Shaika, growing up as a shifter on the plains, is used to being considered odd. Shifters as a whole, are more into the physical, being fighters, barbarians, and wardens usually; shamans and druids on the more mystical aspect. There has never been an out and out wizard among her clan…until her. She probably would have never become a wizard if not for the fact that she and several of her age-mates in the clan had chanced upon a ravaged trading caravan. Among the debris, they had salvaged what they could, in the process finding one lone human, badly wounded. They had taken the human back to their clan grounds on the argument that he was badly injured and therefore no danger to them and if he was, they could kill him before he fully recovered. As an apprentice of sorts to their shaman, Shaika spent some time with the old human male who taught her to read in his convalescence. He died after only a year but he had left her with all of his worldly belongings, not much really, a few volumes of an obviously well-worn set of books. In her curiosity befitting her feline nature, she began to read the books, thus stumbling on her first glimpse into the world of magic. Afterwards, it became a bit of an obsession with her and she began to horde the books whenever she could find them, which was not as often as she’d like. Her clan thought her odd and foolish for pursuing something so esoteric and she retreated with her books the more often she was ridiculed. Finally, when she came of age and passed her rites to adulthood, albeit by the skin of her teeth, she decided to leave the clan in pursuit of more regimented training in magic. The clan wasn’t sorry to see her go as she had neglected her physical pursuits in favor of book learning and was seen as a runt, one not able to carry her own weight.
However, life never got easier for her away from the clan. When she traveled into cities, she was looked down upon as being a barbarian and treated as less than human. Wizards of any reputation at all mocked her, disdaining her self-taught forays into harnessing magic. She was only able to gain some education from hedge wizards, working as an almost slave in order to get some teaching into rudimentary cantrips and low-level spells. She would stay for as long as she could learn something new. Once the hedge wizard she served had no more to teach her, she moved on. Time passed for her like this for several years and she despaired of ever being a true wizard. However, she did find that she had an affinity for fire spells more than anything else. In her wanderings, she finally chanced upon Thay, the once reknowned country of Red Wizards. But it had changed horribly under the rule of Szass Tam. When she realized that necromancy was the dominant power here, she decided to leave. However, she had come under the interest of a wizard dabbling in his own experimental magicks. She was kidnapped and subjected to horrible experiments. The wizard theorized that shifters, being so much closer to nature than regular humans might have a connection to natural magic that could be exploited and even distilled to boost the power as one such as himself. She was bled on a daily basis, parts of her own essence pulled away from her and tested, examined. Time had no meaning for her and pain was her only constant, death a welcome oblivion denied to her by her merciless captor.
At one time, she dully noted that there were many other “subjects” in the tower with her, most of them magical beasts. But one by one, they disappeared, either discarded for being useless or destroyed during experimentation until there was only her and one other, a Genasi male. They were never allowed to speak to each other, nor did they ever have any real desire to do so. But the day the tower exploded in a brilliant array of light, smoke, magic and fire, they had been shackled to each other in a complex web of magic lines the arch-mage had woven around them. Face to face, they were the last things they each saw as the world exploded around them. When she awoke, everything was a smoking crater around her. Horrified at the destruction and her close call with death yet relieved to be free and alive, she stumbled away blindly, just wanting to be as far away as possible. She fell into unconsciousness hours later and awoke to someone poking her…inside her mind. The Genasi had become a part of her, his consciousness inside her, his body destroyed. She panicked and her panic only escalated when she summarily burst into flames, wreathed from head to toe…but not burning. It took a long time for the Genasi to calm her down and explain to her that she was manifesting his FireSoul. Panic gave way to curiosity and curiosity to giddiness. She has ever since manifested flames along the patterns in her fur and from the tip of her tail, a true firecat. The Genasi talked her into traveling to Akanul, to his home city. Thinking she might be accepted there, she readily agreed. But she was met with disdain and disbelief and grudging acceptance by a family that wasn’t hers but his.
In a fit of despair, she refused their “welcome” and left Akanul, brutally squashing the Genasi into silence in her mind. She stubbornly headed back to the plains of her youth, desperate for something familiar in the maelstrom her life had become. But she was disappointed once more as her tribe refused her entrance. She did not smell like the Shaika they knew therefore she could not be Shaika and was driven off. Since then, she has traveled all over Faerun, looking for somewhere to belong and perhaps cure her “affliction”. She and the Genasi have struck an uneasy alliance within her but during stressful times, he takes over, returning to dormancy only when he judges it safe.