Seraphina Summers was an artist of many skills. She played the violin like no other (and rarely let the instrument out of her sight) and wrote and drew her own line of graphic novels (best sellers, of course.) She was on a book tour one day when a [very handsome] man, who appeared close to Seraphina's own age of 28, stood up and asked her to play her violin. She thought it a mildly odd request, but obliged gladly, playing her rendition of her favorite song. The gathered crowd lauded her with a standing ovation.
After the event was over, and the crowd was almost gone, the man approached Seraphina with a smile, introducing himself as Arun. Seraphina returned his smile and shook his hand and asked him if he wanted a signed copy or had questions. Arun said no; he was wondering if she would be willing to have dinner with him that night. Seraphina, not knowing what else to do, agreed.
Two weeks later, down in scorching hot Augusta, Georgia, Arun and Seraphina ran into each other at a popular British-style pub. Seraphina had a bit too much to drink, as did Arun, and, as these things always go, stuff happened, sheets were wrinkled, and a baby was made. Arun stayed around while Seraphina was pregnant, and they were happy, but he left soon after Tori was born.
Seraphina got married to a kind man when Tori was six months old.
Tori had a...rather traumatic childhood. Her stepdad never paid her much attention, even when she came home from school in tears almost every day--the bullies there didn't care that she was small, or a girl, only that she wasn't strong enough to fight back. Her mother held her when she cried and rocked her to sleep and even took the issue to the principal, but nothing got done. And so, at the tender age of ten, Seraphina found her daughter a good martial arts instructor in her home town of Augusta, Georgia, one that was close to home, and enrolled both herself and her daughter in classes. Tori became really good, really fast, and soon the bullies learned their lesson (and Tori had to change schools.)
Tori met her first monster at twelve years old. She is very fond of walks in the woods, camping out, etc., so one cool fall night when she and her mother were on a camping trip, she snuck out and went for a walk along the creek. The moon was new, so Tori couldn't see what was moving in the shadows until the thing tackled her. The creature was humanoid and pale with very sharp teeth.
Tori, of course, screamed and asked the creature what the he!! it was.
"I am Mormo," it said, "and you, little girl, have been a bad child." And then it lunged its mouth at her face.
Tori brought her hands up to block it, scratching at its face and yelling with every bite her arms ended up with.
Seraphina (yes, she can see through the Mist), though, had good ears and an even better kicking leg, and ran to her daughter's rescue, kicking the Mormo-thingy off of Tori and half-dragging her, half-leading her to the truck where she proceeded to spirit her to the hospital.
At fourteen, Tori and her mother were attacked in their brand new car by a flock of harpies. The only thing that saved them was driving the car into the lake. (Talk about a traumatic experience.)
Tori, at the age of 15, encountered her second monster in the form of...a hellhound! She was taking a shortcut home through the woods from the dojo she studied at when a giant (giant) black dog materialized out of the shadows and pounced for her. She rolled out of the way and untangled her bo staff from the vines on the ground. The hellhound, not expecting Tori to be that fast, ran headlong into a tree, dazing itself. Tori took her window and sprinted away, but the dog shadow-traveled, popping up right behind her, and tackled her. Its claws ripped the skin on her back, and then again on her chest when she struggled onto her back and so she could shove the end of her staff into the creature's eye. The hellhound, after and anguished yelp, poofed into gold dust. Tori soon fainted from pain and blood loss.
Seraphina found her daughter soon after, and immediately called an ambulance and rushed her to the hospital, where she made a full (and unnaturally fast) recovery. While visiting Tori in the hospital, Seraphina revealed Tori's true father.
After Tori was released from the hospital, Seraphina got her in the care and started driving up to New York, making a weeklong pit stop in DC to arrange things with a friend. While exploring the parts of DC near where she and her mother were staying, Tori encountered a small skate park--and the group (club?) of girls, lead by someone named Max Grey, that hung out there. During her time in DC, Tori really hit it off with those girls, especially Max (who Tori harbors a secret crush on). Once Seraphina had cleared everything up with her friend, she got Tori safely to camp.