John was born in London, in the late 18th century, to a well-off family of lower stature. In his youth he was drawn to science and engineering. His family was able to afford a good education for him, and for a time he studied at Oxford. Eventually, he focused his attention on tinkering with mechanics and developing his own prototype for the combustion engine, which he would hold live demonstrations of on the busy streets of London. When he was thirty-two, he met Jas, who stopped to observe one of his demonstrations.
John is very reserved. He has a very low threshold for drama and usually prefers the company of one or two people instead of a large group. In Odeum, John is not much of a fan of Kaylie and actively avoids being around Jas because of her.