Taya was always a rebel at heart. An impoverished farmer’s seventh child and only daughter, she learned early on how to stand up for herself in the countless scuffles with her brothers. There was some joy to be found in those early years of her life, but there was also pain aplenty. For her homeland, the kingdom of Yakai, suffered greatly under the yoke of the Demonspawn, and Taya had witnessed the many atrocities committed against her people in the name of Dark Lord Siroth.
Her village was tiny, always balancing on the precipice of famine, and Taya had to forage for food in the wilderness surrounding it since the day she could handle a spear. Before long, she knew the forests and the dales like the back of her own hand. That knowledge would serve her well in due time.
Soon after Taya came of age, the servants of the Demonspawn overlords arrived at the village, demanding tribute in foodstuff and bodies beyond what the struggling community could provide. They cared not, of course. The peasants of that hamlet were beneath the notice of Siroth’s enforcers and could all perish as long as the demand for supplies and new recruits was met. It was then Taya finally rose up to challenge the injustice she had been forced to endure.
She called upon her fellow serfs to fight back and, faced with the prospect of death whether they obeyed or not, the village rebelled. Their battle against the enforcers was swift and bloody. Though they outnumbered the Demonspawn minions, those men and women were not warriors - many perished in the fighting, and the survivors knew their defiance would not go unpunished. Thus they gathered all the crops and tools they could, burned the rest, and fled into the mountains under Taya’s guidance.
Life amid the snow-capped peaks was harsh, but it was no worse than what the peasants were used to already. They learned to move unseen through the woods at the feet of the mountains, they struck the Shadowkin patrols whenever an opportunity arose, and soon words of their heroic struggle spread to the other towns and homesteads that lay in the nearby valleys. Dozens of people fled their oppressors to join Taya’s growing band, and soon she became quite the rebel queen.
Such profound success did not escape the notice of Shadowkin masters, who were already preparing a grand conspiracy against Siroth’s satraps. They sent emissaries to Taya and, after finally proving the honesty of their intentions, joined forces in preparation for the Uprising.
When the time came, Taya spearheaded the liberation of her home province. Though lowborn, she had proven herself to be a shrewd commander and a capable warrior, whose talents allowed the rebels to triumph over much greater forces. The same talents would serve her well when the Shadowkin made their return to Teleria, but that is a story still in the making. Who knows, perhaps the Champions of Lumaya too could use a freedom fighter in their ranks.