Friday, August 20, 2010

The Storm Monks of Modi

With the switching of the campaign world, I've also opened up the list of possible character classes quite extensively. The last session saw a new player join the group and it was his decision to introduce a monk into the campaign. I've not had much of a need to think about the whys and wherefores of monks in R'Nis up until now, but new challenges always result in unforeseen creativity. This post and the previous one are examples of what happens when the referee has to accommodate unexpected developments in the game.

On the outskirts of the Kinan-M’Nath, high in the Crowhaunt Mountains, is the redoubt known as Thunder’s Forge. This tabernacle is carved from the side of one of the range’s taller peaks and the lengthy switchback trail and numerous watch posts that overlook that steep path make the Forge nigh-inaccessible to anyone not bearing a token of safe passage from the monks who dwell there.

Thunder’s Forge is where the small but devoted group of the Storm Lord’s martial monks find instruction on their journey to become living weapons, turning their physical bodies into veritable forces of nature. It is a simple but grueling existence. The day of a Storm Monk begins long before dawn and rest does not come until late in the evening. During the day, their bodies are exposed to the most excruciating punishment and intense training, a regiment only broken by brief meals of simple food and devoted prayer. This is what each monk has to endure, year after year, before he is judged worthy of being allowed to walk the world for a period to prove his devotion and demonstrate his ability.

Even if a monk should survive his initial training period, the mortality rate of novice brothers sent out into the world is extremely high, and more than half fail to live through their devotional period. However, because of this high death rate, the monks who do survive are a force to be reckoned with and more than one would-be warlord in the Kinan-M’Nath has come courting the monks’ allegiance to their cause. So far, none have been seen as worthy of the Storm Monks’ fearsome skills.

The Ranks of Initiation in the Storm Monks
1: Novice Brother (or Sister)
2: Brother (Sister)
3: Initiate
4: Disciple
5: Disciple of Storms
6: Master
7: Superior Master
8: Superior Master of Storms
9: Master of Rain
10: Master of Wind
11: Master of Sleet
12: Master of Snow
13: Master of Hail
14: Master of Lightning
15: Master of Thunder
16: Grandmaster of Thunder

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