Born into the port of Rostok, Frederika grew up in a growing town that became a bustling, self-governing city; sailors and traders constantly moving in and out. Her parents ran an inn on the seafront. She loved the stories, and the tales - listening from the corner while she worked. But life…wasn't easy. The Gift didn't make it easy. Not around people who will never know you, and never care what happens to you.
So a young girl learnt early that to get what you want, you need to offer what others want. Not to give, not to expect, but to present and ask for an exchange. And what she wanted was to know more about the world she'd heard about since she was little. She wanted to read. So that's what Rika did, eventually. She connived her way into a job at the port authority - copying manifests and guarantees; trying hard to hear more about distant lands.
That was the dream. Until Fabiano Gherardi passed through Rostock. A mage, a scholar, and with a nose for the Gift - Fabiano became Frederika's Parens, granted her wish, and opened her eyes.
The bulk of Frederika's apprenticeship was uneventful. She spent much of it being tutored, and still more fulfilling her duties as an apprentice. Fabiano proved more than sufficient as a teacher. Kind, driven and endlessly open minded his greatest gift to Frederika was his enthusiasm.
Though…as the years went by…Rika saw Fabiano's fiery enthusiasm undiminished even as he explored the limits of human knowledge. Heedless of danger - or perhaps uncaring - he turned his considerable expertise to demonology: the only creatures, he said, that would reveal to him more of the world than he knew.
Uncomfortable, but trusting of her mentor, Frederika finished her apprenticeship and bid him farewell. She worried: for his safety, and his soul. But she could not turn him in - for reasons of respect and love, but also for her own reputation, and what she saw as her first steps toward a bright career…
So she travelled south, far away from the Rhinelands. And, sadly, far from her teacher. To a place that had never heard of her, and (hopefully) wouldn't hear of the man she most respected: to Andorra!