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Hess'iva'chaf was born to the Hess family on the Chiss homeworld of Csilla. Though not a ruling family at the time of her birth, they still carried a bit of political clout. Growing up, she was given the finest education possible in hopes of developing her mind to better serve the Ascendancy. Iva always possessed preternatural abilities, such as having the ability to sense other's actions before they made so much as a movement. As an early teen, already having matured into adulthood (Chiss develop at a much faster rate than humans do), Iva became part of the Chaf family, receiving her first diplomatic assignment to Byss.

Iva showed great promise, but her diplomatic career was cut short soon after arriving on Byss. A Sith that she was meeting with regarding a treaty sensed that she was actually Force-sensitive, a rarity for Chiss, and immediately spoke to Iva's superiors about taking her as an apprentice. Eager to begin training the girl, she was removed from her position to begin a new path as an adherent of the Dark Side.

Iva proved to be a fast learner and a very capable Sith, eagerly gaining new knowledge and power with surprising voracity. Her Chiss mentality of the needs of the many outweighing the individual was broken down, and she ultimately began to train with the goal of becoming stronger and more adept at the Force as something purely self-serving that would further her own goals.

A few years passed, and Iva moved from Apprentice to Lord. She was sent to the Empire of the Hand base on assignment, where she met a handsome Chiss male named Chaf'aola'nuruodo. They began a romantic relationship and were married after a lengthy courtship.

Basing herself out of Faolan's post, she made a point of delving into the abandoned temple located nearby, often disappearing for a few days. She would emerge looking worse for wear, but one would note that her power was steadily increasing. It was during this period that Iva trained an apprentice, eventually earning the title of Master. She had begun to win favour among the Sith by taking assignments that were considered particularly taxing or difficult. She relished the challenge, and had the title of Darth bestowed upon her after a particularly intense assignment.