Campaign of the Month: October 2010
Wyrmshadow Campaign Setting
Son of Drogyn Martok, husband of Lucinda Vale, and captain of the Peregrine. A sky pirate and skilled warrior, brave and irreverent for the Shadow Empire. A proud, stubborn young man, unceasing in his efforts to prove himself. A true hero.
Above: Tarrik as he appeared during Wyrmshadow: Broken Home.
Below: Tarrik as he appeared 25 years later, during Wyrmshadow: Sins of the Fathers and Wyrmshadow: War is Hell.
Tarrik Martok is the was the first born son of Sir Drogyn and Ayla Martok. His parents named him after the halfling Tarrik Spindel, one his father’s closest friends . Hours after Tarrik and his twin brother Melchior were born Drogyn ordered Crossel to take Ayla and twins into seclusion where they could be raised in safety. Drogyn, Boris Silverstem, Silas Vale, Sharakh and Shaleria were about to leave on a battle they knew they may never return from. Drogyn trusted Crossel to keep his wife and children safe. He didn’t even want to be told where they were going, he simply promised Ayla, “If I survive this, I WILL find you.”
After Drogyn’s family was safely away, Crossel arrived to the site of the battle only to find that Drogyn, Boris and Vale had been slain and the Shadow Knight was freed from his decades-long imprisonment. Sharakh was barely clinging to life completely alone except for Boris’ bear cub Koda standing guard over the fallen monk. Crossel was able to save Sharakh, although he would never fully recover from the wounds the weren would be a changed man from that point on.
Crossel returned to Drogyn’s family with the cub and bad news. After an emotional confrontation with Cordelia Nes’Nuvel over the fate of Silas Vale’s daugher, the Drow was banished from the group, and they now had three infants to protect.
Although their father was killed when they were only days old, the Martok brothers grew up reasonably happy for free people during the Age of the Shadow. The twins had their mother Ayla, their step-sister Caerdwyn, Crossel as their protector and Lucinda Vale. Ayla eventually married Masen Sternhammer who became their step-father. When the boys were ten years old, Caerdwyn left Stonehaven to join her fellow dragons. It was a traumatic even for young Tarrik, as both boys were very close with their big sister. Shortly after she left however, Ayla discovered she was expecting a third child. The birth of their new brother was a rare joyous occasion on Stonehaven.
Crossel would gladly have given his life in defense of the Martok brothers or Lucinda Vale, but once Ean Sternhammer was born he decided that since he couldn’t be everywhere at once it was time to teach the twins how to defend themselves. Tarrik’s fighting style blended two distinct styles – the wide slashes and strengh of Crossel, and the quick fencing strikes of Masen Sternhammer. Eventually Tarrik also became an expert marksman with a revolver he managed to obtain. Since use of magic was illegal except for those trained and liscensed by the Empire, use of guns had increased dramatically on Wyrmshadow to fill the void.
Melchior was less than excited than his brother about learning to become a warrior. When the young boy exhibited natural magical skill it became obvious he was born a sorceror. That was not the only two differences between the twins. Melchior inherited Drogyn’s analytic mind and knack for diplomacy, but Tarrik was impulsive and often reckless. Melchior often felt the pressure to live of up to the legacy of the Martok family, whereas Tarrik was less bothered by such concerns. While he loved to listen to Crossel and his mother tell stories about his namsake and his father’s campaigns against evil, he was actually a little jealous that it seemed that Drogyn was always fighting evil, while the people of Stonehaven merely hid from it. He used to dream about how different the world would be if his father had lived. He would imagine the mighty Sir Drogyn defeating the Shadow Knight in personal combat, healing his friend Lucinda and fixing the whole world.
Lucinda Vale was a sickly child who was often confined to bed by Ayla, so she would ask to hear stories of her father as well. Tarrik would sit in on these stories as well, in between training sessions with Masen and Crossel. Soon he began to develop strong feelings for Lucinda. Not long after the Martok brothers met Claire Gaspar, a young girl who was a refugee who arrived as one of the many orphans taken to Stonehaven. Her boldness and risk-taking exceeded even Tarrik’s and yet, Melchior fell for her hard.
