aka "Stu the Dude" aka "The Stu-meister"; a promising bard, everybody's best friend, and a legend in his own mind
The Mageson family is respected and conservative. The family has passed down an arcane aptitude and a value of studiousness, and they have produced many fine academics, including wizards. The family also has a long tradition as bankers, and most children are expected to learn accounting, financial management, and—most importantly—responsibility. The family has been associated with various trading syndicates over time, but most recently with the Aspis Consortium.
There have been some black sheep. Stu’s great-uncle Flomenius Mageson is rumored to have devoted his life to frivolous pursuits, such as joining the Pathfinder Society and risking his life for no likely financial return. And there was always talk that Stu’s great-aunt Arrietta was a sorceress, and just carried around that spell book to cover it up. But these relatives were used as cautionary tails; a proper Mageson is studious, profitable, and respectable.
Such as Stu’s father! As a young man he obtained an important position with the Consortium at its power center in Magnimar. He brought his (perfectly respectable) wife with him and began his career.
Stu was born and raised in the city. He learned fluent Varisian, and spent as much of his time he could with the trading caravans that frequented the area. Much to his parents’ chagrin, he picked up a sense of wanderlust and an appreciation for pointless baubles. Worse, despite his obvious intelligence, he utterly lacked discipline. His tutors said he remembered random bits of lessons effortlessly (usually the colorful and dramatic bit), but learned nothing in depth. His parents pushed him to apply himself, but it simply encouraged his rebelliousness. He was an incredibly charismatic child, and his ability to talk his way out of any problem led him to take that much bigger risks.
An important formative experience happened when he was 14. The caravans were in town, and young Stuart got into a card game with some young half-Orc hired guards from one of the wagon trains. They thought he was an easy mark, but he won big. Worse yet, he was an unrepentant smart-ass about it. Obviously, he got a beating. In fact, he nearly died. Fortunately Koya had been keeping an eye on the game from afar. She faced down and shooed off the guards, then healed the fool boy back from the abyss. She kept him overnight at her camp, and in the morning she even restored his broken teeth, the whole time saying she should leave them broken to teach him a lesson. This experience (and the beating he got when he got home), left his smart-ass tendencies a bit tempered.
From then on, whenever Koya was in town, Stu trailed her around everywhere, learning stories about the road, and about her people, and about Desna. He became even more enamored of the native Varisian lifestyle, as he (mis)understood it. He was jealous—he yearned for adventures, and for great stories of his own. He saw that people really liked Koya, in part because she could heal them the way she did for him, so he badly wanted to do that too. And he really respected that she was totally spiritual and stuff, but that wasn’t really his thing. Also it seemed hard.
He spent the next few years completing his schooling (badly), hitting on girls (somewhat successfully), learning music (which helped with the girls, and also music is AWESOME), and smoking too much flayleaf (it’s medicinal dude). At the age of 17, he told his parents that he was going to follow the caravans for a few years. His father sighed, rubbed his temples, and said “Go. Try to be a SUCCESSFUL disappointment.”
Stu joined Koya’s caravan back to Sandpoint. He theoretically was there as crew, and he was so much fun to have around that they mostly didn’t mind that he almost never did any work.
At Sandpoint he became fascinated with Ameiko. People liked her as much as they liked him. She was as sure of herself as anybody he had ever seen. He had to know her secrets. Also, she was really hot, so why not follow her around? She let him entertain for tips at her tavern when she herself wasn’t playing, and when she had enough help behind the bar she would help him with his music, or challenge him to dueling lutes. and he’s getting really good at it too. And some of that magical heritage seems to be manifesting! He’s learned to cast some simple healing spells, and Koya says he’s actually better than average at them, which is cool.