Ruthenia was born in the laboratory where her parents, Lita Kyril and Ira Cendina, worked. Lita and Ira met, married and made love in the lab, their devotion to each other eclipsed by their devotion to their jobs.
She was always in proximity of academic material on engineering and material science, and began reading their textbooks avidly from a very young age. But because of their all-consuming devotion to their work, she often went through long periods of neglect, sometimes locked in the attic to keep her hidden from professional visitors.
That neglect reached its logical conclusion when both parents were martyred, after their project was deemed in direct defiance of the word of Ihir (God of the Sky) and the then-diarchs signed a law condemning them to death. This event kickstarted the backlash that eventually saw the then-diarchs ousted, and thereafter her parents were known by all as either revolutionary heroes or treacherous heretics. Shortly before they died, they gave Ruthenia the umbrella that she has since learned to fly upon.
Parents' property reacquired by the government, Ruthenia took to living on the streets for four years, until she found herself at the door of an old family friend Titanio. Titanio gave her employment as a mechanic, and guardianship, in a contract combining the two. By his financing, she is now enrolled in an uptown school in the Central Circle, where she meets and spurns the highborn on a daily basis.