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The joke had started making the rounds almost as soon as Tristan had began his apprenticeship. It usually started something like this:
“That boy’s got the sharpest eye in the business!”
“He’d better; he’s only got the one!”
Tristan Kloss grew up in a small mining town, the poor son of a poor miner. The story of how he lost his eye was a subject of some small mystery to the locals, though popular gossip had it that he’d been improper with the blacksmith’s daughter in his irresponsible adolescence and ran afoul of a hot poker. In any case, he certainly learned his lesson. The reckless, rambunctious little boy was replaced with a more somber and serious young man, determined to make something of himself beyond the fortunes of his poor family. Shortly before leaving home for the first time, he scraped together enough coin to purchase a sword, shield, and armor, then set forth on the road.
It took time, but he eventually found himself apprenticed to a jeweler in the nearest city, learning the craft of refining the products of his father’s efforts for sale to people with more money than skill or sense. Every day he practiced his trade, and every night he practiced with his sword against imaginary foes in the solitude of his too-small room until finally collapsing into sleep, repeating the process again on waking. This went on for the better part of two or three years as the master craftsman milked his service for all it was worth. He didn’t spend his evenings after work carousing like the other young men in the city, and so had no real friends. Hardly anyone besides his master seemed to acknowledge his existence. Without realizing it, he’d begun to fall into a pattern scarcely different from those of his father and the men in the mines back home.
This finally changed when, one night after lingering a bit later than usual to finish some work, he stumbled across a member of the local thieves’ guild who hadn’t realized he was still there before attempting to burgle the shop. Tristan’s well-honed reflexes saved him that night, costing the unfortunate thief a couple fingers as well. For the first time in he couldn’t recall how long, Tristan felt alive in a way that was almost intoxicating.
And the next day it was back to his routine, like the previous night’s adventure had never happened. Only now the fire in Tristan’s heart and mind smoldered, refusing to be doused again.
Almost the moment his apprenticeship was deemed complete the young man set out upon the road again, this time to seek his fortunes in a more immediate and exhilarating fashion.
Tristan Kloss is a variant human fighter with the guild artisan background and the ritual caster feat, a precursor to becoming an eldritch knight.