Phineas (commonly called 'Phin') came from humble beginnings, the son of servants who worked for a clan which today might be considered middle class. In fact, their employers could barely afford the two servants, and wouldn't truly be called "people of means." However, the clan did own a mid-sized sailing ship, the Hope; and so when Phin turned 14 in 858, he asked his parents' employer for a job on the ship. He wanted to travel the world, see other villages, maybe have a bit of adventure. The Hope was actually used as a trading vessel, but as it happened, soon after Phin joined the crew as a cabin boy, it joined a small expedition, consisting of five ships, to set off on a voyage of exploration. (A group of local shipowners had been inspired by a similar expedition from Ship, which had founded the village of Ristar in 850.) In 859, the expedition from Shipsister discovered Atlast Land, where they founded the village of Temporaneous. They then continued sailing south, discovering First Ice in 860. The expedition then returned to Shipsister, where they sought to recruit settlers to move to Temporaneous. However, few people showed any interest, and the village was ultimately abandoned. After that brief exploratory stint, the Hope returned to sailing between established villages for trading purposes.
Phin was someone who had always wanted more out of life than his parents could provide, and so he felt it fell to him to take control of his own destiny, and, as he often said, he believed one should "work daily to better oneself." (It was this credo which would lead him, after the passing of the surname law in 904, to chose "Daily" as his surname.) To that end, he had always read as much as he could, spending much of his youth at the local library. In addition to teaching himself from books, he believed one should learn as much as one could from those around him. Though he couldn't afford a master, and had no interest in learning any trade which would lead to a life of drudgery like that of his parents, he found it wasn't hard to at least learn useful skills from all manner of individuals, without actually becoming an apprentice. Certainly this was the case during his time on the Hope; he quickly learned everything he could about sailing, and by 861 had been promoted to a junior position among the crew. In 869, the captain retired, and by then Phin had risen to first mate. His employer then gave him the position of captain, at the age of 25.
By the age of 30, Phin had saved enough money to buy the ship, himself. He stayed on as its captain, continuing to travel the world as a self-employed trader. However, after a few years of that, he realized he wanted to see more than just coastal villages; there was still much of the world he had never seen. So, while he retained ownership of the Hope, he gave his own first mate the captaincy, and left to expand his business over land routes. Many of the contacts he'd made over the years were already involved in land trade as well as sea trade, and they were greatly helpful to him in building up his business into an inter-village company, which he called "Shining Stars." (The name referred both to the use of stars for navigational purposes, as well as a lofty goal to reach for.) He soon had business partners overseeing branches of his company in many villages.
In 900, when Phin was 56, he attended the first World Fair, in First Village. This was a chance to connect with many of his contacts from various villages, all at once, as well as to make new contacts. By this point, he had become one of the most wealthy individuals in the world (of those whose wealth was entirely self-made rather than coming from a collectively prosperous clan). To be sure, his own fortune didn't compare to that of the noble clans, though most of the people from such clans with whom he did business greatly respected him. It was during the World Fair that he first met Macen, as well as Macen's father, Xander. He had heard of Xander, as the Triscot branch of Rising Stars did some business with Xander, though Phin himself had never personally met the man. However, it was Macen with whom Phin would become more deeply involved. It is believed that it was upon their first meeting in 900, that Phin first began thinking along lines that would soon lead to his establishing the secret society known as The Cabal, of which Macen would become a member.
However, the existence of the Cabal would not be revealed to the world until 912. Until then, Phin continued to expand his business, and helped finance certain aspects of the Coming of the Order. It was around 901 that people first began thinking in terms of social classes, and Phin was quite happy to think of himself as a noble, particularly considering he had started life as a peasant. In 902, when the possibility of a united world government was first suggested, Phin immediately saw himself as a candidate for high office. (It is quite likely he already knew this development was coming, at least as early as 900.) In his campaign, Phin appealed to the people of Shipsister to elect him largely as an example of the potential of anyone to reach beyond their origins, and attain whatever goals they desired in life, if they worked hard enough. This was a comforting thought for many people, as they had recently begun to be concerned that only the upper classes would have any real chance of representation in government. Because of his humble beginnings, commoners saw Phin as both "one of them," and an inspiration. He easily won a seat in the newly established Congress in the 904 election. He was reelected to the position in 909.
During his time in office, Phin did much that was considered beneficial to the people of his home village as well as the citizens of the entire Second Order. In 912, while the possible establishment of the Transportation Department was being discussed, it was assumed that if such a department came into being, Phin would most likely be selected as its Director. This was in large part because of his involvement in certain transportation-related issues during the Coming, prior to the first election; issues which had played a part in Demos Royal being elected king. In fact, Demos and Phin had been friends for decades, having first met as fellow traders and world travelers. They had supported each other during the 904 election, and worked closely together on various matters over the years since they were elected to their respective positions. It was widely believed that if and whenever Demos might decide not to see reelection, Phin would be a frontrunner for the position, himself. (Though, given that Demos was 15 years younger than Phin, it was unclear if he'd be ready to step down in Phin's lifetime. However, the position of monarch was never expected by anyone- except, as it would turn out, Demos- to be a lifetime career.)
But in 912, as has been mentioned, the existence of the Cabal was finally revealed, including various illegal activities. Surely, Phin would have lost his position and been arrested, without ever having the chance to become Transportation Director, let alone king. But he didn't even have a chance to stand trial for his actions, as he was found dead in his home, apparently the victim of murder. The identity of his killer remains unknown, but it is generally believed that he was killed by Demos, who held him responsible for the loss of the Chaos War, which meant Phin had failed to keep Demos in power.