|Rank||First General and Regent Champion|
Iron Gray Sea
Straits of Hell
River of Bones
|Job||Regent until new Celestial Mother is elevated.|
Esshk is of the class of Hij in the Grik hierarchy who commands Uul troops.
SPOILERS THROUGH RIVER OF BONES
Esshk is First General of all the Grik and later becomes Regent Champion as well. Considered the finest general of all the Grik, he makes his first appearance in Crusade where we learn that he is a nest mate of and favorite of the Celestial Mother. Leading the Great Swarm against the tree prey, he first learns of the tail-less ones aiding their old enemy, but Esshk has his own tail-less ones. The Jap hunter Hisashi Kurokawa and his mighty ship Amagi have joined Esshk.
Due to his defeats suffered at the hands of the tree prey and Captain Reddy, Esshk realizes that the Grik must adapt. Heavily influenced by Kurokawa, Esshk makes the decision to create a new kind of Grik warrior, one who is bred to defense. Such warriors are repugnant to the traditional Grik mindset, which is to attack and overwhelm an enemy. Only Esshk, who is respected above all other generals, could have accomplished this.
Through his appearance and story over the course of ten books, we discover that First General Esshk is an accomplished manipulator as well as a general. When the Celestial City falls, he spirits the Celestial “Princesses” away and escapes with them from Mada-gaas-gar. With the Celestial Mother dead, he and the Chooser scheme for control. Esshk is awarded Regent Champion until a new Celestial Mother is chosen and fit to rule. Esshk is determined that she shall remain only a figurehead and that he will be the one actually in control of the Grik Empire.
Even though Esshk believes himself to be an innovator and adaptable, we find that he is prone to and often tied to the old Grik Swarm philosophy of battle. In River of Bones he tries to force his way down the Zambezi River where it is blocked by a small, but powerful Allied force. Repeatedly, he orders his ships to attack and force their way through a bottleneck on the river. The valiant stand by the blocking force and the arrival of the allied fleet thwarts Esshk’s swarm. The result is that much of his swarm has been destroyed and in disarray.
Always dangerous and never one to be underestimated, Esshk is now on the defensive and his talents as a general are going to be put to the test.