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Ezekiel "Zeke" Zephyr

17-year-old Chief Helmsmen whom possible has more experience aboard airships than all the other officer's combined.

 CultureSkyFolk
 RaceHuman
 BackgroundPirate/Privateer
 GenderMale
 Age17
 HairBlond
 EyesGrey
 ClassN/A
 AirshipThe Nimbus
 SchtickMercenaries
 CaptainConstantine Sirocco

Attributes

 Strength
 Dexterity
 Fortitude
 Presence
 Wits
 Resolve
  
 Initiative7
 Health10 
  
 Movement8
 Sneak
 Run24 
 Swim
 H-Jump
 V-Jump

Skills

Athletics 2, Dodge 4, Firearms 3, Fisticuffs 2, High & Sneak 2, Intimidate 1, Perception 1, Pilot 4, Swordplay 5

Ad Hoc Repair 2, Engineer (Internal Combustion Engine) 2, Gunnery 3, Martial Arts (Boxing) 0, Medicine 1, Navigation 3, Sky Lore 2, Tactics 1

Talents

Direction Sense, Night Vision, Juggernaught

Complications

Missing Eye
Distinctive Features (scars)

Equipment

Armour: Leathers 3AP, Armoured Leather Coat 3AP

Helios: 4.82

Weapons: Revolver (Damage 6, 30 yards range), Military Sword (Damage 7), Shotgun (Damage 12, 50 yards range)

Personal Effects
Navigators Kit
Multi-Lens Goggles

Background

The phrase “a born sailor” is especially true of Ezekiel Aberforth Zephyr, more commonly known as Zeke (or, less frequently, Scarface Zeke, Zeke No-Eye and that one-eyed bastard). Largely because while his mother was in a cabin giving birth, half the crew of the independent trading ship Equinox Mirage were onboard the Always Victorious proving why such a name is a bad idea. We’ll get back to the eye in a minute or two.

Anyway, Zeke grew up on airships (largely because neither parent had family to leave him with). He learnt to read and write from the Mirage’s surprisingly competent doctor and, once old and strong enough, was educated in the various ways an airship is kept flying. By the time he was thirteen, he’d been part of the crew of four ships. The Equinox Mirage, Gabriella, Storm’s Wrath and Catherine the Great.

The side effect of this was that while his parents (and the rest of the crew) saw Devil’s Tower as home, Zeke saw it as a vacation resort; a place to kick back, blow off steam and cause the trouble he daren’t do on ship.

After leaving the Catherine, Zeke’s mother Sybil elected to remain at the family home with Zeke’s younger siblings. Zeke and his father Isaiah signed on with the Thunderbird, under Captain Defoe, and old friend of the Zephyr family.

Three important things happened on the Thunderbird. To begin, Zeke’s natural aptitude for piloting airships became apparent after one particularly debauched night at port that left the other pilots too drunk to sail. Secondly, Zeke lost his eye. Finally, he got married.

Toxic Jenny didn’t entirely live up her name, but the Misbegotten girl did have poisonous barbs on her knuckles and arms. But she was, for three years, the only other person of Zeke’s age on the ship. Attraction was fairly inevitable, really.

Then the IANS Hangman’s Noose came by. This is where the story gets… messy.

The IANS Hangman’s Noose was a renowned and feared pirate-hunting ship. Now, the Thunderbird was not a pirate ship by profession, but the crew had been known to indulge on occasion. So it’s possible that the Thunderbird was recognised. Or it may just be that the captain was a bastard and decided to shoot down the Thunderbird since Skyfolk aren’t people in the eyes of the Empire. So the Noose chased them for two days before finally bringing guns to bear. Battle, it seemed, was joined.

The story commonly told by the survivors describes how the Noose’s First officer led a boarding party across to capture the crew and "recover any Imperial Property" in the hold. The Thunderbird was barely aloft, held in the air only by the hope of her crew, gaping holes where the gun deck had once been and smoke pouring from the engines. Captain Defoe, wounded and bleeding, held off three soldiers at once while guarding the stairs below deck. The Noose’s First Officer, Augustus Jones, stepped forward to finish off the Captain, surely about to pierce Defoe’s heart with his blade.

The blade never reached Defoe’s heart. Zeke had dashed forward and managed to parry the blow. Enraged, Jones turned on the boy and they duelled across the lengths of the deck.

Toxic Jenny, for her part, had been fighting by the ship’s wheel. As the story goes, her gaze met with Zeke’s across the length of the ship and, sensing impending doom, they requested Captain Defoe perform the wedding ceremony there and then. Zeke earned his scars trying to protect his wife from Jones; Jones claimed Zeke’s eye as a trophy, but left himself open with gloating and Jenny shot him. Repeatedly. There may have been a lot of unclaimed guns that day.

In a moment of inspired madness, Zeke’s father seized the wheel and took the ship into an oncoming storm. The Noose’s captain, believing the Thunderbird dead, refused to risk his ship following it. Also, they were running low on ammo.

The Thunderbird eventually limped back to Devil’s Tower. Isaiah decided enough was enough and retired from sailing to work in the docks, taking up a relatively respectable position in a shipbuilder’s company.

Unfortunately for Toxic Jenny, she was “recruited” for a Journeyship, the Felicity, and was only on the Tower for a few days before she and Zeke were separated. He’s still bitter about that, even if he is reasonably sure she’s safe (they leave frequent mail for each other at various Skylofts in order to stay in contact).

As for Zeke, only a few months passed before the next Journeyship was due to set sail. Since he is technically a citizen of Devil’s Tower he was required to join one at some point, so he signed on with the Nimbus immediately.

Ĉ
David Andrews,
11 Dec 2011, 12:19
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