In the Beginning...
Born the unfortunate product of an extramarital affair, Khestra learned quickly what it meant to disappear amongst her surroundings. Her father, a guard in the Ardenai Watch, never had much time to spend with her, but would leave small notes and gifts for her around the exterior of the cottage in which her mother lived. Having never taken an interest in her mother's profession, tailoring, she took to the forests early, trailing the village boys as they traipsed out to the forest to practice hunting and fishing. The boys excluded her as a young girl, so she did her best to fashion a bow from a limb of ruic she found when she wandered especially far one afternoon. She would practice just out of sight of the group, and became skilled in archery by watching and listening to the troubles and jeers of the boys as they teased each other.
In her solitude, she found an interest in the art of healing, taking great care to learn the skills required to bring flora and fauna alike back to health. This helped her bring silver home when her mother's business lagged, and she practiced the art regularly.
As the Years Passed...
She grew into a beautiful young woman, closely resembling her mother in features. Her days were spent amongst the forest, and she would frequently encounter the men and boys of the Ardenai Watch. Not wishing to explain her reasons for being in the wood, she would stay in the shadows, observing from the safety and concealment of her beloved habitat.
On one such occasion, there was much commotion regarding an injured guard. She crept closer to the group, realizing her father was among them, and that a particularly handsome young man was gravely wounded. As the group struggled and failed to bring the man's wounds under control, she knew it was her duty to reveal herself and tend to him. As she did so, her father marveled at this woman who so closely resembled the one who owned his heart but not his hand. Seeing the crude bow slung across her shoulders and quiver filled with roughly-fletched arrows, a small grin skipped across his face, and a twinkle alit in his eye. He vowed to teach her the fineries of his chosen professional skill, regardless of the consequences with his wife and her family.
They began meeting in the twilight hours in the forest, where he worked with her to hone her hunting skills and fletching techniques. While she truly appreciated the effort he was putting into her adolescence, she still harbored an air of distrust for the lack of effort he made to help her earlier on in life. She promised herself she would never let anyone she loved feel as though they were second best, no matter the cost.