Raven was born in a covenant in Italy, apprenticed there, and raised there. This lead to her picking up Latin before her apprenticeship. Mostly "Vulgar" Latin, a bastardized pigeon of a language which has picked up influences from Arabic and Italian, plus mutated a little on its own. But she did get enough scolding to also pick up some "Proper" Latin. The Bonisagus who apprenticed her (technically snatched her right after she had her arts opened), Crow, was a (usually) kindly fellow, but he demanded a reasonable amount of work out of her during her apprenticeship. He defaulted to vis extraction when he didn't need Raven's assistance in the lab. This was actually common, since he was more of a reader and theoretical arguer than a lab rat. The flip side of that is his spells are powerful and good at cutting through Parma. He is also the Tribunal's top hermetic lawyer although he tends to charge a lot, multiple rooks frequently. He had a belief that pumping too much magical knowledge and power into an apprentice during apprenticeship would lead to a vain, irresponsible and frivolous magus that also possessed dangerous levels of power. Raven was socially aware enough to realize he was probably complaining about someone, or possibly someones.
He complained a lot actually. He complained about his fellow House members who weren't open enough when it came to sharing research. He complains about Tytalus being a prime target for the infernal. He complained just a little about House Merinita hording secrets of Faerie Magic. He actually liked House Merinita and had several Merinita friends and thought less of the other Mystery houses. The only complaints he managed to get anyone to take seriously were directed at several members of House Tremere, essentially he was able to prove them guilty of all conspiring together to scry. The other members of House Tremere made some threats on the behalf of the accused to Crow, which Crow revealed to the Tribunal which really angered a good number of other magi as well. The Quaesitors in particular weren't fond of that and ultimately those Tremere got kicked out of the Tribunal after getting fined.
When the Tremere tried to follow through on their threats they really screwed up. Three Tremere war specialists declared Wizard's War on every member of Crow's covenant. The covenant didn't have anywhere near the kind of strength they needed to fight that off, but Crow was a tricky sort with a plan. Several plans actually. The one that actually bore fruit was the nastiest of the bunch. Several Quaesitors were lured to the covenant with promises of further evidence against the Tremere. Furthermore it became known to the Tremere that Crow and several magi in his covenant could shapeshift and impersonate people. When the Tremere attacked they fired liberally on the covenant and hit one of the Quaesitors. The Quaesitor began casting before the Tremere all responded by attacking before he could finish his spell. The remaining Quaesitors rendered two of the Tremere unconscious and the third fled when he recognized the Sigils.
Crow did not spare the surviving Tremere. One of the magi they declared war on was a mentem specialist and forced the Tremere to confess to any crimes they committed and any crimes they had knowledge of to the Quaesitors. More members of House Tremere were implicated, and several magi they were blacking were implicated as well. Then he got their Sanctum defenses and finally hollowed out their minds. The Tremere Sanctums were looted and finally the two captured Tremere were killed. The surviving Quaesitors were apoplectic about basically all of it
The surviving Quaesitors managed to have them all brought up on charges at the next tribunal. The one surviving Tremere, every member of Crow's covenant, and the people the late Tremere implicated. Crow's gang was acquitted by a wide margin. None of the Tremere were actually Marched, but they were banned from the Roman Tribunal by a very nearly unanimous vote. To make it worse for the Tremere, the Quaesitors got a member of House Tremere to be the complainant against Crow and the other covenant members.
The other members of Crow's covenant hired Crow to be their advocate. He gave them a discount, but he still charged enough that it was a lot. When everyone from Crow's covenant was acquitted that meant the accusing Tremere had to pay their "costs". She had to pay Crow's fees. Since that would have made her a debt slave for the rest of her life House Tremere paid Crow. Ironically that was the thing that really made Crow's reputation take a nose dive. Another magus getting drawn into the cross-fire of a Wizard's War is tragic, and cruel if it was part of a trap, but not a great tale. When you add in that Crow then leveraged that to get rich? That burns through the grapevine and slants everything just so. The story boils down to "Crow bankrupted the grief stricken Maga who, foolishly, tried to bring charges for setting up a situation that killed a Quaesitor." Then tales of his exploits as a lawyer grow, then totally bogus rumors start up and you have a terribly slandered Magus.
