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Magnus the Illusionist Thief

Written by Expy - Published on July 9, 2008

Meet Magnus the Illusionist Thief

Illusionist and Thief, Rogue, Confidence man, actor, musician; the original King of Thieves. Once known as Magnus Magpie, in his boyhood as a child thief after being orphaned on the streets of Solis, City of Wonders, then as Magnus the Magnet from his skill at picking pockets, he had to run when accused of betraying comrades in a raid which went mysteriously wrong.

Illusionist ThiefOn his early wanderings in “Terra Incognita” he attempted to steal food from a Circus wagon, but was somehow caught by its’ aged owner, who proved to be a Master Wizard of the ?? Order – although Magnus didn’t know this at the time! The old man took pity on the lost boy and not only took him on as servant and Carnival “roustabout” but as Sorceror’s Apprentice; over the next few years Magnus received a thorough and unique education in many strange matters.

Already an accomplished Thief, he now became also an Acrobat, Trapeze artist, knife thrower and Tightrope walker as other members of the circus taught the likeable young boy their skills and tricks. From his friend Zandor the strong man he learned ways to maximise his wiry and hidden strength, as well as the tricks of half a dozen forms of wrestling and unarmed combat – for Zandor took on all comers in the Circus’ wrestlng booth! From his tutor the Wizard, Magnus learned to become a master of Illusion and Prestidigitation, both Magical and mundane; and acquired a love of showmanship and spectacle which was to last him all his life.

When he was in his late teens, they picked up a new hitch-hiker, a young man named Salazar; he seemed affable enough, but Magnus somehow could not trust him. He found out later that his mistrust had been justified, as one morning he discovered the body of his Master, sabbed from behind, and his strongbox, rifled; with Salazar gone. From papers left in the strongbox Magnus discovered his master had been more powerful and influential than at first seeming, for far from being a mere Circus trickster he had been one of the highest ranking members of his Order, in a kind of voluntary exile to guard and disguise the whereabouts of the Heart of Hell, a massive ruby with the central star of a sapphire, reputedly a coal stolen from the very Furnaces of Hell by the legendary Wizard-Thief Ozymandias, and with incredible powers as a focus for magic, Good or Evil. Salazar had stolen the jewel, intending to use its power for his own ends.

Magnus made up his mind to avenge his master somehow, and to find and destroy Salazar, as well as to clear his name – with the Thieves’ Guild at any rate! – back in Solis the City. However, in the meantime, he had somehow to manage alone, and to make a life for himself. It was in the wagon that night that while reading of Ozymandias and his legendary exploits he hit upon his new career! In the ensuing years he acquired further skills and even more identities, as he practised all his newfound skills, becoming the very Prince of Rogues.

In Kothique he became Magique, mysterious Highwayman, the original masked, booted and spurred holdup artist, who danced gracefully by night with the ladies on the roads while stealing the treasures of themselves and their husbands; and yet, somehow, despite many sightings, no two witnesses could ever agree as to a description of this reprobate, even to height, weight, or appearance of either him or the horse he rode up on!

He became Lucky Starr, the most successful gambler in Verulia, for a while, again legendary for the night he bankrupted the Grand Casino, without anyone ever being able to prove exactly HOW he cheated! He got out of town fractionally ahead of the Casino’s thugs on that occasion, thanking the gods for a fast horse!

As daytime actor and acrobat, night-time second-story man Capricorn, he broke into a shuttered house in Blackport, to discover the golden statuette he had stolen was the revered idol of the secret Cult of Hin T’ang the Deathgod, whose realm was random death for strangers, by lot – but most particularly for any who had even glimpsed the effigy of the God! Somehow, he managed to dodge the Cult and the local Thieves, both of whom were pursuing him, the Thieves for “unlicensed” robbery on their territory. Both parties “caught up to him” one night in a ruined castle – only to find themselves facing each other across what had once been a ballroom, with the statuette sitting in its centre…. the matter was settled with comparatively little bloodshed, whlle Capricorn was suddenly conspicuous by his absence.

