Airship Tales: A Look at the Imperial Anti-Piracy Squadron
Created by Strangeway on 6/25/2012 5:43:30 PM

Airship Tales columnist John Strangeway returns with a profile on the Imperial Anti-Piracy Squadron!


Greetings!!  We have a slight change this time for you good readers.  Instead of learning about how to join the ranks of pirates and smugglers, we now bring you an opportunity to learn to be on the flip side!  I give you the Imperial Anti-Piracy Squadron!


1. What is your crew and who makes up the roster.

Our crew is comprised of two airships, the SMS Halcyon (an exclusively male ship), and the SMS Zepherus (an exclusively female ship). The Halcyon is a Sky Hussar dropship, while the Zepherus is a pure warship. Because the Imperial Anti-Piracy Squadron is a multi-national organization, the crews of each airship come from a variety of backgrounds and nations.

S.M.S. Zepherus

  • Kapitan zur Luft Reinhilde Octavia Von Grelle
  • Olivine Drab, First Officer
  • Red Czerwony, Chief Diplomat
  • Lenore Crow, Chemical Engineer
  • Geneve Keur, Flight Surgeon
  • Lillian Rosenburg, Anachropologist
  • Helena Montgomery, Head Gunner

S.M.S. Halcyon

  • Hauptmann Graf Georg Wilhelm Heinrich August von Ziger
  • Oberleutnant Doktor Hermann Einstein, Luftarzt, OB/GYN
  • Demetrios Anargyros, Ship’s Navigator
  • Jonathan Quinn, Head Gunner
  • Petty Officer, Provisional, Kasparov Gregorovich, Gunner’s Mate
  • Petty Officer, Provisional, Rederin Vilka, Grappler and Gunner's Mate
  • Phineas Gray, Chief Engineer
  • Damian Antoine Bezique, Chief Diplomat, Casino/Hotel Operator
  • Oliver Tree, Barkeep/Brewmaster
  • H. Martins, Guest

2. What inspired you to create your Airship?

Back in '08, Jeni Hellum had created a costume and a character based in an organization called the Imperial Anti-Piracy Squadron, because she had seen so many Airship pirates and wanted to do something different. It started as just the all-female Zepherus, and eventually some of the guys she knew from the Michigan Renaissance Festival felt like the "No Boys Allowed" thing was a tad silly and we formed the SMS Halcyon, another ship part of the Imperial Anti-Piracy Squadron fleet. From the humble beginnings as a piece of canon from which we could build awesome Steampunk costumes, the IAPS grew into the performance, panel, and party-hosting entity it is today.

3. What are the main focuses of your airship's theme?

Out of character, our crew, many of us with backgrounds in costuming and the Renaissance Festival, focus on creating awesome-looking costumes with a strong basis in history, and playing characters from the lore of the IAPS with which people can interact and have fun.

In character, we're an international treaty organization, with member nations from most of the Western world, whose sole purpose is the eradication of piracy from the airways! Member nations supply members of their armed forces to serve in the Imperial Anti-Piracy Squadron, so our crew ranges from Prussia, to Texan, to Greek!

4.How many people are in your airship?

While our featured roster contains roughly 20 individuals between the two airships, the crew compliments of both reach into the mid 100s. Generally neither ship is fully-staffed, as combat tends to inflict a few casualities. More often than not, we come out in the lead over pirates.

5.Who "leads" the creative direction of the airship

Because so many of the people involved in IAPS come from different backgrounds, and so do their characters, each person drives the creative direction of their costumes and characters and we all work to ensure it fits within the canon we've established.

6.Are you currently looking for new members?

We're looking to start bringing more people into the Imperial Anti-Piracy Squadron. We'll be announcing more information about that in the next few weeks, so stay tuned to our Facebook and Twitter pages!

7.What has been the biggest challenge with keeping the airship going?

Aside from keeping the Zepherus stocked with cabin boys, and talk aboard the Halcyon that we may have to jettison the casino during combat, the ships are hardy beasts of the sky.

As an organization though, keeping the IAPS going has been a relatively simple affair. No one depends on it for their livelihoods, and we all really enjoy going to cons, playing our characters, and presenting fun, informative, and exciting panels. That passion lets us find cons or events who want us to come out and do what we love to do, without the stress of needing to find a con to keep the bladders filled with helium, as it were.

8.What is your next event? 

In terms of conventions, we strive to attend Steampunk and Victorian events around Southeastern Michigan on at least a monthly basis; for example, we can usually be found taking in pirates at the Up in the Aether events at the Phoenix Cafe in Hazel Park, MI.

Keep yer eyes open for their intimidating banner and presence and meet these very talented people.  Be sure to ask about the Cabin Boy Auditions!


John Strangeway is the man in the suit for Steampunk Boba Fett He is a writer for the Steampunk Chronicle as well as the Promotions & Media head for Penny Dreadful Productions.

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