She was extremely manipulative, gathering allies as she needed them and discarding them as soon as they lost their usefulness. Though she put on the airs of a rich noble, she despised those born into wealth.
Vanifer was born in the poorest quarter of Calimport, surviving only by her cunning wits. She learned to dance for coin, slowly working her way up to the bedchambers of the city's nobles and learning fire magic to distinguish herself from others. She eventually became a pasha's concubine, but hated him despite his lavish affections. She robbed him of a small fortune and left, setting his palace ablaze as she fled.
She fled first to Zazesspur, but when the pasha's agents found her she continued to Baldur's Gate. She opened a school for dancers, and when her talent with fire attracted other sorts of students she turned them into a cult of fire worshipers. She led the cult for several years before she began to receive visions that compelled her to seek out a lost temple beneath the Sumber Hills. There she found a magical dagger known as Tinderstrike imbued with the power of the primordial Imix, Prince of Evil Fire. She quickly went from worshiping fire in general to worshiping Imix in particular, establishing a new chapter of her Cult of the Eternal Flame in the area by 1491 DR