Harley MacFinn belongs to an old family with roots in Ireland, afflicted with a curse turning its members into loup-garou, a variant of lupine theriomorphs.[Footnote 1] According to legend, Saint Patrick[Footnote 2] cursed MacFinn's ancestor to become the beast at the full moon. The curse came with two addenda: it would be passed down to a member of each generation in the family, and the family would remain unbroken until the end of days. As per St. Patrick's curse on the MacFinn bloodline, Harley MacFinn was survived by a blood relative who continues to bear the loup-garou curse.
MacFinn is one of the richest people in the U.S. being the heir of coal mining and railroads interests. He served in Vietnam, and upon his return he started divessting his business interests, accumulating capital. His main interest is the Northwest Passage Project, which earns him much backing from environmentalists government people, but also the enmity of industrialists such as James Douglas Harding III, with interests in the area.
At some unknown point, MacFinn met Tera West, to whom he became engaged. Before they could be married, however, MacFinn was caught up in a plot to kill people connected to the Northwest Passage Project, on which he had worked for several years. MacFinn was to be used as a scapegoat to throw the White Council off the trail of the true killers.