The Shackled City
Chet Zanlinglehopper III: male human Wizard 3; Medium (5’/5’) Humanoid (Human); HD 3d4+6; HP 18; Init +1; Spd 30’; AC 11 (+1 Dex), touch 11, flat-footed 10; BAB/Grap: +1/+1; Attack +1 melee (1d6, quarterstaff); SA – Spells; SQ – Summon familiar; AL CG; SV Fort +3, Ref +2, Will +6; Str 10, Dex 13, Con 14, Int 20, Wis 17, Cha 16; Skills: Alchemy +9 Concentration +8, Craft (wood) +11, Knowledge (arcana) +12, Knowledge (history) +12, Knowledge (local) +12, Knowledge (religion) +12, Knowledge (the planes) +12, Listen +4, Profession (farmer) +4, Profession (librarian) +4, Spellcraft +11, Spot +4; Feats: Cooperative Spell, Scribe Scroll, Sudden Maximize, Sudden Silent Spell; Traits: Absent-Minded; Languages: Common, Celestial, Draconic, Elven, Goblin, Infernal; CR 3.
This aging gentleman is dressed in an outdated fashion with large billowy robes and an oddly pointed hat. His head and face are covered with thick white hair, which is slightly weather-stained. His bushy eyebrows give him an uncanny resemblance to an owl. He walks supported by an old wooden staff, though he doesn’t seem to actually need it.
Arcane Spells (3/4/2; DC 15 + spell level): 0 – detect magic, message, prestidigitation; 1st – mage armor, magic missile x2, ray of enfeeblement; 2nd – flaming sphere, scorching ray.
Equipment: Backpack, bedroll, winter blanket, traveler’s outfit x2, sack, soap, scroll case, paper, vial of ink x3, quill, powder (unidentified) x5, sludge (unidentified) x3, vial of acid x2, steel rod with “U” rune, scroll of magic missile, scroll of ray of enfeeblement.
Spellbook: 0 – Arcane Mark, Detect Magic, Light, Mage Hand, Mending, Message, Prestidigitation, Read Magic, Resistance; 1st – Alarm, Identify, Mage Armor, Magic Missile, Magic Weapon, Protection from Evil, Ray of Enfeeblement, Shield, True Strike, Unseen Servant; 2nd – Flaming Sphere, Scorching Ray.
Chet Zanlinglehopper III was born to Marehet and Chet Zanlinglehopper II in the spring season within the moderate sized town called Hunter’s Horn. His father was an upper-middle class spice & silks merchant. He spent much of his time away from home, traveling abroad to sell his goods. Chet was the youngest child with 3 sisters (named Rili, Pheolpe, Xerena) and a brother (named Duris). As the youngest child, he was generally the one blamed for his older sibling’s antics, much to his dismay. So, at age 10, in an effort to keep his youngest son out of trouble, Chet’s father began to take the boy along with him when he traveled with his wares.
At the beginning of the merchant season, his travels took him to some of the largest cities within the kingdom. Chet saw many professions in that time that absolutely fascinated him. “Magicians” gave him the first taste of life beyond the mundane. He asked his father if he could learn to perform magic the way they did, but was promptly told no because the family couldn’t afford it, what with seven of them to keep fed. A few weeks later, Chet witnessed a small group of priests giving mass and granting healing and other miracles out among the poor. Again he asked his father if that were possible for him to do, but was told no for the same reasons.
Six months later, when the trading season was winding down, Chet and his father returned to Hunter’s Horn. The boy spent hours telling his mother of the sights he had seen and all the things that he wanted to do, which excluded very little. Then he told her how his father had said that his dreams could not be afforded. His mother, who felt that her youngest had asked for so little in his life so far, spoke with his father, who made him a promise. If the young man would continue to come with him on his merchant trips and proved to be a capable salesman, his father would pay him a fair wage, which he could save up and use to fund whatever he wanted to do with his life.
Chet worked hard with his father nearly every day for the next eight years, traveling from city to city to help sell their products. Chet, as it turned out had a brilliant business mind, and had expanded their wares to include furs, jewelry, rugs and small amounts of decorated furniture crafted by Chet’s brother, Duris. By his 18th birthday, Chet had finally saved enough money to follow his childhood dream. In his travels, he had met many members of a society of arcane magical practitioners known simply as the Arcane Order, and had always been impressed with what they stood for and were capable of. He knew that someday he wanted to be a part of their prestigious organization.
He’d asked many questions of them, and learned that to become a member, one must be invited by a current member in good standing. In order to impress the Order, you must already have a firm grasp of the control of arcane magical energies. He knew that the first step would be to seek out a master wizard with whom to apprentice himself. The trouble was he didn’t really know how to go about finding one that would be willing to teach him. With his gold and extra clothing in his pack, Chet told his family goodbye and set out to begin his search for a mentor.
Chet’s journey proved to be adventurous itself. On his journey, Chet stumbled upon a shoreline village as a hurricane of arcane nature hit the area, forcing Chet to take shelter with a family living on a small. Their underground shelter proved to be barely adequate protection from the continuous destruction that rained down upon the eastern half of the continent for the next few months. He spent the time helping them preserve what they could of their wares and telling stores of the lands of Hunter’s Horn. He was really only waiting for the floodwaters and the severe weather to calm enough for him to continue on his way. During that time, he learned a great deal in regards to the land and farming. When it was safe enough to attempt travel again, he thanked them and headed back out on his trip.
