Hamako the Black is a short, middle-aged man, with a developing paunch and receeding hairline. His over-large, hooked nose and close-set eyes only serve to make him even more unattractive. He tends to dress in ill-fitting mage’s robes, and has a habit of deliberately attracting attention to himself.
Hamako the Black is an odd, and unpleasant fellow. He claims to be a wizard, and to be sure seems to have done some things that only could have been accomplished with magic. Still, he is far from the typical member of his trade. He’ll sweep into a village and demand the best room at the inn, the best food, and often gold and goods, and terrifies the locals until they give him what he wants, usually without being paid. His mute servant, Mouse, an albino, sickly, undersized boy of fifteen, plainly regards his master with a combination of terror and hatred. Many don’t like the harsh way Hamako uses his servant, but none so far have been brave enough to intervene.
If any dare to defy him, or show doubt of his magic, he will make an example of them, usually in a terrible way. In one village, he made a man shrivell up and die right in front of their eyes. In another, he called up a storm that wrecked the village and destroyed the fields. Despite his apparent power, however, he is a coward, and will run from some one on or above his level.
Though he calls Mouse his servant, the boy is really little more than a slave. He is not paid, and should he do anything that annoys his master, he suffers for it. Though Mouse dreams of running away or escaping his abusive master, he lacks the force of will. Hamako bought him from an orphanage when he was very young, and has by this point in his life broken him completely. Though he will not hinder someone opposing Hamako, he is too afraid to take any positive action to help.
Hamako is the ultimate form of bully. He preys on those weaker than him, and runs from those stronger. He has never fought a fair battle in his life.
However, he has a secret. He is almost incapable of performing any magic on his own. He has the knowledge, but the power is lacking. But there is one thing he can do, and do well, and that is to steal the power of others. His primary source is his servant, Mouse. Mouse is the son of a mighty sorcerer, and Hamako recognized the raw power the boy possessed. So Hamako accquired him, and cut his tongue out to ensure that Mouse could never speak any spells against him, if he ever gained the knowledge. He also kept him illiterate so that he couldn’t gain the knowledge. Mouse knows that Hamako is stealing his magic, for Hamako lords it over him, but he can’t prevent it. The constant drain on his magic and the physical abuse he suffers is slowly killing Mouse. When he dies, Hamako will simply find another ‘servant.’
A local village is looking for someone, anyone, to rid them of Hamako the Black. What self-respecting adventurers can resist defeating an evil wizard, particularly when there’s possible monetary compensation in store?
Exhibiting some profoundly bad judgement, Hamako encounters the PCs and demands tribute.
The group decides to help Mouse, either because of their own consciences or on behalf of someone who’s hired them.
Hamako has found someone with even stronger magical power than Mouse, and intends to take that power for himself. The PCs are hired to either prevent a kidnapping, or retrieve the person in question.
Another wizard or the mage’s guild has discovered Hamako’s secret, and want him punished. For one reason or another, they can’t or won’t go after him themselves, and so hire the group.