"A little place called Hardrock"; or the story of how Hardrock came to be
Jim was born to a small and unimportant tribe of Bedine nomads who struggled to eke out an existence in the desert of Anauroch. Bedine custom dictates that boys who come of age spend three days of solitude in the desert as a rite of passage. On their return they are named by the tribe’s shaman and accepted into the men of the tribe.
Jim, however, returned to find his tribe slaughtered by Zhentarim marauders. For days he wandered in the wilderness, eventually encountering a neighbouring tribe which reluctantly offered him shelter. Over the next few years he would wander from tribe to tribe, never fully accepted on account of his lack of an adult name. Given his violent past, many viewed him as an ill omen and a harbinger of death.
One day Jim encountered a Zhentarim caravan travelling east across the desert. They had taken heavy losses fighting off a tribe of Bedine raiders and eagerly offered him coin in exchange for his protection. Although tempted to revenge the death of his family Jim came to the reluctant conclusion that travelling with this caravan might be his only chance to escape the desert.
So Jim learned the wisdom of compromise (which would serve him well throughout his years) and traveled with the sworn enemies of his people as far as Teshwave, proving his worth to them several times over. Desiring to avoid prolonged exposure to the Zhentarim (who he still found somewhat distasteful) he traveled South and West, picking up caravan guard and mercenary work where he could. He renounced his Midani child-name and took the Chondathan name ‘Jim’, working and travelling for a few years in the areas around Cormyr, Sembia and the Dalelands.
Eventually he heard rumours of two beautiful women (and a fat cleric) showering gold on any mercenary who showed up in Silverton.
And the rest, as they say, is history…