Abbas spent his early years as a beggar in the city of Anvil. He prayed to the gods every night, hoping they would save him and the beggars he lived with from poverty. One day, Abbas was confronted by a hooded priest, who claimed a god had something in mind for him. Abbas blindly followed the priest into the woods where a noble had broken his leg. The noble's escort ran away from bandits, forcing the noble to take the things to Anvil himself. After rolling down a hill and breaking his leg, the noble refused to leave his riches behind.
The hooded priest gave him a choice. Help the man and gain fame and wealth. Or Kill the man, and take all of the riches and belongings to himself. At this point in his life, he despised nobles, and chose to kill the man, much to the priest's content.
Eventually the priest had Abbas initiated in to the Order of Vulcan. There he was taught his skills by Gereon Alexius, an Altmer Magister-Lord. At age 18, he joined what was left of the Blades as a spy from the order, but eventually came to be the Grandmaster. The entire time, he was also part of the Blackwood Knights, which lead many to see him as a simple mercenary.