Two men draped in furs walk side by side through a hilly grassland covered in silvery frost. Both are indistinguishable due to the dim moonlight, although one is clearly armed with shield and long spear. Following behind them aways walks a large white bear.
“I’ll tell you a little, but lets keep walking till the sun’s up.” The other nods. “Was born a Sami, who live far in the north. Not the pleasant north here, far beyond that; right to edge of the ice where man cannot survive and the cold will break your teeth. My family were herders and trappers in their village, and with their short lives and dark nights they are an untrusting and spiritual people.”
“Untrusting like you.”
“Yes, and worse Jaern. I’m told that when I was born my family knew I was different. They call it touched, and in those lands it meant a child is cursed in a way that splits them from life. I was kept fed but not expected to live through the harsh winters. The family broke with tradition and refused to name me as all children are named in spring, enough of an admission to the rest of the village. ”
“After a year or so the shaman who lived many days downriver came and performed some sort of rites, and finally gave me my tribe name – Kallhjartad, the Cold Heart. It was fitting and allowed my family to see an end. And any end was preferable for them as the shame and guilt of bearing a touched child was a burden.”
“Wait, your sorcery isn’t a boon?”
“The curse makes people nervous and hostile. My family were openly troubled by my curse and this naming confirmed that if I survived another handful of years I’d have a place apart from the family, and still technically part of the community. You don’t feel it at present as I often shield you from its worse effects, that illease and creepiness is the touch of magic.”
“The shaman said when the time came I would be taken and trained in their ways. However only a few years after, and well before the shaman returned to claim me another man, a soothsayer well feared, came through the village and claimed me instead. My old pa knew of him but da had never seen him. He took me before my third name day, and from what I gather now he took me by force and cared little for what the village thought. That other man was Master Ailo. After that I stayed at the covenant for all my days. Trying to not get a whipping and learn something useful. ”
“That’s Ailo for certain, never around and as snappish as his old wolf. ”
“That wolf is twice as mean as any other natural animal I’ve met, but he’s also loyal. Means a lot to us. That’s why they mended your arm when it was half torn off too,” nodding upward at Jaern’s spear arm.
“Still hurts in winter. Not that you’d notice..”
Interrupting with a laugh, “..sook more Jaern. You’re twice as rich and twice as old as every other grog we have. A linnorm takes a snap on your elbow, and you live in hospice for a month and find yourself with a nice wife. ‘Tis a good outcome.”
“Hrrhmm. Be better when kids are grown. That’ll settle Ella’s moods,” looking sideways at Agnarr.
Smiling, “Oh yes? Horse dung it will!”
“Then give me a rote to help, you know her!”
“Ha, no. Her hospice was one of the few places outside Ailo’s lab that I saw for my apprenticeship. She’s as much a kind mother to me as Ailo might be a misguided father. No kid knows any different from their growing ways, but I knew the other apprentices were treated differently. They certainly got out more and the hospice has a quiet private place where everyone didn’t mind bending the rules. I’ll not be hexing Ella.”
“Wasn’t just you they watched Agnarr. That girl lost to the wildfires and another normal child stolen from our village a score of years before meant everyone got watchful.”
Agnarr changes clothes to suit the temperature preferring to avoid being overly warm. His combinations of robe, tunic, or leggings are of wool and coloured blue hues, and wears a hooded cloak made from white owl feathers. His black hair has started to silver prematurely through his head and beard, and both are kept long but trimmed neatly. Agnarr has grey eyes, a lean face, long looking limbs, and a tendency to stand tall with feet apart at attention while thinking; a habit of apprenticeship.
His clothing and gear often looks clean but well worn and sturdy, as he prefers function over aesthetics, and as a Magus he has indulged in better quality raw materials and some trims and folds for decoration. Agnarr travels with a thin staff, hunting knife, a pack, and sled when pulling larger burdens. He may pack a suit of heavy leather hauberk but wears it very infrequently.
Life as an apprentice to Ailo often kept Agnarr secluded away from the covenant and certainly away from the outside world. The small information he knew about the wider world was diluted and reduced by the internal concerns. Ailo is a reserved and reclusive man who insisted his apprentice work to his patterns. Agnarr’s childhood years were quiet and frequently uneventful; the small drama and twists he saw seemed large, and while he was always busy he was also always safe.
Initially his knowledge of his early childhood is based upon the small amounts of reading he was able to do at his home covenant and the stories of his Master Ailo. He trusts enough of his Master’s word to take most as truth, but shortly after his apprenticeship he travelled back into the Sami regions to see his people first hand. Agnarr knows the Covenfolk were truthfully more likely his people than the Sami, however seeing his childhood lands have him a small peace.
