Jax was born under an occluded front of the Astral and Umbral winds. The violent convergence caused a massive storm unlike any other. According to the Open Hand monks who raised him, his parent's vessel was destroyed and the monks rescued him from flotsam drifting on the sea the next day. Anduriel tells him differently.
The circumstances of Jax’s birth left him marked by the winds. From birth, his eyes were a solid brilliant blue, flecked with tiny stars of glittering silver. His unique nature and mysterious potential intrigued the monks who took him in. The Drescal Caravan of Open Hand monks raised the gnomish infant on their massive Reliquary flagship.
As early as Jax can remember they voices were there. They spoke to him, guiding him and telling him secrets. The monks taught him that the voices were the Winds. He was trained in how to listen and converse with the Winds. When they began teaching him to fight he used the winds guidance and warnings to anticipate his opponents and soon developed his own unique style.
Around the time he turned 20 he realized what the monks were. They flew no black flag and no one was slaughtered during their visits. But every time they encountered another ship or island they plundered its riches. There were no threats, their impressive fleet and reputation were enough. The monks simply smiled, opened their hands, and the ‘tributes’ poured in. Uriel, the Astral wind that guided him most often, told him the monks of the Open Hand had no malice in their hearts. But Andurial, his Umbral counselor, simply questioned, as always, what really happened to his parents.
Jax decided to leave. It wasn’t that simple of course. He was a vital navigation tool to the monks and always watched when another ship or island was nearby. So Jax began to secret away parts and materials and construct a ship of his own out of sight beneath the waves. After a year of trial and error, his octopus-shaped submarine was finally complete. He was almost caught pillaging the food stores to stock up for his departure. But guided by Andurial’s whisperings, and hidden under the cloak of darkness, he fled the caravan of the monks who raised him, a literal thief in the night.
After spending the first two decades of his life always on the move, Jax was unable to settle down. It didn’t help that Jax had essentially been raised by pirates, and thus his understanding of property laws was a little fuzzy. He was used to taking what he wanted when he wanted. At the monastery caravan, all property was communal and personal belongings didn’t exist. After a few unpleasant encounters with law enforcement, in various cities across numerous islands, Jax stopped taking things from others; at least openly. It took a few more years for Jax to really understand the concept of money and trade. By the time he did, he was wanted in a number of the larger cities. Before long he was recruited by TRAP who helped him sort out his legal troubles. In exchange he began working as a navigator and a guide, using the jobs as cover for his true work as a smuggler. He helped other vessels travel the seas in relative safety, guided by his connection with the Winds. At each destination he’d pick-up or drop-off a package at a pre-designated location, often an inn he’d recommend strongly to those he guided.
During his work and travels, he met and trained a number of students in the fighting style of the Open Hand monks who raised him. A few gifted individuals he’s even trained in his own style, which he calls The Way of the Shadow. Only those who can hear the whispers of Andurial, or some other Umbral Wind, have been able to master the style.
He wandered the seas in his octopus sub, circumnavigating the world both laterally and longitudinally. Over the course of 60 years, he visited much of the known world, taking brief sojourns at interesting locations to explore them in depth.
His most recent exploration is Turtle Island, which has a mysterious port whose depths are guarded by a frightening Kraken. Jax arrived at the island 7 years ago when he learned of its unexplored harbor and has become obsessed with finding out what’s down there. He’s had a number of close calls with the Kraken, surviving only thanks to the whispered warnings of the Winds. His efforts to communicate with or sneak past the Kraken have thus far been unsuccessful.
He primarily works on the island crafting poisons and gnomish weapons. Mostly mundane stuff like spring-loaded blades concealed in unobtrusive objects. The baron’s assassin Malford has made the most frequent and complex requests. Jax enjoys working closely with her to ensure her requests are made to her exact specifications. He’s also worked with the blacksmith Grigor Windrivver and his assistant Rupert Giles on a number of occasions. In the last three years, the baron promoted Jax to Sergeant-at-Arms and put him in charge of combat training for the occasional new TRAP recruit. He chafed a bit under the responsibilities of leadership and the tedious social backstabbing of the guild meetings. Fortunately, his more experienced colleague, grandmaster bowman Crister, helped him navigate the politics without putting an actual knife in anyone’s back.
His wanderlust keeps him from staying home for more than a few months at a time. He works smuggling jobs from the guild to satisfy his need for travel, sometimes leaving Turtle Island for weeks at a time.
One notable guild mission was transporting the gnome noble Gimble Timbers, along with a keg of contraband Black Powder, from volcano island. He guided Gimble through a number of harrowing storms on the long journey to Turtle Island.