The premature child which was left in the desert had no name. When he was born, he was tiny and weak, and could not easily draw breath on his own. The elders of the gnomish clan into which the child was born deemed him unfit to survive the harsh life of a desert nomad. As was their custom, they left the child in the desert to fend for itself, comforting themselves with the thought that if the gods wished the child to live, they would protect him. As they continued on their way, leaving the child behind them, they sang a grim song beseeching the gods protect the child, or grant him a painless entrance into their midst.
No one expected the gods to grant the former.
As it happened, a traveling adventuring party was crossing the desert in search of the entrance to an ancient dungeon. The party’s bard, a half elf named Arhood, heard the child’s cries in the wee hours of the morning, before the group began its daily march. He separated from his band to search for the source of the noise, and stumbled upon the nameless baby at the same time that a dire scorpion found it. The bard was still new to adventuring, and was not yet an experienced swordsman, but he leaped into battle against the scorpion just the same. The battle was brutal. By the time he thrust the broken hilt of his rapier into the scorpion’s belly, Arhood’s delicate half elven frame was covered in cuts and poisoned wounds. It was hours before his companions found him, legs trapped beneath the scorpion’s body, arms protectively around the young gnomish child.
Fortuitously, Arhood traveled with a paladin of Iomedae who was able to cure his wounds, and return him from the brink of death. But the bard’s once fair features were now crisscrossed with puckered scars, and splotches of discoloration from the dire scorpion’s poison. Arhood, a master of the seductive arts, grieved for his lost beauty. But he did not allow it to lessen his concern for the child he had found. He and his companions, hoping to find the child’s family, returned to the village from whence they had set out to inquire if anyone had lost the child. None recognized the child, but the party did learn that it was customary fro many desert nomads to abandon weak children.
An orphanage in the town offered to take the child in, but Arhood would not have it. Even his companions tried to convince him that the orphanage would be better than the life of an adventurer for the child. The bard replied:
“Perhaps it is foolish of me to think I can care for this child, but if we cannot find his family, then let my scars be an oath which binds me to him. I will raise him as my own.” Arhood purchased some milk from a wet nurse, and the party returned their attention to the desert, and the ancient dungeon they had been searching for. They found it, and plundered its depths. Arhood, who had previously preferred to participate more directly in battles, relegated himself to providing support to his compatriots with his magical songs. It took several days for the group to penetrate to the deepest levels of the dungeon, but when they did, Arhood made an amazing discovery: a book detailing the life of a hero who had long been forgotten. The bard penned a number of songs based on what he read of the heroes life, which would later bring him great fame. More importantly, however, he saw a connection between the life of the hero and the life of the child. Both had been forgotten, both had been found by him, and both–he decided–would be named Mahudar Kosopske.
Arhood raised Mahudar on the road, despite everyone’s objection that it was too dangerous. He none the less took the child’s safety seriously. There were a few close calls, but the group was strong, and took cares to protect the child. The entire group took on responsibility for the child’s education. The child’s first lessons of history and mathematics came during periods of rest in torchlit dungeon rooms, hastily barricaded against intruders so the party could get some much needed rest.They soon discovered that despite the young boy’s weak body, he had an almost unbelievably keen mind. He took particularly well to Daryl’s lessons on the nature of magic, and was even managing a few simple cantrips by the time he reached adolescence.
Everyone agreed that the young man should be given an opportunity to study the magical arts in greater detail. Daryl enjoyed her time teaching the boy, but he had his own research to pursue. That, in combination with the task of adventuring, and resting each day to recover his spellcasting energy, left him with precious little time. Certainly not enough time to turn the fledgling caster into a wizard. They consulted with Mahudar, and decided that the best course of action would be to let the boy remain in the town where the party kept its base of operations. There he could attend a wizard’s academy and receive the education his intellect demanded. It was a tearful parting–the group had spent many years living as closely as a family, but all knew that it was for the best.
Mahudar studied there for many years, and excelled amongst his classmates. But he never forgot the adventuring life of his early years. Staying in a single place, not being threatened by monsters daily, seemed entirely alien to him. His classmates often sought him out for tales of life on the road, and he was happy to relive some of his more exciting memories for them, but throughout this entire education he was restless. When Arhood and the other party members would return to town to rest from an adventure, he would stay with them, and inquire as to their exploits, eager even for second-hand adventure. Soon after he gained mastery over the basic tenants of the arcane, Mahudar left the academy, and returned tot he road with Arhood and the rest of the adventuring party.
The group continued adventuring for a number of years. Mahudar proved himself a valuable asset to the team, and advanced quickly, guided by Daryl. But Mahudar was reckless. His lifetime of experience had accustomed him to the danger, and as a child he’d never had to worry about defending himself. The others always took care of him. Now that he had power of his own, he felt invincible. The others tried to reign him in, and teach him caution, but each successful encounter only left Mahudar more cocky. It was only a matter of time until something dreadful befell him. Which, in this case, took the form of an axe-wielding troll lopping off the young gnome’s leg at the knee. The healing of his companions saved him from bleeding to death, but their magics were insufficient to restore his leg.
