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Character Stories

Howard Plum

Howard Purple is the fourth son of his father Duke Purple of the Dukedom of Turndile.

His father was very enthusiastic in having Howard become a member of the Celtic priesthood to continue the family tradition there. Howard, after over four years serving as an acolyte in the holy grove, failed to ever bring forth the spark of a spell. Next Howard spent time with the warriors of the household, but he never picked up on how to effectively use the traditional khopesh proving to be a failure there also. His mother insisted that Howard not be allowed to test his skill at juggling or other sleight of hand, but as time passed Howard found his calling to be magic through the means of magedom.

Frowned upon by his family, as mages were viewed poorly, his father decided that he should at least explore teaching his son the rudimentary functions of magic to see if that was his aptitude. Duke Purple traveled to Dryads Lair to enroll his son in a school, presuming that it would be a simple test like the priesthood. Finding that the magic guild in the city would not take in students who had not progressed at all in the magical arts, the Duke was stymied. It was decided that he should be made an apprentice to someone in the Guild to solve part of the problem. The Duke paid the mage Ogolvee a large sum of gold to ensure that Howard was trained properly in magic.

Mage Ogolvee took in Howard and taught him how to Read Magic. Seeing how he could pick up spells with work, he set him upon Copy to make him useful for the Guild. Shortly thereafter, Mage Ogolvee died of an ill cooked boar, leaving Howard alone in the Guild. The Guild Master chose to take Howard on and set him in the library to work. Occasionally he would ask about what spell progress Howard had made, but was continually disappointed in Howard’s level of usefulness to the Guild.

One day, Howard was called to the Royal Library to assist the Ambassador from Drillian by transcribing spell books. Within an hour of his arrival, Abe the first apprentice was frozen in place over an open spell book, the Royal Librarian was annoyed (to put it lightly), and Branwyn turned in Howard’s direction and demanded that he cast a spell to revive a dead mage when he had only learned two spells in his entire life and neither had any effect on any human being living or dead. As a result of this unfortunate afternoon, Ambassador Branwyn the Mysterious and Guild Master Midguard the Magnificent endowed upon Howard the moniker of Useless (quite unfairly in Howard’s opinion) and he was sent to serve as an apprentice in the Ambassador’s household.

Having suffered worse insults in his other career endeavors, he resigned himself to his fate and became determined to learn as much as he could before he was either sent back to the Guild or worse yet, back to his father having failed yet again. Largely ignored, he spent much of his time either in Branwyn’s library or out in the courtyard practicing. He eventually learned Magic Missile and found he could kill all the snails and spiders that made the mistake of trying to find a home in the Manor’s gardens. At last a spell one could use in the real world, and a battle spell at that, Howard thought, and allowed himself to be a bit happy.

Life was far more exciting in the Ambassador’s household. He had gotten blasted by the fiery breath of a hellhound and got to see a magical permanent fire in the courtyard. After these events, Branwyn apologized for her treatment of Howard and gave him his name back. By this time though, Howard decided that he wished to live his life on his own merits and so adopted the name Howard Plum instead of using his father’s surname.

His first real adventure came when he was allowed to go on a quest in search of a lost paladin’s keep. He travelled and fought as best he could with his one battle spell until on the way home he was brought down and eaten by an angry ankheg.

Jilly dived into the ankheg burrow to cut Howard free, but it was too late, as Howard was most assuredly dead and beyond the help of any healing touch. Branwyn brought Howard’s body home and arranged for him to be brought back to life so that he may continue to learn and perform magic as he had said he wished to do. All of this last part was told to Howard later. Having been given a taste of real magic and a second chance at life, he swore allegiance to Branwyn and vowed to follow her in the hopes of furthering his skills and learning and to serve a mage that believed he was worth saving.