Tort was an orphan girl in the employ of an older, fat man named Grummen, also known as “Grumpy.” Fully grown, Tort stood about five-foot-six, with brown hair and brown eyes. As a child, her occupation was primarily as diversion for an older, more proficient child. While she attracted attention, another child would steal something. During the course of her employment, she incurred an injury to her foot; as she fled from an irate victim, she ducked under a moving wagon and it rolled over her foot, crushing it. Under normal circumstances, this would have been the end of her. Too poor to afford the appropriate offering at a temple, she would have died on the streets if not for her partner, Riddle. Riddle was quite fond of Tort and felt guilty about the botched thievery that led to her attempt to flee. He did what he could to help her, even secreting her in an attic of the dilapidated structure used as a headquarters by Grummen. Unfortunately, the only medical help he could provide was a rough amputation of the ruined foot. Tort survived the operation, but the conditions of her recovery environment were not ideal.
After encountering Eric and Tamara, Tort’s condition improved markedly. Adequately fed, suitably disinfected, and hygienic for the first time in her life, Tort thrived under their care. Tort was the first person to refer to Eric as an “angel,” or arhia. Eric disagreed, privately, but accepted her assertion with a mental reservation: Angel of Death. She was also the last person to see him before his departure from the mountain to face Tobias.
After the Incident at the Edge of the World, Tort became an apprentice magician to T’yl. Her studies were not entirely accepted by Raeth, acting in loco parentis. He tried to arrange a suitable marriage for her, but she refused, even going so far as to threaten to chop off her hand if he insisted on giving her hand in marriage. “You promise my hand in marriage to someone and the hand is what he will get!” Raeth finally accepted her status as an apprentice magician and made no further attempts to force her into his vision of her future. She grew to be a surprisingly powerful and proficient magician, despite the prevailing prejudices against females in Rethven and T’yl’s distaste for female magic-workers.
Once Eric recovered from the Incident, Tort was his chief adviser, court magician, and magical right hand. As a grown woman, she still remembered her angel and loved him. Even when Eric did stupid things–and he does them with surprising frequency–Tort has always remained staunchly in his corner, willing to do whatever may be necessary for the good of her angel. During this time, Eric developed the copy-paste regeneration spell, allowing a body to regrow lost parts if a corresponding part was still available–a left foot could be grown if there was a right foot to reverse and copy. Tort did get her foot back, replacing the partially-animated false foot she enchanted as a replacement.
Tort was instrumental in rescuing Eric from the possession by the Demon King, as well as the key factor in imprisoning the entity. The imprisonment of this entity required the use of a soul, which Tort willingly supplied. The spell was altered, however, so that it only used most of Tort’s soul, drawing the remainder of its force from several sacrificial animals magically tied into the circuit. This allowed Tort to survive the process, albeit with a greatly diminished personal spirit.
In later life, Tort resided in Kamshasa, in a large house in the province of Kashmanir. She died happily, however, in the arms of her angel, finishing her life as she had lived it. However, the Lord of Shadow forbade the Grey Lady from taking Tort’s soul, or what remained of it, by claiming the Right of Adoration. The exact nature of the Karvalen afterlife is not known, but the Lord of Shadow apparently made use of an unexpected loophole, if the Grey Lady’s reaction is any indication. He claims Eric will see Tort again, as soon as her care, nurture, and possibly reconstruction is complete–a project that may take some time, especially since the Lord of Shadow has never done this sort of work before.