"Drink ale, sling death curses, and then fill out all the necessary paperwork."
Name: Samak Nerinide
Race: Sun Elf
Age: 127 (appears approx. 20 by human standards)
Dimensions: Height 191 cm, Weight 86 kg
Class: Wizard/Hand of Mundus
Origins: Yhaunn, Sembia
Religious Tradition: Naytheism
Alignment: True Neutral
Faction Affiliation: Formerly The Hands of Mundus
"This lanky elf's sharp features combine a pallid complexion, straw-like hair, and eyes of tarnished silver that are perpetually set in sleep-deprived hollows. Underneath a layer of mud spatters and dirt stains patches and stitches compose at least as much of his garb as the original garments. Whether slung over his shoulder or in his hand, his meter-and-a-half self-bow visibly sports a bottle-opener affixed to its uppermost tip."
The ragged state of Samak's clothes comes from a constant exposure to an adventurer's life. Marks left by those orkish arrows, brigand blades, and warlock spellblasts don't just fix themselves, and waking up in a waterlogged ditch with a raging hangover leaves a few more stains than a Prestidigitation cantrip can lift. His tell-tale bow is typically left unstrung, as it is a rare occasion when it actually sees use in battle. Samak seems to prefer to use it as a flimsy walking stick, or it is simply dragged behind him when in a true stupor.
Were a child of Samak's prodigal talent for the arcane born into a decent economic class in a nation such as Evermeet or Halruaa, he may have at one point become an archmage of respected skill and power. Instead, he came to be an orphan fending for himself in the dockside slums of Yhaunn. A lifetime of watching his human peers grow up at a rate impossible to him and then find their deaths in the gutters rooted a bitter edge and even a certain derision for his own race into the back of his mind. Whenever his fingers found themselves nimble enough to filch a heavy-enough coinpurse, or his panhandling managed to provide a few extra coppers, he discovered that the burning liquid peddled in taverns helped greatly in finding escape from the fate of an eternal youth stuck to the bottom of society's boots.
Fate took a turn for Samak when he was stirred from sleep one night, now as a young adult, with sounds of combat coming from an alleyway close to his streetside retreat. He stumbled upon the scene left behind after two adventuring parties clashed in a contest which held no victor. Rather than facing mutual destruction, both sides made the choice of retreating to nurse their wounds, leaving the dead among the stray arrows and magical scorch-marks. Among the possessions of the dead, two articles were of particular note. One was a spellbook of dark magics and forsaken lore, and the other was a homunculus which survived the master's death due to a necromantic alteration to the crafting ritual. The construct had enough foul will and motive left in it to accept the elf urchin as its new master, guiding Samak through the first few steps of understanding the spellbook's contents and finally unlocking his unused magical potential.
Quickly mastering the basics of the arcane, Samak took a headfirst charge through the door of opportunity being a mage willing to be underpaid provided him. After all, when your typical take for the day is a few coppers and a caravan driver offers you a small pouch of gold to assist in the passage through savage-filled country, the choice seems easy to make. Unfortunately, the access to a solid income also meant that the formerly rare treat of good brew also became easy to find, and moments when the otherwise sharp mind wasn't dulled with alcohol drifted to relative obscurity.
The former owner of Samak's spellbook was a Left Hand of Mundus who tried to escape from the responsibilities of the order and joined up with an adventurer troupe. Thus, it is of no great surprise that the mage's adventures took him across the Dales and up the Sword Coast. Once he was able track down the local Hand representatives, signing up as a member of the Hands was a quick decision to make. If a spare tome managed to bring him this far, imagine what involvement with the organization that shaped the book's original bearer could provide? A brief indoctrination into their ranks quickly brought him a new purpose to life aside from simply drinking it away.
Though rising quickly through their ranks, capturing rogue spellspinners and investigating issues of the state while contesting accusations of abuse of the darker side of the Art, he was eventually exiled from the ranks of the Hands of Mundus. His last rank of holding being that of an Elite Magus of the Left Hand. As of recent, he's posted a simple advertisement as an arcane investigator, hoping to build a career from his formerly acquired but rather narrow skillset.
Beliefs and Behaviors
Growing up amongt the lowest of the low in Sembian society, Samak saw no benefit from the hollow prayers those around him uttered to the gods. Over time, this view of the divines' disregard was only reassured when those of a "holy" nature saw his brand of magical practices as some kind of atrocity. Rather than the pantheistic view most elves hold for "Nature", as some kind of divine force of "healthy balance", he views nature simply as "the way all things are, all plague and taint included". Undeath seems to be a natural part of existence for him, with the Plane of Negative Energy's impact on the Material no more wrong than that of Air, Earth, Fire, or Water.
The Sembian way of thought is rather notable in him, with laws and regulations being nothing more than something to follow while grasping them, skewing them, and finding loop-holes to serve your own purpose. Samak pays a careful note to the laws around him, and his naturally-Good elven heart seeks to find a way to help the lives of those who now share his once-downtrodden state. However, he uses methods others more familiar with the divine-imposed dichotomy of morality find evil, and he balks under the use of authority used to limit him. His True Neutral alignment is not due to a stance of neutrality, but rather one of a prevalent personal involvement in Chaos, Evil, Good, and Law in decent measure.
((Until I get myself to draw a better portrait past a quick sketch...))