town. By now she was a fair dancer, and a passable with locks and pockets. She was becoming a typical Varisian thief when she met Jarduzi. He caught her trying to lift his pouch during a tavern dance. He pulled her aside after she finished dancing to find she’d done others better than his. He showed her how bad she was at it by getting all the pouches back to their owners without them noticing in the first place.
The next day he was on the caravan she’d secured passage with as a traveler. During that trip he taught her a little about Ashava, and told her that he could tell Ashava had a plan for her. She listened to his ramblings during travel, and worked with him making better candles and wooden candle holders during stops in or near towns. The two of them made enough to buy her better scarves for dancing and some armor. He convinced her to join him working the guard for the next caravan trip down Cinder Road. Together they kept the caravan safe, and he taught her more about Ashava’s faith and how to fight. After that they parted ways in Riddleport. She made the return trip on the Cinder Road while he moved on along the Kaspakari.
Rhialla stayed on the Cinder Road caravan, sometimes dancing, sometimes making candles on each end to sell, but mostly she worked the night shift caravan guard. Jarduzi’d said she’d have a purpose, and her night vision and new found faith meant she’d be well suited to keep the caravan safe from the living and dead.
Or so she thought, but after a few years she grew bored, and well, broke. Caravan guards weren’t payed all that well, and she could only make so many candles on ends of the caravan route. She decided she’d take a break. She only had to decide where to stop, Riddleport was a terrible place, and Wartle reminded her of when the old man. On her last trip, the weather meant the caravan stopped for a few days in Roderic’s Cove. She liked the little town, and when the caravan was ready to leave, she told them she’d stay there for a while. She took her guard pay and bought a few more tools, and payed for time at Creek-side.
That was three months ago.