Ill Winds Over Verbobonc
An enigmatic wizard who has served the king of Furyondy for some thirty years, Ringlerun was Ruprecht's chief tutor in the arts of magic. He is thought to have perished in the Siege of Chendl in 583 CY, but rumour has it that he has resurfaced lately.
Ringlerun the Mage was always known to be an old man, more than a little tired and a touch bent under the weight of his years, but with a strong, direct gaze. He was clearly a wizard judging from the arcane patterns sewn onto the hems of his white, crimson, and powder blue robes and the glossy staff of sable wood surmounted by a large sapphire. The silver ring on his left hand was shaped as an ouroboros – a serpent biting its own tale, its ruby eyes caught the light whenever he gestured. The golden ring on his right hand was set with a circle of diamonds. The old wizard sported an enormous, snowy white beard.
Said to be an exile from a distant land, Ringlerun first became known as the Royal Mage of King Belvor IV of Furyondy in the 540s, establishing his reputation on account of his command of divination magics and his wise and good counsel. From the beginning though, he guarded his secrets closely, not least his origins, for while he was a loyal servant of the king the wizard was no son of Furyondy. Together with a number of companions, it is said that he came from somewhere in the East, perhaps one of the petty duchies or principalities of the Great Kingdom, or mayhap even further afield. In any case, he always strove to do his part for the good of the realm and the cause of weal, even if his preference was always to work as much as possible from behind the scenes. Ringlerun was known to be a lover of secrets and intrigues, and a touch paranoid besides. Indeed, it was this character trait that eventually landed him in the disfavour of his king.
Throughout the course of his many years, Ringlerun has been a friend to the House of Windchester. A close friend to Ruprect’s great aunt Arabella, in 548 CY he had the sad duty of apprehending the Water Elementalist when she lost her grip on sanity. He would also serve as the master of both Phanstern and later Ruprect, although in the latter case the master illusionist would also handle some of the instruction. During the 570s, after his secretive ways, opaque intrigues, and rank failure to locate the missing Prince Thrommel earned him the disfavour of his king, Ringlerun lost his position and was ejected from the royal court. He would spend years making a living in the far more humble capacity of private tutor and potion-maker, and throughout this trying time he was a frequent guest of the Windchester estate.
It would not be until the armies of the Old One came to Furyondy that Ringlerun returned to prominence, albeit playing second fiddle to the Fire Elementalist Archmage Karzalin and his Chamber of Four. Throughout the sieges of Chendl and Redoubt, he and his companions Elkhorn, Figgen, and Mercion became associated with the formidable adventuring company known as the Band of Seven Songs. Despite his advanced years and the obvious strain of moving such mighty magics as Banishments, Delayed Blast Fireballs, and Incendiary Clouds, he was a notably selfless and fearless defender of the capital, and his past failures and conceits were quickly forgiven.
Sadly, his return to grace was short lived.
In the midst of a final assault on the walls led by none other than the Old One’s High Priest, Patch, the capital looked to be in dire straits. Using a diversion to concentrate the attentions of Karzalin, Garaeth Heldenster, and several of the strongest defenders on the north wall, the Vile Hierophant then launched a strong coordinated attack on the other three. Supported by several other members of the Boneheart, the elite Legion of Black Death, a Balor, several Mariliths, and a Glabrezu, he personally led the assault on the east wall. It was then that Ringlerun unveiled the reason for his many years of inveiglement, for in order to counter the might of Patch and those of the Boneheart who accompanied him, he and his closest allies teleported into their midst and unleashed the power of a dangerous and obscure artifact called the Heartstone. Suddenly summoned to the fray were goodly dopplegangers of each of the enemy luminaries and, thus embroiled, the Boneheart and even some of their demonic allies were otherwise occupied while the defenders of the city regained the initiative. Alas, High Priest Patch and some of his allies defeated their dopplegangers and, in a moment of desperation, Ringlerun bade his friends flee to safety and then snapped his Staff of Power across his knee. A retributive strike enveloped he and his awful foes, vaporising them all.
His sacrifice left the forces besieging the capital in disarray, allowing a relief army led by King Belvor the opportunity to lead a charge that routed the armies of the Old One. Although he was but one of many brave Furyondians who fell in defence of Chendl, the old mage was singled out by the king in his famed Eulogy for the Fallen. At last restored in the eyes of his king and his adopted countrymen, Ringlerun is held up as an example of the boon of wizardry to a land that is wary of the uses of arcane magic.
It would also seem that the legend of Ringlerun continues to grow. Indeed, some say that he has been seen here and there in recent years. Wild rumour has it that he has returned from the dead, restored by the will of the gods of Weal, though which ones appear to be involved changes with each telling. If this is the case, he has not returned to the royal court, nor does he openly advertise his presence at all.