When he turned sixteen Melchior proposed to Claire and she accepted. This gave Tarrik the courage to ask Lucinda for her hand, and the brothers had never been happier. At the close of the ceremony in which Tarrik married his childhood sweetheart a gigantic dire raven appeared and carried off the bride. That evening Mason, Melchior, Tarrik, Ayla and Crossel debated what to do. Tarrik asks if anyone has ever seen anything like it and Ayla answers yes. Silas Vale, Lucinda’s father had a familiar called Vicious who looked like the creature. Melc asked if Vale could still be alive and Crossel says “no.” He saw Vale’s body with his own eyes. But Ayla recalled Lucinda’s mother promising to take the girl back one day. She assumed Cordelia had died years ago from the same illness that nearly killed her daughter during childhood.
Tarrik demands Stonehaven isle’s sole ship to go to the mainland and search for his wife. Mason, leader of Stonehaven reminds Tarrik that 340 refugees are waiting to be rescued and brought to the island. Daythin Regalia and Maros Tempyst were helping load the supplies on board the Peregrine. They were introduced to one another by Daythos, the older brother of the were-ape.
Later Tarrik is chopping wood with the axe Boris gave Crossel the day they met. Claire approached Tarrik and says she’ll help him anyway possible and Tarrik says he plans to steal the Peregrine to rescue Lucinda. Claire agrees to help and try to talk Melc into coming along while Crossel observes silently from the trees. The reptile then tells Ayla and Mason that he’ll be away for a while at the caves before stowing away on the Peregrine.
That morning Tarrik and Claire steal the ship, only to learn there was a man neither has met still loading cargo. When weapons are drawn an eight and a half foot lizard emerges from a crate to end the hostilities. After listening to their story, Daythin agrees to help, but warns Crossel about ever threatening him again. The four travel for weeks following lead after lead. Crossel and Daythin manage to bond. One night Tarrik asks Crossel if his real father, Sir Drogyn, would do the same thing to rescue someone he loved. Crossel said yes. Crossel told Tarrik that he even though he doesn’t know if there are any of his kind left, he thinks of the Martok twins and Lucinda as his own children.
Upon landing and searching wastelands for signs of drow, Crossel recognizes a body of water. He tells Tarrik that he and his brother were born in the woods just over there. “What woods?” asks Daythin. The land is a desolate wasteland. The four look up to see a black castle. “Crossel, is that where my father died?” “Yes.”
After hiding from a drow patrol and sneaking into the castle, they find a bizarre ritual is taking place. Four Drow priestesses and a woman in a crown are standing over an alter chanting. Lucinda is on the alter, naked except for a mask. There is a scythe and a red robe at the bottom of the altar. Tarrik says, “Crossel take out the woman in the crown, Claire, you’ve got the two on the left, and I’ll take the two on the right. Daythin, you grab Lucy and get her out of here.”
The four burst into the room. Tarrik slices the throat of the first priest and Claire kills another. Daythin grabs Lucinda, and the woman in the crown teleports away from Crossel ordering something to “finish this.” At the top of the chamber is a perch where Vicious is. He descends and slams Crossel through the wall. He plummets the entire length of the castle. Tarrik impaled a second priestess before being pinned to the ground by the monstrous bird. Claire saved Tarriks life and received a nasty scar on her face that remains to this day. Lucinda attacks the group declaring “Lucinda Martok is no more. I am The Reaper.” She is knocked out. Tarrik says the herbalists will heal her once she’s back at Stonehaven. He tries to carry her out when he hears her voice. “Tarrik, let me go.” Crossel returns to see the sky turn black as a flock descends. He has seen this before. The group flees before being massacred by a murder of crows.
During the weeks of the return journey, the group overhears in a tavern of a woman calling herself the reaper, who has somehow massacred countless all over the continent. Upon approaching Stonehaven there are now two more ships docked there. Crossel jumps off the vessel and swims to shore on the other side of the island. When a crowd forms, Crossel joins them as though he was present all along. Melchior, Ayla, Daythos and Mason are waiting. He tells them to accept shackles and get ready to be caged before they are judged. Daythos tells them not to bother shackling Daythin since he’d only break them. Crossel offers to take them to their cages and Mason says, “Put yourself in one too.” He smells like salt water. Melchior asks Claire how she could have gone without him and she tells him she did what she thought was right. She said, “I came back to you.” Melc replied, “If it was me you wanted, you shouldn’t have left.” Tarrik tells her she’s always welcome as his first mate.
At the trial Mason revealed that he had decided as the leader that he would lead a rescue mission to save Lucinda. But Tarrik and Claire stole the Peregrine before he could tell them. Now the 340 massacred people were on Tarrik’s conscience. He asked Tarrik, “Did doing what you did make any difference?” Tarrik’s only reply was, “It did – to me.” He leaves. Mason announces that due to the birth of his young son, Ian, he is stepping down as leader of Stonehaven. Melchior is his replacement. And Tarrik, along with Daythin are sentenced to be the crew of the Peregrine to make up for what they cost Stonehaven.
