Raised in the overcrowded orphanage of Steadfort, life for Freya always felt like survival of the fittest. Her parents and older brother were slain in the first raid of Steadfort before she was even six winters old, and fifteen years later the burden of their loss still weighs weary on her soul – though naught does she remember of their faces nor even voices. In her mind she can simply see only an image of faceless husks turned to cinder by the flames of the airships from above.
In the orphanage she found herself under the wing of Nils, a boy fiver years older that she soon started calling her big brother, still grieving for the loss of her real one. Often they would spar with toy swords and promise each other they day they would turn real, so that they could take vengeance for their parents. They felt as though they were the only two that could look out for each other, creating a secret hiding hole beneath an oak tree in the orphanage yard late at night past their curfew. When the raiders would come in the first two years, they would often hoist away children from the orphanage unchallenged, so as the screams of the townsfolk would fill the air, Nils and Freya would dart to their burrow beneath the oak and wait. In snow, rain or fire they would wait and wait until the screams of their neighbours were slowly stifled, replaced by silence that hung in the air like a noose.
Few of the first orphans that Freya and Nils had arrived with still remained by the time the sorcerers from the south arrived to combat the raiders. Many new orphans emerged, though those that came before were whisked off by the men clad in metal, never to be seen again. Peace however was brought to Mayreth for a time thanks to the sorcerers, and Nils and Freya’s bond of fellowship remained strong for all their years as adoptive siblings. Freya eventually found love in Jorn, the local sorcerer’s apprentice, that blossomed into engagement. When the sorcerer’s were called home to the south once more, Freya’s fiance opted to remain, forgoing the rest of his own training to be with his love and protect a place that he had called home for nigh ten years himself. However on the first raid attempt since his master left, Jorn proved himself to hold no candle to his master. His magic was unable to bring down the airship, save for angering its crew with the scorched wood he left in his wake. A single shot from the harpoon gun was all it took, Jorn was skewered in front of Freya, and his writhing corpse reeled up to the sky above and never seen again.
Grief and anger overwhelmed her, for she was helpless against a behemoth that stood amongst the eagles. So all she could do was curse, and to Nils she confided once more, forming with him a novel idea of a self-governed militia to protect the people in Steadfort that had known peace the last ten years. Suddenly the years of sparring in the orphanage together came to fruit, and the caved in armory of the keep was raided so that herself, Nils and any others that joined could be armed and armoured to protect those that still remained.