There are any number of cruel fates in Golarion, and certainly to be half-Shoanti is not the worst of these - but when one's father is a literally soulless Hellknight of the Order of the Nail charged with subjecting one's matrilineage to total holocaust, well, that's what a man calls influential context. Koan's not sure how to feel about dear old Dad; the man's been possessed - again, a literal thing - as long as he can remember, and it's never been clear which of his attitudes and atrocities are free-willed and which are forced. Probably never will be.
Koan was raised by his mother, an exile of the Skull Clan who plays fortune-teller and ghost-whisperer to Korvosans looking for exotic answers to their mundane problems, and has lived with the troupe all his life, as cutpurse and apprentice mystic and, on occasion, troubleshooter when townfolk or Korvosan's legal enforcers pose a threat to the safety of the people of the tents. He's studied medicine and sleight of hand, the worlds beyond the horizon and how to read a person enough to convince them they're in contact, the arts of seeing and of being unseen - and a few more things aside, lessons taught through a different side of his mother altogether, with true mysticism in place of sarcasm and careful, halting tutelage instead of the free-spirited mixture of advice and practical example she uses for all else. Old Ways, she calls these special lessons. The killing arts.
He was 13 when he learned he had siblings, two half-sisters (of pure blood, of course) older and younger respectively, each said to walk his father's path and each said to seek him and Lady Tiirune (his mother, of course) for ominous and never-quite-explained-by-rumor purposes (of course). He was 16 when he took the walker's path from Korvosa into the Cinderlands and the edge of the Mobhad Leigh beyond, there to suffer an invocation the Skull Clan calls the wraith dance. A year later he returned tattooed and quiet-voiced, having given up some of his soul's brightness for an awakening he could only be prepared for by his definitive parent, rather than gifted or initiated into.
It's half a decade since then, and he still serves the troupe and by extension Korvosa - and now that chaos descends, he is all too keenly aware that the city-state's unprepared queen will need help of the most desperate kind...including from the Order of the Nail, who have been expanding their ranks and their reach in reaction to the riots and general disorder, offering welcomed aid in restoring peace...at cost. Terrible costs, in some cases. Spurred by the heightening of racial tensions between the Varisians and the "barbarian" Shoanti who live within Korvosa, the danger to the troupe as banditry spikes and the roads grow monster-haunted, and ill tidings of certain propositions made from the Order to the beleaguered city-state's nobles, Koan is as ready as ever he'll be - the time to act is now. Peace must return to Korvosa.Race:
(Dreamscarred Press, which is almost
Criminal, Scholar of the Beyond