Monasteries of the Way

There are three monasteries set up in the lands of Albion. One is located near each of the towns of importance in the kingdom. The monasteries are named the Monastery of the North Wind, East Wind and West Wind and are situated near to the towns of Thistledelve, Eastward and Littlebrook respectively. Each monastery teaches students from the East and Albion in The Way, not caring about their background as long as they are prepared to learn.  

The Way


The Way is a path to Enlightenment that stresses focus and dedication. It does not care if its students are good or evil, instead concentrating on order and discipline as its primary goals.  

Background


In 1692 CY, a trader from the east began teaching some local farmers around the Thistledelve region, a system of martial arts he called The Way. These arts involved fighting without weapons and the trader claimed a man skilled in these arts could defeat a seasoned warrior. A Knight of the Sun, passing by and seeing this man's lessons in progress challenged him to ask what he was doing. The easterner explained and the Knight laughed at him. The easterner proposed that he would show the Knight that his platemail and sword were no match for the trader's bare hands and woolen tunic. The Knight reluctantly agreed and the easterner proceeded to easily defeat the Knight in one to one combat. The future of The Way was assured as news of this achievement spread. The trader settled down in the area and started the Monastery of the North Wind.  

Development


During the Chaos Wars the reputation of the Monasteries suffered quite a bit due to their association with the Easterners who were engaged in a full scale assault on the eastern borders at this time. However, the monks of the Monastery of the North Wind were at least partially responsible for the lifting of the seige of Thistledelve, as they left their Monastery and helped in the fight for the city. The monastery was burnt down and Shidohi Yahara was killed in the fighting but the help they gave raised their reputation in the north quite a bit.   Since the end of the War, Shidoshi Sir Kai has become Master of the North Winds and has rebuilt the monastery with funds he gathered from the lair of Ashardalon and the Tomb of Callindrill. As Sir Kai was a member of the Fellowship of Pelor the reputation of the monks in Albion is now probably at an all time high.

Structure

Ranks

There are 4 ranks in the Monasteries of the Way: Shidoshi, or teacher of teachers; Sensei, or teacher; Sempai, or senior; and Kohai or junior.
Progress Through The Ranks

Progression in the Monasteries is through a process known as the Kumite. The Kumite is a no equipment, no spells fight, refereed by at least a current sensei. The fight goes until one combatant is unable to defend themselves anymore. Typcially these fights are continued until one opponent is unconscious, and typically the monks use non-leathal techniques, but there is nothing in the Rules of the Kumite that state this is required. It is not unknown for people to be killed in the Kumite. Good and Evil are not a part of the Way, only discipline and order.   In order to progress to the rank of sempai, a kohai must defeat a sempai in the monastery where the kohau was trained. In order to take the title sensei, a monk needs to beat a current sensei in The Kumite. He must also stay at the monastery and teach others to become a sensei, otherwise he is still just a sempai, no matter how good a fighter he is. In order to take the title shidoshi a monk has to beat the existing Monastery's shidoshi in The Kumite, and have been at the monastery long enough to have taught at least one of the sensei teaching there. There is only one shidoshi at each monastery at a given time.
Founding Date
331 AR
Type
Religious, Monastic Order