Anced Math - The Confused Elven Wizard
Date: Tue, February 22, 2005
Topic: Rogue's Gallery
"Any respectable gnome should consider carefully before stealing the mayor's horses and carriage. Not only are the Greyhawk Guard efficient, but mean. They might even reincarnate you into something horrible, say an elf!" the badger said as it reclined back, scratching his back against the table leg.
Anced Math - The Confused Elven Wizard
Used with Permission. Do not repost without obtaining prior permission from the author.
593 CY, at the Gnome's Folly, a traveler's rest on the Wild Coast...
The children listened attentively, a rather bedazzling creature seated before the crowd, as the mage sat at the rough table, drinking wine. The parents look around, trying to imagine how they had come, and why they are in their bedclothes. None speak though. Maybe it was the mage.
"Any respectable gnome should consider carefully before stealing the mayor's horses and carriage. Not only is the Greyhawk Guard efficient, but mean. They might even reincarnate you into something horrible, say an elf!" the badger said as it reclined back, scratching his back against the table leg.
The badger finished his scratch, and stood up on his hind legs, before taking a mug of ale offered by the mage. After a short drink, he continued, "And I warned him... Repeatedly I warned him against such a foolish notion." The mage chuckled as he listened, as if he had heard this tale a hundred time. The children didn't notice, but there was something in his eyes that made the adults cringe. Not evil, not danger, but... something.
"Now, don't misunderstand, I am hardly afraid of repaying a wrong. I am a badger after all, and you might say we are known for that." He took a large swallow of ale, and settled in to tell the tale.
"It was thirty years ago. I told the silly gnome that the mayor was not the one who offered the slight, that it was his driver. And the mud on his clothes would come off. But he would not listen, he never did. Other members of his family take kindly to advice from members of my race, but not him, not him."
"The next thing I know, he’d begun chanting. Here we go, to steal the mayor of Greyhawk's horse and carriage, and he is chanting. Well, little did I know that I was going to play the part of the mayor that evening. He," the Badger indicates the mage with his forepaw," tells me, 'just go to the gate, and don't say anything.' Good piece of advice that last bit, since I wouldn't learn to talk for nearly fifteen more years." As he relates his tale, he paces up and down, fondling the watch in his waist coat.
"I said to myself then, 'Orin,' only I wasn't Orin, then, he was," he again references the chuckling mage, "but anyway, 'Orin,' I says, 'this idiot is going to get himself killed, and you, you are going to be wandering around looking for lunch in a city. I didn't like cities.
“Well, I wandered in front of the stables, doing my all time best performance of a human, and approached the guards." The badger's eyes go misty and he seems far away, "They begin shouting; I do not understand them, but they shout anyway, thinking I should understand them. Well, they run up to me, trying to assist. They looked confused, wondering if I was drunk; apparently their mayor had gone deaf, dumb, and wandered out of his lordship's manor." As he paces, the audience notices that he is holding a large yellow-white gem, on the end of a pin, twirling it between his fingers.
"Suddenly, there is an enormous shout and a carriage, with six white horses, burst through the gate. At its reins sits none other than Orin Roux, Thief Extrordinare, Master of Illusion. Well, that is the title he liked anyway. He is hoping to join the famous Thieves Guild of Greyhawk. Like they would want someone this foolish.
“He is hanging on to the reins for dear life, and I run quickly trying to catch up. It was obvious that the horses are driving him, not the other way around." As the badger relates this he imitates the gnome holding on for dear life, and the children giggle.
"I knew then that we were in trouble. The mayor would stop at nothing to avenge this perceived slight. And those horses would stop at nothing, as Orin was shooting flames at their delicate portions in order to spur them on, trying to head for the south gate.
“Orin drove the horses and the carriage right into the river! But not before getting thrown off. He probably would have gotten away, but as he fell, he cracked his head, appropriately, on the sign of a tavern." The mage sat watching the door, with an enormous grin on his face.
