Kulothiel

Kulothiel is a Master-Mage, the greatest living wizard in Astrom. He is the Keeper of the Mountain and dwells at Oron Amular. As Keeper he is also the Head of the League of Wizardry, though he alone now remains of that ancient and inscrutable institution. Mortal man he may be, but long abiding near the Pool of High Magic has lengthened his lifespan far beyond its natural limits. This is not the usual pattern for mortal wizards, but Kulothiel has a special anointing and a high destiny.

He was born soon after the advent of mortality, and was amongst the first mortals to be admitted to Oron Amular, though this caused great controversy at the time. Consternation was also sparked in the League when he was taken to apprentice by the then Keeper, Mage-Lord Ereithan, who saw unique potential in the young mortal.

Kulothiel’s first foray into the great events of the world came soon after his initiation into the ranks of the warrior-wizards of the Third Circle. He and his brother Kurundar were selected for the important mission of locating the second Pool of Magic, which had been announced by the Oracle. On the ensuing Quest of Oron Barazand, the brothers braved many adventures and great perils before Kulothiel was obliged to return home with a dreadful wound that nearly claimed his life. Kurundar went on to complete the quest, but this was not known till much later, for all contact with him was lost by the League.

After his recovery, Kulothiel returned to active duty and served many tours across Astrom, but as the years lengthened he began to be disquieted by rumours of the dark fate that had befallen his brother. Eventually it became unmistakeable that a great power was rising in Urunmar, though Kulothiel was reluctant and slow to believe the growing consensus that it was Kurundar, harnessing the power of the Second Pool for his own ends alone.

Kulothiel marched reluctantly in the great alliance which confronted and overthrew his brother in the First War of Kurundar. Neither brother fared well, for Kulothiel was again wounded and Kurundar was banished into the cold wastes, though not slain as some believed at the time.

In the period of Kurundar’s absence there were other forms and sources of evil in the world, and Kulothiel, now risen to the exalted First Circle of Master-Mages, was busy in countering these wherever they arose. He was at the forefront of efforts to resolve wars in Ciricen and between Ithrill and Hendar.

Many years later the world was astonished when Kulothiel succeeded Ereithan as the Head of the League of Wizardry, despite the existence of more senior elven mages. It was Kulothiel’s fate to endure the Silver Wars and confront his brother’s return to power and redoubled evil. At times it seemed like Kulothiel’s successes were small and few, but he was instrumental in strengthening the Free Peoples and preventing many sorrows.

As attention switched from Lancearon’s empire-building to the renewed menace of Urunmar, Kulothiel made it the official policy of the League to back the Silver Empire and work with it, which caused a rift within the League, for many mortal wizards, and even the High King of Kalimar, opposed both Lancearon’s vision and method. Complete unity proved impossible to achieve, and grievous among Kulothiel’s trials was the defection of many wizards to his brother’s side.

Yet Kulothiel did succeed in reconciling many of Astrom’s powers to Lancearon’s empire, and his efforts helped foster growing co-operation between the Free Peoples and the concomitant growth of Uiveryar, the Common Tongue. Among Kulothiel’s greatest successes were the establishment of an impenetrable forcefield to fence out Urunmar’s evil, and destruction of the magic-borne Amastroth Plague, which did so much hurt to the Silver Empire late in the Third Chapter.

Even so, his true trial came with the outbreak of the Second War of Kurundar, when his brother and nemesis invaded the south. Such was the growth of the north’s power that Kulothiel was unable to restrain his brother, and could manage only the orderly yet inexorable retreat of the Free Peoples. Defeat piled upon defeat until he found himself defending the borders of Kalimar itself, leading the faithful wizards against their treacherous counterparts.

Kalimar survived and the Free Peoples eventually reclaimed their lands, thanks in no small part to Kulothiel’s power and leadership. Kurundar was against forced to flee, but Kulothiel knew in his heart that still more woe lay in store before the matter could be settled once for all.

Yet in the Fourth Chapter Kulothiel could preside only over the decline of the League of Wizardry, powerless to prevent its diminishing strength and influence. The elves withdrew and the mortal mages perished, with none to take their place. Faced with redundancy and even extinction, Kulothiel resorted to desperate measures and began working with new allies to finds the means of ultimate victory.

As he had foreseen, Kurundar returned again and rebuilt the power of Urunmar. Kulothiel led forth the League of Wizardry to a final battle with the powers of dark magic in the frozen wasteland of the north. In a fearsome battle he annihilated most of the dark wizards, but the price was the loss of all his own mages. Wounded and robbed of victory, Kulothiel alone of all the League returned to Oron Amular. But for his daring sacrifice, Urunmar might have launched its next war with overwhelming force, but the secret to victory still remained elusive.

In this hour the Oracle and arose and spoke to him, presaging Power Unimaginable and decreeing that a Tournament be held. Thus the plans were laid for the Quest of Oron Amular…

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