Monk apprentice. Sent away from his monastery to complete his training.
Mal is a young boy, age uncertain, but 15-ish. He’s skinny and small.
He’s quiet. He’s calm. And only carries a small bag and staff with him. He obviously doesn’t need it to walk. So shattering bones is probably what it’s mostly used for.
Mal’s real age is unknown.
That’s one of the results of being found on the steps of monastery one cold morning of winter.
You don’t have parents.
You don’t have an age.
You don’t have a last name.
You don’t have a first name.
Mal is young.
Mal is skinny, which makes him look younger.
Mal doesn’t smile much, which makes him look older.
Mal is small, which makes him look younger.
Mal is smart, which helps him pass for older.
Mal was raised by the monks, like many other orphans. His best friend there was another young boy. Youngest son of an important family, who gave him to the monastery as “payment” for fighting off a group of thieves and criminals terrorizing their small land. That’s what the monks from Mal’s monastery mostly do. They fight. They defend. And when required, assassin people. Once the leader of that small group was dead, chasing off the rest was just a formality.
Mal was already “grown up” when his friend got to the monastery. Maybe 9 or 10. He quickly took responsibility for the slightly younger boy. Defending him against older monk apprentices. Usually taking the blame for the two of them when getting in trouble. And definitely sneaking food to each others cells when thrown into a cell as punishment. They were mostly inseparable.
Mal had to leave though. Leaving his friend behind. The monastery sent him away to perfect his education. Going on foreign lands and accomplishing minor quests is hardly an exception for his order. It’s just that they usually didn’t go this far west. And usually not this young.
Adaptability. Knowledge. His order creates fighter for sure. But they also have to be able to infiltrate other groups. They will fight if they have. But will chose to assassinate key elements of the target organizations their task is to dismantle, rather than kill each and every member.
Although far from without troubles, Mal’s formation has been mostly successful. His height and weight make him a stealthy and fast fighter. He can hide. He can move without a noise. He will sneak behind your back. And his innocent face will look you in the eyes as you understand he mislead you all this time. (never trust children) What he lacks in strength, he makes up for in dexterity and intelligence. What he lacks in wisdom… can only be fixed by time.