Character: Endo

  By Shamus   Sep 4, 2005   14 comments
Name: Endo
Race: Human
Class: Monk
Played By: Shamus (Endo is an NPC when I’m the DM)

Backstory:
Endo is a follower of the Ki-Tan fighting style. He lived in Highstone Monastery, a large stone structure overlooking the town of Bridgehold in Grey Moor. The town and the monastery formed a sort of symbiotic relationship. The Monks guarded the town (so traditional town guards were not needed) while the townies provided food and clothing for the monks.

Over a few generations various misunderstandings led to quite a bit of animosity between the two, and eventually they came to resent each other. The story is too long to relate here, but the short of it is that at the time of our story it was the custom for select monks to become “guardians” of the town. As part of their guardianship, they take a vow of silence and also a vow never to strike (or even threaten) a resident of the town. After seven years, their guardianship would end (along with their vows of silence and pacifisim toward the members of the town) and it was more or less expected that they would leave the monastery to seek their fortune elsewhere, or stay and become teachers.

Young men of the city would often take advantage of this vow and taunt or torment the very guardians that kept them safe from external threats. (A bit like the way people picked on the Amish in “Witness”) Different monks came up with various ways of dealing with this. One simply ran when accosted by surly young men in town. Another avoided coming into town during the day, and instead ran his errands at night. He would sneak into shops, procure what he needed, and leave the money on the counter.

Endo had a different way of dealing with it. He stood there and took it. He would stand still and endure their slaps, insults and spit until they grew bored and left. Eventually the bullies (there were two young men who did this) grew angry that they couldn’t daunt the monk. They became more abusive, eventually punching and kicking Endo in an attempt to get SOME response out of him. Endo never made any attempt to resist them. They would pummel him until they were exhausted. For years Endo was covered in cuts and bruises.

As his guardianship drew to a close, the player characters came into town on their quest. Enoch the cleric encountered Endo on the road and offered him healing, which Endo silently refused.

There was a counsil at the monastery about the problems that players faced, and the curse on the land. During the counsil, Endo was released from his seven-year vow and a new guardian was sworn in. Endo spoke for the first time in seven years (his voice is very raspy) to thank his teacher, and then left without hearing the rest of the proceedings. The meeting was long (lots of talk between the players and the leaders of the city / monastery) and a lot of the plot was filled in. Towards the end of the meeting, Endo came in and sat down without saying a word.

As everyone rose to leave, a couple of townies barged in, breathless, shouting that Endo had just walked into town and murdered two men.

This was Endo’s solution to the bullies in town. He fulfilled his oath, and the moment it was over he went and snapped the neck and back of his tormentors. He did NOT do this out of revenge, but out of a desire to end the violence against guardians. From now on if someone abused a guardian, he need only stand still and accept it. His passive attitude would carry a very real implied threat: In seven years I will kill you.

From that point on, the abuse of guardians ended forever.

In the meantime, there were a lot of sore feelings in town about what Endo had done. It was decided that he should leave town and travel with the party as a guide through the mountains.

Just for the record, I had no idea “Endo” was slang for weed. I named this character after a minor henchmen in the original Lethal Weapon movie. I thought the reference was obscure enough that I could get away with it. Once I introduced him, the players had a laugh at my expense and explained what “Endo” means. They made jokes about his friends “Hawiaian Gold” and “Ganji”. Sigh.

Just don’t get the impression this guy is some sort of stoner.

As a stoic monk Endo almost never speaks unless he has something important to say, which is perfect for an NPC. I use him to feed the players info if they forget something critical, or as a way to give some backstory without introducing “random nameless peasent #5″ to do the talking for me.

1414 comments. (Fourteen is the sum of the first three squares.)


  1. Scott says:

    awesome story man. I never go into that much detail when making a character, I kinda make it up as i go along

  2. Killingsworth says:

    I’ve always loved playing monks and psionics. Must the simplicity of not having to rely on external “things” to get the job done.

  3. Noah says:

    Very well done. I loved it, gives Endo a empethetic look aqnd very understanding role great job. Where did you get the picture it is perfect for him?

  4. God of Awesome says:

    I love how this guy established an “I will kill you in seven years,” clause. Badassery.

  5. Robel says:

    You said -A bit like the way people picked on the Amish in “Witness”-. Is that a movie? Or what is it, the idea sounds nice and i`d like to see/read it.
    And by the way, Endo`s back story is simply genius. You`re good at this I see, I`ll enjoy reading on.

  6. LucyWanabe says:

    Yep, it’s a movie, starring Harrison Ford. A pretty good movie I’d say. :)

    Oh, and awesome backstory there, my friend. My one lament as a DM has always been that I never get to relay the backstory of that one NPC in the party, because my players never RP or ask each other things like that (it’s always “want to go kill stuff?” “sure!” **zoom off to stomp monsters**)

  7. Trae says:

    I do the same as Scott. I try to let my characters evolve as I get more used to how they play. Or I’ll think up little bits here and there that can change in certain ways. My current human fighter has a silver dragon bloodline (Unearthed Arcana), but he’s unaware of it, aside from family legend. But with permission from the DM, I’ve ruled that the bloodline effects him as it grows in power (levels). For instance his black hair has silver highlights, which is kind of a mark as to his heritage. His core body temperature will also start lowering (as a silver dragon’s does) but he won’t notice it because of the cold resistance gained. And finally, when in certain proximity of a dragon (proximity based on dragon’s power), he’ll start itching as the blood reacts. Small stuff that doesn’t really affect the story in any way. Unless you want to Detect Dragon.

  8. Gandaug says:

    I’ve been coming to this site for a long time now. I am just now getting around to reading the D&D campaign. I don’t know if anybody will ever see this post, but I figured I’d throw it in anyway.

    Very cool backstory, Shamus. I love how smoothly you fit him in to the PC’s party.

  9. Reaper says:

    Amazing. The best back-story I have ever read for a character.

  10. Chainsawhead says:

    I always wanted to make a Luchador Monk.

    • mhoff12358 says:

      I actually had a friend who played a lunchador character once, not sure if it was a monk. The stories were hilarious, including a time where he used Up The Walls to bypass a whole group of guards and tackle the Big Bad.

  11. Drake says:

    Why wouldn’t he be arrested or executed for his crimes? At the time he murdered those two townspeople he was their equals, surely there should have been punishment that amounted to more than “Go join that party of adventurers, please don’t come back.”

    • Wrandm says:

      In theory, he is not really a citizen of the town, and so, is not under their jurisdiction. And anyways, I’m sure that their society isn’t like our modern “lawful” society, that is, they don’t have organized justice. And remember, their only ‘police’ are the monks themselves, so he cannot really be judged by the town itself, and now that he is released from the monastery, he’s not really able to judged by the monks either, and I’m sure they’re glad for what he did, and are loathe to judge him over that. And really, with what you can get away with in a standard DnD setting, I’m sure its not really a crime at all. :P

  12. The Nick says:

    Remember, his crime was ‘killing the town jerks who made a hobby of beating the crap out of the town’s guardians for 7 years’. Enough to have random people offering priestly healing services.

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