Cold, Cruel, Calculating, Wizard
Ability Scores (Modifiers) Strength 12 (+1) Dexterity 17 (+3) Constitution 15 (+2) Intelligence 18 (+4) Wisdom 13 (+1) Charisma 16 (+3)
- Alignment: Neutral Evil
- Hit Points: 28
- AC: 14
- Base Attack: +3
- Fortitude: +2
- Reflex: +2
- Will: +5
- Raven Familiar Corbinian (+3 Appraisal Checks)
- Eschew Materials (less than 1 gp spell components not needed)
- Extra Spell (1 extra spell per day below max spell level)
- Extra Slot (1 extra spell learned below max spell level)
- Spell Mastery (3 spells to cast without preparation)
- Alertness (+2 Listen and Spot Checks if his Raven familiar is in arm’s reach)
Equipment See Google Doc
Photo credit: http://rickbw1.deviantart.com/gallery/?q=wizard#/d2diz9e
[Edits in Brackets, 5/11/10 to expand the backstory.]
Asmodeus is a wizard. Originally the son of farmers in Fallerun, he displayed incredible aptitude at learning from a young age. A wandering bard discovered the young man’s intellect. Asmodeus could recite stories back, remember songs, and even remembered obscure lore details when he talked with the bard after “shows” at a local pub. Eventually Asmodeus was enrolled in a local school by his parents, with help from friends and family. (Asmodeus may have helped this along by manipulating his parents, wanting to learn more like the bard and not one for manual labor on the farm.) As he advanced in his studies he was eventually recommended to be tested to see if he had any propensity for magic.
[Edit: The Bard’s name was Gilk, and he is nothing more than a stereotypical human bard. He spins his tales for money, forever filled with wanderlust. A good man with a kind heart, his particular vices are drink and women. Asmodeus hasn’t heard from him in years, but Gilk used to come to town during the winter months. The bard was so fond of the young boy that when Asmodeus began schooling, the bard would give a few extra gold coins to Mr. Latham to help the school.
Asmodeus manipulated his parents through a combination of argument and latent use of magic. Though his parents are simple, good, people, Asmodeus always resented that he was born into a life where he was expected to do as his father had done, as his father before him, etc. This was probably the beginning of his coldness, deciding that he knew he could only trust himself. Not that he didn’t trust his parents at all, but just knew that ultimately he would decide his own destiny. ]
Several years later he was eventually tested as the local schoolteacher insisted more and more someone come test the boy. So, at the age of 12, he was finally enrolled in magic studies with the Order of Scions from Aelhaim. Despite the fact that he was starting later than normal he caught up to his classmates and eventually became one of the star students as he voraciously devoured his studies. During this time he would journey back to Fallerun every few years and watched the city decline under the newly appointed Mayor Renferell, who he now hates with a passion.
[Though he himself didn’t want to stay in Fallerun, he still has fond memories of how his parents and neighbors banded together to help pay for his schooling under Mr. Latham. Under Renferell the community has grown more divided, and he doubts that given the current circumstances he would have been able to attend school the way that he did. That galls him.
The wizard who tested Asmodeus was one of many wandering wizards employed by the Order of Scions. Usually left to their own devices, these are wizards who did not warrant more official positions and are tasked with aiding Validras and helping the university maintain a good name. In any event, it just so happened that a new program had been implemented to allow those from lower classes to attend on state-funded scholarship, and when the new program began the several years of letters from Mr. Latham piqued their curiosity. They dispatched a half-elf wandering mage named Genevieve Lightwalker. Asmodeus clearly passed her basic tests, and he was admitted to the university. Upon arrival, however, Asmodeus realized that the “program” wasn’t some beneficent movement by the state. Rather it was funded by some nobles who were desperately in need of some good PR for one reason or another. In short, the University had traditionally been for the children of middle to upper class residents of Validras, and he was an anomaly. He wasn’t from money, and his classmates never let him forget it.]
Asmodeus found the rules and restrictions of the magic instructors stifling. Knowledge is knowledge, and he can’t understand why there were certain areas that were not approved for formal study. The library’s collection of demon magic was woefully inadequate, and he pointed that out. His instructors and the leaders of the magic orders were loathe to expand the collection, but because of his interest he was allowed to study a captured Tiefling, Killashandra. In private conversations she expanded and opened to him the world of the forbidden magics. She promised him that if he freed her, she could introduce him to an actual demon lord.
[He also found the rampant nepotism, backstabbing, bribery, and corruption at the student level of the Scions intolerable. Despite the fact that he was clearly an advanced student he was looked down upon even by most of the instructors. In fact, those who were clearly unqualified were advanced to positions within the hierarchy of the students, and given appointments within the military, as court wizards, and as advisors to the nobility. Some (but not even close to a majority) of the students didn’t even have a strong propensity for magic. It became clear to Asmodeus that any propensity at all was enough to get a nobleman’s son into an apprenticeship with the Scions. Oddly enough, the side affect was that the more talented students came from lower economic classes were never given opportunities like the less talented, but more well-connected, students.
