Kree Quickshadow grew up as a runt on the streets of Dyvers. A Halfling even to other halflings it seemed. In the City of Coin you grow up learning to do whatever you can to make it and Kree wasn’t exactly good at anything but Halflings take care of their own and Kree only made it out of childhood because of his guild. He always looked up to his rogueish brothers who could strike from the shadows and gut a man with a single slice of a blade and try as he might he could never duplicate such prowess. But it was his life’s goal to do so. One day his band decided to strike it rich and raid a wizards tower, something had to be valuable in that place and they might be able to move up from the streets and get themselves a respectable position as real thieves in the city. Until it all went south.
The best of the best in his little guild went in and it was all going perfectly, not a trap sprung or guardian awoken until they found out their intelligence was inaccurate and the wizard was actually home. Not out on some arcane something or other expedition. They tried to sneak back out, leave everything but he had already spotted them. It wasn’t even a fight, really, rogues were paralyzed and left for stone monstrosities to beat until there would be nothing left to inform their families about. Most everyone else took off running while the rest stayed and attacked without effect.
Kree stunned by the display of power stayed hidden the entire time and watched helplessly as all of those who had stood up for him and helped him his entire life were slaughtered before his eyes. He just stayed there, not sure what to do, for hours it seemed like while the bodies of what had come to be his family lay slumped dead on the floor. Some magical force must have been cleaning up the place but the wizard just sat down at his desk and continued his studies. The crack of light through tiny windows came before the old man slowly hobbled himself up to bed and the sight by itself was a revelation, a man this old and weary was capable of such slaughter. He could barely walk and yet none of his fellows could touch him. He waited a while longer until he heard the bustle of day begin outside and made a run for it. He thought he made it when he reached the front door and a burst of energy stung the back of his right shoulder. He didn’t stop, he knew he could still move and he ran for all he was worth. Back to the house his guild had called home. He took off his shirt and examined his shoulder in the mirror and saw a glowing intricately carved mark burned into his skin. He wasn’t sure what it meant but the fact that it was glowing couldn’t be good. He took off immediately grabbing a couple of days of rations and some coins his dead guildmates would no longer need and headed or the docks. He wasn’t down the first street when a huge explosion rocked the area. He looked back and saw the guildhouse had exploded and was burning. A huge fireball came from the sky and rocked the guildhouse again and at this point there was nothing left but some flaming Girders. Kree picked up the pace again and ran as fast as he could to the dock, sure that his short legs would betray him to the old wizard. 10 golden coins to the first boat taking passangers and he was on his way to Greyhawk. Not sure if there was anything he could do he stayed in his cabin covered in blankets the whole time.
When he got to Greyhawk he managed to find a guard and convince him that a wizard was chasing him by showing him the glowing mark on his back. He was escorted to the school of magic in Greyhawk and left in their custody. A quick examination using words Kree had no idea about gave him the distinct impression that they knew who’s mark it was and that they did not like this person. The sigil was magically warded to protect Kree from being located but it would only last so long. Kree would have to remain at the school under the care of the wizard there if he wanted to be protected, and their protection would not come free, Kree was to earn his keep performing the menial tasks for this wizard who was keeping him safe.
As the time passed he couldn’t help but be intrigued by the power these wizards and due to the coin he had stashed away he secretly arranged for a new identity to be created and entrance to the school. Xellos, scion of a distant noble (some name Kree had heard mentioned with the words “as far away as ___’s lands”) come to Greyhawk to study magic at the greatest school in the Flanness.
It was very quickly he learned that the mark on his back was simply an Arcane Mark and could be erased easily, but for some reason, perhaps the time that it had resided there or the method used to apply it, the scar stayed and while untraceable now, the mark of another wizard was left on Xellos’ body. To this day Xellos holds a grudge against that wizard and has revenge on his mind, a dish best served cold so he’s told. So too does he hold a grudge against the wizard who he thought was helping him but instead found out he was using him for menial labor. Kree just stopped showing up one day and while observing him from afar it seems the wizard didn’t care much and has forgotten about him.
Most wizards who join such a school continue to serve the school their whole lives, they have achieved a certain skillset that lends itself to magical study but very few places other than a school of magic will meet the rudimentary needs of someone in exchange for magical study. Some set off as adventurers but the majority opinion of those at such places is they are fools, most adventurers wind up dead. And Xellos agreed, there was no reason to go off and get oneself killed when there was so much to do here at the school, once you knew the basics of magic you only knew how much you still didn’t know and for several years Xellos stayed in the school and devoted himself to the advancement of conjuration magic. But while life was good, it wasn’t really getting him anywhere. He soon began to feel as he did when he was growing up, that while he was contributing in a small way, it was those above him that were taking care of and protecting him. He realized the only way to continue on was to strike out on his own, or part of a team that he was an integral part of at least in order to make his own way in the world.
And so Xellos set out on his first adventure, and has had many since but never in a solid group, people may hire various adventurers to band together to retrieve an item but generally by the end, the group goes it’s separate ways. Xellos, now a seasoned adventurer has seen things that civilization is designed to keep most people from seeing. He still goes back to the school from time to time, and his observations on various things he’s seen are welcomed, but he’s no more than a guest lecturer anymore, but it’s enough to give him access to the Greyhawk library and that alone makes it worth keeping up with.