His parents were older at the time of his birth, and his father died in a lumber accident outside the city when Corvo was still young. Around that time, his only sibling, a first-born sister, moved away to Morley and the family subsequently lost all contact with her.
Only 16, Corvo dazzled the people of Karnaca when he entered and won the annual Blade Verbena. The spectators, from all over Serkonos, were thrilled to see someone so young and striking, from a working class family, advance through duel after duel, eventually taking the prize. This unexpected outcome secured Corvo a junior officer ranking in the Grand Serkonan Guard.
As a soldier, he was involved in a number of conflicts against organized criminal groups, rogue city states within Serkonos, and pirate bands along the chain of islands radiating east from Serkonos. Sent from his homeland at the age of 18 by the Duke of Serkonos (then Theodanis Abele, father of Luca Abele), Corvo was assigned to serve the Emperor in Dunwall as a diplomatic gift. His Serkonan heritage made him a bit of an outsider in Dunwall, but the capital city must have seemed exotic and full of old world mystery.
A few months after he moved to Dunwall, it is recorded that Corvo received word that his mother had passed away several weeks after his departure from Karnaca.