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The Wizard of Midwood

by Beau Yarbrough

5. The cottage of the Wizard of Midwood

About a hundred yards from the centre of Midwood, to the east through the trees past Fyodor's blacksmithy, is the cottage of the Wizard of Midwood. The path to the cottage is semi-overgrown, as it is only trafficked by Greywand and Nicodemus most days, although there's the occasional visitor who seeks out the "Wizard of Midwood" for help or advice.

The doors, shutters and windows to the cottage will only open for Nicodemus and his apprentice. Small mouths are carved over each of the windows, and a magic mouth is cast on each, to shout "WHAT ARE YOU DOING AT THE WINDOW?" when anyone approaches that way, other than Nicodemus or Greywand. There is a wooden bench outside the front door.

(The doors, shutters and windows are actually locked with Nicodemus' locking, set at level 1, and will open for any wizard.)

Neutral Good male human wizard 5

Nicodemus Majoh is the Wizard of Midwood. A Thyatian by birth, he grew up in Kantrium, studied at the Collegium Arcanum and adventured briefly in the Duchy of Tel Akbir before leaving Thyatis for Karameikos in 970, settling in the area that would become Midwood around him in 978. (The original owners of the Shady Dragon Inn built the inn near his cottage in 980.)

He chose the area to make sure the wyrd that was once is lover remains sealed below Fort Boldizsarovic. Rastaban, the elf who betrayed her, unfortunately, is important enough among the Callarii that his supporters have isolated Nicodemus politically, making Midwood one of the few places in the Radlebb Forest where one will not find elves. But Nicodemus still has his supporters amongst the elves, and some of his older friends refer to him as "Nicodemus Elf-friend," a name he picked up during his first years in Karameikos.

He is an old man (born in 941), with a long weedy white beard and is nearly bald on top. His eyes are piercing bright blue under his bushy eyebrows, and he wears a long brown robe with a dark green vest over it. He often wears a large brown hat with an enormous brim.

Nicodemus has a sharp tongue, and doesn't suffer fools gladly, and can be a bit curt with those he thinks are wasting his time. On the other hand, he's extraordinarily patient and kind to those he thinks are genuinely in need. He also sees himself as the protector of those less able than himself, and is well-informed of what goes on in his portion of the forest, thanks to the Callarii elves and various woodsmen and peddlers. He is also well-versed in the uses of the plants of the forest. He is very wise (Wisdom 17) and only his passion for magic kept him from becoming a cleric as a younger man. While dedicated to helping others, he's not above using any means he deems necessary to do so, and may surprise people with his ruthlessness at times.

Nicodemus took in the apprentice he calls Greywand when the boy's mother appeared at the inn 20 years ago. She died - some say of a magical curse - that night, leaving behind an infant boy. Nicodemus took him in and trained him as an apprentice, much to the surprise of those who knew him.

(Greywand's mother, Valeria, was actually an apprentice of Bargle the Infamous who fled Fort Doom when she saw the tortures they were conducting on the hin. She had intended to alert Duke Stephan of the truth, but was struck down by Bargle remotely.)

He has an owl familiar, Aristophanes, who perches on the bend at the top of Nicodemus' staff. Inside the cottage, the owl nests in a brass brazier suspended from the ceiling in a corner.

Nicodemus speaks Thyatian, Traladaran and Elvish (Callarii dialect).

Proficiencies: Reading/Writing (Thyatian, Traladaran, Elvish), Spellcraft, Herbalism, Weather Sense, Local History (Thyatis, Karameikos)

Equipment: wand of polymorphing (3 charges), staff

Spell book includes: 1) Affect Normal Fires, Cantrip*, Detect Magic, Find Familiar, Identify, Light, Magic Missile, Mending*, Protection from Evil*, Read Magic, Sleep*, 2) Continual Light, Knock, Magic Mouth, Nicodemus' Locking, Protection from Cantrips*, Stinking Cloud, Summon Swarm*, 3) Dispel Magic, Flame Arrow, Hold Person*

The spell book, along with Greywand's baby blanket (bearing the crest of the Black Eagle Barony: A double-headed eagle bearing swords on a field of gold) are kept in a wooden box from Tel Akbir and covered in delicate inlaid wood. The box is locked by Nicodemus' locking, level 3. Also in the box is a letter of recommendation for Greywand at the Karameikan School of Magecraft in Krakatos. The box also contains his wand of polymorphing, (which he rarely uses as he's unable to recharge the wand) and a journal of reminiscences about his lost Miaplacidus. Nicodemus intends to give Greywand the box as a gift after his Shearing, and has cast a magic mouth spell on the box, congratulating his apprentice for being able to open it (assuming it is, in fact, Greywand who opens the box). Of course, in addition the objects he intends to place within (the letter, the swaddling clothes and a copy of Nicodemus' spell book), Nicodemus' untimely death also means the wand and his journal will be found within, as well.

Spell components Nicodemus needs for his spells include: brass brazier (currently used as Aristophanes' bed), incense*, pearls worth 100 gp each*, live fireflies, burrs, powdered silver*, mineral prism*, live crickets, honeycomb, square of red cloth, flint, oil, short iron rods. (Components marked with an asterisk are provided once a month or so by the peddler Alexandra.)

Nicodemus' Locking
Level: Wiz 2
Components: V, S, M
Casting Time: Three actions
Range: Touch
Effect: 10 square feet/level
Duration: Special
Saving Throw: None
Spell Resistance: Yes

A variant on the venerable wizard lock spell by Nicodemus Majoh, the Wizard of Midwood, Nicodemus' locking can be cast upon doors, chests, windows and books, magically sealing them shut.

The caster may freely open or close the object without affecting it. Anyone else attempting to open the object must use knock or dispel magic. The spell can also be dispelled if a being with spell resistance attempts to open the locked object (one attempt only). A wizard four or more levels higher than the caster can always open a locked object, although the caster may lower the level required to open the object this way, allowing a wizard of any stated level to open the object instead.

This spell may not be cast in conjunction with permanency. The spell is normally permanent, except that there is a one percent chance per year that the spell has faded and can be dispelled with a successful attempt to open doors.

Material component: The caster must rub spider webs along the area of the object that normally opens, such as the edges of a book's pages or the frame of a door. The webs vanish into the object affected.

Nicodemus' Silvered Arrow
Level: Wiz 3
Components: V, S, M
Casting Time: Three actions
Range: Touch
Effect: Special
Duration: Special
Saving Throw: None
Spell Resistance: No

Despite its name, Nicodemus' silvered arrow can be used on either missile or melee weapons.

When used on a missile weapons, the caster may enchant one weapon per spell level, assuming all the arrows, bolts, quarrels, darts or similar weapons can all be touched in a single round. The "business end" of the weapons then becomes coated shiny silver (while retaining all of its natural strength and firmness) and occasionally sending harmless cold blue sparks. The weapon is then considered a silver weapon for the purposes of attacking beings only harmed by such objects. The effect lasts for one minute per level of the caster, or until the weapon is fired.

The spell may also be used on a single melee weapon, with identical effects, although the spell lasts for either a number of minutes equal to the level of the caster or until a number of attacks equal to the caster's level have been made with the weapon.

This spell can be used in conjunction with permanency, although the sparking ends once the effect is made permanent.

Material component: A single silver piece for every item to be enchanted. The silver piece is transformed into iron by the spell.