Mr. Rathbone was once a lifesaver on the Unmarked River. After his maiming at the hands of a Markless criminal that he mistakenly sheltered, he turned his anchor station into a trap for unsuspecting Markless.
Mr. Rathbone was born to a powerful political family in Great Britain before the European War began. He and his wife survived the harrowing war days, with their only child, Winston, born in the midst of the conflict. After watching their society essentially disintegrate, Mr. Rathbone believed that only a powerful, centralized government could prevent disaster. Most people in Great Britain were very resistant to the European unification program that followed the war, but Mr. Rathbone realized that the unification was unavoidable. Although there were some aspects of Cylis's programs that he was uncomfortable with, he and his wife decided to be among the first in Great Britain to receive the Mark, knowing that they would reap a huge reward.
After the Rathbones were Marked, Cylis granted them diplomatic immunity, since many in Great Britain were likely to resent their support for the Marking program. The Rathbones relocated to a remote part of the American Union, where, as part of their agreement with Cylis, they received a mansion and luxuries of which most other people could only dream. Mr. Rathbone began feeling guilty, however, since he had shamelessly profitted from a program that he did not entirely like. He and Mrs. Rathbone eventually joined the Unmarked River, working as "lifesavers" by using their house as an anchor station for Markless travelers. They played both sides, remaining friends with Cylis while secretly helping the Unmarked community.
One night the Rathbones gave shelter to what seemed to them merely another Markless traveler. They followed their normal procedures, showing him to a room and then going to bed themselves. Unbeknownst to them, the traveler was part of the Markless criminal class. While Mr. Rathbone slept, the traveler cut off Mr. Rathbone's right hand and wrist so that he could use the Mark tattooed there for his own purposes. The traveler then fled the house, and Mr. Rathbone awoke to find himself maimed. Blamed the Markless for his lost hand, he and Mrs. Rathbone began trapping Rivergoers. They did not contact DOME about their activities--with their connections, they were able to enlist the help of Acheron's IMPS to remove the Markless travelers that the Rathbones caught. Mr. Rathbone felt somewhat guilty at first and asked the IMPS to read him the crimes of the Rivergoers in order to assuage his conscience. He and Mrs. Rathbone required their son Winston to listen as well. Over time, however, Mr. Rathbone no longer felt guilty about his actions, and listening to the supposed crimes of the Rivergoers became a formality.
“How do you people repay us? You cut off my Mark, hand and all! You take it in my sleep! And you run off with it, to buy—what?—new shoes? A tablet? A candy bar?”—Mr. Rathbone
Mr. and Mrs. Rathbone welcome the Dust into their home, secretly planning to trap them in the cellar and contact the IMPS as before.