Saturday, October 7, 2017

Magic-Users in Groat's End

Magic-Users in Groat's End

The Lady Cynewise
Human M-U, 12th level

I 18, W 13, C 6, CH 16, AC 6, HP 18, AL LE

middle-aged, foppish appearance, very stable, helpful, inquisitive, extroverted, friendly, sensitive, brilliant, vengeful, greedy, truthful, craven, spendthrift, amoral, saintly (in the context of lawful evilness), interested in: legends, collector of porcelain/china/crystal

Notable equipment: Ring of protection +2, Bracers AC 8, ring of invisibility, wand of paralyzation, staff of command, other magic as determined by the DM

Spells available:

(1st level) charm person, comprehend languages, dancing lights, detect magic, find familiar, hold portal, identify, mending, mount, protection from evil. read magic, shocking grasp, unseen servant

(2nd level) bind, darkness 15’ rad, detect evil, flaming sphere, forget, invisibility, know alignment, leomund’s trap, locate object, magic mouth, mirror image, protection from cantrips, scare, whip

(3rd level) blink, clairvoyance, gust of wind, haste, invisibility 10’ rad, leomund’s tiny hut, monster summoning I, phantasmal force, protection from evil 10’ rad, secret page, slow, suggestion, tongues, water breathing, wind wall

(4th level) charm monster, confusion, dispel illusion, fear, fire trap, leomund’s secure shelter, magic mirror, minor globe of invulnerability, massmorph, otiluke’s resilient sphere, plant growth, remove curse, shout

(5th level) bigby’s interposing hand, cloudkill, contact other plane, distance distortion, fabricate, hold monster, leomund’s lamentable belaborement, monster summoning III, mordenkainen’s faithful hound, passwall, sending, stone shape, transmute rock to mud, wall of force

(6th level) contingency, death spell, ensnarement, glassee, project image, reincarnation, repulsion, stone to flesh

Spells normally memorized: (4/4/4/4/4/1) (1st level) charm person, protection from evil, shocking grasp, unseen servant (2nd level) bind, forget, invisibility, whip (3rd level) blink, clairvoyance, suggestion, slow (4th level) charm monster, confusion, minor globe of invulnerability, otiluke’s resilient sphere (5th level) bigby’s interposing hand, hold monster, leomund’s lamentable belaborement, transmute rock to mud (6th level) project image

Cynwise is eternal in the eyes of your average Groat’s End citizen. Well over 200 years old, she both founded the town and removed herself as its titular ruler outside of living memory. Now she’s more like a force of nature: outside the law, inside the walls, and beyond anyone’s ability to resist.

It’s unknown how she manages to live on, by appearance in the prime of life, beyond all reasonable mortal allotment. While from a distance her alluring facade seems perfect, at arms length its unnatural strain subtly but surely contrasts with her demeanor – presented to the uninitiated as warm matronly concern. Those who fear her shadow falling across them if alone know her more fully: superior, demanding, punishing. The more meager the person, the more likely the suffering. Her presence in the streets of Groat’s End is often announced by scurrying dogs and cats as if woodland creatures fleeing the fire – she hates animals and uses her whip spell whenever one remains in her presence.

She has an imp familiar, though it is rarely seen and less discussed. Outside, she is sometimes accompanied by a zombie servant; always so within her tower. If any new acquaintance expresses outrage at this she raises her eyebrow and lightly mocks their provincialism.

Her saving grace is her indolence and possessiveness; lacking the drive to truly advance the cause of evil, too proud to allow GE to be taken from her by someone more dynamic, and content as a shark in a pond of guppies, Cynwise is left alone to terrorize her isolated rump domain. She usually keeps at least one apprentice for the drudge work, and does turn out capable prestidigitators; although nearly all graduates prize distance, first and most – she inevitably becomes hostile to any caster of power rivaling her. Recently she quietly whipped up a mob against the only other (known) magic-user in town, and his charred remains are still chained in Hangman’s Court.

