Having grown up dirt poor in a backwoods village that nobody cares about, Sam was nonetheless a gifted youth, eager to see the world and become more than a ditchdigger like his father and grandfather. Opportunity came knocking when the Arcana Assembly passed through town, looking for fresh crops of students. Most of the village were turned away, but Sam showed some modicum of arcane potential, and so was taken in by the Assembly.
Sam's dreams of being a powerful magician were dashed when he was assigned apprenticeship to a reclusive necromancer and was made to be the wizard's gravedigger. The young coyote seemed destined to die with a spade in hand. Until one day the necromancer died suddenly. Some say he was poisoned, some say he contracted some long forgotten disease from the corpses he practiced with. The coyote apprentice was forced to make his own way again, but with a spellbook, and a few trinkets that he could carry from the necromancer's personal stores this time.