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Saturday, November 14, 2020

Lands of Mirhne: The Sorcerers, Part 2

For some on Mirhne, the term 'Sorcerer' conjure up the image of evil foreign wizards. They are foul men indebted to even fouler gods with 'unnatural' features to the Men of Mirhne. The isolation of Mirhne's culture has bred a certain level of xenophobia. To some extent this is to be expected or even healthy, as in their barbaric world anything which is foreign is a potential enemy or rival. One Sorcerer has exploited this stereotype willingly and openly, marking himself as a strange and vile exotic threat, preying on the superstition of the Men of Mirhne.

Arash Adraj, the 'Man of the South' (The Trickster)

Art by Duy An Doh.
The sorcerer who call himself Arash Adraj is the archetypal evil sorcerer from foreign lands. His features are either swarthy and hideous or strangely thin and sallow. His clothing, whichever form it take, is always strange and exotic and colorful compared to the more drab colors of the Men of Mirhne. He is either bald with busy eyebrows or sporting a magnificent beard which is style in odd and foreign ways. Whenever he does appear, he conjure the image of all which is alien and exotic. The men of Mirhne fear him as the evil foreigner with inscrutable goals, who speak in forbidden tongues and worship evil foreign gods.

In truth, this is (mostly) an act. For he is The Trickster.

A master of disguise and illusions, the man who goes by the current identity of 'Arash Adraj' has had many names thanks to his extended life span and unnatural powers, the only things the Sorcerers share among each others. He is the weakest of the Sorcerers and the only one which has likely been born in past centuries, to some isolated island folks to the deepest south of Mirhne. Ethnically and culturally distinct as they might have been they were still cousins to the men of Mirhne and not evil, devils-worshiping barbarians. Should one dig into the past of Arash Adraj they would, perhaps, be able to discover that he is the most recent of the Sorcerers and began his life as a mortal man (whether he still is a human being is debatable) in these now mostly extinct folks before learning his craft at the hand of one or more Sorcerer, enacting foul rituals and sacrificing people to eldritch powers. Of the Sorcerers he is among the most active in recent history and yet the hardest to ascertain. The man calling himself 'Arash Adraj' is a master of disguises, both magical and mundane. He has learned to speak hundred of languages and even invented some languages and accents whole cloth to further play along his disguise as strange foreign travelers. Simple trickery and manipulation come naturally to him and he can accomplish much without any hint of true eldritch powers.

His current identity as Arash Adraj is a relatively recent creation. After claiming one or more remote locations, he used his powers and manual labor to construct crude palaces which were then coated in layers of illusion to appear far larger and more grandiose than they really are. From these bases of operation he has created the identity of 'Arash Adraj'. an evil foreigner with inscrutable motives enthralled to evil gods, a slayer of kings and the supposed envoy of an evil empire from the other side of the world. Of the Sorcerers he is the most motivated by material wealth and pleasure but, given his nature as a trickster nobody can ever ascertain what his real, eldritch goals, might be.
  • The Trickster/'Arash Adraj' is the most approachable of the Sorcerers and the one most suited to be a patron...yet is also quite dangerous and a liability. His person as a mad, exotic wizard or some evil exiled emperor might be quite amusing but they are enforced cruelly. Many of his slaves die in terrible display of violence ever so often if only so he can make grandiose declarations akin to "You have failed me for the last time!".
  • The Trickster has a harem in his 'Arash Adraj' and he is not above kidnapping beautiful young maiden. The truth is that he isn't as vile as the stories claim and his many wives do live a rather lavish wife. Of course, the Trickster is not above sacrificing a few of them once in a while to power eldritch rituals or if he suspect one of them is trying to usurp him. He also has a second harem of men but those he keep for other identities and disguises...
  • Any possible adventure could lead into the Trickster being the real 'man behind the man'. As the weakest Sorcerer he can make a good antagonist, since any mighty thewed barbarian hero has a chance to take him on in a fight. Whether or not the killing blow was a real killing blow and not an illusion, however, well that will remain to be seen...

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