It is rumored that the Order of the Monks was established hundreds of years ago. It began when The Three Great Sages met on the island of Cosrin. While their names, if they even existed, are lost to history, their teachings and specialization are known.
The Sage of “Kwon” mastered the physical arts of the body, including the martial arts. He possessed a set of twin katana swords that were the envy of every warrior, and they helped bring him much renown.
The Sage of “Daisho” mastered the magical arts of the mind, including magical scrolls and spells. He owned several mystical scrolls said to possess great power, though their exact contents were kept well hidden by him and it is unknown whether he created them or not.
The Sage of “Hakushi” mastered the spiritual arts of the soul, including healing and herbalism. She cultivated many exotic plants which could cure any disease and enhance the body in numerous ways.
The Three Great Sages decided to work together in order to bring their teaching to willing disciples, who wished to improve themselves spiritually and physically, so they might contribute to Cosrin’s welfare. A structure was built in the temple quarter of the city to house the sages and their students while they train. They decided that location to be the best, hoping that the gods themselves would bless their order and so that those disciples who fail to find spirituality within themselves would find inspiration from the gods.
Things went well at first. All disciples in the order would receive their training at the hands of all three sages, and though the sages each had their own clear favorites among their students, training tended to progress harmoniously.
Eventually, during a training session, one of the favorites of the Sage of Kwon overpowered the elderly Sage of Daisho and stole some of his most important scrolls, escaping to an unknown location off the island of Cosrin. It is said he did this because he felt that the sage held back on him, and wished to study more on his own.
Devastated by this betrayal, and blaming the Sage of Kwon, the Sage of Daisho decided never to trust the favored students of the other sages again.
Over time, the schism grew, and it came to pass that even after the sages’ deaths, each path would have a master, and while each new monk joining the order would have choice over which path to choose from, they were forced only to try and master one path, and to only receive basic training in the other paths.
The story of the reunification of the order begins in the year 115, when a young catline going by the name of Khaji joined the order of the Monks. In those years, joining the order was not a structured task. Merely gaining the trust of a revered monk could be enough to be invited within their ranks.
Khaji spent most of his youth getting into fights in the streets and back alleys of Moorgate, organized or otherwise, so he felt that he could improve his combat prowess if he joined the Order of the Monks.
Sister Sledge was easily impressed with his strength and allowed him to join the order. The young monk naturally excelled at the teachings of the Kwon, quickly rising within the ranks of the order as one of the most skilled combatants.
As he grew in stature within the Kwon, he began to see things differently and decided to truly devote himself to his path as a monk, not just a warrior. Khaji soon felt that the Kwon alone could not bring him enlightenment. After some long talks with Brother Kadfail, he felt that he should pick up some of the training of the path of Hakushi in order to find spiritual guidance.
Through the studies of the Hakushi, Khaji became an even stronger student of the Kwon. However he was shunned by the other students for following multiple paths, and soon even the instructors stopped helping him with his studies. This exclusion only strengthened Khaji’s resolve, and as the Masters of the Hakushi begrudgingly admitted Khaji as a true follower of the path of Hakushi, he vowed to be the first to master all three paths.
Snubbed by the rest of the order, Khaji went into seclusion while studying the ways of the Daisho. Through this he met with others in the city, including merchants and mages selling him outlandish scrolls that were different from all those within the Monks’ library. At first he could not make anything of the spells and scrolls of the Daisho and otherwise, but as he was strolling through a hedge maze, he came across Hikari, the lost mage. Hikari had been lost inside the maze for many years, and was not in touch with the inner politics of the order. Because of this, Khaji managed to study under Hikari’s guidance, slowly gaining in understanding.
Eventually the day came when Khaji confronted the Masters of Daisho, showing them the knowledge he had gained without their help, and even they were forced to admit that he was a true follower of the path of Daisho.
After these events Khaji gained some renown within the guild and tried to work towards total unity of all three paths, but he could not manage to get the masters to agree.
One day, fire and screams suddenly started spreading through the city of Moorgate. Demons streamed into the streets, and soon all were under attack. The gravity of the immediate calamity forced the Monks to look past their difference, and they quickly united to face the threat.
