So Cordelia would be treated to the sweetest stories of her father, however vague and short they were. A brief three-sentence epic about how he'd surprised her with her favorite flowers, or about the time they snuck away for some peace and quiet. However much she could learn about the other men in her mother's life, her mother would talk about her father the least.
Cordelia had a rather tragic understanding as to why, it was clear her mother didn't want to talk about the one time that running away cost her dearly. Or maybe she just didn't want Cordelia to hate her. The small redhead never could hate her, she could hardly hate anyone, though she didn occasionally hold resentment to being kept from details about the most important man in her life.
Ultimately, she could put the pieces and anecdotes together. The total was clear. Her mother had entered a love affair. It grew too serious. Before long, she got too scared and ran away without knowing she got pregnant.
Okay, so maybe in the back of her mind Cordelia understood she had good reason to be upset with her mother. However, as she grew up, Cordelia so often had her head in the clouds, she supposed she'd determined her own path from the beginning. As many openings as she had to question the "everything is fine" narrative her mother would build around her, Cordelia much preferred to live a life believing she had nothing to fear. Even as they spent the days doing everything to keep food on the table, Cordelia let herself live in fairy tales and legends. She followed the news of the royals to distract herself, imagining what it would be like to be rich and important.
The delusions were just strong enough that the real world become second to her visions. She was growing up in hard times. As much as that realization tried to permeate her understanding of reality, she fought that narrative until it ceased to exist.
She fought it so hard that the loss of her mother, when she was only 10, barely dented her illusion. For weeks, she sobbed uncontrollably, even hospitalized when it became clear that she was not present enough for self care. Her fantasy was not strong enough to overcome this trauma, and it only made her cling to delusion even harder.
It wasn't until she faced the turth for about an hour of her time that she found a new purpose to color her irrational mind: pursuit. If she engaged in a search, everything would fall into place. The only way out of being parentless was to find herself a new parent. Her father seemed like the best place to start. Her mother had tried once in the past to track down her father before she chickened out. Braced with that information, Cordelia wrote out a twisted plan to be executed the moment she found an opening.
Braced with her new fantasy, she found a way to cope with the world around her even as she was transferred to an orphanage. She recovered from her hospital stay for a month, gathering what information she could and putting away whatever money she could find.
Sustaining her health and looking for clues without getting caught was two very time-heavy tasks that neared impossible considering she had to live off the wilderness. It took her months just to get breadcrumbs of information. Putting enough money together to pursue her father took years of time, interrupted constantly whenever she was caught on the street and sent back to the nearest orphanage, interrupting her efforts and stealing her resources.
Every capture was such a major set back it'd take her months to escape and recover her losses. Eventually four years had passed and she'd hit her first real hint at the truth, a strange continent by the name of Lairea. Narrowing down to a whole continent was nowhere near the kind of progress she'd hoped to make by now, but at least luck had been on her side this time. Telling the truth for the first time in years, Cordelia talked her way onto a fisherman's boat, the path set for a country named Samavia. As she arrives, she hopes the continent will be friendlier than her old home. It's no love lost for her to have left. However, as she enters Lairea, the idea of actually planting some roots is very engrained in her mind after years of loneliness.
Talkative - Cordelia has lied and twisted her way out of arrests, capture, bad situations. She knows just how to escape or win any situation with her words. Or at least, she can give it a really good try. It is so natural to her to exaggerate every circumstance. It's not a trip to the distant grocery store - it's a perilous scavenge for the means of survival. It's not just important - the future depends entirely upon this very moment in time.
Impolite - Burning daylight is her worst nightmare. Cordelia is always in a rush to move to the next activity. She has not been taught much in the way of proper society, so she has a tendency to come off as too frank or often rude. She says the first thing on her mind without hesitance and isn't afraid to call things how she sees them.
Smart - Every year, she gets caught and brought back to an orphanage. No matter how often she is caught, she always succeeds in escaping her circumstances. Cordelia reads very often, having looked to local libraries as her only source of entertainment in the years that she was on her own. She would turn to libraries for her day-time residence since she couldn't go to school. Her education was entirely based on her time reading.
Gullible - Cordelia is very trusting and that is often her greatest flaw. She believes in the good in all people. She thinks people will change if you give them enough chances. Even if she does take it very personality when she gets hurt, she's likely to trust that same person again if she gets hurt.
Inferior - If you want a textbook example of an inferiority complex, you'll find one in Cordelia. Despite being very competent, she only seems to see the worst in herself. In simple conversation, she'll begin listing her faults and find plenty before anyone can stop her. People can be as nice to her as they want, but it'll take proof to make her think any more of herself. Often surrounded by people who made her feel like she had no purpose, it's very easy for her to think back to those times and let them determine her self worth. She doesn't doubt her intellectuality, she just has a low self-esteem about everything else.
Wild - Cordelia is one with nature. She is a viciously determined runner with her mind in the trees, connected to the earth the way one is with family. When she had no answers, it was like the birds sang her hints and motivation to go on. She lived in natural dwellings for years, used to foraging. To this day, more refined foods are unsettling to her stomach. Because of that, she has a love-hate relationship with luxury. For example, she loves gold but jewelry feels strange to wear. Cordelia's favorite colors are connected to the fall, since she loves green, white and orange.