Franz grew up a bright and inquisitive child in the military regime of Chessenta, son of a wealthy merchant in Mordulkin. As a rebellious teenager, he and some friends regularly explored abandoned buildings without his parents’ knowledge.
Then they accidentally broke into an old underground shrine to Azuth.
In came whispers of power for the taking, forgotten secrets, forbidden knowledge. In the shrine, his friends found an old spellbook, full of amazing and undecipherable writings. He and his friends kept coming back, sensing that the book was unsafe to take home, and feeling safe in the mystery and power of the shrine.
Then the Cult of the Dragon found it and them. Four gawky teenagers pretending at an old spellbook were easily tempted with “would you like to know what it says?” and brought into the fold. The Cult reburied the shrine, and introduced the youngsters to a new god; though god he wasn’t, their young puppet dracolich Haztatoch and began making wizards of them.
A couple years later, Franz returned to the shrine. More than just an apprentice now, but a beginning wizard in his own right, the place called to him. Digging back into the buried place, he found a chamber he’d not found before. And that is where his power began to grow and he sanity began to withdraw, for he found a library of scrolls, animated into a sort of paper spirit, servant of Azuth. There, he surrendered his soul to Azuth for power and knowledge, and the understanding of magic became his goal before all else, and his obsession. All else became lost to him.
Several years of spending all his time in the shrine, the cult demanded he pay his dues and serve them. He refused, declaring their dragon a false god before Azuth. The Cult sent his friends after him. He killed them. Not long after, the Cult sent anonymous tips to the Chessentan inquisitors that there was a buried shrine to arcana there, and a dangerous wizard gaining power there.
The Chessentans didn’t even bother entering the Shrine. They found that magic was present within, and torched the place. Then they stood outside with weapons drawn in case anyone escaped the blaze. Otiluke scrambled to save the library spirit within, and they many many scrolls he had been studying. Ultimately Azuth gave him an answer he sought, with a high price; Otiluke sacrificed his left arm to give the spirit power, and bound all the scrolls, and the library spirit, into a powerful tome. He then crafted a sphere of solid force to protect himself from the flames, and huddled there bleeding from his sacrificed, missing arm as the shrine burned down around him, safe in the bubble. The Chessentan soldiers saw no one leave, and considered the deed finished.
Azuth’s grace allowed Otiluke to heal himself to rise, and dimension door to the surface. He then began a reign of anger; building himself a new arm, and wielding his orb and signature sphere spells, he assaulted Chessenta’s soldiers for years, wreaking great havoc. Eventually, though, when destroying a supply caravan, he found he had slain his own father in his fury. He lapsed into depression and madness, abandoning his rage for solitude. He spent years hiding, being found wherever he hid, unable to build a normal life for himself anywhere as Luthcheq hunted him. After more innocents died sheltering him, he decided he’d had enough of the world, and built himself a labyrinth, daring any to follow him in. He has hidden in its depths for a decade since.