on Sep 4, 2005
Played By: Shamus (Endo is an NPC when I’m the DM)
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 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.
Shamus Young is an old-school OpenGL programmer, author, and composer. He runs this site and if anything is broken you should probably blame him.