Characters must have at least 2 Monk levels for every 1 level of another class (total combined levels) at any given time. This applies to both PrCs and base classes.
All monks can multiclass freely with Weapon Master. The above rule still applies.
|Name of Order
|Order of Broken Ones
|Cleric, Divine Champion, Scout
|Disciples of the Phoenix
|Zealots of the Written Word
|Order of the Vaunted Word
|Order of the Calming Wave
|Rogue, Fighter, Swashbuckler
|Order of the Shining Hand
|Order of the Sun Soul
|Lathander, Selûne, Sune
|Cleric, Divine Champion
|Order of the Hin Fist
|Arvoreen, Cyrrollalee, Sheela Peryroyl, Urogalan, Yondalla (halflings) Garl, Segojan, Baervan, Gaerdal (gnomes)
|Fighter, Rogue, Scout, Warsling Sniper
|Order of the Even Hand
|Ilmater, Torm, Tyr (humans)
|Brothers and Sisters of Pure Flame
|Disciples of the Changeless Face
|Disciples of the Grey Gauntlet
|Divine Champion **
|Order of the Endless Robe
|None (Faithless) (Open to all races)
|Disciples of the White Rod
|Monks of the Long Death
|The Holder of the Death Portfolio (Currently Kelemvor) and other gods of death (Jergal & Velsharoon)
|Order of the Dark Moon
|Hexblade, Shadowdancer, Scout, Sorcerer
|Disciples of the Salamander
|Brotherhood of the Scarlet Scourge
|Black Crown Covenant
|Bane (previously), Iyachtu Xvim (currently)
|Assassin, Rogue, Swashbuckler
|LG, LN, LE
|Monks of the True Path
|Path of Enlightenment / True Path (Kara-Turan Religion with no divine power in Faerûn)
* Divine Champion (Weapon Focus Allowed: Chosen weapons of the Triadic gods, Unarmed Strike, Quarterstaff)
** Divine Champion (Unarmed Strike)
Order of Broken Ones (LG)
These kind and enduring monks dedicated to Ilmater are focused on defending the faithful and temples of the Broken God while acting as agents of punishment against those who would cruelly harm others. They combine the skills of healer and hunter in the service of their deity. They often assist other servants of the Triad when injustices against the innocent have occurred and were especially adept at hunting Loviatans. Monks of this order can multiclass freely as clerics, divine champions, and scouts.
Narrative Considerations: This is an order of monks typically found throughout the Dalelands, however, Tethyr's Interregnum has drawn many down to the Lands of Intrigue. These monks have no monasteries of great fame and generally shelter in Ilmater's temples if they can not find other lodging.
Disciples of the Phoenix (LG)
This monk order worships Kossuth in his good aspect. Its members avoid casual contact with others and follow a rigid tradition of hard study and strict behavioral taboos (for example, they only eat food and drink that has been cooked, preferring starvation to uncooked food and thirst to water that has not been heated by fire). They strongly believe in the purifying and redeeming power of fire. They seek to carefully remove the undesirable and dangerous through burning and heating and do so with care and moral dignity. Many have been known to brand themselves as punishment for accidents and sins or even commit suicide by self-immolation for the greatest of offenses. They are also known to hold fire centric gatherings and rituals, called the Rite of Cleansing or the Purifying Path with massive displays of bonfires and flames in general intended to appeal to the masses, to the ordinary, in sheer spectacle or specific purpose; such as to demonstrate and remind that fire's touch is not always wholly destructive or harmful. These holy days include tests of endurance walking upon cinders with bare feet, which are said to not only alleviate or fully cleanse one of sins upon completion, but also to remind worshippers to be mindful of their treatment of the element of fire. They often preach that respect and acknowledgement of it may entail the avoidance of harm, whilst ignorance could result in the very opposite. Most of the monks of this order learn how to understand Ignan as it is used in internal communication by the highest of clergy. Monks of this order can multiclass freely as shamans.
Narrative Considerations: Though not common, this is a Faerûn wide order with monks found in all regions. In some remote parts of the Realms, the Rite of Cleansing and Purifying Path are at times sponsored by obscure villages or hamlets in times of turmoil or need, often linked with great sins - perceived or otherwise - that some commoners are led to believe to be redeemable only through the purity of fire.
