The Marcato Coven are a antagonist group in the Renderra Family's Plotlines. They are a long line of Liches, Demon summoners, and other Warlocks who serve Lerepiel, an Elder Demon they revere as a Diety, and Zamorak.
The current leader is the Witch King Witch King Lyconides Marcato.
While Alive, Marcato are born with bright, blue eyes or dark, brown eyes. They are more tan in complexion, with dark brown or black hair in youth and distinctive, prominent bones in their faces noting higher cheeks, romantic noses, and a higher brow line.
As Marcato do not tend to fight physically, the genetics for a bigger physical build were never strong in the family, however, speed and intelligence are very common.
After "Ascendancy," Marcato Liches all look more similar. Bleached white bones with the prominent, living traits are visible, as well as a fiery aura coming from within the body. This aura changes depending on the Lich, but the most common for Marcato are Red Auras, Purple Auras, and Orange Aura.
Marcato practice living scrimshaw on their bones in order to increase their magical power, to a great success. Because of this, many higher ranking Liches will be seen covered in glowing scrimshaw markings.
Many in the family, and the attached Coven, resort to crime for income. Unable to work a legitimate job, many Marcato have found a place in heists, assassination, slave-trading, and travelling necromancy.
However, by far the most common is to simply sit back as Nobles and let the attached crime organizations and vassal lords obtain funds. If they even need to buy goods, that is. Many Marcato fortresses are built by skeleton slave labour.
Those who have fled the coven always change their names, and take whatever work will pay for their survival.
The Marcato Tenets and Traditions
The Marcato Coven pools all resources together to care for the training and upbringing of Marcato children. Though the Liches lack expenses, raising children can still be hard as the children are the only ones who require physical food. By and large, the Marcato Trust sits mostly untouched, as income versus expenses is easy when there are next to no expenses compared to Southern Kingdoms.
The Oath of Vengeance
When a Marcato is killed by an Outsider, the Oath of Vengeance declares that war must be carried out to kill ten of the enemy for every Marcato lost. This old tradition is seen in many of the core Arrenda families, following the rule of ten.
Until very recently, this oath was not broken once. Tension between the Renderra and Marcato, two families who hold these tradtions ended when the Marcato conditionally surrendered to King Driez Renderra at the risk of a war of annihilation. Neither family considers the other a friend, though there is no more bloodshed between them. Marcato are not considered subjects of the Renderra either, and are allowed independence as long as they do not raise an army. The Marcato, did however raise an army for defense in the God Wars.
The Ascendancy Ceremony
When a Marcato reaches age 60, they approach a cave to the North of the Lava Maze, where hot magma from below boils a spring within the cave. All Liches of the Coven are present, as the newly 60 Marcato begins to undergo the process of becoming a Lich. The Ascending needs complete focus as they force their life into an amulet, channeling their soul through a wand or dagger into the object. Once their soul is trapped within, the amulet is worn and the Ascending walks into the boiling water.
The Ascending must sit in the water, letting their flesh boil until it is able to peel off by hand, where the other Liches will then remove it, picking any remnants of flesh out of cavities and scrubbing the bones clean. The Lich, now arisen, is given new robes in colours of their choosing, as well as a battlestaff made from ash wood.
All Marcato are trained to be able to endure the ceremony as children, and even so, the survival rate is usually very low, killing over half the Marcato who undertake it.
During the Second Age, the Marcato were a part of the greater Arrenda Clans, being the resident Magi known as "The Marked Ones." their counterparts, the Arrenda Druids who would become the Renderra, dealt mostly with spiritual magic, whereas the Ancient Marcato focused on Runes. Both, however, made use of Summoning.
With Typhoeus' Arrival, the Marked Ones were notably shaken up after the battle as many of their leaders died, leaving only the radical leader, Dracomir. Dracomir, driven by post traumatic stress disorder, had lead the Marked Ones away from the other Arrenda in pursuit of runes, never to return.
