Marius Carroe

Written By: Stephen Dove

cantorbridgeMarius Carroe

Marius Carroe was born with the umbilical cord wrapped around his neck, in a backstreet of Cantorbridge, during the Summer of 905 AS. His mother died in labour and the boy was taken in by a family of tanners, who were kind to Carroe, but worked him hard, though he was tiny.

The tanners died during the pestilence of 916 AS and Carroe found himself alone and on the streets as an 11 year old boy. He soon fell in with a gang of orphan boys, every-one an ‘averer’. They would pretend to have been beaten, by covering themselves in pig’s blood from the shambles, and then extort money from the guileless pilgrims who flocked to the City in those days.

Carroe soon graduated to pugilism and brawling, but his luck ran out in the Summer of 929 AS, and he was caught and sentenced to have his hand removed. Yet fate played a hand, for Tancred de Toyne; the King’s Champion, was in Cantorbridge raising an army to beat the Thulanders back. Carroe’s sentence was commuted providing he enlisted. He found himself marching north two days later under the King’s banner.

The war in Thuland was long and bitter, but Carroe came to know the worth of Tancred de Toyne and the two formed a close bond, saving each other’s lives several times.

Carroe was promoted and stayed at Maunderlak Castle until 934 AS, when he disobeyed a direct order from a Knight to kill some innocent Thulanders, who were just travelling south to trade.

He was taken back to Cantorbridge for execution, knowing that even his friendship with Tancred would not save him; for by then it had been years since they had seen each other.

Carroe was hanged in the winter of 934 AS; or at least so he thought. He awoke in Archbishop Beckett’s chambers and the rotund prelate indicated that he was ‘…..now a new man; My man! And one, I hear, who has friends in high places. Yes, Master Carroe, you will do very nicely indeed!’

Carroe learned then that it was his friendship with Tancred de Toyne that had saved him, for the Archbishop was out of favour with the King and needed friends at court. Beckett made sure that de Toyne learned of his deed in saving Carroe and also implied that the Knight was in his debt.

De Toyne wrote to Carroe, warning him of the wiles of men like Beckett, but Carroe by then knew this far better than the Knight, for he had become Beckett’s eyes and ears all over Ellesland. The Archbishop taught Carroe to read and write in a number of languages, using him as a messenger, scribe and spy when none other could be trusted.

Carroe was sent to speak to the heretic, Theodred, who the Archbishop had in his cells below his palace. The heretic told Carroe much of the true nature of reality and also predicted many events that later came true. Carroe’s most constant task was to record the old man’s ramblings. He spoke of an Angelic Gloaming under the ruined abbey of St Bridget’s in the Vindar Hills.

The Archbishop was intrigued and sent Carroe to investigate; what passed in that place is something Carroe has explained fully to no one. Though the heretic told him that Angels were as much a construct of man as demons, yet the sight of the Angel Gabriel forever changed Carroe, and in that moment he became The Hound of God. With Gabriel’s touch Carroe gained the power to sense evil.

He left that holy place full of fervour and begged the Archbishop to make more use of him. Beckett was reluctant to risk his leverage with de Toyne, but that changed in 937 AS when Carroe’s old friend was killed; once more fighting the barbaric Thulanders for the King.

Carroe was inconsolable, as the Knight was the closest thing he’d ever known to family. He raged at God, daring him to ‘….take my life you piece of shite, for you have allowed to die the noblest man that ever lived! DO YOU HEAR ME!’

Carroe felt hollow after that; and into that hollowness came great clarity of purpose. With the death of de Toyne, Beckett finally felt able to risk his Hound, and he turned him loose; and soon no evil thing that walked the land felt safe………………….

 Session 1     

Session 2      

Session 3     

Session 4

Maelee

Malvol

Jasper

Sven

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