Tilo was apprenticed to Gerardus Lewlin, and lived as a wandering minstrel. Eventually, Gerardus became extremely sick with a fever, and Tilo brought him to the small village of Hamel, where they helped him recover. It was here that he met Merra, and the two fell in love during the harvest season, where Tilo worked in the fields to repay the villagers' kindness. When the harvest was over, and his master had recovered, he was forced to choose between continuing his minstrel life with Gerardus and starting a new one with Merra in Hamel. One morning, Gerardus disappeared, leaving behind his lute for Tilo to start his own life.
Three years passed, and Tilo and Merra were wed, eventually having a son, Brin. Prior to the events of Ghost of a Tale, the two were brought before Baron Osdrik and asked to perform "The Poisoned Cup". When Merra refused, despite Tilo's pleading, Osdrik had Tilo knocked unconscious and imprisoned in Dwindling Heights Keep, separated from his wife.
Tilo escapes his cell, and, while avoiding the Rat guards, travels to the roof of the keep. Here he meets Silas, the Signal Rat who had helped him escape. Silas agrees to help Tilo find Merra, provided Tilo helps him find a mysterious chest of coins in the labyrinth beneath the keep.