Heroes of the Sky
Kenneth "Raptor" (Peters)
The captain of the Skystrider at the start of the campaign
For the last two years or so Captain Kenneth Raptor and his crew aboard the Skystrider have made quite the name for themselves. Though by no means the most popular adventures, Bards across Bahest know at least one tale or song about the Skystrider, and while few know the entire story, an evening in a tavern with chatty patrons can teach you at least the following about the good captain:
The captain’s journey begins humbly in the verdant fields of the kingdom of Riddel. As a boy, known as Ken Peters, he grew up in the small village of Coreta which lies close to the Acktavian main-land border, there raised as an orphan. He grew up alongside his believed sister, whose name was either Tina or Tyra Peters based on who’s telling the story. He was always restless, getting into trouble, clowning around, and loved listening to all the stories of adventure and excitement the local bard knew.
Then one day when Ken was a teenager an aging warlord came to Coreta. The warlord, named Brandon Stackoff claimed he was searching the land for the lost Scion of the Raptor family. The man said he had served the noble Acktavian family for many years, but that the last of their number were wiped out by barbarians during the last age. After an exhaustive search, the warlord believed Ken to be the missing heir, and insisted that he be brought back to the Raptor keep on Acktavia island. Ken would only agree to go if his sister came too.
Once in Acktavia Ken was introduced to the others in the Raptor family charge. They convinced him of his “true identity” claiming a mark on the nape of his neck was a “birth mark” and set to work on educating him to become a noble of Acktavia. He was tutored, trained in swordplay and state-craft, and most excitedly was able to take weekend joyrides aboard the family’s airship, the Skystrider.
It turned out however that Ken wasn’t the last Raptor. When Ken was 18 he learned that the Stackoff had been paid by Riddel to spy hoping to use the fallen family as a way to infiltrate Acktavian ranks. While the actual Raptor family was killed by marauders and the servants and vassals were hoping for the noble family’s return, and Stackoff used this fake heir as a means to get in with the family. When he was found out, a furious noble named Horace Fiddler lead an army to burn what was left of the Raptor estate to the ground and take what was valuable for himself. With no where else to turn, the servants who could took flight with young Ken and boarded the Skystrider, flying away from the chaos. They nearly escaped, but at Horace’s own airship shot down the ship and took it to be repaired and kept in his own place.
Ken awoke battered and damaged in a nearby town in the care of a woman named Claudia Aspiria. Only a couple of years his senior, the telepath said she found him wounded on the side of the road when she was out for a walk to clear her mind. She listened his tale and resolved to help him get revenge on all those wronged him, offering her honed Psionic powers to his assistance. Ken, however, said he burned with a purpose greater than revenge, but to achieve his goal, he would need the Skystrider once again.
Years passed as he went to work figuring out how to take back the Raptor family’s ship. At long last, with Claudia’s help, they infiltrated a high-stakes card game that Duke Fiddler was in. Through their cunning they tricked him into betting the Skystrider and then cheated to ensure they won the match. Fiddler, who was at this point drunk, only wept in response as the duo cashed out and immediately boarded the ship, taking anyone on board with them. Most of this crew was dumped off at the next town, except for the ship’s promising young mechanic, Hadron Rook.
It occurred to them later that taking the ship on the drunken gambler’s word alone would not be enough to prove they owned it. Sure enough, the ship was reported stolen as Duke Fiddler still held on to the license for it. Today Acktavia still has a warrant for Raptor’s arrest for theft of the airship, but no other nation seems to honor said warrant. That’s because in the time since he’s taken the ship, he and his crew have helped countless towns with problems, from the smallest supply problems, to fighting off an orc raid by air-bombing it.
Today the ship continues to sail the skies, though no one, not even the most famous of bards, can speak to this “higher purpose,” that the captain seeks. He’s often portrayed as fun loving, wise cracking, and a quick blade, but also compassionate about stamping out tyranny and helping those in need. Rumor is beginning to circulate across Bahest that he might be looking for more muscle, that perhaps some big adventure lies ahead for the Skystrider and its crew.
In 360 UA he finally found a true heir to the Raptor estate and handed over command of the Skystrider to him.
In 361 UA he married Claudia Aspiria and has began working as a Captain of one of the Aspiria family’s merchant ships.