“The Guard got him, quick, with him just lying there and all. Nerof was not pleased. Not pleased is mild way to put it, you see.
“Well, they took him to see the old buzzard, and he had Orin executed quick. But did they kill him and go on? No. Not them. They immediately brought in a druid and had him reincarnated! Into an elf!
“The whole process was so quick, there wasn't even time for my bond to dissolve. I found him on pile of trash, in the lowest quarter of Greyhawk. The drunks would have killed him, if I hadn't sat on his head and threatened them," the badger said with an air of satisfaction.
"Here, here!" shouted the mage suddenly, his amber eyes shining merrily in the tavern’s fire light.
“Well,” the badger continued, “the whole thing was a little much for the former gnome. He tried to visit his family, but the gnomes weren't buying it. They were sure he was playing with them, and impressed that they couldn't dispel the illusion, but the Roux's were not actually helpful. After two weeks, they told him to go until he came back in his proper form. He has never been back. To keep their spirits up, though, I still visit every two or three years, and rest a bit. I told them that I was their long lost son, Orin, that I had been transformed by an evil mage, and was searching the world trying to reverse the curse. Its very nice to visit the Kron Hills around Fireseek. Gnomes make such wonderful hosts.
“Anyway, he had trouble adjusting to life as an elf. He was already skilled in the magical arts, but his new form was just not suited to his previous profession as a locksmith. After a few years, he decided to take up the sword. Said it was what any good elf would do. It didn't take him long, and he was waving it around like a mad man. Then, in the Cairn Hills he found that horrid thing he has there." The whole room looked to see the silver haired mage proudly wearing an overly large sword at his waist.
"Nearly ten years after he was transformed, he decided that he needed a new name! At this point I was just learning to talk. It all started when I was possessed for a month by the ghost of a horrid little halfling who liked to talk. All the time." The badger grunted and took another swig of his ale. “We were walking down the road, on our way to Fax, when he saw a scrap of paper sticking out of the mud. ‘That is it,' he began to scream, 'that is a sign from the gods, my new name!' I looked down to see him picking up the tattered remains of a book, like the ones they use at the College of Wizardry in Greyhawk and elsewhere. Its cover said '---anced Math, the art of Algeb--.' In confusion, I said 'you want to be called Algeb?
“Well, with hindsight, you realize how stupid such a thing sounded. Of course he wasn't talking about Algeb. And I am sure that Algeb, whoever he may be, is happy about that little fact. I, working my new found ability with words said 'what is wrong with Orin Roux?", and he replied 'nothing, and since you like my family so much, you take it.'" The mage, who had been drooling with suppressed giggles and mirth, now laughed out loud, his blue robes shaking.
"Thus I became Orin Roux, his wise familiar, and he became the Legendary Anced Math." The badger took a bow as the children began to clap and laugh as he walked back and forth. "I nearly forgot," said Orin as he produced the diamond pendant again and held it up. "Several years later this arrived as a gift from none other than Nerof Gasgal." With that the badger placed the pin on his lapel, and immediately transformed into a gnome with a light gray beard and twinkling eyes behind small round glasses.
At that moment Anced stood up, drew the sword, which glowed with a pale light , and stalked to the door and out into the night. "Mr. Roux," spoke the eldest of the children, his hand in the air,"why are all the children here, and what is the Mage Lord doing?" Orin heard shouts, in the orc language, curses hurled by dozens of tongues.
Orin peered at the door and then spoke "Anced has warned all local militias that this section of the Welkwood is under his protection and off limits. The orcs of Fax have planned a raid on this very night, seeking slaves, and the Mage Lord," Orin smiled broadly as he used the odd title, "is going to show them what he thinks about slavery." A roaring, burning sound began outside the building, and Orin could here the screams of orcs.
