I'm not 100% sure which thread this is supposed to go into, so I'll put it here just in case....
Halsten Gaelwyn - Nimble Human Acrobat
Halsten and his twin brother Gareth were born to a family who farmedn the fertile plains near the Hills of the Emerald Dawn. Despite being twins, the two boys could not have been more different. Where Gareth was strong and fit, Halsten remained thin and traded strength for mental and physical dexterity.
Despite their differences, the boys were very close and were well known for getting into all manner of youthful hijinks. Halsten would come up with the plans then pass them on to Gareth to be carried out. Normally, these were harmless pranks, but it was their last one that would change Halsten's life forever.
The boys were in their teens when the first steam engines arrived on their family farm. They had heard stories of these wonderous machines that ran on fire and water, but this was the first they had been able to see for themselves. The machine itself was rather unremarkable, a simple tractor that would replace the oxen Halsten's father used to pull his plows. At first it seemed like a grand idea, but then reality dawned.
The machine was surprisingly expensive to maintain. Keeping it fed with coal was a costly exercise, the family unable to use wood chopped during the summer for winter fires due to inefficiency. On top of that, the amount of water required to slake the machines unending thirst was straining the local wells. Things looked to be headed for disaster when Halsten came up with an idea.
He and Gareth would travel to the nearest town and lighten the purse of the man who sold their father the engine. In Halsten's mind, it was the merchant's fault that his family was now in such dire straights. It was only right that they take a little back as compensation.
The brothers put the plan into action. They made their way to the nearest town, located the merchant, and began watching his shop, waiting for the best moment to strike. Their opportunity came when the merchant left to conduct some business elsewhere in town. They made their way around the back of the building, located a conventiently open window and snuck inside. Sadly, Gareth was quite as stealthy as his more limber brother and was spotted by a passerby.
Unaware of this, the brothers began pocketing anything that looked valuable. They didn't take everything, just what they thought was fair compensation. However, before they could finish, the merchant returned. The eagle eyed passer by had rushed off to warn him of what was happening and he had stormed back to his shop full of fury and anger. When he saw the brothers filling their pockets with his money he flew into an almighty rage. Grabbing a nearby cudgel, he chased the brothers out of his shop and down the street, screaming bloody murder.
Fortunately, both boys were quick on their feet. They were no strangers to running away from angry adults, so long as they knew where they were going. This time they were out of luck. They had only been to the town once before and weren't familier with its layout, and so ended up running down a narrow street that ended in a massive engine factory. Knowing that they couldn't afford to slow down for more than a few seconds they decided to head into the factory, hoping to find a place to hide until the merchant had given up the chase.
Once inside they quickly found an out of the way corner to rest up, behind a tall stack of metal ingots. The merchant followed them into the factory mere moments later, scanning the room for any sign of the two boys. Not seeing any trace of them he realised that they had escaped and threw his cudgel into the room in angry frustration. The weapon sailed across the room and came to rest on one side of a set of industrial sized scales, causing them to become imbalanced. The lighter side of the scales bolted upwards and set in motion a Rube Goldberg-esque series of events that culminated in a collection of metal pipes suspended from the ceiling smacking into the stack of ingots the brothers were hiding behind, making them rain down on their heads.
Almost instinctively, Halsten lept clear of the falling ingots, but Gareth was not so lucky. The boy was crushed beneath the falling metal, killed instantly. Upon seeing the death of his brother, Halsten turned and fled and never looked back. He couldn't go home. There was no way he could explain this to his parents, especially when they were counting on his stronger brother to take over operation of the farm when their father became too old. Instead he ran. Ran in the opposite direction. He didn't stop running until he reached Riverton.
The money he had stolen from the merchant lasted him a short while. Even though it had been tinged with the sadness of his brother's death, Halsten had felt a real thrill while raiding the merchant's shop. Once it ran out he tried getting some more by a similar method, once again getting the same feeling. By that point he was hooked. Gone were his carefree days growing up on a farm. He was a burglar now.
[Not as much machine hate as I initially thought, but he's certainly not a fan.]