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Machinations of Magludias Fynch: Adversaries and Antagonists

Machinations of Magludias Fynch: Adversaries and Antagonists

Magludias Fynchis the eccentric master and commander of Fynch’s Travelling Clockwork Carnival and Mechanical Menagerie. But, Mister Fynch isn’t just another furtive introvert or salty mouthed gnome inventor turned itinerant carnival manager. He’s a master criminal and tinkerer who has made his share of enemies.

Read up on previous machinations of Magludias Fynch!

Fynch was raised a common criminal. A street-level lock picker, and apprentice thieves’ guild safe cracker. But Magludias broke away from petty larceny, abandoning the back-alley life of gangs, guilds, and danger. Decades later, he’s evolved into the exceptional criminal he always knew he could be.

But sustaining a sterling reputation for high-end underworld entrepreneurship invariably draws dangerous attention . . . particularly amid such a miscellany of competing criminal organizations, operations, and personalities. Here is a smattering of people who want a piece of him.

Cudgel and Cestus MacReid

Cudgel MacReid is a kilt and buckskin-clad dwarf frontiersman. He’s a veteran, mountaineer, and highland scout. Recently turned to bounty hunting, MacReid hopes to stay on the move while financing his personal vendetta against Magludias Fynch.

Knowing little and caring less about Fynch’s sordid pedigree, MacReid believes Fynch is responsible for a dreadful curse laid upon his closest kin. A malignant, magical humiliation cast on one of Cudgel’s clansmen now fuels the fires of mountain dwarf vendetta!

Each night, Cudgel dreams of looming landscapes, dangerous shortcuts, and approaching landmarks. Each one has come true so far. Lately, he’s dreamed of alluring gnome females haunting him, gesturing and whispering clues for tracking down and catching up with his quarry.

Cudgel MacReid

Cudgel is a mountain dwarf highlander (use graveslayer stats from Creature Codex) who travels with a pack mule and an enormous hunting hound named Cestus. The burly mountain dwarf wields twin climbing axes and his beloved blunderbuss (Bert). A twin set of long-barreled black powder muskets (Tom and William) are slung on Cudgel’s mule. Each of these three firearms, (see Tome of Heroes for rules and stats on firearms) is magically blessed by the Black Powder Priesthood of clan MacReid. This blessing gives him the following trait:

Friendly Firearms. While wielding Burt, Tom, or William, Cudgel gains firearms proficiency and the Gunfighting feature. In addition, once per long rest he can choose one maneuver (per gun) from the Gun Mastery: Burst Maneuvers list (see Tome of Heroes for details on these maneuvers).

Cestus MacReid

Cudgel’s ever-present companion, this enormous, battle-scarred hunting hound, is Cudgel’s cursed brother, transformed. Hiding in plain sight, the older dwarf (dog) sibling pushes the dogged pursuit of Magludias Fynch.

Uses spellhound stats (see Tome of Beasts 2) for Cestus with the following changes:

Languages. Cestus understands common, dwarvish, gnomish, and goblin, but he cannot speak or read.
Stat Increase. Increase Intelligence and Wisdom scores to 12. Armor class becomes 16.
Clockwork Courser. Cestus can detect the presence of any Construct within 90 feet. This trait replaces Arcane Sense.
Gear Grinder. Cestus has advantage on attack rolls against Constructs. This trait replaces Channel Braker.

Cestus is aware of his form’s otherworldly abilities and uses. The dwarf-turned-hound also senses the diabolical nature and malignant intellect behind it all. However, he currently has no good way to communicate this information in detail. (Spells such as speak with animals are ineffective as Cestus’s dwarven mind doesn’t comprehend beast “languages.”) Cestus chooses to keep his supernatural abilities concealed most of the time.

Odessa Von Throop

Even the black heart of Magludias Fynch once loved. Odessa Von Throop was his one-time lover, apprentice, and arcane instructor. She’s also the sole survivor of the Von Throop family, once widely renowned as an upstanding assembly of gnomish tinkers, toy makers, and clock makers.

Magludias and the rebellious young Odessa met one spring day and were soon thick as thieves. Odessa secretly taught and practiced her (stolen) magic with Fynch. And in return, Fynch taught Odessa lock picking, trap disabling, and pickpocketing. However, Fynch’s past came calling. Thieves’ guilds have long memories and long reaches, especially when one of their own breaks ranks and disappears while in possession of certain information and items.

The Von Throop household didn’t stand a chance when the Cobblefoot Syndicate gangsters arrived. Though Fynch eluded them, the entire Von Throop family, their staff, and even neighbors (witnesses) were massacred. All but Odessa. With magic her parents had forbidden and subterfuge learned from her lover, Odessa too eluded the gnome hit squad, fleeing into the night.

Odessa Von Throop

For Odessa Von Throop, use devilbound gnomish prince stats (see Tome of Beasts 1) with the following changes:

Challenge 11 (7,200 XP)  Proficiency Bonus +4
Fiendish Familiar. Odessa’s familiar, Phyx, is an imp who rarely strays from her mistress’s side.
Mechanized Mount. Odessa can conjure her prized, possession, Glynt, a clockwork tiger(see Tome of Beasts 2) for an hour, once until she finishes a long rest.

Soon enough, Odessa exhausted her resources in the fruitless vengeful search for Fynch. She hadn’t the savvy to go as far or fast as Magludias, but she knew who could. And, didn’t she still have locks of his hair and sundry mementos of Fynch’s past affections? And she had her magic.

She eventually turned to Ignatius Cobblefoot—if he truly was still alive—for help in her search. The enemy of her enemy would be her friend, regardless of whether he wanted it.

The Cobblefoot Crime Family

“The Family” is very old and well established. Its criminal and political influence reaches deeply into many (particularly gnome) communities in cities and seaports. The Cobblefoot syndicate has front offices (a gnomish import-export conglomerate called Cobblefoot Transnational) in several municipalities. Other associates and business fronts facilitate vast networks of informants, spy rings, guild houses, smuggling, and fencing operations.

Closer to home, at the center of a vast, but deteriorating, web of ancient larcenies and primeval deception sits the venerable, and wizened Ignatius Cobblefoot. He rules silently over his crumbling, 300-year-old, criminal empire. His continued leadership is disputed, since no one outside the guild’s inner circle has even glimpsed Old Cobb through a window in two generations.

Unless old alley tales are true, and a young, destitute Ignatius, really did sign dark contracts with infernal beings and vile, cosmic entities, centuries ago.

about Robert Fairbanks

Robert Fairbanks, first plunged into the unknown in 1976, with ye olde boxed, blue-book basics. He has yet to return.

Robert’s been fortunate to be a long-time contributor to Kobold Press, with whom he broke into game design in 2014. His other publisher contributions include Inner Ham Productions, Storm Bunny Studios, and TOR books.

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