She is selfish, cold and distant, but also fiercely protective of her family.
Emphyria was born in the Vale.
Emphyria was present as a child for the execution of Emmon Baelish for his murder of the Lord Paramount of the Vale, James Arryn. Her family were treated as social pariahs within the Vale for being (albeit distantly) related to the man who murdered their liege, which had a incredibly isolating effect on Emphyria's childhood, leading to her to shun connections with others.
Emphyria and her family flee to Gulltown in the midst of House Sunderland's Rebellion, which sees Sistermen raiding the coastal lands of the Vale. She and her sisters narrowly avoid being attacked by two men in a back alleyway in Gulltown, when two knights of the Bronze Gauntlet step in to chase the men away and escort them home, much to Emphyria's annoyance.
Emphyria and her family attend House Grafton's banquet celebrating the end of the rebellion some time later, and Emphyria has a public physical altercation with Lord Grafton's heir, Theo Grafton, after he tries to make a pass at her, and grabs her arm to stop her from leaving. Lord Garrett Grafton and Lady Bethany Baelish step in before it becomes too big a scandal.