Ethan was the first follower of the prophet Vormund. A controversial figure even in Vormundism, his sins were considered especially abhorrent and repulsive, and he had the greatest difficulty resisting temptation.
Vormund was accused of hiding Ethan, a fugitive; this was the official cause given for Vormund's execution, although it is generally believed that he was killed because he had too much influence and was a threat to those in power.
Ethan was born in the remote northern village of Audel. He was the only child of Andrew and Maude Zuse, hardscrabble farmers struggling to make end's meet.
His madness first began to manifest as he hit puberty. With his parents too busy to pay much attention to him and the rest of the village minding their own business, no one observed the early signs that something was wrong. Instead, the young Ethan was expected to follow in the footsteps of his father, becoming a farmer and marrying one of the local village girls.
During a summer fair when he was sixteen, Ethan led a girl wearing a black velvet band in her hair into a field. During sex, he strangled her with her braid. Panicking, he fled the scene. The body was discovered the next morning, but no one knew the identity of the killer.
Ethan left home, telling his parents he needed to find his way in the world. He is documented as having worked odd jobs as a laborer on various farms and ranches, and even in mills and factories. Among the people of the north, he was seen as something of a rake, but no one knew much about him. Meanwhile, Ethan became arrogant, believing he could get away with anything, and the frequency of his killings gradually increased.
On one occasion where circumstantial evidence cast suspicion on him, Ethan fled into the wilderness. The isolation further deteriorated his sanity, and he became bestial. He later recalled receiving a head injury at some point, but could not remember the specifics; this is believed to have been the cause of his amnesia.
By the time he experienced a chance encounter with Vormund, he had descended into an animalistic state, lurking around in the woods naked and filthy. He was "cured" of his madness by Vormund's presence, but could not remember who he was or what had happened to him. He began following Vormund and refused to leave his side, afraid he would once again return to the abyss.
As the cult grew in size, Ethan lived in the cave with the others, but was considered quiet, introverted, and rather strange. His desire to kill had not completely left him and he constantly feared he would cause someone harm.
In the city of Hiberia, he befriended a prostitute named Mina Palmer. Ethan was attracted to her, but tried to avoid her. She pursued him, not realizing the danger, until he gave in to his feelings. The resulting consummation resulted in her death.
Fleeing the scene of the crime, Ethan was accosted by a thief, but managed to defend himself. Taking the thief's dagger, he used it to emasculate himself. He managed to make it to the Antoi river docks before collapsing from blood loss.
Vormund and the others set up a search party to look for him. Rowan was the one who discovered his body; he caught the attention of Athanasi, and the two carried Ethan back to Athanasi's residence.
While he lay in critical condition, Vormund remained by Ethan's side. Drusus attempted to kill Ethan, but Vormund stood in his way.
In the meantime, the other cult members discussed what to do with him. Various suggestions were made, including having him committed, before they decided to turn him over to the police.
When he awoke, Ethan confessed to countless murders and agreed to face justice. Drusus was due to turn him in as soon as he was well enough to travel, but the Hiberian police arrived first, arresting both Ethan and Vormund.