Life in Thay is rough. You may find it especially rough when you don't belong to the ruling class of wizards. Those in power look down upon the common people of Thay and think of them as inferior. They mistreat these people and consider them as holding little value. Where else do wizards get people for horrific experiments, or to make into armies of undead?
Abalajar Ocerat was the son of farmers in the tharch of Priador, and since the zulkirs detected no talent for wizardry in him, he remained there with his family while growing up. During his early years he saw the people around him brutally mistreated. He accepted this as part of life under zulkir rule, but he had enough when Red Wizards killed his parents in their own home over some slight of etiquette. As his parents burned, he fled into the night. Later he returned to bury the bodies and retrieve his few possessions, but then he made his escape from the dark land of his birth. The sight of his parents' deaths haunts him to this day. In fact, when under great stress, he suffers delusions of being back in his home as the wizards come through the door.
He ventured north, where he began to train as a ranger so that he could kill wizards. He shunned the arcane arts themselves during this period, even though he felt a growing talent with magical powers within him. During those years, he ran into a halfling named Perinsa Falmarya, who similarly had lost her family to wizard attacks. From her he learned that he could fight back, overcome, and accomplish something in life. He attributes his resolve to this meeting and to the example set by the spunky halfling. After a few years as a ranger, he met a man who suggested that he embrace the ways of wizards and use their own arts against them. Thus he started on the road to becoming a mage-killer. Years of study and practice on lesser spellcasters led eventually to his killing his first "official" wizard, as he counts it, four years ago.
Since then, he has moved around Faerūn and seen that wizards and their ilk have infiltrated all societies and aspects of life. One cannot escape them and their evil. In his youth he would have resigned himself to living with them, but now he cannot do so. Every wizard he sees he marks for death, which gives him a very large death list. He knows that he cannot kill all of them, but he sees himself as making Faerūn better one dead wizard at a time, and he hopes to train successors to carry on the work.
Given that his chief opponents are wizards, Abalajar has mastered some ways to defeat them. He relies on physical attacks after he has used spells to weaken opponents. He uses ray spells (combined with true strike) and touch spells to deal damage and reduce an opponent's capacity to cast spells. One of his favorite tactics is to use touch of idiocy twice on a wizard opponent, which pretty much leaves the opponent unable to cast spells. He always looks for magic items that raise his touch AC, knowing that he is vulnerable to his own tactics.
One advantage that he has over most arcane casters is the magical talent that he felt within him those many years ago: his ability to cast arcane spells as divine spells. This allows him to cast preparatory spells, and then don armor for the confrontation with the enemy wizard. Further, opponents have great difficulty determining what he is casting.
As Abalajar wanders throughout Faerūn, he generally travels alone, but sometimes he may be in the company of other people who don't cast arcane spells. He feels no particular devotion to a deity, but he thinks that they are worthy of respect and that they can be of use to mortals. He does not attack wizards haphazardly, but he plans carefully. Sometimes he spends weeks watching a chosen victim, learning what spells that wizard favors so that he can be prepared to counter or defend himself against them. He prefers to catch his victims alone, but he has killed a couple of wizards in the company of bodyguards. To date he has notched over forty wizards, most of whom have not returned to life (he does his best to make sure that only the most expensive magic can bring a victim back).
As a foe, he might be the apparent friend of the adventurers who actually is studying any wizard(s) in the group. As an NPC, he might be stalking some wizard from which the player characters need assistance, or he might be responsible for a string of murders in the city where they are resting from their last adventure.
Abalajar Ocerat: Male human (Mulan) ranger 2/diviner 7/mage-killer 2; CR 11; Medium humanoid; HD 2d8+4 plus 7d4+14 plus 2d4+4; hp 53; Init +2; Spd 30 ft.; AC 18, touch 12, flat-footed 16; Base Atk +6; Grp +7; Atk +6 melee (1d8+1/19-20, masterwork longsword) or +9 ranged (1d8+1/x3, masterwork composite longbow [+1 Str bonus]); Full Atk +6/+1 melee (1d8+1/19-20, masterwork longsword) and +6 melee (1d6/19-20, masterwork short sword) or +9/+4 ranged (1d8+1/x3, masterwork composite longbow [+1 Str bonus]); SQ combat style (two-weapon fighting), favored enemy (humans +2), wild empathy +2; AL N; SV Fort +12, Ref +13, Will +13; Str 12, Dex 14, Con 14, Int 15, Wis 14, Cha 8. Age 31, height 5 ft. 8 in., weight 170 lb.
Skills and Feats: Climb +5, Concentration +14, Decipher Script +9, Gather Information +9, Heal +7, Hide +6, Knowledge (arcana) +9, Knowledge (geography) +6, Listen +7, Move Silently +6, Search +7, Spellcraft +14, Spot +7, Survival +7; Augment Summoning[B], Combat Casting, Great Fortitude, Lightning Reflexes, Quicken Spell[B], Scribe Scroll, Southern Magician, Still Spell, Track[B], Two-Weapon Fighting[B].
Favored Enemy: Abalajargains a +2 bonus on his Bluff, Listen, Sense Motive, Spot, and Survival checks when using these skills against humans. He gets the same bonus on weapon damage rolls against humans.
