[character background in prose, gameplay related comments in brackets]
Caladreus was the unlikely offspring of an elven scholar and a human warrior. His father, Antreus, served as the bodyguard to a human ambassador to the small elven nation of Truvold, and began a surreptitious romance with a young (by elven standards) court scholar named Tessara. They were able to keep their relationship a secret for several years, but the conception of Caladreus would be the lovers’ downfall. An elf of high status, pregnant with a half-human child, was a disgrace in the orthodox, traditional court of Truvold, which would not tolerate half-bloods among its ranks. When her pregnancy became known to the court, Caladreus’ mother-to-be was banished. The controversy was a strain on relations between Truvold and the human ambassador’s homeland, and Antreus, too, fell from grace. The lovers were forced to set out on their own to find a new home and raise their half-elf son.
They settled in a village in the mountains far from their homelands. The townsfolk there were mostly human, and ambivalent towards the mixed-blood family. Luckily, Antreus was an expert archer, and ran a successful shop selling and repairing bows and arrows. Tessara’s years of scholarship had given her skills in the way of potion-making, and so they also sold those at the shop. A certain tension underscored the relationship between the family and the locals, but the couple’s skills were well-respected, and – at least for a time – allowed them to live in peace.
As Caladreus grew, he developed into a well-rounded [note balanced, mid-high range ability scores] young man, learning the way of the archer from his father, while developing a taste for scholarship and knowledge of the magical arts from his mother [as a half-elf, I get 2 favored classes, and plan on developing a ranger/wizard multi-class character]. From a very young age, he showed a near preternatural agility and finesse [DEX=15], becoming proficient with weapons of all sorts, but especially the bow. Graced also with keen vision, even by eleven standards [note development of perception skill – I have a +10 modifier at 1st-level], he quickly became an expert with the bow under his father’s tutelage, and knew from a young age that he was to follow the path of the arcane archer [I am designing my character with this prestige class in mind, tuning my ability scores, class choices, feats, and skills to this end].
But all was not to remain peaceful. One family in the village – the Galagrond clan – had long despised the elves, and the only thing worse than an elf in their eyes was a half-blood. As Caladreus grew older, tension with this family heightened, until one day a disagreement over payment at Antreus’ shop exploded into violence. The ensuing brawl left many Galagronds, who were no match for the bows of Antreus and young Caladreus, dead. But by the battle’s end, both Antreus and and Tessara had suffered mortal wounds. Caladreus, age 17, was orphaned, and though some townsfolk took pity on him, few could look past the fact that he had killed several humans. Like his parents before him, he was cast out of his home [the GM could bring in members of the Galagrond clan – perhaps seeking revenge – in a future storyline].
And so Caladreus began a life of solitude, a half-blood scorned by both humans and elves. His childhood and the experiences of his parents have led him to distrust most forms of authority, but even more to detest evil in all its incarnations [he worships no deity and is of chaotic-good alignment]. This perspective on the world, combined with his skills as a ranger and archer, have allowed him to pursue a lucrative career as a bounty hunter. With his skills, he has established himself as one of the best in the business, though his unwillingness to accept contracts on moral grounds has at time been a source of tension with his employers. He refuses, however, to be the pawn of powerful men consumed by hate or lust for power. Less principled bounty hunters might call this attitude squeamish, but his near perfect record on contracts and ruthless dispatching of those who have tried to manipulate him have proven him to be a force to be reckoned with [though this of course may have earned him a few enemies, another story opening for the GM].
Despite the difficult beginning to his life, Caladreus has managed to forge some measure of satisfaction out of his station, finding honor in bringing evildoers to justice, and using his rather nomadic lifestyle as a means to pursue the love of knowledge instilled in him by his mother. He revels in the chance to learn the magic, history, and science of different lands and cultures. Yet there remains a part of him that yearns for the sense of home and belonging that he never truly experienced.