Dimitri Vapnoople, better known these days as "Dr. Dim," was once a powerful Spark who appears to have specialized in animal-based constructs. He was captured by Baron Klaus Wulfenbach and is now reduced to a janitor after no longer being useful in Herr Baron's spark lobotomy experiments.
Act 1 Edit
Vapnoople was captured by Baron Wulfenbach some time before the start of the comic, taken on board Castle Wulfenbach and subjected to the Baron's brain coring experiments. (The fact that the Baron only conducts these experiments on particularly troublesome and intransigent Sparks hints at Vapnoople's power and personality.) Following these experiments, he was still alive, but suffering from severely reduced mental prowess, and so was put to work as a janitor on the airship. It is in this capacity that Agatha has her only with him, when he is summoned to the laboratory where she is "working" with Moloch Von Zinzer. Going with him to get a ladder from the storeroom where he lives, Agatha encounters the collection of stuffed bears he has made. Vapnoople's extreme worry at the Baron discovering his "last secret", his bears, she agrees not to tell anyone, and promises "They'll be okay, I promise".
This conversation is witnessed by Vapnoople's last creation Krosp, who was constructed on board the Castle (presumably at some point before the brain coring) with the stated purpose of being "The King of All Cats". Cats proving by their basic nature to be useless as intelligence assets, Krosp was sentenced to be destroyed, but escaped and took up a covert residence on board the airship, watching over Vapnoople when he could. Following Agatha's act of kindness towards his creator, Krosp goes on to become one of Agatha's staunchest allies and flees with her from the airship.
Act 2 Edit
Much, much later, it is revealed that Vapnoople was not talking just about the stuffed bears, but an entire army of living (and quite formidable) bear constructs which he somehow managed to create and conceal from the Baron, with the unknowing Krosp "coded" by scent to be as their leader. (Whether the whole "Cat King" thing was hoped-for bonus or just a plausible cover-story is not clear.) Upon finally meeting Krosp in the Corbettite Depot Fortress of St. Szpac and officially control to him, the bear's stop-gap leader König further reveals that until now they have been taking orders from, or at least working with, Vapnoople's "number one apprentice": Martellus von Blitzengaard.
In the Novel Edit
The novel Agatha H. and the Airship City offers some more details about Vapnoole's history, as supplied by Theo DuMudd: he ruled over a large territory, controlled by an army of wolf/human constructs (Sparkhounds?[mad theory]) that were powerful enough that it required a three-year campaign on the part of the Baron to subjugate them. Even after being defeated, unlike groups like the Jagerkin and the Lackya, these creatures could not be successfully integrated into the Wulfenbach empire and had to be entirely destroyed.
The novel features the same scene as described above, but with Vapnoople displaying greater flashes of Sparkiness in regards to the type of ladder that is required. Additionally, the novel has an second meeting between him, Agatha and Krosp, set during the latter duo's escape from Castle Wulfenbach after the incident with the Hive Engine. Krosp loyally attempts to gather his "Papa" and take him along with them, but Dimitri refuses to come, referring to both his janitorial work and his bear army of revenge aimed against the Baron. Saying goodbye to his creation, he promises to save him a fish.
The Works Edit
Dr. Dim is a card in The Works; the only epithet is Janitor. A player who "pops" (acquire for score) Dr. Dim is instructed to also pop the top card of the deck, which is, of course, unknown. (Not unlike Agatha acquiring Krosp, or Krosp acquiring the Swartzwalders.)