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Malevolent Machinations of Magludias Fynch

Malevolent Machinations of Magludias Fynch

An oddly shaped, overlarge carnival-wagon jostles, squeaks, and bobs its way along an uneven country lane. Gleaming brassily, ticking and tocking, hissing, clanking, and wheezing, this top-heavy, wagon-house is pulled by no team. The great clockwork conveyance moves, seemingly of its own accord, on great, gear-like wagon-wheels. Long, dark banners drape the coach’s mezzanine rails, proclaiming in bright-orange, brass-studded script:

Mister Fynch’s Fix-It
A Clockwork Carnival, Tinker’s Trade-Show, and Mechanical Menagerie
Magludias Fynch (prop.); Scientist, Inventor, Tinker, Tool- and Toy-Maker

The banner does not proclaim (but might more truthfully read): Underworld arms dealer, blackmailer, and burglar. Occasional spy, embezzler, card-sharp, and self-proclaimed criminal-mastermind.

Travelling Tradeshow…?

To most everyone, Fynch’s Wandering Clockwork Workshop, represents a jolly oddity, an eccentric amusement, promising unusual amenities, distractions, devices, and entertainments. Regularly drawing out wide-eyed children, smiling adults, and frowning clergy, Fynch’s wagon teeters, clicks, and clanks its way to set-up shop, on the outskirts of this latest hamlet, town, or city.

Permissions and locations obtained, Fynch and company stage a small, semi-circular venue, cordoning it with the wagon, storage tents, awnings, stalls, and tables. Here take place customer repairs, appraisals, and transactions of mechanical-contraptions, ideas, parts, and tools.

The central area, encloses the clockwork-arcade (Whack-a-Gnoll is a favorite); and automaton musical devices, clockwork jugglers, weavers, and assorted curiosities (miniature, mechanical-elephants, randomly ride unicycles across venue-spanning-highwires.) The collapsible cages of the clockwork menagerie reside here also, scattered throughout the beribboned foot-maze. All of it is attended by Fynch and his ever-vigilant assortment of living, gearforged, and clockwork “assistants.”

…Or Carnival of Crime?

Long before the next settlement or city darkens a horizon, levers will be moved and dials adjusted. Inside the travelling workshop, contracts and maps are reviewed; contact lists, transactions, and cargo manifests are all double checked.

Spells are cast, and stealthy clockroaches prepped, as clockwork kestrels(see Tome of Heroes) are sent streaking skyward, bright and silent, toward programmed deeds and destinations.

Fynch has droves of felonious associates, business relations, and rivalries. Foremost among them are the scores of prominent underworld figures and organizations. These range from organized-crime families, smuggling rings, and sprawling old thieves’ guilds, all the way down to bandits, street gangs, gambling rings, and beggar’s leagues.

While loathe to fleece his carnival clientele, Fynch’s irrepressible resentment for authority and social-status often wins out. Carnival goers displaying excessive wealth, badges of office, or other signs of status risk a pick pocketing, at minimum. Some are tailed, reconnoitered, and recorded; their businesses or homes are slated for burgling at later dates.

Fynch’s other clientele (and victims) are frequently of more urban and nefarious mien. Guildmasters, gang-lords, crime bosses, and cult leaders are targets of hisclockwork kestrels. They seek confirmations of arrangements and transactions, of sit-downs and future criminal-collaborations, or fulfillment of favors, debts, deals, and vendettas.

Obscured Origins

Even those steeped in such matters find rumors, informants, and the few official records on Fynch’s origins to be incomplete. Bribery, coercions, and even magical-research have been found lacking among those few knowledgeable and ambitious enough to direct them towards Magludias Fynch or one of his enterprises.

Reared among the squalid gnome-ghettos of a distant metropolis, Fynch is whiskered, wild-haired, and thick-set for a gnome. Gnarled, scarred, and near-sighted, Fynch is known for his volatility. He still recalls the corrupt orphanage, back-alley knife fights, and brass-knuckled bar brawls of his childhood.

Fynch is ruthless, ambitious, and a borderline sociopath. He is a micro-engineering genius, a master mathematician, a brilliant inventor, alchemist, draftsman, and machinist.

He is also, most agree, a touch more than half-mad.

Magludias Fynch (“Mister Fynch”)

Small Humanoid (Rock Gnome), Chaotic Neutral
Armor Class 14 (17 mage armor)
Hit Points 60(11d6 + 22)
Speed 25 ft.

10 (+0)18 (+4)14 (+2)19 (+4)14 (+2)8 (−2)

Saving Throws Dex +7, Int +7, Wis +5
Skills Acrobatics +7,Arcana +7, Deception +1, Perception +5, Sleight of Hand +7, Stealth +7
Senses Darkvision 60 ft., passive Perception 15
Languages Common, Gnomish, Kobold, Thieves’ Cant
Challenge 6 (2,300 XP)                              Proficiency Bonus +3

Artificial Antennae. This headpiece resembles a madcap jeweler’s loupe. It sports a monocular, multi-faceted, eye-lens, four copper-antennae, and an earpiece. The headset allows five minutes of silent two-way, telepathic communication with any single clockwork creature of Fynch’s creation within 1 mile.

Cantrip Polymath. As a practicing cantrip adept (see Tome of Heroes), Fynch gains two additional cantrips from any class spell list (GM’s discretion).

Gnome Cunning. Fynch has advantage on Intelligence, Wisdom, and Charisma saving throws.

Squinty. Fynch suffers disadvantage on initiative, and on Perception checks involving sight whenever he’s physically separated from his artificial antennae. Re equipping the device suspends this effect.

Spellcasting. Fynch’s spellcasting ability is Intelligence (spell save DC 17, +8 spell attack). He knows the following:

  • Cantrips: fist of iron*, friends, mage hand, mending, shocking grasp, tick stop*
  • 1st level (5 slots): charm person, chromatic orb, disguise self, mage armor, sleep
  • 2nd level (3 slots): blur, invisibility, phantasmal force
  • 3rd level (1 slot): haste

*see Midgard Heroes Handbook


Multi-Attack. Fynch makes 2 Retractable Boot-Blade attacks.

Grease-Gun. Ranged Weapon Attack: +7 to hit, range 120 ft., one target. Hit: 17 (3d8 + 4) acid damage, and the target is splattered in a greasy compound, causing the target and the space it occupies, to be affected as if by the grease spell, for 5 (2d4) rounds.

Retractable Boot-Blades. Melee Weapon Attack: +7 to hit, reach 5ft., one target. Hit: 7 (1d6 +4) piercing damage, and the target must succeed at a DC 13 Dexterity saving throw or have their Speed reduced to 0 until the next initiative phase.

Wrist-Rocket. This concealable contraption holds three explosive darts, one of each kind. Ranged Weapon Attack: +7 to hit, range 50/200, one target. Hit: 4 (1d6 + 1) piercing damage, and the target must succeed on a DC 15 Dexterity saving throw or suffer one of the following secondary effects:

  • Flashbang. The target takes 10 (3d6) thunder damage, and is blinded.
  • Tear Gas. The target and any creature within 10-feet of it become heavily obscured and poisoned for 5 (2d4) rounds.
  • Tangle Wire. The target and any creatures within 5-feet of it take 5 (2d4) slashing damage and are affected as if by the entangle spell.


Streetwise (3/Day). Fynch can take the Disengage, Dodge, or Hide action as a bonus action while travelling through urban environments on foot.

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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