But Raven's apprenticeship had some real bright points too. She met a Muslim merchant, Asad ibn Shahjahan, who frequented Italy, deals with the Order Hermes and was rather fascinated by magic in general. The man has saved up enough money to more or less retire. He also thinks the culture in Thebes is rather nice. He also likes it when women are competent and productive. He convinced Raven to convert, not that she was really that religious before and married her. She's his second wife. The first wife is Lubaba al-Kutubi. He's really encouraged moving to Meru Mudi actually.
The second bright point is her friendship with Digger. He's a magical animal. Raven thinks he's a type of dragon-kin, probably a worm or possibly a serpent. Digger technically isn't his real name, but its not actually possible for most humans to pronounce it. Digger's real name is a strange hissing, clicking growl. She calls him Digger because of his Muto Corpus powers that lets him dig into a humans flesh without harming the human and hide there. He can also use their senses if he chooses. Asad and Raven love Digger, Lubaba thinks Digger is somewhat creepy, and a handful of other people are polite enough to humor Raven, but mostly they think he's horrifying.
So Raven hates politics. She hates Wizard's Wars. She dislikes conflicts between magi. She understands that those Tremere magi were criminals, and not representative of the House, but she isn't overly fond of Tremere. Similarly, she isn't fond of the entire Roman Tribunal and would like to be well away from there. She's heard good things about the Theban Tribunal. More conciliatory there. Apparently they have so much vis they invented a new currency! Her husband really likes the idea, so that's also important. She spent a year getting ready. Binding her familiar, writing a book to bring as a gift and sample and now she's off!
Note: Raven is more or less unaware of her Paren's reputation. It has some truth, but its largely based off rumors and spin, and this means its actually better in the Roman Tribunal than the Theban.
[center][size=150]Virtues and Flaws[/size][/center]
Ravens Gift is strange. It bleeds the power of creation, which has both powers and negatives. Most obvious this gives her what most call the Gentle Gift. People aren't unsettled nor do they distrust her. Although one bleeding raw creation is Offensive to Demons. The energy has some tendency to collect in her body giving her, her own Personal Vis Source. When she actually uses her Gift it settles into the environment, restoring the surroundings as a Side Effect. Cracks can disappear, ink may become as new, or soil be restored. The unfortunate downside is when she actually tries to draw upon vis this same effect scatters a portion of it, causing her to Waste Vis. Possibly worse is that when she isn't using a spell formula carefully carved into her Gift by laboratory work, or only lightly tap her strength, she is unable to control her Chaotic Magic. She spent a significant amount of time trying to resolve this problem, which gave her an intuitive sense of magic going out of control which makes her other magic less risky. Most would assume this is because she is a Cautious Sorcerer, but that's only half right. For obvious reasons she shows Affinity for Creo
If someone asked her what her Magical Focus is she would say Digger, but Crow, Raven's Infamous Master could inform you he classifies it as a Minor Magical Focus on Dragons and Dragon-kin. He would then continue to go into esoteric theory until you stopped him or it became time to renew his Parma. Raven hasn't truly realized how badly Crow's victory in the Wizard War and subsequent legal case played with the Order at large, or how twisted rumors could become. This isn't the only thing she doesn't understand. Her Covenant Upbringing means she doesn't really understand any Living Language that exists outside of a few covenants in Italy. She's probably in for a bigger shock when she finds out the Divine religions fight among themselves!
She appears to be Unaging since she turned 21. Asad ibn Shahjahan got her a "Youth tincture" which he thought was just some form of weak stimulant on her 21st Birthday (and one for his first wife). They no longer appear to get older. He's noticed it, but no one else has.
Raven is also a fan of her Small Frame. Sure, it means she's weak and slow, but that means her husband is just the right amount taller than her, and his hands can hold her just so. She suspects its responsible for her endurance as well which in turn aids spell casting somehow.
Raven is a very good writer thanks to Crow's lessons on how to write. This also makes her a Good Teacher.
While she was being raised at the covenant she mostly only learned "Divine=Good Religion". She has since converted to Islam. She isn't particularly pious, and basically everything she knows about Islam is from Asad. Asad isn't very pious either. He occasionally, lightly, partakes of intoxicants such as alcohol actually. Raven though essentially uses Islam as an excuse to avoid intoxicants. She usually prays 4-5 times a day, before and after the Parma Ritual, and sometimes one during the day as well. The one thing Asad does do well is charity, which he does cheerfully.