Armin's ancestors came from Monab, and were among the settlers of Triscot in 771. They'd heard of plans of various wealthy clans from around The Land to found an upscale village for the financial elite of the world, and they thought it was important for there to be a strong religious presence to keep people grounded. Ever since then, the clan has been among the most prominent members of Triscot's religious community. In fact, Triscot's first, third, and fourth bishops were all among Armin's ancestors. The clan has also produced many vice-bishops, over the years. It was because of the steadfast nature of the clan's faith that they chose the name "Steadfast" when the surname law was passed in 904.
Armin himself became a novice spirit-talker in 889, though he harbored a secret fantasy of joining one of the local gangs, like some of his friends. He avoided this temptation, to honor his family's wishes. However, ten years later, in 899, he was among Triscot's delegation for the annual Pilgrimage to Monab. It was then that they learned that The Plan called for secretly encouraging gangs from different villages to form alliances. This excited Armin, as it reminded him of his childhood dream. Of course, by now he was too old for gangs, at least in the form in which they'd existed for centuries. And he was dedicated to his career in the church, hoping to someday become a vice-bishop, and maybe even bishop. Also, Bishop Toros was opposed to the Plan, especially this aspect of it. But there were those spirit-talkers in Triscot who either supported the Plan whole-heartedly, or had mixed feelings about it. One of the latter of these was Shiri, the vice-bishop from Armin's district. While she didn't like the idea of encouraging gangs, she did believe that the ultimate goals of the Plan were for the betterment of the world. And, as it happened, her sister Cherilyn (whom Armin knew well, as a parishioner) was the current head of a gang called the Buccaneers. So, he occasionally talked with her about the Plan, both before and after she became one of the founding members of LandOrder.
(Note: the following is known only to a few Landians, and as such, this paragraph should not be seen as appearing on the Sylph Swarm.) The year after LandOrder was formed, its capo, Capp, was looking for someone to send to Monab to serve as a spy for the gang. It had to be someone whose credentials as a spirit-talker wouldn't be questioned by anyone, but who also could be trusted to serve the gang faithfully. Cherilyn recommended Armin, and after meeting with him, Capp agreed that he'd be ideal for the job. So, Armin spent much of his free time over the next year learning the art of espionage, and making plans to move to Monab during the 900 Pilgrimage. Not long after his arrival, he formed a loose alliance with two rival spies: Luther Smith of the Black Profits and Calvin Barber of InterGang. In 912, the three of them uncovered evidence that Bishop Kizin Planner's death two years earlier, supposedly of natural causes, was actually murder by Durell Turner.