Thurrock "Rock" Mardyke
Ordo Aurum Squire
Squire Thurrock Mardyke is attached to the Ordo Aurum force engaging with the Gnoll incursion near Eldolan. He recently completed his knightly training.
He is 4th in line for the succession of the Baronetcy of Ipatovo, a small and unproductive fief well north of Drakkenhall.
Thurrock Mardyke recently completed Squire training, but he is an unhappy young man who has decided to make a change in his life. “Rock” — as his friends call him — loved a young lady of another nearby family named Maddie Elsington, but the Mardykes weren’t sufficiently high on the social ladder and the families would not agree to the marriage. The Mardykes descend from a proud and noble line, but Rock’s father chose the wrong side in the last war. He lost 90% of his lands as a result. Sir Roget Mardyke is an honorable man and faithfully serves the new master, but Rock cannot get over a feeling of unfairness in this and other matters.
Rock is the 2nd son and gets along well with his older brother, the heir to what remains of the Mardyke holdings. During Rock’s training, his sister-in-law gave birth to twin boys. Under the rules of succession in this part of the land, this makes Rock 4th in the line to inherit.
During Rock’s training, he and the other squires began to hear stories of evil events from the more seasoned fighters. While some of this was undoubtedly embellished war stories, Rock still believes there is a disturbing trend. Sighting of demons, undead, and other unholy terrors appear to be on the rise. Yet the Mardyke lands are far from the action and Rock is restless. To the young man’s perspective, there is an epic battle of good and evil beginning and he is stuck as the 4th heir of an unimportant fief in an area of the world nobody cares about.
As Rock returns to his family estate upon completion of training, he learns the love of his life is being sent away to a finishing school far to the south, across the Midland Sea. It’s the final straw…. Rock concludes he must leave his family lands and seek adventure elsewhere. He wants to combat the growing evil and establish a name for himself. He is convinced he is destined to play a part in the triumph of good over evil and that he is capable of far more than what his station in life implies. Most importantly, he is driven to earn the right to wed Maddie, his friend and soulmate.
Before she left for the lands to the south, Thurrock Mardyke gave her half of his most prized possession. On the day he became a man, his father had given him a family heirloom—a rare “bicrystal”, said to be formed in the lava of the void held back by the Gold Wyrm himself. It appeared to be two perfectly formed purple gems, bound by the thinnest of connections—each a twin of the other. Rock was fascinated with this item and spent many hours looking at it reflect the light. One day he chose to sever the connection between the two halves of the crystal and was astonished to discover that each of the halves glowed brightly with an ethereal purple light that was so bright, it hurt to look directly at them. But when he put one half down and moved the other away, the light shone less brightly. He took one piece all the way to the other side of the castle and it dimmed noticeably, although still bright enough to light a dark room as if it were daylight. As he walked back to where he had put down the first piece, the light intensified again.
Rock could find no one that could explain this or even had heard of it. Even more surprising—it only worked for him! When he tried to give the gems to others, they gave off no light at all unless he personally held one of the pieces. Even his friend Olaf had no success getting the stones to shine and Olaf seemed to have great untapped powers.
This was a fascinating discovery, but Rock could find no practical use for it until he learned of Maddie’s planned departure. He gave her one half and kept the other, each built into a simple silver chain they would wear about the neck. Now that she is gone, the light has faded to a small, dull glow. But Rock knows it will shine brighter and brighter as he nears her. When the time is right, he’ll be able to find her again.
But before he could again ask for her hand in marriage, he needed to establish himself as a noble worthy of her. He was overwhelmed with the enormity of the task he set himself and didn’t know where to begin. Then he thought of Olaf. Olaf had left the path his family had set out for him and journeyed out on his own. Last he heard he was fighting reanimated corpses some nefarious force had raised from the dead. Definitely a thing of pure evil and something he could help destroy using the training he had just been given. So with a sense of purpose and a renewed strength of spirit, Thurrock Mardyke takes his leave and sets out on the first stage of his grand plan.