Of human and biqaj descent, Theo is six foot and one inch tall with a medium and fit build. His hair is light brown, well groomed and worn short. He shaves regularly, but his beard appears to be in a consistent state of mid-trial shadow. In spite of a very poor upbringing, or maybe because of it, he tends to dress very well in the best he can afford. It would be easy for others to mistake him as completely human if not for the sometimes shifting color of his eyes, a trait which he inherited from his biqaj father. They are ordinarily a startling blue, a similar color to his mother's. But occasionally flecks of other colors may appear and dart through the field of blue, perhaps giving insight to what he may be thinking or feeling. At least to those who are familiar with the trait and have learned to interpret it.
|Eye Color || Mood ||Eye Color || Mood || Eye Color || Mood|
|Silver || Envy ||Gold || Positive || Mixed || Conflicted|
|Violet || Relief || Orange || Curiosity|| || Green || Happy|
|Black || Angry || Indigo || Amused || Copper|| Lust|
|Purple || Desire|| Brown || Fear ||White||Shock|
Theo is quick and smart, confident, calculating and observant, and has an interest in scholarly things. Especially those that may ultimately help him achieve his goals. He's quick to smile, especially if there is something to be gained by adopting a friendly, helpful and open demeanor. He is ambitious above all and learned early on in his upbringing, as a matter of survival, that a demeanor appealing to others in general tended to get one places. Except when the opposite was true. As a result, he developed a knack for acting at a very early age.
It's not to say that the trait is consistently disingenuous, in fact it's generally not. Ambitious he may be, and with a craving for the finer things, wealth, respect and position, and no qualms for doing most anything to achieve them. But he can also be genuinely kind and generous with a good sense of humor, and has a great deal of compassion for the poorest of others. That compassion and generosity does not extend however to those he believes have crossed him, and he can have a quick temper.
Theo's mother, Eleanor, had been a pretty young woman, the only child of Silas and Georgia Moreau, who lived in a small but nice and tidy home in the Earth Quarter of Rharne. Silas was a shopkeeper and Georgia, apart from raising her only child, took in sewing for neighbors and friends to help make ends meet. Eleanor was a willful, romantic girl with stars in her eyes however, who met a young Biqaj sailor named Tai Nji'Ryn on the shores of Lake Lovalus. He charmed her and captured her imagination with tales of the sea. And she charmed him in return.
Her parents of course disapproved, but Eleanor was determined and would often sneak out of the home to be with her biqaj lover, who'd promised to take her away with him for a life of adventure and finer things. It wasn't long before the young woman found herself to be with child. At first, it seemed all would be well. Though she told her parents nothing about her circumstances at first, Tai promised to marry her, and in fact he carried through and they wed.
Soon enough however, just as her parents had warned her would happen, he departed and ultimately set sail one trial after promising to return, but never did. Heartbroken and facing the prospect of raising a child alone, she turned to her parents who instead of offering their support, promptly disowned her. Alone, without money or resources, she was forced to take a home in the Dust Quarter and scrape by as best she could.
Life didn't improve for Eleanor once her son was born, though no mother could have loved a child more. As for Theo, he learned early on the streets and in the alleys of the Dust Quarter how to fight. He learned that things could be gotten by daring and sometimes recklessness, that couldn't be gotten otherwise without nels. From the time he was very small, he took it upon himself to support he and his mother's meager resources by picking pockets, snatching goods from the bins at market, and occasionally wandering into the Earth Quarter to do odd jobs for those who would let him.
He was coming to learn that adopting a role that pleased others, along with stealth and observation was a powerful combination. Nonetheless, if not for the attention of an old man who lived down the alley from his and his mother's home, Theo might have ended up like so many others his age. One by one, caught and hauled off by the knights. Some of them came back eventually. Others never did.
But all the while, someone had been watching the boy coming and going, and also observing his mother's failing health. Camus was old enough to be Theo's grandfather, and lived alone in his leaky, leaning shack. Nobody knew how he'd ended up there, but some said that he'd once been a respected professor at a far off university. Camus didn't talk much to others, but for whatever reason he took an interest in Theo. Perhaps he saw a quick mind in the boy and a desire to learn. But nonetheless, Theo began spending time at the old man's home each trial, learning things that he never would on the streets.
Camus knew a lot of things, and Theo was more than a willing student. In fact he often wondered if the old man hadn't been a professor, but a merchant or politician instead. Maybe a ruined one, the boy had thought. But he knew a lot about business, how to manage one, how to understand what would be most successful and where, and expenditures and profits. Recognizing that knowledge like that might be the best way out of poverty, Theo absorbed it all like a sponge.
But it wasn't all that the old man knew. He knew about herbs and poisons, which made Theo suspect that he hadn't been a professor after all. He knew about illicit drugs, their effects and value, and how to use his knowledge of chemistry to produce existing ones, or even create completely new ones. He even knew about politics. And Theo wanted to know all of it. The more he learned, he thought, the better his chances of getting out the Dust Quarter and making something of himself.
Doing his best to stay out of trouble, or at least avoid attracting the attention of Rharne's Lightening Knights, Theo continued to earn or take what he could. Part, of course, he gave to his mother but the rest he secreted away, saving for a time that he could rent a home in the Glass Quarter and find work there. To his mind, it was the only place to be. That time came sooner than he expected. When he turned eighteen, his mother contracted a fever and cough that persisted. She died just a handful of trials later.
Theo used some of what he'd saved in order to provide his mother with a proper burial. His grandparents, who he'd never seen or met before, had passed away several arcs earlier and so there was no one to inform or attend the funeral besides himself, Camus and a handful of other neighbors. Shortly after, Theo left the Dust Quarter for good.