Karl von Bach is the CEO of Von Bach Industries (VBI) and the central architect of the Bay Area Expedition. A self-made man, von Bach was an engineer for Dynamech before he left to form his own company. Before the Pale Wars, von Bach had already developed the technology that was used to detect the Votan fleet, he subsequently has become the foremost expert on Votan technology. During the war, his reputation for crafting hybrid weaponry earned him the nickname "Death's Merchant." In the post-Arkfall world, von Bach is primarily active in the Bay Area, where his wealth, power, and influence rivals, if not surpasses, the sphere of influence that Rafe McCawley has in Defiance. Von Bach hopes to foster a better future for humanity by cracking the secrets of the Indogene technology left behind during Arkfall, and has employed numerous Ark Hunters to recover more salvage for him.
- Karl von Bach's physical appearance is modeled after Trion Worlds CEO Lars Butler.
- The Death's Merchant nickname may be a subtle reference to Greek arms dealer Basil Zaharoff, one of the real life inspirations for Professor Moriarty of Sherlock Holmes fame.