Even before the fire beetles attacked Roland wanted to be a soldier. So when he turned fifteen he signed up with the first passing mercenary company that came through town. Unfortunately for Roland that company was the Shattered Swords. The recruiter didn’t tell him he would owe costs for training and equipment nor that he would only receive a misery greenhorn share on all jobs in order to pay it off. Instead of being trained on a proper noble weapon like a sword his new employers trained him on the hated crossbow. Still Roland made the most of it becoming a crossbow expert.
He spent the next few years working various guard duties and slowly chipping away at his debt. Finally Roland’s unit was assigned to help in a search and destroy action against a group of Orcs. When they arrived at an. Orc village they found in occupied with only children and the elderly Roland could not stop the slaughter. He stole a cart and helped a few children and an old Orc escape. The Orc rewarded him with a few pages of an ancient tome detailing how to become an Eldritch Knight
Roland’s debt to the shattered swords is still valid. If he doesn’t pay it eventually he could find a price on his head