Captain Jacob Vanderbilt

Captain of the Vanguard


Swashbuckling free captain.


Vanderbilt is a son of fallen-gentry stock of Dutch extraction whose lot in life was improved by winning a scholarship to the Victoria College of Advanced Aeronautics. Not a model student, his skills in the fields of engineering, piloting and the new field of calculating-engine programming gained him an exceptional degree in spite of his inability to respect authority and his penchant for over-indulging in the more debauched pass-times available to a young, unattached man.

As part of his more formal extra-curricular activities, Vanderbilt joined the infamous Victoria College Combat Arts Society; a group famed for both their unconventional and dirty fighting styles and their ability to drink a bar dry. It’s testament to Vanderbilt’s skill with a sword and constitution that he escaped membership of the society with only light scarring and mild alcoholism.

A tour of military service was a condition of his scholarship and, upon graduation, he quickly found himself piloting light transport airships in the joint British/French trade mission to Palestine. At this point, Vanderbilt was first exposed to the opium use endemic to the region and developed a dependency on the drug. Fearing the near-certain decline into opium fiend, Vanderbilt befriended the mission’s doctor who prescribed a strong dose of laudanum to control the addiction under the premise of curing a “nervous condition”.

During his service, Vanderbilt was exposed to the worst excesses, bigotry and exploitation of imperialism. Vanderbilt developed a hatred for the backward class-system in Britain which was further highlighted by the sub-class all native populations were pooled into. Working closely with the French, he found the inequality of the Royal French Air Force even worse; an absolute monarchy firmly fixed a feudal sense of absolute authority and servility permeated French society, especially in the military.


he’s ex-navy, now flies with (possibly forged) letters of mark in a (possibly stolen) airship and a rag-tag crew of miscreants
“Totally not Malcolm Reynolds, honest gov” – Dan

Captain Jacob Vanderbilt

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