Wild Empathy (Ex): The ranger can use body language, vocalizations, and demeanor to improve the attitude of an animal (such as a bear or a monitor lizard). This ability functions just like a Diplomacy check to improve the attitude of a person. His bonus on the check is +2. The typical domestic animal has a starting attitude of indifferent, while wild animals are usually unfriendly. Abalajarand the animal must study each other for 1 minute. This ability can also be used to influence a magical beast with an Intelligence score of 1 or 2, but he takes a -4 penalty on the check.
Wizard Spells Prepared (5/6/6/4/3/2; save DC 12 + spell level; 20% chance of arcane spell failure): 0 -- acid splash, detect magic***, detect poison***, mage hand, ray of frost; 1st -- expeditious retreat, Kaupaer's skittish nerves**, know protections**/***, magic missile, shield, true strike***; 2nd -- cat's grace, darkvision, fox's cunning, scorching ray, see invisibility***, touch of idiocy; 3rd -- arcane sight***, clairaudience/clairvoyance***, dispel magic, lightning bolt; 4th -- dimension door, locate creature***, summon monster IV; 5th -- ball lightning*, quickened true strike***.
Spellbook: 0 -- acid splash, arcane mark, dancing lights, daze, detect magic***, detect poison***, disrupt undead, flare, light, mage hand, mending, message, open/close, prestidigitation, ray of frost, read magic, resistance, touch of fatigue; 1st -- comprehend languages***, expeditious retreat, Kaupaer's skittish nerves**, know protections**/***, magic missile, magic weapon, shield, spirit worm**, true strike***; 2nd -- bear's endurance, blindness/deafness, cat's grace, darkvision, detect thoughts***, fox's cunning, scorching ray, see invisibility***, touch of idiocy; 3rd -- arcane sight***, clairaudience/clairvoyance***, dispel magic, lightning bolt, nondetection, protection from energy, ray of exhaustion, summon monster III; 4th -- bestow curse, dimension door, Evard's black tentacles, lesser globe of invulnerability, locate creature***, Rary's mnemonic enhancer, spell enhancer*, summon monster IV; 5th -- ball lightning*, cone of cold, kiss of the vampire**, prying eyes***, Simbul's spell matrix*.
Typical Spells Carried When Hunting a Wizard (5/6/6/4/3/2; save DC 12 + spell level; 20% chance of arcane spell failure): 0 -- acid splash, detect magic***, ray of frost (2), touch of fatigue; 1st -- expeditious retreat, Kaupaer's skittish nerves**, know protections**/***, magic missile, magic weapon, shield , true strike*** (3, prepared with Rary's mnemonic enhancer); 2nd -- fox's cunning, scorching ray (2), see invisibility***, touch of idiocy (2), touch of idiocy; 3rd -- arcane sight***, dispel magic, lightning bolt (2); 4th -- locate creature***, Rary's mnemonic enhancer, spell enhancer*; 5th -- quickened true strike***, Simbul's spell matrix*.
*Spells from the Player's Guide to Faerūn accessory.
**Spells from the Magic of FaerūnForgotten Realms accessory.
Languages: Common, Draconic, Infernal, Mulhurondi.
Possessions: +2 chain shirt, masterwork longsword, masterwork short sword, masterwork composite longbow (+1 Str), quiver with 20 arrows, vest of resistance +3, ring of counterspells (usually loaded with scorching ray), 3 pearls of power 1st level, various small supplies and spell components.
Given time to prepare, he casts Rary's mnemonic enhancer to get three more true strike spells. Just before the attack, he precasts a number of spells: expeditious retreat, fox's cunning, magic weapon, arcane sight, and Simbul's spell matrix. His Simbul's spell matrix contains a true strike spell. Then he dons his armor and makes his attack. He makes use of his ability to cast arcane spells as divine spells to avoid armor penalties on his first four spells that would suffer arcane spell failure due to armor.
Southern Magician (from Races of Faerun): Once per day per two caster levels, you can cast a divine spell as an arcane spell, or an arcane spell as a divine spell. This enables you to bypass arcane spell failure due to armor, or gain additional benefit from a spell that functions differently for a divine caster than it would for an arcane caster. A spellcaster who doesn't have this feat takes a -4 penalty on attempts to counterspell or dispel your spells changed with this feat, and they must succeed on a caster check (DC 11 + spell level) to detect the spell with detect magic. The actual source of the spell's power doesn't change, and neither does its means of preparation. You are merely weaving the strands of magic together in an unconventional way that makes the spell behave somewhat differently. (Abalajar can cast four arcane spells per day as divine spells.)
About the Author
Robert Wiese began playing D&D with the blue boxed set (the one after the original three small pamphlets). He has campaigned through three and a half editions of his favorite roleplaying game and has tried Call of Cthulhu, Star Wars, and some other games as well. Throughout it all he has learned that a great DM makes a great campaign. So he is happy to assist great DMs with little ideas such as these random encounters. He led the RPGA Network through the tough times and now works at UNR as a biochemical researcher. Life is very full between studies, work, pets (two dogs, two cats, fish, a toad, and two rats), and gaming, but he always puts his wife and his faith first.