The Razor's Edge
Born to a farmer and his homely wife, Brayden was never allowed to venture past the village except on trading days, when “pops” took him to sell their goods. He learned to adventure on those trips—making a campfire, tending the food to prevent wild animals, etc. The trip took ten days each way to the major markets. At 16, Brayden had an argument with his father, and they said very hurtful things, and he decided to go out on his own to make money in some other profession. He hadn’t known then what his father knew… professions required either money, or patriarchal lineage. A farmer’s son was always destined to be a farmer. No one would hire him. Broke, hungry, and too prideful to return to his father, he began to steal to survive. His thefts and adventures led him from town to town in the area.
Four years later, he managed to trek back to his little home town… finally willing to swallow his pride and “forgive the wrong of hi sold-man” (still unwilling to admit that he was partially wrong as well) but his father had died of a heart attack taking goods to market. Broken-hearted, he tried to take care of his aged mother through odd jobs and manual labor and plowing the fields, but she blamed him for his father’s death. She told him “If you loved your life before then go back to it—just go away! You’re dead to me because you killed your father. You didn’t care for us when it mattered, so why start now?! Just leave!!”, and has never spoken to him since.
Dejected from his own family, he returned to the streets, mastering the soft touch of the pick-pocket and laughing as bumbling city guards tried to chase him down allies, and up large fences, then through the crowded streets of the markets. Though some had come close, not one had ever caught him.
Four years after he left his father’s house, he met Braglor, a fuzzy-headed, loud-mouthed dwarf who promised him treasures beyond comprehension. All he had to do was help him onto an island in a far-away land. The trick was to get past the guards and slip through a tiny shaft, down into the treasure room. As many bags as he could fill, he could keep half. Surprisingly, the dwarf was right. He slipped silently past two guards (Brayden had no idea what race they were other than butt-ugly and not human). They were distracted by the disturbance Braglor made on the beach, and Brayden dove down into the chamber. The room was small but filled with more treasure than his eyes could take in. He quickly loaded up twenty bags – not even denting the supply of treasure in the space – but was only able to carry six back up the shaft due to their weight. When he reached the top, he scrambled into the shadows, and silently crept back to the shoreline, undetected. The dwarf met him and cheered with him until Brayden displayed the vast wealth he’d recovered. Braglor then pulled a sword and ambushed him, stabbing him in the chest. The dwarf took all six bags and took off in the ship, leaving him for dead.
Brayden survived, tending his wound in a small hiding place between two rocks. For two days, he stayed hidden, drinking from his canteen, and trying to remain silent. When he was strong enough, he tied two logs together and threw himself into the receding tide, using the logs for flotation. Twelve days later, unconscious, he washed up on shore, ... somewhere. He was taken in by elven monks who had pity on his sea-ravaged body, and stayed for nearly a year with them (learning their language). Now he has no idea where home is, and no idea how to ever return, not that there’s anything much to return to.
He eventually left the elven monastary. They were more than kind, but he was never cut out to be a cleric. Frequently regretting his past decisions, he strives to live up to his father’s expectations. He fights to make right his internal regrets, never able to do enough good for those around him to drive out the demons in his head. He steals to become wealthy enough to satisfy himself that he’ll never have to work hard like his father, and die in the fields all alone.
He is distrustful of adventuring groups – particularly dwarves – and prefers to make a living on his own, stealing precious bits and gems here and there, and the occasional highway robbery if the odds are in his favor for his big scores.