Lhou Shi Yuan
Austere, the monastery anchors atop a cold dry mountain. The dormitories are sparse. The buildings undecorated. Yet cries of vigour are heard from the open gallery. Rows and rows of monks training, fists punching out in unison, kicks lashing at an invisible enemy. A thrum of power radiates the temples. They are stark. Their people, spartan.
Unyielding Vigour: Student must surpass a year of beatings and bruising. The student must have his body broken. And put himself back together.
Endless Vigilance: Student must learn to fight alone and independent. Attacks will be made against the student at unbeknownst times by multiple opponents. The student must grow in strength and constitution, until the assaults are little more than annoyances.
Concentrate to Nothing – Student must survive a series of rigorous meditational tests in a variety of harsh environments. These include meditating beneath a roaring waterfall, on coals of fire and buried in an avalanche.
Beat the body till peace remains, Break the mind till all is still, Become the beholder of your own fate.
A dark chapel hidden in the great cleft of a cliff. The round, tall buildings drown in shadow. Cloisters conceal praying hidden figures. An eerie silence stalks the monastery. Muffling even the most hushed of whispers.
As Loris: Student must steal a feather from a mountain eagle.
As Civet: Student must spend 6 months living at night. You must not touch daylight.
As the Hounded: In the last year of apprenticeship, student you must run. A band of villains are hired to find and kill you. Student must hide for 3 months.
Shelter in shadow, Slither as silence, Succumb to your darkness
Nestled in the grove of a forest lies Vihara Lavra. Enter past its great pillars and you will be greeted with a courtyard of elemental fury. Towering monoliths of magma spurt out chunks of molten flame. Swirling tendrils of water spin about aquamarine fountains. Monks stand proud in the middle, summoning gusts of wind and crackles of lightning from their hands. Vihara Lavra pulses with energy.
Through the Fire and the Flames: Student must reach the pinnacle of his pain in the trials of hypothermia, burning, crushing and drowning.
Cycle of Exploration: Student is abandoned in an isolated forest with no supplies. He must survive for 3 months, using his powers as aid.
Primal Duel: Student must duel and defeat a summoned elemental.
Let the world and all its turbulence bore through, and you become invincible.
By the foothills of Brunihalda lies a monastery of unique nature. Founded by outcast dwarves, the temple is cacophony of hoots, shouts and burps. The rectory is the biggest building and crammed with poetry slurring monks. Drink sloshes across the wooden tables, barrels barrel, fists fly, wine bottles pop, belches echo. But disrupt the merriment, threaten their harmony… And see inebriated revelry transform before your eyes into dynamic ferocity.
Drunken Gait: Student must walk a 20-mile trek severely inebriated.
Spirit Palate: Student must train for a fortnight atop a mountain peak. A senior monk visits him. He is then blind folded, and taste tests a variety of different brews. He must correctly guess everyone.
Sloshed Crawl: Student must go on a pub crawl in an urban environment. He must drink at every venue. Senior monks in disguise will assault the student at different venues. Student must not fall unconscious.
When up is down and down is up, you fly!
Dojo Kira The Dojo is all. Every manner of weapon line the walls of the mercury convent. An arsenal enviable by all. They sparkle in the morning light. Outside, it is quiet and still. Only the clang of steel on steel disrupts the peace. The convent is but one floor, connected by paper thin doors and red wood corridors. But at its centre, lies the Dojo. The Dojo is all.
Run the Gauntlet: Student must make their way through a labyrinth of traps. Having to duck and wave, they must escape the maze.
Blinded precision: Student must take a herbal drug that temporarily blinds them. They must then enter a room with fellow students and block incoming blows.
One shot showdown: Student must face off against a senior monk in padded armour. Student must not fall unconscious. The student must also land one hit against the senior monk. Not only this, he only has one attempt to strike and hit.
Permit your being to be one with the blade. And may that blade strike ever true.
Walk through the cold. Walk through the frost. And you will find harmony at Zuvala Lotus. A giant igloo houses the tabernacle of lights. The floors shine with the reflections of phosphorescent orbs. The smooth caverns walls wriggle with luminescence. At the epicentre of this abbey of ice, a beautiful achromatic flame burns eternally. Monks bathe in its bright rays. And grow in wisdom and brilliance.
Open Harmony: Student must meditate every sunrise to sunset for 1 year.
Brilliant Radiance: Student is put in an amphitheatre with many unlit sconces. He must fend off attacks by fellow students whilst simultaneously lighting all the scones within 3 minutes.
Show the Light: Student must leave the monastery and find a town. He must commit a great deed of charity.
There is a radiance inside that shines greater than any fire. Release it upon the world and let them bask in the light of your soul!