Cantripper by Ryan Kirkby

Kender Cantripper Longgrass, where are you? You're supposed to talk with me on the Kender magicians we found out about recently.

Sorry Malecus, I was downstairs getting some snacks. You said it was going to take some time to tell the others about all this and I was hungry.

Very well, but don't try talking with you mouth full. This is a very fragile and temperamental piece of magic.

Bu' mwyh? (Spewing bits of food in all directions. Swallowing) Oops. I mean 'but why?' What could happen if I do? It's not doing anything, unless floating in the air counts as something. Hey, who's that staring at us, and why is he pressing all those buttons down there? What is all that stuff behind him? Why does that candle have no flame, only a glowing ball, and what's in that thing over there? It's got a peculiar green glow to it, and there's all these globs just moving up and down, splitting and joining! And . . .

If you must know, he thinks he is coming up with the words we're saying right now. The buttons he is pressing acts like a very odd type of gnomish-like writing machine. The object behind him is called a 'Lava Lamp'. And the area this screen is connected to is volatile when it comes in contact with foods, and especially with liquids. Move that pitcher of Lemonade farther away, just in case.

Really? Lava? Connected? Volatile? Oh! Do you mean 'the demiplane of information' you keep writing about in your books and diary? Hey! If those buttons are like a gnomish invention, why isn't it on fire yet?

My books? Diary? What have I told you about reading my special books, Longgrass? And I don't have a diary; it is a journal of my expeditions.

You told me I would get whisked away to a small, circular, glowing, doorless, windowless, itemless, featureless room and slowly go insane from the complete and utter boredom. But you go away for so long sometimes, and I wonder if you've went somewhere really, really interesting and forgot to take me along. Or that you might be in trouble, and I might find a way to get to where you are and help! Besides, your 'journal' keeps updating itself on what you're doing and where you are. And those scrolls under your bed get boring after a while.

What? I, I don't have any scrolls under my bed!

Sure you do! Here, I'll get some to show you!

(Snapping fingers) Well if I did, then I don't anymore. Come back here and sit down, and we can get back to the topic at hand.

'kay. But you did have scrolls under there.

Fine, whatever. Now, the race known as Kender has been widely and thankfully known about Ansalon as a non-magical race. However, the Dwarven race is also known for their lack of magical talent. Both races are supposed to be this way because of their involvement with the Graygem of Gargath. However, despite loud and often violent protests, I have found evidence to the contrary on both races.

Really? Wow! How'd you find that out? Those dwarves'd never let a human get away with knowledge like that! Did you use that spell that makes me feel like they're all those bugs running along my skin? Or that one that made me a Minotaur for a week?

Teleport and Polymorph, yes. And if you'd have kept away from that old magical tome, then that would never have happened, and I'd have had gods-know what kind of spells.

I told you I was sorry about that. Besides, it wasn't all that bad, except for when that female Minotaur got a little 'smitten' with me, and when her boyfriend found out. That was a little hectic. Especially when the spell wore off.

Please, don't remind me of any of that. It took me a month to get the right spell from Wayreth to get our hair to grow back to the right length, and even that didn't go right!

Yeah, but it was really neat having that beard, even if only for a week! Besides, who knew that his axe could turn into flames like that?

Yes; however, we must get back to the present issue. As I was saying, there is a clan of Dwarves known as the Theiwar, who not only practice magic, but embrace it. Such an occurrence leads logic to state that Kender too, can wield magic. However, the lack of concentration within the general Kender population excludes all those except the most devote.

What do you mean 'lack of concentration', I'm plenty concentrated!

Are not you the same person who took a week just to chop ONE log?

Yeah, but on the first day I saw a really big snake, and I had to follow it! Then on the second day I saw that elf with wings like an eagles'! And on the third day, the rainbow gecko told me to fly away with him and the elk that whose face was melting, and I cant remember anything of the next three days, so . . .

Did you eat those mushrooms I took from Thorbardin to try and recreate their 'unique beverages'?

Huh? Oh, you mean their Dwarven ale? Only one! But they looked so big and tasty. Why?

No reason, just keep away from them from now on. Would you get me some of those snacks I keep in the box that taste vaguely like cheese?