Mahudar, sobered by the loss of his leg, took his leave of the party. He traveled several days South East of the party’s stronghold within the city, and constructed a tower for himself where he could retire. Since that time he has devoted himself fully to the study of magic, breaking only to help those who seek him out for aid.
Mahudar is a cheerful fellow, but he prefers to be left alone these days. Which isn’t to say that he’s unfriendly, merely solitary. You can expect him to put up barriers to prevent people from dealing with him (hiding his tower behind an illusion, forcing those who visit to pass through a number of challenges, etc.) but it’s unlikely any of his tests would harm anyone, and if someone does reach him, he tries to be a courteous host. And he never turns down anyone in need, even if they don’t have the coin to pay him full market value for his spellcasting ability. He may not always help in the way one expects, however.
Mahudar is a wizard, and prefers to lean on his spells if he is in danger. His preference is to avoid combat entirely, either by confusing his foes, or escaping from them. If he is trapped and forced to fight, however, he will attempt to confuse his foes, hide from them, and use damaging spells to attack without being noticed.
Thoughts on Use
I use Mahudar in one of my games as a low level quest objective/quest giver. The party needs a magical spell cast (either for themselves, or for another questgiver) and they go to Mahudar. Once Mahudar tests & helps them, he can give them a new quest, such as recovering a magic item for him. He’s a useful fixture for low-level characters to rely on, providing item crafting services, and spellcasting.
Mahudar Kosopske (CR 10)
Male Gnome Wizard 11
NG small humanoid
Init +3; Senses Low-Light Vision; Perception +6
AC 14, Flat Footed 11, Touch 14 [10 + Dex(3) + Size(1)] (+4 Dodge v. Giants)
hp 77 (11d6 +33)
Fort +6 Ref +6 Will +11 (+2 to disbelieve Illusions)
Speed 10ft (Due to Peg Leg)
Wizard Spells Prepared (CL 11th; Concentration +16; +1 save DC for Illusion spells)
5th– Baleful Polymorph, Polymorph, Cone of Cold
4th– Beast Shape II, Stoneskin, Dimensional Door, Phantasmal Killer
3rd– Gaseous Form, Dispel Magic, Slow, Fireball
2nd– Fox’s Cunning, Alter Self, Alter Self, Invisibility, Shatter
1st– Expeditious Retreat, Hold Portal, Mage Armor, Magic Missile, Magic Missile
0 (at will)– Mending, Read Magic, Message, Ray of Frost, Detect magic
Wizard Spells Available Mahudar has good library of spellbooks available to him in his tower, containing any spell from the Pathfinder Core Rulebook, level 5 and below. As well as a number of specialty spells which he has researched himself.
Opposition Schools Necromancy, Divination
Physical Enhancement (Su)— +3 Bonus to one physical ability score (Str, Con, Dex) Can switch bonus to a different ability score every morning when spells are prepared. Currently applied to: DEXTERITY.
Telekinetic Fist (Sp)— 8/day, may attack a foe within 30 feet with a ranged touch attack. Fist deals 1d4+5 bludgeoning damage.
Change Shape(Sp)–For 11 rounds each day, Mahudar may change his shape as with the beast shape II or elemental body I spells. Rounds do not need to be consecutive.
Gnomish Spell-Like Abilities (Save DC: 14)
1/day–Dancing Lights, Ghost Sound, Prestidigitation, Speak with Animals
Str 5 (-3) Dex 17 (+3) Con 16 (+3) Int 20 (+5) Wis 18 (+4) Cha 17 (+3)
Base Atk +5; CMB +1; CMD 14
Feats Scribe Scroll, Metamagic: Heighten Spell, Metamagic: Extend Spell, Craft Magic Arms and Armor, Brew Potion, Forge Ring, Metamagic: Widen Spell,
Skills Acrobatics(+6), Bluff (+14), Craft(Bows)(+15), Disguise(+9), Knowledge(Arcana)(+19), Knowledge(Geography)(+13), Knowledge(History)(+14), Knowledge(Planes)(+15), Linguistics(+12), Perception(+6), Ride(+7), Sleight of Hand(+10), Spellcraft(+19), Stealth(+7)
Languages Common, Elven, Gnoll
Gear Robes of Spell Resistance 19, Ring of Friend Shield (Mated with Arhood’s), Figurine of Wondrous Power: Obsidian Steed
Init +2; Senses low-light vision; Perception +5
AC 19, touch 14, flat footed 17 [10 + Dex(2) + natural(5) + size(2)]
hp 4 (1d8)
Fort +2; Ref +4; Will +1
Speed 30ft, Climb 30ft
Melee bite +4 (1d3 – 4 plus)
Space 2 and 1/2 ft.; Reach 0ft
Str 3 Dex 15 Con 10, Int 10, Wis 12, Cha 5
Base Atk +0; CMB +0; CMD 6
Feats Weapon Finesse
Skills Acrobatics +10, Climb +10, Perception +5
Familiar Special Abilities Share Spells, Empathic Link, Deliver Touch Spells, Speak with Master, Speak with animals of its kind, Improved Evasion