A monk is a person who has decided to follow a lifestyle of Asceticism. They dedicate their lives to a sole purpose of mastery of body, mind, and spirit. It is a lifestyle characterized by abstinence from worldly pleasures, often for the purpose of pursuing spiritual goals. pursue personal perfection through action as well as contemplation. They train themselves to be versatile warriors skilled at fighting without weapons or armor. Above all, they train to tap into the universal energy field created by all living things: Ki.
Ascetics may withdraw from the world for their practices or continue to be part of their society, but typically include a frugal lifestyle, without desire for any material possessions or physical pleasures, fasting with time spent practicing religion or reflecting on spiritual matters within the confines of their chosen Order.
Orders headed by good masters serve as protectors of the people. Ready for battle even when barefoot and dressed in peasant clothes, monks are able to travel unnoticed among the populace, catching bandits, warlords, and corrupt nobles unawares. By contrast, Orders headed by evil masters rule the surrounding lands through fear, virtually as an evil warlord’s castle might. Evil monks make ideal spies, infiltrators, and assassins.
[There are many more Monk Orders in Forgotten Realms, however these are the only Orders available for the Catylast storyline.]
The Broken Ones
Background: These monks do not maintain monasteries but instead study within the confines of the Temples of Illmater along with their cleric brothers.
The Yellow Rose
Background Info: The main monastery called the Citadel of the White Worm is located in the mountains of Damara. Order known for sacrifice, and destruction of enemies.
Brotherhood of the Scarlet Scourge
Background Info: Monks of this strange orc order bleach their hands white and grow their nails very long. Before combat they dip their nails in a powder made of blood infected with the red ache, which lets them infect their opponents.
Children of the Passive Voice
Background Info: These monks serve as guardians to libraries and abbeys. They often dedicate their lives to collecting and protecting artifacts.
The Dark Moon
Background Info: Maintain open temples only in lands ruled by evil overlords. Otherwise temples are out in remote locations, back alleys, the Underdark, or the Shadowfell.
Disciples of the White Rod
Background Info: Monks of Loviatar prefer using their bare hands to inflict pain rather than using weapons. When forced to use weapons, they prefer nunchaku with white-bleached leather wrappings on the hilts.
The Long Winter
Deity: Raven Queen
Background: Monks of the Long Winter dedicate their lives to fighting the forces of Orcus, Demon Prince of the Undead.
The Black Hand
Background Info: A small sect within the Zhentarim, these monks train in stealth and assassination.
Order of the Dark Mistress
Background Info: These monks are chosen from the ranks of the Cult of the Dragon to study within the Temple of Tiamat. They dedicate their lives to committing other atrocities in Tiamat’s name.
Background Info: Most likely to have monasteries in outlying wilderness areas. These monks work to defend the common people of the Realms. They are staunch opponents of darkness, evil and chaos. Sun Soul monks serve as crusaders against churches of evil deities and protectors of sites sacred to deities of light and good. They often work with the Silverstars, a small group of spellcasters dedicated to Selune.
The Long Death
Deity: Bhaal, Kelemvor, Loviatar, Myrkul, or Talona
Background Info: Monks of the Way of the Long Death are obsessed with
the meaning and mechanics of dying. They capture creatures and prepare elaborate experiments to capture, record, and understand the moments of their demise. They then use this knowledge to guide their understanding of martial arts, yielding a deadly fighting style.