Marcus "Marc" Locklan Tristan, alias Archwright, is a former Human member of the Knights Illuminor who was forwarded to the United Liberators Coalition as a part of an outreach program. After being disgraced in an incident in Dubai in 2028, he was assigned to the United Liberators Coalition chapter Liberators-830B. He denounced the Mantle of the Bright Star and ceased to become a Knight, instead pledging his allegiance to the Coalition.
A problem child, Marcus never truly fit in at school. His parents were negligent and apathetic, leaving him entirely to his own devices and never learned proper etiquette or manners from them, making communicating with others difficult. He fell behind in his education and his motivation was perpetually low, but he did have one, single talent. He was a tinkerer, from a young age, toying with machines and seeing what made them tick, frequently pulling apart household appliances and managing to put them back together with no prior knowledge of how it worked.
In 2015, Portland was attacked by a chimera that had escaped containment, and a swift, emergency response resulted in the deployment of the United Liberators Coalition, aided by a strike team from the Knights Illuminor. The ULC formed a secure area for the civilians to flee through while the knights moved to neutralise the threat. Unfortunately, the strike team was ambushed and two of the knights became separated. One was downed and mauled to death by the creature, and his companion was about to meet the same fate. Having been unable to reach the secure area and witnessing the event, Tristan did the unthinkable and took action, finding his way to the body of the deceased knight and managed to free one of his powered gauntlets and fit it over his hand. Tristan closed the distance and landed a hit on the chimera, stepping between the beast and the knight, putting himself entirely at risk. Fully expecting to meet his end, the distraction provided a long enough window for the knight to finally put the chimera down, ending the encounter with his longsword. The containment operation was a success, despite their lost comrade.
Marcus, only sixteen years old at the time, had made himself a point of interest for the knight whose life he had saved. A brash, moment of courage that demonstrated the flicker of potential that had always been within Tristan. Within the week, the Knights Illuminor spoke with the Tristan family for legal custody and guardianship of Marcus, seeing his potential for membership within their order. Though his parents were initially reluctant, they accepted, hoping that the Mantle of the Bright Star would be far more able at taking care of their child.
The Young Knight Edit
Tristan was taken to his parents' homeland, Scotland, to Aezoria Keep, the headquarters of the Knights Illuminor. His basic education was covered with help from the scholars of the Mantle of the Bright Star, and at the age of 20, he enrolled in Cambridge University to earn his degree. His training occurred concurrently with his extended education, swearing the Oath of Allegiance and becoming a squire under the tutelage of Kurt Sigismund, who had recruited him during the Portland attack.
The title of "Archwright" came from the Mantle, a honorary name given to Tristan as a reference to his aptitude with machinery. After he was formally inducted into the knights, he became a part of a think tank of like-minded peers who designed newer and improved military hardware for the order, as well as adapting existing technology that they had either kept safe or confiscated. With constant oversight from others within the organization, the research and development team would be held accountable for their creations.
Agent of the ULC Edit
In early 2028, Tristan was forwarded to the United Liberators Coalition to foster relations between them and the Knights Illuminor. Marcus was amongst one of the most promising agents of the Coalition, but a rescue operation involving a psychic parahuman led to a friendly fire incident that occurred under his direct command, involving both ULC and AECIF forces. The VIP was killed during the chaos. Marcus made the decision to take full responsibility for the incident in spite of the matter not directly being his fault, and as punishment, he was relocated to a new Liberators chapter in Union Falls, Wyoming.
Despite his anxiety over the whole ordeal, Tristan settled into his role within the new team, his easy-going nature making him a natural fit with such a diversified group, allowing him to work as a clear mediator. In particular, he formed a bond with his fellow engineer, Camden Kolt, and offered to work with him on a number of possible projects while stationed at Ehkota Base.
Sometime afterward, following new orders from Unified Command, Tristan was abruptly transferred from 830B to 830A. Both Lang and his successor, Tanwyn Angharad, regarded the transfer as a political move on the behalf of their superiors in order to both appease the Knights Illuminor and to move Tristan into a position for a return to glory under the supervison of the 830A team.
This was revealed not to be the case. Marcus had in fact been stripped of his titles within the Mantle and his reputation had plummeted; it was in fact that Illuminors themselves that believed that he was a threat to their relationship with the ULC, and demoted him to the lowest rank possible. Marcus, reviled by his peers and feeling that the damage done to his image was irreversible, elected to resign from the Illuminors sometime during his three-month tenure with L-830A, turning his back on the Mantle for good.
Tristan was given a chance while under the command of 830A to redeem himself. Throughout late 2028 and early 2029, tensions had been increasing drastically on the Korean peninsula, aggravated by rumors that the North Korean state was attempting to foster a metahuman program in which they would forcibly activate Type-IIIs, and then coerce them into becoming supersoldiers for the regime. As this was against international law and the 1991 treaty, it resulted in a delicate situation.
By 2029, these claims were only rumors, but rumors that warranted investigation nonetheless. Due to his previous experience as an international agent Tristan was chosen to join as an advisor to the L-830A's team of international members and dispatched to the ULC's Pacific theatre of operations. Despite being given three months to investigate, Tristan and his team failed to find any leads or further conclusive evidence to substantiate the rumors.
In March 2029, the United States government, in the wake of even-worsening tensions with the rogue state, recalled all ULC assets from the region, believing war to be inevitable. Tristan, once again humiliated and angry at himself for failing to help accomplish an important task, was reassigned back to L-830B when the team's Citadel returned to Union City. Knowing that he would need protection he attempted to requisition power armor from the Coalition but was denied.
