Who Ordered the Stake? - Misadventures in Barovia
Old naive blind monk.
Gillian is a Monk from the Moonbow Monastery up in the Nether Mountains. Gil is over seven-hundred years old but age makes no difference to an elf.
Living in the monastery, Gil was mostly tasked with being the bookkeep, thus explaining why he knows a few things from the world because for the majority of his life, Gil has never left the monastery until recently, when he was tasked with finding his 2 missing brethren.
As a monk of Sehanine, Gil has almost no worldly possessions. The things that he carries with him are his staff that has no symbols or engravings along with a bag for supplies. He lives a simple life wearing only his warrior monastic robes that are colored mostly gray and blue in representation of the Moonbow group.
Being an elf, Gil is 6’6 tall, and is physically built for being an older person. He is near mastery in martial arts and in channeling his Ki energy needing only a few more levels to progress. He can be very quick and light on his feet almost being superhuman with the skills he possesses.
Although, Gil carries many useful traits, he is not very keen on reading a person. At times he can be too trusting with his decisions which lead to bad situations.
Recently, Gil encountered death and therefore lost his eyes. He now relies on his senses to get though life and complete his tasks.
A place where none have a surname and where few are born outside the walls.
A place where all that is practiced are martial arts and defeating undead creatures.
A place where followers learn the teachings of Mysticism, Dreams, Death, Journeys, Transcendence, the Moon, the Stars, and the Heavens.
This place is the Moonbow Monastery.
Many who live within this cult in the monastery have only known the one Goddess Sehanine Moonbow. Thus being never being exposed to other religions and practices, they all believe she is the one true Goddess.
Gillian born on the Monastery, has never stepped out to the outside world. Being raised as a monk since birth, he never met his parents. There is no recollection of him knowing any blood relatives. The monks in the mountains leave all attachments behind when it comes to worldly possessions, but are allowed to care for others and form basic relationships. Up in the Nether Mountains, they are all brothers and sisters. Gil was raised no different from how everyone was raised there. There were no special privileges or different ways of running things. Everyone had the same equal chances. Of the few that have ever stepped into the monastery, most would say every inhabitant is very similar to one another; Speaking with a strange accent, mostly all being dressed the same, and their thought process of being close minded.
As was the way of the monks, every single day since he was capable, Gil trained with others. Martial arts and hand to hand combat was the main focus for hours. They studied whatever books were available and kept practicing the religion. In the center duogong temple of the stars, a passage is written:
“I am born to serve Sehanine.
I eat to train.
And I train to endure the pain.
With pain, I gain strength in life.
With strength, I have the ability to fight.
With my will, I fight to destroy the undead
May Sehanine guide me on my journey unto death.”
These practitioners take the religion very seriously and anyone that would tell them otherwise may become a subject disgust to their eyes. Because of the devotion to these practices, even at a young age these monks can be deadly. Many would even say that they are possibly deadlier without a weapon. The Sehanine Monks though, prefer to not incite battle unless it is on the undead, but when you fight and train every day of your life, sometimes one cannot help themselves.
The monks practice in harnessing what is called Ki. It is the invisible life force within one’s own body and encompasses the energy of the universe. This energy within their body enables them to heal, protect or generate force. The intense training at the Monastery revolves around this concept. Mostly unknown to the outside world, when in use, the conductors of Ki look almost superhuman to an individual and it would be a spectacle to be able to witness a fully mastered monk utilize this energy outside of the walls.
However, because of the darkness in the area, the gates to the Moonbow Monastery are rarely seen open to outsiders, therefore it is shrouded in mystery of what happens up on the mountains. These days, it is even more rare to find an elf wandering about the townsfolk as well. Not many people know but only at night in the darkness would the warrior monks venture out to destroy any sort of undead creature lurking around the land. They do this to protect the monastery and Sehanine’s teachings in their quest to vanquish all of the vile creatures. In the darkness it is harder for them to be spotted and more undead happen to become active at night.
The only instances in present times where one can catch a glimpse of an elvish monk are once every month or so. The monastery’s headmaster sends two monks to the nearby village for books, food, supplies, clothes, ect.. to keep the monastery sustained taking about a three day journey more or less. For years, only 2 have been sent during those times and out of the many practitioners at the monastery, not many were selected to go. Once the Headmaster had confidence in the select few, she would just keep sending the same ones without the risk of sending a newer person.
The monks that were able to go would come back telling stories of what they saw and got trinkets every now and then for the members. Gil would always love hearing them with great interest but never felt the need to leave the nest. He read books from the world beyond and imagined in his head tales of fantasy and everything that could be going on. As time passed by, Gil would be telling his own fantasy stories to the younglings, despite the fact of never venturing out himself.
From all seven-hundred-sixteen years that Gill has been alive, he was never chosen for a supply run or to be part of the warrior troop. Either out of bad luck or sheer disinterest. He grew to be wondrous about what was beyond the mountain but has never gotten the chance to see, until one day when for some reason, two elves that were sent for supplies, haven’t returned. Although the monastery is not worried for the lack of supplies, everyone including the Headmaster has become worried for the two missing. Therefore, the Headmaster called upon Gillian to search for the missing companions giving him a chance to finally venture out after waiting what seems to be a lifetime.
“Gill, you have become wise with the teachings of Sehanine from your time being here and you continue to grow as a very competent fighter. I need you to make this journey to find our brethren, no matter how long it may be. I stress you find out what happened to them and hopefully if Sehanine wishes, bring them back home. Remember your training and practices if any trouble comes your way. Remember to be smart and keen, and always know that everyone can be an ally and not to assume they are enemies. May Sehanine be with you always to guide you.”~ Headmaster Elyon Gilbella
Ready with his just the clothes on his back and some supplies, Gil ventures off to finally see the world of how it truly is with the task of finding the missing members of the monastery. Carrying the mindset that everyone is truthful and friendly unless they are undead. He is ready to take his step into a larger world.
As Gil leaves the gates, he sends his goodbyes to his brethren. Crossing the jagged moat dug around the sacred temple and passing the tall trees that seem to be guarding the monastery, he reaches the edge of the horizon of foliage. Looking down on the world below, his eyes witness the beauty that beholds. Making his way down the mountain he seems to be very curious about everything. Never experiencing anything outside the confinement of the mountain before he does not know what to expect. Everything seems so open. He sees animals that he has only ever read about in books before. All sorts of different plants and wildlife and structures all for his eyes to see. Even though to everyone else Barovia is gray, gloomy, and gross, Gil is in amazement.
With excitement and with purpose he sets off with his mission meeting a few fellow adventurers on the way with their own ideals. Not knowing anyone else, he joins them in hopes that they can assist him.