Melchior approaches Tarrik with the news. Tarrik is again chopping wood with Boris’ axe. Tarrik takes the news in stride. Stonehave isn’t his home anymore. From now on the Peregrine is. When Melc tells him that he did what Drogyn would have, Tarrik said, “Don’t ever mention that name to me again.” Tarrik Martok was dead. From now one, he would be known as Captain Cosgrove Murdoch.After renouncing his name Tarrik removed the Martok family coat of arms that he used to wear and began using only his sidearm—not his blade. As far as he was concerned, “Tarrik Martok” was a boy who lived on Stonehaven with a girl he grew up loving. Even before his wedding night Tarrik had the nagging sense that the world was wrong somehow, like it should have been better. The old gods the people of Wyrmshadow had followed were dead. In their place was a monster the people were commanded to worship. Cosgrove Murdoch was a pirate captain and ‘hero of the people.’ He had the power to make a difference in the world.
He recruited a crew composed of his sister-in-law Claire, Maros Tempest, Daythin Regalia, Victor Vandrake, Fliq Nerino, Crucia San Sagahl, Miles Vaurtek, and Auriq Synestre. For the next four years the crew of the Peregrine sailed the seas of Wyrmshadow, stealing cargo from Imperial ships, battling the Blacksail fleet and transporting refugees from the mainland to the safety of Stonehaven. Soon the mysterious pirate captain “Cosgrove Murdock” was one of the most wanted criminals in the Empire.
A major change was in store for the crew of the Peregrine when Gnomish Crystech was added to enable the ship to fly! The crew had to learn how to fly through the clouds as well as the waves. Although he could still be stubborn and immature at times, Tarrik was also a selfless and fearless adversary of the empire. However he never stopped missing Lucinda.
Nothing could have prepared Tarrik for the day he set out on a mission to search for a gnome named Ludak Copperwrench. On that day during a violent storm, the crew found a disoriented old man lying on the deck of the ship. The man identified himself as Sir Drogyn Martok or the Order of Hyronius.
Tarrik was livid. Either this man with his story of sacrifice, redemption and ressurrection was a delusional lunatic using his father’s name or he really was Sir Drogyn and the brave hero Tarrik and his brother grew up believing in was a coward who abandoned his family.
He decided that it didn’t really matter which until the Peregrine’s current mission had been completed. He had Daythin tie up the man and continued on course. Claire talked to Drogyn and confirmed this man knew names and details about Crossel, Ayla, and Lucinda that no spy working for the Empire could possibly know. Claire believed Drogyn was who he claimed to be. She confided in him that she was the wife of Melchior Martok and that Captain Cosgrove Murdock was Tarrik. He asked about Caerdwyn, Crossel and Ayla. Claire told him they all lived, but would say nothing of Lucinda Vale. This man had none of the abilities Sir Drogyn used to possess, which made since those abilities were gifts from god of justice. Regardless he still displayed remarkable fighting skills for an old man. When the Peregrine came under attack Drogyn broke free of his bonds and grabbed hold of a sword. He came to Maros’ aid slaying several attackers who were on the verge of overwhelming the dark sea elf.
Not long after they were joined by another stranger, this one claiming to be Silas Vale. Tarrik was not pleased to be confronted by a man claiming to be Lucinda’s father demanding to know of her whereabouts. He responded angrily that he wouldn’t tell him even if he knew the answer and stormed off. He did not, however order either man to be taken prisoner. A large blind man calling himself Boris Silverstem would be rescued shortly to complete the group. Of course he couldn’t change shape like a ursite weren which left the crew remaining skeptical.
The man calling himself Vale was able to cast spells, which made him valuable. All magic users not loyal to the Empire had long been killed. Tarrik agreed to let Vale train three crew members who had the potential to be magic users. By contrast Drogyn seemed utterly powerless, until a young boy was killed in front of him. He cried out to the sky and filled with a heavanly glow, ressurrected the child. Fliq and Viktor immediately recognized this was a miracle and instantly became believers in Drogyn. And their belief made Drogyn’s powers even stronger. By the time the Peregrine docked at Stonehaven island, the whole crew believed in the three saviors.
- by Greg Mann (SirDrogyn)