Written by: Imajica Hyrill Askosa & Assisted by: Trinity Askosa
Silent determination, a love and need to protect natural resources, and a sense of fellowship make up most of the monks who inhabit our fair realm. It takes these qualities and more for the monks to fight in the battle to restore the balance of light and dark within Temuair, and also to wage a silent battle against the forces of Loures for the freedom of Undine, their ancestral home. With a lack of physical prowess and the vow to not use a weapon, these aislings rely on keen intelligence, fortitude, and the ability to make healing potions to hunt dangerous creatures that threaten to overtake our realm. Information is scarce about the origins of the monk path, and historical documentation is incomplete. Although the lifestyles of the mundanes and monks that live in Undine offer us a bit of insight, the tales mundanes tell of days gone by and the few historical documents that have been found give us more solid information. The following is what I have managed to piece together from the tales and lifestyles of the Undine mundanes, as well as the rare historical documents that pertain to this path. As the monks slowly shrink in numbers, it is my hope to instill a sense of pride in the monks who remain in our realm. Theirs is a history full of hardship, yet they manage to remain a force to be reckoned with. No other group of aislings has waged war for as long as the monks have, nor have they carried out such a battle with the dignity and humility that the monk class exhibits. Truly the monks of Temuair are the noblest class of all, and in my heart will always be the heroes of our realm.
The Seventh Aeon
- Settlement of Undine- mid 1500’s
- Construction of the Cail temple- mid to late 1500’s
- The concealment of the southern entrances to Undine- late 1500’s
The settlement of modern day Undine occurred shortly after the drowning of Hy-Brasil, by mundanes who wished not to manipulate the elements. Consisting of farmers, the settlers wished to make their home within the rolling hills and live in peace. The soil in this area is quite fertile, and the climate temperate and warm, making for an excellent crop growing season. The tiny settlement was quite far away from any other known village during this time, which caused the settlers to remain a close knit family, relying on each other for survival. They established the worship of Cail in this quiet valley, building a temple with no roof or walls in order to celebrate the God of nature. The settlers lived a life of simplicity, protecting and nurturing the natural surroundings with which they coexisted. The settlers lived in peace for some time, until a threat presented itself in the form of kobold raiding parties. The settlers of Undine, naturally frightened, looked for a way to keep the small village safe. It bears to note that there was never truly one single monk in the beginning, but a path created by a group of settlers intent on keeping their village safe from the kobolds who raided at night. A far cry from the monks of today, forms were almost unheard of, and weapons were most undesirable to these simple followers of Cail. Many an aisling would stop here to ask why the villagers did not start forging weapons to combat such a threat, and the answer to this question lies in the lifestyles of the villagers and their worship of Cail. The settlers had traveled to Undine from the East, and did not desire to spoil the beautiful land that Cail had blessed them with. Making weapons requires metals, which requires mining. Even then the mundanes knew that mining would destroy the beautiful countryside, and trading with the other existing villages was almost nonexistent. Making weapons also requires smith’s forges, known to foul the blue skies with thick black smoke, covering the surroundings with black soot. Also, making weapons denoted a war- like countenance, something the settlers of Undine wanted to avoid at all costs. Women and men of Undine alike united to learn hand to hand combat to drive back the threatening creatures, using the simplest kicks and punches. These first monks never intended to destroy kobolds completely, viewing them as a part of the natural balance they sought to protect. Driving the kobolds back to Astrid, the settlers of Undine concealed the southern entrances to their village to keep the kobolds at bay; those entrances remain concealed to this day. Pleased with this victory, the settlers of Undine continued to train their children in the art of hand to hand combat, perfecting skills that are used by monks still to this day.
The Eighth Aeon
- Immigration to Undine begins- mid 1880’s- late 1900’s
- The battle of Danaan and Chadul- Danaan 1980
As the little village of Undine prospered under the darkness of the Great War between Chadul and Danaan, the followers of Cail maintained a peaceful village. Immigrants from other areas of Temuair began, bringing with them drastic changes to the once simple lifestyle of the village. Warriors came, bringing with them their metal forges. Wizards and priests also came, renewing the interest of elemental magic and the manipulation of nature. Rogues moved in as well, bringing with them a want for material acquisition. The traditional monks and pious followers of Cail withdrew as villagers embraced these newcomers and their new ways of life. The followers of Cail grew small in number, tempted by the wealth of those that moved into their city looking for peace in a time of never-ending war. The monks became a novelty, as they possessed no true physical strength like the warriors, no magic like the priests and wizards, and no desire for wealth like the rogue. The city grew prosperous, and the nurturing of the surrounding lands gave way to materialistic attitudes and greed. Cail’s temple now more often than not stood empty, and began to fall into ruin. With the defeat of Chadul by Danaan, Undine became a city-state to be reckoned with, including armies of warriors to protect what was once a simple farming village. The monks of the city continued the traditional training of their children in secret.
