Brego was born of the nomadic Taerwyn tribes of the Great Sand Sea. He was captured by Cressian slave traders as a youth and spent most of his life in servitude. He was sent to Shem by ship and did not leave the city for decades except to work in the stone quarries. After years of cutting and hauling stone formed him into a powerful young man, he was sent to the fighting pits where he quickly became a crowd favorite.
Son of a Taerwyn tribe, Brego spent his early years in The Great Sand Sea. Always on the move, his people have no word that means only 'home'. Their word for 'family' - Hrashim - can be interpreted as meaning both home and
family. Therefore, the tribe was his family, and his family was his home.
He learned at a very early age to sit a horse and use a bow. Like the others of his people, he spent most of his life at this time on horseback. Even as a babe, he was atop a horse swaddled by his mother. By the time he was six, he had been given his own horse. By the age of eight, he shared the mount with his younger sister: Magda. She was three years his younger, and he protected her fiercely.
It is not uncommon for Cressian raiders to attack the Taerwyn. The tribes are looked upon as uncivilized, and are considered fodder for the lucrative slave trade in Cressus
. So it was when Brego was only ten years old that his tribe was beset by men in strange clothing, wielding wickedly curved swords bronze. Many of his tribe's warriors were cut down; including Brego's father, who died trying to protect his people. Magda ran off in the chaos, her small legs hopefully carrying her away from the chaos of bloodshed. Brego, however, was not so lucky.
Brego was taken, along with a dozen of his kin, before the raiders were driven off by the Taerwyn counter-attack. Stuffed into wagons cages made of reeds from the Cressian Oasis, they were taken from the Great Salt Sea. The journey over the Cressian Badlands took over a week, but soon they found themselves standing upon a stone dais in the center of a market, surrounded by tall buildings and towering minarets which were as foreign to them as the ocean itself, which they would soon learn to loathe.
After being sold to a swarthy Shemitish man, Brego and several of his kin were loaded into the hold of a ship bound north to the distant city-state. Several days at sea in the cramped hold were enough to ingrain into him a lifelong hatred of the sea.
For almost ten years, Brego was sent to the quarries outside of Shem to cut and haul stone for a variety of building projects. His hands helped to build several monuments, including a grand spire in the main square of Shem. He felt no pride in any of this, however, as he was given no choice in what sort of work he was to do.
Over time, the hard labor sculpted the small boy into a lithe and muscular man. Despite his lot in life, he was still a hard worker and soon became a favorite of the stone masters. Despite their fondness for the hard-working young Taerwyn, however, he was still little more than an asset. Slaves were easy to find for the quarry, and not expensive. A pit fighter, however, was worth a purse full of silver. Thus was he sold to the pit masters.
Sand and Blood
Brego set down the mason's hammer and took up implements of death. He became skilled with the sword, axe, mace, and many other weapons both mundane and exotic. He applied his willingness to learn and work hard to his training, and soon became a favorite of the people in the fighting pits of Shem. The better he performed, the more he was rewarded. Soon, his masters treated him more like a revered guest than a slave, but the iron manacles binding his wrists and the locked doors behind which he lived were constant reminders of his station in life.
Finally, the lax attitude of his masters presented the opportunity for him to escape. Killing several guards in the process, Brego soon was free of the walls of his master's home and hiding in the back alleys of Shem. He survived in the slums for weeks, but desired to return to his Hrashim - his family and his home. Thus did he escape the walls of the city and set out across the scrubland on a journey that would take him places he never expected to find.