Svetlana grew up in a small farming community. Her family are primarily brewers and barkeepers – her mother’s cousins run the local inn, The Burning Tree, whilst Svetlana’s mother and grandparents manage the cider orchard. Svetlana and her mother (Natasha) are both only children, but her grandparents are part of large families so her mother has many cousins around the area.
Natasha had Svetlana when she was very young – younger than Svetlana is now. The story goes that her parents discovered she was pregnant but no one could work out how, until Natasha remembered some vividly erotic dreams she’d had, involving an elf. When Svetlana was born, her half-elf nature confirmed the supposition that these dreams were more than they had seemed.
Svetlana has met her father on one occasion, but as no one else would believe the human-appearing tinker was an elf and dismissed her claims as wishful thinking rather than accept his powers of manipulation, she tends not to talk about it. He taught her the beginnings of controlling the magic that tended to fly from her when she wasn’t paying attention, and left 3 nights after arriving.
Growing up, Svetlana was bright and popular with her peers. She became particularly close to a small group of children close to her in age and, for the most part, ability. Piotr, the second son of a dairy farmer, was the eldest of the group and considered himself the leader because he couldn’t see how easily the others (particularly Devin) manipulated him. Devin had been born in a foreign land – his mother had run away and joined a merchant caravan, only returning when she heard her brothers had been killed and someone needed to return to tend her family farm. Her husband and other children have settled into village life well, but Devin has inherited his mother’s restlessness. He can sing beautifully and speaks many languages.
Anya is a similar age to both Svetlana and Devin. Daughter of the blacksmith, she is brave, funny and fast. Like Svetlana, she enjoys the discipline needed to pick locks and perform similar sleight of hand tricks but her love of the wilderness led her, ultimately, to marry the elder brother (Maksim) of the youngest of their group (Misha) and become a hunter with him and his father. Misha is unique in the village in that from the earliest age he could make the decision he has refused to eat meat – especially striking as his family are hunters. He is quiet but not shy so much as thoughtful. Svetlana very much views him as a younger brother and is protective of him as such.
The campaign began with a call to reclaim the Stolen Lands to the south of Brevoy. Before leaving her village, Svetlana had asked her friends to come with her. Piotr was strong and brave and hadwanted to be a soldier, so she was surprised when he told her that he had grown out of ‘those childish games’ and wanted to settle down and raise a family. Svetlana got the distinct impression that he was hoping she would settle down with him (they shared a first kiss as children, and had had something of an on&off relationship since that never went anywhere or meant more than play to Svetlana), and she simply wasn’t ready for that. Anya’s marriage kept her from leaving – the last Svetlana heard, she was pregnant. Misha had recently been given the opportunity to become a druid. Of her friends, his reasons for staying are those she most respects: she suspects he was born to be a druid.
Devin was very keen to accompany Svetlana, but his parents were firmly against the idea. He told her to leave as per the arrangements she’d made, and he would join her. No one has heard from him since.