|Homeland||Lantan / Sembia|
Pender Powder putter was born to a family of prominent traders of smokepowder, an explosive chemical which has its origins in the island nation of Lantan. When a rival branch of the powerful Cogsmith family sought to take over their business interests and framed them for smuggling smokepowder to foreign nations, the Powderputters fled in disgrace. Seeking to start fresh, far from home where their new, false reputation would be unlikely to follow, the family set up shop in Selgaunt, a major trade hub in the nation of Sembia, and set to work building their trade business back up from scratch.
Pender, who was the youngest member of the family, was stuck acting as a simple bookkeeper for the family business and chafed at the dullness of daily life. Back in Lantan, he'd picked up a keen interest in magic and sought to revisit his studies. Unfortunately, his personal coffers weren't enough to fund the projects he sought to work on so he found ways to supplement his income elsewhere. By far the most lucrative means of securing the requisite funding came from reconnecting with old contacts and business partners he'd been acquainted with when the family still dealt in smokepowder back home. With the family already condemned for smokepowder smuggling, it's not like much more harm could come from making the false accusations into truths now, right? So, he set to work, building his own miniature smokepowder distribution empire, importing into and distributing from Selgaunt. His projects funded, and the authorities none the wiser, Pender was able to keep his magical projects well financed for many years.
When a large merchant vessel, apparently packed with smokepowder, exploded in Selgaunt's port, killing several people and destroying a sizable portion of the city's docks, the illegal trade of smokepowder suddenly came under intense scrutiny. Pender, distraught by the recent events, immediately shut down all operations and planned to lie low indefinitely after the event but, unfortunately for him, one of the groups that had taken an interest in the disaster involving the trade of such large amounts of the dangerous substance was the Order of the Brass Thistle. Several people involved were apprehended and dealt with by the local authorities thanks to their efforts. But when they were able to suss out who was at the head of the smuggling operation, and also discovered his considerable magical talents, the Thistles saw a unique opportunity. Pender certainly wasn't a bad person and divinations revealed that he was genuinely remorseful about the unexpected turn of events. So, with the penalties that he'd face for his indirect and circumstantial involvement in the incident itself likely to be minor anyway, the Order (maybe one of the paragons?) decided instead to offer him a job where he could use his talents to repay his debt to society in another way.