Atharen was the product, of an affair between his father, a wealthy Goldhand dwarven merchant, and his mother, a dark elf woman he never met. Though his father rarely if ever spoke of his birth, the few times he had he mentioned that she was pressured by her family to give him up as an infant due to their adherence to purity within their bloodline. So instead, Atharen was given to his father where he was raised in Kaz'ulrah in the city of Kal'Tarak. His father was a somewhat cold and distant figure. The clan he belonged to was a very prestigious clan of birth rights and were particularly proud of the clan feature of notable blond hair. To be born with ashen skin and pitch black hair made him stand out as the odd one out. Though his father tried to hide it, he was somewhat embarrassed and viewed him as an obligation. Atharen spent most of his early years alone in solitude from many of his peers. Besides his training to take up the clan trade, his features and the nature of his birth left him ostracized and ignored by many, besides the occasional cruel gossip that would be spread about him. Atharen did make one friend, an old smith by the name of Kadrak. Kadrak noticed the young beardling was often alone and took pity on him, letting him spend his free time in his smithy. Atharen was enraptured by the process of smithing and after a significant amount of pestering and begging Kadrak finally relented and showed Atharen a little bit of what he knew. Atharen found he enjoyed the work and became proficient enough to help the old smith with the some of the orders and commissions he received. It was while spending time in Kadrak's smithy that he came across an old tome that'd change his life. he found an old dusty book among the smith's collection of old dusty things about rune smithing. he inquired about it and Kadrak admitted he didn't remember having it or where he got it from, however he let the young dwarf have it. Atharen voraciously devoured its content over the course of several weeks. After that, wishing to expand his knowledge, he would scrounge up enough pocket money and seek out local book dealers, picking up other books on a variety of subjects from the arcane to artificery, along with dwarven lore and history. Atharen's Father was somewhat aware of his interests but ignored it as it kept him busy and out of his hair. However as time went on and Atharen came to the age of diving into the trade more seriously, his father pressured him to conform. Atharen however, had no interest in trade. He felt disaffected without a real place to belong and stifled from pursuing his interests. And so, he made a fateful decision. One night he decided to pack a bag, leave his home and forsake his clan, to find his place in the world.