I was born as the only son to family that often straddled the line between nobility and vulgarity. Our family name had fallen from grace. Our estate was dilapidated and the majority of the acreage was left to grow on its own, reclaiming the land and the buildings which sat upon it. The servant quarters were left empty and uninhabited. The manor house was crewed by the fewest souls possible, the bunch of laborers often considered to be “dirty” races by the upper echelons of human noble life. Father could barely afford more than the wages he provided the half-orcs, halflings, half-elves, and myriad other races we employed to fool ourselves into pretending that we were far more noble than reality made us. It was from these servants that often spoke broken common as well as a variety of their home languages that I learned a passable amount of the Elvish and Orcish languages.
The comforts we lived in varied greatly with the ups and downs of our father’s economic efforts. The stress induced by the pressure of providing for a family while maintaining pride in a society that often mocked the failings of those lower than them drove my father to drink his problems away. His addiction provoked fits of rage and outbursts of violent anger that newer servants quickly learned to predict early and avoid as they were often the object of his volatile expressions despite their lack of involvement. I could not bear to see what was once a proud man not only fall on incredible hardships, but lose himself entirely in his sorrow. This led me to spend long periods of time in the wilderness that the acreage of our land partially contained. It was here that I learned what most noble’s children failed to even experience in their lives. I learned how to survive off what the wild provided, and learned the behaviors and patterns that animals exhibited. I was even capable of befriending some of the creatures I encountered.
Due to the financial problems we frequently underwent, I very rarely undertook any form of learning. Instead, I opted for martial training when it was affordable and available. Starting from the age of seven, I practiced what I learned from different masters and teachers religiously even though I saw them very rarely. I had grown quite competent with the ins-and-outs of the longsword and shield as well as the lance on foot.
Shortly after my seventeenth birthday, my father was killed by hired thugs that I suspected were recruited by rival landowners or debt collectors. My mother soon remarried and disowned me, leaving me the broken estate and family name. For a year I attempted to manage the land we owned, and I was beginning to pull in a profit from the remnants of my father’s enterprises. My success drew the ire of those who had murdered him, and they attempted to have me killed in the same way they murdered him. My constant practice of martial arts proved me stronger than the simpleminded henchman they had sent after me. I bested him, wounding him mortally. That night, out of spite toward those who had murdered my father and anger at all the years of poverty he had made us live through, I torched the main manor house as well as many of the other buildings that stood in relatively passable condition. I lit fire to the fields and watched the overgrown hedges and rows of tall, proud trees that stood for generations before my father’s blacken and fall to ash. I checked the provisions and supplies I had prepared as I watched it all burn. I turned away from the pillars of dark, black smoke rising out of the vestiges of my old life, satisfied that no one would find any value in the land for decades to come. I did not know where to go, but I knew that my past was something I no longer had to confront.