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Franz L÷wenroth

by Giampaolo Agosta

Baron of Adlerturm

Cryptomancer of the Third Circle

AC 1000

"Through training, we pass a spark of human intelligence on these wild lions. Now, how can we manage to pass a spark of their might on humans?"

Appearance

Franz L÷wenroth is a tall, broad-shouldered man, with long, sand-coloured hair and a short beard. He is an imposing, almost leonine figure. While he isn't fat, he has started putting on some weight. He appears to be in his early forties, but he looks slightly younger.

Franz dresses with loose clothes of various shades of brown, except when attending to formal parties or to the Parliament, where he prefers to adopt Glantri City fashion. His usual dressings are designed to allow Franz to shapechange to his tertiary form, that of a large rakasta-like humanoid, without shredding them. He can be easily recognised while in tertiary form, as his long hair doesn't disappear completely, forming instead a thick mane, quite uncommon in weretigers. His tiger form, on the other hand, is almost impossible to distinguish from a real male tiger.

Attitudes & Habits

Her Franz is a man with few great passions. Politics is not one of these. He supports House Ritterburg, but otherwise he does not even go to the Parliament, leaving the day-to-day work to his Spokesmen. Only two events really managed to attract his attention: the attempt of Sire Malachie du Marais, Baron of Morlay, to legalise werecreatures, which he did support, and the destruction of Caurenze, which caused the Monster Handlers' Syndicate to approach Franz patronage.

Franz is a dedicated scholar and hunter, having the patience and perseverance needed for both. He has an almost elven love of nature, though is transformation to weretiger is slightly changing this attitude.

Background

The L÷wenroth family was, at the time of the great migration from the deserts of Alasiya, a close ally of the von Drachenfels and von Graustein. Even though they only minor nobles, their prowess in battle earned them the title of Barons of Graez. Franz's ancestor led their armies well, and they also were good rulers.

The fortunes of the family reached their peak in AC 840 when the Baron's daughter, Barbara was married to Borso di Sfonti. In AC 855 Borso inherited the family title, and the position of Treasurer of the Council. But then, the law called the Light of Rad stripped Baron Dieter L÷wenroth of his title. The whole family, included the few magic-users, joined the anti-wizard rebellion, but the rebels were few, and scattered. Dieter asked Borso to mediate between the wizards and the rebels, but the new Prince of Caurenze was too happy with the new status quo to accept. The rebellion was crushed, and most of the L÷wenroth were executed. Only a few were saved by Prince von Drachenfels, but they never managed to recover their land or title.

From that time, the L÷wenroth family has been trying hard to have some of its member graduate at the Great School of Magic. However, before Franz's father, none of the few L÷wenroths who managed to graduate was accepted by the Council as a new noble, in retribution for the family's deeds. Franz's father was the first L÷wenroth to graduate from the Great School and become a noble. Still, he became Baron of Adlerturm, when he was fairly old, through the political support of House Ritterburg and Clan Ellerovyn, and some of the other houses who didn't have a winning candidate at the moment. They merely thought of him a short lived ruler, considering his age and relative weakness, and one with few heirs, as Franz was the only other mage in his family, having graduated from the Great School of Magic at the age of twenty-four.

Franz himself, while being a more powerful mage, has never shown interest in the politics of Glantri City. He'd rather spend his time studying magic and animal lore, or hunting with his friend Prinz Jaggar.

It was during one of such hunts that Franz first met a great cat-a cougar, specifically. He was immediately fascinated by the nature of these animals, and he managed to buy a lion from the Monster Hunters' Union. As his passion for feline grew, it started influence his spell research, and he discovered or created many spells that made him able to control them, or take their shape, or to mimic their abilities.

Recently, Franz came upon an ancient scroll, bought by one of his relatives from a foreigner at the Arcanium. The buyer had given up all hope to understand the scroll, so he turned it over to Franz. On the other hand, Franz managed to decipher it, even though it was written in ancient Taymoran language, and protected by powerful enchantments.

When he managed to read the scroll, Franz was amazed and excited, as the writing discussed the ways of giving the powers of wild animals to men. After long studies, Franz was able to develop a ritual spell that could give him the powers of a tiger. Franz performed the ritual, and his success was complete.

Web of Intrigue

Besides Prinz Jaggar von Drachenfels, Franz hasn't any real friend among the Glantrian nobles. He keeps good relations with the Erewan elves, with whom he shares many research interests. He also has an alliance with Malachie du Marais. It is an uneasy alliance at best, since each of them fears the other, and secretly works to undermine his supposed ally. Malachie has been setting up Sire Richard d'Ambreville against Franz, revealing Franz's attempts to gain control of the Glantrian rakastas. On the other hand, the Baron of Adlerturm is manipulating some lupin officers of the Constabulary, who tirelessly harass the Canine Protection Society, in the hopes of uncovering some illegal dealings in their operations.

