Part Three of Three, this article gives more detail on the relationship between the garrison commander Drazen and the Boneheart Archmage Cranzer.
These two powerful wizards were born on an isolated moor in
Iuz's realm. Their father was a minor
local warlord and their mother was his mercenary court wizard. They both grew skilled in the dark arts at
early ages and through their skills, became war wizards in the armies of
Iuz. Through hard campaigning and
occasional adventuring, they grew powerful, with Cranzer showing exceptional
talent and skill in a meteoric rise to power.
As a member of the Lesser Boneheart, Cranzer is one of the
top wizards of Iuz and administers the Riftcrag region. Alone among Iuz's servants, he takes Drazen's advice and has found success because
of it. In addition to his considerable
magical skills, Cranzer is an able administrator and a careful planner. His one flaw is that he lacks a strong will,
that is something Drazen has in large amounts.
So the two complement each other well when they are together, Cranzer's
power with Drazen's support makes them formidable foes. Drazen often describes his issues at Trollbar
to Cranzer and Cranzer in return provides sound tactical and technical
advice. So the two wizards had hidden
resources in each other that can give them an edge in their administrations and
Their cooperation makes them especially dangerous. They have developed a system of codes that
the two of them can relay to each other on the battlefield that communicates a
variety of instructions and information.
The code is a complex series of numbers that the mages can either shout
to each other in battle or relay through other means. They thoroughly plan ahead their spells so as
to best complement each other, but use this code to adjust to conditions on the
Cranzer is a short, middle aged man who, like Drazen, is
physically unremarkable. He is noted for
being a better dressed wizard, eschewing the standard black robes of evil
wizards for a flashy dark-blue, bakluni-influenced, customized ghastrobe (he can control the scent to
be released at his will). Indeed,
Cranzer's two hobbies are alchemy and tailoring. Drazen respects his brother's sense of style
and skills and always tries to earn his approval. Drazen is described in Trollbar Part I.
Through the use of their magic boxes, the two keep in
constant contact with each other. While
they can only pass on small items in this manner, potions, scrolls, luxury
items, and small magical devices can travel vast distances in a short amount of
time. Recently, Drazen managed to get a
traveling band of merchants to sell him a new set of clothes. Wishing to show off to his more dapper
brother, he stuffed them into the box with a note asking for Cranzer's opinion
on his "high northern fashion".
Cranzer is attempting to formulate a response but is having
difficulty. He is ruthless and all, but
he does not really have the heart to tell his brother that not even Zagyg would
be caught dead wearing anything so tacky!
possibilities with these two characters.
Drazen and Cranzer share a tight bond. Either of them would go to save the life of
the other. An assault on Drazen at
Trollbar or Cranzer at Riftcrag can earn any adventurers a long term villain to
hound their steps from that point on.
Cranzer has all the intrigues of being a Boneheart wizard to occupy his
time, while Drazen is practically exiled.
Cranzer's problems with governing Riftcrag and the Bandit
Kingdoms are detailed in Iuz the Evil. Basically, he has to keep the valuable silver
mines in the Rift Canyon flowing back to his master in Dorakaa. Cranzer is plagued with corrupt underlings
and problems with rebels in the rifts, so he is always in a very difficult
position. Drazen is still setting up the
schemes described in Trollbar Part I.
The notes that Drazen took in his tour of the Empire of Iuz would be
invaluable to the good nations that oppose the cambion. Because the powers that be in Dorakaa have
not taken any of Drazen's notes seriously, they may be relatively easy to
steal. The notebook was last seen
somewhere in the headquarters of the Boneheart in Dorakaa.
For an additional twist, maybe Drazen and Cranzer's mother
is still alive. This can open up an
unforeseen challenge if your players have a habit of hacking and slaying their
way through the lands of Iuz. That old
minor hedge wizard your adventurers slew out of hand may have some surprising
sons out for vengeance (even vile wizards love their mama). A variation on that theme is perhaps their
mother is more (or can become more) powerful than either Drazen or Cranzer,
giving one more powerful foe seeking revenge should an adventuring party cross
paths with these deadly wizards.