The Wizard in Iron
(a.k.a. The Iron Wizard, The Iron Sorcerer, The Ironclad Mage)
Oh, I can vouch for him being real. Saw him up close five-six years ago back when I rode guard with Nine Coins. We'd just hit town after a long route and me and the boys was headed to the Minotaur to see how fast we could spend the silver we'd pried loose from the paymaster's fingers. Just as we was gettin' ready to turn onto Owl Street was when we saw him. It wasn't like he walked into view--he's big enough, we shoulda seen him comin'--more like we looked up and he was just there, maybe 50 yards ahead, right in the path of a man of the Legion who was headed toward River Gate. The Legion man didn't have time to do much more than turn pale as a corpse, but the look on his face told us that he knew the Iron Wizard was there for him. Before he could even turn to run, we heard a voice that sounded like it was coming form the bottom of the deepest pit of Hell say, "You have failed." Then a glow like a smelter's furnace surrounded him and we felt a blast of heat even from where we was standin'. When the glow left, the soldier's charred remains--he looked like a burnt piece of wood--held together for just an instant, then scattered with the breeze. By the time we tore our eyes away from the spectacle of the man's death, the wizard was gone. A minute or two later, everybody dusted the ash off their clothes and went about their day. What else can you do?
General Physical Condition
At first glance, the Wizard in Iron can be mistaken for a tall (nearly 7') warrior in old-fashioned armor and a masked helmet. It's only on closer inspection that it becomes apparent that the armor-like pieces are fused to other pieces of metal rather than held on with straps and buckles. The overall design of the armor (except for the helmet) is very similar to the armor worn by the elite guards of the Dragon Kings, leading many to speculate that the Iron Wizard has some connection to those who ruled during the Dragon Pacts. The Wizard's head resembles that of a statue, but appears to be hollow; the head has eye holes and a mouth slit like a mask, and a fiery glow can be seen behind them.
The Wizard in Iron moves somewhat stiffly and slowly, but the restrictions of his iron body do not seem to interfere with his ability to fight or use magic. He also emits heat that's noticeable but not uncomfortable to anyone within 5'. The overall impression is that the wizard's body would be hot to the touch, but if anyone's been brave enough to test that theory they either haven't shared their findings or didn't live to do so.
The Wizard in Iron is known to have an extremely powerful command of fire magic and has the ability to teleport. He sometimes flies above the city on a flying carpet as well.
The commonly accepted story about the Wizard in Iron is that he was once a human wizard who was dying, either due to some affliction or simply from old age. Unable to stave off the inevitable, he commissioned a great smith (or one of the Men Beneath the Mountain, according to some versions) to build a new body made of iron and steel. When the body was complete, he somehow transplanted his consciousness into the construct, granting himself a degree of immortality. The Wizard in Iron's recent appearances in Khezvaros began within the last 20 years, but tales of his exploits, both in the city and beyond, go back at least 500 years. Shortly after the Grain Rot Pact was signed, the Iron Wizard is said to have killed nearly a dozen people--both Khezvaran and Imperial--who had taken part in the negotiations. When Gr'thkor the Demon King briefly took control of the city, the Iron Wizard arrived to help fight against the demon armies. More recently, he paid a (peaceful) visit to Ilka the Faceless shortly after she returned to the city to reclaim her ancestral castle in Old Town. The wizard's current string of appearances in the city began when he appeared hovering above the harbor on a flying carpet to rain hellfire down upon the flagship of Ishtu the Pirate Queen. As the ship sank, the Iron Wizard swooped down and rescued three passengers before flying off to the west. The identity and ultimate fate of these survivors is unknown but subject to considerable speculation. It's unclear where the Wizard in Iron spends his time when not in the city. Some claim he lives in the ruins of Tir Vagyon, or some other underground location below the city, others that he has a hall or tower on some mist-shrouded secret island or remote mountaintop. More fantastical accounts claim that he lives below the sea, in the Land of the Dead, or in a pocket dimension of his own creation.
When the Wizard in Iron makes an appearance within the city, it's almost always to destroy a specific person (or specific people). Since many of his victims are corrupt, unethical, or sadistic, some people believe that The Iron Wizard considers himself a warrior for justice, punishing the wicked. Others counter this notion with the old Khezvaran proverb that "Anyone worth killing probably deserves it" and believe that the Iron Wizard's victims are those that have crossed him or whose activities interfere with some elaborate scheme that only a 500 year-old wizard could concoct.
The Wizard in Iron by Steve Johnson (Collage of Public Domain Images)
Quotes & Catchphrases
While the Iron Wizard does reportedly communicate with other wizards and perhaps others, most people who have encountered him have only heard three words: "You have failed." The person these words are directed at typically has just enough time to register them before being reduced to ash.
Andre Braugher (Voice)