The End Is Not The End
Former monk, fastidious gardener of Lemongrove
Egg Shen knows nothing of his origins. An abbott once told him he was found as a mewling baby, strapped to the side of a donkey that wandered alone to the monastery gates. His entire youth was spent at the School of the Paper Dragon, a monastic order of the Way of the Open Hand that valued education and martial arts training equally. Snuggled deep in the mountains of Zheng Qi Er, their hamlet was a two day hike to the nearest village. It was a simple, fulfilling life, but young Egg rarely ventured beyond the walls of the school.
In his nineteenth year, an envoy from the Sword Coast passed through and was given a few days hospitality at the monastery. The party was led by Duke Brunswick Lemongrove, an passionate and inquisitive man who had spent some years traveling and exploring other lands before turning his party back home to LemonGrove. The party had become lost, and requested the help of a guide to escort them out of Zheng Qi Er, at least until the Desert of Long Min. Egg jumped at the chance and joined the party.
Though he had hardly ever ventured off the mountain, Egg had fastidiously studied the lands of Zheng Qi Er, proved a worthwhile guide, and even stayed with the party through the Desert of Long Min. Forty days into their desert trek, the party was set upon by bandits. The Duke and Egg were the only survivors. Bruised and battered and with zero supplies, the pair wandered the desert for four long days, until chancing upon a small oasis village. After recovering the two found themselves in need of gold and supplies to make the long trek back to their respective homes. And so they were recruited by a local camel merchant to find and liberate a herd of camels that had recently been stolen. Thus began their love affair with questing. Both Egg and the Duke would remember this as the happiest time of their lives.
Thirteen year later, one overcast evening, the pair were exploring an ancient ruin when they were set upon by a band of Kobalds. They were quickly separated, and Egg managed to escape with minor injuries. Despite searching doggedly for the next several weeks, he was unable to find his good friend. Egg presumed the Duke dead.
Despondent, and not wishing to continue adventuring on his own, Egg made his way back to Zheng Qi Er, looking forward to spending the rest of his days in quiet reflection. But upon reaching his home mountain, he was crushed to find the School of the Paper Dragon a crumbling, abandoned ruin. With nowhere else to go, he decided to make the long journey west to an idyllic place he had heard countless stories about – LemonGrove.
This journey at least would have a happy ending. Egg was overjoyed to be greeted by his old friend Brunswick, who was now Lord. After days of celebration and recounting old stories, it was decided that Egg would spend the rest of his days here at Lemongrove, finding the solace and quiet contemplation he sought while maintaining the verdant garden on the estate.
This solace would prove elusive, however. The Lord’s youngest son Appleton Barnsworth Lemongrove was just born, and from Egg’s first encounter (in which Appleton peed on Egg’s face, followed by a long howl) it was clear that this was to be a callow and incorrigible youth. Despite Appleton’s near-constant torments, Egg still managed to keep his garden green, his mind at peace, and his wits about him. Barely.