Saturday, February 5, 2022

E is for Enchanter (and Elfriede)

 Uwe Weber lived a complicated life. Born in Halle, Germany, his parents are part of the Arcanogarchy – what happens when formerly state controlled magical assets find themselves unsupervised in the anarchic post-Soviet – and they had been anointed at the millennium to birth a vessel for pure, raw magic. Their son, Uwe, was kept magically ignorant so as to not taint the vessel in any way. Oh sure, he was trained in crime (espionage, forgery, computer hacking, surveillance, blackmail techniques) but no violence and no magic. On the eve of his 17th birthday he was told to come with his parents wearing no metal. A growing premonition and teenage rebellion made him swallow his grandfather's wedding ring. 

The presence of the metal disrupted the complicated ceremony in strange ways. To the Arcanogarchy it was clearly a failure: the boy didn't display any new magical potential, he just suffered from seizures and was rendered mute. Still, he was clearly loyal, still an asset. Might as well deploy him to the United States where he might spy on, disrupt, or possibly even infiltrate Skull and Bones, one of the Archanogarchy's adversaries in the war for magical dominium. Uwe happily took the assignment, taking pre-med classes at Yale, quickly finding a lovely girlfriend of Germanic descent, and making all the right social connections. The Archanogarchy are keeping him under light surveillance at best.

For Uwe, the ritual was VERY different. The Fae Court (which is the only way Uwe's mind could process the pure magic entities he contacted) carried on a timeless conversation with him while his newly minted ability to detect weaknesses told him every pathology and scheme of his parents and the rest of the Archanogarchy as the seizures wracked his body. One of their number, Elfriede, bound herself to him to act as his guardian and an ambassador from the Fae Court. While his body is a permanent conduit to pure magic – letting him move things and himself through an infinite array of means as well as sense weaknesses and speak to objects – his grandfather's ring was an even more powerful one. The band of gold marries him to pure magic, letting him create objects, including armor and vehicles, with nothing but a word. The power can be draining if used too much, but it is infinite in scope. 

Unfortunately, Uwe's lack of magical training betrays him: he cannot control the wishing power of the magic, and any words he says can change the world. As a result, he doesn't dare speak. As Uwe he communicates via talking technology (he's learning sign language); as the Enchanter he speaks only to make changes to the world, and otherwise Elfriede does the talking for him, whatever her current shape. 

His criminal training has let him create a fake identity or three for Elfriede in the US. She normally passes as Ellie Weaver, his pure and beautiful girlfriend (the Maiden), but from time to time she's been his wise doting Mother Ellen Weber, and has the papers to be Elfriede Weber, his cruel to kind grandmother (Crone). When he's operating as Enchanter, Elfriede takes the shape of small familiars, normal-ish animals, or, if he gives her a boost of magical energy, something large enough to be truly dangerous and carry Enchanter and his allies. (Of course, he can also have her familiar sized and create a chariot or broomstick or what have you). She can't form shift or size change during a fight, so her tactics are locked in once she's selected her form. 

In addition to trying to thwart the Archanogarch's plans, he's also investigating Skull and Bones, who, we must stress, are not any better. There's a secret war going on between powerful and connected magicians, and the Enchanter is putting himself in the way of all of them. 

Creation Notes

This is absolutely another character where the power set did not immediately inspire. I knew I wanted a magic powers / magic items hero but the mediocre stats (Uwe really is just a normal guy, if a little smarter than average) and nothing to bolster them hurt, and the last-ditch attempt on the Skills table to get something landed Pet. It took a while and looking at the PCs from several different angles to land on Enchanter, but once I realized I could take the Kyle Rayner Green Lantern route where he never did something the same way twice helped a lot. Enchanter was suddenly a lot more powerful in my head because of his visual versatility. His relatively low Agility hampers him, but between his actions, Elfriede's actions and his vehicles action on 8, the player acts 4.5 times a round, just all at the end. His biggest issue is his most effective attacks (his Animate Illusions) also drain his Power score, which weakens the Illusions. Still, I can see him as being very fun to play. 

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