Thieves & Kings
Tartuk the Mite
Tartuk is a bitter, twisted creature, that is both powerful and gifted with relics from his masters to support his position. A cruel and cowardly creature, he appears in what is assumed to be his true form, as a purple-blue goblin with vivid orange eyes, receding hairlines of coarse black hair, and practically mirrors the others of his tribe in appearance. He stands about 3’-tall. His preferred form appears to be that of a purple kobold, though he might also be a shapechanger.
His people, the once numerous Mites are similar in appearance to Tartuk (though this may not be his real name), but he is one of their powerful warlocks. Possibly the most powerful. His people are known to be hunters, but willingly plunder crops and livestock when the opportunity presents itself. Although not much of a threat to the community of Thornkeep as a whole, the Mites were dangerous to lone travelers and small steadings in the nearby woodlands. They also nearly exterminated the nearby tribe of the Sootscale kobolds, through treachery and guile.
Groups of them have been encountered in several places in the nearby area, including the ruins under Brokenhelm Hill known as the “Accursed Halls”, where a powerful group of them were engaged in an expedition, looking for something, as well as some smaller raiding parties. The tribe of the Mites were effectively annihilated in their lair in the Sleeping Sycamore, and so as a tribe, there are likely very few of his kin remaining. They are known to have an affinity towards insects, rats and bats, and are somehow tied into a cult worshiping or serving Kurse, the Corruptor.
Tartuk appeared among the Sootscale kobolds soon after the arrival of Spring TR 1049, bringing with him a handful of close followers, all with purple scales and claiming to be from a fallen tribe in the north. He also brought with him the bloody worship of “Old Sharptooth”, though most initially ignored his call to worship the beast. Things became difficult in the tribe a ten-day after his appearance, when the first of the trap-makers were slain in the Snarl by a number of giant centipedes. The others quickly followed. When the outer Snarl’s tunnel defenses were weakened, a raid by the Mites succeeded to enter the inner caverns and steal the statue of Old Sharptooth right off the altar. Tartuk pronounced the tribe’s refusal to worship Old Sharptooth, had resulted in their being cursed and facing destruction. Worship to the bloody god increased, with sacrifices every ten-day to appease their new bloody god.
Thus using a series of lies, magic, and the worship of his false demon god, Old Sharptooth, Tartuk had managed to seize control of the tribe from its chief. Although not a shaman, the unusual color of his scales, and his sorcerer abilities made him powerful and of higher caste than Chief Sootscale, a simple warrior. Of a lower caste than Tartuk, Sootscale grudgingly allowed the purple kobold to begin organizing defenses and war parties. Within a few months, the tribe was slowly facing extinction under his rule, and all the kobolds could do was watch and pray for Old Sharptooth to be returned and end the curse that was facing their destruction. Some bands, particularly those loyal to the Chief, were sent on suicide missions to retrieve the idol; none ever returned.
On the 2nd of Shorn, TR 1049, adventurers led by Mikmek brought the bloody statue of Old Sharptooth back to the chief, taken from deep in the Mites own lair in the Sleeping Sycamore. Presenting it to the Chief, he brought it directly to the temple altar, and smashed it to pieces, declaring Old Sharptooth a false god and thus ending the curse on his people. Enlisting the help of the adventurers, they managed to slay all of Tartuk’s servants, each a magically disguised Mite, as well as his giant bat mount, though Tartuk himself managed to escape, supposedly to report his successes and failures at destroying the Sootscale tribe.
Tartuk was recently spied upon, using the Stone Cauldron of Scrying, and was seen working in an alchemical lab of some sort, in a space enclosed by thick growing vines, much like Goblin Brambles. The exact location of this place remains unknown, but is assumed to lay somewhere within or near to Echo Wood.