Marley Kraff is a half-elf bard, originally from the Free Lands.
In 1592 AC, Marley and her family fled their farm, with her friend Tap Gripptey, heading south towards Ozryn, in the kingdom of Ballentia, to get away from something called The Mountain Reaver.
Before reaching the city, Marley slipped away in the night, not satisfied with fleeing. Alone, she journeyed back towards the farm, but was captured by ogres, and knocked unconscious.
Marley awoke in a dark cell, and after a few days escaped only to find she was high up in the Western Slopes. Not knowing how to get back down the mountain alone, she instead journeyed to the temple city of Lunaris, the home of Tap's parents.
After a cold and treacherous trek on the mountain's western face, she arrived at the city to find that they had just successfully killed a stone giant, and an immense force of goblins, bugbears, and ogres. She entered the city's west gate, and immediately collapsed from exhaustion.
When she awoke in the west gate's guard barracks, she learned that the stone giant had been the Mountain Reaver. She searched through the city for Tap's parents, her only lifeline in this strange city, only to find that they had fled during the attack, hoping to find their son. Penniless, hungry, and out of options, Marley began playing her saxophone in the Lunaris streets.
A large gathering soon formed around her, enthralled by her music. When she finished playing, the crowd erupted in applause and offered her an abundance of coins. A halfling called Eric approached her and suggested she could probably stay at the Maltock Inn for free if she impresses the owner.
She stayed in Lunaris for a few more weeks, before deciding to join a peddler who was journeying to the northern kingdom of Cyress, and promised her he could arrange a gig with a noble and well-known patron of the arts.
It was in Kreyanta, the capital city of Cyress, where Marley found her new home for the next eight years. She surrounded herself with other musicians and performers, and had regular performance engagements, until Arkvale invaded and conquered the kingdom.
She left Kreyanta, deciding the time had come - after so many years - to find her lost family. Her best friend, Torriss, joined her on her journey, but he was murdered by Arkvale soldiers after they overheard him performing a song insulting Empress Tajna.