Kalisa was found by the “River Snakes” a bandit group in the River Kingdoms. She had been abandoned by her mother, who was fearful of what her daughter would bring upon those around her, as Kalisa was born with blood red eyes and a forked tail. More so Kalisa’s mother feared the prospect of who her father really was, for he appeared to be a noble of upstanding linage within the river kingdoms, yet for him to be this child’s father… Her mother couldn’t bring herself to kill Kalisa so she took her into a forested area and left her there, she then decided to leave the area, not wanting to be reminded of what she had done, yet as she discovered, running couldn’t erase her memory of the child she had born, nor the prospect of who the father may truly be.
Upon finding the child in the woods the scout of the River Snakes brought her back to the bandit’s camp. Not fully examining the sleeping child in the worn blanket meant that certain aspects of this child were not discovered until they had her back in camp. When the leader, a man by the name of Savlen “Snaketongue”, first saw the child, he demanded they kill it, as it was pointless to keep such a child, they have no need for a baby. Yet when they took off the worn blanket, revealing the forked tail, and with the touch of cool air the child opened her eyes, seeming to stare emotionlessly at Snaketongue with her blood red eyes, he immediately told them to stop. The man holding onto her immediately put her on the ground and stepped away. Snaketongue smiled evily and looked at his fearful men, he declared that they had all been blessed, that the lord of hell had smiled upon them and had given them a gift. From then on, Kalisa was raised by the River Snakes, and it wasn’t long before she became one of them.
From a young age Kalisa found herself being involved in the bandits raids. Strapped to Snaketongues back, she would look over his shoulder as he and the men raided merchant caravans and other travellers on the roads. Many would tremble in fear when Snaketongue moved up to question and kill his victims with his little devil on his back. As she grew older, the River Snakes would begin to use her as bait, having her lure a few of the guards or travellers off the roads and then disappearing in her darkness as the bandits killed those lured and then the rest of the caravan. It was during this time when she earned her “Darkstride” name. Eventually they had armour made for her and she would join in on the River Snakes raids, attacking with the first wave of bandits, and her appearance acted as much as an attack as anything else, for it typically threw the guards off balance. By this time the River Snakes saw Kalisa as family, she was their daughter and sister.
It was during one such raid where the River Snakes bit off more than they could chew. Seeing what they thought was a plump little caravan, with few guards, they planned and organised to attack it. As was now the norm, Kalisa would be one of the first to attack. When Kalisa sprang from the underbrush towards the caravan the guard she had targeted didn’t react how she expected. He paid no heed to her appearance, merely clubbing her to the ground with the flat of his blade. When Kalisa awoke, she found herself restrained, there was arguing nearby next to a camp fire. The guards were demanding that she be killed, that such a creature wasn’t worth keeping alive, the man who seemed to be in charge however was adamant that she be allowed to live and that he would take her under his wing. That she would be his responsibility.
And so Kalisa found herself under the watchful eye of Professor Lorrimor. The first few years were difficult, as she was far to accustomed to the River Snakes way of life. Yet she found herself becoming more and more fascinated with the professor’s talks on various topics of lore and other subjects. Soon she began asking him questions and discussing the finer points to many different topics. She had become one of his best students, all without her even realising it. She had now left her banditry past behind her, though the skills she had learned would soon become useful again.
She travelled with him to many places and saw many wondrous things. From his many associates she learnt the finer points of sword craft and magic, developing skill as a magus. The professor’s death hit her hard; she had lost a teacher, guardian, and friend. Now she was alone in the world. Wielding sword, magic and hidden under a deep hood and long cloak, she prepared herself for his funeral and contemplated where she would go now.