Atlas has never been the easiest place for a faunus to grow up. Selas was born there, the second child to an arctic wolf faunus man, sturdy and jovial, and a human Atlesian specialist woman, kind and disciplined. Her parents were always a bit of an unlikely pair, with her father having once been a bit of a troublemaker in the name of faunus rights, and her mother obviously representing Atlas's best, but overall, they gave Selas a stable and loving household as a child. She was never want for parental love or any physical needs, and one could say she had a certain life of privilege thanks to her mother's rank. Even still, being a faunus like her father, she experienced her own fair share of discrimination from humans with more elitist tendencies. In a very real way, she stood with a foot between two worlds.
On one hand, Selas received some of the best schooling available since her youngest childhood years. Being one to take after her mother intellectually--even inheriting her hereditary Semblance--Selas was capable of picking up textbook subjects with relative ease, and took to discipline relatively well. Her grades were perhaps not the best, but they were solid and put her above the average by no small margin. Hunger or menial labor was never a prospect she had to worry about. If anything, she was well on the path to becoming a Specialist like her mother, for she strove to prove herself as capable as anyone else.
On the other hand, prejudice and discrimination for being born as a faunus gave her no small amount of trouble. With a fiery heart like her father's, she couldn't let go of slights and bullying, whether real or perceived. Along with her brother, Brumal, Selas often found herself preoccupied with finding and employing various means of vengeance against the injustice she encountered. It often didn't end too well, and more than once ended up with her getting a black eye or straight up pummeled into the ground, being frail and physically weak.
More often than not, if a situation with Selas started, it was up to her mother to come in and smooth things over before things would die down. Exhibiting a certain brand of grace and kindness, even to the rudest of individuals, Selas's mother had a way of cooling tempers and building bridges. It was a skill that she constantly tried to teach Selas, but at least when she was young, it was largely unsuccessful.
By the time Selas reached her second year in Helios, however, Selas's attitude had begun to change. Bit by bit, she came to have an understanding that, however wrong it was, a lot of the prejudice she'd experienced was born of fear or pain. Many humans caused faunus suffering with a misinformed notion of superiority. This was still true. However, many faunus also caused humans suffering as well--just as she had in her sometimes overzealous attempts at vengeance. Much worse, some humans had lost family or friends to extremist attacks. She'd begun realizing that people were people, and that if she left herself unchecked, she could very easily end up as yet another reason some humans hated faunus like herself.
By the time of her third and fourth years in Helios, Selas's reputation had improved as she began to display some of her mother's grace here and there. While she still found herself sarcastically bickering with people at times, she no longer got herself in trouble. The added maturity also helped her focus more on improving her grades, bringing her near the top of her classes in Helios,
Some of this was challenged during the attack at the Vytal Festival Tournament. She had not attended, but she remembered watching the news with as much horror as anyone else; her brother, who had attended as a first year Atlas Academy student, disappeared without a trace. Despite her own grieving and her compassion for those affected, some people automatically presumed she must have approved of the White Fang's actions. Others stated her brother disappeared because he'd helped take down Beacon and knew he couldn't return home.
More than once she had to stop herself from outright punching people who wrongly presumed her feelings on the matter. At one point in particular, a cold rage settled over her when a fellow faunus went on about how it was great that faunus were getting respect thanks to the actions of the White Fang, right after Selas had unintentionally frightened a young human girl. She found herself growing more jaded and icy toward others again. It took effort to summon the same grace she'd learned to exhibit, and while she still managed sometimes, it no longer came as naturally in some situations.
Her first year of being accepted into Atlas Academy found her right in the middle of all of this, particularly since her team consisted of two humans and another faunus, the latter of whom began expressing agreements with the White Fang. Selas initially got into arguments and isolated herself from the situation, but as she saw it was affecting her team more and more negatively, she began applying herself to resolve it. Amidst all of this she had to pass up the chance to go to the Faunus Rights Festival like her faunus teammate did, fearing it would drive a further wedge between her teammates if she didn't stay to help the other two in Atlas. She remembered feeling rather unpleasant toward the whole prospect in the light of the difficulty her team faced.
Unfortunately, her attempts to patch things together were ultimately fruitless. Her faunus teammate left school altogether and disappeared without further contact, calling all of the rest of the team an array of horrible things before he left. The leader of their team demanded a transfer to another Academy--alone--and near the finals of the first year, her last teammate gave up and dropped out of Huntsman training thanks to overwhelming discouragement. This left Selas alone, questioning her life choices, and making her wonder what she really wanted.
In the end, after several talks with her parents, she decided to continue. It was no small decision, and was no longer about proving herself capable, or even anything about just herself. Now, her decision was to try and be an example.
Coming around to her second year, Selas ended up being placed in team FSBT as the T, the final member. She had no idea how this new team would interact, but found herself constantly worrying it would end up like the last one in some form or another. Even worse, there was a particular Schnee heiress on this team, meaning they'd all likely be under a certain degree of greater scrutiny than their peers.
Maybe she could help this team work out a bit better than her last. She certainly hoped so.