The Sturdiness of a Mountain

Under the tutelage of the abbot, I adopted the name of Lynncletica. Rather than cloistering myself for enlightenment, I have chosen the Harmonious path, as many have in my monastery, and began seeking truth and justice throughout the realms of Stormreach and beyond.

Unlike the abbot, Syncletica, who is a Grandmaster in the Way of the Wind, I chose a different path: The path of the Sturdy Mountain.

The abbot seemed skeptical but she did allow me to train in this school.

I chose this path for I saw a time (as the abbot has recounted in many an adventure) where destiny may be denied, where justice cannot be served where evil seems too strong. I believed in this: An adventuring party is not successful through through superior weaponry alone, or superior numbers, or superior spells. The successful party survives through durability.

And for that, one must endure long enough to ensure that all others can return to fight and succeed.

I see a time where all in my party are weakened or have fallen and I alone must endure, attracting the enemy, dispatching them not necessarily through swiftness but by turning the enemies attacking energy back into them. In the Mountain Path, the ability to hit an enemy critically greatly increases, especially using the Fists of Iron and mastery of the Void Strike. I seek items that improve my seeking mastery when striking here.

Further, should I be struck by an enemy, my ki only gets stronger. I can then use that ki to heal myself while further damaging my enemy. The only challenge involves healing faster than my opponents can deal damage. Again, the Way of Earth reduces the amount of damage I must endure, improving as I master it’s way.

I spoke with a neighboring acolyte at a dojo. They confirm my information. Aside from significant damage, they tell of acolytes and grandmasters who hit enemies so hard that they are phased out of existence, or hurt so badly that a lighter strike will finish them.

I am confident in my path. While I may never be as steadfast as a dwarf fighter, or as intimidating as a barbarian, as even as pious as a paladin, I am sure that I will become the Angry Mountain, whose shaking against those who push against it will yield only avalanches and large stones to crush and smite all that challenge it. The mountain shall endure.

The Party Wipe: Hindsight is a Bane

My colleague, Pynthetica, told me of a sad tale on visiting my monastery for some solace and an ale. Along with others in our guild, Tyrs Paladium, she ventured into the Thirteenth Eclipse, into the Shroud, to vanquish the pit fiend there. All generally had gone well, although Pyn complained to herself of her lower damage rate, despite some fresher equipment that raised her critical strikes.

By the time her party reached the fourth phase, the Challenge of the New Moon, was where things had gone pear-shaped quickly, very shortly after the pit fiend’s first temporary disappearance. More mobs of devils and orthons appeared, apparently catching some of their clerics off-guard and vulnerable. The healers were dispatched before aid arrived, leaving the rest of the party in a terrible position. The Challenge of the New Moon sends your spirit into a prison inside the last phase, where you cannot be easily resurrected–certainly not in battle.

Very soon,  many other brave fighters, Pyn included, had fallen. Only a valiant paladin and superior monk (much like myself) survived, if only for a few moments longer. The party released their spirits back to their spirit binders, humbled and disappointed.

After ensuring Pyn had a comfortable bed for the night (and unlimited access to the monastery food and drink should she desired), I questioned myself on Pyn’s predicament: How can you survive the unsurvivable?

I placed myself in Pyn’s position and their plight. The clerics were dead. The remaining party soon would follow. What if I were there, along with the paladin and other Monk in the Harmonious Order? Healing would not be a problem as long as each of us generated ki and burst our energies sequentially. Damage from the fiends? A harder matter: While I am confident that I and the other adherent could be able to easily evade most of the pit fiend’s attacks, it would be up to the paladin to do the tougher role of keeping the fiend’s attention, especially if one or both adherents would have to destroy any supporting attackers that prevented us from damaging the fiend.

After a bit of meditation, I concluded that, yes, properly centered, two monks and one paladin might have survived long enough to destroy the pit fiend once. It assumed many things: The proper wrappings. weapons and protections on all, strong critical strikes, constant healing bursts, switching focus from one party member to another to allow each to heal…

Then I had forgotten about Pyn’s description of the flying blades. Could I evade both the fiend’s attacks and the blades simultaneously? I didn’t know the answer.

The dangers of the Shroud remain a clouded mystery, one that even the highest powers of enlightenment cannot discern. I pray I never fall into Pyn’s situation–but should I encounter it, I will that I have the power to…to endure, at least.

A promising young acolyte who has taken the name of Lynncletica has shown me a fascinating strength-based attack style that may be resourceful…if only she didn’t let her guard down while using it. I still prefer a finesse-based style, for now.