Vaea was raised in the alienage of Edgehall. When she was nine, her parents were killed when the elves residing there rebelled against the arl, Gell Lendon. Living alone, she turned to theft to survive. Her uncle Coran, a city elf-turned-Dalish, always invited her to live with him and the Boranehn clan, to no avail.
Coran often returned to the alienage to trade. While there, Coran advised Vaea that not all humans are bad, and that the problem is that humans are driven to change their world while elves are more willing with live with it as it exists, and that to do otherwise invites murder or death.
During the Fifth Blight, the alienage's walls were damaged due to it being located outside of the town. When the elves asked their arl to build sturdier walls around the alienage, he ordered his soldiers to cut down the elves' Vhenadahl to put them in their place. Coran's new clan offered a sapling for a new Vhenadahl, but the arl confiscated it before it could reach the alienage.
Coran and his clan visited the alienage, and proposed a peaceful demonstration of force to compel the Arl to return the sapling. Vaea disagreed with the plan and instead encouraged the elves to take up arms against the arl. They refused, reminding her that many died, including her parents, the last time the elves took up arms against their arl. Vaea decided to act alone, sneaking into the arl's keep and successfully stealing the sapling. Upon leaving the town, however, she found the alienae in flames. Some of the alienage elves, supported by the Dalish - including Vaea's uncle - decided to heed Vaea's call and attack the arl's soldiers. The elven casualties were heavy, and the soldiers set fire to the cut down Vhenadahl. Coran was among the casualties.
A knight errant, Ser Aaron Hawthorne, happened to be in Edgehall at the time and managed to prevent further violence and negotiate for the return of the sapling. King Alistair later ordered the newly planted tree to be protected and has forbidden the arl to touch it.The elves there threw Aaron a feast. Their kindness and generosity impressed so much that he took Vaea on as a squire in hopes her successes would be shared with her people.
Some 13 years later (around 9:44 Dragon), Vaea, now a grown woman, is still travelling with Ser Aaron. They arrive in Kirkwall for the official coronation of Varric Tethras as Viscount. Varric invites Vaea to the celebration, but she politely refuses, saying that she has things to do first. A few hours later, Vaea goes to The Hanged Man, where she meets a templar, Nevin Faramore. Ser Nevin hires her to steal a box that contains the bribes some parties had given to Knight-Commander Meredith Stannard before the Kirkwall Rebellion. The coffer is hidden in the Gallows. The job is easy, and Vaea successfully steals the box from right under the city guard's noses.
Varric, who suspects she is doing something fishy, goes to search for her and insists in his invitation. This time, Vaea cannot refuse. After the celebration, Vaea sneaks into Ser Nevin's house and steals the coffer's key from him. Instead of returning the box to him, she travels to Kirkwall Alienage and gifts it to a grateful elven family. Before she leaves the alienage, however, Vaea is approached by Leliana's second-in-command Charter, who accuses her of theft.
Using this knowledge, Charter demands that Vaea rescue two Inquisition agents who have been taken prisoner in Starkhaven, warning her that they will be eliminated if they can't be rescued. Wary of becoming a pawn in someone else's fight, Vaea declines, stating that she does not choose where she goes, but instead she follows Ser Aaron. Charter answers that Aaron can be pointed towards Starkhaven. She also says she can help Vaea with Ser Nevin.
Upon arriving back in Ser Aaron's bedroom, she attempts to wake him up to make them leave the city, before he learns of her theft. When she struggles to wake the drunk knight, Ser Nevin enters, determined to pay her back for the theft. A fight ensues in which Nevin ends up hanging from a pole, about to drop to his death. Vaea takes pity on him and pulls him up. As soon as he is safe, she hits him over the head, knocking him out. Shortly after, Ser Aaron wakes up on his own, stating that they need to get ready to travel as he's received a birthday party invitation from Sebastian Vael, prince of Starkhaven. Vaea recognizes that Charter has outplayed her and forced her hand into accepting her offer.Varric accompanies Vaea and Ser Aaron to Starkhaven. On the way, he reveals that he secured their invitations to Sebastian's birthday party, and that though he's not officially part of the Inquisition anymore, he doesn't turn his back on his friends. He also provides Vaea with a map of Sebastian's keep. Upon arriving in Starkhaven, Vaea is mistaken for a servant by Seneschal Granger, but graciously welcomed by Sebastian. While Ser Aaron attends the feast with Varric, Vaea successfully jailbreaks the Inquisition agents, Marius and Tessa Forsythia. They tell her that their mission was to steal a notebook of study on red lyrium from Sebastian, and ask her to complete their mission for them, as the injuries they received upon their capture prevent them from doing so. Vaea initially refuses, but after overhearing Ser Aaron's unwitting defense of her thefts, changes her mind. After safely putting Marius and Tessa on a carriage back to Kirkwall, Vaea prepares to steal the journal.
- The tree featured on the cover of issue #2 depicts a Vhenadahl entwined with Vaea's image.
- Varric's nickname for Vaea is "Fingers".