Gorlan was a conscript in the Second Low Town Regiment of the Hive Militia. He met Nate Quarter and Eudoxia Prade on the march towards the Midwood Decks, when they shared a meal of woodpork and woodgrog on the branch of a lufwood tree. He told Nate, Eudoxia, and his other comrades about his life before the war. Back in Hive, he lived with his wife, Merla, and he owned a sapwine cellar. Then, the Bloody Blades seized all of his wine barrels on the orders of the Hive Council, and Gorlan was conscripted.