Ia is a very slender, bony woman of average height. She has a consumptive pallor and dark brown hair worn in a fashionable pompadour. Light grey, deepset, and often sorrowful eyes are usually accentuated by black eye makeup. Her face itself is round, with a Roman nose and not a blemish in sight. She wears mostly black and occasionally shades of grey, purple and blue, slowly trying to dig herself out of the years-long period of mourning she's been in.
Anyone who's known her for longer than a moment will say that Ia has always been willful. She maintains she learned it from her father - Narcyz Grey, an enigmatic, self-made businessman of English stock who struck it rich running a parlour house in Devil's Bluff, a small but noteworthy town out West. Ia, or so she tells it, never had the fortune to meet her mother - and cared little to know anything about her. She had plenty of "real" mothers, the ladies of the Parlour House and surrounding town, who raised her like their own daughter.
As a girl, she received the best of everything the world could offer. Private tutors, fine clothes, and a finishing school education befitting her station. Despite this, she was never allowed to become accustomed to the comfortable life her father's wealth afforded her. He, coming from a humble background, was intent his daughter wouldn't lose touch with their origins - and the lives of those around them. This seeded in her a profound respect for the average man, and though she would sometimes find herself in situations where her political ideals weren't popular (and even mocked), she's always been an advocate for the rights of hardworking, honest people.
As she approached adulthood, that willfulness turned her against her family. She grew tired of the life she felt she was forced to lead, and her need to wander grew until it was too much for her to bear. She left home in search of adventure and excitement, and she certainly found it - with an outlaw, twenty years her senior, and plenty of skeletons in his closet for her to uncover. However, it turned out that he wasn't the man she thought - she was young, and a fool if her stories are to be believed. He ended up abandoning her in her hour of need, and through his negligence, she was committed to an asylum against her will.
She never quite recovered from the ordeal. Her life since then has been tumultuous at best, filled with strife, bad decisions, and tragic accidents. One such accident was the death of her husband.
Tadhg 'Thy' Aderyn was the love of her life. He was an honest and hardworking man, a recent immigrant from Wales who had found work driving carts for a tobacco farmer. She was, at the time, sequestered in a convent and ready to take her vows to become a nun, but her plans fell through upon meeting him. They were married within a few months, and were saving money to purchase land on which they hoped to build a small ranch. As it turned out, this was not to be. Their dreams died with him - as he was hanged without trial barely a year into their marriage, for a crime he didn't commit.
For many years, bitterness and rage consumed her. All she desired, all she thought about in her waking hours was vengeance. To punish those who had wronged her, and the men who were responsible for her husband's death. Eventually, she did get her revenge - though it left a foul taste in her mouth. Nothing changed. Her husband was still gone, and nothing could bring him back to her.
The anger twisted into grief and sadness, which she tried to soothe through the use of various substances and reckless behaviors, none of which helped in the least.
Presently, Ia travels throughout Eastern New Alexandria, selling various goods, spiritualist services, and posing as an Oracle - a venture her ambiguous, Eastern-European name gives her an advantage in.
July 17th, 1870
American, Unknown Heritage
Narcyz Grey (father)
Does As She Pleases (Traveling Spiritualist)
Ia, Mrs. Aderyn, Moondrop