Copyright 2001 by Brandon Cope
 

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Cathyn, Hedge Wizard

ST: 11 [10] -- Swing: 1d+1, Thrust: 1d-1
DX: 12 [20] -- Speed: 5.75, Move 5
IQ: 13 [30]
HT: 11 [10]

Point Total: 166

Advantages: Literacy [10], Magery 3 [35], Status +1 [5], Reputation +2 (from local villagers and farmers) [10]

Disadvantages: Pacifism (Cannot Kill) [-15], Sense of Duty (local villagers and farmers) [-10], Skinny [-5]

Quirks: Dislikes weapons, Suspicious of strangers; Dislikes leaving area around village

Skills: Agronomy-13 [2]; Animal Handling-12 [2]; Area Knowledge (village and outlying farms)-14 [2]; Detect Lies-13 [4]; First Aid-14 [2]; Knife-11 [0.5]; Magic Jet-12 [2]; Merchant-13 [2]; Naturalist-12 [2]; Psychology-13 [4]; Research-12 [1]; Riding (Horse)-13 [4]; Staff-9 [0.5]; Stealth-13 [4]; Streetwise-13 [2]; Weather Sense-13 [2]

Languages: Native-13 [0]; Elvish-11 [1]; Orcish-11 [1]

Grimore: Air Jet-14 [1]; Alarm-14 [1]; Body of Air-14 [1]; Clouds-14 [1]; Create Air-14 [1]; Find Weakness-14 [1]; Identify Plant-15 [2]; Ignite Fire-14 [1]; Lend Strength-14 [1]; Light-14 [1]; Predict Weather-16 [4]; Purify Air-14 [1]; Rain-16 [4]; Recover Strength-16 [4]; Restore-14 [1]; Seek Earth-14 [1]; Seek Plant-14 [1]; Seek Water-14 [1]; Shape Air-14 [1]; Tell Time-14 [1]; Weaken-14 [1]

Equipment

Staff (2d+1 cr), small (utility) knife, hooded brown robe and leather boots, belt with three pouches (one for herbs, one for outdoor basics, one for snacks)

Appearance

5'5", 110 lbs, long black hair (in single braid), hazel eyes, deeply tanned skin, 29 years old

Biography

Early in Cathyn's apprenticeship to a scholarly wizard, Tezan, he told her that the hedge wizard valued result over form, which was why, combined with their constant association with peasants, he felt hedge wizards were the lowest of all mages.

Nearly a decade ago Cathyn and her mentor, on a trip to a nearby city, were passing through a small village when bandits attacked and killed Tezan. Cathyn would have been next had not Zara, the local hedge wizard, intervened and driven off the thugs. Cathyn was left stunned; Tezan was dead, she had only been an apprentice for two years, she was only 15 and her parents were over a hundred miles away. The villagers

avoided her, since Tezan had treated them poorly in the past; however, Zara offered to provide Cathyn with food and shelter for a few days. After a week, when Cathyn started preparing herself for the long journey home, Zara made her an offer: if Cathyn would stay and help her and in exchange Zara would continue Cathynís training. Reluctantly, Cathyn agreed, but said she would return home if the chance ever presented itself.

For the next three years, Cathyn was trained in "useful" spellcraft, not that "theoretical nonsense" Tezan had been teaching her (at least as far as Zara was concerned); however, Cathyn still had Tezan's old spellbook and, when she has had the time, learned new spells from it. Cathyn had finally reached the point where she had almost forgotten about the old wizard when disaster struck. The morning after she celebrated her 18th birthday, Zara was nowhere to be found. When she began asking around, the blacksmith, concerned, said he had seen the old woman around dawn, heading towards the forest to the south of the village, which was generally avoided. Cathyn quickly rounded up several of the villagers to help her search, but no trace was ever found.

Before Cathyn had the chance to panic, a multitude of minor emergencies occurred. With Zara gone, the villagers looked to her to help them. In retrospect, she considered it somewhat odd that all of the problems were just within her ability to solve and none were actually dangerous to anyone. At the time however, she was too busy solving them, and after nearly a month she had become the village's de facto hedge wizard.

At first, she tried to pursuade any wizard passing through to take over for her, but the thought of being paid for their services in hens, cheese and free home repairs did not appeal to them as much as the prospect of gold in dragon's lairs or advising a king. Gradually, as she has remained in the village, Cathyn has realized that she no longer needed to go home; she was already there.

Encountered

Cathyn rarely leaves the village, so it would be difficult for PCs to run into her anywhere else. In fact, she has only been away from the village for two weeks in the past decade; she made two trips to wizard's counsils in a city three days ride away, mainly to remind them that she exists and that magic has practical purposes. Those wizards who remember Tezan find it all rather ironical Ö

What if?

Since Cathyn's spell selection is similar enough to that of a "New Age" witch, she would fit in all but the bleakest Horror campaigns. Lower her staff skill to 10 and add Guns (Taser)-14. Change her non-human languages to some human tongues (Gaelic or Latin most likely). If desired, her spells could be changed to ritual magic. For a near-future setting, she may turn to ecoterrorism (this would prove especially interesting if she remains a Pacifist). Cathyn could fit into Discworld® as a witch, but it would require a bit of tweaking, as only one female wizard has so far been listed in the series.

Canonicality

Cathyn conforms to all normal GURPS® rules.

Adventure Seeds

Revenge: Cathyn's first mentor's youngest brother arrives, wanting the spellbook. He can't prove his identity, and when she refuses to hand the book over he leaves the village, vowing to return with enough muscle to take it by force. The PCs are enlisted to prevent them from entering the village, with the limitation that none of the ruffians may be killed.

Ghosts: A few miles before the party arrives at the village, they pass an old woman in the forest who quickly disappears. As they pass through, the fact is idly mentioned near Cathyn. She immediately asks the party to return with her to the site and help her locate the woman, who seems to fit the description of Zara...