The monkey-eaters, a monkey, and a monk
April 25, 2011
Sometimes called Lost Soldiers, these poor fellows were left behind in the jungle during the Wizard Wars of long ago. Perhaps they were prisoners of war, left for dead with injuries and no provisions, deserters, or conscientious objectors. Maybe their commanders never released them of their duties, and they’ve stayed at their post for centuries. Whatever the case may be, the jungle has welcomed and recruited them as her own soldiers…damning them to bound duty for all of their remaining un-life. Stragglers may be found patrolling the jungle with blank expression or ﬁercely defending their post with suicidal determination. They often set traps and seldom attack unless as an ambush, but they will ﬁght to the death if cornered. Their ﬁnal breath is always one of great relief.
Some Stragglers have a taste for human ﬂesh, which they blithely call “monkey meat”. Others lead a more docile existence, tending gardens of purple potatoes and other jungle vegetables. They often communicate in delusional gibberish and non sequitur. For example:
• “It is with much embarrassment that I am still alive.”
• (With an arrow protruding from chest.) “That is not an arrow. We just imagine the arrows because we fear them.”
• “Come on! Kill me! I’m here! Come on! Do it now! Kill me!”
• “They’re all gone, sir…I’m the last one, sir.”
• (Extending own arm.) “When I’m dead, you can eat this.”
The Ancient Orangutan is an immortal and knows practically everything. He can speak all languages but prefers to stay quiet. Anything he does say is always deep and thoughtful, but he occasionally tells a subtle joke laden with knowledge, followed by a wide toothy grin.
The Wandering Monk roams the jungle in search of Stragglers. He grants their wish for death and then gives them a proper burial. He carries a saung-gauk harp, the music of which paciﬁes Stragglers. The monk never says a word, but communicates with others through the parrot that always sits on his shoulder. The parrot can speak any language.