Born in Derryshire, New Hampshire on December 12th, Lucas MacLean came to be the second child of legendary airship pilot Arthur MacLean, a Scottish expatriate who had moved to America roughly a decade before the Civil War. His father had been a privateer in his younger years, and through his service in multiple small-scale conflicts and the opening or closing stages of a few minor wars, had procured a trade charter. His move to America was the result of a developing scandal regarding his alleged smuggling of weapons and soldiers over neutral territory thanks to his privateering and trade licences.
Of Lucas' mother there is little record, with a few unreliable sources stating she was either an American ambassador who assissted Arthur MacLean's exodus from Scotland, or a bar maid who eloped with the free-spirited Scotsman at the last moment. Before Lucas' birth came Luther MacLean, Arthur's first legitimate son. Lucas himself came to be eight years behind Luther. It was during the birth of the third MacLean child that the events which would shape young Lucas' life occured. His mother died during childbirth, and his youngest brother passed into this world stillborn, leaving Arthur to care for his two surviving sons alone.
It was because of this, perhaps, that Arthur at last seemed to settle down, retiring from his privateering to set up an apparently legitimate trade cartel. Arthur's motivations for this decision are not completely apparent, though general consensus is that he wanted to be sure his sons grew up to be respectable gentlemen.
While Lucas was still a child, Luther joined the clergy, leaving the boy solely in Arthur's care. Arthur understood the necessity of passing his knowledge as a pilot down to his son if the developing MacLean Trade Cartel wanted to have any chance of surviving. Thus, Arthur began teaching Lucas the workings of airships and businesses at a very young age. Though hardly a master, Lucas could pilot an airship for shot jaunts by the time he was ten, and by the age of fourteen he was managing the family's ledgers and overseas affairs.
Shortly after his sixteenth birthday, tragedy struck Lucas for the second time. His father had perished in an unfortunate airship crash whilst on a trade run up the coast. By this point in his life, Lucas had grown to be moderately aware of some of the MacLean Trade Cartel's shadier dealings, and he suspected the death of his father had been no accident. The authorities did not investigate the issue properly, and there had been an implicit warning that should they ever be compelled to look into the matter, the Cartel itself would probably be endangered. So it was that Luther and Lucas both inherited the MacLean Trade Cartel.
Various reports from multiple sources confirm that during this period, the Cartel managed to stay afloat mostly through black market dealings. It has been suggested that Luther's connection to the clergy gave the two brothers a degree of leeway that was, at the time, unprecedented. Such accounts also indicate that Lucas began to deal in illicit substances and weaponry on the local level during this time, with the apparent goal of gaining enough money to pay for his admittance and tuition for Luthersbrook Academy for Aspiring Pilots and Privateers, the most prestigious academy for airship pilot trainees in New England.
By the time Lucas turned seventeen, the Trade Cartel had begun to make something of a name for itself. They had been able to purchase two more airships and pilots and crew for each, slowly expanding their empire bit by bit. This would ultimately lead to tragedy, however, as rival trade cartels took notice. During an afternoon mass, a gang of mercenaries stormed into the chapel at which Luther was conducting a service. At the same time, a similarly employed group raided the MacLean Trade Cartel's headquarters, burning it to the ground while Lucas was still inside. While Lucas was fortunate enough to escape his assassination attempt, Luther had no such luck, leaving the MacLean Trade Cartel in ruins, and Lucas on his own.
The controversy surrounding his brother's death, and the loss of the cartel, destroyed Lucas' plans to become a legitimate airship pilot, leaving him adrift in the city's underworld. It was here that he began to put his business skills and familiarity with the criminal world into action. Dealing on the black market simply to get by at first, Lucas did everything from larceny to arson, though his penchant for dealing in firearms and drugs comprised the bulk of his dealings.
As Lucas began to gain influence in the city once more, an opposing faction took notice. This time, instead of greedy businessmen or slighted crime lords, it was the government. Lucas had made too much of a name for himself on the streets, and as a result, had made himself a target of the police. His capture, arrest, and trial all occured with moderate fanfare as virtually the entire population of New Hampshire craned their necks to observe the downfall of the last MacLean. Narrowly avoiding the death penalty, Lucas recieved a life sentence on an island prison off the East Coast.
After spending two full years plotting his escape, Lucas at last enacted his plan. Fortune granted him a heavy storm as he slipped away from the isle on a shoddily crafted raft. Several times during the harrowing journey Lucas nearly met his demise, until at last he reached the mainland, exhausted and extremely ill.
Over the course of several weeks, Ester spent his time moving down the East Coast, stowing away on airships or even stealing horses when he had to. His disappearance had not gone unnoticed and so long as he stayed within the influence of the law he would not be safe. His journey lead, at long last, to the one place he knew he could disappear and live comfortably; Cowford.