Standing about 5 and a half feet high, she has a lean, but muscular body. Dressed in leather and scraps that don’t look like they have ever been washed, she tends to blend in well in natural surroundings. She stays barefoot because she likes to feel the earth under her toes. Her face is dirty with soot and natural pigments painted across her skin to help camouflage her, and her hair is dirty and matted with the occasional leaf or twig stuck in it. The only thing that stands out is her bright green eyes, that appear to take in everything.
The belongings she carries with her seem to fit the rest of her appearance. She keeps a sack that is tied so as to allow her to throw it over her shoulder, a knife on her belt, and she carries a small bundle of spears with her.
Bright green eyes peer out at you from under the brush from behind dirty, matted brown hair. She stands about 5’ 6” tall, but is rarely standing fully upright, preferring to crouch unless she has a reason to do otherwise. Dressed in earth tones and leather, her lean body blends in well with the surrounding forest if you don’t know what to look for. Always close by, a pair of yellow eyes closely follow her movements. Her hunting companion, Pishyakan (a large black panther), is very protective of her and looks to her almost as a motherly figure.
From as far back as she could remember, Nadierra lived with her mother just inside the edge of the woods. Her mother was an herbalist and healer, and gathered many of the ingredients that she needed from the woods. Nadierra never met her father that she remembers. Her mother had told her fond stories of her father as a skilled woodsman and tracker, but told her that he passed away just before Nadierra was born in the old war.
From an early age, Nadierra seemed to be somewhat anti-social. While she got along well enough with her mother, especially as her mother taught her the ways of the forest, she greatly preferred the company of plants and animals to people. When they had visitors (such as when her mother was treating a patient or when traders came from town), Nadierra tended to make herself somewhat scarce and was very shy and quiet when interactions with people couldn’t be avoided. Although she tends to be very shy around people that she doesn’t know, she is more than happy to be helpful if she can be and would regularly assist her mother with healing patients. She inherited her kind heart from her mother, apparently, because she frequently cared for injured animals she encountered.
As she was playing in the woods near her house (as her mother often allowed her to do) she came across an injured panther cub, left for dead after its mother had been slain by poachers for her fur. The mother’s body was nowhere to be found, but fresh blood on the ground and streaks in the dirt showed where the atrocity had finally ended. The panther cub’s mews pulled at Nadierra’s heart strings as it tried to cry for help. Still a child of only eight or nine herself, she gingerly bent down and scooped up the wounded cub, determined to care for it as its new mother.
As Nadierra walked in the front door of the small cottage where she and her mother lived covered in blood, her mother rushed to her in a panic. Once it was confirmed that Nadierra was uninjured, her mother helped her care for the young cub, setting a broken bone, cleaning them both up, and applying bandages. During the time that she cared for the cub, Nadierra stopped playing outside. She hardly left its side except to do her chores. She even slept next to the cub. And as she fed the cub, and it grew healthy and bigger, it also took to her.
Her mother saw a change in the way Nadierra looked at the world. She was still shy around other people, but it seemed like she had found her kindred spirit. Nadierra and that cat went everywhere together, and Nadierra became talkative for the first time in her life. She spoke to the cat as if it were a person, and sometimes her mother swore that they actually understood each other. When it came time that the cat should take off on its own into the wild, it refused to leave Nadierra’s side.
As they played together, Nadierra learned to run and follow the cat up trees and stalk prey with it, and in turn she would read it stories and try to show it how to do her chores with her. They were inseparable and it was not an uncommon occurrence to the few hunters and woodsmen who frequented the route past her house to see the two of them running the woods together, both wild and free and at the same time somehow not completely.
Because the cat was really too big to stay in the cottage when there were visitors, Nadierra would spend those nights outdoors with the panther. They would perch themselves up in a tree, so as to watch the forest floor below and to keep them safe from any predators that might wander past. On just such a night, there was a terrible accident. One of the travelers that was staying in their cottage had knocked over a lantern and started a fire late at night. Nadierra didn’t ever see the cause, but the raging inferno that woke her up that night is forever etched in her memory. She watched the cottage burn to the ground, helpless from her perch to stop it. As she watched in horror, the panther stayed by her side to comfort her. As it always had.
The next morning, there was nothing left but smoldering ashes. She wasn’t able to salvage anything from the debris, so she took a few supplies that were outside of the cottage at the time, her hunting knife, and her best friend, and went to the only place she knew: the forest. Together, they lived in the woods and helped each other survive. Nadierra didn’t forget what her mother had taught her, however. She continued to help everyone she came in contact with. Soon there were rumors of a quiet young woman who wandered the woods, healing injured hunters and guiding lost travelers, always appearing suddenly when there was need and disappearing just as suddenly.