Author Topic: A tale of two monks  (Read 813 times)

Offline Prime32

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A tale of two monks
« Topic Start: November 06, 2011, 08:34:32 AM »
Listen well to this tale from the depths of the ages.

Long ago there lived two brothers. No one knows for sure where they were from - some say the Outlands, some say Riedra. According to some stories these brothers were students of the Temple of Reshar who disagreed with his teachings. By others, Reshar himself was their pupil for a time, or was inspired to gather the Nine Swords by their legend. Regardless, these two had a goal. An ambition. In their travels they had seen wizards, clerics, sorcerers and druids do wondrous things, but to them such works seemed empty. All of them called on the powers of others, be it gods, demons or nature itself. Was man so pitiful that he could not stand in the world of miracles on his own two legs?

And so, they searched for a place where they could learn to walk. After many years, the two came to a lone mountain beyond the reach of any kingdom and knew at once that this would become their home. They climbed to its summit and with their bare hands carved a great monastery above the clouds.

For decades the brothers would train in martial forms, then meditate on the nature of their quest. One day, the younger brother was shaken from his trance by "a light that tasted like wind". He opened his eyes to see the older brother smiling in triump as mist and fire danced along his body. It is said that on that day the first psion was born.

Now that they had taken the first step, the brothers sent out a great call to all corners of the world, to all who would unlock the power of mortals. And their call was answered. The disciples varied, from rich to poor, saintly to monstrous, but none were turned away. In time, following the elder brother's guidance, they too learned to stand in the world of miracles by their power alone.

With one exception. Regardless of his efforts, the younger brother was never able to match his older brother's accomplishments, and his role in the monastery they had built together was fading. Seeing their students growing greater and greater he redoubled his efforts, until one day he succeeded. In his hands was a shard of light born from pure force of will. It was a simple thing, and unimpressive compared to the older brother's talents, but seeing it he smiled and embraced him. The two returned to teaching together, and before long the technique had been refined into a blade which could pierce even the soul.

And then things began to go wrong. The younger brother heard that one of the newcomers to the temple could hit a fly with a shuriken from a hundred feet. Curious, he made his way to where a crowd was gathered, and sat down to watch as the man prepared to wrestle one of his fellow acolytes. To the brother's horror, he began to recite a spell. Angry and fearful that magic would contaminate their work, he summoned his mind blade and made to strike him down. In the blink of an eye the elder brother was between them, shattering the knife of his soul with a sword of hard lightning. Halt brother, he said, this man came here merely to learn how to defend himself without armour. And look at how he has grown to the size of a giant, surely if we could adapt such a technique to our methods then our style would grow all the stronger?

But the younger brother's mind was too clouded by dark thoughts for him to listen. Not only had his brother attacked him, he had proven the sword to which he had dedicated all his life to be but a crude mockery of his own powers. What's more, he now sought to incorporate magic into their school? As time grew, he began to believe that his brother's teachings were magic, and that he and everyone in their school sought to destroy his dream.

At last, the younger brother's murderous intentions met their peak. He snuck into the older brother's room at night and stabbed his mind blade into his heart. To his shock the older brother did not die, but jerked awake. As he attempted to flee, the older brother gave chase, hurling crystals and acid as he coughed blood from his mouth. The students were woken by the commotion, and when they realised what had happened they joined in the hunt.

Soon the younger brother was cornered. He stood on the mountain's peak, surrounded by an army who had mastered both body and mind. As crows circled overhead, they asked why he had done what he did but received only garbled madness. With heavy hearts, they began to focus and draw on the power within themselves to slay him. At which point he shrieked to the heavens. The birds' shapes began to morph and flow, becoming men and women in armour and robes.

What followed was a massacre. The mages he had hired unleashed fire and lightning. Monks choked on poison clouds or were devoured alive by jaws of force. At last, they summoned a great earthquake which swallowed the monastery with all its students and reduced the mountain to rubble.

With what little gold he had left the younger brother travelled to the far side of the world, where he founded a new monastery. Taking the path of self-improvement they had wrought together, he jealously tore out any aspects related to the mind. Only the very first techniques they had developed together, before the elder's "awakening", were left untouched. That butchered style eventually became known as the Crescent Moon.

Stop laughing. I may not look like it, but I've done no small amount of fighting in my youth. I know you probably think Crescent Moon is one of those styles which has a few useful tricks but doesn't go anywhere. But let me tell you. You're familiar with The Thousand Hand Tempest? Yes, the Thousand Hand Tempest, that "silly" move where you barrage your enemy with punches that's almost impossible to set up. The current form of that technique is incomplete. In its original form it was combined with a burst of psychic power to increase your speed, allowing you to get at least six good blows on an opponent at the other side of the room before he even knows what's happening. You'll see a lot of half-techniques like that in Crescent Moon if you just know what you're looking for.

They say some of the brothers' apprentices survived the attack and are still out there, teaching the "Full Moon" style in its original form. But that's ridiculous of course. We all know a human couldn't live that long.