The youngest, and only, daughter of the Yvarye family, Cerys’ mother and father were already rather long in the tooth at her birth. In fact, many believed that mother and babe would not survive the birth. Both did, however, and her parents were ecstatic at having finally had a daughter to dress up and spoil. And, oh, how they spoilt her, with dresses and toys that most children would envy. With dark hair and pale eyes, she wasn’t considered to be a natural beauty, and she had inherited the harsh Yvarye features. But even as a small child, there was something very alluring and welcoming about her countenance as her mother raised her and taught her all the etiquette of proper and privileged society.
At six, as Videnese law dictated, Cerys was sent to the Viden academy to begin her primary education. During these years, the young girl was considered to be average at best, with no exceptional academic talents, though her instructors often remarked that she was uncommonly observant and pensive of the world around her. It was also noted that, at such a young age, she seemed to have unprecedented rhetorical skills - even unwitting adults unconsciously fell to her charms.
Her parents believed that it was the influence of her five older brothers, all of whom ranged from eight to twenty years older than her. On the one hand, she had to compete with the boisterous nature all testosterone-fuelled males had. But her brothers would never allow her to sink to their level, so she needed to find other weapons to combat them, so her tools became her words. The flip side, of course, was that she was the little princess born into a much older family. With three grown brothers at birth, she was nigh on blessed with the love of extra parents. Even her youngest brother adored and protected her.
With seven devoted family members, Cerys knew nothing but acceptance, and it allowed her the perfect environment to carve out a personality without fear of judgement. Her brothers also shared wisdom of their manipulations of their parents, which she took on board and perfected. Though not necessarily academically gifted, she had a knack for understanding people, and knew the strategies of mild manipulation. These skills only developed further as Cerys entered secondary education, where, instead of focusing on the history of Idalos, or the anatomy of the human body, she worked on convincing her fellow students to complete her work for her.
It was in her penultimate year of compulsory education at the Viden Academy that her family was approached with an offer from one Verin Rush, a scholar in the Viden Academy. He had noticed her potential, potential that Verin’s twin brother, Venser, would be interested in. It was the first that Cerys had heard of The Seekers, a faction dedicated to the study of magic, and Verin Rush did not do into extensive detail, but the thirteen year old was impulsive, and she accepted there and then.
But Verin Rush was not someone she would ever see again, nor would she ever meet the twin brother. Instead, she was apprenticed to a warlock whom she only knew by the name of Tomás. He knew of a variety of arcana, though his unique speciality - surprising for Viden, she discovered - was the art of Empathy. It was what Cerys had apparently shown potential for, and what she would first be exposed to.
Her training was uncommonly slow for, although she possessed the natural prerequisites needed for this branch of Arcana, Cerys had none of the self-control needed to progress in the magic. Not only was she impulsive, but Cerys was also exceptionally temperamental. This was something that Tomás worked tirelessly to rectify, but to no avail. The best he could do was forcing hours upon hours of meditation on his young apprentice in order to give her patience and understanding of her own emotions. Perhaps then, he hoped, she would be able to control her own emotional urges, rather than succumb to the overwhelming pull of Empathetic Arcana.
For the next four years, Cerys would leave her family household each morning and join Tomás for further teaching and training. He was a fair instructor, even his frustration at her lack of emotional control was well hidden. Just like everyone else around her, he fell for her charms too, finding her innocence and naïvety sweet… if a little dangerous, particularly to herself. Whilst helping her to build up her abilities, his focus was always on a passive and meditative stance, rarely allowing her to delve into active uses of Empathy.
Her apprenticeship was never completed, however, and her control was left unchecked, for one particularly cold winter, in the Arc 714, scores of Videnese citizens fell to a bout of influenza, Tomás among them. Even his strength was not enough to fight off the infection, nor could the exemplary medical centre treat him. Left without a mentor, the half-trained apprentice was removed from her family and shipped across the world to the southern city of Ne’haer, where another Warlock, a woman by the name of Roslyn, had offered to complete her training.