Severa was born in Werlyt, her mother was a local woman and her father was a pure-blooded Garlean and a member of the occupation forces. Her father's position granted her imperial citizenship. Severa and her mother were shunned by the people of Werlyt, who treated them as badly as the Garleans. Severa decided to become an imperial soldier for her position would somehow deter those who despised her mother, even if only out of fear. Severa gained temporary acceptance. Her superiors blamed her "savage" lineage for any mistakes, and instead of wasting time in official courts-martial, they administered their own form of corporal punishment.
Eventually Severa was assigned to the XIIth Imperial Legion and fought under Zenos yae Galvus in Ala Mhigo. In the chaos that followed the defeat, Severa seized the opportunity and fled to Werlyt. Although her mother suffered from health problems and depended on medicine to keep her alive, in Severa's absence the Garleans denied her treatment, claiming it would be wasted on savages. When Severa returned, there was nothing she could do. Having no more reason to remain in Werlyt, Severa fled so that the Imperials would not discover the reason for her return or she would be punished for desertion. It was then that in her aimless flight she met Gaius.
When Alphinaud's airship is shot down in the Burn, Gaius appears alongside Severa and Valdeaulin to help him. Gaius identifies himself only as "Shadowhunter" and says only that he is hunting the Ascians and that he has a history with the Scions of the Seventh Dawn. With no other travel options available, Alphinaud agrees to accompany them as he continues on his way to Garlemald.
The party stops at an outpost where they find several corpses, the remains of people killed by the Black Rose. Gaius scolds the Garleans for using technology he thought abandoned before admitting it was likely Ascian involvement. Gaius' group infiltrates the Balck Rose production facility and destroys all the chemical stocks, even though it is only a temporary solution. During the infiltration they discover a series of cloned bodies of a young Emperor Solus. Eventually Alphinaud loses his conscience and Gaius personally takes him back to the Scions, where he reveals his findings as well as information about Emet-Selch and the Ascian hierarchy.
Gaius and his companions continued infiltrating and destroying the Magitek facility to destroy the Black Rose vestigius. Eventually Estinien invades the same facility as them and after meeting, they and form a temporary alliance. They infiltrate the Imperial Palace in the capital of Garlemald only to find a trail of bodies and Gaius asks Sevaria and Valdeaulin to find out what had happened. Gaius and Estinien follow to the throne room and discover that the person responsible for the massacre was Zenos yae Galvus, and they witness the murder of Emperor Varis zos Galvus. While escaping from the palace, they find out about the resumption of the Weapons project.