The Adventures of Ser Nuggington of Nope Nope
Bodahn was a successful Merchant caste vendor in Orzammar, where he got most of his merchandise from casteless he hired to scavenge ancient thaigs in the Deep Roads. In some cases he would join the expeditions himself, though not without hired mercenaries for protection. Bodahn views his looting of lost thaigs not as a crime but as a way to save relics that would otherwise be lost. The deeper and more difficult to reach the thaig, the more Bodahn would pay to locate it, and consequently the more the nobles would pay for such items that reminded them of the glorious past of the empire.
One day, a noble woman saw bracers that were made for her brother, and accused Bodahn of being a thief. Using her influence, the noble managed to get Bodahn arrested; before he could be judged, he bribed the guard and fled to the surface. Shortly thereafter he met Sandal in the Deep Roads and adopted him as his son.
Even on the surface, Bodahn continues to get his merchandise by questionable means: taking items left behind when people are fleeing from the Blight. He has said he has a wife in Denerim, but it is unlikely she could give him a child.