Arbor was born in the Archipelago in 60 BNA. At the age of thirty years, she was sent on her ritual mission - a mission set to all of the Archipelagans at that age - to the Western Forests, where she aquired material for her tribe's "Chieftain Staff" along with knowledge and training for her to use its powers. Because of this, she quickly rose to a position of leadership when she returned two years after setting off. She became Chieftain by 24 BNA, as soon as she reached adolescence. Her success on this mission also resulted in her getting her ceremonial name, "Arbor Vitae".
However, the War for the Eye struck the Archipelago in 18 BNA, resulting in the deaths of all of the tribe members except for her at the hands of the Legion of Shiarchon. Arbor tricked the Shiarchon to take her to the Ar-Klith mountains, where the Klaxxa attacked the Legion. Arbor then joined the Klaxxa, along with the last members of several other civilisations that were also victims of the Shiarchon's attacks, and formed the Alliance against the Legion. She soon obtained the Eye, and kept it from the Shiarchon in her backpack for the rest of the conflict.
- Main story: Ad Mala Aurorum
At the end of the war, Arbor contacted the Razoa and asked them to provide two boats as transport to take her and the Eye to the Archipelago, where the Eye could be magically contained and kept away from the Legion. As she expected, she was ambushed by Shiarchon archers near the coast; while they were defeated by Razoa warriors, she was mortally wounded by a poisoned bolt. While most of the Razoa warriors went in one boat placed the Eye in its intended location, the commander took Arbor in the second boat to the ancient and powerful temple of Mala Aurorum, as had been her reason for requesting two boats.
At the centre of the temple, Arbor sacrificed herself to the carnivorous Te Vidi (Old Tongue for "I have seen you") tree, but used her magical abilities to subtly influence the outcome of the ritual, allowing her soul to escape her body and take form in the physical world. After this, she adopted the name "Mala Aurorum" for herself, partly to symbolise a new start in her existence, but also because the temple was to be kept a secret. Now, people hearing the name for the first time would associate it with her, rather than conduct research to solve the mystery of what it meant and, and in the process, possibly learn about the temple and even discover its location.
As a living being, Arbor Vitae was a master of psychically manipulating others' minds, which she mainly used in combat in order to paralyse and injure opponents without having to deal with physical combat, and she was also skilled in extra-sensory perception which allowed her to be aware of all of her surroundings without having to see or hear them. Her abilities were enhanced by magical crystals which were embedded in gold straps which she wore around her forearms, as well as three magical staves that were created by the Archipelagans:
- The Chieftain Staff was used to strengthen her mind-related telekinetic powers, enabling her to manipulate the minds of multiple creatures, Epic creatures, or individual creatures for an extended period of time. She could even use it to manipulate the weather over a small area and speed up the growth of plants, which she attributed to using it to communicate with the Source.
- The Healing Sceptre was used for small-scale telekinesis over a living body, from curing disease to healing otherwise-fatal wounds. However, it was not able to fully cure the enchanted mixture of poisons used by the Shiarchon against her.
- The Wand granted Arbor with powers over spiritual beings.
She was also in possession of an ancient golden sceptre, but was not aware of any magic that it may have had. After death, her powers increased, and she assimilated the capabilities of the magical crystals and the three Archipelagan staves. She could now sense magic in the golden sceptre, but not knowing what it was, could not make it part of her, so she made it into a spirit form and carried it around with her instead. Along with improving the abilities that she already possessed, the most significant new ability that Mala Aurorum gained as a result of becoming incorporeal was unlimited telekinesis over her own form, or in other words, shapeshifting.