Kharis Bogenhafen was born to peasants in the rural countryside of the Empire’s western province. At an early age, Kharis felt a strange pull to the local ruins, the shunned remains of an ancient fortress. Local folklore had it that the fortress was once home to a powerful necromancer, Augustus Phaed.
After the young Kharis started displaying powers the superstitous townsfolk considered unholy, her parents were forced to send the child to live with a distant relative. But before they could, the town was raided by a band of free company soldiers – roving mercenaries without an employer. The town was burned and its residents either killed or enslaved. Young Kharis was saved, however, by a spectral entity and brought to her new home, the castle of Augustus Phaed.
Phaed, now a powerful liche, raised Kharis as his own daughter for many years, using magic to appear as he did in life. He taught her much of his arcane and forbidden secrets and she was a particularly apt pupil. She spent most of her days in quiet solitude, though her nights were filled with hosts of spirits, most benevolent and anxious to commune with a living being.
Eventually, Augustus Phaed over-played his hand and his growing army of undead attracted the attention of the Imperial Inquisition. A large force eventually assaulted the fortress and defeated the liche. Phaed, forseeing his inevitable demise (again), sent Kharis, now 18, away before the final battle.
Kharis, now using her benefactor’s name, made her way to the Imperial port city of (city name). There she met a young noble, Harker Agravane, who she seduced after learning that he was soon to embark for the New World. Agravane, in love with Kharis, pays for her passge to Malabar along with his own. The four-month winter passage is spent together in Agravane’s cabin and he eventually proposes marriage. Kharis accepts, but once they land in Wytchport, the young necromancer disappears, making her way to the town’s dockside slums.
Kharis, drawn to the New World in much the same way that a younger Kharis was drawn to the ruins of Phaed’s fortress, finds herself in unfamiliar territory. But she also felt her necromatic powers grow stronger the moment she stepped off the ship and onto the island of Malabar.