The former. Kael has not said anything remotely hinting that this theory is correct. I don't really think that Kael really planned for it to be this way, just that it works and makes things so much cooler. Actually, I don't think Kael ever wrote Auric's back story in very much depth. At one point when I mentioned that I'd rather Auric come from a village unaffiliated with nay nation in the game, Kael said he would rather him be born an Illian, but he did not sound like there was much back story already written that demanded it. Auric's parents names are only mentioned once in passing, and described only as "nice enough." He himself complained that in Ashes of Brigdarrow Auric seemed much more like a plot device than a three dimensional character like the other children. Kael intended for Auric's personality to be defined largely though his Bipolar Disorder, but does not know enough about the condition to show early signs and flush out his character in childhood. (Similarly, Henri Ghouls/Perpentach is actually meant to be Autistic, although the copies of his victims minds that remain in his head may make him seem like he has Dissociative Identity Disorder.) The only parts I took from the draft of that Kael shared years ago were Auric's parents' names, the location of their homestead, Illian marriage customs, and the way that Brigdarrow was destroyed. FfH:AoI did however make it clear that Kylorin most wants to live a simple life on a small family farm with his beloved wife, and the Ulvin homestead on the outskirts of the small village of Brigdarrow seems as good a place as any. Auric's extreme affinity for magic makes more sense in a child of Kylorin, but he was clearly born and raised Illian rather than Amurite. Auric often amazed his peers with his extensive knowledge of obscure lore in all sorts of random (non-magical) matters, which he might have picked up from a millennia old father who was careful to hide his knowledge about magic but much looser with what he knew about frogs, herbal medicine, and constellations. He was never planning on publishing Ashes of Brigdarrow on its own, but rather including it The Book of Tears, an anthology of short stories about Erebus. I haven't heard anything official about it in nearly two years. I believe that Kael's new job working on Stardock's Elemental: War of Magic has kept him too busy to work on it much.