I'm currently playing in a monthly Shadows of the Demon Lord campaign, and would like to share some character building.
This campaign has been talked about in a few places:
Mumfordland - Year of the Demon Lord Summary
One of GM Marc Plourde's posts about the campaign
Memoirs of Reudan - Chapter 1
The priests told me I was left on the steps of the church wrapped in very fine silk. I like to imagine that my parents were wealthy, and maybe they gave me up to protect me from some political maneuvering. Of course, I know better now, I was just as likely the son of a servant who was given (I prefer to believe they were not stolen) the fine linens by her employer. My earliest memories are of Father Mathis teaching me the four truths. Reciting the truths were actually some of my first words, or so I was told.
As soon as I was able I began to work and help around the temple. I did whatever tasks were requested of me, but I especially liked when I was assigned to help the old or infirm with their daily lives. They would often give me small tokens of gratitude, but those didn't matter as much as their smiles of happiness at having their earthly burdens eased. Father Mathis was a stern but fair teacher. The roots of my faith were watered by his joyous soul.
Things changed when I was around 10 years old. Father Mathis sent me out to the market to fetch some herbs for one of our ill parishioners. I knew she needed the herbs quickly, and I decided to take a short cut through some back alleyways. That is when I literally ran right into Jannolor. I picked myself up off the ground, and looked up into her fine boned face. My mouth hung open at her beauty. "What's the matter dear? Have you never seen an elf before? Why don't you come with me, you are a fine looking young lad, I may have a use for you."
Thus began my years of darkness. I was taken from the church and all that I hold dear. I was given a nice room, and fed well. I had less physically demanding tasks in the household of Jannolor than I did at the church, but she would parade me out to parties and various social gatherings among the Fae. This was even more taxing than cleaning all the many groves in the floor of the church ever were. I felt like an animal to be ogled, and even though I was never harmed, I still knew I was in a golden prison.
Eventually I was able to learn the elvish language. For a time it was all I spoke, I thought I may never know the common tongue again. I slowly was able to earn a bit more freedom, and slowly I collected the ingredients to make a special dust I had watched the men who were making an annex to our church use. This dust would change stone to clay. Once I had collected the material and was able to make the dust, I was able to make good my escape. Using the dust to weaken the walls of my cell, I was able to push my way out into the open. From their I ran, and the prophet Astrid looked down upon me, and must have smiled for I was able to avoid pursuit.
I stumbled into a small town, half starved, with little but the clothes on my back. In the lands of the faerie time seems not to pass, I quickly learned that 17 years had passed since I stumbled into Jannolor on that fateful day. My years of servitude helped me to gain employment in that capacity again. I do not have a constant master currently because none have lived up to my standards, but I have been able to work from time to time as traveling merchants or nobles come through town and need additional assistance. Everyone always jumps at the chance to hire me, and often puts me foremost among their servants. I don't really understand this, but I often see people watching me when they think I'm not looking. I think it may be because I have a physical appeal, but it is so hard for me to judge after living among the beauty of the elves for so long.
For the first time in my life, I had a comfortable existence to call my own, and I could decide what to do with my life, and that prospect terrified me.