Sure, I'll be back as soon as I can find them. (Runs off)

(Malecus snaps his fingers, and a box appears in his hands. He takes a handful of the snacks within) Mmmmm, cheesy. Now I can get down to business. As I said, only those with great willpower can utilize magic. However, a Kender is a Kender is a Kender, and they still retain all their innate abilities to 'handle'. Their vitality remains undiluted, unlike most practitioners of the Art, even after learning to cast higher level spells. Before learning to cast real spells, the Kender must first learn to cast cantrips. Due to the sheer amount of cantrips they learn to cast, as well as the fact that the cantrips remain separate from regular spells, unlike conventional mages, I have termed this class of mages 'Cantrippers'. Like wizards, they can only wear leather armor or lighter or be unable to cast spells involving somatic gestures. They learn to use only ceremonial weapons and their native 'weapons'; and it should be noted that this extends to the usage of magical items as well. Ah well, time to get Longgrass back to let him tell the rest. (Malecus snaps his fingers, the box disappears)

(Longgrass soon comes running in) I've found them Malc! They were right in front of my eyes all along, don't know how I missed them!

Your timing is most fortunate; it's your turn to talk about the spells the Cantripper can cast. I'll go get 'The Complete Collection of Conjuration's and Cantrips' book, and I'll help you out.

Thanks! It's in my room, on my nightstand.

What is it doing there? I told you not to take my books out of my room without telling me first.

Sorry, you were gone for about a month, but I left you a note where it was, see? 'I took your book. I'll give it back soon'

Very well. Your spelling is atrocious. Have you been practising your lessons while I was gone?

Kinda, but every time I get started, I end up making doodles all over the page. You should see the latest one I did. Here, it's in my pouch, just wait a minute; I'll show you. Nope, that's a deck of cards. It's a real neat one too. I took a card, and it showed these flames on it and from the card itself, this really big guy with all these horns appeared and asked about how he had come there. So I told him I knew nothing, then he called me a liar! I got so mad, I said a few things you said I shouldn't mention to people like that, and he got all red in the face, and said I would 'rue the day our paths met', or he wasn't a feared member of this place he called Avernus, and then he disappeared in a puff of smoke that smelled like he took a . . .

Avernus? Big? Horns? How big? Red in the face? I'll . . . make sure that he didn't get the wrong idea about you. You just say what the Cantripper can do, and I'll be back with my book in a short while.

Thanks! *Ahem*. Well the Cantripper, who did have a name of his own, despite what Malc seems to indicate, which was Calis Shadowhider, said that first learned to cast these really small, but really fun spells, he called cantrips, and they did all sorts of neat things like cleaning a room, drying out clothes, dusting, make plants grow faster, and wrap up stuff like herbs or flour. He even said it could make people do things like blink, cough, or giggle. He also told me that he recently learned to cast spells like other magicians! He did all sorts of neat tricks like make a very quiet dragon, and made himself look like a human for a while. He also told me that every so often, his spells become really fun, like when he tried to cast a spell that would tell him how many goblins were in a group in the valley below, and a big bolt of lightning came out of his fingers and zapped all the goblins! He was very sorry, until he found out that they were going to ambush some Solamnic Knights. They even politely thanked him, but wouldn't believe him when he said that it was because of the spell he cast. Imagine that!

(Malecus once again enters the room) Which might be why Kender mages haven't been heard of or studied before now.

Huh, why not?

Most other races get very nervous at the very thought of Kender wielding magic. In their minds, even a magical display could be written off as some odd event of nature or slight of hand. The effects you mention seem to recall to me wild surges, the occasional effect of using the more ancient and unrefined spells. Mages of Lunitari are also known to wield such spells, which leads me to the belief that it is she that bestows such, umm . . . 'blessings' upon Krynn's children.

Hey! Why'd you pause for so long before saying blessings? And you said it like it was a pile of . . .

I was merely trying to find the right word for the occasion. In any event, the other races can take rest in the fact that such chosen Kender are few, aren't affected by any of the phases of the moons and must try exceptionally hard to reach the notices of dear Lunitari, before learning a whit of magic. Longgrass watch that . . .


I told you to move that pitcher of Lemonade, now look what you've done to my sorceries.

And I told you I was sorry, I thought I did move it. Well, at least you'll get the chance to perfect that hair-growing spell for us, right?

Hopefully, yes. Most likely, I hope you like hairy eyelids, or fingertips, or some such other thing akin to that. There, it's back working again! Now, where were we?

You were just finishing up everything.

