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Presto, or the Magician, and also called Preston,[1] was a wizard and an adventurer from Earth and the Realm (no relation). He was a companion of the monk Diana, the barbarian Bobby, the fighter Eric, the ranger Hank, and the rogue Sheila.[3][2]

Description[]

He wore glasses and a long green robe, with a matching floppy pointed hat over his tatty auburn hair. Presto had a golden sash around his waist that fastened his robe and held a couple of pouches.[3]

Personality[]

Though quite intelligent,[3] and wise,[2] Presto was lacking in self-confidence.[3][2] This caused him to become nervous or hesitant in stressful or hazardous situations, especially when casting magic or trying out something new. Although he loved magic and knew it was his strength, the physical prowess of his friends made him feel inept or weak in comparison. He needed his glasses to see well, so he feared to be without them.[3]

Abilities[]

Being a competent wizard, Presto could cast spells as strong as ice storm and wall of fire.[3]

Possessions[]

His most well-known possession was the hat of many spells.[3][2] Similar to a rod of wonder, it generated random effects when used. It could be used to summon material components and empower spells.[3] However, it could often be useless.[2]

Preston carried a significant amount of other magical equipment, such as a wand of magic missiles and potions of aid, cure serious wounds, and displacement.[3]

His gear was mostly magical. He wore a cloak of resistance, a headband of intellect, and a ring of protection. He also had a dagger, his spellbook, waterskin, trail rations for a day, flint and steel, and three torches.[3]

History[]

Presto and his friends were originally from Earth,[3][2] where they were in something called "the ninth grade".[2] There he was entirely lacking in the Art and could barely even perform sleight-of-hand tricks with cards. Yet, when he became trapped in the land known only as the Realm, the entity known as the Dungeon Master called him "the magician" and gave him the hat of many spells. Presto was afraid but excited at the opportunity to command actual magic.[3] Later, they were in some place they called "the Forgotten Realms",[2] evidently not knowing the difference.[speculation] Aiding by the Dungeon Master, they battled monsters sent at them by the villainous Venger and tried to defeat him for good while struggling to find a way home. During all this, Presto found his soulmate.[2]

The Victims of Tiamat[]

Living long before the mid-to-late 14th century DR, he was among a band of young adventurers who were all trying to find a way back to their distant home. However, it was said they were all slain horribly by Tiamat, together with their miniature unicorn. By 1369 DR, the Adventurer Mart in Athkatla, Amn, displayed paintings of his two friends, Hank and Bobby.[4]

The Grand Tour of the Realms[]

In the 1360s DR, Presto and his friends made their way to the town of Shadowdale in Faerûn so that Presto could ask the great sage Elminster to take him on as an apprentice. While drinking in the Old Skull Inn, they spotted Elminster, but Presto was hesitant until his friends cajoled and taunted him into approaching the mage. He did, then lost his nerve, but his friends stood beside him to declare his suitability. So Elminster decided to take Presto with him on his "evening rounds" where he checked on various ongoing matters around Faerûn.[1]

Thus, Elminster whisked Presto away on a whirlwind tour of the Realms, teleporting the two of them from place to place while teaching him much of the history, society, geography, and heroes of Faerûn. He corrected his misconceptions and gave a lot of practical advice besides. First, in the Desertsmouth Mountains, they overlooked a battle between the Ebon Dream orcs and the Iron Banner barbarians, but Elminster's goal was to show Presto some Netherese ruins in a cavern. Here, Presto picked up a glowing green gem and they were surprised by a sharn, before Elminster teleported them out of there. Now in Cormyr, they visited a private club for mages, called War Wizard and met travelogue writer Volothamp Geddarm. Next, they went to Skullport to meet Qilué Veladorn, who called Presto a 'studmuffin'. While discussing drow and other figure, the sharn caught up with, but Qilué and Elminster zapped it with magic. Finally, they went to Turmish, where they aided Alias and Dragonbait in defense of a temple of Deneir against a force of gnolls led by a priest of Cyric. Presto used Elminser's magic staff to blast gnolls, until he was clubbed down and nearly killed by one, before Alias slew it and saved his life. Once the battle was over and the temple saved, Elminster took the weary Presto back to Shadowdale.[1]

