She has straight, shoulder-length dark hair, bound back with a gold scarf, and "striking" blue eyes. Her skin is described as "just dark enough for the Blackguard." She has Atashian features. She is short and slender.
Teia’s father was a merchant. After he left on business his wife took many lovers and accumulated large debts, then sold her three daughters into slavery to pay it off. When Teia's father came back he sold everything he had to buy back Teia's sisters, having to become a plain laborer to do so. However Teia had by then showed that she could draft and her price was much too high for him. According to Teia her mother's only regret over the whole affair was that she hadn't sold Teia high enough considering she is a drafter. As none could free her, Teia stayed a slave until she was freed by Kip Guile.