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The History of Bradock Quasar, Suloise Mage
Posted on Fri, June 18, 2010 by LordCeb
Braggi writes "Not as well known is Braduck Quasar, an NPC Paul submitted to the World of Greyhawk Fan club in the mid 1990’s. Braduck was included in one of the two Grimoire collections put out by the fan club. In digging through old sources, I was inspired by Paul’s NPC and decided to expand on his history, adding details and dates. The purposes here are to explore just why the ancient Suloise mages were feared and to answer the question of “What if one of them survived into the modern Flanaess?”  To that end, I submit a re-worked version of Paul’s original NPC, renamed to “Bradock” out of respect for Paul’s original creation. Many thanks to you, Paul, for creating Braduck, his background and his spells.

The History of Bradock Quasar, Suloise Mage

   Bradock Quasar was a powerful mage - a respected and feared fire elementalist who lived in the Suel Imperium in the era just before the Rain of Colourless Fire. He was a member of the mages council and enjoyed the attention of the Emperor. In 5080 SD (-437 CY) Quasar was given charge of a fortress in the south-central Crystalmists. Following the Emperor’s edicts, Quasar hired humanoid mercenaries, composed of orcs, goblins, ogres, and bugbears to protect the border in the war with the Bakluni. He bolstered their ranks with human warriors and summoned elemental creatures from the Inner Plains. Bradock performed his charge with exceptional cruelty and was kept as leader of the fortress, now named Flamereach in his honor, for the next fourteen years. When the Emperor ordered the Invoked Devastation of the Bakluni, Quasar was recalled to the capital and participated in its creation in 5095 SD (-422 CY). After the Baklunish cities were destroyed, Bradock returned to Flamereach for an extended period of study - the recent discovery of a source of volcanism in caves at the root of the mountain the fortress was built upon gave Quasar the promise of many years of elemental research.

   Unknown to the Suloise, the surviving Bakluni had entered into a pact with Dorga Torgu. They brought down the Rain of Colorless Fire, destroying the unprepared Suel Empire. Bradock, erroneously believing all the Bakluni destroyed, placed the blame for this treachery on the Emperor’s son, Zellifor, branding him a traitor. Quasar took it upon himself to avenge the Emperor and all those that died in the Rain. For the next three years, the mage sought the prince through his mercenary forces and the various magics he had at his disposal. Eventually, Zellifor was found with a sizable force of retainers and Bradock went to confront him in 5101 SD (-416 CY).

   Bradock marched his army against Prince Zellifor’s forces and a great battle ensued. Quasar and his personal cadre of elemental minions fought a number of mages protecting the Prince. After the intense magical combat, the fire elementalist was gravely injured and his army nearly destroyed. He finally reached Prince Zellifor, also badly hurt. Despite a costly personal struggle Bradock was able to capture his foe. After subduing the prince, Quasar teleported Zellifor to the now-ruined Suel capital of Suendrako, to force the prince to see with his own eyes the full extent of the devastation. As his final act of revenge, the mage stranded Zellifor naked within the ruins, unprotected and exposed to the destructive magical forces that still lingered.

   After taking his vengeance, the fire elementalist returned to his fortress. The surrounding mountains had changed during the Rain, emitting clouds of smoke, ash and destructive lava flows. Retiring into Flamereach, located in what the survivors were beginning to call the northern Hellfurnaces, Quasar decided to withdraw from notice in the affairs of Oerth - his army was destroyed and the mage himself had taken a near-mortal wound in the fight with Zellifor. With the loss of the Suel Empire and its Emperor, Quasar had no financial or military support to continue his original duties. Bitterly scraping together the ragged remnants of his mercenaries and the treasure that remained, Quasar secured first Flamereach, and eventually a 100-square-mile area of the Hellfurnace range, locking out the rest of the world. Similar to the mountains around him, Quasar’s temperament had changed, becoming brooding, vengeful and volatile.

   During the years of isolation Bradock came to the decision that an attempt to refound the Empire or attack its remaining enemies would be futile, at least at that time. Even when the news eventually reached him of the survival of the lone Suel city of Lo Nakar in the western Sulhauts, the mage held to his course. He would take as long as needed, using his territory in the Hellfurnaces as a staging ground to rebuild his forces, and then move north. By settling in the heart of the Baklunish lands after the Devastation had subsided in the centuries to come, Quasar planned to create a new Suloise homeland and empire almost upon the ashes of the old.

   Quasar busied himself with researching new spells, creating magical items and investigating planar travel. He successfully created potions of longevity to extend his span of years and armed his troops with fire-, smoke- and magma-based items that he created. The mage also slowly began recruiting humanoid troops, inducting firenewts with their giant strider mounts into his forces, since the creatures had moved in and settled throughout the Hellfurnaces in the years after the Rain. They in turn enthusiastically accepted the leadership of a mage specializing in fire magic.

