Scenario Based
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Comments: 15
Ideas: 0
Rating: 4.7333
Condition: Normal
ID: 1045


November 12, 2005, 7:12 pm

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Michael Jotne Slayer
Ancient Gamer
Dragon Lord

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Haran Hearthheart


All know that Elves cannot die, and that Men do. All know that Men go unto the Underworld upon their death, and that the Elves retire unto the Spiritual Elysium. Yet in the Great Scheme, where goes the one with one foot in the Underworld, and one foot in the Realm of Spirit?

Special Equipment:

A small array of sacred relics of varying purposes can be found within the halls of Haran. Few are meant for fighting.


The monastery of Haran is a typical monastery of the followers of Celestia. Its narrow halls and small cells are carven all of stone, with wide windows to admit the light of the moon and stars. So too is the high wall, interlocking bits of granite cemented together. It is a place for consideration of the soul and the skies, peaceful and quiet.

Yet, as one walks the halls, one soon gains the feeling of being watched over, protected, in a manner similar to no other place on earth. When no one watches, chores are done, items moved here and there as of magic, though no spell is ever worked, nor prayer uttered. Dust seems forbidden here, the walls and floor perpetually polished to a perfect sheen. Something, then, is clearly wrong.. or is it right, with this monastery. But what is it? Or who is it?


Once, many centuries ago, the monks who lived here in quiet worship of their sky-goddess opened their gates to find an abandoned child, in a basket woven of clay. For the monks of Celestia, who prefered to live apart from society, these lost, abandoned children were the future of a brotherhood sworn to celibacy, and so it was that they were accepted, a way of service to the community for them. And so it was that this one too was taken in and named Haran, which in the old language meant, ‘Gift of the Earth’.

It was as Haran grew that the brothers soon learned the reason for his abandonment, for though the child appeared the same as any other boy as a babe, he grew tall and slender, his crystalline eyes slanted and unnaturally, his ears sharp in form and function, his tread as quiet as the cat. The boy was of mixed blood, both Man and Elf. Still, this was of no matter to the Brothers of Celestia, for beneath the light of the stars, all creatures are the same.

For his first hundred years, Haran was as the other brothers, a simple monk who tilled the land and prayed to the light of the skies above. As the years passed, he ound himself still young and strong, in the elven way, while his brothers grew old by the generation, leaving him to lay them upon the Bier of the Stars in the Final Ritual.

As the second century passed, Haran grew into his middle years, looked upon by his brothers as a font of wisdom, for though his body still remained young and strong, he was a fixture of the community, a pillar that had been and always would be. Yet, he declined again and again the mantle of the head monk, knowing that such was not for him.

It was as the fourth century passed that Haran felt the call of Elysium. He was old in mind and spirit, though not of body, his soul worn down by the passage of years over a mortal mind not made to endure the flow of time. Yet Elysium would forever be denied him, for though he felt the call, he could not follow. His limbs were stone rather than ether, his battered heart a rhythm of stone instead of the dancing motes of light. Yet those same accursed years that tore at his mind and emotions left his body unscathed, and so there was but one final path left for him.

At the hour of midnight, in the dead of winter, the time when one year passes into the next, the half-breed monk laid himself down upon the Bier of the Stars, and closed his eyes, to pray to the goddess he had served so long. His prayer was simple, a request for aid in dying.

When such a lifespark cries out to the gods for such a purpose, especially one so faithful for so long, they hear, and oft times, they respond. What came upon the monk came without form of man or woman, neither beast nor angel, but rather, the pure light of the stars. It came without words, without sign, yet the monk knew. By pact eternal, his goddess was bound, unable to help the monk pass into the afterlife of Man, forbidden by his Elven blood, nor the next life of Elf, forbidden by the blood of Man. Yet all was not without hope. From times before, a length of time so long as to be meaningless to all but the gods, a debt was owed. This would be a small thing against that debt. Would he take it? The monk’s response was unspoken, a single crystal of thought. He trusted.

Then, even as one moment passed into the next, one day into the next, one year into the next, so too did Haran pass into his next life. At once, both his goddess and a strange, earthen power touched him, one healing and reforming his spirit, the other taking his body and remaking it. The Elf-Man creature sank into the Bier of the Stars, his body swallowed by the still Stone, while his refreshed spirit began to fuse with with it, diffusing and spreading through the walls of the Monastery. As in life, he would serve his goddess in death, his mind spirit reborn of earth and light, things to survive the passage of time.

