Tora Ziyal was the illegitimate daughter of the Cardassian Gul Dukat and the Bajoran Tora Naprem, conceived during the Occupation when Dukat was in command of Terok Nor.
Although Dukat loved both Naprem and their daughter, he knew the Occupation was drawing to a close and that Ziyal would not be accepted on either Bajor or Cardassia Prime. Therefore, he sent the two of them away to live on the neutral planet of Lissepia, aboard the transport ship Ravinok in 2366. En route, the Ravinok was attacked and downed on Dozaria by Breen warships. Naprem was killed in the crash, while Ziyal and the other survivors were captured and forced to labor in a nearby Breen dilithium mine.
Six years later in early 2372, the fate of the Ravinok reached the outside world. Dukat learned that Major Kira Nerys was mounting a search for the transport and arranged to have himself join her. Dukat had intended to kill Ziyal if he should find her alive, as the fact he had an illegitimate half-Bajoran daughter posed a threat to his political position and legitimate family. Ziyal was aware of this fact from the other Cardassian prisoners, but she still hoped that her father would rescue her as her mother promised. When Dukat found her as he and Kira liberated the camp, Ziyal told him that she would rather die than to be apart from him. As he looked upon his daughter, Dukat found he could not kill her.