Cristof was born in a small village on the coast east of Graywater Watch, to a family who made their living by fishing. As the third of five sons, he began to sail with his father in their small boat. HIs job was to sort the fish that the family hauled up from then murky depths. He was adept at this task, able to predict often by touch what quality the fish's meat would be. He was a tireless worker, even diving into the nets to begin the process of discarding the worthless chum while his brothers were hauling them into the boat. All of that changed, however, when his leg became tangled in the nets and he almost drowned before his father and brothers could cut away the sturdy lines to free him.
The injury was not permanent, but it prevented him from returning to the boat for the rest of the season. He spent his time by taking odd jobs around the village and sorting the fish at the dock after the boat returned. Although he was still helping, the business began to slide because Cristof's sorting was one of the keys to their success. While still at sea, they could dump the undesirable fish and fill their holds with good fish. Now, they often brought as many undesirable fish as good ones. The man who had sold the boat to his father on time demanded the balance of the debt. Cristof's father desperately needed money, and when a traveling merchant offered to hire Cristof, his father, having no suspicion of the merchant's real intent, agreed to the arrangement.
The boy left home at the age of eight to work as a general helper for the merchant, naively believing that the man would send his earnings to his family. However, the merchant never sent the money. Instead, he abused the boy horribly, treating him not as an employee but as a slave at his slender mercy. On one evening, however, the merchant met a jeweler at a tavern on his way to the Watch. To pass the time, the two men played dice, and to increase the challenge, they began to gamble. The stakes rose until finally the merchant offered Cristof as a wager, and lost. Although he was a pawn to other people, Cristof quickly found that his new master was far better to him than the merchant. On the next morning, the jeweler summoned the boy, and informed him that he did not need a slave, but did want an apprentice. They traveled to Graywater Watch, where they opened a shop. During that time, Cristof learned to fashion beautiful jewelry using a range of materials - from polished wood and stones to precious metals and fine gems to appeal to all sectors of the market. He had freedom during his apprenticeship that he did not have under his previous overbearing master. When he was not working, he enjoyed horseback riding and exploring the lands around the Watch. He camped, swam, hunted, and fished. His employer ensured that he knew how to read and write, and he taught himself how to sketch and to keep records of the places, people, and things that he visited on his wanderings.
They say that all good things end. After eight years, Cristof's teacher became ill. Whle he lay confined in his bed for many months, Cristof, who was now of age by two years, ran the business. Finally, in his final hours, the old jeweler called his student to his bedside. In the presence of the mayor and sherriff of the town, the old man declared that Cristof was entitled ready to stand on his own and to receive the business as inheritance. Cristof ran the shop for a few months until a cousin of his mentor wrote to invite him to come to Stonebridge. The cousin boasted about the fine prospects of the well-placed town, and offered a daughter whom Cristof might find suitable to take as a wife. So the young jeweler sold the shop, packed his belongings, and left Graywater Watch on a long and arduous ride to Stonebridge to begin a new life.
At 5 feet and 6 inches in height, and a scant 133 pounds, Cristof casts a lean shadow and is often easy to ignore in a crowd. His arms and legs are long and wiry, and his hands appear to be ideal for work with small, delicate objects. His usually alert eyes are the color of the ocean in summer, a soft, dark blue with hints of grey. Long, dark hair frames his slender, angular face and his lips curve into a warm, friendly smile unless he is frowning in concentration, or on some occasion when worry crosses his path.
He typically wears simple dark gray trousers and a sapphire-blue tunic. When traveling, he wears over this an equally simple burgundy cloak which has as its only ornament a small silver clasp in the shape of a dolphin. On his feet he wears a pair of simple dark brown boots with low shafts and slight heels. Around his waist he wears a belt of the same dark leather, with a sheath and a well-warn leather pouch in which he can carry a few coins.
He speaks with what some might recognize as a far northeaster accent.