Candra was an immortal, so her exact origin was unknown. Candra never joined with the other Externals, and preferred to play the power broker alone. To that end, years ago she placed the sum total of her power into a gem, which a young Storm later stole.
She had a deal with the Thieves' and Assassins' Guild of New Orleans, in which she provided them with power in exchange for monetary tributes. This deal was broken by Gambit, whom she encountered when he journeyed back to the past to stop the Thieves' Guild from giving her the secrets of Apocalypse.
Candra was also behind Belladonna's abduction of Cody, the boy sent into a coma by Rogue's first kiss, in an attempt to torture Gambit by trapping Rogue and having her killed. Fortunately, Rogue survived the attempt. Some time later, Candra's 'heart gem' was stolen by one of Karima's illusions. Due to one of the illusions claiming to be involved with the Shadow King and Storm's former master in Egypt, the X-Men investigated. When Storm's teacher Achmed El Gibár died, Candra convinced the young thief Jamil, who seemed to be a powerful mutant, to join her, promising him even greater power. However, when Candra used Jamil to lure Storm to her and reacquire her Heart (the power gem), it was discovered that Jamil was only a psychic projection of Karima, another young thief, who was the true mutant. Cyclops destroyed Candra's Heart, and it appeared that Candra died as a result.
According to herself, the X-Men only destroyed Candra's body but not her psyche. Candra managed to "take strength from death... enough to augment [her] remaining power and slowly pull back the pieces of [her] body back together", a process which was hastened by tributes from the Assassins Guild. Still a zombie-like figure, Candra, calling herself the "Red Death", tried to get the essences of Scarlet Spider and Wolverine to finally return entirely, but was stopped by the duo, with the help of some rogue members of the Guild. After a ferocious battle against Wolverine, she was killed by Scarlet Spider, who stung her in the head. Belladonna announced that she would still find a way to return.