Val	CHA	Cost	Roll	Notes
12	STR	2	11-	137kg; 2d6
14	DEX	12	12-	OCV:  5/DCV:  5
13	CON	6	12-	
12	BODY	4	11-	
18	INT	8	13-	PER Roll 15-
15	EGO	10	12-	ECV:  2
15	PRE	5	12-	PRE Attack:  3d6
12	COM	1	11-	
4	PD	2		Total:  4 PD
3	ED	0		Total:  3 ED
3	SPD	6		Phases:  4, 8, 12
5	REC	0		
26	END	0		
25	STUN	0		Total Characteristics Cost:  56

Movement:	Running:  6"/12"
		Swimming:  2"/4"

Cost	Powers & Skills
Ex-Crusader/Mercenary Skills
3	Talent:  Lightsleep
3	KS:  Veterinary Medicine, 13-
3	PS:  Groom, 13- 
3	Sleight Of Hand, 12-
3	TF:  Horses/Donkeys, Camels, Boats
5	WF:  Common Melee Weapons, Common Missile Weapons, Lance
3	Traveler
2	AK:  England, 13-
2	AK:  France, 13-
2	AK:  Holy Land, 13-
2	AK:  Mediterranean coast, 13-

Detective Skills
6	Sharp Senses:  +2 to all PER rolls
5	Deduction, 14-
7	Forensic Medicine, 15-

Monk Skills
1	Perk:  Monk
4	KS:  Herbal Medicine, 14-
4	KS:  Psychology, 14-
4	Latin, fluent/accent, with literacy
5	Paramedic 14-
3	PS:  Doctor, 13-
4	PS:  Herbalist, 14-
3	PS:  Interpreter, 13-
5	PS:  Monk, 15-

5	Contact:  Abbot Heribert/Abbot Radulfus, 14-
5	Contact:  assorted citizens of Shrewsbury, 14-
4	Contact:  Hugh Beringar, 13-
3	AK:  Northern Wales, 14-
3	AK:  Shrewsbury, 14-
5	English, as native, with literacy
3	KS:  Brewing/Winemaking, 13-
1	Welsh, native language, with literacy
111	Total Powers & Skills Cost
167	Total Character Cost

75+	Disadvantages
5	Distinctive Features:  Monk (easily concealable, minor)
20	DNPC:  Random Innocent (but suspected) person (normal, appears 14-)
10	Physical Limitation:  Subject to Benedictine Rule (frequent, slightly)
	Psych Limitation:  
10	(15) Committed to Justice (common, strong)
0	(10) Curiosity (common, moderate)
15	Honorable (common, strong)
32	Experience
167	Total Disadvantage Points

Background: Cadfael ap Meilyr ap Dafydd was born around 1080 to a villein (serf) family in Trefriw, in Gwynedd (northern Wales). His family were farmers, but Cadfael wanted to see more of the world than one plot of land. Just before he turned 14, a merchant from Shrewsbury, England who dealt in the Welsh wool clip offered to take Cadfael into his service as a guard, and the young boy jumped at the chance.

The wool merchant died three years later. Cadfael could have continued his service, but didn' have a very high opinion of the merchant's son. It was at this time that word of the Crusade reached Shrewsbury. Cadfael was among those who accepted the call to liberate Jerusalem. He assured his fiancee that he would be gone three years at most, and left to join Godfrey de Bouillon's army. Cadfael spent close to 20 years in the East. He fought throughout the Crusade, and after the Kingdom of Jerusalem was established he took to the sea and fought the pirates of the Mediterranean. He also began to develop an interest in medicine, and when he finally returned to England he brought several medicinal plants not native to the British Isles with him.

Cadfael did check on his fiancee after he got back to England. She had given up on him years before, and at the urgings of her parents had married a master of the carpenter's guild in Shrewsbury. (As Cadfael put it later, "The truth is, in the east I forgot her, and in the west she, thanks be to God, had forgotten me." {A Light on the Road to Woodstock, from A Rare Benedictine.}) He returned to the mercenary's life, this time under the command of Roger Mauduit, an English noble in King Henry's army, campaigning in Normandy.

The restlessness that had first turned Cadfael away from a peaceful life on a Welsh farm was back, though. He had the feeling there was something else he needed to do. After the campaign, when they returned to England, Cadfael learned that Mauduit intended to win a court case against the Abbey of St. Peter and St. Paul in Shrewsbury by kidnapping the abbey's representative and holding him until after the trial date. Cadfael helped Prior Heribert escape his captors, and ended his contract with Mauduit the same day that the contested manor was ruled abbey property. At Vespers of that day, Cadfael realized what his restlessness meant, and where his path now led him. He called on Prior Heribert at his lodging, and when the prior returned to Shrewsbury his party included a postulant named Cadfael.

Cadfael is now the abbey herbalist. He often helps Brother Edmund in the infirmary, especially in cases of injury where Cadfael's battlefield experiences come in handy. He does not hold a formal office in the abbey, but both Abbot Heribert (the same man he rescued years before) and later Abbot Radulfus have called on Cadfael for advice. Cadfael is also a close friend of Hugh Beringar, deputy sheriff (later sheriff) of Shropshire, has offered assistance investigating mysterious deaths, and stood as godfather to Hugh's son.

