Marlowe was born into a wealthy clan, which owned numerous businesses. They are most famous for the ornate gates they make, which are their primary export, purchased by architects all over The Land. It's because of this that, when the surname law was passed in 904, Marlowe chose the name 'Gateman' for his clan. His family's estate is also well known in Frinn for having the most extravagant architecture in the village. The clan is well connected to various rich and powerful families throughout the world, and they have, for generations, hosted lavish parties within the gates of their estate, which are commonly referred to as "gate parties." The nature of these parties remained a closely guarded secret until 915, when a shocking book called Institutionalized Egomania and Its Effects Over Multiple Generations was posthumously published by Marlowe's wife, Antonia, who had died earlier that year.
According to the tell-all tome (actually a scientific study conducted by Antonia), Marlowe had been raised by parents who strongly believed that wealth made people more important than those who were poor. This belief in class distinction became more common among wealthy clans during the Coming of the Order, though it had perhaps always existed to some degree. And apparently, no clan had ever held it more firmly than Marlowe's. While this revelation in itself may not have been particularly shocking to readers, what was shocking was that members of the clan had long felt it was acceptable for them to do absolutely anything they felt like, without regard to any harm that might come to lower classes. In fact, some details in the book are not only morally reprehensible, but criminal. However, no proof exists of such activities, so no charges have ever been filed. Nevertheless, business has recently begun to suffer, for the Gateman clan, and the police have begun taking a closer look into their business practices. It seems there has never been any official wrongdoing; that was apparently limited to their exclusive parties, of which none have been held since the publication of Antonia Gateman's book.
Marlowe met Antonia in 872, when they were both 25 years old. She was an aspiring psychotherapist, nearly completed her training. He had just decided to take a class in psychotherapy from a prominent master in First Village, on a whim. Though Marlowe never intended to complete his training (he just liked to dabble in various academic subjects), he took a liking to Antonia, and later that year, after she graduated, they got married. She moved to Frinn with him, and opened a private practice there. Their only child, Beverly, was born in 877.
It wasn't long after his marriage to Antonia, that Marlowe finally gave up on his random studies, and began working in his clan's company. This led him to meet many powerful people around the world, and prepared him to eventually take over the family business himself, which he did in 897, at the age of 50. (It was about ten years before that that he had taken over hosting duties for his clan's secret gate parties, according to his wife's book.)
In 903, Marlowe struck a deal to support the campaign of Demos, who was running for monarch. The full details of the deal are not known, but they included a promise from Demos that, if he became king, he would arrange a contract with the architect (Artemus Gothic) who would be designing the palace and other government buildings in First Village, for Marlowe's clan to provide all the gates and various other materials for the project. It was not until much later that the public would learn the deal also included Marlowe allowing his daughter, Beverly, to leave Frinn with Demos. Until that time, she had lived as a virtual prisoner of her father, though even after leaving home, Beverly had revealed none of the scandalous details of her upbringing, until her mother's death in 915.
Despite the sharp decline in business since 915, Marlowe's clan remains one of the wealthiest on the Land. Most of Marlowe's friends have officially broken ties with him, though there is speculation that many of them still secretly consider him a friend, and that Marlowe may continue to have influence around the world, including influence over various politicians.