Modock the Magniloquent looks every inch the mythical sorcerer. He wears expensive robes that have been tailored in precious thread and detailed in arcane symbols. His hat is pointed and lofty and his staff of white ash is capped with a suitably large agate to impress even opulent kings. He carries a large black bound spellbook that is sealed with a silver lock worked into the face of the God of Magic and Mystery. Those who get close to the book can hear it whisper strange gibbering noises and such.
Modock is the very definition of magniloquence. His general speech is very high, peppered with arcane terms, large and impressive sounding words and sudden somantic gestures and waving of material components for known spells. He will often tug at his beard, make outragous claims or demands, and follow them up with equally outrageous offers of reward or promises.
Modock has failed at just about every proffesion he has attempted to learn. As a youth he aspired to be a noble warrior astride a mighty steed, winning young maidens’ favors in tournament. When an allergy to horses and a sickly adolescence ruined that idea, he struck out to become a bard. From the stage he could pluck strings and sing to the adoring crowds. It was not long after that when he found himself completely lacking in talent, and being more interested in the barwenches than in serious study of music and oral epics.
The Manque Players
The players rolled into Modock’s town one day and began their regular performances of the usual plebian ribaldry and boorish comedies that were popular among the layfolk. About as plebian as a plebian could be, Modock was fascinated by these actors, donning swords, then into costumes as ogres, trolls, bugbears, and other oddments. Joining the troop was simply a matter of running away from his standing new apprenticeship in the Cobbler’s Guild.
Modock quickly found a place among the players, eventually ending up as the understudy to Hartwell, the Stage Wizard. Modock was able to learn the arcane arts of sorcery, stagecraft, and oration. He loved the pomp and circumstance of the Mage’s Robes and jumped at every opportunity to play a wizard in any of the acts the troop performed.
The End of the Act
The Manque Players traveled for over a decade with Modock learning a good deal from Hartwell before a fateful day that would change the fortunes of some to ruin and others to greatness. Hartwell and several of the senior players died in a tragic accident, their river ferry overturning and sinking in the turbulent waters of the Orcus River. The surviving troop members, bereft of leadership, quickly fell apart. some went on to join other troops, some foundered in drink and sorrow over the end of their greatness.
Modock found employ with a rat-tag band of Adventurers-upon-return, many of whom would go on to greatness. Modock did not long stay with the band before finding his own path out of the spotlight. While Redgar, Mialee and the others went on to become nothing less than celebrities Modock landed a cushy job as a Court Sorcerer under the Viceroy of the Kingdom.
The Tome of Tumult - This is the Wizard’s spellbook, an arcane brimoire of eldritch magics that has been enchanted with many potent wards and traps. In truth the book contains a few spells, but it is mostly scribbles and such, the seeming aura of magic coming from it is itself a small working of magic. A few spells from the book include Imbue with Magic Aura, Fear, and Summon Imp, all low level spells.
Vestments of Sorcery - These wizard’s robes have been enchanted with a number of Modock’s spells as well as having the arcane writings of spellbooks embroidered on the robe. They are very impressive to look upon, especially after the mage enchanted the robes with the Magic Aura spell.
Staff of Sorcery - the agate capped staff of Modock, this is a common implement in his magic-workings, and unlike his other less than impressive items, the Staff of Sorcery is a genuine magic item that he recovered from some ruins a number of years ago. It has the primary power of increasing the magic power of the mage who holds it, granting them the spells of a mage one level higher than they actually are. It also allows the mage to cast the following spells 1/day:
Aspect of Eagles - a spell that increases the mage’s Charisma score, primarily for intimidation, bluffing, and socializing.
Identify - a basic spell that is used to discern the function of unknown magic items without hazardous trial and error testing methods. The spell also works on pretty much any mundane material in regards to ‘what is this?’
Summon Horrific Servants - While items such as the Staff of the Majordomo summon invisible servants, this last power allows the mage of the staff to summon a number of leering, demonic, rotting zombies, etc, servants to appear to do his tasks as directed. Despite their vile and terrifying appearances, the servants are harmless spirits of burden.
Dirty Little Secrets
Modock has a huge secret, one so signifigant that it would completely ruin him. He is at best a haphazard and completely unaccomplished mage, though that is not the secret. The real secret is that despite his appearance of power, Modock only does magic under great duress as he is secretly terrified of magic. The only reason he does it at all is that his current livelihood depends on it. When he was a player he was attracted to the respect and fear shown to the mages in the plays and epics, and later how much of that was true outside of the stage.
The Benefactor - As a pretender to magic and an aspiring courtier, Modock has a genuine need to present magic items and spells to the court in general to support his magic claims. To this end, the mage secretly hires the PCs to raid and steal magic goods for him, or to research magic for him, writing scrolls and the like. While he is largely a charlatan, he knows how to take care of his ‘supporting actors’ as he refers to the PCs.
The Great and Mighty - The PCs, in need of a potent Mage are lead to Modock, and who would be better than the Court Vizier and second to the Viceroy? In the manner of the Great and Mighty Oz, Modock sends them off on a small quest for him, hoping they wouldn’t come back. When they do, he will bluster and bluff through rewards, giving nearly worthless trinkets, medals, and the like.
The Third Degree - Modock has come under scrutiny due to a recent magical mishap, a demon run amok, or something suitably nasty. Modock is completely innocent as such magic is well outside of his minor ability, but such a defence is as bad as accepting the punishments for said magic. He then hires the PCs to snoop out the actual summoner to protect his carefully manicured image.