Adventurers will usually encounter her whenever seeking magical services (the locals will all direct them to her tower) or possibly randomly on the streets. However encountered, Cynwise will recognize an adventuring party for what it is, even if otherwise credibly disguised, and greet them warmly (and discretely, if necessary). She’ll likely agree to consult with them if needed, at rates befitting her ability (or for a service – she often has uses for an adventuring party). There’s something in the dungeon she wants, so she desires the ability to inspect items taken from it. She is obsessed with delicate or porcelain dolls (and researched several defense spells involving them for use in her tower) and will also pay premium coin for other like treasure, such as fine vases, exceptional silverware, etc.

Cynwise tries to avoid putting her brittle body in combat at all costs; she’s likely to flee any violence immediately unless it’s around her tower where she has prepared defenses, and can likely expect the townspeople to rise up in a mob to defend her. Terrified as they are, she is the devil they know (and they know it can be worse), along with a touch of civic duty besides. She makes frequent use of the spells suggestion and forget in combination, to the extent townspeople use the commonly-experienced blackouts as plausible excuse for personal lapses of all sorts.

Simon of Left End.

5th level M-U
I 15, AC 10, HP 11, AL LE

youthful, non-descript, unstable, moody, mischievous, abrasive, proud, intellect: average, unforgiving, very honorable, miserly, interests: history, legends

notable equipment: spellbooks, fake scroll sheets and wands

Spells available:

(cantrips if/as used in campaign as determined by DM)

(1st level) armor, detect magic, friends, grease, melt*, protection from evil, read magic, run*, unseen servant*

(2nd level) irritation, magic mouth, melf’s acid arrow*, preserve*, ray of enfeeblement, scare, shatter, whip*

(3rd level) item, monster summoning I, phantasmal force*, protection from normal missiles, sepia snake sigil*

* spells marked with an asterisk are known, but Simon has no spellbook containing them

Spells memorized: (1st) armor, friends, grease, cantrips (or read magic) (2nd) irritation, ray of enfeeblement (3rd) protection from normal missiles

Simon is a former apprentice of Cynwise living secretly in Groat’s End. Unlike most others, he attempted to stay in the area and inevitably a few years ago their relations grew sour. Exact details remain unknown, but Cynwise slew him, animating his corpse as a zombie which serves her to this day.

Unknown to her, Simon had a contingency placed upon him that reincarnated him upon his death. Finding himself in a new body, he quickly gathered what caches of secreted goods he could and re-established himself in the city as an arriving common day-laborer at the thresher’s guild; working there while making and revising plans to gain his revenge. His blood boils whenever he sees his zombified body following Cynwise around town.

Adventurers looking for standard hirelings have a 50% chance of employing Simon, increasing by 10% per service sought. Simon hopes to gain entry into a group of adventurers this way, to gain allies in an eventual assault on Cynwise. If the group looks capable enough, he’ll present himself as a low-level magic user secretly associated with some group favorable to the PCs and ask to join them, slow-rolling his ability unless in extreme danger (which will be disguised as a “scroll” or similar distraction). By most criteria, he’ll be a reasonably reliable comrade – he wants to curry favor. If the party obtains any contingency and/or reincarnation magic, however, Simon will want it, giving a premium if need be.

There’s one problem though: Simon is dunning-kruger personified. His ability in his field is poor, his suggestions are bad, his tactics are worse, and his surety of their brilliance is boggling. He’s not a keystone cop of a party member, but whatever decisions he gets to make are more likely to hurt than help. And he’ll insist that the party have no dealings with Cynwise if he is a member, although refuse to explain why. While he’ll adventure away from the area as-needed, he won’t agree to relocate from GE while Cynwise lives. When he feels it appropriate (almost certainly before it actually is) he’ll approach the party and propose killing Cynwise.

Simon delights in secretly casting annoying cantrips on people having ill-will against him in his former body.

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