Cassandra Karlin is a kesslan from the Doliciere continent. Daughter of a pack elder she enjoyed many comforts in life but also suffered from great expectations. In her childhood she made a habit of learning survival skills, trapping, and mountaineering. Although not typical traits of her family's lineage her parents continued to avidly support her determination.
The Day the Wolf Ran:
Cassandra met the Darrian when she was only sixteen. Set upon by a would-be suitor she was chased through the Whispers. The hunt lasted for days until she stumbled into Darrian while he was travelling on a mission for Sylis. She begged him for protection which he agreed albeit a little reluctant at first.
Cassandra joined the alminiri for a time and the two became comfortable with each other. She was eventually kidnapped in the dead of night and brought back to her pack. Cassandra was to be married to Kain Darkrunner, eldest son of the Darkrunner pack to the south. Kain was seen as a powerful man with much to offer however Cassandra had come to understand the kesslan as overly possessive and cruel.
When Darrian appeared in the village days before the ceremony it caused confusion. After a meeting with the elders the news spread he was here to free Cassandra from her obligation. Many took the dragon's word as insult and most spoke openly against him. Cassandra's father Jorryn listened and weighed his options. Darrian made a case against Kain and further offered compensation.
The Trial of Darrian Karlin:
Darrian openly admitted he had no intention of marrying the kesslan. His case was that he only wanted to grant her the freedom to choose a future that she wanted. Unfortunately some, including Kain, saw Darrian's compensation as a dowry. Enraged the young kesslan challenged the dragon to a trial of skill. Agreeing, both men fought without weapons or magic. Darrian won with little more than a deep gash to the lip.
Kain's anger flared further when the village elders pronounced that Darrian had won Cassandra's freedom by right. There was little surprise that Kain would go on to attack both Darrian and Cassandra and lose his life in the process.
The Salvation Incident:
Working with Darrian the two were sent to Salvation, a small town southwest of Vera. While there the two of them happened upon a girl who was singing a song from Darrian's past. This caused the alminiri to enter a confused stupor where he began shifting without noticing. The town's citizens quickly knocked Cassandra unconscious before she could put up a defense. She awoke tied to a stake as the town was preparing to burn her for being allied to a monster. The pyre was lit and she too shifted in panic eventually calling out for her husband to "save her". Without meaning to Cassandra had summoned Darrian's Hellforge mode which ended up destroying the entire town.
Cassandra had suffered severe injuries from the smoke and fire of her attempted murder. She lost both feet past the ankle; stealing her ability to walk. Sarah approached her during recovery and offered a solution to replace the ruined limbs with a substance known as aalphyte. While hesitant at first she eventually decided to undergo the treatment and after months of therapy managed to take the first few steps since Salvation on her own two feet.
A custom of the Shardfang pack is once a woman is married she may never cut her hair unless for three reasons:
- If she is unfaithful she must cut her hair short and wear it around her neck as a collar. It is considered the highest form of shame.
- If her spouse dies she must cut it and bury it with them. It is considered to be a tribute of the time spent together in hopes that the fallen's spirit will tresure it in the afterlife.
- If she dies before her spouse then the hair must be cut and divided. One half must go to the deceased and the other to the surivor. This is considered to mean that even in death their spirits will always remain together.