Zealots of the Written Word (LG)
These monks spend their time recording information, developing their theories on various forms of unarmed combat, earning money for their church (usually by making books, paper, and ink, or working as scribes), and even accompanying clerics of the faith on quests. When traveling, a Zealot normally carries a small book or bundle of scrolls showing the next martial arts form she intends to master - all of which have complex and flowery names - and the various creatures she intends to try them on. Members of this order are sometimes called Carmendines after their (long-dead) founder. Monks of this order can multiclass freely as clerics.
Narrative Considerations: Commonly found in large cities throughout Faerûn, these monks' travels may take them on quests over long distances and for extended periods of time.
Order of the Vaunted Word (LG, LN)
A venerable order of Amnian descent, the Order of the Vaunted Word was once famous for keeping meticulous, expansive libraries and archives of many kinds all across Amn, its roots dating back to the Parhek Dynasty, having even served as royal scribes and court chroniclers in the erstwhile monarchy. Nearly all of the Order’s libraries and monasteries have since succumbed to either the toll of time or The Years of Bonfires in recent memory, with only the Grand Archives persisting to this day in the city of Murann, yet even it wasn’t entirely safe from the clutches of Cyricists - or so the rumours go. Nowadays reduced to a less prestigious position, most Quillbearers (as they have come to be known in Amn for their dutiful nature) serve as archivists and scriveners in the Royal Registry with exclusive access to its contents, though the most renowned of the Order’s members have been known to attain the title of court scrivener among Amnian mercantile houses, a position of high esteem in Amnian society. Closely associated in many places with the Heralds of Faerûn, members of this order may be asked to carry out tasks for the group of prestigious historians and heralds. Monks of this order can multiclass freely as clerics and wizards.
Narrative Considerations: This order is comprised of more than monks, as it can house various worshippers of the two gods, all serving their own purpose in the structure of the Order. Monks specifically tend to focus on lending their bodies to the less physically capable brothers and sisters in both mundane and dangerous matters, primarily protecting the Grand Archives and recovering lost knowledge. They often possess a philosophy of knowledge being tantamount to life itself, believing that permanently lost knowledge is equal to loss of life in its consequences. Monks of the Order see their minds as less vulnerable mobile archives and libraries that must be maintained through the sharpness of mind as well as mental record-keeping, especially in the wake of The Years of Bonfires. The core consists of Amnians, but foreigners may still find a place among the Order. Native to Amn, particularly the city of Murann, the Order offers an established base of sorts for its monks and other members to congregate in and to operate out of.
Order of the Calming Wave (LG, LN)
Formed by pirates who had survived a fierce storm and then converted to their captain's faith, Valkur. These monks travel land and sea to spread their teachings to those who have similarly survived perilous sea voyages. When they aren't preaching the Captain of the Waves faith, they may be found in all manner of roles, from sailors and dock guards protecting from pirates, to divers recovering lost treasure from Umberlee's depths, shipwrights advising on new and better ways to survive storms, or even ex-captains as sailing instructors. Monks of this order can multiclass freely as rogues, fighters, and swashbucklers.
Narrative Considerations: These monks can generally be found along the sea coasts welcoming and waving off ships, as well as socializing in dock-side taverns and ale-houses. They'll commonly take on jobs that give them access to those who may have survived a sea storm or may need to later.
Order of the Shining Hand (LG, LN)
Azuth, or Mystra
The oldest order in Amn, though with magic use being cracked down upon, the Shining Hand had gone underground for much of its existence. Since the Time of Troubles and Mystra’s faltering power, the loss of magic during the Longest Year, and dead magic areas, the Shining Hand has arisen to a position of some prominence. The Order has started accepting Mystrans and joined the teachings, focusing on the preservation of magic, the elimination of dead magic areas (closely working with Tormtar for this to fulfill their Debt of Destruction), and closer attunement to the distant and fragile Weave to better understand how to restore it. The Shining Hand is the best informed about the state of magic’s return on a cosmological scale in the realms. The new integration of Mystran precepts has led some to be enforcers against flagrant use of magic, especially in the current year. Monks of this order can multiclass freely as wizards and sorcerers.
A small splinter group, still formally of the Shining Hand but causing a Schism, follow extremes of this and support the Amnian Oligarchists, who oppose the greater acceptance of magic in Amn following the Longest Year and Winter of Teeth. Most of these are LN, and so far they are a somewhat tempering and responsible element of the Oligarchs’ faction.
