Lost Mines of Phandelver
Growing up in a strict, militaristic society, in Djerad Thymar, Thava was always a little bit in trouble with local authorities. When she was young, she was most of all a wild soul, curious and energetic, looking for ways to bend or surpassed rules to improve whatever she was doing. Doing this as a child, she never intended to wrong anybody, but eager and willing to please she always ended up trying too hard to reach a certain goal, ignoring rules along the way. Her good intentions were frequently misunderstood, she was labeled as a troublemaker and soon, out of spite, took a certain pride in that name. She was taught compassion and empathy, but failed to develop a respect for tradition and her ancestors, much to the disappointment of her clan. This caused her to constantly struggle with what society expected of her and what her impulsivity urged her to do.
Thava grew up educated by her mother, who was an excellent merchant that taught her the trade, which intrigued her not because of the necessary routine, but because of the interactions it offered with others, persuading others to new deals, acquiring new business partners and learning the best way to interact with them. Her mother soon understood that keeping her occupied in business kept her out of trouble, so she invested in Thava’s education, hoping that this would help her be more accepted by the town’s society.
When serving her 2 years in the Lance Defenders Thava learned basic combat rules but also, again, inevitably clashed with strict leaders, this time being penalized for disobedience, when she constantly failed to show the necessary respect. This pattern continued a few years after she finished her duty in the military. During this time, Thava worked at her mother’s trading company, constantly getting into fights with her, because she just fundamentally failed to live according to the 3 concepts of Thymari society. (1.Omin’ iejirsjighen, blood commands unity, clan earns it; the things your clan teaches you are important, like defending your city 2.Omin’ iejirkkessh, what the clan writes in blood, things the clan doesn’t need to teach you, like respecting traditions&elders, 3. Throtominarr, showing honor to your ancestors by improving what they made without undoing it). Thava felt a close connection and devotion to her clan, yet failed especially at the 3rd concept, not understanding the importance of tradition and respecting elders.
When she was in her early 20s, she got in an especially bad fight with clan elders when she accidentally committed a crime(i still need to work on this part, what exactly she did. basically, i want it to be „really good intentions, but gone horribly wrong and hurt more people than if she just followed the rules“), which earned her exile. She got stripped of her clan piercings and name, since then only going by „Thava“. (I have not yet figured out what clan she would’ve grown up in).
Lost, regretting what she had done and questioning herself, her motifs and her morals, she wandered around the lands for months until she arrived in Waterdeep, hurt and exhausted. (I hope the following could realistically happen in Waterdeep :o)
Without any money or valuable possessions left, she found herself forced to steel food at a local merchant to survive. This was Thava’s first intentional crime, and it made her feel terrible because it appeared to be proof that she was, like her former clan thought, „morally corrupt“. She justified it saying that the merchant wouldn’t miss the loss as much as she would suffer if she didn’t steal, but she was very uncomfortable. Much to her distress, she got caught. The merchant, however, realized that she was starving and lost and Thava tried to explain her situation as best as she could, omitting the fact that she had been exiled for a crime. The merchant showed compassion and didn’t alert the City Watch, instead he brought her to a woman called Maren. Maren was a brusk elder smith with a heart of gold and a habit of picking up street kids. She offered them a home in return for light services to sustain her little private „orphanage“. Thava, as an adult obviously didn’t need a caretaker, but Maren offered her food and a place to stay nonetheless until she could „stand on her own feed“ again.
Thava’s next few months were shaped by gratefulness and compassion for Maren and her total of 8 foster children. She soon started working in a small shop and gave most of what she earned to her „new family“. Maren appreciated Thava for her lateral thinking skills and encouraged her to „think outside the box“. This was the first time that Thava was praised for her curious and impulsive nature, which helped her gain more self-esteem and process the loss of her clan and home.
Slowly, she started appreciating the newly found freedom living in Waterdeep granted her, she enjoyed making connections with members of the various races living there, exploring their cultures and various places in the city.
About half a year later she moved out of her „foster home“ to make space for children that needed the room, but stayed closely connected to the family, supporting them financially, visiting often and taking care of the children when Maren needed a helping hand.
Years went by and Thava had found a new home where she was thoroughly accepted. At some point, she saved enough funds to open her own shop, trading high-quality arms and leather-goods. Her dragonborn nature helped her intimidate rowdy customers and her interest in different cultures proved to be helpful when she learned to negotiate with most people appropriate to their culture.
About ten years later (she’s not that young in my mind so idk, there has to be a downtime somewhere), when she was 36, a good friend got in a fight with a local noble and wrongly convicted of attacking him when said noble has clearly been the aggressor. Said friend now had to pay a hefty fine that made him virtually bankrupt. Thava and a group of other closely trusted friends decided to fight for „justice“ their own way. As a result, they stole various possessions from said noble and his family; Thava’s job was secretly selling these goods in her shop. Using their earnings to support their friend, they had some money left, so Thava distributed it to her foster family and others in need.
Realizing that this (quite Robin Hood-esque) plot worked, Thava and her friends were hooked. They started creating a little network of burglars, messengers, pickpockets and the like that would acquire valuables from nobles that wronged others in some way, selling it a few other shops, but mainly in Thava’s. Earnings would be distributed between participants, employers in need and charitable organizations.
A couple years went by, until they angered the wrong person (Some influential noble/Member of an important guild.) and, step by step, their network got infiltrated, her associates got arrested or, more likely, killed. Thava tried her best to destroy evidence of her connection to Maren’s family and other friends and fled the city. Most of friends tried to do the same, few succeed and she doesn’t know who made it out of town, who survived or how to find out about the whereabouts of her friends.
Again, Thava wandered lost and alone in the woods, this time confident in her motifs and morals, but devastated by the loss of her friends, new family and new home. This time, to herself, she vowed vengeance, she promised herself to one day return to Waterdeep and destroy whoever destroyed her life. This was the moment her patron appeared.