Monks are those men and women who forsake material possessions for the pursuit of enlightenment. Some adhere to the teachings of a particular deity or celestial philosophy, but others find things of the divine to be merely one more illusion to pass through on their way to true wisdom. They most often gather together in monasteries, doing simple labor to support their few needs while training and disciplining their bodies and minds alike. While the training is long and difficult, it bears fruit of a practical as well as spiritual kind- monks are invariably lethal unarmed combatants, capable of doing more damage with their bare hands than most ordinary soldiers can do with their swords. More experienced monks gain not only greater martial prowess, but also start to show outward tokens of their inward grace by means of strange and enigmatic powers.

Monks garner more respect than many other adventuring classes in Xian, many being heir to the venerable wisdom of the Ninefold Celestial Empire. More than a few ascetics survived the Red Tide to escape to the Sunset Isles, and several small monasteries dot the green farmlands around the city. There, young men and women learn to discipline their spirits as well as their bodies. The Red Orchid Pagoda is one such place, favoring a spirit of vigor and violence, while the Serene Garden of Pearls enjoins a calm and perceptive discipline forty miles north of Xian along the coast.

Other races have their own monastic traditions as well, with certain elven Creeds providing instruction in the monk's art, as well as certain very esoteric gnomish traditions of self-discipline and control.

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