Martin Downings

Bearing the Golden Crown, and sole ruler in East Kai’ckul, Martin epitomizes the possibility of what a man can aspire to be. Bearing the withered and bound left arm, he epitomizes the cost of such aspirations, but also the tenacity needed to accomplish them.

He was born in a brothel in a dreary and bog-soaked township in Worthend called Sink. Though actually named for Raribald Sink, a wealthy man who blew his fortune establishing the border town as he sought the magic he believed resided in the swampland — and tales tell of Mr. Sink still exploring it, naked, and encrusted with the stinking pitch, to this day. Martin, though, was not born to a prostitute, but to the linen-lady, who cleaned the sheets every morning (and had one day been accidentally bedded by a drunken sod). Still, that might have been a blessing, for he was not given ‘to Mr. Sink’ as many bastards of the town are, but was raised and cared for by his mother. The brothel was his home, and he made the beds every day at noon, until one day he spied some silver on a bedside table. He was caught in the act, and was thrown out of the establishment permanently, but only after his mother had given up her right hand so that her son would keep his.

Still, money had caught hold of his mind, and he sought to claim some for himself. One day, he was brushing and a watering a horse of a Trailblazer, and he learned of the ‘career.’ Simply leaving the sad place was enough for him, but with a commission waiting upon completion, he excitedly jumped into his new role.

The years were hard, but he came from a hard place and a ‘home’ that was harder. Wardens kicked him out when he tried to shelter himself in a Dwarvenhold. Wardens drove him to the side trails and away from their patrols. Deadly animals saw him as prey. Nature pounded him against the mountains and hid his paths from him. After ten years, he had made what seemed no appreciable distance to his goal. So, he decided he was simply going to climb the nearest peak if it killed him, and if not, then he would have at least made it to the other side.

On his final ascent, beleaguered and out of breath, he grabbed a boulder that seemed more seated than it was, and it rolled — right over his left arm and crushed it. No one knows the truth of what happened up there, but he and others have many tales to tell. In any event, he conquered the mountain and descended, despite his injury. On that descent he finally found a worthy stream for drinking, and came away refreshed, and with a hand flecked with…gold.

From there, the tale is the rise of Tumbledown. Martin has forced himself into the affairs of the Council, and etched out a claim in the Kingdoms of Men, using his wealth and the work of the prospectors who populate his lands. Each of his settlements are the barest of towns — even Sink looks respectable in comparison — with a company of his Left Hand and a pink quartz keep overlooking each (purchased at a premium from the Pebble Gnomes).

Martin no longer roams east or west of the Indahar Mountain Range and technically is still a contracted member of the Trailblazers, Enders Guild, but sits in his own pink quartz keep near the Athfort, in the northwest reaches of Tumbledown, where the lands are actively combed by Trailblazers and fortune-seekers. There, the land is flat enough for a somewhat substantial township, which commands the entrance to his fledgeling kingdom. Rizen is it’s name — Martin never took much time learning the ins and outs of Common — as a statement to his beginnings, and actually is beginning to look like a town of sorts as it serves as a stop over just past the Athfort before venturing into the wilds.

Martin Downings

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