Yes, thank you. Now let's see. Hmmm. Wait a minute, I think I'm done. Humph. Well how's about that? All that, done for naught. Oh well, go take the snacks down and put them away; I'll join you in a minute or so.

Sure thing, It'll only take a moment. (Longgrass runs off)

Well that about sums it all up, here's a list of quantified components for notes. It tells how the power goes up, as the Cantripper becomes more experienced at wielding such magic. (Malicious slips a sheet of paper into the bottom of the portal)

Are you coming Malc? It's almost dinner, and I'm hungry.

Sure thing, I've found a nice little spell to summon a baking elemental. Spaghetti for supper, then hot chocolate chip cookies for dessert sound good for you?

Wow! Really? Sure! Can I watch? Hey, does the elemental have horns like that guy I met with the cards? What was his name? Oh yeah! Bel!

What? No, don't say that name aloud!

Why have I appeared in this infernal hovel of a plane again? Where is my diminutive-minded tormentor? Show yourself, damned one!

Bel? You summoned Bel, Warlord of Avernus? Second in power only to Tiamat? Twice?

Well, I didn't mean to do it (crash from downstairs) Hey! Don't wreak my stuff! (Runs downstairs)

Longgrass! Wait, no!

You? Your soul will feel the tortures of ten thousand fiends, pointy-eared one! But first I shall punish your body with my sword of . . . Hey! Where is my sword?

Oh, I'm sorry, is this yours, you must have dropped it! You sure are lucky I found it for you. You know . . .

I hate it when supper's late . . .

A Note on Cantrips

The list of Cantrips is as follows, and takes anywhere from five to thirty seconds each. Complete information on cantrips can be found in the 1st edition AD&D or in the end of the Wizard's spell compendium series

Useful: Chill, Clean, Colour, Dampen, Dry, Dust, Exterminate, Flavour, Freshen, Gather, Polish, Salt, Shine, Spice, Sprout, Stitch, Sweeten, Tie, Warm, Wrap

Reversed: Curdle, Dirty, Dusty, Hairy, Knot, Ravel, Sour, Spill, Tangle, Tarnish, Untie, Wilt

Legerdemain: Change, Distract, Hide, Palm, Present

Personal: Bee, Bluelight, Bug, Firefinger, Gnats, Mouse, Smokepuff, Spider, Tweak, Unlock

Person-Affecting: Belch, Blink, Cough, Giggle, Nod, Scratch, Sneeze, Twitch, Wink, Yawn

Haunting: Creak, Footfall, Groan, Moan, Rattle, Tap, Thump, Whistle

  • Learn & Cast Cantrips
  • Learn & Cast Illusion/Phantasm, Wild Magic (Delayed)
  • Kender native and wizard weapons allowed
  • Magical item usage is as per Wizard and rogue
  • Casts spells from the Illusion/Phantasm, Wild Magic, and Cantrip (1st edition) schools
  • Leather armor or lighter
  • 3 weapon proficiencies, 3 nonweapon proficiencies
  • THAC0 is as per Rogue
  • Saving throws is as per Wizard
  • Minimum Ability Requirements, Int 16, Wis 15, Dex 13

Level Experience Cantrips Spells Hit Dice (d6)
1 - 1
2 3,100 4 - 2
3 6,200 6 - 3
4 12,400 8 - 4
5 31,000 10 - 5
6 62,000 12 - 6
7 124,000 13 1 7
8 232,500 14 2 8
9 434,000 14 2/1 9+1
10 899,000 15 3/2 9+2
11 1,364,000 15 4/2/1 9+3
12 1,829,000 16 4/2/2 9+4
13 2,294,000 16 4/3/2/1 9+5
14 2,759,000 17 4/3/3/2 9+6
15 3,224,000 17 4/3/3/2 9+7
16 3,689,000 18 4/4/3/2 9+8
17 4,154,000 18 4/4/4/3 9+9
18 4,619,000 19 4/4/4/4 9+10
19 5,084,000 19 5/5/5/4 9+11
20 5,549,000 20 5/5/5/4 9+12
21 6,014,000 20 5/5/5/5 9+13
22 6,479,000 21 5/5/5/5 9+14
23 6,944,000 21 5/5/5/5 9+15
24 7,409,000 22 5/5/5/5 9+16
25 7,874,000 22 5/5/5/5 9+17

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