Place of birth/raising: Murandy - Lugard
Physical Appearance: Baethen is of average height, slightly overweight from living a soft life. His hair is dark, with natural curls of reddish-brown framing a friendly oval face. Hazel eyes and a jovial smile make it easy to trust him.
Being the only son of a very wealthy merchant, Baethen grew up pampered but not spoiled. His father insisted that Baethen learned to read, write, and manage financial books so he would be prepared to run the business he would inherit once his father passed on. Baethen was a smart and ready learner, and from a young age he knew that all he wanted was to be a successful man like his father, if not more so. He was well-liked and made many friends with the boys who lived nearby, but he had difficulty getting a sweetheart when he grew to marrying age. Young women liked his charm but always seemed to end up with the slimmer, fitter boys. Baethen didn't mind much--his life was devoted to helping his father manage the business. He had no time to grieve when his father died in an accident involving one of wagons he was inspecting, for Baethen was still only 23 and suddenly the owner of the large business. Besides, his relationship with his father had always been more like that of business partners than father and son.
Only a year after inheriting the business and the small fortune that came with it, Baethen met and married a young, pretty girl named Aby. They adored each other, despite the fact that many folks were convinced Aby only married Baethen because of his wealth. Baethen was very happy with Aby. She replaced the business as his love in life, and he was as devoted to her as he had been to running his father's business. For some reason or another, they were unable to conceive a child, but Baethen and Aby didn't mind. They were happy enough with just the two of them in their little family.
Then, Aby got sick. She woke one morning complaining of a headache, and by noon she was delirious with fever. Panicked, Baethen sent for the best healer he knew of, paying the woman copious amounts of money to administer to his wife. The healer's remedies didn't work. Baethen sat at Aby's side the whole night as she thrashed and moaned and eventually fell into a fitful slumber. The next morning, she would not wake. Her breathing was labored and nobody knew what was wrong with her. Terrified, Baethen ordered his servants to find an Aes Sedai. Maybe one of them could heal his beloved wife. Baethen's family had never liked the witches from Tar Valon, but Baethen knew that if anything could save his Aby, it would be the One Power.
Aby died before an Aes Sedai could be found. The weeks following her death were a blur for Baethen. His cousin was summoned to handle the business while Baethen grieved. Baethen was numb. He only ate when the servants put food before him, and he only left the house on occasion, wandering the streets listlessly. Life had no purpose for him any more. He could devote his life to his business again because it felt so meaningless without Aby. He failed to save her. His money hadn't been enough to save her. His efforts hadn't been enough to save her. *He* hadn't been enough to save her. So he wandered the streets as if looking for something, for some reason to live. It was then that he heard some market goers discussing the Asha'man.
Asha'man! Men who could wield the One Power! Baethen froze, eyes wide with the sudden idea in his head. The One Power could have saved his Aby, but he didn't have the power to use it. He decided then that he would never be powerless again. He would seek out the Asha'man, join their ranks and learn the power that could have saved his wife. The prospect of going mad didn't matter to him. He had already lost everything when Aby died, what did he care if he lost his mind, too? That night he wrote a letter for his cousin, saying that the business was now his to own. Baethen gave no explanation but, "I am leaving, now." And that morning, he left, taking only enough money to get him to his destination.