Randal Dantes is a Kaijit Templar, and he studies the art of Soul Trapping. He believes with all his heart that he's been called by the Gods of Light to bring redemption to any creatures who's souls have been tainted with darkness, redeeming them by getting them to fight for good against evil. The ones which do not willingly abandon their evil ways, Randal traps their souls in soul gems which he then uses to power his magical weapons; this forces the evil creature's soul to fight against others of darkness and thereby, in Randal's mind, be forced into redemption.
Athen Rahl is a Breton born to poverty, growing up in the streets and learned at a young age to survive by any means he can. He's a typical scoundrel and rogue, and quite a lady's man. He's an accomplished thief and fighter, but would rather end an altercation with shared drinks at the tavern instead of with bloodshed when he can. His assertive and cavalier exterior hide the heart of a very scared little boy, though, and he runs away from friendships and romance because of mistakes from his past. He was scarred as a child (I'm still working out the story of how and why), and he wears them like a shield, while the story behind them is at the heart of his fears.
Tavinalis is a Dark Elf sorcerer, his lust for power and control are intense. He, like Athen, was born to poverty, but he originally tried his hand at more legitimate means of employment. His father was a minor sorcerer who sold his talents to the town as needed, and Tavinalis showed an early talent for weaving magics.
Years ago, when he was young, he fell in love with a beautiful noblewoman who, at first, returned his affection. But her nobility got in the way, and she spurned him, instead letting another noble court her who was fatter, uglier, more pompous, and did not treat her with the love and affection she deserved. She and Tavinalis would meet secretly, their love growing, until one day they were caught. Tavinalis was beaten and humiliated in front of the whole town. His love shattered his heart, too afraid to throw off the shackles of her upper class; she married the other noble.
The only one who showed him kindness was the lady in waiting, who guided him; if he could become a powerful and respected sorcerer, perhaps even join the Mage's guild, he might be able to throw off the stigma of his poor upbringing, and perhaps find a way to trick his love's husband into a divorce.
As Tavinalis was readying himself to make the journey to apply at the Mage Guild, there was an explosion in the Noble quarter. After some investigation, his worst fears were true. His love had apparently been getting abused and beaten by her husband regularly, and had finally had enough. She confronted him with a wand she had purchased, demanding a divorce; they struggled, and somehow the wand broke, exploding and killing them both.
Tavinalis's heart shattered and died that day. He'd planned to prove himself truly worthy of her and the equal, if not the better, of the noble pig that had taken her. Now, they were gone, and Tavinalis decided it was because the whole system of power in their country was broken beyond repair. He vowed he would seek out magic and become the most powerful sorcerer the world had ever seen, taking control for himself and dismantling the broken structure of royalty.
Perhaps he'll even find a way to bring his love back... Even if only to make her feel the pain she caused him when she broke his heart again and again.