Selfish. Greedy. Hot Tempered. Entertaining.
Riska’s first memory is of awakening in a temple of Calistria in Opara, the capital city of the nation of Taldor, at a young age. The priests there asked her what had become of her family, but she couldn’t answer. They told her they had found her in the streets, severely injured and alone. They brought her to the temple and watched over her until she regained consciousness many weeks later.
With no memories to impede her, Riska quickly settled into the life of the mostly human temple, watching and learning. Often visitors questioned the elf’s presence, but the priests were quick to shoo them away. Riska herself came to despise her elf kin, believing (without evidence) that her family had abandoned her, and identifying strongly with the humans around her.
As time passed, a new generation of human priests arrived, some of them looking less favorably on their elven companion. Riska, having spent many years watching from the shadows and absorbing the tricks of Calistria’s followers, took to the streets on her own. She often covered her face and ears to disguise her true nature and became a very successful pickpocket.
Had she remained at the temple, she would have recognized the master thief Marlin and known better than to pick his pocket. As it was, she nearly got away with it — Marlin chased her down but, rather than being angry, found himself impressed with her skill. He adopted the young elf and taught her everything he knew until they became an unstoppable team. During this time, Riska withdrew even further from her elven heritage, embracing Marlin as her father and family and taking his identity as her own.
Much time passed before she began to suspect that her mentor was keeping secrets. One night Marlin slipped out without her and Riska, true to her nature, followed. She lost him halfway through the town but eventually picked up his trail only to find him bleeding by the docks. She rushed him to the nearest temple, but there was nothing to be done. Marlin died without speaking again.
Riska spent the next several years searching for clues to Marlin’s murder, but found nothing. She became obsessed with vengeance, determined to find and kill the culprits. Over time, she was forced to accept that this endeavor would not be as easy as she’d initially hoped.
The Meeting of Kayl and Riska:
Disillusioned by her failure, Riska wandered into a tavern one night and found Kayl drunk and making a spectacle of himself with a number of irritated barmaids.
Amused, Riska joined him for a night of drinking and debauchery, judging from his armor and weapons that he’d be a good mark: she planned to spend the night and escape with his belongings in the morning.
Instead, she found herself drawn to the idealistic warrior. The two spent several days enjoying the town before Riska heard a rumor of Marlin’s killers. Kayl decided to follow her on her quest. The rumor came to nothing, but Kayl and Riska found themselves once more drawn into the world.
Riska’s lust for money drew them into a number of “jobs,” and Kayl found himself a reluctant participant in some shady deals. Desperate to get himself back on the straight and narrow, he took a more active approach in their adventures, steering them towards nobler pursuits. Riska was generally willing to go along — provided the money was good.
You’d be hard pressed to get her to admit it, but Riska has come to care for Kayl and rely on him a great deal. Similarly, Riska is the first woman to truly catch Kayl’s attention long enough to keep him around. He is drawn to her energy, and his responsibility balances her capriciousness.