Gideon was born in Lesser Wintermire, an outlying borough of London, during the Scriven Era. As a young man he moved to the city to join the Order of Engineers, which he believed would use knowledge and reason to shape the future of London and recapture the lost advancements of the Ancient World. While studying with the Order, Gideon encountered Wavey Godshawk in the neighborhood of St. Kylie, and saved her life from an anti-Scriven mob. Wavey appointed him to assist her father, Auric Godshawk, in return. Gideon spent a summer at Nonesuch House, Godshawk's palace on the outskirts of London, cataloging the vast collection of Ancient artifacts and technology that the Scriven had acquired. While staying there, he and Wavey began a secret romance.
Gideon was expelled from Godshawk's service when the Scriven king learned of his relationship with Wavey. He did not see her again for many years, and believed she had been killed in the Skinner's Riots. However, soon after the uprising, a baby girl was found in a basket on the edge of the Brick Marsh. A note in Wavey's handwriting read:
Her name is Fever Crumb.
Gideon brought Fever back to the Order of Engineers and raised her to be one of them, all while keeping her parentage a secret. He only told her the truth when the Order was threatened by another mob, who believed Fever to be a Scriven. Shortly afterward, London was captured by the Movement, a Nomad Empire, whose chief mechanic and engineer was Wavey Godshawk. She and Gideon quickly resumed their life together while laboring on the Movement's plans to transform London into the first Traction City.
Gideon was instrumental in developing this new London, and became a trusted advisor to its ruler, Nikola Quercus. He was the first to suggest that London "eat" resources from other cities it captured, and coined the phrase "Municipal Darwinism."
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