The later years of his training expanded his non-magical skills and instilled in Agnarr a desire to train others. He knows there are very few practitioners of his magical tradition, and he is determined to find and train others. As he grew older he also became aware of the stigmatism of belonging to his tradition. Many other Magi view the tradition as little more than limited specialists, and certainly of limited worth to the wider community of the Order. Agnarr is considering his options to overturn this impression.
Training in an insular covenant of mixed Houses developed a tight bond between the Masters of the covenant and their apprentices. Over the apprenticeship Agnarr formed a bond with his Master and also two of the other senior Magi outside his Ex Miscellanea tradition, so much so he feels a sense of obligation to them. Should they ask he will assist, and he knows should he need it their help will likewise come to his aid.
Agnarr first heard of the malady very late and immediately thought to travel north. Like his covenmates he was shocked by the stories brought by the redcap. When news arrived of an incident with a Magus in his tribunal he quickly and efficiently packed his possessions, said his goodbyes through the covenant, and left for his birth land.
Agnarr replaced his birth name of Kallhjartad largely due to the stories of many Scandinavian heroes who bear a variation on the name.
Statistics, at Gauntlet
Agnarr Kallhjartad (cold hearted),
Concept: Magus of Ice and Cold
Characteristics: Int +3, Per -1 (preoccupied), Pre 0, Com +3, Str -1 (thin build), Sta +2 (tenacious), Dex 0, Qik -3
Size: 0, Age: 25 (25), Height: 170 cm, Weight: 70 kg, Gender: Male, Decrepitude: 0
Warping Score: 0 (0), Confidence: 1 (3)
Virtues and Flaws: Affinity with Aquam, Affinity with Ignem, Deft Form (Aquam) [Form: Aquam], Flawless Magic (Spell Mastery Experience: Doubled), The Gift, Greater Immunity (Cold)*, Hermetic Magus, Inventive Genius (Invent Lab Totals: +3), Minor Magical Focus (Ice)*, Puissant Magic Theory, Puissant Aquam, Withstand Casting, Covenant Upbringing, Driven (Grow magical line), Environmental Magic Condition (Temp above 15c)*, Favors (Previous Coven magi), Hedge Wizard, Warped Magic (Nearby items become cold) [Side Effect: Nearby items become cold], Weird Magic (Botches on Stressed Casting: Extra botch die)
Reputations: Hedge Wizard 3
Abilities: Area Lore: Finland 1, Artes Liberales 1 (ritual magic), Awareness 2 (alertness), Brawl 1 (Dodge), Concentration 1 (spell concentration), Finesse 2 (targeting), Finnish 5, Folk Ken 2, Hunt 1 (tracking), Latin 4 (hermetic usage), Leadership 1 (laboratory work), Magic Lore 1, Magic Theory 3+2 (Aquam), Order of Hermes Lore 1 (House Ex Misc), Parma Magica 1 (Aquam), Penetration 1 (Aquam), Scribe 1 (copying), Survival 2 (very cold climates), Teaching 2,
Arts: Cr 6, In 0, Mu 6, Pe 5, Re 6, An 1, Aq 9+3, Au 0, Co 0, He 0, Ig 6, Im 0, Me 0, Te 0, Vi 5
- Spells Known:
Javelin of Sharpened Ice (Cr(Re)Aq 15) +28, Mastery 2 (multiple casting). (Multiple Casting 2x) As per “Dagger of Ice” altered to be sharper and stronger, inflicting +10 damage.
- Encase in Ice (CrAq 20) +27, Mastery 1 (penetration). The target is surrounded in ice, potentially encasing the target. Enveloped targets may attempt to break free, see Shackles of Frozen Ice (ReAq20, HoH:S p.35). If the target is too large the ice will cover an area up to 560 cubic feet.
- Lungs of the Fish (Personal) (MuAq(Au) 15) +9, Mastery 1 (fast casting)
- Winter’s Icy Touch (PeIg 10) +14, Mastery 1 (multiple casting)
- Ward Against Winter’s Cold (ReIg 15) +15, Mastery 1 (still casting). Base 4 to ward against code in the same manner as heat. This spell protects again all normal cold, as cold spells inflicting up to +5 damage.
- Wizard’s Reach (Aquam) (MuVi 20) +14, Mastery 1 (imperturbable casting)
- Unravelling the Fabric of Aquam (PeVi 5) +13, Mastery 1 (unraveling)
- Maintaining the Demanding Spell (ReVi 20) +14, Mastery 1 (still casting)