Character discussion: Tearlach mac Meirrill

Tearlach mac Meirril grew up on the NE coast of Scotland (I'm thinking somewhere around Wick). Fisherman's kid, could sail before he could walk, that sort of thing. Went off to sea as a sailor the first chance he could, not wanting to clean fish all his life. Knocked around the North Sea and the Baltic for a few years, then hired on for one of the infamous Novgorod "the Varangians to the Greeks" trading runs... and near the end of the run the trading ship he was on fell afoul of the Berladnik pirates.

Tearlach was essentially pressed into service rather than being killed, and to his surprise found not only that he liked the pirate life (it's not so different from a cattle raid, when all's said and done) but that he was really good at it. When the Berladnik pirates were destroyed (I can't find the reference, but I think it was around 1195) he managed to get away with a ship... moved his base of operations into the Aegean Sea, started calling himself Stavros of Santorini, and for the next 20-25 years robbed and plundered his way around the splintered kingdoms of Thebes. Grew quite powerful and wealthy, had several ships and crews under his command... you get the idea. He even had some very limited dealings with the Order of Hermes via the covenant of Favonius -- someone who knows 3/4ths of the fences in Thebes and doesn't ask too many questions is someone a Verditius might find quite useful.

He'd started to slow down in the last few years -- getting older and slower, and the sailing life isn't exactly gentle. So he decided to get out while the getting was good, converted most of his ill-gotten booty to easily transportable form, disbanded his fleet, and headed back to Scotland, where no one had ever heard of a "Stavros of Santorini". Mind you, by this point no one would remember Tearlach mac Meirril either, but that was just fine with him.

He settled somewhere appropriate in Scotland, and for a year or two did his level best to enjoy his 'retirement' (wine, women, song, rinse, lather, repeat as necessary). It was fun for a bit. Really fun... until it had started to pale for him. Idleness began to grate, staying in one place got boring and stale, and he realized that he misses the sea and the seafaring life, misses being busy.

So he'd be looking for a place to hire on...

He's based to an extent on Leigh Ann Hussey's "Seahaven" (lyrics here: ... ahaven.mp3), except not nearly so angsty.

Character stats incoming once my Serf's Parma drops (in about 2 hours). :slight_smile:

Tearlach mac Meirrill
Characteristics: Int +1, Per +1, Pre +4, Com +1, Str +1, Sta +2, Dex +1, Qik -1
Size: +1
Age: 47 (47), Height: 6'3'', Weight: 210 lbs, Gender: Male
Decrepitude: 0
Warping Score: 0 (0)
Confidence: 1 (3)
Virtues: Wealthy, Warrior, Well Traveled, Large, Wanderer, Improved Characteristics (×2), Great Presence × 1, Inspirational.
Flaws: Optimistic (major), Secretive, Curse of Venus, Social Handicap (Cusses like a sailor), Poor Student, Craving for Travel.
Athletics 2 (jumping), Awareness 3 (alertness), Bargain 3 (with fences), Brawl 4 (Dagger), Carouse 3 (sea chanteys), Charm 2 (women), Chirurgy 2 (binding wounds), Climb 3 (rigging), Etiquette 2 (criminals), Folk Ken 4 (townsfolk), Guile 4 (fast talk), Intrigue 2 (political implications), Leadership 6 (sailors), Stealth 3 (sneak), Survival 3 (coastal areas), Swim 2 (treading water), Teaching 3, Bows 4 (Bow, Short), Single Weapon 4 (Sword, Short), Woodworking 1 (whittling).

