Gabriel was born the second of three sons to a blacksmith named Walter Frost. His family was not wealthy, though they were always able to make ends meet. Living on the border of the Empire, in a small town named Fladencourt, meant lots of fighting, and lots of fighting meant lots of work for local blacksmiths. The Imperial craftsmen would easily get overloaded if they did not commission work from local craftsmen.
Walter was a fourth generation blacksmith. Though he loved his craft, he had always wondered if he had been given more choice, would he have become a blacksmith or would he have pursued something else. Walter gave his children the choice that his father had never given him. As the boys grew up they were taught the art of the forge, but were always told that they should explore the world to make sure that it was their calling. Gabriel's siblings, Marcus and Benjamin, both preferred the life of hammering steel. They felt proud to follow in their father's footsteps and see how everyone enjoyed their father's works, and Walter was proud that they wanted to be hammer swingers as their name sakes had been.
Gabriel, though he was skilled with the hammer, felt that it was not his calling. Even at a young age it was the sword that always called to him. He would marvel at the blades whenever they would be pulled from the tempering troughs, steaming and singing. Whenever soldiers would wait for his father to do repairs on their equipment, he would ask them to teach him how to use the blades that they carried. Many soldiers would look at him scornfully and scare him off, not wanting to deal with a snot nosed brat that wouldn't know which end to hold. Thankfully, not all of the soldiers were so distempered. Over the years that he stayed in Fladencourt, he learned to use all types of weapons; sabers, katanas, axes, guns, polearms, and bows. In the end it was a soldier named Speranto DeFlores who would influence Gabriel the most, teaching him how to use the rapier.
At first Gabriel had no talent or patience for the weapon, and only pursued it because Speranto was willing to teach it. Gabriel's frame was that of a blacksmith, and was far more suited towards larger weapons. Speranto pushed Gabriel to continue his training with the rapier for that exact reason. Speranto would tell him that it was the difficulty that would make him a better swordsman. That, only when he challenged himself would he understand what it meant to be a swordsman.
Speranto was extremely charismatic, and so Gabriel pressed on. Over the course of several years, Speranto would come through the town a half dozen times. Sometimes with his company, and other times by himself, just to check on Gabriel. One year Speranto returned to Fladencourt, only this time he was not wearing his uniform and carried what seemed to be all he owned in a bag with him. Speranto told Gabriel that his time with the military was up, but that he wasn't done protecting people. He was looking to build up a mercenary band to help protect towns that the warring governments were using as staging areas for their wars.
This was one of the ideals that Speranto constantly preached to Gabriel. That there was a great deal of honor in being a swordsman, and that one should use those skills to protect those that cannot protect themselves. It didn't take Gabriel long to think about it, and even before Speranto had given an offer, Gabriel announced that he wanted to join. There wasn't much use for a swordsman in Fladencourt, and he owed Speranto much for teaching him to use a sword. Walter wasn't sure about it, he knew that Gabriel wasn't experienced in how real battle worked, but he was glad to see that at least one of his sons was willing to take on some adventure.
Walter brought to his son something that he had made the previous year. Realizing that his son was becoming highly proficient with the rapier, he couldn't let his boy go into a dangerous situation with an inferior weapon. So, he worked on a blade for his son, probably the best one that he had ever made. It was not flashy or highly decorated, but it was sturdy and perfectly balanced. Gabriel couldn't even find the words to thank his father for the gift. He knew that his life was going to change drastically from here on out.