Friday, July 29, 2016
Greyhawk: Conclave of Ull
The Conclave is a very loose association of mages dwelling primarily in the towns and villages of Ull or among the encircling highlands. Their meetings and communications are few and far between but at times, external threats such as rumors of a new Brazen Horde or more often pesky treasure-seeking adventurers have resulted in a couple of these mages cooperating for a common purpose. The local ruling khanates know little of the mages, except through reputation, though individuals have on occasion served as consultants to various warlords or sheiks at their own peril. The unwritten rule of the Conclave is to stay out of each other's business lest they invoke the ire of the others or worse, bring down the wrath of Ull's mundane populace. These boundaries are pushed at times when interests overlap, but so far each mage's privacy has been respected.
Abi-Dalzim (W18, NE): The notorious "Father of Droughts" has haunted the foothills of the Ulsprues near Kester for half a century, but only recently has been active since escaping from incarceration by the dao in the Great Dismal Delve. Abi-Dalzim is an earth elementalist infamous for the creation of the spell Horrid Wilting, and is likewise an adherent of Incabulos (god of disasters and famine), thus combining the worst aspects of transmutation and necromancy.
Dalzim works through agents, rarely leaving his tower, leading many to believe he is an impostor, however the Conclave knows better. Among his personal schemes, Dalzim has a long vendetta against the wizard Alhamazad of the Circle of Eight. Dalzim is also actively interested in defeating the dervishes of the Dry Steppes and preventing the ascendancy of their prophetic Mahdi.
Hornung (W16, CN): Originally hailing from another prime material plane close to Oerth, Hornung is known to mages in Eastern Oerik as the "Wild Archmage". Hornung is the foremost practitioner of a disputed and dangerous school of arcane study called wild magic. Hornung's reckless reputation and generally chaotic demeanor has led to his aggressive banishment from many cities in the Flanaess, including the Free City of Greyhawk whose former mayor Zagig Yragerne is said to be a pioneer of the magical theory.
Hornung might be a sociopath, but he is certainly not a fool. The Wild Archmage has been meticulously searching the continent for areas of wild magic around known Fading Lands and planar gates, plus other untapped sources of arcane power such as dweorstones and oerthblood. Hornung retreats back to Ull where he has been observed practicing his wild spells unrestrained, but this is also where he must rest and review his research. The location of his personal sanctum has yet to be discovered by any of his Conclave peers, save his protege Nahal, though given his nature it may randomly change.
Lorloveim (W24, N): The "Mistress of Shadows" is said to be an ancient sorceress from a realm long lost in Oerik's past. and is perhaps one of the first to be called quasi-deity. The penultimate master of shadow magic, Lorloveim hides in the open among the small villages of southern Ull, blending in flawlessly as a free-willed Baklunish woman when she wants to be seen at all. Lorloveim seems content to be left alone, choosing Ull for its remote location and dearth of magical entities. Only the Conclave has recently drawn her into the open; indeed few others in the world even know she still exists. This fact has been kept discreet by the Conclave, especially Abi-Dalzim who fears the powerful sorceress most.
The shadow mistress is stern, quiet and seems to have no personal goals though deep down she has a heroic bent. Lorloveim spends her time with art, literature and preparing magical components using her obsidian mortar and pestle. Lorloveim might walk among Uli by day, but somewhere in the shadows she has concealed a gate to a private demiplane where so far only the Baklunish alchemist Alamir has been invited. Alamir never speaks of Lorloveim's home save for the mistress' preoccupation with images of a certain obscure Flan hero-deity.
Khazid (W11, CG): The young Bakluni summoner known as Khazid is originally from the bustling city of Zeif. Khazid was a child prodigy who grew up on the streets of the capital, this life instilled in him a mischievous personality that soon got him on the wrong side of the sultan's court. Khazid's greatest achievement, his Procurement spell, was also his downfall. Khazid learned how to create micro-gates to anywhere in the city through a silver mirror in order to obtain material components with ease. The roguish side in Khazid soon got the best of him as his superiors accused him of thievery; a sentence that would've cost him a hand.
