The Archmages of Leng

Every king or queen must have a wizard, or so it is said. Although cheap conjurers and petty sorcerors abound throughout Leng, a tiny minority attain true power in the arcane arts: those known as archmages. These wizards are always of 12th level or above, but it is not merely being skilled in High Magic that makes one an archmage. Archmages are possessed of great reserves of power - both immediate and more subtle forms of power, such as ritual magic, summoned servants and magical items. They are also known for involving themselves directly in the affairs of the world. Whether Leng's rulers like it or not, all must acknowledge that an archmage can be as important as a king in the political games of Leng.

The way in which archmages choose to involve themselves are myriad. Some hire adventurers, subtly seeking to change events behind the scenes. Others go out themselves and, accruing followers, seek to change the world. A position as a court wizard or mediator between rulers is common. The tools available to an archmage are many, and they have many options with which to pull the levers of power.

Known Archmages

Deckard Fulmore

Court Mage of Ambrose

The "King's Wizard" in Ambrose is a powerful figure who has never hesitated to use others or dabble in forbidden magics if it suited his ends. He is well-known amongst his peers for his superb knowledge of alchemy and demonology, and is fond of taking apprentices in these arts and using them as his personal agents. He lived for most of his life in Vingaard, the nation of his birth, where his early life is a mystery.

Within Vingaard, Deckard Fulmore was known for keeping a low profile and devoting himself to his research. Behind closed doors, however, he had many rivals - who also tended to be mages focused on research. Those rivals tended to disappear even as Fulmore steadily continued his own secret work - no doubt aided by the downfall of his peers. He continued in this way until 202 AE, when he quickly vacated Vingaard following the death of Theleb Karna, a rival mage.

Whether Fulmore's expatriation was the result of mounting suspicions or a need for funds, he did not travel far - settling in the neighboring Lorknan city-state of Ambrose. There he was quickly installed as the King's Wizard and a personal advisor. Presumably, he has continued his life's work in private.

Marvolo the Red

Court Mage of Vingaard

A reluctant player in the game of nations, Marvolo the Red was formerly the Chief Mage of the Iron Crown: a state-sponsored group of adventurers tasked with protecting Vingaard in ways that regular troops cannot. With the disappearance and later defeat of Malvolio, the High Magus of Vingaard, Marvolo has inherited that position.

Compared to many other archmages, Marvolo is somewhat ill-equipped. Although he is a powerful and competent magic-user, his talents are more suited to combat and field work. He has access to the accumulated knowledge and resources of High Magus Malvolio - one of Leng's most powerful wizards - but much of it is obscure or protected by wards that will take some time to unravel. Given time, however, Marvolo's dogged approach to problem solving and his ability to innovate and use magic in unexpected ways may cause his star to rise considerably.


"Melf the Elf"

A non-native of Morus, Melfandrien originally hails from the plane of Oerth (see: the Greyhawk campaign setting). He has, however, spent significant time in Leng, and maintains rarely-occupied mansions throughout the country's capitol cities. It is believed that Melf considers Morus to be something of a "project", but one he devotes little time to. He is well-known for his sudden appearances across the world - thought by many to be the result of teleportation magic. In truth, Melf's base of operations is a Spelljammer enchanted to pass freely between the Material and Ethereal Planes and thereby become invisible. It is on this vessel that he jaunts from plane to plane.

When Melf does visit Morus, it is usually to check in on his various mansions and the apprentices who train there. Sometimes he will bring a higher-level apprentice from his vessel and leave them on Morus to guide the others, or take an apprentice with him when he leaves. It is believed that Melf's intention is to train a generation of magic-users who share his particular ideals and values.

Melf is a strong believer in diplomacy and mediation, to the extent that many consider him to be naive. When present in Morus, he will often take time out to help resolve disputes or issues between local rulers. As he frequently disappears for years at a time, however, his help cannot be relied upon. He is well-respected, not only for his immense arcane power - though he considered to be one of the most powerful living mages in the world. He is known to be both charming and vastly knowledgeable and experienced.

Melf is often surprising to those who meet him. A multi-classed fighter/mage, he does not meet any of the stereotypes of the waifish wizard. He is usually found armed with enchanted weapons and items, and favors magics that allow him to mix sorcery and steel to deadly effect. Combined with his deep knowledge of dead gods and buried evils, he is considered by many to be an "adventuring archmage".