*There were three monumental events that shaped her early life and set her feet on the path she now trod.
Not that the birth itself was anyway special other than the origin of a monster; monsters of her type weren’t that rare. There were no signs or omens, no eclipse of the sun. In fact, she nearly died the day of her birth. Her mother, disgusted by the budding horns pushing through the blue downy hair and the tail that snaked from her spine, threw her in the corner and covered her with a blanket to muffle her cries. This paragon of motherhood then retreated into a bottle to recooperate from the labors of childbirth. The baby’s cries grew fainter as night became morning and the day lengthened into evening. It was unlikely her mother would have given her another thought had not the door to the small chamber opened and the elderly landlady shuffled in.
The old woman’s sharp eyes took in the inebriated state of her tenant and the discarded, softly mewling bundle in the corner. Dropping her cane, the old woman flew across the room and swooped up the child from the bare floor.
The blanket fell back and she gasped.
“Demon spawn,” muttered the mother, rousing herself.
The landlady tottered laboriously towards her, bearing the child. “She is weak. You must nurse her.”
“I will not!” The mother spat. “It is a devil!”
The old woman’s face darkened with anger and she cuffed the young woman. “She is your daughter!”
Surprised, the young mother, who was little more than a girl herself, huddled down in the filthy bedclothes and glowered back at her. “She is evil! I cannot bear to touch her!”
The landlady gave a short bark of laughter. “You were not so discerning when you took gold to lay with her father!”
The only answer she received was a glare.
“Well, then,” the old lady amended, “since your motherly inclinations have been hardened by your whore’s heart, let me set to you a bargain. For the past moon you have not brought in much coin and owe me for the room. If you nurse this child until she can take other substance I will forgive the debt.”
The girl frowned, revulsion playing across her face.
“By Pelor’s hand!” snapped the old woman. “How is this more intrusive than what you usually get paid to do?”
Rolling her eyes, the girl allowed the woman to position the infant so she could nurse.
“There now,” the old woman beamed, her gnarled fingers gently touching the soft blue curls.
“What shall we call her?”
“Devil,” muttered the doting mother.
The old woman ignored her. “We shall call her Avandrite to honor Avandra, goddess of change.”