The Marked ones wandered Gielinor throughout the Second Age, helping humans with magic wherever they went. When the Empire of Zaros began to fall, the Marked Ones were one of the Groups to invade from the outside, rallying groups of Humans around them from throughout the Empire.
The Marcato started officially with Vascora Marcato, pledging allegience to Lerepiel at death-grip as a warrior of Zamorak. Lerepiel was a lesser General of Zamorak, an Infernal Demon who recruited many Avernic to his cause of freedom. He then demanded Vascora undergo ceremonies to live eternally, of which Lerepiel helped guide the process through raw, Infernal power.
The Marcato began to prolong their life throughout the God Wars through Dark Magic, becoming Liches if they should reach age 60. The powerful warlocks acted as the Honour Guard to Lerepiel, in addition to many officers being drawn from the family. Many of the Marcato went to battle against Saradominist and Armadylean Forces alike, often times being victorious, until near the end of the war, when sides began to change in the Allied Gods' Favour. When Guthix choose to end the God Wars, awakening from Slumber, the Oldest Marcato Liches crumbled, due to their large power now unprotected as Lerepiel hid in the Infernal Realms. Disciples of Death were actively hunting the Marcato now.
The Marcato did, however, survive. The Coven fled to the Wilderness, holding a keep there for twenty years after the war, awaiting for Lerepiel to reawaken. This led to a defeat at the hands of Tyrion Vittore Renderra and his Druids, setting the followers of Lerepiel against the Renderra for all time. The Marcato crafted a Bloodwood staff in the name of Lerepiel, which his essence gifted with far superior power to the other staves. This was intended to match the Renderra Blade in power, but far surpassed it in some aspects. Through-out the Fourth Age, small Skirmishes occurred between the two families, killing many on both sides as the two families rose and fell in waves.
Early Fifth Age
During this time, the Marcato rose to their full potential as a threat once more to the Renderra, having established organized crime roots in Varrock, a cadet cult run by Draco Marcato in Kandarin, and a network of spies across Asgarnia. Lying in wait, the Marcato soon discovered the Renderra Patriarch of the time, Lucius Renderra, lived in Witchaven, a very small town with low defenses against Magic. Awakening Spirits of the Marcato Elders and attempting to summon Lerepiel, Draco Marcato cursed Lucius Renderra, hurling the man into a deep slumber.
Wendell Marcato, under the guise of a woman from the Wizard's Tower, took control of Lucius' Court Mage position while Lucius slept. Eventually, Wendell was discovered and successfully opened the portal enough for an aspect of Lerepiel, known as Lerepiel's Shadow, to emerge from a portal in West Ardougne. Draco Marcato strengthened the Shadow, however the combined forces of the Ardougne Army and the young slayer Zarin Renderra managed to slay the demon. However, the residual energy was collected by Draco Marcato, who then allowed himself to grow stronger in the Underground Pass.
Meanwhile, Vascora "Vasco" Marcato had heard of Draco's plan, considering it sacrilegious to absorb any portion of Lerepiel. His family was told to stay away from Draco and under no circumstances to aid him, though it hurt Vascora to order as much.
Mid Fifth Age
The Marcato under Vascora continued to prosper, including a lower mortality rate on Ascendancy Ceremonies. With more liches than ever before, the Marcato now began to work on trimming the Renderra Family tree, starting with Lucius' children in revenge for what Zarin had done. Sadia Marcato focused on Natalie, Rockwell Marcato focused on Zarin, and Victore Marcato focused on the younger children.
Rockwell Marcato established multiple bounties on Zarin's head, but Zarin was already trained by his Uncle Coatl, and thus was too powerful for any of the lowly grunts Rockwell could afford to send.
Sadia Marcato successfully managed to get involved with Natalie's life and begin to make it miserable, but feeling more like toying with her victims never succeeded in timely killing any of Natalie's allies.
Victore was aware some of Lucius' children, namely Zarin's half twin Katlyn, and the young Lenea, were studying on the Lunar Isle. Victore set out to find the Isle, but as expected by any planning to attack the Lunar Island had failed miserably, being unable to even find it. Because of this, Victore survived the "Bone-Breaking" to come.
