Starry Flame is born as an Earthpony to a normal family, unsure of her place in the world. By Equestrian standards, she feels plain in a colourful world and not having her cutiemark for so long leaves her unsure of what makes her special, so she tries lots of things.
One day, she finds out how magic works, and suddenly, there is colour, there is magic in her life and the world seems to catch fire….then she realises… quite literally. There is fire everywhere. On the walls, on the furniture, and even herself, being a cutiemark and her colourisation. She has become a unicorn of fire. Unfortunately, this limits her new magic, but she trains her skills regardless.
Time passes, and her mother falls terribly ill, and even though she fights for so long, it's still not enough, and the month Starry becomes a full adult, her mother passes away. Her last gift to Starry being the key necklace she promised to never take off.
She soon starts to feel the same lost feeling she had before she had her cutiemark and knew her place in the world, it's all confusing. She throws herself into work to avoid the pain, and starts doing things she wouldn't have ever thought of doing, but seem right, starting to avoid eating, swearing more, starting to drink more alcohol and something else she regrets.
A while later, Starry becomes aware of what she's done, how worried she's made the rest of her remaining family, and tries to turn her life around. She tries to do her family proud, and to do what her mother wanted her to do. And soon, by overcoming her pain and with her determination, her innerflame burns brightly, which transforms her into an alicorn.