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Cryptic Monk, from Mission book


Neutral Knave Coins: Cryptic Monks – Lost in study, these men are nonreligious teachers employed by many noble households. They collectively run grammar schools for the poor, funded by bell ringers accepting alms in most cities. They act all too perfect.

Covered from head to toe, most of these men are riddled with signs of failed magical incantation. Some have self mutilated cutting off body parts. Disrobed anything might be seen missing or even attached to their flesh. Besides tumors and discolorations, the monks often are transforming into something else than human. Feathers are common, scales and fur as well.

Still, they are not known as adventurers? All their mishaps must occur in the many indigent dormitories they’ve built and manage. The cynical will assume the group are alchemists and vivisectionists, necromancers and demon summoners. There is no proven evidence any of that is true. Many a wicked man wears a robe, hood and cowl; that raiment does not make him a Cryptic Monk, except when it does. All of the order share one feature, they all have sliced off the cartilage of their noses. Their cowls include nose caps, some of metal but most of leather.

They serve the empire as a postal service and as town criers. Since most people do not read and write, the monks provide that service too. The news is dictated on one end and read back on the other, all for free, though gifts of meals are welcome. If handed an actual letter to carry, the first thing any monk will do is open it up and read. This ensures they stay neutral, and that they can record any misbehavior. The journals of these men would make fine lurid reading, except the Monks use code or write in a dead language like Hypatia.

Where any received their education isn’t clear. They may be solely teaching each other. Yet as well, their source of recruits is unknown. The monks do not run universities nor take any outside pupils past age nine. Yet conversing with any, you’d know right away the person was educated. Crazy perhaps, but calm and at peace. The group outwardly says it has no enemies, except it does. (Ref decides for his campaign or worse their hatred fluctuates.)



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