|Monastery of the Seven Forms|
Source: Taldor, Echoes of Glory, pg(s). 4
The Monastery of the Seven Forms is an underground city built around a Tian monastery, located in the prefecture of Whitemarch in the nation of Taldor. This settlement is nestled in the World's Edge Mountains, and overlooks the lands of the empire all the way to the Inner Sea.
The settlement known as the Monastery of the Seven Forms was originally no more than a Tian monastery of the same name, founded some 2,000 years ago by monks of the Order of the Stalwart Fist from Tian Xia. Its distance from Tian Xia was a conscious decision, made in the hopes that students would learn the principles of patience in their journey across Casmaron to the location. When Qadira attacked Taldor in 4079 AR, the city was captured by the invading forces. It was reclaimed by the empire, but the period of occupation resulted in a significant influx of Qadiran blood into the community.
Due to the regular events of being captured and recaptured, the Order has lost all seven on its original forms. In their place, the monks now teach a style featuring lightning-fast strikes that mimic both dervish dances and the arid desert winds. This is in combination with Casmaron and Taldan arts such as rondelero and fencing. The fighting styles blend swordplay and unarmed strikes, all with an emphasis on mobility and endurance.
The Monastery of the Seven Forms can be found in the World's Edge Mountains, in southern Taldor. The monastery itself sits on the cliff face, overlooking the lands to the Inner Sea. The city extends into the mountain, and is composed of a series of interconnected tunnels and living areas.
The populace of the Monastery of the Seven Forms is primarily human. Due to occupation by forces from the nation of Qadira during the Grand Campaign, these people often possess both Taldan and Qadiran blood.
Order of the Stalwart Fist
The Monastery of the Seven Forms is home to a group of monks known as the Order of the Stalwart Fist. They teach a fighting style that combines Tian and Qadiran combat techniques; this style has achieved some level of popularity, and entrance into the monastery involves a lengthy waiting period as a result.
Seven Forms of Sin
A recent offshoot, the Seven Forms of Sin, are dedicated to perfecting their physical forms through indulgence and they operate as an assassins' guild as well as a monastery. This secretive splinter group was founded two centuries ago by Milon Jeroth, a skilled former member of the Monastery of Seven Forms who abandoned the Order with a sizable following of recruits. He honed these followers into a martial cult, supplementing the traditional martial training of the Monastery of Seven Forms with excessive feasting, theft, orgies, and other wanton excesses to help fulfill their path to enlightenment.
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