Red Mood Synod

The Red Mood Synod is a highly secretive order of devoted monks that maintain many private monasteries throughout the realms of the West.

The Order is not known to have allegiances to any kingdom or government, but act wholly independently. However, when evil arises, the Synod always comes to the aid of the West. In the past, the Synod has worked closely with both the Veiled Society and the Silver Ravens. The Synod teaches the practices of the Gods Atanavar and Berevrom. The Synod also runs several dozen monasteries throughout Corwyn.

Membership in the Red Moon Synod is broken down into several orders:

The Order of the Mystics

Monks of mystically oriented orders are often seeking enlightenment (and sometimes immortality - though they are viewed as one and the same by most of these monks) through the pursuit of magic and maintaining positive Chi in nature. Enlightenment depends on not only the specific order, but also the individual monk. Achieving this new level of consciousness may involve the research of a variety of rituals used to transcend into the afterlife, the study and perfection of a certain type of meditation, or through alchemy, and most importantly, life lessons.

Some monks believe enlightenment can be found through solitude, contemplation, and dedication, while others believe that enlightenment can only be achieved through good deeds and the perpetuation of positive Chi. While at the monastery, the monks act as protectors for nearby communities and aid in the defense of the monastery when necessary. The orders do not typically patrol the countryside on a regular basis, instead relying on divination and magic to warn of danger and the need to act. It is unfortunate that some monks interpret the visions in such a way that they believe no action can be taken to aid the innocents and thus stand idly by while entire villages are slaughtered. In the eyes of these monks, however, nothing could have been done to save these people and to act would have wasted the lives of the monks.

Mystical orders promote tranquility and peace, fighting and using war magic only in defense of the innocent and defenseless. The order believes this promotes the flow of positive Chi and allows the sorcerer-monk to continue his/her pursuit.


The Order of the Militant

Militant orders are the most common and widespread, varying as greatly in philosophy and training as the world itself is diverse — though a few commonalities do exist. Many believe in the spirits of living things (the foundation of Chi) and the relationship everyone has with the natural world. To this end, Militant Monks are taught to fight with only wooden staves. As they progress, the warrior monks are traiend in the use of: brass knuckles, cestus, club, dagger, javelin, kama, nunchaku, sai, shortspear, shuriken, siangham, sling, and spear.

The Militant order also teaches their members to always fight against tyranny, demons, monsters, bandits, and other evils (though some profess that all diplomatic avenues must be explored before turning to violence).

While some orders train monks in martial weaponry, such as the art of stick fighting or, in some cases, bladed weapons, others believe that any type of weapon, martial or otherwise, is considered dishonorable or invoking negative Chi because of the "abuse of nature," the perceived barbarism of weapons, or perceived weakness. These orders train only in unarmed combat, honing martial techniques through the perfection of hand and foot strikes.

Militant orders focus on defense of the weak, negotiation and mediation, and/or destruction of evil/negative Chi. These are the orders which train the Warrior Monks and are frequently responsible for the defense of surrounding countryside at the request of the kingdom's or city-state's ruler. The monks often work closely with the kingdom's standing army and join adventuring parties who fight against tyrannical despots, marauding bands of monsters, and manipulative demons.

For the truly exemplary Militants, martial skill transcends the battlefield—it is a lifestyle, a doctrine, a state of mind. These warrior-monks search out new methods of battle beyond swords and shields, finding weapons within themselves just as capable of crippling or killing as any blade. The monks of the Militant Order elevate their bodies to become weapons of war, from battle-minded ascetics to self-taught brawlers. Militant Monks, however, always tread the path of discipline, and those with the will to endure that path discover within themselves not what they are, but what they are meant to be.


The Order of the Scholars

This orders always follows a strict code of pacifism. Their members are forbidden from engaging in any type of combat, ever (even in self-defense). It is this order that is responsible for training the several hundred Monk Scholars, who wander the world researching ancient mysteries, philosophy, history, and lore.

These monk scholars tend to be withdrawn and quiet, preferring to observe, while others perceive it as their duty to cure the ills of the world, especially aggression, war, misused magic, and social problems. They will do this through lectures and philosophical discussions about civilization and what is wrong with it. While this might be annoying at times, the monks belonging to scholarly orders are quite intelligent and insightful, able to offer a variety of perspectives on many topics. They are frequently superb negotiators and traders as well as being generally pleasant.