Driven by the attacks and annoyances, the Renderra rallied their banners to war against the Marcato and their Poleslav allies. The Frostshields of Relleka, the Frostminds of the Lunar Isles, and the Abdul-Qadir Traditionalists under Ali the Great all convened on the Marcato's northern fortress, assaulting the building and the horde of undead around it. Caelan Soulwood was present at the fighting, as was Zarin Renderra. However, Natalie had garnered the most attention, using the Renderra Blade to fight toe to toe against Lerepiel. When Lerepiel fell, the loyal Marcato and their closest allies fled, as many more surrendered.
Weakened and wounded, the strongest portions of the family remaining were commanded by Victore Marcato, returning from a failed search of the Lunar Islands, and Dragana Marcato, raising her still young son Kerberos. The other Marcato Liches were found and executed by Natalie Renderra in the months following the battle. Unaware of Victore and Dragana's existence, Natalie accidentally left them alive.
Late Fifth Age
The Marcato of this time licked their wounds, preparing for another battle against the Renderra. Possessing his father's intellect and ruthless, quick matter of acting, Victore became Witch King and waited for the Renderra to be exposed, specifically, when the death of Aloysius left them without Spiritual Guidance or magical defences. Acting quickly, Victore allied with the exiled Fearghal branch of the family, the two striking together against the Renderra with no allies around. The Isles of the Renderra were overrun with Undead, fought against bravely by Count Jason Locke and the future Barons Cook, Fisher, and Smith. The Undead and the Fearghal eventually pulled back from the seige with great losses of soldiers, but none of Officers.
Victore then turned to unfinished business with Na'Kur Sicarius, aware the demon was an ally to Natalie years before. Targetting Na'Kur with Ripper Demons, the Avernic Sicarius was forced to act against the Marcato's new fortress, being banished by Victore's power. However, Victore was killed moments after by Natalie Renderra and Melody Dean-Sicarius.
With Victore now motionless, only Dragana's family remained, clinging and fleeing to what connections they had for protection. Dragana's plan did evetually work however as the Renderra stopped pursuing the Marcato to worry about other, more pressing issues with the coming of the Sixth Age.
With Dragana's death from the Renderra, Kerberos Kaxetael-Marcato rose as the first Non-Lich to rule the family, redirecting them away from vengeance and more toward freedom. Kerberos pulled the allies and vassals closer, into a single Wilderness fortress. Protecting the children, Kerberos even worked out deals with Zarin Renderra to end the war. The two had kept close ties as Slayers often do. Zarin eventually asked Kerberos for help in fighting Typhoeus, as he needed Kerberos' infernal magic to reach the Eldritch Abomination.
So, with no Elder Marcato present, Lyconides Marcato rose as Witch King in year five of the Sixth Age by becoming a Lich. Today, the Marcato family remains in the Wilderness, waiting for a call to action from Zamorak.
Many younger Marcato are active participants in the God Wars, fighting for Zamorak at the Battle of Lumbridge. A few, such as Lyconides before becoming a Lich, even earned the Warpriest of Zamorak Armour. However, the Marcato do have a tendency to stay among themselves.
Sometimes known as the Marcato Blade, Starshatter is designed similar to a Sennitisten Spatha, lacking a wide hand guard. The hilt is made from demon bone, rubies embedded into the guard that exists. The blade itself is 37 inch long blackened steel, forged in the fires of the Infernal Realms. It was powered magically by Lerepiel to make more accurate swings at the cost of defenses, evident as well in the design.
Notably, the sword carries three fullers, with the guard incorporating an equilateral triangle. It's historically bloody past against the Renderra ended with the death of Rockwell Marcato, where the sword was gifted to Rolf Rosemond by Natalie Renderra.
Historically, the sword was often carried by Younger Marcato rather than the Liches.
