Ander Scoville

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Ander Scoville was an Arch Magus and Madrigal who lived during the late First Chaotic Period of the Mage Wars. He is particularly noteworthy for being one of the few known madrigals to command a tower.

Early Life[edit]

Ander lived much of his life on the Gamerstein Plateau. No known date for his birth exists, but most historians agree it was during a four-year period between B.G.A. 2717-2721. His village of birth is listed as Hararieshire, and it is thought to be somewhere along the Teeth of the World (the region was very heavily re-settled by the Marcon Alliance during the Dynastic Period, so the actual location of Ander's home will likely never be known).

His childhood is said to have been a happy one. People who lived in the region around that time tended to live in large family groups, so his "village" likely included only a handful of large, inter-related families. A few experts from Ander's diary survive, and he speaks of his childhood as a beautiful, carefree time. He speaks heavily of family, friendship, and beauty.

Around the age of nine, Ander was found to have great magical proficiency. He was taken to a city state near Bent Lake to be trained in in the use of Tower Magic. The name of the original city is lost to time, but most historians agree it was probably Orkni.

Teenage Years and Rise to Power[edit]

A surviving document from an un-named Mage Tower lists Ander's name and indicates he either began or completed his fourth year of training on a date which corresponds to around 2707 B.G.A., and states that he was fourteen years old at the time. This would place the date of his birth in 2721 or 2720, but there is some ambiguity in the calendar system. Several different powers were vying for control of the region at the time, each of which used its own calendar, and it is not known with certainty which one records his birth.

Regardless, in roughly 2707 B.G.A., Ander was around 14 years old, and had by this time become an extremely skilled Madrigal. Though he was known to be proficient in the use of Tower Magic, the Arch Magus of his tower at the time felt he could be of greater value on the battlefield. He was equipped and sent to war as a battlemage.

Much of what is known about this time in his life comes from bardic songs passed down through the ages. They were allegedly written by Ander himself, and while most historians agree their authorship cannot be known, it "definitely fits with what we know about [him]".

Ander's home tower was powerful, but its army was not, and Ander fought in many losing battles. He is said to have turned the tide, singlehandedly, in several, but his region was soon to fall to its enemies. In preparation for this, Ander seized control of a vast army at the age of seventeen, convinced them to follow him, and destroyed the very tower that fielded them. Ander further sacked the city, then carried out a dangerous but successful winter attack on a neighboring city-state, which his forces then occupied.

Over the next several years, Ander won a series of successful campaigns without the support of a tower. His army relied heavily on topography, timing, and very fast, brutal attacks. Still, as Ander's empire grew, it became neccessary to fight in the same manner as everyone else. His original "home tower" was lost because their army was poorly commanded; Ander remedied this by allowing the generals of defeated armies to retain their positions under his command, and soon had a powerful cadre of skilled, loyal commanders.

Tower and Arch Magus[edit]

Ander built a new city-state at the northern end of the Gamerstein Plateau, which he named Naga, and became the seat of his power. The Westin Cliffs did not exist at this time. At Naga he built the largest Mage Tower in the region, and declared himself Arch Magus. He created a chain of new city-states along the plateau, connected by high-quality roads and within line-of-sight for the towers, allowing him to link several together. A key element to Ander's strategy and victories was that he built his empire to suit his needs, rather than relying on existing city-states.

While Ander's armies continued to conquer, he settled into a massive palace adjacent to his tower. It is believed he was not heavily involved in the day-to-day running of his empire. Much of what is known about him comes from writings made at this time in his life, in which he speaks heavily of indulgence and enjoyment.

Running the empire, he felt, was a task best suited to "professionals". Ander saw himself as a builder, a maker and creator, not as an administrator. He spent this time perfecting his arts, becoming very powerful as a mage and teaching others. At the time, he was one of the most powerful wizards alive, and none would rival the power he wielded until the Dynastic Period.

Known Works[edit]

Westin Cliffs[edit]

Though his power-base in Gamerstein was strong, Ander's empire faced a serious threat from the east. Numerous nomadic groups such as the Narano roamed the region, and often made ingresses into Ander's territory to raid his cities. While the border to the plateau and the Summer Lowlands region was strongly defined, it was not easily defended. Ander's typical strategy involved chasing an enemy into its homeland, invading, and ocupying their cities; but this was not a valid strategy against nomads, and Ander opted to simply shut them out. He created the Westin [possibly, dialect form of 'Western'] Cliffs through a powerful spell: an unbroken chain of thousand-foot-high cliffs five hundred miles long, from the Hiak Desert to Maesk Pass. He then fortified the pass, making invasion from the Summer Lowlands impossible.

Historians agree that the making of the cliffs undoubtedly took much planning, but Ander's journals imply the entire event was spontaneous. He was angry about another invasion, ascended his tower, and, quoting from his journals, "just did it". Given what is known about his power, this is not difficult to believe.

Later Life[edit]

Ander's empire was one of the longest enduring of the era. Ander himself lived for over three hundred years, having mastered the magic necessary to keep himself alive and in surprisingly good health. Most accounts tell of him remaining youthful and full of vigor.

He never married: for, although his surviving journals indicate a great love for "pleasures of the flesh", he lacked the ability to commit to a relationship. He did not appear to see women as equals. He took many, many lovers and likely had thousands of children.

Relics[edit]

Surviving accounts speak of a weapon of great power, called the Strato Caster, which Ander used in his rituals. It is said to be made of solid Mithrill and likely weighed roughly fifty pounds (if all of this were mithrill, it would represent a sizable portion of extant material). It was also studded with jewels and various other precious metals.

The fate of the caster is unknown.