Osman bin Abdullah
Born to a poor Christian family in Anatolia shortly after the fall of Constantinople, Osman was taken in his youth by the Devsirme system. Upon reaching the proper age, he was made a Janissary in service to the Sultan. During the campaign season, he distinguished himself as an engineer while spending any spare time studying the natural world.
Brought back to the imperial court to make better use of his talents, he spent the better part of a decade creating ever more intricate marvels for the Sultan and his advisors, until he fell in love with a beautiful harem girl. Discovered, he fled to Venice through contacts in the d’Este merchant family, but was separated from his love in the escape.
Unable to return to Turkey, he now creates his machines for the d’Este family and awaits news of those he left behind.
note: he has a couple tie-ins to the d’Este family. First, he is indebted to them for his extraction from the empire. Second, they have promised to help find the people he was forced to leave behind when he fled. Whether the d’Estes are actually doing so is in the air. In the interim, they have provided a comfortable and mostly friendly place to do the work he already wants to do.