It came to me while I was out shopping. The voice said “You are the chosen one”. I had always known I was special. It went on “You must dedicate your life to contemplation and gather others who wish to share in sublime glory”. I knew then that this was no mere flight of fancy so I went home, quit my job, sold my house and told my wife I was leaving Sheffield for greater things. She didn’t understand at first but now I think she accepts it. She and my children now live in Newcastle with her sister.
– Father Lemuel, The Brotherhood of the Glad.
The Wandering Mystic is a strange beast. At first he makes you think of an esoteric holyman making his was across continents dispensing wisdom in return for a crust of bread. He walks barefoot and shaves his head, his clothing is coarse and plain and signifies his humility. Some may see him as a beggar or a lunatic but most regard him with awe as he flouts modern conventions.
The reality is much less romantic. He still shaves his head and walks around barefoot but he is much more likely to own several cars and his bare feet seldom touch the cold ground and are cared for by expensive manicurists. His followers work hard in their respective careers and give their worldly belongings gladly. He might be targetted by one of those documentary investigators for his new television series but every member of his collective interviewed will talk at length about how his teachings have enriched their lives
Darren Mitchell was an unemployed factory worker before his Shining Moment. His wife Sharon wasn’t quite as enthusiastic when he announced he was going to become a preacher. She was more interested in when he was going to go down the Jobmarket and get a job. This preacher malarkey was just another grand scheme. “The way I’m playing it” he would rhyme off as he was about to elaborate on the next great scheme. They were going to get rich two years ago with his chip-van sideline and last year he managed to get his hands on a load of computer games which he was going to sell down the market and make a killing. Neither made him any money so now they had a greasy smelly health risk filled with obselete computer programs occupying the front lawn. And to top it it all he wants to be a preacher.
Sharon did what any responsible mother would. She packed up her bags and moved herself and the children to her mothers house. Darren didn’t really mind. He sold the house and disappeared.
Six months later The Brotherhood of the Glad appeared on television. The documentary that featured them interviewed a few members who spoke volumes about how fulfilled they were and arranged a meeting with their spiritual leader, Father Lemuel. You can imagine the look on Sharon Mitchell’s face when she recognised her husband under the bushy beard and voluminous robes.
The Brotherhood of the Glad has been accused of brainwashing and kidnapping but nothing like that actually goes on. The acolytes wake at five in the morning and begin their chores. After that (usually at about noon, some say when Lemuel wakes up) gather into the Hall for a sermon. The sermon is mostly the usual new-age feel-good nonsense but normally sensible people attend and afterwards speak volumes of well-being and confidence they have received as a result.
Darren takes his new life quite seriously. He honestly believes that he is enriching lives when he speaks. The fact that others more successful than him agree with him provides him with more proof. He sees his relaxed lifestyle, collection of soft furnishings and numerous sexual partners as his legitimate payment for his services. He doesn’t believe in magic but has a strong belief in fate, luck and destiny, People who he perceives as lucky instantly earn his friendship as part of his personal philosophy is to surround himself with positive influences. This means lucky people, wondrous examples of art and craft and beautiful women.
Though not a magician, this character wields considerable power. He may have a touch of magic that has been realised through this vocation. He would not be a suitable as a player character unless the other players were also important members of the same cult. He coould be a powerful ally and a powerful enemy as his disciples include city lawyers and brokers and family members of other influential people.
Okay, this one’s funny!
Sharon Mitchell might disagree.
Thanks for posting this. Quite a clever way of presenting a character stereotype.