As the young, upstart child of two Valenthian nobles, he was rebellious and willful with no respect for authority. Born rich and noble, his constant excesses were excused or ignored until he got out of hand and was cast from his home. Still just a lad, he fell in with a group of troublemakers and got himself arrested almost immediately.
As he was the son of a noble, he could not be jailed and so was instead was conscripted. Even placed under the command of a lieutenant, Vahn remained insolent and brazen, giving his superiors no end of grief.
One day, Vahn and several other upstart soldiers decided to abandon their squad while out in the Kenashi mountains, where they expected no one would find them. On their first night alone, they were ambushed by Kenashi raiders and stranded on a snowy cliff where they were left to die.
With no way to hunt, enemies all around them and no way home, Vahn and his peers held little hope of seeing Valenthia ever again.
On the third morning, however, Vahn was awoken by his lieutenant's voice; he had organized a search party and fought his way through Kenashi to find them. Vahn and the others were too weak to move, but the lieutenant and the few soldiers he had brought carried them on their backs. They snuck past Kenashi sentries, avoided the savage wildlife and managed to survive long enough to reach a Valenthian outpost.
Vahn spent the next week in and out of consciousness until the cold left his bones. When he could walk again, he learned that his lieutenant had perished from the wounds sustained on that perilous rescue operation.
Vahn returned to his duties as soon as he was physically able.
As the years went by, he would come to reconcile with his parents, find himself a wife, have three sons, and grow old enough to watch them all start families of their own. When his wife passed of natural causes he began to consider ending his tenure in the army, but it was then that the Demon War began.
Now, he is acting Regent of Valenthia, trying in vain to keep a crumbling kingdom from turning into dust. He works tirelessly day and night, his resolve never wavering despite the increasing hopelessness of the situation.
No one ever asks Ser Vahn why he dedicates himself so completely to his duties and even fewer still know of his troubled youth. But while he remains quiet about the details of his life, he can occasionally be seen staring distantly at the Kenashi mountains on the horizon with a faraway look in his eye, remembering that he, too, was once without hope