Esmerelda was the only child of a woman of the Rumiel family of Arani Wanderers. In the usual manner of the Arani people, she was not raised exclusively by her mother; rather, she was the common child of the entire family, receiving communal instruction and love from an early age. Though her family lived on the tumultuous border between the Eldenari Empire and the Crownwright League, her childhood was a happy one. Though the Rumieli remained noncommitted during the Crownwright War, they provided healing to many of the Crownwright rebels who were wounded in altercations with Elderani forces along the border. For years, their involvement went unnoticed; however, when Esmerelda grew older, the actions of her people came to the attention of Lord Damien Rand, who was then an officer in the Eldenari army. Rand then led a strike force agaisnt the Rumieli, slaughtering almost all members of the family. Only Esmerelda and a handful of other refugees escaped. Over the ensuing years, the survivors wandered across the Empire, splintering off as they found work or temporary homes. Esmerelda travelled in their company until the end of the War, when she heard news that Rand was planning an expedition to reclaim Westengard. Seeking vengeance for the slaughter of her people, she spent several months working odd jobs and performing healings-for-hire in order to purchase passage to the New World.