Tales of Eos
Translation: A Hero for Times of Peace
Kahn remains a loner, a reflection of his years spent as a hermit, having recently completed a 40 year vow of silence prior to his journey across Terra Malrotte to intercede as a trained mediator in the war between hobgoblin and man. Although he maintains that Lord Del is Rivenhold’s best hope for the future, his recent trip through time, resurrecting from death and then bearing witness to his friend becoming the cause of one of the bloodiest moments in the war, has left the pacifist shaken to the center of his being.
Without Kahn’s influence, the southern journey into the Burning Wastes has taken a darker turn. It is doubtful that the pious half-elf would have stood by while Del lost control and murdered innocent women.
He has trained in the northern cloister of The Last Roof Before the World’s End where he honed his skills at research as well as his skills in the martial arts.
Being the only non-human of his cloister, he has long outlived most of his brothers and become somewhat of a mythical figure among the novices. His younger brothers in the order spread the rumor that he must be near 60 years old, being unfamiliar with the longevity of elves. In reality, Kahn is 93.
An avid reader, Kahn exhausted the monastery’s vast library in his early twenties. He holds that information ready for near perfect recall. However, much of the monk’s literature is hopelessly archaic.
During his fifties Kahn became regarded as a saint amongst the sparse villages of the The Far Eastern Steppes and garnered renown for his kindness to animals and children. Always at one with the common people throughout his travels, the monk knows no piety or formality, and instead radiates warmth and kindness.
His compassion towards the poor of the world extends also to Hobgoblins, Orcs and Demons who Kahn views as holding a role and purpose and respects according to the teaching of his order. It has been noted that this mindset leaves him open to being taken advantage of.
Though hailing as a native of the The Far East, Kahn was not born there. His days in Eos began on a bed in the nicest hovel in the worst part of one of the better neighborhoods on the outskirts of Grunwald. He was born a only son to an unwed and impoverished Wood-Elf. His mother had often sold her own fairskin and the novelty of her thin frame to coarse and brutish men around her. Sometimes it was for food, other for medicine but mostly it was just when rent was due.
The elven-maid never suspected that the frequent customer with the potent seed that he once left in her belly was in truth her own liege the Duke, who often of late ranged far afield to escape his wife’s needy bed and bitter tongue.
Nor could the maid have predicted the wrath of the duchess when watchful eyes betrayed her nightly trysts in exchange for small bags of copper.
The Duke’s indiscretions were not so rare and his wife’s coin was not so generous to allow for precise revenge. Instead, the spring, summer and autumn of that year were marked by a flurry of brutal murders on the outskirts of Grunwald. Elven-maids all, the victims were hung upside-down, skirts dangling over their faces. They were each pale and drained, knickerless to testify to their trade, displayed above the very streets they once walked.
When his mother did not return one evening, it was left Kahn’s only other relative, his grandmother, to answer the baby’s cries.
The poor old woman was shocked near to death the next morning when her daughter’s body was found, swinging by its ankles with the slender throat opened into the village drinking well.
In fear that what she believed to be reprisal would encompass the babe as well, the crone fled eastward with Kahn tucked beneath one arm, navigating slowly through the dangerous northern territories.
As a somewhat skilled woods-witch, the old woman made the best home she could for the growing child, teaching him to walk (ever east) and then much later to listen and learn the strange tongues of the lands through which they passed.
The woman’s fear slowly transitioned to dementia, accelerated by her grief. Ever east she drove the boy, " The Last Roof you reach Before the World’s End shall be yours," she would answer when the boy asked why they had no home.
On the steppes beyond the eastern arms of the Kraken the old woman’s legs gave out. Yet she made the boy who was now almost ten, take her ancient but sturdy walking staff and promise to keep moving eastward until he found the final roof that was to be his.
And so Kahn was found one spring morning sleeping beneath the arch at the monastery’s gate, at first appearing to be nothing more than a small pile of rags. Of the Seventy-Two brothers, none could recall having ever seen such pointed ears, but the Ki Master remembered record of an, Elven Brother, some hundred years previous and when they found the remains of his death-mask they saw the ears were pointed just like the child’s.
They allowed Kahn to stay with them in the Northern Cloister and serve the Keeper of the Scrolls in exchange for his pallet and rice.
In his twenty-second year, Kahn was allowed to take the vows of a brother, along with eight other pilgrims who had climbed the cliffs to the monastery to seek training in the Balance of Eos. Though this was the largest influx of novices that any brother had ever heard of training simultaneously, all nine progressed as far as their Ki would take them. All mastered meditation, one became Bell Watcher and another Master of Ki. Yet talented or not, one by one Kahn outlived them all.
In his ninetieth year, with no living contemporaries and nearing the end of his forty years of silence, in a weariness of life that was seen by his brother’s as senility but would have been easily recognized in the west as a mere elven midlife-crisis, Kahn walked across the monastery path and stood before the Southern Cloister.
He paused before The Grave Master who extended a bowl of wet clay to the half-elf. He dipped his face into the musty coolness making his death mask like so many had done before him. There was a reassurance in knowing that as he traveled into the earth, an earthen memorial to his time at the monastery remained.
Two years later, Kahn did what no other Brother of Eos in had done in written memory. As silently as he descended into the cave, he reemerged. Blinking at the dusk-light around him, he staggered across the road to the northern cloister and quietly begged the Ki Master’s leave in a voice that cracked with disuse.
Dressed only in tattered rags, the man left as the boy had come, barefoot and with nothing in hand. Yet, he paused at the gate and gently untangled his grandmother’s Iron-wood staff from the rose vines that grew around it and broke not a thorn. For eighty-two years it had waited where he left it, and now it too was ready to return.
In his sash was a scroll not written by any being Kahn had every encountered. In glowing letters an urgent hand had commissioned the bearer with a task from which there was no promised return.
The saw-grass rustled around him and his every step pointed towards the setting sun. For the first time in his life, Kahn walked westward.