While Artemis' parents devoted themselves to the protection of the wood and maintaining the ancient covenant with the elves, he saw that life demanded a less passive attitude. At the age of 17 he convinced his parents to allow him to apprentice to a blacksmith in Highmoon, Tyler Moonbrow.
Artemis' aptitude at the forge was not very good and he soon tried to find other ways to earn his keep. It was during this time (1354) that he met his first love, Veyana Mysst, an older woman who enjoyed his youthful attentions for a time. Veyana was a mild follower of Torm, attracted to the handsome statues in his temples and the romance of his self-sacrificing life.
Partly in an attempt to maintain Veyana's favors, Artemis joined the temple of Torm. Very quickly he realized that he had found his calling. The priests and paladins of the temple were very proactive in rooting out evil and protecting the weak and innocent.
By the time Veyana ended their relationship, Artemis did not mind. His heart and soul had been given to Torm and soon thereafter he was ordained in the faith. (1357)
At the age of 23, armed with a blessed mace and armor from Moonbrow, Artemis set off with a group of Torm followers to do his will: seek out evil and destroy it. The group was led by a Torm paladin by the name of Scallon Gallar. Travelling with the group were three young elves, full of curiosity. One of these elves was an acquaintence of Artemis', a ranger named Illian Moonwalker. The elves appreciated speaking with Artemis who could speak elven.
The group first travelled to Cormyr to meet with others in the faith and gather strength and supplies. Artemis was impressed with the peaceful land and the reverence in which the people held the Purple Dragon Knights. The group encountered a haunted graveyard where they were able to destroy some foul undead. (No one in the group knew much about undead so even now, Artemis is unsure what 'types' they killed).
Eventually the group boarded a ship to travel south, following the belief that Torm's original kingdom lay in that direction. The ship, Harlot's Redemption, was mastered by a wiley old seaman, Captain Fineous Lager. Scallon warned the group that they would be in great peril if they did not turn a blind eye to ship's crew and the peoples of the Dragon Coast. Artemis found it difficult, but not impossible, to hold his tongue as Lager did business with all sorts of pirates and criminals along the Dragon Coast.
As they finally left the foul waters of the Coast, Artemis and many others of the group were stricken by a sickness that left them weak and delirious for weeks. Scallon believed that it was a curse set upon them by the followers of the evil god Cyric. Due to this sickne4ss, most of their group did not see the lands of Turmish and Chondath as they passed them in the ship. They were tended with great care by their elven companions.
When they reached the port of Illymrae in Sespech, all but three of the group had recovered from the sickness. The other three died two days before reaching the port.
The group spent the winter (1357 to 1358) in Sespech, gathering their strength and investigating the curse they had suffered. Artemis also walked the nearby lands and encountered Wild Elves several times. There were deep hostilities between the Wild Elves and his companions from Cormanthor, but no one would explain it to him.
With spring the group continued south, now on Sespachan horses. They were attacked twice by ogres in coordinated ambushes. Again, all their searching gave them no clue as to who commanded the ogres to attack them. The group lost another two members to the ogres, leaving only seven (three clerics and four paladins) and the three elves.
They reached the Lake of Steam and were heartened to find more followers of Torm. Artemis befriended two local Torm clerics, Hastion and Valesh, and they presented him with a pair of daggers with green Lake of Steam pearls in their pommels.
It was in the coastal town of Bargess that the group first heard rumors of an evil Temple west or south of the Border Kingdoms. Scallon decided that this was their calling and led them in that direction.
They sold the Sespach horses and took a boat across the Lake. Travel through the Border Kingdoms was difficult as evil rulers and monsters opposed them. By the time the group reached the town of Vulmish in the western Border Kingdoms, only a handful survived, many seriously wounded. Two of the elves had been slain, leaving the third wrought with grief as he intoned the elven gods and set them upon funeral pyres.
They took refuge in the temple of Torm in Vulmish and some still recuperate there. Artemis continued the journey with the last elf and Scallon finding his way to the city of Sheirtalar on a pleasant spring night.