And so, for centuries now, Haran has watched over and protected the brothers of Celestia, an eternal bulwark against the darkness of the world…

Roleplaying Notes:

A spirit of Stone and Earth, Haran is the monastery, and the monastery is he. He is capable of moving things about within the monastery, even changing the shape and lay out of the building itself, though he rarely finds the need to do this latter. He hears and sees all things within the monastery, though over the years, he has become a paragon of discretion. He is also able to make himself heard, though his voice is soundless and seems heard from a vast distance at best.

He is able to influence the immediate lands around himself, and has seen to it that they are always fruitful and living, even in the worst of times.

For short times(for him - months to years), Haran is capable of causing a golem-like manifestation to issue forth from the central hearth of the building, an earthen manifestation for himself, shaped as his old body once was. It is this body that he takes upon himself in the times that the monastery requires defense, though his conciousness remains within the building itself, the golem the same to him as a hand might be to a man. The golem is not capable of leaving the monastery grounds, much in the same way that a man’s hand is not generally capable of detatching itself and floating around to do things at the bidding of his master. In combat, the golem fights with its bare hands, though it should be noted that it is effectively untrained at such, as the monks of Celestia do not practice the martial arts.

While not a mage, Haran does have total control over the stone of the monastery, and is often able to mimic the effects of various earth magics through that control. Similarly, many such magics require his permission to function on his grounds, as his will and strength will easily deny any such effects upon him.

Over all, Haran is content with his life: He has passed beyond and been touched by the goddess so as to accept it. Attempts to talk him into a second ‘suicide’ are futile, and he will cling to this ‘life’ with every bit of will he can muster.

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Comments ( 15 )
Commenters gain extra XP from Author votes.

Ancient Gamer
October 27, 2004, 13:31
5/5 If there were any special honours given on this site, this is a submission I would nominate. A beautiful and original version of the "living building" phenomenon.
October 27, 2004, 17:07
Truly, a man worth knowing, both alive and in the afterlife. A positive character, both suited as unseen patron to PCs of bright soul, and unyielding enemy to those of dark intent.

Now, let us hope than no new head monk will try to rebuild the monastery.
October 27, 2004, 21:53
Way to make half-elves special!
No pointy-eared man here, but a real spiritual being, with drama.
Excellent- good tragic guardian for an abandoned building, too.

"Look here! The forgotten treasure of the Celestian priests!"
"Touch it not, or pay thine weregild in blood."
"Holy crap! The pillar's falling on me!"

October 28, 2004, 3:44
Truly a gem.
Gives Siren the coveted Golden Penguin for the most original character submission.

Barbarian Horde
November 10, 2004, 0:21
Nice idea, and rather a nice touch on the way half-elves work. Also a rather stylish way to make the monastery a fascinating relic in and of itself. I rather expect that if word ever got out about it that Haran would get harassed repeatedly by inquiring mages hoping for a dose of immortality...
November 10, 2004, 3:15
Indeed very nice and usable. If I may be so curious, (out of topic for the NPC/location itself) what was the debt?
Siren no Orakio
November 15, 2004, 19:31
Thank you for the compliments, folks. As for what the debt is, well.. I never actually decided, to be completely honest. It really didn't seem important, though it would be something the god of Earth and Stone owes Celestia. It could very well be anything under the stars, quite literally. So, I'll leave it unexplained for you to play with. =P
Barbarian Horde
December 21, 2004, 16:01
Are the monks still here or is this abandoned? If the monks are here then surely they know of the powers of their building. Do they commune with the building itself to help make judgements that concern the occupants? Do they listen? Having the building hearing all and seeing all would certainly be an effective way to enforce their vow of celebacy!

Overall, great! 5/5.
Siren no Orakio
December 27, 2004, 15:54
What you make of the monks in (or not in) would be entirely up to the GM of the game, he's capable of existing with, or without. Whenever I think of Haran, I think of him as being full of an order of monks not entirely unlike, say, Fransican friars... except when I'm feeling saucy, in which case Haran is full to the brim of ninjas.
Ancient Gamer
November 14, 2005, 11:42
One of the old classics. Whenever you think the pure 5 votes are the best on the Citadel, take a look at this stroke of genius! Siren no Orakio, the master of NPCs, at his finest!
Voted Dragon Lord
November 15, 2005, 8:56
Quite right AG - definitely a 5 and I'll nominate for the Hall of Honour as well

Won't bother to comment further - coz it's all been said, other than to say

Voted Michael Jotne Slayer
June 2, 2006, 16:46
Good stuff.
Voted Murometz
April 12, 2012, 21:01

What they all said. This is right up my alley. A unique and memorable NPC, that makes you go huh? But then it all comes together and makes perfect sense. Good tone on this one. Good writing. Begs to be used in a game.

Voted valadaar
April 18, 2013, 15:44
Okay, this is a hidden wonder. I agree with the commentary and love the writing.

Top notch!


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