Languages: Scots Gaelic 5, Slavic 2, Arabic 1, Greek 4, Italian 1, Low German 3
Lores: Area Lore: Aegean 4 (Hidey holes), Order of Hermes Lore 1 (Verditius), Area Lore: North Sea 2 (winds and tides).
Ship Stuff: Profession: Navigation 3 (by the stars), Profession: Captain 5 (fancy maneuvers), Craft: Shipbuilding 3 (repairs), Profession: Sailor 2 (waister)

Dodge: Init: -2, Attack -- , Defense +3, Damage --
Sword, Short & Shield, Buckler: Init: -1, Attack +9, Defense +5, Damage +6
Dagger: Init: -2, Attack +8, Defense +4, Damage +4
Fist: Init: -2, Attack +5, Defense +3, Damage +1
Kick: Init: -3, Attack +5, Defense +2, Damage +4
Soak: +6
Fatigue levels: OK, 0, 1, 3, 5, Unconscious
Wound Penalties: 1 (1-6), 3 (7-12), 5 (13-18), Incapacitated (19-24), Dead (25+)

Equipment: Heavy Leather Armor (Soak: 6) (Soak: 6; Protection: 4; Quality Armor: +2)
Encumbrance: 1 (2)

Aging rolls were made with LQ modifier of +1 for the first 9 years (Wealthy, with a penalty for sailing around the entire time), LQ modifier of +2 for the last 3 (Wealthy). 4 total failures, with 1 aging point each added to Sta, Dex, Qik and Per.


Couple other things....
The character would reasonably have a number of Virtues and Flaws relating to his career in the Aegean (Enemies, Infamous, Social Contacts, etcetera). I've chosen not to add any of those to the character sheet, since he would not be hindered by the Flaws or derive any benefit from the Virtues unless he's dumb enough to poke his nose back into Greece. If that does happen the SG has my full permission to be as evil as he wants. :slight_smile:

With regards to the Social Handicap, I am going to do my best to emphasize creativity over profanity. Profanity's boring. :slight_smile:

That's some Leadership score...
And I'm not sure Profession Captain is valid or necessary. I think making Sailor 5 and redistributing the xp to something else might pay.
As to the Virtues and Flaws, consider that characters have reversals throughout their lives. As to how the character gets involved with the covenant, he might have come across a pristine ship in a secluded cove. Of course it belongs to Talia. It doesn't have sails or anchors, although it probably has rigging.

It might pay, XP-wise, but I'd disagree with you. Profession: Sailor, to me, means knowing how to do a sailor's job -- "hand, reef, or steer", drop anchor, raise sails, etcetera. Profession: Captain, by contrast, would mean knowing why and when to do those things -- how to avoid a lee shore, how to keep your ship from being "hung in irons", how to outfit a ship for a journey, how to keep your rigging from being fouled when grappling an enemy... you get the idea.

shrugs Up to the troupe, though. I certainly wouldn't turn my nose up at some free XP. :smiley:

EDIT: just because I think the skill is necessary for my character doesn't mean it'd be necessary for yours as well. Someone with only Profession: Sailor could probably handle a small ship just fine... especially when that 'someone' is a maga. Magic covers a multitude of sins.

I was actually imagining something of the sort myself, yes. :slight_smile:

I'm thinking it's incredibly convenient for cunningrat1 to bring Tearlach out just when Talia and Aodhan are cruising the Mediterranean.

Eh, wot?
This must be a definition of 'incredibly convenient' I was previously unacquainted with. You're being sarcastic, yes?

PB is kicking off a slate of new stories for 1224. Tearlach's background is in the Med. Talia and her crew are taking Aodhan to Verdi, in the Med. It's not at all sarcastic, and pushes up Tearlach's introduction sooner. Maybe Talia sinks his boat. :smiling_imp:

He can still be from Scotland, PB is just suggesting changing the place to meet. Talia also has nexus with Favonius, as she worked for Memnos for a time and Aeliophanes is Ezio's father, though he doesn't know that he has fathered a (Gifted) child. There is a possibility that they know each other. Talia's fleet needs an able captain/commodore if she's going to become more of a shipbuilder. Ysebrand needs someone who can transport him around, and I've never been comfortable with him being in charge of a ship. He'd be an excellent Quartermaster for the times he's aboard...

Oh, I see. (Doesn't take me all day. Really. It doesn't. Quit smirking.)

I'd really like Tearlach to have been retired for a couple of years before meeting y'all, because otherwise the motivation to hang out with the covenant doesn't make too much sense. However, I have no problem with him choosing to retire somewhere in the Western Mediterranean, or somewhere else along the way -- Spain, France, the Low Countries, whichever. I'd just have to mess with the language points a bit. No big deal.

