Known to many as a relatively successful leader of the Northgate Regiment, Gideon Oliver Ashcroft was the son of a wealthy bishop and part of a wealthy merchant-class family. Though "Sergeant Major" was only once (for a brief few days, in fact) his official title, the title stuck with him until his supposed death after the Northgate Regiment was defeated at the Battle of Stormglen.
In fact, the tale of Gideon that has come to be accepted by his former soldiers is very far from the truth.
Born to a merchant-class family who lived in the outskirts of Gilneas City, Gideon was raised mostly on his own with his nanny. This was common for many of those in the merchant-class. His father would often be on ecclesiastical duties and his mother selling fine bolts of cloth in the city; needless to say, the child was left at home.
That is not to say that he did not have a happy childhood, no, he had the best education from governesses and all the enjoyment country sport could offer him. This life continued up until the age of twelve where he, upon his own request, was sent to a military school. There he was trained to be an officer, passing his though had no recognisable distinction whilst in the military institution. Though many of the tutors recall his religious fervency and ardor.
During his time at the military school, it was announced that Gilneas would be sealed off from the rest of the world. This was no great surprise or misery to Gideon, as he was an introvert himself, and strongly believed in Gilnean self-dependency and power. It was only until he had left military school that he realised both his father and mother had moved from the capital, and the nation itself.
Undeterred by this, he accepted his assignment into the military at the age of eighteen. Perhaps it was fate that his assignment was to the Northgate Regiment, where he quickly ascended. However this quick laddering was not because of his skill; many of the officers who had been in the Northgate Regiment before had defected into the newly organised Northgate Rebellion.
It was in this time of Civil War that Gideon gained many nicknames and titles, such as "Sergeant Major" and, more relevantly, "Sergeant Priest". Gideon was known for his speeches to the men before battle; often tempered with religion and faith, as well as nationalistic agitation. During the Civil War Gideon received decoration for his dedication to his belief in the "Divine Right of Kings".
After the war eventually died down, Gideon had more time on his hands to devote himself to religion. He founded a church, fully funded by the state, that preached austere methods of practice - contrary to the conventional Church of the Holy Light.