Apollo was born on 15 Arodus 4675 to Carlo Buonaparte Highhill and Letizia Maria Highhill at his family's ancestral home, Hill Manor , in the town of Airal in the mountains above Lake Tyaena . He was their fourth child and first son. He was christened Apollo Everest Highhill, probably named for an uncle.
The Airal Highhills were descended from minor Halfling nobility of Belesian origin, who had come to Airal from Belesia in the 44th century.
His father, Carlo Buonaparte Highhill, took over as Airal's magistrate and overseer in 4632. The dominant influence of Apollo's childhood was his mother, Letizia Highhill, whose firm discipline turned an otherwise outgoing child inward.
Apollo was schooled at home by a series of tutors who taught him little of the world and inevitably were terminated by Letizia when she saw Apollo growing too close to them.
Often coddled by both his mother and his sisters Apollo rarely met with children from the town but when such encounters arose they never ended well. His social awkwardness, coupled with the other children's mockery of his small stature, drove him deeper into the shielding embrace of his family. Apollo passed most of his childhood playing alone in the extensive grounds of Hill Manor.
It was in the woods on the grounds that he first encountered and befriended Mujina the dire badger who would eventually become his only friend.
Apollo's life may well have followed the path his family set before him were it not for a chance encounter in his 30th year.
Few Halflings live in the region around Airal and so when Apollo encountered Dora Burrows on a visit to the town he was enthralled. Dora's father, Fosco Burrows, was looking for work and had heard that Airal was run by a family of Halflings. Thinking this may lead to opportunity he and his daughter had uprooted from their home near Whitewood and had arrived only that week.
Apollo began to seek out Dora's company as often as possible and a friendship sprouted. While it was clear to those around them that Apollo's love was not reciprocated his lack of social graces prevented him from noticing the disparity in their affection. Letizia, always reluctant to allow her son's attentions to waver, became jealous of Dora and was not subtle about her desire to see the Burrows run out of town.
On the 12th of Neth in 4706, tragedy struck Airal when the bodies of both Fosco and Dora Burrows were found dead in their home. The signs were that they had been attacked by some sort of wild animal in the night and a hunting party was dispatched immediately to find the wild beast who was responsible. After three days searching the mountainous countryside around Airal, no sign of a beast was discovered.
Apollo had difficulty coping with the shock of his loss and instead of reaching back into the embrace of his mother Apollo's grief lashed out against her. He blamed her for never allowing him to be with Dora as fully as he should have. After a night's raging argument Apollo swore he would never return to Hill Manor. Taking Mujina and his few possessions he rented a room at the Goodbarrel Inn in town. Despite the efforts of the kind innkeeper Irillo Sada to help him, Apollo remained in the room for five straight days. On the sixth day he emerged from his room, had breakfast in silence and as he walked out the door Irillo asked him if he was ok.
It seems that some piece from his childhood books had supplanted reality because Apollo responded that he was no longer Apollo Highhill but had instead sworn himself to the Order of the Lion and that his sole purpose in life would forevermore be winning glory in the name of his sovereign Queen Dora. He used his remaining wealth to purchase armor and weapons and set off down the valley.
After several months of wandering East Oria in search of direction, Apollo of the Lion (as he now wished to be called) heard from a local militiaman that King Bastior was looking for a group of heroes. Sure that the tasks set before him by a king would lead to glory, he departed at once for Roth Koria .
Apollo had only been in Roth Koria for one night when he happened into a group of adventurers in the main hall of the inn where he had stayed. Embarassed by his sheltered and privileged upbringing, Apollo chose to tell a more noble tale of his past. It was only once he agreed to form a group with them that he realized that he might be getting in over his head.