I don’t think it was really touched on, Cassie’s home. Sure, she’s in another world, and maybe she has relatives she’s missing (or maybe not, it’s been a while since I last reread it), but the story didn’t really go in-depth on what kind of family she’s from, her relations with parents or if she had siblings, or any kind of life she had back then, really. I hope Conduit explores more of that considering Cassie is learning more of Andrea’s parents and her childhood and hopefully Andrea (and, in turn, also us) would know more about Cassie.
I also agree with you with the outlet. I think Cassie desperately needs it. Learning discipline from those combat arts as well as having the actual capability of using those to protect herself, Andrea, and her other friends would do her a LOT of good.
And also, what would do Cassie (and us) a lot more good is, indeed, MORE fluff. (Where you at ff writers and artists? We await all of you!)
As for Richard, since he got hit by that strange lightning thing (that somehow made Cassie appear in Damea), maybe he has that same overflowing magic that Cassie has, only he can also wield magic, so that makes him a super powered mage? Perhaps, since Richard was gonna be out looking for Meredith and Meredith was last seen in the Gurith coast, Richard would appear in Gurith also?