The Order of the Abbey
Hunter of the Undead
When Dr. Ethan is first introduced to the story, he is a long-time resident of the Morningstar Abbey, though unlike many who reside there, he is not one of its brothers. It is assumed that Dr. Ethan lives at the Abbey because of the religious aspect of his missions and because of his long standing friendship with Abbott Teris.
Ethan is presented as a dark, serious figure, but in spite of this, he is neither sullen or anti-social. He dresses in dark clothing and frequently disappears from the Abbey on one of his missions, only to return bruised, scratched, and cut. Of all of the inhabitants at the Abbey, he is the one who appears the most outwardly ready for a fight.
Dr. Ethan was given Brixmore the dwarf as his charge, and as his apprentice, Brixmore comes to appreciate the need to abolish and destroy the undead. Shortly before the party began adventuring, Dr. Ethan began to figure into their lives much more prominently. Ethan showed a willingness to include the boys of the Abbey in missions, enlisting their help in the destruction of a burgeoning vampire, and entrusting them to bring a mysterious vial to Viggio, a friend of the doctor who lived in Verl’s Crook. Initially Ethan earned the distrust of Guy and the contempt of Floyd, but on the night that Abbott Teris died and the party left the Abbey, the entire party had come to trust Ethan as an ally.
Although they do not see Dr. Ethan again for some time, the party learns early on while adventuring that Ethan is a friend and colleague of Garam, a gnome wizard they begin working for who lives outside of the town of Dreia in the Twilight Lands. Through Garam, they discover that Garam and Ethan are both members of an organization called the Seekers, a continental-wide contingent of experts who focus their energies on specific kinds of monsters (Ethan with undead, Garam with the Unseely Court, or the fey, etc.).
The party catches up with Ethan at the Cracked Flagon one day when he writes them for help with a mission he is working on. This mission turns out to be one for scouting and observing the activities of a very powerful vampire named Visgoth as he meets with the Fey Queen of the Unseely Court. The party discovers one of the roots of Ethan’s dedication and interest in the destruction of the undead – Visgoth’s chief lieutenant is Ethan’s daughter Ashlynn, his only child.
Ethan serves as a useful conduit of information for the PCs, giving them background information on the history of the Church, the Proclaimer, and the Betrayer (who the party believes has become The Harvester). He possesses several religious artifacts, including three of the twelve pieces of silver used to betray the Proclaimer, each of which has magical properties. In addition, he teaches Guy how to magically detect the presence of evil, and he provides the party with pieces of Kingsfoil, a rare and valuable herb that can remove evil diseases, curses, and the like.
Dr. Ethan is often present to provide cautions to the party before they embark on particularly dangerous quests. He is present at the Battle of the Cracked Flagon and the Battle for the Basilica, as well as joining the party, Garam, and others for a critical dinner meeting with Visgoth. To Ethan’s credit, he manages to contain his rage at this meeting, knowing full well that his efforts in this fight would be futile.
Ethan becomes less and less of a fixture over time in the PCs lives, but for his last mission, he reunites with them so that they can help. Traveling by ship to Nemia, the PCs discover that Dr. Ethan has located the hideout and base of operations on the eastern end of the continent that is run by Ashlynn for her master Visgoth. Ethan scouts and discerns the location of her tomb, and prepares himself to finish her when the PCs confront and defeat her at her hideout location in Nemia’s coastal city of Barradon. The party is successful at driving her back to her coffin, and Ethan finishes the job.
This endeavor naturally puts Ethan into a deep despair, and he finds he cannot live with himself after what he has been forced to do. He pauses for one last conversation with Virgil, in which Ethan pleads with him to see to it that the PCs do one day face and destroy Visgoth once and for all. Virgil agrees, and Ethan, seeking peace at long last, hurls himself off a cliff and into the bay. His body is recovered by Guy and Brixmore, and the party buries him next to his daughter, sealing off the cave where they are interred.
Of all of the mentors the PCs had at the Morningstar Abbey as children, Ethan has been far and away the one most involved in the party’s adventuring life as adults. While his sacrifice seems heartbreaking and unnecessary to the boys, he will always be remembered fondly.