Aw, we don't get a personal wiki. Well, so I have it easily online:
I'm seeing a tallish, slender, sardonic young man. Let's call him Colin Plowmun. His family is a bunch of poor dirt farmers; he's the first one in generations who's had any sort of ambition. He wanted to be a scholar, and didn't mind letting people know he thought that would be a far superior life.
People were pretty relieved when he went off to the big city. So was he, until he found out two things. First, he's not really as good a scholar as he'd like to be. What do you know? Turns out the bar is higher there than it is back in Podunk. He's not awful, but he's not great either.
Second, he's dangerously good with a blade. And he likes it.
So. It's not uncommon to spend some time wandering before one really dedicates oneself to studies, after all. And there's nothing shameful per se about mercenary work. Enjoying it would be wrong, but he can pretend well enough.
I don't think he's terribly religious in the sense that he worships. He certainly believes in the gods, and if it's the done thing to light a candle to ensure a good voyage he'd do that. But he'd be a bit resentful about it. He wants to control his own destiny.
He hasn't quite admitted this to himself yet, but he would stretch his morals a fair way if he could, say, find some archeological discovery that would make his name back at the university. He's clinging to that ten year old's dream of scholastic pursuits.