Wednesday, June 15, 2016

The Marrow Miners & Mirayda of the Five Cask Clan (GM Knowledge)

Note: this post includes *excessive* 'secret' information about Salt in Wounds. GMs welcome. If you ever plan on *playing* in a Salt in Wounds game you might want to skip this post.

In order to understand the Marrow Miners, it is important to first understand the character and motivations of Mirayda of the Five Cask Clan as her philosophy and goals shape everything about the organization.

The Marrow Miners were founded two decades ago by Mirayda of the Five Cask Clan, a female dwarf and former God-Butcher who failed (spectacularly) during the Rite of Mutual Recognition. When she faced off against the Tarrasque and saw the spark of destruction there, Mirayda flew into a berserk rage, stabbing at its eye over and over again trying to end its life in contradiction of all sense and all her training as a God-Butcher. She had to be restrained by half a dozen other God-Butchers. Before any could debrief her, she launched into a tirade about how the beast must be slain –permanently- and that all of the God-Butchers’ considerable resources should be reassigned to discovering, inventing or otherwise implementing a plan to end the threat of the beast once and for all.

None of the Master God-Butchers would listen to her plea, each speaking of the importance of the Tarrasque to the city, ensuring her that they had matters well in hand, and commenting that the original founders had already proven that it would be impossible to kill the monster. Facing this response, Mirayda resigned from her position as journeywoman God-Butcher and began a quest to discover some manner to finally end the threat of the Tarrasque once and for all.

She spent decades travelling to libraries all around Synoma, to any civilization that had come into contact with the Tarrasque, searching for some clue as to how it might ultimately be slain. Unfortunately, she found only confusion and frustration for years; nearly every account of the creature was –at best- wildly speculative or –at worst- a virtual font of misinformation.

Mirayda despaired when she realized that the best information about the beast was available in the God-Butcher archives (to which she no longer had access).

Still, she managed to discover some early correspondence from the first generation of God-Butchers complete with what appeared to be detailed anatomical records. With a flash of inspiration, Mirayda realized that the Tarrasque has changed massively since its imprisonment began. At this point, she knew her answers couldn’t be found in the past but that they would need to be invented through directly working on the Tarrasque as it exists today.

During the long journey back to Salt in Wounds, Mirayda agonized over how she’d once again rejoin the God-Butchers after her disgrace and while attempting to keep her aims and motivations secret. She arrived home during the 12th Merdian Crisis and so was provided a different path.

Mirayda threw herself into Tail Stones relief efforts, reintroducing herself to much of the city (most especially its poor). When Tolviko Marcellun staged his coup and seized control of 12th House, Mirayda approached the young Binder-Lord with an offer worthy of his brashness: she would found a new organization that would take over the 12th Meridian extraction contract from the God-Butchers who had were recontracted every year as a matter of course, an outcome so expected that many had forgotten that this was a privileged that could be changed. In exchange for this unprecedented move- the ‘Marrow Miners’ would pay fees far in excess of any usually paid by the God-Butchers in addition to providing smuggled reagents which had previously been unavailable to 12th House.

Tolviko took the deal, and Mirayda of the Five Cask Clan founded the Marrow Miners.

In the two decades since, the Marrow Miners have grown immensely. While none of the other Meridian Houses have defected from the ancestral God-Butcher contracts, Mirayda continues to petition and her argument (and the wealth she generates for 12th House) grows more convincing every day.  Despite only having the contract for a single meridian the Marrow Miners are already roughly a quarter of the size of the God-Butchers (in terms of individuals employed, if not by wealth, production of influence). Mirayda has ignored assumptions about the racial hatred of dwarves to actively recruit Orcs, Mites, and other monstrous races (who die by the hundreds in the pursuit of extraction). Employing advanced ‘strip mining’ like techniques (in addition to having much lower standards for employees than the heavily ritualized God-Butchers) the Marrow Miners have managed to exceed all expectations as to their potential, regularly cutting down to tail bone.

Unbeknownst to most, the Marrow Miners possesses advanced techniques to temporarily overwhelm the Tarrasque’s regenerative abilities and are able to quickly cut deep tunnels into the beast. With these secret (and extremely temporary) channels (usually dug at night when God-Butcher activity is lessened) the Marrow Miners: 1) Gain access to rare glandular & organ cuts and 2) Produce more accurate information regarding the Tarrasque’s shifting physiology... information that Mirayda believes will one day allow her to finally slay the Tarrasque.

Mirayda is one of five individuals who suspect that the Tarrasque is pregnant and will give live birth within the next year; an event she is actively anticipating as she hopes the capture a young ‘Tarrasquelet’ and experiment on it to gain a better understanding of its progenitor.

The Marrow Miners (and their 12th House sponsors) regularly deal with the various gangs, criminal organizations, and corrupt Blood-Merchants; selling off their illegally harvested Tarrasque viscera. Mirayda and her trusted lieutenants are also huge importers of rare & custom poisons which they test in bulk against the Tarrasque, always searching for any that will improve their efforts at ever greater extraction or prove promising in taking the Tarrasque’s life (although if Tolviko Marcellum, or most of the organization knew that was Mirayda’s ultimate goal they would expose her, see her tried by the stage-courts and reorganize the leadership of the Marrow Miners).

Mirayda meets secretly (and in disguise) with a dozen like minded individuals to discuss what she’s learned and is the current unofficial leader of (nearly extinct) and almost wholly disorganized faction of Enders.

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