The circumstances surrounding Slade’s early life are a mystery even to him. He assumes he was born in the city of Merdeknal, as that is where the elder monks at the monastery claim that he was found, but he was too young at the time to remember anything. He grew up in a monastery run by the Order of the Earthen Fist. His name arose out of one of the elder monks with a slight speech impediment referring to him as “a blank slade” when he was first brought to the monastery by a journeyman monk of the order, and it stuck, as the boy had no other name at the time.
For years he preformed chores in the monastery as he grew older, in exchange for being fed and cared for by the monks. When he was fourteen, they presented him with a choice: venture out into the world to find a place for himself in one of the cities, or train to become a member of the order. Having looked up to the monks all his life, he chose the latter option. The training was long and arduous, and he was still charged with completing his chores during that time. There were many nights where he went to bed sore and aching from the training. After two years of vigorous physical training, they began to incorporate parables and riddles, quizzing him on what he learned from them. For another two years, the training continued like that, and then he was told that he was ready to leave the monastery.
There was a brief ceremony in front of all the monks where he was officially inducted as a journeyman monk of the order, and then he was sent out to travel the land, returning when he had found enlightenment. For two years he traveled mostly alone, following and upholding the traditions and codes of his order, constantly learning. In recent weeks, he has been traveling the area around Ekbatana.
Image source: http://fc00.deviantart.net/fs7/i/2006/165/6/c/Meditation_by_galifardeu.jpg