"This isn't like how it is in my books.."
As a child, Alston was a prodigy at identifying and working with magic. Being the 9th of 9 children, and perhaps the brightest, Alston’s parents were very happy with Daryn Storm’s offer to hire Alston on a permanent basis. At the age of 20, Alston left home and school and joined Daryn Storm as his official researcher. Through strange happenings, they found them selves in the mists and in a strange land. Taking over an abandoned tower, Daryn set up a home base for his adventures. Daryn and Sir Vincent Montgomery would adventure together from time to time, leaving Alston in the tower to read and research. Alston never minded because it often meant that Daryn would return with something interesting.
Alston worked for Daryn for 40 years, until Daryn died of natural causes 2 years ago. Sir Vincent still occasionally came to the tower after Daryn died to have Alston research things and Sir Vincent showed Alston the book on Sword Dances which led Alston to develop the idea of enhancing his magic knowledge with sword play, which has mostly been untested outside of theory. In these last 2 years alone, Alston only left the tower on a few occasions to get supplies as it became necessary, until word of Sir Vincent’s death prompted him to leave the tower, and safety, to attend the funeral.