Journey Through the Underdark
Eric wanted to be a barkeep, like his adoptive father. He wanted only to run the family inn and enjoy his small corner of the world. His dreams weren't of adventure or power. His dreams were modest and humble.
His dreams were not to be. As the bastard son of Lord EarthScorn, he had a Knack, which meant he would have to be trained as a wizard for the council. He would have to defend the kingdom from the evils of the outer world.
Magic came with benefits; power, long life, money. But Eric didn't want any of that. His time in the magical academy only reinforced his views of magic and the kingdom. He didn't want to fight for old men who had lived far longer then they should. He didn't want to be relegated to a far-flung outpost where he would fight for the benefit of those same old men.
The alternative was potentially worse, fleeing from the wars, fleeing from his home, and escaping through the most dangerous place in the kingdom.