He's got a different 12 step program now.
Lance Clortho is the last in a long lineage that has existed in the town of Grimby. His ancestry can be traced back to the earliest recorded history of this town and though the name of Clortho has always been a respected one, in recent years it has become synonymous with calamity.
Most of the trade that has existed with neighboring populations has gone up and down the Saddler River and the men in Lance’s family have always overseen every aspect of what travels on the waters, from building and owning nearly all of the trading boats and barges, to managing the dock and its storehouse, to defending the townspeople from whatever scourge beset them via the river.
In recent years, events have become cataclysmic for the Clortho family, resulting in the death of nearly every male member including Lance’s four cousins, his two older brothers and the disappearance of his father, Rand.
On the day after his 14th birthday, Lance was allowed to join his father and his uncle Vinz on a trading expedition to the neighboring town of Tamran. It was an exciting time for Lance as he hadn’t spent much time in other communities and he was eager to learn his family’s trade. Not long after they had set sail, their ship was attacked by marauding bandits who rained arrows from either side of the river before boarding her. During the attack Lance was knocked unconscious, presumed dead by his attackers, and was thrown overboard. His body was swept by the current until he was washed onto the banks of the river, miles away from his home.
Weakened and distraught, with no one else in sight, he slowly made his way home where he learned that there was another survivor from his father’s ship, his uncle Vinz. Vinz similarly washed ashore, and he described how he had seen Lance’s father captured along with half of the ship’s crew and how he had witnessed one of his own sons murdered. He himself had half his right leg lopped off and was knocked over the prow of the ship. If it weren’t for a local fisherman discovering him on the bank, he surely would’ve died.
Over the next three years, his brothers spent whatever time they could spare trying to find out whatever they could about the attackers and their father’s whereabouts, leaving Lance to watch over his mother and sister. The brothers both drowned after being struck by a (put monster here)and his remaining cousins died while chasing their dreams of valor in war away in neighboring lands.
Only Lance’s mother Shara, his younger sister Helena and his uncle Vinz remain. The family has never recovered from the string of tragedies. His uncle and sister run the trading company while Lance has squandered a large part of his family’s fortune on drink, women and vainglorious ventures, ever trying to drown out his sorrows and to forget the past. He is an infamous character in the town. He is as well-known for his drunkenness as he is for his charm. He has known the bed of nearly every maiden in this small town and has the ire of every father for it as well.
Vinz recognizes great potential in Lance. But seeing his nephew, and the only remaining male heir to the family, as a wayward young man, Vinz has taken it upon himself to steer Lance in the right direction and has recommended he join the Returners. Though the group may not desire such a vile creature, and though Lance himself is reluctant to do much of anything outside of hedonism, this may be his only chance to both find some purpose and, perhaps with the Returner’s help, to locate his father, else he wind up penniless or worse – dead without honor.