A Monk's Tale.
I arrived in the human city of Freeport with nothing more than the small amount of food I carried and a short letter of introduction to Master Paub. Many in the world of Norrath prize their earthly possessions, but I have learned that spiritual possessions are more important. Thus I was to begin my studies on the rigorous and holy path of the Monk.
Although it was quite difficult to get my bearings at first, I was able to find the house of the Ashen Order with the aid of a primitive map. I found Master Paub on the second floor, quietly contemplating the wisdom of Quelliuos The Tranquil, the deity who provides the divine inspiration for both the order I was about to adopt and my life's work.
Master Paub seemed pleasantly surprised to see me and gave me an unexpectedly warm greeting. With little ceremony, he swore me into the Order of the Ashen Hand and instructed me in its basic precepts. He could tell I was serious.
While I had joined a tranquil order, the world of Norrath is a less than peaceful place. Even between my fellow humans, strife is common, and there are a dozen intelligent races (including several types of elves, trolls, gnomes, and others) that live and die in varying states of conflict. And as many races as there are, there are even more religions questing for the souls of their followers - or those of others.
Thus, the mind and body must become a potent weapon, as both an aid to spirituality as well as a means to make the world a better place. To this end, Master Paub directed me to Velon Torresk, the trainer for new initiates.
After some basic instruction in the martial arts, Brother Velon gave me a small quest to prove my devotion. Outside the Western gates of Freeport, the world is in a state of chaos. I was instructed to bring back the fang of one of the menacing serpents of the area, a bone from the unholy dead that sometimes walk at night, and the scalp of a Deathfist Pawn, the lowliest and weakest of the orcs of Clan Deathfist.
I left the gates nervously, and almost immediately found myself faced with a rodent of unusual size. My skills were put to the test, and I was found to be worthy this time, dispatching the rat while only receiving moderate wounds. With newfound confidence, I boldly attacked more rats, my skills improving just a little each time.
But fate is not always kind, and a Deathfist Pawn spotted me and attacked. Although weak by orcish standards, he was more than a match for me. He was able to kill me before I could make it back to the protection of the city guards.
Fortunately, death is not permanent in Norrath. With some small loss of experience, I continued my training, a bit more wary this time. Eventually, after much practice, it was the Pawns who would run from me, and I was able to slay not just one, but several. Having also obtained Brother Velon's other items (all the while becoming more skilled and devoted), I returned to the Order to receive my reward: the white training sash of the initiate.
I wear that belt with pride, and I have learned a new type of round kick, but Brother Vaugn has more for me to do in this world and has assigned me a more daunting task before I can earn my yellow sash. I pray that I am worthy.