Intelligence without ambition is a bat without wings
Celaena is a young woman with long white-blonde hair. Her grey-blue eyes have been said to be full of ambition and some have noted that the darken when she becomes passionate or angry. A simple look at Celaena would suggest her family are moderately wealthy as her clothes look fine and new, in reality her family have very little wealth and although her clothes are fine, it is very rare any are new and she uses much of her time, money and magic to keep up appearances.
When asked about her life, most hear the same tale. Celaena grew up in a poor village, her family are very close and she spend much of her young life playing with her siblings and cousins. She always knew she was different to them though, and she quickly realised she was much smarter than them all. Clearly, she doesn’t say this out of pride or to belittle her family, it’s just the way it is. Her family would always praise her intellect, but never embrace it. They continually ignored her attempts at intelligent conversation in favour of gossip and ignorance.
Eventually she asked her parents to take her to be tutored in magic at the nearest city. They agreed and Celaena started her education, routinely learning and questioning the laws of magic. She settled into a nice group of friends and continued with them through the school until she was ready to attend The Academy. Before she proceeding her education, she decided to return home to keep them updated.
Her journey home took her through a forest on a full moon in which she was stopped by a small group of aspiring Werefolk poachers, they told her it was unsafe for her to travel alone and so they would escort her through the woods. She learnt much about Werefolk from them, although they had never successfully hunted one. The way through the woods was long and it wasn’t long before they had another addition to the group. Unlike Celaena this new addition was not in danger on his own, he was a veteran Werefolk hunter and had only agreed to join them because he said they’d get themselves killed. He seemed like a brutal man to Celaena, they agreed that Werefolk should be killed to stop the spread of the disease but he thought her to be a soft-hearted woman when it came to methods. She was relieved to be out of his company when they reached the end of the woods.
After a short visit with her family she left for The Academy and immediately took an interest in Conjuration, deciding to take that as her Major, with a minor in Transmutation. When returning home after her education was finished she realised that her family were not as good people as she thought. Many of them now seemed like angry, dumb bigots who continuously made bad life choices. She realised that she could not live near them anymore and with help of her old advisors and her friends she decided she would spend her future working to help the knowledge of magic and The Academy, which she loved so much, grown and prosper.
This life story was a mixture of truths, misleadings, and flat out lies. Celaena did in fact grow up in a poor village and her family are very close. She did spend much of her youth with the other children but her higher intelligence meant that she often resented them for their stupidity since she always had to solve their problems and mediate arguments. When she found out about the schools in the large cities she could not wait to go and leave her family behind. When she got to the school she did not settle into a group of friends, she built one. She spent much effort befriending and pulling together the smartest, most popular and highest class students so that they could give her the best advantages she could find.
The Werefolk incident went pretty much exactly like she told it, although when she reached her home she realised she couldn’t stand being around her family. She had surrounded herself with prosperous people and visiting them reminded her of who she really was. The incident with the poachers also inspired her to pursue Transmutation, looking for a way to cure their disease and help the poor people. She also took a class in Conjuration in her first year, mostly on a whim. She quickly realised that Conjuration got the most funding and recognition and so changed her point of focus, leaving behind any selfless research for research she could use to increase her standing.
Her friendship group changed frequently as she left behind those who could no longer help her and befriended those who could. She took interests in the areas her professors were active in to gain their favour, and looked at ways to improve her life further once she left The Academy. After graduation, she returned home again and it was at this point that she constructed the tale she tells of her life. She needed that tale, she had been with her family once again and couldn’t stand them, the reminder of who she really was. Not just because of her roots. They were all so loving and proud of her and all she had was contempt and a yearning to leave them behind. She felt awful because she knew that even though she had more, knew more and would go on to hopefully do great things, they were much better people. She hated being with them because of this, and that hate fuelled the knowledge that she was a terrible person. The tale she constructed of her life would protect her, and as long as people never looked too hard at her past, no one would know what she really was. She was a monster.