Daephron Illian (presumably Daephron Illian Faendryl) was a sorcerer researcher of demonic summoning who helped plan the assault on Maelshyve ending the Undead War. In his obsession to summon the Ur-Daemon themselves he discovered the Vvrael, which quickly proved impossible to control. He was forced to seal them into the rift he opened using an enruned modwir box, binding it with his whole life force and thrusting himself into the temporal rift. Somehow this box became missing or hidden over the millennia, unable to be found by any of the Vvrael's corrupted agents who end up in The Rift.
This box would somehow end up among the gifts sent ahead of the wedding of Princess Chesylcha Sukari Faendryl, where it was mistaken for a puzzle box gift. The royal advisor and mage Malaphor recognized it contained great power, and brought it with him on a fleeing ship that settled in Ruin Creek. He became consumed with unlocking it with his research into elemental magic. The sheer length of time between this event and the arrival of the babe, several thousand years, is one of several glaring chronology problems in the story which was likely intentional for subtextual reasons.
The ghost of Malaphor claimed he had also possessed the notes of Daephron Illian. He would eventually succeed in pulling the ancient Faendryl sorcerer from the temporal rift, where either from the time flux or his whole life forced being used to seal the box, was now in the form of a "babe" or small elven child. The Vvrael sensed his emergence from the rift and sent a corrupted agent after them, a black knight who went on a slaughtering rampage, killing Malaphor who had the box seized from him. The knight chased the apprentice Tindal who arrived in Wehnimer's Landing, and was defeated in the Elven Village. When the babe traced the runes on the box he rapidly grew in age, telling his story without revealing his identity until dropping dead from the process. The box was then hidden.
Behind the Scenes
Daephron Illian is likely to be a portmanteau of the Iruaric word parts: "dae" + "phoen" + "ahren" + "ilya". The combined effect means "elder traveling secret high elf", though the word "ilya" or "iyla" literally means "beauty." Thus, it would make sense to translate it as "elderly traveler (of) secrets babe", playing off the double meaning of the word "babe" to refer to his aging reversal and acceleration when he is outside of the temporal rift. It is unclear how the puzzle box made its way over the millennia into the gifts sent to the Ashrim royal family, or who the elderly journeyman was that brought the Vvrael related scrolls to Castle Anwyn thousands of years later which drove Terate to obsession. It is possible that there was a trans-temporal telepathy or possession subtext, given the explicit parallel of the Vvrael story to the subtext of The Graveyard. The implication might be that Daephron Illian had used Terate to figure out his research problems, which caused him to create the Vvrael problem in the distant past. (In the Vvrael quest he was supposed to have been among the first to "pierce the veil", which is the literal meaning of Percival who corresponds to Terate, but this would now have to be regarded as archaic. The story of Perceval is incoherently pieced together from many manuscripts, representing different traditions and revised characters, often with serious chronology problems compressing large gaps of time.)
The motifs of the wandering beggar, aging backwards through time, being half-demonic, and prophecy are all associated with Merlin. The serpent encircled mirror in Castle Anwyn is Nathaire's mirror, who is explicitly compared to Merlin, with identical powers to Merlin's "looking glass" from Spenser's "The Faerie Queene". Merlin is also supplanted by a time traveler who passes off his knowledge of the future for magic in Mark Twain's "A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court". The puzzle box that is actually the key to an interdimensional rift into a demonic hell dimension probably refers to Lamarchand's Box from the Hellraiser novel and movies. The glyph traps on boxes were changed to a temporal rift depicted as a field of stars around the time of the Vvrael quest. The image of a baby with rapid aging and development reversal in this context might be an allusion to "2001: A Space Odyssey". The relevance would the parallel to Dante's Divine Comedy in Mount Aenatumgana and the Eye of the Drake, where the rainbow color on the extreme close up of the eye implies Dante's depiction of God, and traveling from Earth to Jupiter and ultimately through the gateway is the literal plotline of Dante's Paradiso.