Throughout his life, since he was young, he has been learning everything he possibly could about anything that piqued his interest. Growing up he would climb the trees of his elven village, in which he would sit and think or meditate.
He always loved the theoretical aspects of Wizardry and had an intuitive understanding of how magic works. As he was growing up he realised he couldn't use magic the way that Wizards do, but he didn't consider it overly important to be able to learn as he was mostly interested in ideas. He was curious about the conceptual and the hypothetical. But he does have magic; he has strong magical powers which are raw and unrefined: Wild magic.
Despite his inability to use magic the way that Wizards do, he studied it intensely and has become a knowledgeable researcher and one of the youngest high-elf magic professors in the land. He is known to be a great professor and creative researcher.
Above all else, he values truth. He seeks knowledge, information, truth, and understanding, and his entire life has been oriented toward these things. He believes there is something to learn from every situation, and from every interaction – even if the person he’s interacting with isn’t aware of what they’re teaching him. He is still technically a child elf (despite recently declaring adulthood), and thus his playful spirit combined with an innate desire to "find out what happens if…" can mean that there are often undesirable consequences to the decisions he makes, but he does learn from them.
When engaged in a task he is relentlessly focused and cannot be distracted. But when he isn't pursuing something, his mind is wandering constantly, as are his senses, shifting his focus constantly as he perceives his environment.
He is very diplomatic and believes that talking can solve all conflict. He will take risks to avoid conflict, and does not engage in physical violence – he believes it is beneath him. But he will use his magic if he has to in order to move toward something he desires or to avoid something that could cause him harm. Despite his opposition to physical means of conflict resolution, he does know how to use a dagger and a bow for hunting food.
He loves all things that reveal reality to us, including art, music, poetry, and lore. He produces works of art when necessary, and trades these for coins or other items he requires.
Taking a sabbatical from his position in the educational institution, he is adventuring in order to learn more about the world and the reality in which he is situated. He also seeks to understand and improve is magical capabilities.
One influencing factor in his decision to take a sabbatical was that he noticed he was losing his ability to contain his magic – its power is exceeding his intuitive understanding of how to control it – and decided he must leave before he causes harm.
He was a student and then later a teacher at Blackstaff Tower in Waterdeep. Waterdeep, also knows as the City of Splendors or the Crown of the North is the most influential city in this area of the world. It is a hub of trade, commerce, arts, knowledge, politics and intrigue.
Blackstaff Tower is the traditional home of the Archmage of Waterdeep, protector of the city and teacher of those interested in the arcane arts. Your character came to the tower, showing amazing potential and an intuitive understanding of magic. While his teachers and most of the other faculty respected him, there was a fellow elven student, Tlaelern Teshurr, a high elf wizard who thought that sorcerers were lesser practitioners of magic and was a constant rival for top marks and recognition.
Complicating the relationship was their friendship with _____ because of ______. This led to the incident when ______. As a result ________.
Awesome.. I like the ideas.
Names… I'm not entirely certain of the Elvish naming customs, but I was thinking of ways to tie the word "Epistemic" into a name.
I have also thought of a potentially interesting backstory idea that could manifest itself in many different possible ways as we progress. When he was young, and still learning to control his magic, there was a terrible tragic accident: an uncontrollable surge of magic ended up killing his parents. He doesn't remember the traumatic even because he was young, and there was always some mystery about what caused it and why it happened, but what he knows is that his magic ended up killing his parents, and so he grew up without them. This was one thing which catalysed his desire to control his powers and avoid another tragedy (which is why he has now left to adventure).
He doesn't really truly have anyone close to him, as he has been afraid to grow close to anyone for fear of destroying them unintentionally. The group of adventurers with whom he is about to travel are going to be the first potential friends he will ever have had. Everyone else thus far with whom he has been acquainted has been just that – an acquaintance whose utility was needed or to whom he could be of assistance.
He is angry when someone he respects seems blind to the truth. This is why his rivalry with Tlaelern began – he thought Tlaelern was intelligent, and initially they were friends because they had a lot of thinking along similar lines about magic theory and practice. But then it came to be that Tlaelern was stuck in many apparently narrow-minded ways of thinking, with particularly unrespectable (to my character) end-goals in mind. Tlaelem's ideas, carried to their logical extremes, were going to infringe upon the freedom of others (supposedly for the greater good), and in order to get where he wanted to go, Tlaelem had to become deceptive and lie. He immediately loses respect for anyone who is willing to lie.
Further complicating their relationship was their respective relationships with Archmage of Waterdeep because, though the Archmage was a fan of the greater good promised by the ideas of Tlaelern's research, my character thought he was either being deceived or was dishonest about the consequences that would occur. As a result, my character questions the integrity of the Archmage of Waterdeep and the Archmage is becoming weary of his ability to trust the judgement of my character (though he has revered his intelligence and creativity to date).
He is driven to be who he wants to be by what he remembers of his parents.
Do you think this fits with what I've described so far?
Love the backstory. Always like a tragic past in a hero.
I'm going to suggest that the thing that he fears the most is that his magic goes out of control again and has consequences for those he cares about. I like that you tied his early tragedy in with his inability or fear of growing close with someone. I hope you take this as an opportunity for him to grow close to someone in the party, reluctantly or against his will as it may be. Would be a great story element overall, and particularly for your character.
The current Archmage of Watedeep in my continuity will be Laeral Silverhand, a long-lived magic-touched human woman who also serves on the governing body of the city. Perhaps due to the conflict in philosophy or just knowing that your character needed a change in scenery, she (or one of her advisors – perhaps a sorcerer – if not wild magic – who actually has taken your side before) recommends the adventure in the campaign as the best thing for you.