Friday, April 15, 2011

[D20] M is for Magician

File:Alchemik Sedziwoj Matejko.JPG
The Order of Magicians in the Ashford Valley is a loose confederation of sages, magic-users, hedge wizards, witches and alchemists that usually are so buried in their own concerns and books that rarely lift their heads up to notice each other, much less anyone else.

The first magician of the Ashford Valley was Zesamumetem, a lowlander who (some say) fled the outside world to settle in the valley. Whether it was fleeing excessive gambling debts or a charge of murder (or even a number of other, more prosiac reasons, like a jealous, cuckolded husband), Master Zesa became the court magician to the first lords of the valley, spending many years to gather the wonder-workers together in a well-trained (and well controlled) brotherhood.

After Zesamumetem's death (or disappearance), the coalition fell apart, as some of his apprentices gained lofty stature and the lowly witches and hedge wizards were slowly forced out. Over the next 300 years, the Order of Magicians has grown, splintered, reformed and shrunk, as the fortunes of their members did the same. A bad couple of years about a hundred years ago, when witch-hunters stalked the land, drove some sorcerers underground but that religious fervor soon burned up itself (the chief witch-hunter turned out to be a priest of Azrael and soon witch-hunters became hunted themselves for evil). On the whole, most valesmen are pretty accepting of mages, treating it as a useful (though expensive to some) skilled profession.

Many tales abound about Zesamumetem's magic books (missing these several hundred years), treasure (magical toys and swords, jewels and coins) and actual fate (did his apprentices do away with him?) has lead many seekers to scour the old haunts of that first wizard. Finding a scrap of information on Zesa brings out the tales all over again (and all new ones). Maybe a new bit of actual fact will show up and drive the PCs into danger and magic.

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