So, Silveroak, would this pre-apprenticeship backstory be acceptable:
Her family was Christian, living outside of Tripoli, decided they did not like living under Muslim rule and moved to Malta when she was 6-ish, before she could be discovered by Sahir (not that that factored into their reasoning). A Bjornaer found her on Malta and abducted her.
She is of Berber ethnicity and has the Fennec Fox as her heartbeast. Yes, I am aware this would mean her heartbeast sticks out like a sore thumb in Italy.