There, outside the Old Skull, traumatized and beaten, Presto realized it was too dangerous to be Elminster's apprentice. That was when the sharn appeared a third time. At Elminster's hinting, Presto returned the glowing green gem to it, and it vanished. Elminster gave Presto some parting encouragement and departed. Returning to his friends, Presto heard all their questions and insisted he didn't want to talk about. Nevertheless, Presto soon had some ideas for future adventures with his friends.[1]

Now he was older, he was tall and slender. Presto had grown wispy facial hair in the shape of a goatee. He wore green robes trimmed in a blue-and-white pattern and a pointed brown hat.[1]

The High Sun Games[]

In the late 1490s DR,[note 1] Presto and his friends, all adults now and without unicorn, were one of five teams competing in the High Sun Games in the newly built arena in Neverwinter. They evaded the displacer beast and even got to the center of the maze and safely inside the sanctuary cage at the end, winning that round. However, the Red Wizard of Thay Sofina used the horn of beckoning death above the arena soon after, so their fate is unknown.[5][note 2]

Went to Waterdeep[]

Aged only 14, Presto and friends were camping in a forest one night when the Dungeon Master arrived to check on them, soon abandoning them again with promises of finding snacks, such as the spicy fried potatoes they liked. Hank grew annoyed at this and their lack of progress on getting back to Earth; he had a new plan, but Presto and the others were tired and were accepting their new life. Presto wanted to make the best of being in "the Forgotten Realms". But then driders and darkmantles ambushed them, and they fought their way out and into a mysterious portal that opened. It dumped them from a height into the streets of Waterdeep, now in daytime and autumn. They were met by a girl who was pleased her spell had worked.[2]

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Appendix[]

Background[]

First appearing in the Dungeons & Dragons cartoon series of 1983–1985, the characters Hank, Eric, Diana, Presto, Sheila, and Bobby were teenagers from Earth who were transported to a place called 'the Realm'—which is not in any way, shape, or form related to the Forgotten Realms setting or the world of Toril. Despite this, since the end of that series, they have made no less than four cameo appearances in Forgotten Realms sources, before having a comic series of their own set in the Realms (plural), Saturday Morning Adventures, which either mistakenly or deliberately retcons their adventures as being in "the Forgotten Realms" (a strictly real-world term for the setting).

As such, their five appearances in the Realms (plural) are contradictory and spread over more than a century of time, with them having different apparent ages and, in one case, being seemingly killed before their next chronological appearance. Short of a storyline involving cloning and/or time travel, these are difficult to reconcile. However, it should be noted that in The Grand Tour and Honor Among Thieves they are older, slightly different in appearance, and not actually named (Presto is 'Preston', the only with a name), so they might be considered copies or homages. In any case, for completeness, each appearance is included here.

However, to maintain focus on the Realms (plural) and avoid further confusion, only information from Forgotten Realms sources is included here and the Realm is considered not to be a part of the Realms.

In Honor Among Thieves, Presto was played by actor Seamus O'Hara.

Notes[]

  1. The Honor Among Thieves movie and its tie-ins are as yet undated. As discussed here, from the condition of Castle Never and Dagult Neverember's reign, this wiki estimates a date of the late 1490s DR for the main events of the movie. Prequels and flashback scenes are set up to 11 years before this.
  2. After reaching the cage, the cartoon characters are not seen again. The beckoning death smoke later engulfs their position in the arena, but it is likely they left before this. Their purpose for competing is also unknown, but they may also have been trying to stop Forge and Sofina.

Appearances[]

Gallery[]

References[]

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