Petru was born into a troubled family. Petru’s father, Dominic, was a minor noble in the Caliphas County of Ustalav with a gambling problem. Petru’s mother, Maria, was the daughter of a successful merchant who had married her off to Dominic in an attempt to raise their standing. Unfortunately, shortly after Petru was conceived, the extent of Dominic’s gambling debts became widely known when he was forced to sell off the last of the Solvescu holdings to pay down his debts. The shame this brought on the Solvescu name and on their count led to Prince Aduard, Count of Caliphas, stripping the Solvescus of their title. Disinherited and homeless, Maria and Dominic became dependent on the goodwill of the new lord, Vola, to survive.As a peasant, Dominic spent most of his time drunk on cheap beer at the local tavern, until one morning he was found murdered on the side of the road. It was unclear whether Dominic’s death was due to unpaid gambling debts, the ire of his former peers, or simply the dangers inherent in traveling the Ustalav countryside at night, but rumors of all three spread through the nobility, further poisoning the Solvescu name. Despite these difficulties, Maria devoted herself to restoring the family name, to mixed success. While she was able to befriend Baron Vola, her new lord, Maria’s looks inspired gossip amongst the Barony’s ladies that she was the Baron’s mistress.
It was in this environment that Petru grew up. His mother’s focus on social climbing left her little time or inclination to raise Petru. What time she did spend with her son, Maria used to instill in him a need to restore the Solvescu name to greatness. Petru’s copious free time was spent playing in the forests and farmlands around his home. It was on one of these trips, as a 6 year old, that Petru encountered Dana.
Dana was a thrush, the heraldic animal of the Solvescus, that, unlike all the other birds, flew toward Petru. Dana seemed to understand Petru, flying about and playing with him. At first Petru would venture out to meet up and play with Dana, day after day, until eventually, he simply brought her home with him. Dana became his constant companion, as Petru’s social status made it difficult for him to make friends. He was too noble for the peasants and servants, and his family’s disgrace drove away noble children.
As Petru came of age, his mother was able to pull strings and, with the assistance of Baron Vola, get Petru admitted to an academy for the nobility. While Petru was largely unprepared for schooling, his natural intelligence impressed his instructors and allowed him to succeed scholastically. Socially, however, Petru suffered. His family name, and history, was well known to all of his peers and, along with his penchant for talking to his pet bird, used to taunt him. The familial pride instilled in him by his mother, along with Petru’s natural temper, led to many disputes with classmates, mostly to Petru’s disadvantage. Petru’s worst tormentor was Mitru Vola, son and heir to Baron Vola.
During his time at academy, Petru began to hear voices, or more accurately, one voice, a voice which told him the future, gave him premonitions, that promised him he would restore his families name if he only listened. And so he did. As Petru continued to speak with the voice and commune with Dana, he developed powers and magic that he kept hidden at first.
Finally, however, Mitru’s torments became too much for Petru. Petru used his newfound powers to hypnotise Mitru into humiliating himself in front of the school. Angered at the retribution, Mitru turned his torments from physical and social to political. Petru quickly realized that any hope he’d had for restoring his family’s name in Ustalav was lost. Thinking about his options, he recalled a discussion with his professor and mentor Victor, a bastard from House Lebeda in Brevoy. Without any options in Ustalav, Petru decided to travel to Brevoy, in hopes of distinguishing himself either in the coming civil war or by claiming land in the River Kingdoms.