Moving to the big city was slightly different to what Chet was used to. While it was true that he had spent a great deal of time in Cauldron with his father on trade runs, actually living on his own in the city was very different to the sleepy town of Hunter’s Horn. After several more months asking around for a possible master, and of working odd jobs to keep his money level even, he eventually found an abjurer by the name of Kine O’Kassler to take him on as an apprentice. The older mage’s previous apprentice was nearing the age and ability to move out on her own and he felt it was time to take up another young mind to mold in the more protective aspects of the Art.
O’Kassler’s previous apprentice was a young woman by the name of Thilesia Lightower. She was, in Chet’s eyes, the most gorgeous woman in the world. She was also incredibly intelligent, wise, and funny. For the next two years, Chet began to learn everything that the abjurer would teach him, and all the while, trying to catch glimpses and strike up a conversation with Thilesia when she came by the tower to speak with her former mentor.
As time went by, Thilesia began to come by the tower more often, though not to see O’Kassler. She and Chet saw more of each other and spent so much time with together that Chet’s master had to reprimand the young man for shirking his chores. Torn between his life long ambition and his budding love for Thilesia, Chet made a choice, and during the winter of his 20th year of life, he decided to forgo the rigors of training and asked to Thilesia to be his wife, which she accepted. The presiding priestess of Pelor performed the ceremony during the opening days of spring.
For the next 20 years of Chet’s life, things were nice and easy. He and Thilesia had two children, a boy (whom they named Chet IV) and a girl (named Felicia). During those long years, he spent a lot of time as a gardener and the at home parent for the children. He loved to grow flowers, specifically tulips. His wife spent a lot of time away from home continuing her work as a scholar and teacher. When she was home though and not spending time with the kids, she spent time with her most prized student, her husband. Chet still loved to learn everything he could get his hands on. Since he had decided to be with her rather than pursue his studies, she repaid him by teaching him everything she knew which included arcane, the planes and history of the kingdom. During his years of his gardening he learned much about nature, and his love of maps gave him a firm grasp of the geography of the area.
When he could, he also gathered up books from the admittedly limited libraries of Cauldron to read and learn from. He also was profoundly interested in gossip. He would frequent the taverns quiet often to listen to some drunken noble spill his guts on what was happening in court the week earlier. Local knowledge became a secret pleasure for him, and he lived somewhat vicariously thru all the movers and shakers in kingdom politics. His library of books grew quite extensive between his own purchases and those belonging to his wife.
At the age of 44, his daughter Felicia gave birth to a son whom she named Alexan. To his dismay, Chet found himself a grandfather. At this point in his life, with both children finally out of the house, he talked with his wife about completing his goal of becoming a wizard. She agreed to help him out as best as she could. Over the course of the next several years, Thilesia took time off from being a teacher to become a mentor to her husband in the ways of the arcane, expanding upon the lessons O’Kassler had begun all those years ago. During this period of teaching, the two traveled across the face of the nation, heading far to the west to a renowned library. There, the couple met and befriended Chancellor Nerith Alia, ally of the Arcane Order, and one of the library’s administrators.
It was during this time that Thilesia was invited to join the Arcane Order. Chet was naturally happy for her, and since she had brought him to such a center of learning, wished her well, as she left the library to begin her trials of completion. Chet spent the next few years in study while his wife was out and about doing things that the Order required of her. She was never allowed to reveal the nature of these assignments to her husband and was rarely even in communication with him. In their few brief talks via magical means, he told her not to worry about him, for there were plenty of books for him to read and that he would wait for her. Truth be told, he was happy for her to have joined the ranks of the Order, which he had always held in high esteem.
Then communication from Thilesia stopped completely. After a couple of years without hearing from her, Chet began to grow worried about his wife. He knew that she was doing important things for the Arcane Order, but there had never been such a long lapse in communication. He had nearly read every book allowed to him within the library and grew fidgety without his soul mate with him. So, after several conversations with Chancellor Alia, who seemed to know no more about Thilesia’s whereabouts, Chet decided at the age of 50 to begin to search for his long-absent wife. He felt that he should first search for the Arcane Order. Unfortunately, the members of the library informed him that they could not reveal the location to non-members or proven allies such as Alia. She was very apologetic to him, because they had become quite good friends during his stay at the library. He was sad, but said that he understood her position. So he left the library with no clear destination in mind.
He first traveled to capitol of the neighboring kingdom. There, he encountered a small cabal of magi that pointed him westward. From the capitol, Chet traveled west, through the great forests, a sprawling place that was home to many of the elven race where he spent a long time investigating the matters of the Arcane Order and his wife. He made many new friends among the elves but alas, his investigations turned up no new leads.
Back in Cauldron for the first time in several years, Chet manage to track down several vague leads, and spent the next few years following up on them. Unfortunately, in every instance, he came up empty. Discouraged after five years of searching to no avail, he slowly made his way back to the library of the west in the waning months of winter to see if Thilesia had returned. Upon his arrival, he found out from Alia that there had been no word from her in all the time that she had been gone.
After spending a couple more days at the library, Chet was approached by his old friend Alia. She felt she owed her old friend something, and put in a good word for him with the Arcane Order. They were sending a young cleric of St. Cuthbert to meet him in Cauldron who would require Chet’s aid. This aid would help the aging wizard prove himself in the Order’s service, and hopefully impress them enough to grant him acceptance. At that point, Alia hoped that he could find someone who had some information about his missing wife. It was the best she could do for him, considering the responsibilities she had to her peers at the library and the Order. It was a small gesture, but to Chet, an important one. He set off for Cauldron immediately.