Terrance was born to a poor farming family in the crumbling remains of a lost border fort. Naturally weak and bookish, he was of little help to his struggling village. When he discovered his talent for wizardry, though, and was brought to the wizard’s college on scholarship, it was hoped that he would be able to acquire the power and wealth needed to revitalize that town and restore it to its former glory.
Unfortunately, Terrance had his arm annihilated in a magical accident along with the portion of his soul needed to regenerated it. The accident left him an even worse farmer and unable to cast all but the simplest of spells. He lost his scholarship and was forced out of the school.
Unwilling to return home only to be a failure and a burden, he moved from place to place, chasing work where he could. He waited tables (badly), worked as a clerk with terrible handwriting, ran as a particularly slow courier, had some success as an alchemist under an insufferably arrogant wizard named Stevedolf, and was generally mopey and depressed.
He had a chance encounter with a mad old man who turned out to be Isaac Bigby, Professor Ameritus of the Aecha Ostai and undisputed master of force magic. He took pity on Terrance and taught him to case magic again using mage hand to manipulate a gauntlet. While this still limited his repertoire greatly, it allowed Terrance to start working again as a freelance wizard. He did jobs for many of the factions during the war, and eventually realized that he could get better pay, with less danger, just being an adventurer.
Corporal Varstog of the TSR, formally Sergeant Varstog – During the war, Terrance ran a mission along with Varstog’s platoon and several other freelancers. Varstog had a plan to force the enemy into the open by attacking undefended civilian targets. When Terrance learned the plan, he refused, causing a chain of desertions, first among the freelancers, then among Varstog’s own men. The few remaining members of the platoon followed through with the now untenable plan and were slaughtered, except for Varstog. He returned in shame and was stripped of his rank. He blames Terrance for the embarrassment and the ruining of his career.