   Bradock’s most ambitious project centred on his obsession for vengeance - the loss of the Empire had driven the desire for retribution deep into the mage’s soul. He began to create an artifact in the name of Joramy, his personal goddess. The artifact took the form of a simple adamantite gauntlet clenched into a fist and suspended on a chain of the same metal. The medallion’s purpose was to allow its wielder to take revenge upon any person or creature that had done them some wrong or injustice. Upon its completion, Quasar named the item Joramy's Vengeance. (See Oerth Journal 11 for a full description of this item.)

   While Bradock remained isolated from the rest of the world, scattered survivors of the Suel Empire were emerging from the newly made Sea of Dust. A number of them arrived in the lands controlled by the mage’s fortress, seeking to settle. Quasar granted them new homes on the surface and, as their numbers increased, in several caves and caverns of UnderOerth accessible from the lower reaches of Flamereach. Bradock’s protection came with a price: all who were able must join his forces and swear that their descendants would protect his new Suloise Empire when he established it. Upon discovering that this would not be until several centuries had passed, to allow the effects of the Invoked Devastation to subside, the refugees quickly agreed to the terms.

   The Suloise refugees also brought with them news that electrified the mage - the Rain of Colorless Fire had been caused by the surviving Bakluni. The realization that his vengeance had been misdirected came close to unhinging Quasar completely - he had not only chosen the wrong target for revenge, he had slain the last surviving member of the Suloise Imperial family in doing so! Fearing the wrath of his goddess, Bradock undertook several rituals to appease her. He cast a number of his personal magical items into the lava pools deep beneath the keep and even sacrificed some of the newfound settlers in secret. Perhaps Joramy approved of the mage’s acts of atonement, since Quasar always attributed the outcome of later events to her favor.

   In 5161 SD (-356 CY), after some 60 years of near-complete isolation, an army of four hundred Bakluni veterans entered the Hellfurnaces from the northwest. Seeking territory to claim as their new home in the changed lands of their ancient enemies, the Bakluni attacked and razed any settlements - human or otherwise - that they came upon. After two months of terror, the remaining Suloise survivors fled into the caves below Quasar’s fortress. Believing that the Bakluni were unstoppable, the war-torn remnants’ morale finally broke and the majority of the refugees fled into UnderOerth, never to be seen again.

   Scouts of the advancing Baklunish force finally discovered what they believed to be an empty but intact fortress of Suel design. Deciding to occupy the fortress and settle the surrounding territory, the main force of warriors marched up to the gates. As they approached magical traps of fire and death magic were triggered, slaying over a quarter of the soldiers. Worse still for the would-be invaders, Bradock himself emerged from Flamereach for the first time in six decades.

   Quasar’s desire for revenge and the need to appease his goddess led to an attack, the ferocity of which the Baklunish had not seen the like of before. Bradock personally engaged the army with his arsenal of spells and the of powers Joramy’s Vengeance. With the advantage of surprise and after a short but extremely violent battle, the mage utterly crushed the Baklunish force, destroying them almost to a man. The few survivors fled to the Baklunish lands with tales of a mage with incredible power.

   In truth, Bradock had slain over two thirds of the Baklunish force in the first minutes of battle. With such a complete defeat, the battered remnant sought easier and safer lands to settle. No further expeditions were sent into the Hellfurnaces and the area was considered anathema. A watch was placed on the border of the mountains, but this slowly dwindled as the majority of the Baklunish withdrew to their colony lands of Zeif, Ekbir, Tusmit and Ket far the to the north. Bradock was eventually forgotten, save for scattered legends amongst the Dry Steppes nomads and the southern Uli of a terrible magical fury hidden somewhere within the northern Hellfurnaces.

 

Current Sketch

   Quasar has survived, despite the intervening centuries since the destruction of the Suel Empire. Although almost a thousand years of age, he still appears as a man in his early sixties thanks to the use of longevity potions. Bradock has established areas within his stronghold containing many strange magical effects, most relating to fire. The mage maintains portals to different inner planes, as well as ancient magical devices believed to have been lost with the Rain.

   The battle with the Baklunish did cost Quasar however: his crowning achievement, Joramy’s Vengeance, vanished once the engagement was complete. All of his attempts to locate the artifact through scrying and consultation with powerful inner planar creatures have not provided any clue as to its current whereabouts.

   Bradock has become obsessive about the events that destroyed his countrymen and home. His library contains many ancient texts of Suloise history along with his collection of spell books. Within these books are treasure troves of strange and powerful spells dating back to the Suloise Empire. A few of the books contain histories and annotated timelines of the Invoked Devastation, the Rain of Colorless Fire, and the resulting migrations of the Suloise. These texts would be priceless to a modern scholar, assuming a translation could be made from the ancient Suloise vernacular they are recorded in.

   Over the years Quasar has devoted himself to traveling the Inner Planes of Magma, Smoke and, of course, Fire. He has managed to secure ties with lesser Elemental and Para-elemental lords. Armed with new knowledge and these alliances, Bradock is still intent upon re-establishing his cherished Suel Empire.

   The mage remains isolationist, but has gained much knowledge of the modern Flanaess, especially regarding the hated Baklunish to the far north of his tiny realm. His current forces include firenewts, other humanoids and a number of permanently summoned elementals along with one or two rogue efreet.

