Justin was a Jkathan mercenary. Along with his spell-bonded shieldbrother Ikan Dryvale, he worked for the Jewel Merchants' Guild as a caravan guard. He was considered valuable enough to the Guild that they paid for him to spend the winter in an inn in Mornedealth, the Broken Sword. It was there he met Tarma, and contracted with her for lessons in the Shin'a'in style of sword fighting.
When Kethry was kidnapped, Justin found where she was being held, and he and Ikan joined the rescue party.
Justin and Ikan encountered the pair again just after the women embarked on a career as mercenaries. They gave them some good advice on what they would need for the school they dreamed of building, and helped get a few jobs to get them started. Justin and Ikan also later advise them to join the Sunhawks to get additional experience and to deal with the problems caused by a determined minstrel. Being former Sunhawks themselves, they also gave the woman letters of recommendation to present to the company leader, Captain Idra. The pair tried to be as helpful as possible, not only because Tarma and Kethry are friends, but also because the women represent Justin and Ikan's retirement plan. They hope the school will be off the ground by the time they're ready to quit mercenary work, so that they can hire in as teachers.
Justin and Ikan begin teaching at the school during its second year in operation. Justin eventually marries a young woman named Estrel, and they have a baby, Kethren.