The Lady's Grace
Leliana was born in Orlais, and though she is culturally Orlesian, her mother was Fereldan and so she considers herself as such. Leliana's mother, Oisine, was a servant of Lady Cecilie Vasseur, an Orlesian noble. One of Leliana's earliest memories is smelling the garden and recalling standing there with her mother amidst the scents of sweet orange, lavender and especially the scent of her mother's gray linen dress. Though Leliana is uncertain if this powerful memory is real or not, she cherishes the image of her Fereldan mother. 
Following the Fereldan victory in the Rebellion. Leliana and her mother followed Lady Cecilie back to Orlais. Cecilie raised Leliana after her mother's death shortly after her fourth birthday . and in her care Leliana learned much about the royal court and Orlesian culture.
Oisine's death cast a pall over young Leliana's normally sunny disposition, however, and to try and cheer the girl her new guardian, Lady Cecilie, gave her whatever she asked for. Leliana only ever wanted books. As a result she quickly developed an obsessive passion for Orlesian and Fereldan stories, ballads and songs, as well as any tales she could learn from Cecilie's elven servants. Tutors were soon
called by Lady Cecilie to foster Leliana's passion. Leliana often practiced her dancing on the stone terrace of Cecilie's villa on the Waking Sea, as well. 
At sixteen, Leliana made her first trip to Val Royeaux. to attend a soiree with Lady Cecilie. There she met and was impressed by Marjolaine. a wealthy widow and patroness of the arts. Indeed, Marjolaine began calling upon the aging Lady Cecilie shortly after the soiree, who often left Leliana to entertain the dazzling visitor. 
Leliana was thrilled by Marjolaine's worldliness and daring, and the two became close friends. On a hunting trip, Marjolaine gave Leliana her first bow. In teaching her how to use it during that trip, Leliana accidentally wounded a hart the hunters were tracking. Too upset to end its suffering, Leliana watched in amazement as Marjolaine efficiently killed the animal.
That same summer, Leliana visited Marjolaine at her Val Royeaux estate, and the widow began to teach her way of the bard. manipulation, subterfuge and combat. Always her teaching was subtle and disguised, easily assumed to be merely a lady's idle amusements.