Born in the city of Zemar during the reign of King Tristan Stirling, Clara Belgrade was the daughter of two unmarried servants working for a wealthy lord. When she was still very young, her father left the lord's service. She never saw him again. After his disappearance, her mother became a listless alcoholic and soon lost her job. Left on her own, as a teenager Clara had no choice but to work. She became a prostitute and lived in a brothel.
Eventually she became pregnant and was thrown out of the brothel. She lived on the streets, begging to survive. Often she was chased off or attacked by the townspeople, who recognized her as a harlot, or unclean woman.
One day she heard the prophet Vor preaching compassion and forgiveness. She was so moved by his words that she began following him. He led her to his cave dwelling, where two other followers, Daniel Zuse and Rolfe, were already living. She gave birth not long after to a son, whom she named Adrian.
Roughly a year later, an Exekian called Kemet was found badly beaten in the woods. Vor tasked Clara with nursing him back to health. While she was somewhat nervous in his presence and largely ignorant of Exekian biology, she soon warmed to Kemet and proved instrumental in his conversion to Vormundism.
Fellow Vormund Rolfe often targeted Clara. He particularly disapproved of her relationship with Kemet. Rolfe was usually tempered by Vor, who defended Clara and Kemet as ideals of his teachings. The prophet would later agree to perform a marriage ceremony for the two.
Disbanding of the Cult
With the new religion's growth, their renown also increased. King Tristan began to see the faith as a threat, and ordered Vor's arrest. Soldiers arrived at the commune and demanded Vor come with them. Vor was not there at the time, but his followers refused to give him up anyway, Clara among them. The altercation grew violent, and one of the soldiers grabbed her by the hair and attempted to wrench Adrian from her arms. At that point Vor returned. He intervened, submitted to the soldiers, and was taken away.
After the arrest and execution of Vor, his followers scattered. A third of the Vormunds joined Rolfe against King Tristan, forming the Eclipse. The other two thirds went their own ways. Clara and Adrian went with Kemet, traveling south with the aid of Lord Gavin Zosimus.
After crossing the river Antoi, they built a cottage in the wilderness and lived there as a family, raising Adrian and occasionally going out to minister to the people.