Despite spending his early years under the big top, Hans was not born into the circus - rather his parents entrusted him with the ringmaster after his birth to protect him. The ringmaster had decided to tell Hans the truth when he turned 10 years of age, but he was unable to keep that promise as he was one of the casualties in the audience riot that left Hans homeless and many of his compatriots dead.
A passing dwarven patrol found Hans among the wreckage and decided to take him with them to Bharad Kazarak. It was there that Master Stonerender happened to catch sight of Hans as the patrol passed through the marketplace. The Master could tell right away that this young, disheveled boy would play a vital role in the future of the realm, and decided it prudent to personally see to his preparation for that day.
Through a series of simple machinations, the Master ensured that Hans was sent to the monastery and not to the interracial orphanage run by one of the more civic-minded madams. The orphanage was originally for the unwanted half-breed children of the prostitutes who worked for the madam, but she soon found it more profitable to also take in other unwanted children. The girls were soon working in in the brothel while the boys were taught to steal and lie and spy and otherwise protect the madam and her interests.
Hans is himself completely unaware that Master Stonerender did this for him. Nor does he know that his mother was not an apprentice trapeze artist who fell and broke her neck in performance one day while he was still an infant, nor that his father was not "Fritz O'Furygh," the quick-talking bastard son of a fishmonger from Rhye who disappeared mere moments after conception.
This lineage is of course little more than a creation of the ringmaster's; thought up on the spot after a young Hans asked about his parents. Despite the many wonderful years in the monastery under the tutelage of Master Stonerender, Hans still has a desire to try and search out his "father" if he ever finds himself in Rhye, but he has little more to go on than the supposition that his "father" is drunk in a bar somewhere and smell strongly of fish guts. Hans' real parents, and with them the reason for Hans' abandonment, remained a mystery to him for many years.
Hans is... impetuous. He never walks when he can run along the ceiling, nor lie in wait when he can leap 15' into the middle of a dark, cavernous room. He likes to be in the center of a fight, for it is there that Master Stonerender's techniques are most effective. Taught to leap, sneak, and pick pockets at a young age, he applied these skills to his training; now his fast hands can filch coins and bloody noses with equal speed.
Blessed by birth with incredible agility, he developed a preternatural sense of awareness as a young lad, honing his skills -- and realigning his moral compass -- under the Master's tutelage. He never quite took to the "book-learnin'", though, and still dresses like he's in the circus.
Coming of age among the dwarves, he grew a beard as soon as he could. (Dwarven ale, said to stiffen the soul and thicken the beard, likely helped.) His rough exterior, a result of many years in the stoic dwarven monastery among compatriots of the stockier sort, hides a man who is, deep down, a little boy who misses his mommy. Shy around the ladies, he has a thing for Bellasandra, the town priestess of Brindol, though he'd sooner moon a pack of wolves (again) than admit as much, at least to her.
Hans fell in battle defending the Nightblade Guildhall against the assault from the Brotherhood of the Spider. After leaping over the first wave of assassins, he landed between them and a bend in the corridor, where he unleashed a vicious series of attacks, damaging all but felling none. Despite his best attempts at defense, he did not survive their response and was knocked unconscious soon thereafter. His allies unable to get close enough to administer aid of any kind, he was soon killed by one of the assassins -- a warlock, who wished to re-animate Hans as a zombie -- when Geos felled the warlock just before the ritual was complete. The damage, however, was done, and Hans was gone.
Now cracks a noble heart. Good night sweet prince:
And flights of angels sing thee to thy rest!