A Curious Alchemist Edit
Born Rufus Thistledown, he is the oldest of four children who grew up on a small farm in the Grand March. Although his parents encouraged him to make something of himself, he had few desires to do more than help around the farm. One day, when Ruff was fifteen, a stranger came by the farm in need of healing and rest. Ruff's father tended to his wounds until the stranger was able to continue his journey. However, during the stranger's stay, Ruff's father learned that he was an alchemist from one of the cities and begged him to take Ruff on as an apprentice. The alchemist felt obliged to accept this request from his benefactor and took Ruff to the guild where he was trained in alchemy.
For Ruff, this was the first time he was interested in anything and he gladly worked hard to become a great alchemist. He was, however, more interested in the theoretical applications of the science and not in the immediate productions of the goods that needed to keep the guild working. Because the guild needed all of its members to be useful, and because of the natural agility of halflings, the guild also trained Ruff as a guild thief. His job was to retrieve objects from guild members or relieve them of the fees they owed. Although Ruff didn't like this part of his job, he was content so long as he had enough supplies to continue experimenting.
One day, Ruff received a letter from his family begging for two-hundred gold to pay for 'protection' from a local war-band. Ruff quickly went into the guild vault and stole the needed gold and sent it to his family through a safe courier. He knew this act would likely bring repercussions if discovered, so Ruff decided to go adventuring and seek a way to pay back the money that he stole.