Nadiushka, the daughter of Lukaska, king of Rshan, and Salduena, princess of Hnir, became accustomed early in life to heartbreak and disappointment when her older brother, Siddita, died on a bear hunt at the age of sixteen. Her only surviving sibling, Utnatim, then abandoned his duties to marry Enderlyn, a common entertainer, leaving the full weight of the monarchy on her head.

Nadiushka married a handsome and sincere younger son of the Baron of Uzna Minor, Lindolanen, but enjoyed only a few years of happiness before the family curse struck again. Lindolanen was killed on a snow bear hunt, leaving Nadiushka to raise her small son and unborn child alone. She banished her father-in-law, Rivok, from the south of Rshan (Kalas Nauhin) shortly after Lindolanen's death, but would never speak of her reasons.

Years later, when Nadiushka lost both her sons by Lindolanen, she spent many years in mourning while the kingdom of Rshan was without a royal heir. As she approached middle age, Nadiushka bowed to necessity and married Lankomir, Lindolanen's weak-willed half-brother.

Nadiushka detested Lankomir and would not suffer him in her presence after the wedding. Though she held some affection for her stepsons, Vladei and Eleferi, she would only meet with Lankomir twice yearly, both days purported to be highly favorable and fortunate times of the year for a woman to conceive. Her first child with Lankomir died in infancy. Finally, as she was approaching the end of her fertile years, she gave birth to Cestimir, a healthy son whom she protected fiercely for the rest of her life.