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Golden Magus John Blanche Dreadfleet colour illustration

The mysterious southern sorcerer known only as the Golden Magus has always been a figure of fascination amongst the citizens of Araby. Rich beyond measure and eccentric in the extreme, the self-styled Sultan of the Seas has variously claimed to be a merchant prince, an exiled patriarch of the Colleges of Magic and even, at one point, the Gilded King of Copher reborn. Regardless of his true identity, his unpredictable and devious nature is infamous in the gambling dens and rott-houses of Sartosa.[1a]

The Golden Magus takes great pains to give the appearance of a wise man rather than a warrior. His one remaining eye is ringed with kohl, his robes are of the finest embroidered silk, and his skin is dusted with powdered gold. To the casual onlooker, the Golden Magus is a man of exotic tastes and refined manner. Only those who have seen him in action can attest to the fact that underneath his sophisticated exterior he is lethal indeed. The Magus can move with a speed that belies his advanced age, and his ever-burning blade is enchanted with a hundred fiery curses. The Magus true power lies in his magic though, for he is able to summon spirits of the air, of the ocean, and of flame. His secret lies under the minarets of his pleasure barge, Flaming Scimitar. These exotic buildings are host to a maze of concentric corridors, amongst which are dozens of hidden storerooms. Within their storage spaces are barrels of stolen treasure, exotic spices, narcotic incense, statuary from the Far East, the jewelled skeletons of hideous sea-monsters, and a pair of clockwork Thundertusks that obey the Magus’ commands. The sorcerer's most precious treasures are even more bizarre – contained within rank upon rank of magical jars that line the central chamber of each gold-topped minaret.[1a]

Each of the Magus’s magic jars holds a living element, imprisoned and bound to do the sorcerer’s bidding. When one of these jars is shattered, spirits inside will manifest, billowing and spilling out of the broken jar to coalesce into a mighty elemental spirit hundreds of feet tall. Such spirit will obey only a single command before dissipating into the ether, free to go about its business or seek revenge as it sees fit. Whilst it remains bound to the Golden Magus' service, the spirit will fight with every ounce of its strength against its master's enemies.[1a]

Those of the Magus' magic jars that are filled with sparkling seawater contain the essence of Sea-nymphs - or Salt Devils as they are known to the pirates of Sartosa - who can freeze solid around seabound foes or seal a hole in their master’s warship with living ice. Though they took the form of lissom wenches, the Sea nymphs are perhaps the most inhuman of all the djinn spirits, and delight in dragging those struggling to tread water so deep into the sea that their fragile human bodies crumple in upon themselves under the pressures of the abyss. The jars that contain a portion of each of the four winds will shatter into dust when the whispered word of the Golden Magus falls upon them, releasing Tempest Djinns that funnel their hurricane breath into the sails of the Flaming Scimitar. These storm-born spirits are capricious as zephyrs in temperament, but their raw might is that of a tornado, and they can pull even the most fearsome winds unto themselves like a shroud.[1a]

Those vessels that contain powdered sulphur and dried naptha may be ignited with a spark to release a gigantic Fire Efreet. A Fire Efreet is a creature of savage delight that cackles as it hurtles through the air; searing the decks of enemy ships and setting aflame their crew as it shouts curses that sound for all the world like the spit-crack of raw fresh melting on open fire. All these spirits and more are hound the Magus, for his sorcery makes even the beings of the Otherworld his servants.[1a]

In the hidden rooms under the decks of Flaming Scimitar lie three jewelled and gilded Great Urns, far larger than the rest. Each has an intricate spiral of skulls winding around its outside, crested by one of the three symbols that represent the elements ascendant over the forces of darkness.[1a]

Those of the Magus’s trusted bodyguards who have learnt of the existence of these urns whisper that they once belonged to the Great Necromancer Nagash himself, and that each contains a Royal Djinn powerful enough to eclipse the sun. The Golden Magus will not say a single word on the matter. Perhaps even the redoubtable Sultan of the Seas is afraid to open them...[1a]

SourceEdit

  • 1: Dreadfleet
    • 1a: pg. 38-39
  • 2: White Dwarf Issue 382
    • 2a: pg. 22

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