Bible-thumping Preacher Ezekiel Goodbody founded a new Society in which members vowed themselves to Poverty and donated their fortunes to “good causes” – then went mysteriously missing, as did the takings, for no good cause that could ever be discovered.

In ancient Zothir, someone – it was never known exactly who, still less how – stole the Emerald Eye of the statue of the Demon XXX, squatting toadlike in the greatest temple of the City – without ever being noticed by the multitude of guards or the Guardian Crocodiles, without tripping alarms or traps mundane or Magical, and even without the Demon noticing, or so it seemed.

An accomplished bladesman, he achieved fame as Red Orchy of the Twin Blades, renowned duellist and Pirate captain of the Valusian Main – then went strangely missing with the only map to his buried, pirate loot, leaving the authorities fuming at the astronomical price on his head and his crew vowing vengeance as they regretted their missing shares!

His skills may be decided depending on where, what and who he is when the Players encounter him; I have introduced him as Capricorn, where the PCs somehow had to help him stay one jump ahead of his enemies and return the statuette, without getting killed themselves; or as Red Orchy, who was taken prisoner by Orcs and “rescued” by the PCs on the strength of his secret treasure (they didn’t know exactly WHO he was!) before turning the tables on his helpers and his old crew, leaving both chasing him, ending up with a death-defying climax on a Desert Island. And finally, he enlisted the help of the PCs in his attempt to styeal the Heart of Hell from Salazar, a Necromancer who was using its powers to create a Legion of Undead to take over the World! (After they had helped him clear his name and attain the assistance of the Thieves’ Guild!)

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Written by Expy

Meet Expy The Red Dragon

Expy is the mascot for DungeonMastering.com and the real mastermind behind Expy Games. He likes to hoard treasure, terrorize neighbors, burn down villages, and tell white dragon jokes..

No matter how fearful the legends claim dragons are, they always end up being defeated in 5 rounds by adventuring parties they encounter. That’s what dragons are – experience points for the heroes in your Dungeons & Dragon party. And this mascot is no different, hence the name Expy.

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Magnus the Illusionist Thief, 1.0 out of 5 based on 1 rating » Leave a comment



5 Responses to “Magnus the Illusionist Thief”
  1. Noumenon says:

    I think the sketch is a little too sketchy. I had a bit of a hard time telling there was a half-man, half-woman thing going on. Besides, the description barely mentions him using disguise.

  2. Noumenon says:

    That said, I just checked out the AvatarArt website and I’m totally going to get a picture from them. What a cool business model! That goes for you, too, this is a great product placement/endorsement of them.

  3. AvatarArt says:

    Wow, a whole 1 Star! {sighs}

    This was a tough commission & admittedly not our standard fare. The owner, Ian, had added some description while talking to us:

    “This was in fact the reason I was so pleased with the Competition, I get to have all these creative people adding bits to my character concept. Would you believe that I had not in fact THOUGHT of Magnus being/looking female, but it is wonderfully logical/sensible, just the sort of thing I can imagine him actually doing? What a brilliant concept! For all I know “he” could just as easily BE female masquerading as male, as in the lady duellists and “musketeers” of old France? I am already keen on the sketch! I like the long hair, by the way, (s)he could make use of that in both guises? Also the “athletic” figure would suit bothe guises as a Swashbuckler?”

    Soooo…if you didn’t hear this part, the version we came up with might seem a bit odd, but Ian was happy with it; “I like the pic very much”

    Also, Ian had said from early on, “I have never truly pinned down his looks, the idea is he may be anyone or anything he wishes, within reason! I think of him as an enigmatic smile and a nonchalant look, mostly!”

    Finally, it’d help if the sketch could be enlarged, so I’ll go get Expy to bug Yax about that. Bottom line, check out our galleries to see what else we’ve done. This commission admittedly was a bit ‘confounding,’ to continue the theme.


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