XIV: Kgabo

Temperance

Description:
Bio:

“You must be strong, Kgabo. This world is harsh, and many will bend to it. Those who cannot will break, but you must be like the mountain, neither bending nor breaking to any hardship placed upon you.” -Thaba Moshesh

Backstory

The monk known as Kgabo was born to the Moshesh family, a group of Mwangi pioneers who, many generations ago, migrated from their unforgiving jungle home to Tian Xia in the Far East. Finding acceptance in monastic tradition, the Moshesh smoothly adopted the teachings of Shugendo, a path emphasizing physical endurance and asceticism. It is in the mountain monasteries of the Shugen faith that Kgabo began his life, under the strict tutelage of the Yamabushi, or Shugenja monks.

Named after a word meaning “monkey” in the family’s traditional tongue for his skin, dark even for a native Mwangi, and wiry build, Kgabo learned the intense discipline necessary for Shugendo at an early age. Week-long treks through the barren mountain wilderness and rigorous exercises designed to test the limits of his endurance were commonplace, and his young mind was shaped in an environment mostly sterile from the corruptions of excess and unclean thought.

Kgabo proved stronger than many who attempted this training, andi t became clear that he was determined to be the equal of any trial placed before him. This did much to elevate him in the eyes of his granfather, an elderly monk named Thaba, who believed that his grandson had the potential to attain levels of enlightenment never before considered by his peers.

After two decades of unforgiving training, the time came for Kgabo to undergo his final trial, a momentous test of endurance that, should he succeed, would herald his elevation to a full monk, or Shugenja. The tiral for each potential monk is different, and Kgabo’s was chosen for him by his grandfather, who suggested that the boy be sent deep into the Mwangi Expanse. There, he was to wander the jungle, surviving all its perils, until he was able to retrieve some physical evidence of his family’s heritage in the area. It was Thaba’s belief that the unforvgiving Mwangi wilderness would test Kgabo’s endurance and survival skills as never before, while strengthening his understanding of his ancestors and cultural heritage.

Thus it was that Khabo began preparations for his journey. He spent a full two years studying every aspect of Mwangi culture and geography, becoming fluent in the local Polyglot even as his continued his normal daily tarining. On the day of his 22nd birthday, he departed the Shugendo monasteries with nothing but a single set of robes and his ceremonial conch shell, eventually finding passage on a ship destined for a city near the heart of the Expanse, offering his own labor in place of payment.

Appearance and Demeanor

Kgabo is of average height for a Mwangi human and, beyond his dark skin and tense, wiry build, has very few remarkable features. His head and face are always cleanly shave and, indeed, the rest of his body seems almost unnaturally clean at all times, his skin often gleaming in the presence of any bright light. Though he only owns one set of clothing, a set of white robes tied at the waist with a simple cinch, they are fastidiously maintained with the diligence that only a life spent training in a monastery can attain. Kgabo always carries a ceremonial conch shell, usually at his belt, a symbol of his path.

To others, Kgabo may seem strange, or even distant. His rigorous training has left him serious, pragmatic, and tense, always ready to react. He is, however, a kind person at heart, as any who spend enough time with him eventually discover, and surprisingly naive about things that many more worldly take for granted. This is not due to any lack of intelligence, and Kgabo is careful never to make the same faux pas twice.

XIV: Kgabo

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