One of the professors, Master Blakney, also chafed at these rules. Despite Blakney’s repeated attempts to get Asmodeus appointed to some kind of official position (the magical equivalent of an internship) it never happened. Blakney had simply grown used to the politics and machinations of the Scions at the apprenticeship level, and was never comfortable really standing up to the corruption running rampant in the system. He never really pushed, reasoning that doing so would be futile and would ultimately do no good. His attempts to get Asmodeus a position were never that focused, despite the fact that he brought up the subject every time positions were being discussed.
Also, Asmodeus began a rivalry with Jason Ordman, the son of a high ranking noble from Evercrest. Unlike many of the other wizard students, Jason actually was quite skilled at magic. When Asmodeus began, Jason was already a year or two ahead. When the anomalous farmboy from Fallerun began to catch up, Jason studied harder and began to leap ahead, really focusing, for the first time, on his studies instead of just coasting along on nepotism and innate talent. During the last year of Asmodeus’ study the personal wizard advisor to the king was taken with sickness. Jason’s father pulled many strings and, without even properly graduating Jason was hurtled into the position of assistant to that advisor of the king, since he was the “perfect storm” of a young, handsome, well-connected, actually talented at magic use nobleman. Asmodeus was sorely disappointed, as he had been looking forward to trouncing Jason at their final exams. However, because Jason was granted the title of “Magus” without proper examination (passing the tests are required to attain true official status as a full member Order of Scions), Asmodeus never did find out who was the more talented magic user. He grudgingly admits to himself that, in the end, Jason may have beat him.
When the final tests were administered, Asmodeus handily beat all of the other students, confident that, finally, with that trouncing he would finally be allowed to hold an official position as a graduate of the university. The students all, of course, merely told him that he would have not done as well as Jason would have.
He, again, was turned down for any official positions. Nobody wanted to have the farmboy from Fallerun as their advisor, and the military was uncomfortable with someone who had studied even a modicum of the dark arts—not that Asmodeus was keen on joining the military anyhow. The committee told him that his skills, though admirable, would be best put to use as a wandering wizard. He wasn’t fooled.]
The night of the graduation ceremonies, while the other magic-users were drunk and celebrating, he snuck into the university and helped Killashandra escape. Shortly after, true to her word, she introduced Asmodeus to the demon lord. For helping break Shandra out, Asmodeus was given a book of dark magic (allows him to use certain spells on p. 82-3 of the Book of Vile Darkness, assuming he is level appropriate). The demon lord recognized that Asmodeus had no desire to be a minion, and so the two of them are now in what could only be termed a “friendship.”
[Asmodeus is still convinced that power, raw, pure, unadulterated power, is the only way that he will ever gain the respect he deserves. After the slight of again not being allowed to advance, and with nowhere to go and nothing to do he decided that he would pursue power by any means necessary.]
With the contacts made through this association with the demon lord and Killashandra, he has been wandering the past few years studying all forms of magic wherever he can. The demon lord called upon him once early in his travels when Killashandra was being hunted and tracked to be returned to the University.
While trying to hide her, they were set upon by two mercenaries-bounty hunter employed by the university and king’s guards to find the escaped tiefling. Asmodeus was quickly able to discern that one of the bounty hunters was merely in it for the violence, and managed to convince him that he should turn on his companion. Gaimon, an elf warrior, thus joined with Asmodeus with the promise that he would find an outlet for his violence, one not determined by contracts or at the whim and mercy of chance.
When Lord Tyrus fell from grace, Asmodeus seized the chance presented by the fallen Paladin and introduced him to Killashandra. The rest, as they say, is history. His goals involve the overthrowing of the kingdom for two major reasons. First, it would allow his community of Fallerun to return to its original state of quasi-anarchy without interference by idiot nobles. Second, it would allow Asmodeus to continue his collecting of forbidden knowledge without as much interference by officials, guards, knights, and even the magic instructors at major universities.
[Third, and the reason he wants to collect his forbidden knowledge, is that he will finally gain the recognition he feels that he deserves, and that has been denied him because of the circumstances of his birth and the manner in which his education was handled at the university. He wants to show the simpering idiots who call themselves “Magus” because their daddy paid for their education what true power actually is.]
Someday, he wants a Skull of Fear as outlined on page 116 of the Book of Vile Darkness atop a staff of his.
Asmodeus is usually soft-spoken, not prone to raise his voice. He has a queer way of looking at others he doesn’t know, as others are a puzzle to be figured out and then used appropriately to further his ends. He is consummately in control, always seeking the angles and nuances of the situation he might best turn to his advantage, and always trying to think a few moves ahead. “Plans within plans within plans,” is a favorite saying of his.
When something has gone particularly well, he always lights up with a grin. He appreciates his friends and allies, but does consider himself a cut above them, intellect-wise. They too, to some extent, are pawns to be used, but as a team. Arrogant to a fault, he’s easily pleased with his cleverness, and usually tries not to draw direct attention to himself. Content to play the part of a wandering wizard from the Order of Scions University, he wanders from town to town, always trying to create alibis for himself and allay suspicion for the nasty events that always come in his wake.