Game Fodder: The Brothers of Rasil

Lately I’ve been working on a new Insta-NPCs product about bandits and have been using it to inspire some writing. Though these aren’t your traditional bandits, the brothers cause a certain amount of philosophical trouble on the roads and I wanted to share…

I used the product to create the following collection of terms:

  • Purpose: Belief
  • Style: Overt
  • Perception: Tolerated
  • Latest act: Debated
  • Stage: Wilderness
  • Descriptor: Habitual

That led me to write this…

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The Brothers of Rasil have been plaguing visitors to the Malen Plain in a non-violent way for nearly twenty years. Tolerated by the local authorities due to their safe, though sometimes inconvenient methods, they are a known quantity to anyone crossing the grassy sea to the northeast. Their leader, Brother Gery, regularly sends groups of monks on the many roads and paths to spread the word of Rasil, God of Life.

A band of brothers usually consists of three to five monks on foot, carrying heavy packs filled with their camp supplies. Some may use a mule or other pack animal to help depending on the distance they must go. They will travel for a period of several days until they have exhausted their stores and then turn home to share what they have learned. These bands consist of a mix of new and old members of their order and serve as a re-introduction of younger members to the ways of the world. It has been noted that too much time in the monastery gives the brothers a form of tunnel vision that must be combated should their order remain relevant in the modern age.

Each night on the road a band of brothers gathers at one of the common camp sites along the route and sets up a comfortable tent, a fire, and prepares a small vegetarian stew from vegetables grown in the Brothers’ gardens. To partake of such comforts, travelers must listen to one of the parables of the brothers’ faith, discuss their thoughts on the reading, and speak freely of their own life experiences. Brother Gery believes that each encounter with their potential audiences shares the wisdom of Rasil’s teachings and teaches the brothers how to interact with the world beyond the monastery.

No matter where the campsite is located, there will always be a large pavilion with enough room to sleep four comfortably. Several bedrolls will be available. The stew is always some combination of cabbage, carrots, celery, leeks, onions, parsnips, or turnips and seasoned with a bit of fresh garlic, basil, marjoram, parsley, rosemary, sage, thyme, or oats. Ingredients will vary based on the time of year and what the brothers have available. They will happily dish out some of the stew and give it to travelers in a wooden bowl with a crude wooden spoon.

Stories told around the campfire will vary greatly but stick to the topics of aging, growth, natural cycles, sacrifice, birth, death, and rebirth and other areas befitting Rasil’s role as guardian of the cycles of life, death, and resurrection. The monks are most worldly in their views and happy to hear news of all kinds. Anything they learn is then relayed to their superiors upon their return to the monastery.

It happens time to time that a band of brothers will be set upon by thieves or bandits on these holy journeys to spread the word. If none are seriously harmed in these encounters, the brothers will let their attackers go with no ill will. However, there are rumors of a dark figure among the brothers who will visit the less pleasant aspects of Rasil’s spheres of influence to reset the scales from time to time.

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Not your traditional “bandits,” but I think they’d be quite interesting to have show up during an adventuring session. Imagine the intriguing conversations that might result!

Stay tuned for Insta-NPCs: Bandits coming soon!

In the meantime, be sure to check out the rest of the Insta-NPCs series!

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This article has 2 comments

  1. forged Reply

    A very interesting idea, although I’m a bit puzzled. How exactly are these brothers actually bandits? Nothing you described seems remotely illegal.

    • Fitz

      They steal your time and stories on the road when you may not really wish to do so… It’s a big stretch of the term “bandit” and why they’re not exactly your traditional type! 😉

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