Khaji was standing shoulder to shoulder with the elders, barring entrance to any demons who sought entry into the building they called their home. They fought like men possessed, quick jabs, skillful stabs from their katanas, and incredible control. As well as they all fought, none fought so ferociously as Khaji. He furiously held off a large portion of the demons nearly all by himself, the elders filling the holes he had left behind him. An open swath of bodies and blood followed in his wake, ensuring the entry into the order did not close. No one could say how long the battle had lasted, but all will say that it felt like forever, and just as it was thought that the demons would never cease their relentless assault, someone has arrived.
Sam, a skilled thief residing in Moorgate, landed behind the monk and quickly dispatched a demon who was ambushing Khaji.
“Are you Khaji? They told me to find you.” Sam inquired of the still shaken monk.
“Yes, I am. What brings you here?” He peered back at the rogue.
Sam quickly explained that he had come with a scroll that none could decipher. The mages, who knew Khaji through the sale of scrolls, believed he would be the best chance of uncovering its secrets and stopping the demonic invasion.
“One of the lost scrolls of the Sage of the Daisho!” Khaji cried as he suddenly rain inside, “Wait here!”
He was nearly stopped by one of the masters on his way in, but the intensity of the commotion allowed him to shake the monk and leave him behind.
While the three paths each had their own study rooms, Khaji chose a small tower, used normally to watch over the order’s entrance, as a place to study this scroll. After laying down the piece of parchment on the simple wooden floor, he reached into his herb pouch to create a dim glowing paste. As he consumed it, his eyes started burning with a blue fire from within, and his mind became completely immersed in the contents of the scroll.
Despite it seeming like hours in his head, Khaji’s eyes returned to normal after a mere 15 minutes, after which he packed the scroll and returned back to Sam.
“I’m ready, let’s go.” was all he said, offering a nod to the elders holding the line of demons at bay. Khaji followed Sam to the Clan of Fighters, where a ranger named Halren had rallied a small group of elite fighters, who together, with Sam, Khaji and the mage Lothaine, would infiltrate the source of this invasion.
The group headed out towards the old fortress, which Sam claimed to contain the source of the invasion.
Halren barked out orders to the fighters who, in immediate response, changed formations to deal with the oncoming demons. At one point, as one of the beasts somehow gained the ranger’s flank, Khaji quickly dispatched of the creature before applying a healing paste where the demon had burnt away Halren’s armor and all the wounds he had suffered there quickly sealed.
The group fought a furious battle to reach a domed hall within the old fortress, where a massive portal had opened to allow such a large number of terrible demons into the city. A construct within itself, the portal had been a vicious tear into reality where it had been opened, and the very stone around it seemed to have cracked the walls and floor and ripped them apart. It was said that the voices of the lost could be heard moaning and screaming from this gaping maw, souls that had been lost or surrendered to new masters.
As the small force backed into a corner within the hall, a defensive position was set up around Khaji, ensuring his protection. The monk consumed another herb from his pouch, opened the scroll before the wormhole, and read from its contents. The scroll instantly took on a life of its own, rising up out of his hands to float just between he and the portal.
Khaji closed his eyes and opened his arms, the scroll still floating in front of him. Then, suddenly, it crumbled to tiny pieces, and Khaji’s body was surrounded by a white glow. Before the eyes of all onlookers, he began to take the visible form of a quickly growing dragon. As the image of the dragon increased, Khaji himself started to float midair.
The manifestation slowly started to wrap its body around the dark rift in the middle of the large room, until it fully surrounded the demonic portal. A blast of blinding light resulted, the dragon and portal both disappearing in a shockwave of energy reaching until the city walls, vaporizing all demons within its path. For a moment there was nothing but silence, until a dark voice was heard.
“You have achieved nothing, when I return no magic can save you”.
After having fought side by side during the invasion to protect their order, and seeing the different skills and abilities each path had to offer, the monks started realizing the importance of the other paths. They especially welcomed Khaji, who, having shown his immense potential in mastering all three paths, had suddenly become an inspiration for all monks.
Working together with the masters from the three old paths, Khaji formed a new path called The Path of Ultimate Knowledge, for it combined all the other paths. Soon, all monks, who had started off studying only one path, ended up aspiring to learn all three in The Path of Ultimate Knowledge.
Time passed, and the masters of all three paths decided that, in order to achieve real unity, they must have a single administration. They changed the name of the order to be ‘The Monks’ Guild’ and decided that due to his efforts to bring all the monks together, Khaji would be their first Guild Master. He humbly accepted, and vowed that under his leadership, all the paths would work together in harmony.