Athanasi was born and raised in 'the dark demonic woods, where the people practiced ancient melodies on homemade instruments, surrounded by abysmal poverty". She wound up in Hiberia, playing songs she wrote herself as well as traditional folk melodies.
At some point she met Dagda Vormund, who was a fellow minstrel at the time. They became friends, and it is implied they were once lovers before Vormund suddenly left without explanation.
When Vormund and a few of his disciples returned to the city two years later, they found Athanasi living in her dressing room at the Muse Theater with her lover, Cezar Montag. Through Montag, she was patronized by Neil Lars, the bishop of Hiberia.
The character was originally male and named "Dylan Athanasi" after the musician Bob Dylan.