Short Sharp Shock
A Chapter  from the Short Life and
Unnatural Afterlife of Herbert Hooperheever


An informal biography compiled from anecdotal accounts by
Lequan D'errow, Purple Sage and Royal Historian of the Kalada Ve

Young Herbert Hooperheever had a little problem with passing out when under stress.  He was also a short, skinny little dink with a big nose.  

Herbert was the sixth of nine children of Leroy and Musette Hooperheever.  Big Daddy Leroy worked in Unca Buck's Brewery, loading and unloading and heaving around the big casks (called hoopers).  Herbert wasn't exactly made for the family business, however, and was apprenticed out to the local mortician at the age of 15... and passed out at the sight of death.  He was then apprenticed to the local thatcher... and was so  frightened by heights he passed out and fell off the ladder.

And so it went.

And "unnatchrul things happened around that boy." according to the neighbors.  "Thangs moved round by theirselfs and doors opening and closing with no one standing thare."  

Finally, a priest was brought in who tried to exorcise the demon out of little Herbert. This was an ugly and grueling exercise, and our young miscreant cut it short when he ran away and joined up with the Tinker and Gnomely Travelling Circus and Extravaganza.

The circus's illusionist, Grimthackle the Great, determined that Herbert was not possessed, instead he was an untrained and emotionally unstable sorcerer.  The old boy then gave Herbert enough rudimentary background and practice that it stopped the unintentional manifestations.

Herbert had found his niche in life, the place where he truly belonged.  He worked behind the scenes with the troupe’s spiritualist, Madame Zelda, using his primary arcane access (invisible force fields) to provide “spirit manifestations”. He also had a talent for what can be best described as practical joke enchantments, and on his better days joined the clowns in the ring.  His occasional unintentional loss of consciousness was worked into the act.

And, low and behold, by gnomish standards, Herb was a bit of a hunk.  Too tall, of course, and his nose was a tad small -- but he had no problem catching the eye of cute little she-gnome Annabelle.  But, alas, Annabelle's parents refused to allow her to marry outside her race, no matter how gnomish Herbert might appear to the human eye.

The stress of the rejection not only exasperated Herbert's fainting fits, it gave him a recurring case of the hiccups that wild surged his castings. The worst, final, and most colorful attack occurred during Madame Zelda's attempt to call up the spirit of Firewarden Celharmon’s dearly departed mother…

Broken hearted and running from the police, Herb left the troupe when it was passing through Red Rock Springs.  There he heard of a magic school that wouldn't turn away sorcerers and bards who were able to pay willing to apply themselves. He counted his coin and realized that the money he had earmarked for his life with Annabelle was just enough for the first three month's tuition in Concentration, Spellcraft, and Arcane Intentionality.  

Unfortunately, he found his efforts still undermined by the tendency to lose consciousness when under stress and his hurricanes of hiccups. And that was why he was in the north tunnel, practicing his spellcasting away from the academy proper, the night of the lich attack... 

Last Updated: 08/13/2007