Ah, well, if we are writing backstories.
Aval was born the third son of a middle-ranking aristocrat (a count, maybe), and his older siblings proved up to the challenge of inheritance. Showing a intellectual bent, he was sent off to university to learn useful skills, and set about lazing about, stealing, hanging out with thieves and dabbling in the arcane arts. Eventually he was expelled, and took to wandering around looking for something interesting to do. Like, delving, perhaps?
That seems like enough to me.
Edit: Trinkets sound nice. Can I make one up? Like, say, a page with half of a ritual on it.