Orin thought a moment longer then took his pin out and reverted to his badger form. Quickly he scampered to a large bag and opened it to reveal dozens of small white lumps. "As to what you, the children of this village, are doing here? You are about to roast marshmallows!" Orin said with a large grin on his face. For any who listened, there were dozens of ghostly screams outside the inn. But the children were watching Orin put marshmallows on sticks. "Now let me tell you the story of how Anced's brother became his sword."
* * *
Anced Math is also known as the Mad Mage. He is described as Mad, both for a brooding anger, and his absolute unpredictability. He is known to have caused and survived a Retributive Strike, the very mention of which causes most magi to blanche. Apparently he broke an immensely powerful staff, mainly because the combat was interfering with breakfast.
It is also known that he possesses a highly magical lantern, but the exact properties of this item are open to debate. Some claim that the lantern comes from the hoard of a witch far to the north. This has caused the mage numerous problems with thieves.
He often eats at a small tavern on the trade route from Safeton to the ruins of the city of Fax, though the food is universally reviled. His home is in a tower in the Welkwood which he has permanently hidden by using the illusion of a large tree. He also has a magic carpet, which is mainly ridden by his familiar. He is fond of creating and giving custom magic items to friends, though he has been known to give them to strangers if he is tired of carrying them around. Such items always have undisclosed properties.
He is known to have a lady love, though who she is has baffled the most powerful divination. He is constantly searching for the most beautiful flower so that he may present it too her. Only Orin knows where this lady resides. Anced travels to see her by teleporting repeatedly while masking his location.
His sword is another companion, and contains the soul of his adopted brother, Silverthorn. Silverthorn was a human who was reincarnated by the Greyhawk Guard and later became a close friend to Anced. Silverthorn was disreputable and dangerous by all accounts, but Anced ignored this fact, and always hoped Silverthorn would change.
He did, but it was too late. Silverthorn met his death at the hands of an assassin. He had renounced his sins and attempted to find salvation. However, Silverthorn had also been cursed by St. Cuthbert for his past deed, so that his soul could never leave Oerth. When it was found that this curse could not be overcome, and that Silverthorn would walk the land for eternity, Anced decided to act. With the aid of a traveling companion, Heffe, a powerful Priest of Rao, he was able to bind Silverthorn's soul to his blade. Now, the blade is forever trying to make amends for past actions.
Orin Roux is a special creature, the result of years of adventuring often gone awry. He is an awakened Dire Badger and accomplished Bard who in large part directs the pair's adventures. Anced is in charge, but the Mad Mage rarely has any short term goals, other than to slay orcs and other creatures that plague his home. Therefore, Orin often plans their week and adventures.
Anced Math (Rogue 2/Ranger 1/ Expert (Smith) 3/ Wizard(Illusionist) 18th) (Str:11, Dex:19, Con:17, Int:23 , Wis: 6, Chr:13); HP: 116, AC: 24; Feats: Improved Intiative; Weapon Focus: Bastard Sword; Weapon Focus: Wand; Sword & Wand Style; Quicken Spell, Heighten Spell, Arcane Strike
Possessions: a Ring of Wizardry III, Ring of Protection +4, Bracers of AC +6; Gloves of Dexterity +3,
"Silverthorn," +3 Shocking Burst Dancing Bastard Sword (Int:12, Ego: 19; Al: NG), +2 Mithral Breast Plate); Rod of Wonder; Staff of Illusion; Wand of Magic Missile (7th); Wand of Lighting; Wand of Fireball; Deck of Illusion; Zagyg's Lantern.
Orin Roux (Awakened Dire Badger/ Bard 7th) (Str:11, Dex:19, Con:17, Int:23 , Wis: 6, Chr:13); HP: 116, AC: 24; Feats: Improved Initiative; Weapon Focus: Claws; Rage, Scent
Possessions: Amulet of Natural Armor +4, Nerof's Pendant (Polymorph Self to same Gnomish Form, at will), Deck of Illusion; Vest of Armor +5 (Armor Bonus); Ring of Regeneration; Anced's Watch of Timestop (Timestop 1/month); Enchanted Dulcimer.