Quotes: "I am telling you, my lord Prestcote, there is a murdered man among your executed men, a leaf hidden in your forest. And if you regret that my eyes found him, do you think God had not seen him long before? And supposing you could silence me, do you think God will keep silence?"
One Corpse Too Many

"I never realized until afterwards how you might interpret that, seeing we had just found the blood-stained shirt. But, see, the man who struck the blow might be spattered as to sleeve or collar, but he would not be marked by this great blot that covered breast and shoulder over the heart. . . . So I knew that this same Luc whom we knew as Matthew, and in whose scrip the talisman was found, was not the murderer."
The Pilgrim of Hate

Skills: Cadfael's wide range of life experiences have given him a much broader skill base than the average monk. I've tried to break his skill list down into categories, though there are a few cases where I had to guess which category a skill fit in.

A younger Cadfael probably had more combat skills than I have listed. Considering that Cadfael hasn't used them in over 15 years (at the beginning of the series), and is under oath not to use them, I didn't see much sense in charging the mature Cadfael for those skills. If you want, just assume that he had several combat skill levels during his Crusading days, but that those skills have atrophied over time to simple weapon familiarities.

Some of his skills will be limited by the time period he's in. For example, I gave him Forensic Medicine, but no one in Christian Europe knew how to perform autopsies (normally included in Forensic Medicine).

As one of the few monks in the abbey who speak Welsh fluently, and the only one of that group still in full health, he is called on in several of the novels to act as a translator. I'll admit, though, that his translating is from spoken Welsh, he may or may not be literate in Welsh despite what I put on his sheet. I know that he's literate in both English and Latin. In One Corpse Too Many, Cadfael tells a young couple he's helping escape that he will give them "a token" to identify them to any Welsh they meet over the border, but it's never stated what form this token takes. It may be a note, it may be something else.

Appearance/Personality: Cadfael is short and heavily built. He is clean-shaven, the hair around his tonsure was once brown but is now rapidly turning gray. His skin is heavily tanned from years of outside work. He wears the black habit of a Benedictine monk, and often has a large belt pouch full of herbal medicines or freshly-gathered herbs with him. Despite having left the sea long ago, he still has the rolling walk of a sailor.

Honor has been second nature to Cadfael most of his life. Once his word is given, he will keep it, no matter what his personal feelings are. (Cadfael had agreed to stay in Roger Mauduit's service until the case was concluded, and deducing how Mauduit intended to win it didn't release him.) Curiosity is another strong trait of his. Cadfael has a strong passion for justice, but knows the difference between justice and law. If a just outcome demands breaking man's law, Cadfael won't hesitate.

Notes: I was working from the books, not the Mystery episodes, for this writeup. The TV version is well done, and Derek Jacobi does an excellent job portraying Cadfael, but the BBC scriptwriter had to cut chunks out of the novels to make them fit in one episode each. (To give them credit, there's some parts of the novels that would be hard to film—several take place during winter, for instance, and the actors would object to standing in snowdrifts all day.)

The "Perk: Monk" entry reflects two things. First, as a monk Cadfael has certain legal rights ("Benefit of Clergy", though he is not and will never be a priest). Second, at some point in his history he must have been freed—a villein was not permitted to become a monk, so unless Cadfael could show that he was now a free man he would never have been allowed to take vows. I can't find any reference to how or when Cadfael was freed, but it's enough of a benefit to be worth a character point. (I'm not entirely sure how villeinage worked in Wales, it may be that he didn't need formal manumission, but with the amount of time he's spent in England being free is still a benefit.)

One could argue that the Benedictine Rule is more limiting than the points I gave it, and were Cadfael strictly a cloistered monk I would probably have made that a 15-20 point limitation. His duties take him outside the abbey walls frequently, though. If he's not carrying medicines to the hospice at St. Giles, he's treating the residents of Shrewsbury, paying the occasional visit to his godson (Hugh Beringar's son), or helping at one of the abbey's farms. He's been called on by both church and royal officials to help with embassies to Prince Owain Gwynedd. I couldn't justify making the limitation any larger.

I almost gave Cadfael a Rivalry with Brother Jerome, the prior's chaplain. Then I looked at those interactions again, and decided that while Cadfael has little use for Jerome, it's not intense enough on Cadfael's side for a limitation. (Jerome may have a Rivalry with Cadfael, but I'm not doing his writeup.)

Technically, Cadfael qualifies for an Age disad; he starts the series almost 60 years old. Add it if you want, but he is in extremely good health for his age. He is starting to slow down, but he is still able to carry an injured man to shelter unaided or ride across Wales on an errand for the Bishop of Lichfield and Coventry. There's no indication that Cadfael is more susceptable to illness than the younger monks. In my opinion, the Age disad doesn't fit.

(Brother Cadfael created by Ellis Peters, character sheet created by Leah L Watts <>)

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