Shin originally hailed from Mendev, in the far north, where he fought in the crusades against the demons of the Worldwound. He was expelled from his holy order by his superior officer, Commander Govran, for inflicting violence upon innocent civilians, although he has never elaborated on the nature of his crimes. He was stripped of his rank and sent south, where he eventually ended up in Katapesh and joined the expedition to Kelmarane as an act of penance.
During his early adventures, Shin discovered the resting place of the janni Vardishal, one of the Templars of the Five Winds. The spirit of Vardishal seemed to "inhabit" Shin's own weapon, and occasionally spoke through him.
After the liberation of Kelmarane, Shin retreated to a cave in the hopes of finding his redemption through solitary meditation. While there he had a vision of Iomedae telling him he had to "stay in her sister's house for a while longer." He stayed in the cave for one year and 37 days, until a mysterious stranger arrived to wake him up and urge him back to Kelmarane.
Throughout his adventures, Shin looked for a way to atone for the crimes he committed in Mendev. For a while he thought that his destiny lay in following the urges of Vardishal, which ultimately led him to seek out the Scroll of Kakishon and enter that realm. When he learned that entering Kakishon accomplished nothing but to free the efreeti lord Jhavhul, however, Shin lost hope. He began to see his quest for redemption as futile and meaningless.
Shin saved Morgiana's life during the flight from Kakishon by magically taking her wounds upon himself. He died holding open an interdimensional corridor so that the others could escape.