It was a gloomy night in autumn. A thick blanket of mist obscured the keep and the forest around it. Wolves howled at a moon they could not see through the fog and gloom. It was on this night that a half-elf boy was born to a servant woman and the elven Lord of Marks. The boy’s birth was of no consequence, but his destiny would tip the scales of the world once more.
Upon his birth, the Lord named the boy Valithran, an elven insult meaning “common blood”. Valithran was hidden away so as to avoid scandal; for the Lady of Marks, a greedy, unloving, witch of an elf, was known to be incapable of bearing children. When the Lord’s nephew, a renowned commander in the elven army, was named as the heir to the Lordship of Marks, Valithran’s claim to the throne was eviscerated. So Valithran was cast aside, condemned to the life of a servant child.
Until one day, while Valithran was still a young man, the keep of Marks was assailed – the final escalation of a blood feud between two elven Lords. Valithran seized his opportunity, fleeing the keep without hesitation. He looked back only once, and saw the dark smoke of the keep burning, stark against the clear blue noon sky.
He traveled for many months, making his way to the Kingdom of Darinia. When he arrived, he knew it would be a safe haven, where he could be himself without fear of rejection or punishment. He worked as an apprentice to a brewer, but had to work as a laborer as well to earn enough money to get by. But he never resented it, he loved his newfound freedom. When his mentor, the local brewer, passed away, Valithran cast aside his elven heritage, taking his master’s name, Haywood.
Haywood Marks. The name had a certain ring to it.
Years passed in peace, but they were all forgotten when the undead horde Sacked the city of Darinia. Haywood was among the refugees lucky enough to escape. As he fled to the city of Adamas for sanctuary from the Horde, he met two companions who he quickly warmed up to. He saw in them justice – they would do what was right, even in these dark times. Perhaps it was conceited of him, but he knew this world would soon be in need of heroes, and he fully intended to be one of them. He saw that in this human and halfling as well. They had a destiny. He wasn’t going to let them waste it.
When they were finally denied asylum in Adamas, Haywood became bitter. His old friends noticed the change. He had lost his home – Darinia, not his forgotten elven home. Vengeance welled up inside him; a desire for vengeance against his father, the city of Adamas, and all that was wrong in the world. It consumed him, and finally it became him.