Father is a former British soldier who was an expert swordsman and swordsmanship instructor to the British military, though his aim with a pistol was atrocious. Apprenticed as a blacksmith before joining the military. While stationed in the American colonies he became disillusioned with the British monarchy and exaggerated his medical condition to be discharged, choosing to stay on the American continent. Sets up a blacksmith and weapon business, the latter away from the eyes of the British.
Mother was the daughter of French Huguenot refugees who fled to the colonies. She met Jacob's father when he gave her refuge in his shop from an angry, drunken suitor. When the suitor gathered British troops to search the shop, she hid in the secret area of the shop. A whirlwind courtship resulted in a very happy marriage, to the confusion of her parents.
Jacob's first opportunity to participate in important scientific events. He will forever crave that feeling.
Starts a business and seeks to adapt Rittenhouse's methods to his own. Fails miserably due to lack of quality glass, of which the best is made in England. Jacob had learned from his father how ruthless business can be, but it was inheritance of his mother's wit and her natural ability to discern what people wanted to hear that let him get as far as he did as a journeyman optician.
The Dollonds had patented a lens design that was not theirs, and ruined many craftsmen. Using the prestige of being Rittenhouse's apprentice, secures work in optician workshops who were attempting to compete with the Dollonds and thus more likely to grasp at any chance to get ahead. Jacob's goal was to gather enough knowledge from different craftsmen to create a successful business in the Americas. He believed that the British had an unfair monopoly because they would not share their secrets, and he was just one of a great many industrial spies.
While he openly proclaimed Rittenhouse as his master for his "normal" job, he had other journeyman positions under different personas. Jacob grew to love the game, the subterfuge and suaveness required for multiple identities and the rush of perfecting his skills at the expense of other, lesser craftsmen.
Shortly after his ghouling. Mr. Chen takes Jacob to Radcliffe Observatory for an experiment. Details forthcoming.
During his Embrace, Jacob claims to have heard the stars speak to him. This begins his lifelong obsession with the stars.
News of cuneiform tablets is nothing new to those who follow the 19th century activities of the British Museum. Jack had little interest in the Museum's collection until word reaches him that astronomical and astrological texts and records were discovered among the tablets. He immediately requests a transfer to confer with the mortal scientists and study the items, which is granted.
Studied artifacts in the British Museum as part of the Tremere's efforts to learn Dur-An-Ki (Assamite Sorcery). (Blood Sacrifice, p33, last paragraph) His natural linguistic talent is of great use here.
Worked with other Tremere to secure the decision to regulate Dur-An-Ki (Assamite Sorcery). Minor interaction for sure, but what would Major mean?
Mithras returns in 1885. Jack uses pieces of knowledge gained from Prince Mithras to further study Dur-An-Ki (Assamite Sorcery). He might have been able to speak to Mithras directly, an experience he would consider an extreme privilege. Boons were likely paid -- who knows? He might still owe someone. Knowledge accumulated by other British Tremere was also used. (Blood Sacrifice, p33, last full paragraph)
Assamites living among the immigrant communities of Dearborn, MI flee Giovanni persecution. Some move to, or through, Mount Pleasant. The Prince despises kindred religion and wages war upon them, assisted by Jack who exhibits a passion few have seen from him.
Jack leads the interrogation of three captured Assamite sorcerors. Blood bond is the primary method though experts in Auspex, Dominate, and even torture are brought in. Valuable information is gained, but Jack still cannot complete even the most basic of negotiations with the spirits who hold the key to his finally becoming an ashipu. Information gleaned from Madame Yacine reveals that a simple mispronunciation has been stymying him for decades. Once contact with the spirit is made more pointed questions are asked of the captured ashipu, more specific and useful knowledge is gained. Furthering his obsessive quest, Jack does things that are detrimental to his Humanity.
As a Tremere mildly knowledgable about Dur-An-Ki, Jacob (now Jack) travels to Lyon, France to help recruit an Algerian ashipu, Madame Yacine, to House Tremere.
The three Assamite sorcerers are given back to Prince Mercea, who immediately executes them. Jack knew this was going to happen, which results in a loss of his Humanity.
Prompted by a decreasing amount of immediately useful information from the Museum's Middle East collection and the May 9th transit of Mercury. A hurried departure ensured safe travel on the summer seas, before politics or more mundane affairs prevented him from leaving before the total lunar eclipse on November 16. He assures any who ask that that would have been very bad.
1967 solid, 1970 approximate
Start time approximate