Growing up, the world was Malanthius's oyster. Born to a minor noble family in Palanthas, and given everything that he wanted, he should have been the happiest boy alive. But as with any child who has everything given freely with no cost he was a spoiled child. To make matters worse the gods blessed him with with good looks.
As a young man, Malanthius was very popular with the young ladies. Vanity was added to the list of sins that his noble family seemed oblivious to. It wasn't long until he was courting nobles' daughters and breaking hearts.
When he began to display a talent for the Art, his parents hired Archaedius the Sage, a white robed wizard of note in Palanthas. However, unlike the other presents and baubles given to him as a child, Malanthius took the magical studies quite seriously. It quickly became clear that he was not going to merely dabble in magic but pursue it to its fullest extent.
At first his parents were dismayed, their dreams of their son marrying into a good home dashed into a million pieces. But after some consideration the dream of "Malanthius the White, Master of the Tower of Wayreth" seemed acceptable to them. The time soon came where he was ready to head to the Tower of Wayreth and take the Test. His parents thought to "make a day of it" and brought food and provisions for a picnic. Needless to say there was much protestation when they were not permitted to enter the Tower, let along find it in the woods. It would seem that the Wayreth forest did not know who they were.
Or more accurately simply didn't care.
The Test began and Malanthius proved himself in both magical knowledge and combat skills. He had neared the end of the Test, his white silk robes (purchased by his parents for the "up and coming archmagus") were stained with blood from the last battle with a gargoyle. The last trial stood before him.
Malanthius's life had more or less been a free ride. Everything was set before him. Even the services of his white robed tutor had been bought with his parents' steel. But magic was never free.
There was always a cost.
A choice was given.
Malanthius could have his skill with the Art or that which he valued most.
The young mage gave the choice some thought. He imagined that the voice spoke of his parents who were probably sitting out on the edge of the Wayreth forest picnicking with roast pheasant and a bottle of wine. Probably laughing at one of the innane jokes usually told at the expense of another rival house in Palanthas.
Should they die, then not only would he be skilled with the Art, but he would inherit his parent's wealth as well.
The choice was made. He would give up his family.
The voice looked within his heart.
So quick to give up those who gave him life and comfort? There is no value there. Likewise, gold and jewels held no true meaning to one who had them by the chestful and not a single piece earned. Love of the women of Palanthas? There was no love there. Only rutting.
But love.... yes... there it was...
The love of the handsome noble in the mirrior. The only thing that Malanthius had truly valued was himself.
The choice was made and the price was paid.
The young wizard's white silk robes darkened until they were black as night. His complexion turned a sickening gray and his skin felt almost like leather or stone to the touch. Not only that, but his skin began to break open leaving weeping wounds all over his body.
The wounds were never enough to harm him or cause illness, but they would be ever present and never healing.
But the worst is what happened to his face.
Since the Test his face has remained hidden behind a mirrored mask. None has seen what his face looks like.
At least none alive have.
To say his family was mortified was like saying that dwarves didn't mind "the occasional pint". The understatement of a lifetime. Pleading and entreaties quickly turned into ultimatums. Malanthius was to don the white robes or be disowned. Having already made the sacrifice in his mind earlier on, it didn't take long for harsh words to be exchanged. The wizard was now a man without a family.
The masked wizard headed out into Krynn to see what he could make of his magic and more importantly... what he could make of the world.