When he was born, in Macenia, he was called Tristán, and he was the firstborn of a small number of siblings. Tristán hardly ever took for granted that he was the oldest of his brothers, and like most in the tribe, learned to fight early. He was better at hunting, back then, but it lent well enough to combat skill, which is fortunate, as Macenia is rife with martial conflict, both amongst one another, and with their Dalmascan neighbours. Invaders, more like, Tristán never did much care for Dalmascans and their many grating ways, but nobody was asking.
Tristán was barely thirteen, when the Dalmascans finally managed to pin him down long enough to get chains on him, and, probably unsurprisingly to anyone that knows anything about Macenians, he fought the whole way to Dalmasca's borders. If they'd let him alone long enough, he might've been able to break their chains, but, unfortunately, they already knew him as aggressive and paid him more mind. It was partially a facade, anyway, to shield the girls, see. He didn't see them again after they got to the slave markets, but he hopes, probably in vain, that they ended up somewhere at least sort of decent.
He was renamed Valens, and it took a house or two, probably merely because his aggression randomly stopped after the girls were gone, before he was purchased by a blood trainer, and his combat skill was further honed. He began a simple sword fighter, but eventually his speciality became taking down animals many times his body weight. Wrestling with bears and lions became normal, and his trainer tended to skin what he killed; Valens has gotten used to wearing animal pelts, and his trainer insisted it made him look more barbaric than he did already. Whatever that was supposed to mean, he tries not to think about it too hard.
Life went on that way, for a long time, and then his owner randomly sold him to another. That was a few weeks ago, now. Oddly, he ended up snatched up by the head of House Essair, of all names, and now Valens spends his days fetching water and moving heavy things. Kassandros insists on calling him Tristán, and he's still not even sure where Kassandros heard that name. It's taking some getting used to. In the meantime, in comparison, life's kind of boring, almost. No wild parties or deadly celebrations in House Essair, no siree. And the one time someone got frisky uninvited, Kassandros literally burned their hand with magic, and warned them not to do it again, or he'd burn it off next time.
Privately, he's starting to wonder if this kid's even Dalmascan, cause he sure don't act like it.