Macen (pronounced mā·sĕn) was born into one of the richest clans in the world, and his parents raised him to see the nobility as inherently superior to commoners. While he has always given every appearance of sharing his parents' beliefs, he nevertheless has always feared that such an attitude could lead to complacency, which in turn would lead to a personal lack of worthiness. In fact, it was always his opinion that the nobility must constantly avail themselves of the possibilities at their disposal because of their wealth, in order to maintain their superiority. For example, the noble clans naturally hired the best masters to teach their children, and yet Macen noticed with disgust that many of his peers were often lax in their studies, knowing that they would succeed in life even with minimal effort. Macen, on the other hand, was always appreciative of the invaluable resource of education, and was diligent in his studies, easily earning top marks, because he believed in keeping his intellect as sharp as it could be. (This does not imply that he wasn't capable of relaxing and enjoying the luxuries his family's money afforded him, because he also knew the value of stress-relief, at the appropriate times.)
In 900, at age 16, Macen left Triscot to travel the world, and broaden his horizons. He made many contacts in the course of his travels, in all levels of society. He first headed north, to Kimrin, where he met a Sorreter named Zeke, who was at the time involved with one of the recently organized gangs in that village. Zeke began teaching Macen a bit about various things, including basic magic (though not nearly enough to really qualify Macen even as an apprentice Sorreter) and fighting (though Macen was already an expert swordsman). Zeke also introduced Macen to several people who were involved in the Coming of the Order, the existence of which was as yet not common knowledge. (Macen would later tell his father about this, and Xander soon became a major supporter of the Coming.) While in Kimrin, Macen also met an adventurer named Vallus, with whom he developed something of a rivalry. Later, Macen accompanied Zeke to Sorret, where he met Durell and his son, Noson. Macen and Noson soon became close friends; they both considered Zeke to be a nominal master as well as a friend.
Macen, Noson, and Zeke spent some time travelling together in various villages, but in late 902, Macen returned to Kimrin to join the army. However, in spite of receiving combat training, he never intended to see military action. Rather, he became a spy, and information he provided to his superiors frequently proved useful in their efforts against the Protestant forces. After the war, Macen retained his position as a military spy, even if it seemed an impractical position in peacetime. To justify his continued employment in that capacity, he established a vast network of informants who would report to him on any number of matters of potential interest to the government. In addition to those people who reported directly to him, Macen maintained contacts with other spy networks reporting to other people, such as Durell, as well as the various gangs.