|Date of Birth:||Before 1700|
|Captain:||at least one previous captain (deceased) from the Rankin family(?)|
|Appearance:||Golden colored with pale green Reaper markings; orange tipped wings; dark green eyes|
Celeritas (Latin for "speed") was a very aged dragon, claiming "two hundred years" of experience. A scholar of aerial tactics, he was familiar with at least one book by Sir Edward Howe, perhaps from having it read aloud to him; it is not known whether he was an exception to British dragons generally being kept illiterate.
In 1805, Celeritas had no captain and was acting in his own right as the training master for the Aerial Corps at the Loch Laggan covert. His position was kept secret for fear of scandal among the general public. His students included Lily's formation, particularly Lily, Maximus and Temeraire who all hatched in the year 1805.
The Dragon Plague aged him considerably, though he was still present at Loch Lagann when Temeraire and William Laurence stole the cure from that covert. Temeraire told his old master their intentions before flying away; the lack of immediate pursuit suggests that Celeritas did not raise the alarm. When Temeraire returned to Loch Laggan during Napoleon's invasion, Celeritas had retired from his post and gone to the breeding grounds in Ireland for undisclosed reasons.
Celeritas wore a golden ring studded with a jade stone around his neck, presumably a gift from one of his captains. He had the typical Malachite Reaper appearance-- yellow with green Reaper tiger-stripes-- though the Dragon Plague faded the yellow to more of a "bronze" shade and dulled the green markings.
The first captain for Celeritas was Jeremy Rankin's grandfather. Since the Rankin family had a tradition of sending third sons to the Aerial Corps, it is generally assumed that this grandfather was a Rankin (though see below). Celeritas remembered him with great affection.
This first captain's son also served with Celeritas; it is not unambiguously clear whether he became Celeritas' second captain, though this connection is supported by later events. Due to British aviators' general abnegation of ranks and responsibilities outside the Corps, it is highly unlikely that this man was Jeremy Rankin's father, the Earl of Kensington, rather than the Earl's brother or brother-in-law. (If the latter, then the surname of Celeritas' first captain(s) may not have been "Rankin", but rather the maiden name of Jeremy Rankin's mother.)
A hereditary chain of captaincy is strongly suggested by the expectation that Jeremy Rankin would also serve with Celeritas, and by the consequences thereafter. Celeritas rejected him, but did not fully state his objections to the boy's character because of the fond memory of his first captain. Jeremy Rankin was reassigned to a new dragonet; within a few decades afterward, Celeritas had no captain at all.