Owen (NPC)... (Admin Update Owen)

Duke of Geoff

Appearance


15th Illusionist / 14th Fighter
Str 17, Int. 18, Wis. 13, Con. 12, Dex 17, Cha 13.
AC -5 (Bracers AC 2, Cloak of Displacement, Helm of Brilliance),
HPS. 141, AL LG. Born 542 CY

The third and youngest child of Grand Duke Niall IV, Owen was a boy who neither expected nor wanted to ascend to the throne of his country. Though he grew up to be a fine, strapping lad, he was always more interested in puzzles and exploration than the arts of combat or rulership. Encouraged by his gnomic tutor Fitzmillian Drimspark Owen discovered a gift for sleight-of-hand, and eventually for the arts of illusion. By the time he was 30 he had become one of the foremost illusionists in the land, and even took special training in the renowned gnomic sanctum of Rilliaun -- an unheard-of honour for a human!

Had he continued in his studies, some say he might have become the most gifted illusionist in all of Oerik; alas, fate intervened. His elder brother Conaire was killed in a battle with marauding giants in CY 560, and in 573 the Grand Duke died quietly in his sleep. Succession thus passed to his sister Maeve, but her status as a Druidess soon became a source of serious friction. Despite their great respect for Druidism, the nobles of Geoff were unwilling to have a queen whose vows technically subordinated her to the dictates of the Great Druid. Though the nation's first and greatest king had been a druid, many noted that King Geoff had himself been the Great Druid, thus removing any conflict. Clearly, that was not the case this time.

Faced with this conflict between her vows and her duty, Princess Meave accepted the crown - then stunned the nation by renouncing her claim to the throne in her inaugural speech. Her path, she said, lay as a caretaker for the land and its spirit. Its temporal care would pass to her successor, and that successor would be her younger brother Owen. Then she officially abdicated in his favour, placing the crown on his head and bowing to her new liege.

Owen was not stupid, and indeed had foreseen this possibility. With a heavy heart he put aside his study of magic, and vowed to uphold his duties as Geoff's Grand Duke. Part of that traditional role included proficiency in the arts of war, and so it was that his father's death forced Owen to finally take the path his father had always wished: the path of the warrior.

Traits

Owen is a good and kindly man, but his formidable accomplishments as an illusionist are indicative of his mastery of deception and intrigue. He will hew to is word, but that word may not be exactly what one thinks it is unless one listens very carefully. Most outsiders tend to guess that he is CG, unless they are well-versed enough in the lore of Geoff to realize that trickery and wit are a valued and integral trait of all of this culture's heroes. His countrymen fully expect such behaviour from their leaders, and respect Owen for his ability to preserve freedom of action without violating either his word or Geoff's customs.

Though he never wished to be king, Owen is determined to make the best of his situation and is a truly dangerous opponent. The same fondness for puzzles and understanding of misdirection which made him a renowned illusionist also make him a formidable strategist, and diligent training has made him a worthy foe in personal combats as well. Wracked by self-doubt at times since the stunning loss of his lands, Owen nonetheless shows a confident and determined face to the world. The March of the Thousand and other stories of individual heroism do much to improve his moods, and those whose deeds are particularly noteworthy will find him a loyal and generous patron. Still, he does have a reclusive and aloof side; many know him, it is said, but very few know him well.

One noteworthy trait of Owen's is his love of hunting, especially monster- hunting. He is respected even by the rangers of Geoff for his skill, and with his formidable abilities and faithful pack of Blink Dogs there is little he cannot bring to bay and slay once the chase is begun.

Magic

A millennium of coexistence with the elven and gnomic peoples, and the steady accumulation of magic over that time, has made the rulers of Geoff formidable indeed! As the Grand Duke of Geoff, Owen possesses a number of powerful items bequeathed to his line by each of Geoff's peoples over the centuries. His crown is in fact a Helm of Brilliance (7 diamonds, 12 rubies, 17 fire opals, 30 opals left), and other gifts from the elves include a potent set of Bracers of Defense, a Ring of Spell Turning, Ring of Shooting Stars, and of course a set of Cloak and Boots of Elvenkind which dates from King Geoff's days. Owen's +4 defender shortsword is an ancient weapon of dwarven war-leaders, gifted to his line 300 years ago in recognition of Grand Duke Niall II's valour in battle.

Wondrous items indeed; yet it may be the gnomes who have contributed the most valuable gifts. One is a Robe of Disguise, which functions exactly as the hat of the same name. With it the Grand Dukes have often walked among their people undetected to learn of their grievances and hopes, and their rulership has benefited greatly thereby. The second item is the Amulet of Veiling. While wearing it, all attempts at detection or ESP magics are confounded, the magics warped until the caster is deceived into believing that which is most congenial to him instead of what actually is (no save). Scrying attempts are likewise misdirected, and the wearer will be informed immediately. Though this does not include knowledge of the scrying's origins, it does enable the wearer to instantly project a scene of his choice instead, in the manner of a False Vision spell. Only detections of invisibility will function normally against a wearer of this amulet.

Also included in the royal arsenal are King Geoff's Staff-Spear +4, and Owen's new Cloak of Displacement which proudly wears in place of the traditional elven cloak. He enchanted it himself, using the hides of several displacer beasts slain in his hunting expeditions.

The Grand Duke's resources are slightly depleted as a result of recent events, but much was either evacuated in time or stored with the elves. As such, Owen and his retinue may be assumed to have several additional miscellaneous items as appropriate for various situations.

Aftermath

At present, Owen's focus is on running intelligence operations from his base in Shibboleth. This is an aspect of warfare that has always appealed greatly to him, and fortunately necessity appears to demand this role right now. While he realizes the scope of the challenge his people face, the Grand Duke believes that a combination of solid intelligence, well-executed special missions, and a continuous stream of deception and disinformation operations will eventually unbalance the situation in his favour. He may well be right.

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