Tristan continued developing his relationship with Camden Kolt, and the two of them bonded over their technology and engineering skills. Both of them vowed that, in lieu of the Coalition being willing to give them a powered exoskeleton, they would work together to build one themselves. Kolt would be able to walk on two legs again, and Tristan would be able to develop it further to some sort of viable combat armor. He was extremely uncomfortable at the prospect of having to fight without it.
Tristan was involved in the 2029 Union City claw terror attack as his first major mission upon returning to Liberators-830B. Though he was not equipped to engage the terrorists head on, he acted as the gunner for Ivan Pashenka in one of the team's V-25 jump jets, assisting the pilot in dog-fighting one owned by CLAW. His aid was instrumental as his suppressing fire prevented the aircraft from getting the upper hand on Pashenka.
Tristan traveled to The Bunker later in the month to pick up two new agents, Tobias Maki and Martin Rojas. During his time at The Bunker he attempted to go to the Requisitions Office and negotiate directly with them to acquire ULC power armor, but was once again denied.
When the Korean War re-ignited and a nuclear exchange began between the United States and North Korea, Tristan later agreed with the decision to ignore the ULC Unified Command's recall order to return to the Bunker, and assisted in the rescue of passengers from a crippled and rapidly descending jetliner. He personally carried several passengers out of the aircraft and onto the team's C-20 transport, being one of the last agents to evacuate before the airliner was released and allowed to crash into the mountains.
Tristan also participated in first response and rescue efforts at ground zero of a nuclear strike site, where a North Korean nuclear missile had destroyed a small town in rural Montana. Seeing the devastation and mutilated corpses was too much for Tristan, and he became emotionally overwhelmed at the sight, sobbing profusely. This incident greatly impacted him; as the poster child for both the Coalition and Knights Illuminor he was often kept from the horrors of battle. Now, he was experiencing the aftermath of a terrible massacre; the horrors of atomic annihilation were greater than anything else he had seen in his career. Tristan found himself overcome with grief and openly wept from the emotional trauma of this encounter.
Committed to the well-being of others, Tristan has always sought higher purpose. Dedicated utterly to upholding the ideals of the Knights, he was renowned for his nerves of steel during his training and possesses an uncanny calm under pressure, yet remains personable and affable when out of combat. The first to rush headlong into the enemy, Marcus serves as a metaphorical anchor on the battlefield.
While Tristan does not wholly reject the idea that his deeds are, in some way, heroic, he is self-effacing when receiving praise, citing his occupation as the catalyst for his actions. The Knights instilled a sense of duty-bound honor in him while he was still young, and he carries that with him to the Coalition.
Often prone to dry humor to defuse tense situations, he tries to act as a mediator between parties, a capable leader when the need arises. However, he can be stubborn, brash and aggressive, and suffers from a considerable guilt complex over the incident that had him transferred. He is afraid of disappointing both the Liberators and the Knights, and desires to atone for his actions. Carrying the responsibility of the entire incident on his back, Tristan promised himself that he would prove himself in the eyes of his superiors.
Powers and AbilitiesEdit
- As a Type-I Human, Tristan has no discernible supernatural abilities.
- Master engineer: Tristan's extensive technical knowledge applies to both mundane, and Areum-fuelled technology, having graduated with a PhD in Electrical Engineering from the University of Cambridge. Despite not being able to use Red Matter technology, he took it upon himself to study the possibilities and limits of magic, regardless.
- Master combatant: The Illuminors have an exhaustive training regimen on par with that of the Special Air Service, giving Tristan knowledge of hand-to-hand combat ranging from historical European martial arts to more recent techniques such as Krav Maga, and the aptitude to operate firearms as well as the Illuminors' more unconventional weaponry and equipment.
- Leadership and command: As evidenced by the fact he was a former strike team leader, Marcus was trained by both the Knights and the Coalition to inspire those following him, showing empathy and confidence, and focusing on their goals as a team.
- Nerves of steel: Tristan displays an uncanny calm, a remarkable aptitude for thinking on his feet, and coming up with quick but comprehensive solutions when faced with problems. This makes him ideal for responding to emergency situations, further facilitated by his use of powered armor. This changed somewhat after he left the Knights and had his power armor returned, leaving him with no choice to either use inferior older ULC-standard issue armor or none at all, leading to an identity crisis in which he felt that he was nothing without his suit.
- Smith and Wesson M&P: Standard semi-automatic pistol sidearm of ULC agents with a magazine capacity of 15 rounds.
Former Equipment Edit
- Mark IX "Gallant" Power-Armoured Exoskeleton: A recent mark of powered armour created for use by the Knights Illuminor, the Gallant variant enhances the user's physical strength, protects the user with multiple layers of plated armour and extensive life support systems, and most notably, it incorporates an electromagnetic personal shield, a technology that most of the developed world is still experimenting with.
- Helmet: The Gallant variant's helmet includes thermal imaging and night vision, a heads-up display, and a flashlight mounted on the side.
- Palatine Axe: The traditional weapon of the Knights Illuminor, the Palatine axe is a halberd or poleaxe-like weapon which has an integrated firearm. Tristan's variant is modular, allowing it to fit varying attachments and even replace the mounted firearm with a different one. Known attachments include:
- A magazine-fed 14.5×114mm automatic rifle, for fire support. Capacity of 30 rounds. Optional backpack ammo storage for extended operations.
- A compact grenade launcher based on the M320 GLM, capable of firing 40mm grenades and smoke canisters.
- United Liberators Coalition