Zaladrel Orain was born to auspicious omens in sea side village of Arsmeril. Shooting stars and a full moon heralded the coming of Zaladrel as the mystic women and clerics worked about their business. It was as though the goddess Desna had painted the night time sky in celebration, or so Zaladrel's grandfather, Araisel, had told him. Yet for the first few years of his life, Zaladrel found it hard to believe that his life would be anything but cursed.
Zaladrel's mother was taken in his birth; the pregnancy was troubled and the strain too much to bear. A few years later Aroden fell and Zaladrel's grandmother succumbed to a curious and tenacious sickness brought on by the myriad storms that wracked the world when the immortal god seemed to end. In the period of confusion that followed, tensions arose and conflict marked the Mierani forest.
In his first 70 years Zaladrel lacked focus or enthusiasm. The despondency of his loss was made even greater when his father died as part of an expedition to Celwynvian, an ill fated event that cost the village many of its warriors. Moving from magical study, to academics to training in art, histories, and music Zaladrel found no satisfaction. The loss of friends like Namuril Xae-Tal who left the village in the aftermath of the Celwynvian expedition, further proved to alienate Zaladrel from his people and cast doubt on his future.
Further attempts were made to press Zaladrel to work at his skills in woodcraft or ranging, glass working or fishing. All such efforts fell short and soon Araisel believed that despite living amongst his own kind, Zaladrel might yet become Forlorn like those elves who lived in far off lands cut off from the rich and thoughtful lives of elves. Araisel had once adventured however and so he came to formulate an unconventional solution.
Having ventured from Mierani Forest, Araisel had knowledge of the Varisian caravans, enthusiastic vagabonds who traded and travelled across the lands and though the humans could be abrasive they shared a common dedication to Desna that Araisel thought might prove useful. The village held too much turmoil and doubt so Araisel sought a different path so he might change Zaladrel's path towards despondency.
Taking up his grandson Araisel took Zaladrel out of the forest and offered him a life amongst the vibrant colors, bawdy singing and mystic secrets of the Varisians. Where as the Desnan faith was deep and contemplative amongst the elves: among humans that faith was more a celebration for the road and the freedom that came with it. For ten years the elves travelled about Varisia seeing Korvosa and Magnimar, Sandpoint and Riddle port and for those ten years Zaladrel worked odd jobs and odd hours. He learned the ways of the caravan from his companions and studied by candlelight the ancient histories and traditions of the elven people.
Zaladrel developed a wide knowledge and an uncanny ability to pick up any job quickly. The liability of a lacking focus became a tool in the life of the caravan and Zaladrel always found ways to make himself useful. As the years moved on Zaladrel came to appreciate the Desnan connection to the caravan and the human appreciation for change and loss. Zaladrel became hungry in his faith, and that faith was soon tested.
Upon his 95th birthday Zaladrel found his grandfather wan and weak. It was his time soon, the elder elf explained, and he wished to see his home one last time before moving on. Leaving the caravans they travelled back to the forest. The elder elf soon passed on and Zaladrel was still a young one and without a sure footing. Still humming with all that he had learned, Zaladrel took up with the clerics of Desna and threw himself into the faith.
The elves of Arsmeril often were put off by the heightened enthusiasm and vibrant demeanor of the elven boy that they had known to be listless and quiet. Yet many amongst the clergy and the people saw that Zaladrel's enthusiasm was renewed and put his energy to good use. Over the next few years Zaladrel would learn of Desna's secrets, traveled to the ranger camps and the village of Crying Leaf and learned what purpose and value a true cleric of Desna could offer a community and the travelers on the road. Despite all this Zaladrel still felt ill at ease and as soon as his rites of ritual were complete, he set out on the road and out of the forest.
For all the knowledge that he carried with him however, and for all the wisdom that he had cultivated, Zaladrel was still naïve. It was not long after leaving the forest that Zaladrel came across a caravan of carts and travelers that seemed none to happy to find an elven cleric wandering the roads. These travelers were Scarzini and saw an opportunity to strip this wandering fool of his money and gave some thought to pressing him into slavery on some far flung market were it not out of there way. Stripping Zaladrel of his possessions they threw the elf into the wild, laughing as they rode off down the road.
With no supplies and no food Zaladrel took to wandering the country side eager to find a settlement. Despite his best efforts his spells could not sustain his hunger and his skill could not inform his route. After many days of wandering with no food and no clothing a fever overtook Zaladrel and soon thereafter he lost all presence of mind to summon himself water. Depleted and starving Zaladrel wandered the woods and the road amidst a fevered haze of false visions and chaotic veering stumbling down hillsides and creek beds that further battered his frail and failing body.
Laying face down in a dried up ditch, the last of his wits and energy failing him, Zaladrel heard a sweet and singing voice surround him. Taken up into the sky Zaladrel flew towards the sun, the voice turned to many, the brightness faded to darkness and sleep engulfed him in a warm embrace as he knew that he had been brought Desna's bosom to forever be safe and cared for.
Zaladrel awoke some hours later in a covered wagon adorned with fanciful colors and fabrics, smelling of sweet incense and warmed by soft lantern light. Adjusting to the surroundings Zaladrel body ached and his head pounded. After a few moments had passed Zaladrel realized he was not alone and saw a woman of dark complexion and a warm smile. Koya Mvashti was her name and it was her voice, not Desna, that had called to him in his fevor.
Zaladrel and Koya spoke at length. She told him of an ominous harrow reading and a dream of swallowtail butterflies that led to this place in the country. Zaladrel spoke of his anxiety and his love of the road. A bond was forged in the lantern light that night and Zaladrel found in Koya a sort of maternal figure he had never quite known.
As the years have passed Koya and Zaladrel have been frequent allies and friends, sometimes in the same caravan and sometimes simply greeting each other warmly as their respective groups passed each other by. Zaladrel has occasioned Sandpoint many times to experience the drinks of the Rusty Dragon, the beauty of the chapel and awe inspiring clarity of Madame Mvashti's gifts. Even more recently Zaladrel has found Sandpoint harbors old friends like Namuril who seem from a lifetime ago. All in all Zaladrel has found peace in aiding the traveler, working the caravan roads and is eager to see what new adventure Desna might have in store for him next.