Masters in Exile is an ongoing series of articles where I will present fully fleshed out characters to fill the roll of master for the Jedi in your party. These profiles will include plot hooks, game stats, optional house rules, personality traits, sample quotes, and character development paths. It is my hope that these characters will serve as set pieces that a GM can dropping into their game, fully-formed and ready for play.
Ephaan Kenzon, Failed Jedi
Background: Ephaan Kenzon was once a promising Jedi Padawan during the last days of the Republic. Though Kenzon was a brave and skillful warrior, he found himself constantly at odds with his masters over the role he thought the Jedi should play in the galaxy. Ephaan believed that the order had lost its way, becoming too embroiled with the Republic and its petty politics. On mission after mission, he found that political concerns and corruption tied the Order’s hands, preventing it from serving the people who needed it most. Ephaan saw a galaxy that was becoming increasingly more unstable and the Republic and Jedi Order were too blinded with hubris and complacency to safeguard it.
These philosophical clashes would eventually turn to unauthorized action when, during a routine smuggling investigation, Kenzon discovered links between a slave labor run spice operation and governor of the Zeemacht Cluster. The Senate quietly pressured the Jedi Order to not pursue this, as removing the governor would disrupt an already unstable region. Ephaan ignored the order and took down the entire operation, exposing the corrupt government official. Following this debacle, Ephaan and his master were brought before the Jedi Council to answer for his actions. He probably would have been expelled from the order if he had waited to hear their verdict before he cut off his own Padawan braid and threw his lightsaber disdainfully to the chamber’s floor.
After wandering the galaxy for several years he eventually found a home on the backwater world, Baltimn. Here, he took over instruction at an ancient dueling academy called the School of Hidden Wisdom, which had been in continuous operation since the golden years of the Republic. He made a hard-earned, but honest living for years until the Clone Wars swept the galaxy. He stayed out of the conflict, as it confirmed all his fears about the future of the Order and thus managed to avoid the great purge following Order 66.
Training: It has been years since Ephaan has touched a lightsaber and any student who would seek his training in the Jedi arts would first need to provide a very compelling argument. Ephaan walked away from the Jedi and considered the Order to be deeply flawed when it still existed. In order to convince Ephaan to instruct them, they must first reawaken his ideal of what the Jedi were and/or what they could be in the future. His platonic ideal for a Jedi is very black-and-white – someone who acts when they see injustice or suffering, no matter how minor and regardless of the personal consequences. It’s important to note that Kenzon’s view of the Jedi Code was never truly orthodox and he never passed the trials – he may know how to wield a lightsaber but he isn’t a Jedi Knight.
If the prospective students somehow manage to awaken his sense of responsibility, Ephaan’s training is often equal parts humiliating and grueling for the would-be Jedi Knight. He subjects his students to weeks of mundane tasks such as cleaning or farming (usually loaning them out to help many of the locals in his backwater town) before even letting them touch a weapon. These exercises always have a hidden lesson (such as hard labor building endurance) and are designed to teach students that there are many ways for a person to make a difference without a lightsaber or the Force. In many ways, he is testing his student’s character more than anything else. He expects his student’s to quit and complain, that they will think themselves above helping people with their “minor” problems and that all they are interested in self-serving pursuits of glory, power, and adventure. It is up to his students to prove him wrong and reawaken the Jedi within him that has been dormant for decades.
Personality: Ephaan is gruff, sarcastic, and occasionally rather bitter. However, he is also honorable, wise, and humble (and has a very caustic sense of humor, for good or ill). He disdains arrogance and pride, seeing them as the cause of the Jedi’s fall. He is disillusioned with the Order and will go out of his way to squash any romantic notions a prospective student has about the Jedi or the Republic.
Character Development: If students stick with Kenzon and ride out his grueling training and gruff exterior with humility and patience, whatever tiny spark of his old self they had awakened will start to grow. Students performing heroic and selfless acts in the greater galaxy will reinvigorate and inspire him. In many ways, training these students in the ways of the Force is his own belated trial.
- “People have been helping others for millennia without a lightsaber, kid!”
- “It’s EXACTLY that kind of narcissistic garbage that wiped out the Order in the first place!”
- (While reclining and drinking from his flask) “Mister Oknoh needs help tilling his field today, you can get to that after you finish delivering nerf milk for Miss Enza…oh, and don’t forget to peel the tubers for tonight’s stew!”
Human male; Dueling Instructor/Failed Jedi
Strength/Weakness: Assertiveness – Obstinacy
Location: School of Hidden Wisdom; Baltimn; Outer-Rim.
Brawn 4, Agility 3, Intellect 2, Cunning 3, Willpower 3, Presence 2
Skills: Athletics 2, Brawl 4, Cool 2, Coordination 2, Discipline 3, Knowledge (Lore) 1, Knowledge (Outer Rim) 2, Lightsaber 4, Melee 4, Perception 3, Survival 2, Vigilance 3.
Talents: Adversary 3, Force Rating 2, Parry 3 (when struck by a melee attack but before applying soak, suffer 3 strain to reduce damage by 5), Reflect 3 (when struck by a ranged attack but before applying soak, suffer 3 strain to reduce damage by 5), Sleight of Mind (add a boost die to all Stealth checks), Uncanny Reactions (add a boost die to all Vigilance checks), Uncanny Senses (add a boost die to all Perception checks).
- Force power Enhance (o: gain or [users choice] on Athletics, Coordination, or Resilience check. o: take a Force Leap action to jump horizontally or vertically to any location in short range).
- Force power Move (o: to move one silhouette 0 object within short range to another location within short range. Spend o to increase the silhouette of the object he can move by 1).
Equipment: Wooden training sword (Melee OR Lightsaber; Damage: 6, Critical 5, Range [Engaged]; Disorient 2), lightsaber (in storage), simple robes (+1 soak), flask of local spirits.
Next time in Part 2: Plot hooks to incorporate Ephaan Kenzon and the School of Hidden Wisdom into your story, endgames for the character, and house rules to expand the mentoring system.