Born the eldest daughter of an elite warrior clan hailing from Doma, Seiren was raised beneath Imperial occupation. When the Garlean army invaded Doma nearly three turns before her birth, it swept through the land like a plague, trampling every settlement in its path towards domination. Seiren's village was no exception to this, and it was only through sheer happenstance that she and her father, Ujikata, had been hunting for tiger pelts when a battalion came upon their hamlet one fateful day, immediately suppressing those who rose against them and razing the tiny hamlet where her family resided in the process. Seiren's mother and siblings were killed in the chaos, prompting her father to take her and flee through the Doman countryside, keeping to thick bamboo copses whilst avoiding Imperial patrols.
Both Seiren and her father walked endlessly through fields and wetlands towards the Ruby Sea, dodging Imperial vanguards and living off of the land as they went. It was only after a long and arduous journey that they found themselves upon the shoreline bordering Rasen Kaikyo, meeting with a contact her father had had within the Confederacy. While Seiren had no idea how her father had managed to arrange such a rendezvous at the time, her father had somehow been able to secure passage to the Ruby Price and beyond, towards the vaunted city of Kugane.
Raw with grief, the details of this period tend to fall away like sand between her fingers whenever Seiren struggles to recall them, and, if prompted, she will likely say that things were peaceful for a short time. Her father had managed to procure a small apartment for the two of them near the seedier end of the port city, and it was there that Seiren grew wise to the things that could be used in place of money as currency.
Spending a great deal of time in the company of those in the employ of pillowhouses and their patrons, she became adept at reading people's body language and peering past the words they uttered, picking apart their actions and seeing the way that they ticked. While her father eked out a living for the both of them as a means to rebuild their lives from the one left in tatters by Garlean occupation, Seiren learned quickly that secrets, when handled correctly, could buy more than gil ever could.
It would be several turns before the uneasy peace that Ujikata and Seiren had made for themselves would be shattered, but she would say that it came too quickly nonetheless. One balmy summer night, Seiren awoke to the sound of a scuffle coming from her father's bedroom, the cacophony of overturning furniture and shattering glass rising over the din of the bustling street below her window. Keeping to the shadows, Seiren peered into her father's room only to find it in complete disarray, his window flung wide open as moonlight illuminated the telltale signs of a struggle befitting the noises she'd heard.
Running to the window, she caught sight of a hooded figure carrying her unconscious father-- no mean feat, considering his size and build as a Raen man-- over its shoulder, vaulting across the rooftops of the buildings bordering the apartment, headed towards the docks. Wasting no time, Seiren gave chase upon the streets below, dodging through side streets and whipping past stragglers headed home from late-night izakaya while keeping off the routes patrolled by the Sekiseigumi. She'd arrived to the docks just in time to see the hooded figure hauling her father onto a schooner docked at the pier's far end, its anchor rising just as she raced towards it.
Try as she might to procure a means to pursue the boat, it moved swiftly, disappearing past the horizon as Seiren attempted to negotiate the use of a rowboat with one of the dockmasters. It wasn't until the sky shot through with the pink of dawn that a kindly fisherman, hearing the plight of the distressed girl, offered to take her along as far as the Ruby Price, though he could offer to go no further on pain of punishment by either the Confederacy or the Kojin residing within Rasen Kaikyo.
Eagerly accepting his offer, Seiren boarded his tiny boat and scanned the horizon for any sign of the ship that bore her father, catching sight of it cutting through the waters just offshore of Isari, a small fishing village near the border of Othard. Thankfully, her father's contact within the Confederacy had been overseeing the maintenance of the Ruby Price's cannons and had recognized her instantly once she'd arrived, and upon hearing her story, he arranged for a one-way trip for her to the far shore.
By this point, the ship had long since departed, but Seiren could see a gathering of people milling about on the shoreline from her perch upon the boat that bore her to her destination, a feeling of dread welling up within her. The closer she got, the more the reality of her situation dawned upon her, particularly when she caught sight of a prone, familiarly-shaped figure lying in the sand, obscured by a bloodstained cloth draped over its form.
The people gathered upon the shoreline were talking worriedly among themselves when Seiren's boat made landfall, and she knew what she would find the instant she looked underneath the sheet covering the body. Even so, that resignation did nothing to stop her as she pushed through the crowd in order to peel back the fabric covering the figure's face in spite of the protests of a nearby fisherwoman, whose efforts to stay Seiren's hand were shrugged off with desperation.
Resigned as she was to find her father's body, nothing could prepare Seiren for the sight of her father's lifeless eyes, the lower half of his jaw mangled as if it had been blown away by some great force. His chest and gut had been stabbed multiple times by what must have been a rather sizeable blade, and Seiren's first instinct was to gag and dry heave, her hand flying to her mouth in horror.
The rest of the details of this point in time fall away whenever Seiren struggles to recall them, but, if pressed, she will likely say that she remembers being ushered into the home of the kindly fisherwoman who had tried to stop her from revealing her father's face. She will say that the woman and her husband would care for her alongside her other children for the better part of a sennight until Seiren was able to drum up the will to speak, and that the first words out of her mouth had been used to ask after who had killed her father.
All the fisherwoman had been able to offer was the fleeting sight of a Garlean infantryman wielding a distinct gunblade, the face of its blade engraved with a heron. The woman, whose name had been Iwa, would then tell her that he hadn't been working alone, and that Seiren's father had exchanged words with the man wielding the unique gunblade, though no one had wanted to get close enough to hear the contents of their conversation. Iwa would go on to say that Seiren's father's execution had been quick and merciless, and that the Imperial soldiers had left as quickly as they came, leaving Ujikata's corpse behind as if they intended for it to serve as some sort of warning to the denizens of the small fishing village.
It was from there that Seiren began to leash the grief running rampant through her heart, hiding it in some deep, dark place in the furthest reaches of her soul, never to see the light of day again. As her tears dried, she began to sharpen herself, little by little, honing her soft edges until nothing remained but pointed ends and flat planes, covered in a veneer of charisma and allure co-opted from her time spent among the women of Kugane's pillowhouses.