Balsam was born in a small village near the town of Grayridge and was known as an inventor who created things not from this world. Not only his assistant Yod, but also the elevator and the pump were two of his inventions. He held to a strong policy of pursuing technological advancement over practicality and never created anything for the sake of it being convenient, any such benefit being purely coincidental.
Balsam learned from a peculiar teacher who seemed to have knowledge and skills that even Balsam could never hope to reach. The origin of this teacher is unknown, but Balsam would later speculate that Yod and Zayin worked on the same core principles he had been taught, meaning that Balsam's teacher may have been originally from the world of the Chronicle of Resonant Horror.
He would be hired to install the elevator at Company Headquarters and while there gained the Mark of the Stars and joined the Company. There, he would spend his time in research, tinkering with both Yod and, later, Zayin. Following the war, Balsam would research the Rarohenga relics that Nofret would dig up, in an attempt to master his mentor's technology.