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    Just testing how this works and trying to think of a way to use it. Heres one: Check out this rough draft and let me know what you think. I'm gonna submit it to canonfire one of these days... The History and Disappearance of Bucknard FOREWARD There is a nearly complete lack of background information about the enigmatic Bucknard; there is no canon reference prior to 571CY (as far as the author can discover). Pursuing this matter , the author contacted Mr. Gygax, the creator of the NPC Bucknard, who was agreeable enough to provide the following information about the origin of Bucknard: “Bucknard was an NPC I created out of whole cloth. He was based on a neighbor of mine when I was a lad, a Mr. Bucknall. He had a great garden, an apple tree with five different kinds of apples, and he knew astronomy well, assisted me with my 100 power telescope. He did use a small change purse, and from it he would extract a small coin to give to me now and again” (from ENworld messageboards) The author has attempted to stay true to the “Mr. Bucknall” spirit as expressed by Mr. Gygax, and to the infrequent references in the canon to Bucknard, while creating a rich and interesting character who may, or not, be of much interest or use to others. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Bucknard (as of his disappearance 579CY) [1] Bucknard (former member of the Circle of Eight) 18th level NG Wizard, age 39; STR 12, DEX 14, CON 10, INT 22, WIS 18, CHA 19. HP 44 (stats for 3x edition) Overview of an Arch-Mage At of the time of his disappearance, Bucknard is a solid 6’ with non-descript, generally Oerid features; a solid square jaw, dark brown hair and dancing grey eyes. Although not handsome, Bucknard has an easy charisma that invites friendship and laughter. Bucknard is blessed with a photographic memory, a sharp wit and affable nature [2]. He enjoys word-play of all types, and is a lover of verse and heroic tales (he has countless poems and epics memorized, and frequently quotes snippets when particularly applicable), and is an accomplished musician (mainly piano type instruments; he can get by on many string instruments also).He seems to never forgets a face or a name, and retains an encyclopedic knowledge of the protocols and intrigue in the courts from Niola Dra to Rel Mord [3]. Bucknard has excelled at nearly all the activities he has set his mind to: he is regarded as a powerful mage [4], a fine fencer and an excellent musician (his exploits in the kitchen, however, are unqualified disasters, as the mage Otto can attest). Bucknard’s true interests lie in deciphering the magic inherent in natural systems and objects [5]. He has unlocked the secrets of using mirrors and other objects as arcane portals and tools [6], and is generally considered an expert of interplanar and interdimensional places and travel [7]. He was also renowned for his knowledge and work in the field of “arthromancy” (i.e., mathematics--especially for his investigations into the nature of light [see his treatises on the geometry of light “Spectrale Geomectrics”, and also on the inherent magic of reflective surfaces , “Inexplicable Reflections” copies of both can be found in the Great Library of Greyhawk] and for his invention of a rudimentary form of integral calculus [his work “Principles of Aethromancy Infinitum” is regarded as a seminal text in this rather obscure field]). His interest in mathematics was the by-product of work examining the heavens (thus light and the reflection thereof) and the movements of the celestial objects (perhaps his finest arcane artifice was a large and very complex magical telescope used to inspect the heavens and its elements located at his villa in Thornward. It can reputably peer across vast distances and across planes and dimensions [8]). Youth and young manhood (548-557CY) The famed mage Bucknard was born on 4 Growfest 539CY in the crossroad town of Dountham in the March of Bissel [9]. He is a scion of the minor noble family Rhypthorn of Bissel, a clan well known for its magical prowess (March of Bissel Gazetteer pg. 39), and is a cousin of the reviled necromancer Evard the Black [10]. Although Bucknard spent his early childhood in the crossroad town of Dountham, most of his teenage and young adulthood were spent in Thornward, the then capital of Bissel. His magical aptitude was recognized (and expected) early by his family and he was sent to study under the Master of the Academy of High Arts in Thornward when he was only nine years of age. Bucknard was considered a prodigy; by the time he was fourteen he had overtaken the arcane skills, and displayed a width and breadth of knowledge that easily outstripped all of the other students, and nearly all of the tutors and members of the Academy. Bucknard gained some renown in 556CY winning a contest of magic in the City of Greyhawk and a fencing contest in Thornward, all in the same day! (at the age of only 17!) Agent of the Margrave (557-569CY) Bucknard’s ample and diverse skills were noticed by the Margrave of Bissel; over the next decade he was sent on various missions for the Margrave. Bucknard traveled to the far reaches of Zief (Bucknard was known to be fluent in both High Bakluni, and in many of the Low Bakluni dialects), Lapolla (where he met and eventually became close friends with Rary the Archmage of Ket [11]), Niole Dra, (where he met and famously dueled Lashton of Greyhill [12]), Mitrik, Chendle, Dyvers, and Greyhawk [13]. During his tenure as a representative of the Margrave, Bucknard became an expert diplomat (and spy...), using his ample charm, intellect, and photographic memory to become, by the time he was only 30, one of the closest and most influential advisors to the Margrave of Bissel. By this point, (569CY) Bucknard was a skilled mage (W13?) who had developed