Aiden Ramish was born to a merchant who sold a variety of herbs, both for cooking and healing. His father did relatively well for himself but when Aiden was nine years old one of his family's contacts was driven out of business by a noble family who took offense over some minor business dealing. Since a large supply of their medical herbs and remedies came from these contacts their own business suffered and was in danger of going under. So his father sold his mother into slavery to help cover his losses and give him a chance to meet new contacts. Even having grown up in a household that worshiped Asmodeus, The Tyrant, it was an event that deeply affected Aiden and would shape the man he eventually became. It was the first lesson that laws are only really there to aid people who are willing to bend and manipulate them to suit their own purposes. Aiden began to learn a little of his father’s trade and he picked up a variety of information on the side. Being incredibly bright he was able to rapidly memorize the properties of the ingredients inside the shop and by the time that he was twelve years old Aiden was figuring new ways to grind and combine the ingredients to best utilize them. Aiden became fascinated with the few magical users who would occasionally come into the shop, always looking for some strange spell component. When he was allowed to and he thought his father wouldn’t punish him for annoying a paying customer he would be information from the practitioners who came in. Many didn’t have the patience to answer a pre-teens curiosity. But when Aiden was thirteen years old, an older wizard started to question Aiden’s knowledge of herb lore and seemed to be somewhat impressed. He offered to pay Aiden’s father to take Aiden on as an apprentice for five years to see if he could make anything of it. Always happy to make a quick bit of coin, Aiden’s father bargained for as much as he thought he could get away with and agreed to send Aiden off the very next day. Neither actually bothered to consult Aiden on what he wanted, that didn’t seem to matter, but by that point in his life Aiden didn’t really expect them to care. He might almost have been more confused if they had pretended an interest in his own desires. In Chelish life, it was every man, woman and child for themselves and for the first time in his young life it looked like Aiden might be getting something he wanted—even if it was because someone else wanted it for him. He was going to be a wizard!
He was thrown out of Master Dovelian’s home four years later, a year before his training was supposed to end. It had been four years of being told he was talentless, that he wasn’t working hard enough, that he would never be a wizard. It wasn’t that Aiden didn’t learn anything under Master Dovelian’s tutelage, it was simply that he didn’t learn the “right” things. In all that time he hadn’t been able to master even the simplest cantrip. His mine simply perceived things differently. He could understand the theories of magic, he could chart how magical energy was utilized to achieve a number of different spells and he could explain why the material components of those spells were necessary as a symbolic representation of some core aspect of the spell itself. But he couldn’t make himself perform the spells. When he found a way to replicate one of his Master’s spells, not just a cantrip but a real spell—Reduce Person—he thought that Master Dovelian would be proud. He found a way to amplify the pinch of powdered iron usually used for the spell and combining it with an alchemic base he invented he could create a potion-like extract that, when drunk, produced the same effect. Instead Master Dovelian was disgusted with him. He shattered the remaining vials of not just the Reduce Person but also all of the alchemic base that Aiden had managed to produce. He claimed that it was a pathetic mimicry of the arcane and not worthy of study by his apprentice and he would be damned if another practitioner learned that his apprentices had to resort to such behavior. Dovelian knew what was coming long before his eventual ousting though. So he made use of his time as best he could. He continued to practice alchemy, though he no longer tried to show Master Dovelian his results. By the time he was picked out he had stolen several of his Master’s spells from his spellbook and rewritten them into his own alchemical formulae. Very quickly he found that not all spells could become formulae, although he could understand how many of them worked even if he could not duplicate it with Alchemy. But what ultimately got him thrown out was arguably his most significant discovery. Wizards and Sorcerers were respected for their power. In Cheliax, power was everything, if you could call fire and brimstone down upon your opponents and keep the law from punishing you for it, you won. It was that complex and that simple all at once. And while Aiden couldn’t summon fire from his palms, he could bottle it. And not just any old alchemist’s fire, but fire bombs that would explode with some noticeable force. He was careful to make it look like an accident, something that could get blamed on his incompetence rather than make him seem like a real threat. It was still a risk though, but he couldn’t keep himself from doing it. Aiden was unwilling to go through another year of being made to feel so very small. He set off one of his bombs and destroyed one of Master Dovelian’s spellbooks. The man was paranoid and had several copies, which was probably for the best, if he didn’t he likely would have just killed Aiden. But not all of them were the same and Aiden was confident that the bastard lost a few spells.
As satisfying as it was to stick it to the old man, the next few years were very hard for Aiden. It would have been impossible for him to find a new mentor after the falling out with Master Dovelian. And his father was furious that he wasn’t going to get the full five year payout for Aiden’ completing his apprenticeship. Aiden was completely cut off. He was on the streets for two years before he found a gang that was willing to pay him to make bombs for them. But Aiden was tired of being used and made sure to let them know that if he didn’t go with them to mix the bombs as needed they wouldn’t work. Although they only grudgingly agreed to bring him, once they saw the damage that the bombs could do, they happily agreed to let him join their gang. He ran with them for a few years and his life improved somewhat over that period. But several months ago the leader of the gang insulted a nobleman whom he thought couldn’t hear him. He was mistaken and it cost him not just his own life but the lives of many of the gang members. Aiden managed to sever ties quickly enough to not be held accountable but now he is essentially back to where he was a few years ago. But he has learned a lot in all this time. He no longer feels so helpless and he has promised to always keep one thing in mind above all else: Always look out for yourself.