Order of the Winds
|Alignments||Any Lawful (LG, LN, LE)|
|Leader||Miki, Grandmistress of All Winds|
|Major Temple||Kodoma's Path|
Many orders of monastic monks have flourished over the Ages. Unlike their clerical brethren who draw power from the gods, monks focus on harnessing the innate power of living creatures, commonly called ki. The largest and most prestigious monastic order in the Reaches is the Order of the Winds. Based on the teachings of the fifth-century Tang monk, Kodoma, the members of this order demonstrate extraordinary power of mind and body focus - allowing them to perform feats impossible for the uninitiated.
While some monks take residency in a monastery teaching others the discipline and lessons needed to advance, many monks of the Order of the Winds travel the Realm - some on missions for the Grandmasters and others to gain insight into the world outside the cloisters. A strict adherence to law is needed by those wishing to gain entrance into the Order - although all are welcomed to begin training and learn the ways of Kodoma.
The main temple, Kodoma's Path, in Teufeldorf is run by the Grandmistress of All Winds Miki, a wizened Tang ratwoman of diminutive size and explosive power. It is said that her gaze can pierce into an applicant's heart - giving her insight into the true potential of all candidates.
Legend of Kodoma
Kodoma was a Tang ratman sailor, although nothing definitive is known of his origins. An unsubstantiated rumor purports that he was born within the cloistered walls of the Shrine of Winds in the Tang Empire and emerged when its Six Hundred Year Gate opened in the early fifth-century TA.
According to legend, Kodoma took a humble position on a trading ship, Katana, which plied the waters between the Reaches and the jungles of the Wilderlands shipping coffee, cocoa, tea, and indigo in exchange for cloth, weapons, and civilized goods.
By all accounts, Kodoma was an extraordinary sailor - seeming to almost fly between masts and sails effortlessly, doing the work of several deckhands with boundless energy, perfect balance, and unwavering nerve. Always humble, Kodoma refused several offers of promotion within the crew. Kodoma followed a strict monastic regime of diet and exercise - forgoing the food and water consumed by his shipmates. This regime saved his life when, according to his meticulously kept journals, he awoke one morning to find all of his comrades dead - their faces purple from tainted supplies from the Katana hold.
Furthermore, a pirate vessel, Scorpion, was quickly overtaking the Katana, leading Kodoma to believe that the poisoning of his comrades may not have been accidental. According to the recovered logs of the Scorpion captain, the pirate vessel encountered the Katana on the seas near the Spindrift Islands. There, they attempted to board the Katana which should have been unmanned. However, once on board, the pirates were attacked by a "grey ghost" which flitted among the crew, slitting throats and cutting away lines. After losing twenty men, the captain sounded a retreat from the fast-moving insubstantial ghost and the Scorpion cut loose of the cursed vessel. The diary of Kodoma for that same day reads simply, "Pirates repelled."
It is unknown how one ratman, however talented, could pilot and crew a vessel the size of the Katana along the entire length of the Western Reaches to Teufeldorf. However, wharf records show that Kodoma arrived in Teufeldorf delivering the ship's cargo and overseeing the hiring of a new crew. Granted a sizable reward by the Emperor, Kodoma retired from the Katana and took up residence in Teufeldorf - where he used his new-found wealth to start the Order of the Winds, opening a humble school and retreat within the noisy, bustling streets of the city.
Despite legends to the contrary, it is known that Kodoma lived a mortal life, teaching his methods of movement, fighting and strength to willing students within the Order. His journals and writings are still used in the Order today. Revered as the first Grandmaster of All Winds, Kodoma's institution has flourished and grown throughout the Third Age.