The Ninth Aeon
- Beginning of the Dark Ages- Danaan 2626
Chadul, vengeful God of darkness, began trapping souls in his dark realm. He made a pact with a group of mundanes that wished to restore peace to the realm, promising them a exceedingly long life span and unity. This agreement, known as Anaman’s Pact, caused a division in all the cities of Temuair. Followers of Danaan’s children were horrified that these mundanes could make such a pact with the evil god, and the realm fell to war once again. Undine was forced to play a role in this war of darkness, to help restore peace and order to the realm in its entirety. There is no documentation that tells us of what side the citizens of Undine chose, but one can speculate that they fought for Danaan. The mundanes, ever simplistic in view and action, simply tell tales of the antagonist’s loss at the hands of Ainmeal.
The Tenth Aeon
- Eusebius, the first modern monk, is born- Danaan 2923
- Undine is captured by Loures- Danaan 2986
- Eusebius learns and teaches the four monk fighting forms- Danaan 2991
- The Tears of Cail fall- Eusebius' death, Danaan 3002
As quickly as Danaan helped restore peace to the realm by helping Ainmeal defeat the leagues of Chadul, it fell to war as she slumbered. Cail, seeking to revitalize a path he favored amongst all looked for a way to bring the monks left out of hiding. A name, whispered by mundanes of Undine comes to light. Eusebius, meaning glorious fire, is born to two respected Cail monks. Eusebius embraced the early lifestyle of Undine inhabitants, shunning material possession and the bloody battles that overtook the entire realm. Some mundanes would like to speculate that Eusebius was indeed Cail himself, attempting to make a permanent mark on the realm by raising the class of the monk to be as powerful as any warrior in battle. Other mundanes simply think Eusebius, like Ainmeal, was blessed with the ability to communicate with his patron God. By the time Eusebius reached his 37th year of life, Loures overtook Undine in a bloody battle that would change Undine forever. Banning all weapons and use of magic, the Loures Empress held what was once a powerful city in an iron grip. Citizens of Undine fled, leaving many mundanes and the small group of monks behind. Knowing that there was no way to combat such a threat without alienating the ways of Cail, Eusebius started the silent rebellion against Loures. Many mundanes left in Undine felt that the occupation was a punishment handed down by Cail for destroying the once beautiful countryside out of want for wealth and power. The fellowship of Cail began to grow once more, and Cail did not turn a silent ear to the pleas of mercy cried out by his followers. Wishing to reassure his followers that he indeed did care, he showed Eusebius a monastery lying in the hills of Undine, wherein Eusebius learned the four forms of combat. He would teach for the remainder of his days what he learned at the monastery, and the monks of Temuair became stronger. Historical documentation states that the first monk appears in Undine in Danaan 2991. This document does not wish to disprove this fact, but alter it slightly. Eusebius was established as the leader of the monks that lived in Undine, and worked to establish the path as well as restore the city to the old ways. He fought what has been one of the longest and quietest battles known to all of Temuair. His death came all too early in Danaan 3002, struck by an illness that none could cure. At the precise moment of his death, the skies of Undine darkened, and rain fell upon the city for eight days and nights. This storm would come to be known as the Tears of Cail, mourning one of Temuair’s unknown heroes. Monks spread across the face of Temuair, teaching and upholding the values taught to them by Cail through Eusebius. Eusebius' name was buried in the depths of time.
A new beginning: The age of Deoch
Generations have passed since Eusebius' death. The fellowship of Cail grows strong in the hearts of many aislings. Monks and mundanes of Undine continue the silent rebellion, knowing that the kingdom will bend to their iron will. Although this battle is nowhere near as dramatic as any other that aisling eyes have seen, it still causes the Loures King great distress. Monks now exist in every known city of the realm spreading their message to the other inhabitants of Temuair. With newfound proof of the King’s corruption and connection to the goblins that steal away Undine children for sacrifice, many of our greatest monks have started disappearing. As mundane officials withheld information that later empowered the wizards and rogues beyond compare, they continue to withhold information that monks of our day could use to drive the King’s forces back out of Undine. Perhaps the King realizes that with the empowerment of the new generation of aisling monks, he can be defeated, and goblins removed from Astrid, returning it to the kobold shamans. The Mundanes have rebuilt the temple to Cail, adding ceiling and walls. Stone walls do not encapsulate an aisling, nor do they hold a Cail follower from what they love most. Cail worship is conducted within Undine itself, establishing a connection to the God, which has given much of himself to the city. One can only hope that today’s monks will not make the same mistakes as some of their forefathers did, and continue to embrace the teachings of Cail. Undine will rise again, as all things move in a never-ending cycle. Such is the way of nature. As civilizations rise to power within these lands, they fall to corruption, disgrace and entropy as well. Oblivious to all, monks will continue the fight for their ancestral homeland, and Cail will continue to bless the class formed to embrace his knowledge.
* Although I realize this document does not coincide with some of the histories of Temuair, it makes more sense that what has been written to date. It is arrogant to think that there was only one monk in the beginning, as monks are known even to this day for having a strong sense of cooperation and teamwork. No other class is as tight knit as the monks, who still refer to each other as "brother" or "sister". Monks for the most part avoid chaos and evil, preferring to continue the rebellion and fight to reestablish the balance of light and dark within our realm. The mundanes are now whispering that there will be new skills taught to the monks to stop them from disappearing from our realm altogether. It is our hope that with these new skills, monks will be able to overthrow Loures rule in Undine.