Franz as been trying to control some of the Glantrian rakasta who currently owe fealty to Sire Richard "the Lionheart". As Franz is fascinated with felines, he his also interested in this intelligent and humanoid specimens, and would like to have them serve him. But he cannot force them, as most of his stronger enchantment spells works only on unintelligent creatures, nor can he persuade them, as they see Richard as a stronger and more charismatic leader. Besides, the Glantrian rakastas (most of whom are in fact, mountain rakastas from Kurish Massif), don't like wizards. Franz cannot understand how they could prefer a mere mundaner to the powerful as he is, and is increasingly envious of the Lionheart.

Franz also dislikes Rolf von Graustein, and despises the influence that Herr Doktor has on Jaggar's son. Technology and artificial life forms does not appeal to Franz, who might even be interested in joining the Free Anachronic Society of Aalban (but only if they asked him).

Statistics & Style of Magic

D&D Statistics: M12/Weretiger 9, Cryptomancer of the 3rd Circle.

Str 15 (17) Int 16 Wis 13 (11) Dex 12 Con 12, Cha 14; AL N. (Scores in parentheses for weretiger form. See PC4 Night Howlers).

Weretiger Powers & Statistics: as standard Weretiger 9 (see PC4).

Weretiger Skills (useable only in wereform): self control, leadership, quick change, hunting, transformation.

AD&D Statistics: 12th-level weretiger mage, Cryptomancer of the 3rd Circle.

Str 15(21) Int 16 Wis 13 Dex 12(18) Con 12 Cha 14; AL NG, slowly shifting to N.

(Scores in parentheses for his weretiger form)

Weretiger Form*: AC 3; #AT 3; Dmg 1d4/1d4/1d12

Weretiger Powers*: animal summoning (large cats), communication (felines), fearful howl, transformation (3 slots).

Weretiger Penalties*: bloodlust, dietary requirement, chemical vulnerability (ginseng), weapon vulnerability (obsidian).

Weapon Proficiencies: dagger, claws, and bite. (D&D: Expert with dagger, other mastery spent on weretiger's natural weapons)

Skills: animal training (lions), riding (horse), spellcraft, reading/writing (Thyatian).

Languages: Thyatian (Aalbanese and Glantrian dialects)

Franz as already developed both weretiger vulnerabilities, but he hasn't still noticed. He also has never entered bloodlust. On the other hand, he his rapidly developing a strong taste for Averoignian cuisine (especially, viande saignante!). Franz believes to be unaffected by those hindrances, since he gained his status through magic and not through infection. Unfortunately, this isn't true. Franz's Taymoran magic just slowed the process, and the uncommon nature of his vulnerabilities only added strength to his belief (since he cannot be harmed by silver weapons, for example, and obsidian weapon are rather rare in Glantri).

Franz prefers alterations, conjurations and enchantments. His charm spells work better, if not only, with felines. He has created charm feline (3) and hold feline (4) spells. They are equivalent to charm monster and hold monster, but affect only felines and werefelines. His other spells deal with polymorphing into lions or other cats, but he uses them less now that he can shapechange without using magic. Most of his spells deal with felines; for example a fear spell cast by Franz might have the effect of sphinx's or a rakasta's roar power, while attack spells might evoke spectral claws.

Franz is a Third Circle Cryptomancer and has the following runes in his Book of Runes:

Runes of Matter (first circle): Franz first learned to control materials that were once living (no doubt influenced by the Erewan elves), so he has a rune of wood and rune of bone, more for artistic purposes than for combat. Later, he researched the runes of water, stone and earth, which give him good defensive and movement power in his home hills and mountains.

Runes of Life (second circle): These are Franz's specialty, of course. He knows all the runes for felines and for some other common predators, like bears and foxes. He also recently learned the rune for wolves, as this could be useful in dealing with Malachie. Franz also knows the runes for a few selected plants, particularly plant monsters like vampire roses, just for defensive purposes. He has not yet developed runes for game animals, but will do so, if his lycanthropic nature takes the upper hand.

Runes of Energy (third circle): Franz has just started working on these runes, and is progressing slowly, since his interest is mostly for the runes of life. up to now, he only knows the rune of fire, which he decided to learn as a defence against those Flaemish nationalists.

"A slave of this lycanthropic trend, you say? Non, mon ami. Monsieur le Baron is not becoming a monster for the sake of fashion. His motives are much deadlier than that, I assure you!"

(Malachie du Marais)

Notes

*Weretiger statistics, powers & hindrances for AD&D 2e conform to those given in "Beasts at Heart", by John W. Mangrum, appeared in The Book of Souls, edited by the Kargatane.

Franz L÷wenroth's spells.