Natalya Vancaskerkin is the daughter of one of Riddleport’s most notorious figures—Saul Vancaskerkin. Half-Varisian, Natalya was born of Saul’s first wife, a beautiful Varisian harrower from Magnimar named Adreea Valitrosa. Unfortunately for the star-crossed lovers, the Sczarni to whom Adreea belonged did not approve of this relationship, and a month after Natalya was born, the gang attempted to “reclaim” the babe as payment for Adreea choosing Saul over the Sczarni. Saul’s criminal contacts warned him in time, and he and his family fled to Riddleport to escape, but not before Adreea took a poisoned bolt to the back. She died soon thereafter, leaving Natalya entirely under her father’s care.
Saul mourned, but eventually remarried—a marriage that produced Natalya’s half-brothers. Eventually, they left home for their own reasons, leaving Natalya alone with her father and his third wife, Bertrida—a woman who despised Natalya. Feeling neglected by her father and persecuted by her stepmother, Natalya sought solace with some of Riddleport’s Sczarni, who happened to be bitter rivals of her father’s own criminal enterprises. When Bertrida discovered Natalya’s activities and then gleefully revealed them to her father, Saul was outraged. At Bertrida’s urgings, he disowned Natalya, turning his daughter out into the street with orders to never return. Saul never saw his daughter again.
And so Natalya returned to Magnimar. As she began to build her new life, the only thing she retained from her time in Riddleport was her father’s name—something she kept out of a mixture of guilt and shame. She resigned herself to what would likely be a short life working with the Tower Girls, one of Magnimar’s more notorious gangs.
But Natalya was impatient. She wanted to be the one in charge—the one who was making the most money and drawing the most respect. In the Sczarni, she grew increasingly frustrated at how much of each take got kicked up to her superiors. When the Pathfinders entered an alliance with the Sczarni in Magnimar, Natalya saw a chance to pad her pocket and, just perhaps, build her reputation in another group as well. She approached Sheila Heidmarch in secrecy, and Sheila recognized Natalya’s potential and hired her as an informant on the spot. Still part of the gang of second-story burglars known as the Tower Girls, Natalya used the skills and knowledge acquired in each organization to benefit the other as well.