That is a real possibility, yes. He didn't deal with Favonius very much, so I'm not sure he would know Talia if he saw her again -- if she was introduced, he'd've filed her in his mind as "Memnos' assistant" or "Aeliophanes' main squeeze" and paid her little attention otherwise. (Bad move with a Tytalus, but he wouldn't have known any better.) Talia, on the other hand, might well remember HIM, which would work well on a couple of levels. She'd know that this guy who's trying to hire on as a simple sailor is in reality capable of a great deal more than that.

Besides, it'd be funny. "Hi, I'm Tearlach." "Weren't you calling yourself Stavros at one point?" "Oh, CRAP."

Stavros -- the original version -- was explicitly designed to complement a shipbuilder Maga who was very much like Talia. So when I read Talia's character description, he woke up in the back of my head and started demanding to be let out to play. :slight_smile: I think this works well.

Or she floats his boat, whichever.

But, yeah, I was serious. With his background and the current Spring '24 storyline we have going, it would work out well that he's in the Mediterranean when she runs across whomever, and if he's wanting to come back to Scotland it might not be that hard to negotiate passage.

I'm pretty much OK with having Tearlach come aboard wherever the Atta Buoy (in the Come Sail Away thread) next makes landfall.

Wait. Vitalizer of Provisions... Cask of the Naiad... Death of Vermin... crap. The Atta Buoy doesn't HAVE to make landfall at all, does it? Not nearly as often as any other ship, at any rate. About the only reason they'd have to come into port is to take refuge from weather, make repairs, or replenish the crew...

EDIT: He could come aboard when they reach Verdi, I suppose. That strikes me as somewhat sub-optimal, though. Tearlach made a LOT of enemies in the Aegean, and quite a few of them would have been Italian -- the Genoese and the Venetians run very rich, tasty cargoes. For him to retire in Italy would have been, shall we say, somewhat silly. :slight_smile:

No, not any need to change it, really.
It's entirely reasonable for Tearlach to go back to the area he knows best. And it's just like when you run into someone you know from home while on vacation...

Ran the character through my MetaCreator last night, and everything adds up. Only thing I noticed is that he has the Large Virtue, but he's 6'3" and 210 pounds, which is on the border of high-end Size +0/small +1. Don't have to change it if you don't want to, I just thought that was kinda small to be Large until I checked the chart in Realms of Power: Magic (p. 84)

I created him using MetaCreator, so his height/weight is what the program gave me by default. I've been looking around for a good picture for him, and may adjust height/weight based on the pic if I find one.

On a related note, finding a pic for "a big warrior-type who's beginning to go grey" that's good enough for a +4 Presence isn't easy. :slight_smile:

Hunh...opening up MetaCreator for a new character and entering nothing but Large gives me 7'1", 340 pounds. No matter. This weekend, I think I might convert my C&S random height-and-weight table that I use for my characters to put up on the wiki, maybe tweak it a little for the various size-based Virtues and Flaws. Which has nothing to do with anything.

Not sure if this qualifies as Pre +4 -- I'm not the best judge of male pulchritude -- but w/ever.

What about Brian Blessed, maybe mid- to late-80s? Something post-Flash Gordon. :slight_smile:

I'm thinking +4 Presence is more than just being incredibly hawt. That much presence is going to have a pretty decent amount of charisma and personality as well. That being said, whoever that is in the picture is moderately good-looking in a rugged, lumberjack kind of way, but I can see him having the powerful presence that the score indicates.

And Brian Blessed was 44 when he did Flash Gordon, so roughly the same age as he might work (and looks a little bit like whoever that is in the picture...gis came up with nothing).

C'mon. He's the most interesting man in the world!

The guy in the picture is Mikhail Boyarsky in his roleas Don Cezar de Bazan. Russian actor and singer, made his name playing D'Artagnan and for the next 20 year's was the first one tapped for any rugged-leading-man role. Man's got tons of charisma.