Panicked and with nowhere else to go, Khazid fled the city, hiding along with a caravan heading south. He knew the jealous, pampered wizards of Zeif wouldn't follow him into the wilderness. Before Khazid knew he was stranded in the remote capital of Ulakand, fortunately his streetwise nature allowed him to swiftly find employment as a sage and adviser to the many uneducated khans and warlords of Ull. Khazid became part of the Conclave through dealings with its founder Alamir and elementalist Maximilian. Khazid is still a wanted man, but this time for his Procurement spell which he refuses to teach anyone including the Conclave. Meanwhile back in Zeif, rare gems and magical substances keep randomly disappearing from the palace yet servants report seeing a hand swiping things out of thin air.
Alamir (W14, LN): The alchemist Alamir was once a student in the famous Zashassar school of Ekbir. Alamir's obsessive curiosity to know how all magic items are crafted led to the development of the spell Fundamental Breakdown. However, Alamir's efforts often resulted in the destruction of what ever item was studied. This fact and Alamir's failed cover ups were soon discovered by the Zashassari elite who promptly banished him from working in the Caliphate. Alamir went to Tusmit next, then Zeif, but found he had been blacklisted due to his reputation.
By the fate of Istus, Alamir fell in with the wanted mage Khazid and the pair went to Ull where the two work closely together from Ulakand to Kester as advisers and craftsmen for those who can afford their services. The Conclave itself was devised by Alamir when he started to encounter other mages in his travels throughout Ull and desired to bring them together. Though the Conclave is hardly a coherent group like the Zashassar, Alamir is still regarded as the most trustworthy mage in the region, a fitting legacy for an alchemist thrown out of so-called civilized society.
Nahal (W11, CE): Nahal is an arcane phenom who was discovered by Hornung manipulating wild magic in the city of Lopolla. Nahal was trained to be a common hedge mage, but his propensity to drink and the acquisition of a wand of wonder changed his life forever. By the time Hornung met Nahal, he had already lost his wife, his job and was wanted by the beygraf for several counts of malicious injury and vandalism. The unhinged Nahal was taken under Hornung's wing in an attempt to save his life if not hone his talent in wild magic.
Nahal so far has proven to be a disaster in the making. Hornung has been lacking as a teacher with his chaotic travels, leaving Nahal alone to create questionable spells like Reckless Dweomer and Nonsensical Nullifier. Only the wide-open prairies of Ull and the careful watch of the Conclave seem to contain his manic use of wild magic. To that end, the wild mage has been slowly growing in power, lending his magic to various warbands. Nahal harbors many grudges in Ull and back home for which he vows to someday repay. Hornung though affable, is wise to be wary of Nahal.
Maximilian (W14, LE): This grim-faced, stocky earth elementalist hails from the highlands of Geoff. Already a capable mage as a young adult, Maximilian was displaced by the Giant Troubles a decade ago and ended up with no family or money at a refugee camp in Bissel. A visiting mage from Ekbir took pity on the angry, vengeful mage and personally sponsored him to join the Zashassar school in Ekbir. Not surprisingly, Max was treated harshly as a foreigner at the Bakluni institute, a hardship that forced him into many fights and put many people in the infirmary with the use of his Stony and Earthen Grasp spells. Eventually Maximilian quit the Zashassar altogether to seek his own way and possibly find a tutor more his temperament.
Max turned to the lawless frontier of Ull to seek service with the ill-famed elementalist Abi-Dalzim, yet much to his chagrin the Father of Droughts rejected his advances. Fueled by this setback Maximilian found work for the pit masters of Kester and joined slaver bands in the Yorod Hills before magically building his own tower where he has crafted unique wonders such as clay golem-armor and also bred horrors like the Stone Ettin. Through the Conclave, Max has found common ground to work with the likes of Khazid and Nahal, and if he can be believed, even Abi-Dalzim is regretting his decision to rebuff the formidable earth-mage.