Nathaniel is the second son of a merchant from Stonebridge, He worked alongside his older brother in his father's shop running errands, unloading carts, and stocking shelves until he was 12 years of age. That changed when his father, anxious about the some expensive goods that had had ordered for a wealthy knight, sent Nathaniel to hunt for the caravan that should have brought the goods to Stonebridge. Smaller and ligher than most men, Nathaniel was also light in the saddle. He rode swiftly along the river in the direction of Greywater Watch. In two days, he met the caravan that was fully four days away from his home, and was able to ride with the news to the customer's home. The grateful patron rewarded Nathaniel well enough to convince his father that the boy might have a future in something beside stocking shelves. So his father began to offer courier service.
Nathaniel ran, and eventually began to ride regularly, delivering messages and even small parcels to people around Stonebridge. His longer journeys also meant camping wherever he could find shelter and learning to survive on his own. He developed a great fondness for nature on these journeys. He learned to hunt small game for food with a bow and arrow, but he was as likely to befriend injured or orphaned wild creatures. He also carved a wooden flute which he taught himself to play. Life on the roads was not without peril, however. He began to travel farther from home for deliveries. His work at times included discrete deliveries to people whose business was probably less than honorable, and he learned from experience about various techniques of unarmed fighting. In one fight, he deflected an attacker's dagger, but the glancing blow of the enemy's fist broke his nose badly. He also learned that a good courier should be alert. To that end, he avoided heavy drinking and was a light sleeper. After several years, his diligence earned hem a reputation for discretion and reliability. Eventually, the same knight who received his first message sent Nathaniel to House Terrick with a letter to recommend him as a courier.
Gwynlea Corbitt (mother) spun and dyed yarn. She died in early 261 after a long illness. She was a good-hearted woman who often undermined her husband by giving merchandise that he could not sell to poor people in the community.
Eredon Corbitt (father) remained unmarried but made himself popular with the local women. There are even rumors that Nathaniel might have half-siblings among the commonfolk at Stonebridge. He and Nathaniel's brother continued to run the shop until the autumn of 288. He and Nathaniel's brother left Stonebridge, taking their remaining stock with them and joining a small caravan of wagons following the river to the northeast.
Desskin (Brother) is older than Nathaniel by a good 10 years. He followed the "family tradition" as a notorious drinker and womanizer around Stonebridge when he was not helping to run the shop.
Some people in Stonebridge have speculated that Nathaniel himself might be the offspring of one off Eredon's escapades. They point to his hair, which stands in sharp contrast to the almost black hair of his mother, father, and brother. They whisper that his name is not exactly a popular one with the smallfolk, or anyone else whom they've know. Some speculate that the family adopted him to protect the girl, or to protect themselves from a powerful, possibly even noble family.
Nathaniel Corbitt stands at 5 feet and 9 inches and weighs 161 pounds. His tanned skin and slender yet muscular young frame tell of an active outdoor life. When he stands, the slight bow of his legs attest that he spends much of of that time on horseback. Long, dark auburn hair frames his rectangular face. Soft grey eyes watch the world keenly from beneath bushy eyebrows. They flank a hawkish nose that apparently did not heal well after a bad break.
When he is working, he wears leggings of dusty brown leather, a tunic of dark green cloth, and a dark grey hooded cloak, colors ideal for concealment. He usually carries a sturdy messenger's pouch that rests against his left hip, concealing a simple utilitarian knife that hangs in a sheath from his warn leather belt.