the hideaway healer
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By all appearances, Keyshia is an... honestly bland young woman. She's mild-mannered, trustworthy, and hardworking, she doesn't have a mean bone in her body, and shenever seems to break from her formal way of speaking. Those that see her that way would be mostly right — however, under that unassuming veneer is someone who's smart as a whip and stubborn as a mule. She's surprisingly quick-witted and perceptive, with keen eyes and a sharp tongue, and fiercely protective of those around her. Too bad almost no one sees that side of her — she's terminally anxious and insecure, and rendered naive and embittered by her experiences, and so she keeps everyone at arm's length. She also has a tendency to get too absorbed in her work, so she wouldn't notice if you were trying to get close to her anyway.
Keyshia Fields spent her formative years in a small house in a small mining town. Her father, Marcus, was a hard-working, reliable man who was the pillar of the community. Her barely-seen mother, in contrast, was a flighty, erratic person who flitted in and out of her life at random, often disappearing for months or years at a time. Marcus did his best to eke out a living for his only child, and the two led a peaceful, humdrum life together. The peace was shattered when Keyshia turned 16 — he died of a mysterious illness, leaving Keyshia to get his final affairs in order.
On the eve of Marcus's funeral, her mother appeared on their doorstep once again as if nothing happened. Seemingly unconcerned with the death of her child's father, she instead announces that she has "great news". She reveals her true identity as Naseile Allwood, Archfae of the Seelie Court, and with Marcus's death, she was free to take Keyshia to the Realm of the Fae to raise her as she saw fit. Keyshia barely had enough time to say "wait, what!?" before Naseile had whisked them both away to the Realm.
Thus began several years of hell. The magic of the Realm was noxious and overripe, and she went from healthy and hale to sickly and lethargic in almost no time. Her father's death weighed heavily on her, but Naseile either never noticed or never cared. Instead, Naseile stole Keyshia's name and used it as leverage to force her to do whatever she wanted, christening her with a fae name in its stead. She willfully threw her daughter into lessons and training, exhausting her child in her struggle to keep up. It crossed the captive teen's mind to try to reach out to the other members of the Court for help, but it was soon apparent she was shit out of luck — Naseile was praised for the successful results of her "experiment", but otherwise the newcomer was treated with unmasked contempt by the xenophobic nobles.
Things only got worse when her healing ability showed itself. The formerly disdainful fae suddenly scrambled to get into her good graces, desperate to ease their pain and halt their bodies' decay. Naseile jumped at the chance to use her daughter's ability to her advantage, dangling the promise of relief over their heads and twisting their arms to get what she wanted. To put the cherry on top, the suddenly-designated healer was far too weak to handle the strain her power put on her body, and she became bedridden every time she used it.
With the young noble spending so much time in Naseile's research workshops and laboratories, she came to know them like the back of her hand — or so she thought. On a rare day on her own, she wandered to one of the workshops in the deepest part of the mansion and discovered a fairy ring, inert but fully intact. Bolstered by her discovery and her simmering hate of the Realm and everyone in it, she decided to do everything in her power to activate the ring and escape back to Earth.
Every scrap of time she had to herself became an opportunity. She devoured any and every spellbook she could and rifled through Naseile's notes for any morsel of info she could use. She was able to worm her way into Naseile's storerooms under the guise of cataloguing what was inside, mentally bookmarking what would help her while she did so. Naseile gleefully praised her daughter for finally making an effort in her studies; said daughter simply smiled and bided her time until she could put her plan into action.
When the young noble's chance came she leapt for it — while a massive ball was happening on one end of the grounds, she was gathering the items from the storeroom and making a beeline for the fairy ring on the other end. A few magic-laden words and a ritual later, the ring exploded with energy, opening the way to Earth. Naseile, finally getting wise to her scheme, chose this time to barge in and attempt to drag her away, but she twisted from her mother's grasp at the last second. Keyshia took some sweet, sweet satisfaction out of her last sight of the Realm as she fell through the ring: Naseile's normally calm visage twisted in outrage, caught in the middle of a furious scream.
Now settled in Vivariiium, Keyshia lives her life as normally as any other citizen... but with a constant gaze over her shoulder. Despite knowing there's no way Naseile would know where she is, she can't help but be distressed at the thought of her mother suddenly appearing again, throwing her life off its axis like all those years ago. Maybe one day she will be able to let her worry go. Perhaps. Possibly. Probably.