a network of informants and spies in the courts of all the major nations from Greyhawk to Niole Dra. During this period he had also developed no small skill as an artificer, specializing in the creation of useful arcane items of common appearance that would assist Bucknard’s agents in disposal of their duties (such as the eponymous “Everfull Pouch”) [14]. Up to this point, Bucknard was a familiar and popular figure at the Margrave’s Court, enmeshed in the political wheeling and dealings of the day, seemingly excelling at all of his endeavors. However, for reasons unknown, in early 569CY, he took leave of his service to the Margrave (some suspect that this change in heart was connected with the murder in late 568CY of Bucknard’s close friend and confidant Maduen of Wynaithe, a handsome young promising poet and composer) Travels (569-571CY) The next two years found Bucknard traveling widely; exact information about Bucknard’s whereabouts during this period are inexact, however, it seems to have included journeys to the Baklunish west (supposedly investigating the ruins of the ancient artificer Kwalish [15]) to the depths of the Castle Greyhawk and across many planes of existence (including several layers of the Abyss!). During the infrequent periods when he was in Thornward, he worked night and day in the workshop at his villa on diverse projects, both mundane and arcane. Herald of the Circle of Eight (571-579 CY) In early 571CY Bucknard was approached by the Archmage Mordenkainen to join the nascent Circle of Eight [16]. Mordenkainen was impressed by the wit, charm and boundless raw intellect of the young mage, and especially by the ease and subtlety of his craft. Mordenkainen also needed the network of political connections that Bucknard possessed, and envisioned Bucknard as the “Herald of the Circle of Eight” [17]. Bucknard eagerly accepted the offer. As a representative of the Circle, Bucknard extended his network and knowledge to include the width and breadth of the Flaeness; Bucknard was known and welcome in courts from Ratik, to Celene, to the Sea Princes. Bucknard was known to frequent the mad court of the Malachite Throne, the blood spattered throne room of Dorakka and the depraved wooden halls of Dantredun far to the north [18]. Through his service to the Circle, Bucknard was introduced to many people and entities, but none impressed the young mage like the being known as Keoghtom [19]. These two became immediate friends. They had similar personalities and interests; Bucknard is drawn to the exploration of the magic inherent in natural systems; similar to the arcane mysteries that Keoghtom represented. Bucknard spent a great deal of time with Keoghtom, traveling across the Oerth and the multiverse. Keoghtom pushed Bucknard to the limits of his abilities and with such a patron, Bucknard rapidly increased his skills and abilities, becoming an arch mage (W18) by the time he was 37 (576CY). The Disappearance of Bucknard (579CY) The Co8 has always been generally opposed to the machinations of the Old One, and has generally been unable to gain significant leverage. To change this, the Co8 devised a plan. This plan involved most of the members of Co8; Bucknard was involved extensively with this scheme, working from 577CY to 579CY, developing spies and currying favor within the dread halls of Dorakka. The plan was simple and audacious, it called for the location and capture of the soul object of Iuz. Through Bucknard’s spies and personal recon, the soul item of Iuz was discovered to be secreted in a citadel located in the most foul home plane of the demoness Tzuggtmoy, defended by some of her most depraved slaves. In mid-579CY Bucknard and other agents of the Co8 infiltrated the citadel, pierced through all the defenses with well wrought magics, cunning, skill and luck. The sanctum of the soul item was entered (after the bearding of the fearsome nalfashee master of the citadel), only to find a most unexpected, and for Bucknard, untenable situation. Upon entering the inner sanctum of the horrid fortress, the cunning and hatefulness of the Old One was realized; the Co8 agents discovered that Iuz used the living hearts of innocent children as the receptacle of his hateful, bitter soul. Bucknard was able to discern which of the children was the current receptacle of the Old Ones spirit, and immediately offered succor to the wraith of a child, who appeared aged, sickned and cloaked by seemingly vengeful barely visible shadows The agents argued over what to do with the child and the other children. Bucknard insisted that they take all the children with them back to Oerth. It is suspected that deep down Bucknard knew this task was impossible; yet he still attempted to open a gate to remove the children (supposedly using a wish), against the wishes of most of the Co8 agents. The agents knew when Iuz had arrived; the child bearing the Old Ones sprit was instantly slain, collapsing in a pile of dust, as a torrent of magical fire and destruction enveloped the agents. (reportedly Iuz himself and most of the Greater Boneheart appeared). All but ten of the children were slain and/or un-recovered [20]. Out of the eight agents, only two survived; Bucknard and his henchmen Hokerbrecht [21], both of whom were grievously injured. Mordenkainen and the rest of the Co8 were very disappointed with the mission and believed that Bucknard was solely responsible for the failure, primarily because his concern for the children, not gaining the soul object. Bucknard disagreed, and quarreled bitterly with Mordenkainen and other Co8 members. This left a great rift in their relationship. Iuz had recognized Bucknard, and sent his agents to capture and slay him. Bucknard retreated to the demi-plane of Keoghtom, then set out into the void, and has yet to return. FOOTNOTES Later
    Posted: 03-08-2005 01:33 pm