it's eventually revealed that his raid is a successful attempt to "rescue" a newly-extracted Tarvek from the "clutches" of Baron Gil on the outskirts of a time-frozen Mechanicsburg. Unfortunately, during the return journey his airship is brutally hijacked and redirected by a cadre of disguised Smoke Knights dispatched by Grandmother. He kills three of them, but is (evidently) fatally stabbed and poisoned in the process, leaving only Tarvek and Mister Obsidian alive on the airship.
The Lord High Conservator is a very imposing figure, extremely tall, strongly built, and muscular, with short blonde hair, light but slightly tanned skin, and green eyes. His eyes are his most striking feature by far, since he has four of them: two pairs, one set directly above the other. This can make his face somewhat disturbing to look at, especially when the two sets of eyes are looking in different directions.
The word "READ" appears on his left shoulder, apparently a tattoo. It is also printed on the scabbard of the enormous sword he carries on his back.