The Dresden Files: Portland
Angelica was born and raised in Sacramento, California. For most of her childhood and early adolescence she lived with her parents, Jonathan and Sophia Underwood, and her older sister, Victoria (nicknamed “Vicki”).
However, Angelica’s life was far from idyllic. From a very young age, she could see and hear ghosts. At first her parents dismissed the young girl’s descriptions and conversations with strange figures no one else could see. Eventually, though, they grew concerned as Angelica showed no sign of stopping talking about these “imaginary” people.
By the time Angelica left early adolescence, she had already been in and out of psychiatric care for years. Confused, angry, and feeling very much like an outsider in her own home, Angelica entered her teenage years in a very dark place. Near the end of her sophomore year, she attempted to kill herself. Angelica’s suicide attempt was unsuccessful, but her parents committed her to Heritage Oaks Hospital.
While in Heritage Oaks Hospital, Angelica met psychiatrist, Eleanor Munoz. Munoz, a wizard, realized that Angelica was both an ectomancer and a ghost speaker. Munoz taught Angelica about her ability and how to control it. Knowing that she wasn’t crazy, that someone else could see the spirits, was enough to bring Angelica back from the brink.
Even when she was discharged from the hospital almost a year later, Angelica continued her “sessions” with Munoz, learning to hone her skills. Angelica started her senior year of high school that fall. Although she never again felt comfortable at home or school, Angelica pressed on.
That spring, rumors started flying about a student who had a nervous breakdown in one of the girls’ bathrooms. She claimed to have seen a ghost. Angelica knew that she couldn’t let anyone else to suffer like she had. After gathering what she could, Angelica snuck into the school late at night and dispelled the ghost back to the never-never.
This incident became a major turning point in Angelica’s life. She now knew that she could use her powers to help people. After graduating high school, Angelica moved to Portland, Oregon. Still wanting to alleviate suffering in others, she became a licensed massage therapist.
Within the first year of her own practice in Portland, one of Angelica’s particularly stressed-out clients let slip that she thought her house was haunted. Angelica managed to persuade the woman to talk to her openly about the problem. From the woman’s description, Angelica believed that there was a ghost troubling her and her family. After a bit of convincing, Angelica was invited to her client’s home and was able to dispel the spirit.
Fortunately for Angelica, It so happened that her client’s brother was a detective in the Portland Police Department. Not long after, the detective mentioned a particularly odd case to his sister. The supernatural nature of the case struck a chord and she passed on Angelica’s name. This eventually led to Angelica having some contacts in the Portland PD and began her side-job as a paranormal investigator.