Sit grasshopper, and let me tell you of the way of the phantom and of the leopard's claw. I shall teach you how to bind your wounds and how to use your chi to mend your bones, and to know when to do either. I will teach you when and where you should fake your death so that your enemies do not pursue you.
I will show you the how to make a weapon of great reach that will attract your opponents to you. All of these arts and more I will teach you as part of our tradition, a tradition first brought to us by Ton Po himself.
Your feet will be weapons to be feared, and your hands will smite your enemies hip and thigh.
Let us begin.
We shall start by contemplating what it means to be a follower of Ton Po.
We thrive in combat. Only through combat can our souls reach the level of enlightenment needed to reach the heavens. No spell shall be cast nor blade be wielded by one of our brethren, for the purity of combat lays in the killing of our foe without spilling his blood. Just as our hands and feet can accomplish this, so can staves and maces, sticks and hammers. No blade, from the smallest knife to the largest axe shall we wield, for to do so would stain our souls.
Alone, however, we strain to accomplish our goals, yet we thrive in company. For though a monk seeks solitude for meditation and silent contemplation of the heavens, we prize our friendships and bring our strength to bear on the enemies of our friends.
Few others can match the devastation we bring on our enemies, and certainly no others can match our skills in unarmed combat.
We do not sit idly by and allow the enemy to hit us and then offer him the other cheek as warriors and paladins so often do, no, we do not allow our enemy to hit us, we evade him and riposte, and vanquish him as quickly as possible. To that end, neither plate nor chain shall cover us, and only the skins of the mightiest beasts and tunics of the finest silk shall protect us.
We are experts in stealth and cunning, and are often called upon to trick our enemies out of the safety of their homes, to meet death at the hands of our companions.
Yet we do not hate our enemies. We fight because we must, but we do so with forgiveness in our hearts.
I will now instruct you on how to identify certain types of wounds, how to treat them, and when.
In combat, you will sustain wounds. There is no way around it. Though we avoid the enemy’s hands and weapons, it is inevitable that eventually, they will strike.
Determining when best to use our ability to mend our flesh and bone will be one of the hardest tasks you will have. Remember, once you use your ability, it will take you some time to focus your chi in order to use it again.
Some of our order choose to use their chi to mend their wounds as soon as they take some damage, while others prefer to wait until they close to fainting from the severity of their wounds.
I will give you some things to consider in this. First you should decide if you will be able to slay your opponent before he kills you. Secondly, you should think about the friends you are with, and their abilities, for many may be able to heal your wounds through their priestly or druidic arts.
If you are able to survive the battle without the need of your chi, then you should do so, and after slaying your opponent apply bandages to your wounds until the point where your chi will mend your wounds and heal them completely.
If some in your group possess the ability to heal you, then you may wish to hold back, for their ability to channel mana is not limitless, and eventually their may come a time when you are severely wounded and have no other means to save yourself.
Always remember, your ability to channel your chi is a learned art, and until you master this art, there is always the possibility that you will use your chi improperly and it will harm you rather than heal you.
As you master your arts, and learn from the enemies you have slain, a question will arise.
Shall you fight unarmed, or will you use the staves and maces of the fallen?
Only a master is able to use his hands with deadly effectiveness, so you should always try to scavenge the weapons of the slain.
Some of these will require you to use both hands to wield effectively, while others are light in weight and can be used in either hand. Practice with all of them, as a time may come when you will find a weapon of such power that only an expert in its use may wield it.
If you choose to use light weapons, always remember, two are better than one, and your lessons have taught you how to wield two weapons at the same time.
Always remember to learn from your foes, as you use your weapons, see how your enemy reacts to them, and if you learn from this, you will soon master the weapons at your disposal.
As your lessons progress, you will learn the art of faking your own death. It is but an illusion, and you should always remember this. In the beginning, you must be aware that you will fail, and your enemies will fall upon you with tooth and claw. As you master this ability, you will be able to avoid your death when your chi has been exhausted and it seems your opponent must defeat you. This ability will also be useful to you when tricking your foes away from their homes and to meet their death at the hands of your friends, for when they see that they have been tricked, their wrath shall be mighty, and only by feigning to be dead will you survive.
Keep in mind, that as you feign your death, some enemies will leave you immediately, thinking that there is nothing to be gained from chasing a corpse, while other more cunning creatures will remain to confirm your death. You and your friends can take advantage of this. In this manner you may split the forces of your enemies and turn what would be a dreadful fight, into an easy encounter in which your party will easily outnumber your foe.
Through the centuries, our order has channeled the cries of the phantom. It is a woeful cry which lends to our enemies a false security and lulls them into complacency. They will ignore their comrades when in this state, and provide you with the perfect opportunity to bring their allies to their doom at the hands of your party.
But be wary, this ability will wear down your endurance, and although it can be used often, you have to rest a few moments between uses.
Many abilities will be made available to you throughout your learning, so never forget to visit the training halls of our order, as many abilities and uses for your chi can only be unlocked by a master.
When you become a master, such powers are granted to our order as the ability to imitate the Leopard’s claw, or the Dragon’s fang. These powers will punch through all the defenses of your enemy with devastating effects. Keep this in mind, your enemy may well forget all the hatred he has for your friends and focus on you as a more dangerous adversary. Though these powers are great, they are costly. Your endurance will suffer, and you cannot use these abilities often.
When you are ready, seek out the celestial fists, they are a powerful artifact which will turn your fists into magnificent weapons, and increase the speed of your arms.
This is all I can teach you…for now.
Be on your way, what you must now learn can only be taught by those you must vanquish.
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