   Perhaps the most disturbing event for the Flanaess as a whole connected to the long history of Quasar is the recent arrival of agents of the Scarlet Brotherhood. The agents are delighted to have found a living representative of their ancient empire. They openly back his plans to deal with the rest or the Flanaess, beginning with the Baklunish nations. They may even have learned of the survival of Lo Nakar through perusal of the fire elementalist’s voluminous and meticulous histories and chronologies of the Twin Cataclysms. The future plans of the Brotherhood regarding Quasar are currently unknown, but it is likely they will begin moving colonists to the Hellfurnaces from the Tilvanot via their hidden holdings in the Amedio.

 

Bradock Quasar

Neutral Evil Human Male, 26th Level Magic-User (Fire Elementalist)

Strength: 12 (To Hit/Dmg: Nil/Nil; OD: 1-2; BBLG 4%)

Intelligence: 19 (+Lang: 7; Learn Spell: 95%; # Spells: 11/All)

Wisdom: 10 (MAA: Nil, Bonus Spells: N/A)

Dexterity: 12 (RAA: N/A; 0 to AC)

Constitution: 17 (HP Adj: +2; SSS: 97%; RS: 98%)

Charisma: 12 (LB: 0%; RA: 0%)

AC: -5; Shieldless: -5; Surprised: -5

Size: M (5’8” tall)

Move: 12

Hit Points: 64

Base THAC0: 11; Strength: N/A; Missile: N/A

No. of Attacks: 1 or 2 (daggers)

Damage: By weapon

Base Saving Throws: P/P/DM: 8; P/P: 5; RSW: 3; BW: 7; Spell: 4

Current X.P.: 6, 621,423

 


Magic-User Abilities

  • Spells: 6,6,6,6,5,5,5,5,5
  • +1 spell per spell level
  • +1 to all saving throws versus spells from the school of
  • +25% chance to learn fire spells +15% to learn other elemental spells and -25% to learn non-elemental spells
  • +2 to saves vs. fire spells and opponents are a-2 to their saves vs. them
  • May memorize 1 additional elemental spell per spell level available
  • May cast one fire elemental spell per day as if 1d4 levels higher then normal
  • Treats fire spells as if one level lower in difficulty when researching them
  • Does not need to concentrate to control summoned fire elementals and runs no risk on them turning on him
  • Immune to 1st level Illusion/Phantasm spells due to high Intelligence
  • 5% M.R. due to robe
  • +1 to all saves due to robe
  • Reduction to opponents saves and/or M.R by 20% when casting charm monster, charm person, friends, hold monster, hold person, polymorph other or suggestion due to robe

 

Items

Staff of fire (+2 weapon, spells as per wand of fire but all effects are at 8th level of casting ability) (fully charged) 3 daggers +3, Suloise robes of the archmagi, bracers of defense AC 0, wand of fire (fully charged), wand of fireballs (fully charged), wand of flame extinguishing (81 charges), ring of elemental command (fire), pouch of holding (75 lbs capacity), potions of fire breath, healing, extra healing, and intensity*, cubic gate (the 5 faces lead to: a) the Elemental Plane of Fire, b) the Para-elemental Plane of Smoke, the Para-elemental Plane of Magma, the spell casting chamber in Flamereach and the ruins of his magical laboratory in Suendrako).

 

*See WG12 – Fate of Istus for item description.

 

Spell Book

All fire spells from the 1st Edition PHB and UA; otherwise, DM’s choice, but must include teleport, teleport without error, and conjure elemental/para-elemental (fire and smoke/magma respectively) and all of Bradock’s personal spells. Bradock’s spells can be found (in 2nd Edition format in) in Magick.txt from the first Greyhawk Grimoire Collection of files.

 

Sources

NPC adapted from Paul Rokuskie’s character sketch in the Greyhawk Grimoire Collection, Oerth Journal 11, WG12 - Fate of Istus, World of Greyhawk Boxed Set, Guide to the World of Greyhawk, First and Second Edition Player’s Handbooks





Note: ***This NPC is submitted in commemoration of the additions to the World of Greyhawk contributed by Paul Rokuskie. Paul authored numerous fan adventures for the campaign (the Elder Elemental God Pentology, The Soul Husks, Gibbering Gate and Delvenbrass to name only a few) as well as creating spells, deity descriptions and artifacts. Joramy and her artifact Joramy’s Vengeance can be found in Oerth Journal 11 and his vision of Norebo also appeared in Oerth Journal 15."
 
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Re: The History of Bradock Quasar, Suloise Mage (Score: 1)
by Argon on Sat, June 19, 2010
(User Info | Send a Message)
Nice take on this NPC. I know a few players who would like to meet him a suel mage of power. I saw this and thought it was for the post fest.



Re: The History of Bradock Quasar, Suloise Mage (Score: 1)
by Mystic-Scholar on Sat, September 25, 2010
(User Info | Send a Message) http://mysticscholar.blogspot.com/
Another excellent addition to our ever growing list of NPCs. Well done, Braggi. Your efforts to bring an expanded Bradock to us are much appreciated.

Looking forward to your next submission.




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