Zifban was a great wizard whose tower was located in the western side of Silithus. Zifban was working on a number of alchemical formulae before the Twilight's Hammer destroyed his home and killed him. His apprentice Crandor escaped and has been trying to make enough money to buy passage to the eastern continents.
This was part of Crandor's alias and backstory. His alias and story are all lies, based on bluffs and diplomacy.