- The Bloodwood Staff of Kings
A powerful staff for magic, the Bloodwood Staff of Kings is used as a symbol of authority, and is capable of raising the dead with ease. With the Bloodwood staff in hand, the Marcato family established themselves as powerful Magi independent of other Necromancers, even having the unique power to create Wights.
The Staff itself is seven feet tall, with a skull of Vascora the Marked held within the bloodied branches. The eyes still glow red with Vascora's aura, though it now has a glassy orb of fire within. Overall, the Bloodwood Staff has haunted many Renderra Nightmares over the centuries. And with good reason.
The Staff is currently lost in the Remnants of the armouries of the Worshipers of the Dragonkin. The staff is believed to be carried by Silaryp, a hermit who escaped the destruction of the Empire and now lives alone in the mountains. Many Younger Marcato have been sent in hopes of retrieving it.
- The Athame of Vascora the Marked
The Athame of Vascora is an Arrenda Athame, holding emeralds in the hilt for protection. However, unlike the Athame of the Arrenda, the Athame of Vascora is still actively used, and used in the sinful ways of taking human life. The Athame is involved in the Ascendancy Ritual, being the knife used by the Coven member to stab the heart and prove death. Because of this, the Athame is no good for magical crafting, and is considered cursed to use for standard work.
- Infernal Armour of Kerberos
Mithril armour made by Kerberos in Lerepiel's dwelling of the Infernal Realms. The spirits of Zamorakian dead cling to it, making this darkened armour very holy to wear. It is often worn with robes beneath, to allow a battlemage to fight at full capacity.
The armour is a simple breastplate and helmet, with heavy pauldrons and arm guards. Greaves and boots also accompany it.
- The Witch King's Crown
The Crown of the Witch King is a very bulky crown made out of white gold. Rubies and Diamonds, enchanted to strengthen raw physical power rest around the joint of the bone design that makes the crown. It is actually quite thin, similar to the coronets worn by Ancient Arrenda after the destruction of the War Crown of Taranis.
The Crown is worn by the Witch King or Witch Queen, with the Royal consort receiving a band of silver with a few rubies and diamonds attached.
It is traditional, at age 60, for an Elder Member of the Marcato to transform into a Lich, allowing a very superior life-span, bordering on Immortality.
However, Kerberos is the noted exception, as his Infernal bloodline made him "Ascend" enough at Birth to be considered leadership.
Whoever the strongest Marcato Lich is, has the right to claim dominance as the Witch King or Witch Queen.
- Draco Marcato (Deceased)
- King Vasco Feramir Marcato the Fifth (Deceased)
- Sadia Marcato, the Wanderer (Deceased)
- King Victore Marcato, the heir (Deceased)
- Queen Dragana Marcato, the Mother (Deceased)
- Arctos Marcato, the Frozen (Deceased)
- King Kerberos Kaxetael-Marcato, the Prince of Demons (Deceased)
- King Lyconides Marcato - Current Leader, son of Dragana, raised by Kerberos.
Liches from outside the family bloodline, but still members of the greater Coven, do have some political power. It is not uncommon for these Low Liches to lead armies of the dead, especially in times where the Marcato have been weakened and need to heal. Though more exist, only the leaders of the other families are listed.
- Liberato Leursci
- Karmyn Thornheart
- Carmilla Rathmore
- Marcus Maleficum
- Violet Killoran
- Fatima Shadowrend
Marcato children are considered to be anyone other than the Liches. When a Young Marcato turns 60, they undergo a process horrific to all but the coven to "cleanse" themselves and Ascend to higher power and eternal life. Marcato who die before or during this process are considered failures, and not worthy of mentioning by name.
- Toxilius Marcato - Age 57 as of Year Ten of the Sixth Age. Son of Victore.
- Caecia Marcato - Age 54 as of Year Ten of the Sixth Age. Daughter of Rockwell.
- The name Marcato is a reference to the book "Rosemary's Baby" where a coven of Satanists was founded by Adrian Marcato and his son Steven.
- Marcato also translates to "Marked" in Italian.