Aspen Wand-maker is an itinerant merchant and craftsman specializing in creating wands, rods, and staves. He appears to be a human in his mid to late twenties but his knowledge, talent, and speech indicate he is much, much older. His hair is a coppery gold, like aspen leaves in the autumn, and his eyes are sky blue. He dresses in simple, sturdy clothes, without jewelry or other adornment. He appears to be quite poor though his clothes and tools are always in good repair. He is of average height and build, but his hands, arms, and shoulders are wiry with muscle from countless hours whittling, carving, and sanding wood. He carries no weapon, and casts no spells but he is in no way vulnerable.
With unerring precision, Aspen locates trees and branches where magic flows. He carefully harvests these branches, then carves and shapes the wood to bring out its full magical potential. He sells these to temples or mages for use in creating magic items. The inherent magic within them means they are more powerful and far superior to wands crafted by others. Aspen also creates fully magical items: wands of healing; rods of defense; staves of sure-footedness, and other similar items.
Aspen rarely visits towns or cities and when he does it’s to visit the Heart Grove there. He is a quiet, unobtrusive man. He rarely speaks, and people often think he is dim-witted. He mostly ignores people, and he never stays in the city for long. He will finish his business in the Grove, buy any new clothing or equipment he may need, and return to the forests.
Aspen is the child of a dryad and her human lover. He shares his mother’s longevity and affinity for trees, and his father’s wandering feet. The forests call him The Healer, and he wanders the world diagnosing and treating forest illnesses. The wood he takes from trees is usually a damaged branch that needs to be removed for the health of the tree, and the magic is offered to him as payment. Aspen’s biggest regret and greatest sorrow is that he is usually not welcome in dryad Groves. Most of the dryads see him as an abomination, and have shunned him since his mother’s death centuries ago.
This work by Jean Headley is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.