Rake was born in Sheafdale, and he spent much of his youth running through the woods and setting snares instead of attending to his chores. He would trap small game and make whatever money he could to buy himself better traps and hunter implements. Eventually, he had to give up on his trapping, as the family farm was failing something fierce.
After the Wheat March, Rake found himself drifting aimlessly through the Yeomanry. He got by leading people through mountain passes and working as a wilderness guide in general. One day, Rake was escorting a merchant and his family through the woods. Three bugbears pounced from the underbrush and ripped the family to shreds as Rake ran away. It was then that he realized he had to find another line of work. He got by for a bit wrestling people for coin, as he had always been fairly strong. He even had a run at the fighting pits, but quite shortly after losing most of his left ear.