- "First let's see what Arne has to say about it."
- —Koos the Mutant King[1a]
Koos Jaapszoon once lived on Riddra Isle in Suiddock. A bully and a layabout, he was feared by many. He made his money through petty smuggling, theft, extortion and, occasionally, by working on the docks. He and his gang of hangers-on passed their days drinking beer they hadn't paid for, spending guilders they hadn't earned, and hassling anyone who even looked at them oddly.[1b]
Then, one dank night, the good life came to an end. Koos and his boys ambushed what they thought was a drunken mark stumbling down an alley. What they found instead was a cloaked mutant with three eyes, gills and nails of steel. Abandoned by his mates, Koos was locked in a death struggle with the thing. Though he quickly got the better of it and broke its neck, its claws left scratches on his arms and face that throbbed with an already building infection. The first scales appeared the next morning.[1b]
Soon he found his way out of the city and into the marsh. There he found others who were fugitives. With the changes wrought by the mutations and a cunning borne from the need to survive, he quickly established himself as the King of the Loonies. The skill with which he planned their raids on the causeways and their exploits in Marienburg gained him the loyalty of his new gang. It was Koos who led the Tileans on their fruitless chase, and for thirty years he's made sure that the Directorate never again thinks he's worth the money it would take to root him and his people out.[1b]
In the past few years, another of his mutations has become clear to him: he isn't ageing. He can be wounded,and probably killed, but his body gets no older and his strength hasn't failed. Some of the mutants now worship him as a god. Koos realizes he has all the time he needs to build his forces up, till the day comes when he can have his revenge on Marienburg.[1b]
A scale-skinned mutant with orange wattles and a serpent's tongue, Koos rules by fear and terror, and by virtue of being mostly sane. He has the fanatical devotion of his followers. Knowing that too many raids on causeway traffic or too many trophy hunts into Marienburg would provoke even the Directorate to spend the money needed to cleanse the fens, Koos restrains his subjects and carefully doles out those times when they can "have fun". It's rumoured that he has even had meetings with agents of the Staadtholder, reaching pacts of mutual tolerance.[1a][1b]