"Its not a secret if someone knows it" - Unknown
Tam Gibbles, if that is his real name, understands the value of knowledge and secrets. He goes by many aliases - Dirk McStabbin, Thief Stealer, Shooja Indaface - many obvious play on words. He has made it his life's goal to uncover all those secrets and with it the power to bring back what was lost. But slowly, one brick of the foundation at a time, so that when the great chain is tested this time it will hold.
After the great war, his clan settled in one of the less destroyed cities and built anew. They decided to salvage the old world, but to recreate a new way of life rather than hold onto the past. Tam grew up a jeweler's son and learned the family business helping his father and mother run a modest trade stop. Old gems and trinkets were traded in for their base metals and materials to be reworked into something practical - silver plates, gold needles, gemstone pestles. However, there was the odd piece of heirloom jewelry that hold-overs from the old aristocracy couldn't part with and were instead cleaned and repaired after being salvaged. In his early teens, Tam noticed certain types of glass, when cut and shaped properly, could pass as gemstones. So in a daring enterprise, started swapping the gems out of these heirlooms pieces for glass replicas. The ill gotten gains were resold and fenced and none were the wiser.
But one day someone noticed. When the fraud was discovered, his father was dragged before the communal magistrate and held until a gem cutter could be summoned from another town to verify the theft. Tam devised a cunning plan; in the dead of night he snuck into the magistrate's office and swapped out the phony for another duplicate he had made with the original stones. When the day of the gem cutters arrival came - and his father's subsequent trial - the goods were found to be genuine. The seed baron whom had accused his father had been publicly embarrassed. The magistrate awarded his father compensation from the rich merchant, and life slowly went back to normal.
The experience gave Tam an elevated sense of arrogance, and after some late night excursions into the richer abodes in town, he discovered an old book that contained the beginning secrets of magic ring fabrication, and that wet his appetite for the lost secrets of this world.
Backed by his family's business, he set about gearing himself for a journey out into the ruins of the old world in search of its lost secrets. Yet always remained practical and dually expanded his criminal empire one village at a time...