The C'thai'ran Cycle
Crispin Grant, the son of wealthy Andreous Grant and his wife Mariana, was born in the town of Arabar. A studious lad, Crispin seemed to always be found deep within his academy books. This suited his parents, whose opulent lifestyle left their son often shunned and alone as they perused the boons that vast wealth can grant. This didn’t bother Crispin in the least, as he soon found himself resenting everything else that didn’t further his education. Devouring vast libraries of theology and religion, Crispin, quietly sneaking into the off-limits areas of his teachers’, began delving into tomes of the arcane. As his eyes scanned the pages, he could feel a realization building – all of the other children, who, with their sports and other such frivolous nonsense, would never grasp this ancient knowledge and, more importantly, power.
Throughout his young life at the academy, Crispin was bullied repeatedly by the other children. He was tormented and, with his uncaring parents, was often left with a deep-seated feeling of loneliness. Now, having learned what he could from the books of his professors, he strode out to face his aggressors. Arms crackling with power, strange words filling his mind, he raised the palm of a hand to release a bolt that would vindicate years of suffering…
…and then a closed fist, ignorant of the powerful language it was interrupting, slammed into his mouth. The beating that followed was insignificant compared to the thrashing Crispin received from his teachers for reading their forbidden books. Expelled from the school for attempting to assault a schoolmate, he was left to the ultimate judgment of his parents. They, deeming this nuisance a painful distraction from their high-nose activities, apprenticed the boy to a traveling magician, ridding themselves of this irritating responsibility. What they didn’t realize, fortunately, was that this negligent action was the best possible thing for their son. Far away from his harassers, Crispin absorbed as much as he could throughout his travels.
Visiting numerous towns throughout southern Faerun, Crispin experienced and witnessed things he could never have dreamed of. This culminated with his falling in love with the daughter of a wealthy rancher in the town of Lheshayl, a town near the eastern border of Amn. Despite their only meeting eyes in a crowded marketplace as her father bartered his animals and as his teacher searched for reagents, Crispin and his future bride-to-be Eleanor were smitten at first sight. Paying whatever money was owed to the magician, Crispin abandoned his travels that day and immediately began working under Eleanor’s father, attempting to use whatever skills he had learned in his travels towards building a new life for himself. It was barely a half-year before Crispin and Eleanor were happily married, and Crispin began constructing a house on the farmland of Eleanor’s father, situated just outside of Lheshayl. Both Crispin and Eleanor, now in their mid-twenties, and, within a couple years, Eleanor’s body began to show signs that she and Crispin would soon become parents.
Holding his new-born son in his arms, Crispin’s memories of his lonely childhood soon began to fade. Surrounded by people who both loved and respected him, he settled into what he considered to be the happiest moments of his life. This was not to last, however. It was about a year and a half after the birth of his son, when Crispin was handling some of the accounting for his step-father and terrible screams of panic filled the farmyard. Dashing to the window, Crispin was greeted by the sight of flaming buildings and his friends being murdered by mounted orc raiders. Reaching for his book of spells, unused for years but kept at hand for such an emergency, Crispin dashed down the stairs to the door in the hopes of somehow repelling the invaders. His brash run to the door was suddenly halted by a horrifying shriek of pain, heard above the din in the farm yard. Crispin’s heart sank when he realized from whom it originated…
The next moments of his life are something of a hazy blur for Crispin, covered by the red haze of berserker rage. Cracks of lightning and thunderous explosions could only symbolize the terror of Crispin’s wrath. Ancient words of power coming from his mouth, the flames of the burning buildings wreathing his arms, Crispin was a whirlwind of destruction. The invaders routed, Crispin burst through the doors of his burning house in the hopes of rescuing his family, but all he can remember is the intense heat and the cracking of the timbers around him.
Waking up with the Lheshayl guard surrounding him and the smoking farmyard, Crispin staggered to his feet. Stumbling out into the wilderness, far away from town, he collapsed into a seizure-like heap as his grief overtook him. A broken man, Cripsin survived for several months on what food he could hunt in between bouts of depression. It took a chance encounter with a group of bandits, who he slew to a man with animal ruthlessness, to snap Crispin back to reality.
He now wanders the land, all ties to his former life, save for his education, severed. He is something of a vagabond adventurer, going from town to town as he did with his former teacher. He has no driving motivations at this point in his life, only to use the gold he earns to either further his interest in magic or spending it in whatever tavern he finds. In order to manage his grief, or so he believes, Crispin has become something of an alcoholic, although he tries to limit this vice only for when he is in town, which is, as it turns out, unhealthily frequently. On some particularly painful nights, people have heard Crispin in deep conversation with a female voice in his room. What is even odder is that nobody has seen any woman come or go on these rare, late-night events.