02. The Runelands
Zombie Captain of the Soulcrusher, Admiral of Aluskan's Undead Skyfleet
Tall, pale and cadaverously thin, Elias Grimm is every inch the career aeronaut. His voice is sepulchrally deep and resonant, and his motions are sparing. He will occasionally forget to fill his lungs with air and so begin speaking before he remembers. He has three mismatched fingers on his left hand, the result of field repairs following a raid years ago. In battle, his face is obscured by his Deathmask, a minor relic favoured by the Grimhold Skyfleet which provides him with clear vision in all conditions and the ability to project his voice where it’s needed to be heard, and resembles a glowing skull-face (pictured).
Though his career in piracy has brought him far greater notoriety than his career as a rank-and-file Skyfleet officer, there are undeniable holdovers which have survived his Resurrection. These are reflected in the uniform appearance of his crew, his usual mode of dress, and his predilection for Deadlander styles in shipwrighting and construction.
Elias Grimm was born to the House of Grimm in the middle of the worst winter the Trolmark had seen in thirty years (see also: Siege of Venado). An attentive and diligent student with an agile mind and a questioning attitude, he attended the Ossuarian Academy of Necrological Studies, where he read Engineering and Alchemy. His dissertation on the use of Necronite in aeronautical ship’s engines earned him a lieutenancy and a position as Engineer’s Mate aboard the Sinister Nightfall, famous for its victories at the Battle of the Trolmark, and for its role in the subdual of Rosegrave, where Grimm saw his first taste of command when heavy fighting placed him in the role. His ingenious tactics turned the day from a rout into an acceptable defeat, saving many of the ships ambushed by Barony reinforcements.
His valour earned him a captaincy and Resurrection. Details of his career during this time are spotty, widely varied (the Captain’s legend has grown, after all) and contradictory, but this is how Grimm likes it. If there is a record of this time anywhere, very few know where it is, and Grimm isn’t telling.
What is known is that about ten years after his Resurrection, Elias Grimm resigned his commission to the Eternal Fleet and left Grimhold with only his butler for company, relocating to Aluskan, where he acquired a crew and ship, rolled up his sleeves, and started earning his place on the Council of Captains.
Nowadays, Grimm is the zombie captain of the Soulcrusher. His district is confined to several of the skylands over the harbour, but the discipline and dedication of his undead crew is unquestionable. This crew also affords Grimwald the unique advantage of being the only Captain thatcan’t hold hostage by closing the larder doors.