Narrative Considerations: Based in Amn and Vaasa, these monks generally wouldn't come from other places, though, their travels to learn the state of the weave may carry them great distances or into the company of adventuring groups.
Order of the Sun Soul (LG, LN)
Lathander, Selûne, or Sune
During the Age of Netheril, the Netherese venerated Amaunator, Keeper of the Eternal Sun, as the lord of bureaucracy, contracts, law, order, sun, and rulership. An order of itinerant monks known as the Brotherhood of the Sun served the faithful in the field, bringing the comforting words of Amaunator to the peasants and common folk. Although the Brotherhood of the Sun survived the fall of Netheril and the death of the Yellow God, it never coalesced around a successor to Amaunator. Instead, each monastery chose its own god to serve, with most eventually gravitating to Lathander (god of dawn) or Selûne (goddess of the moon and stars), but a few choosing Sune Firehair.
Today, the Brotherhood of the Sun is known as the Order of the Sun Soul, and the group’s original association with the Church of Amaunator has been largely forgotten. The order now admits both men and women, but retains its itinerant nature and ancestral focus on serving the common folk of the Realms, engaging in charitable work among the poor, sick, and needy. The Order of the Sun Soul maintains a large monastery in the city of Waterdeep, due in large part to the presence of prominent churches of Lathander, Selûne, and Sune. The order’s current leader, Monastic Abbot Hanor Kichavo, is attempting to unify the three sects of the order into a cohesive whole for the first time in centuries. Drawing selectively on historical texts that survived the Netherese diaspora and the fall of Calimshan’s Cajaan dynasty, he preaches that Lathander, Selûne, and Sune are tripartite fragments of Amaunator, and that the Yellow God shall rise anew once the three are unified to form the one. Hanor has drawn the ire of the churches of Lathander, Selûne, and Sune for his heretical preaching, a feeling echoed by the more traditional members of his order.
Narrative Considerations: Though based in Waterdeep, this order has recently come to Tethyr and Amn with the rise of the new monarchy, and Amn's recent troubles. Righteous Brother Hronkil Elgredsson leads a monastery, Monastery of the Fire Sky in Zazesspur, and Leoske Orsil leads one in Amn, within Lake Rossath, both of which Sun Soul monks of this region can be based in - in the case of Amn monks of this order effectively have an in-game base to operate out of. Righteous Brother Hronkil does not directly preach about the "tripartite fragments" prophecy and characters may choose to believe it or not. Sun Soul monks are champions of the people and are required to do charitable work each tenday. Staunch opponents of darkness, evil, and chaos, the Sun Soul monks serve as crusaders against undead and churches of evil deities, defenders of the common folk, and protectors of sites sacred to deities of light and good.
Order of the Hin Fist (LG, LN)
Arvoreen, Cyrrollalee, Sheela Peryroyl, Urogalan, Yondalla (halflings) Garl, Segojan, Baervan, Gaerdal (gnomes)
A hin fist is a devout member of a temple dedicated to both Yondalla and the protection of halfling realms. Brimming with confidence in her own abilities, a hin fist transforms that self-assurance into the power of mastery over herself and the world around her. She sees her body and mind as gifts from Yondalla that should be developed and used to the fullest - there should be no need for artificial tools such as weapons. They fought unarmed and their techniques were based around using an opponent's size and strength against them and avoiding blows and taking down those larger than them. They taught other halflings the basics of their style for self-defense, including unarmed combat; this could be recognized as a lesser form of the hin fist style. Hin fists usually study and improve themselves among their own kind in temples in Luiren, however, some enterprising masters established monasteries outside Luiren, and a few opened the order and its teachings to gifted gnome students willing to follow the same path. Otherwise, they wander across the land alone or with small groups, serving as champions of halflings. Their strict beliefs require them to select comrades that are true of heart. Monks of this order can multiclass freely as fighters, rogues, scouts, and warsling snipers.
Narrative Considerations: While most commonly found in Luiren, this order has an isolated monastery in the Tejarn Hills north of Hillfort Torbold (once the territory of the short-lived halfling kingdom of Meiritin), led by Fist-Master Fosco Wisestride (halfling) who allows select gnomes into the order. The hills around the monastery are rife with giants and other monstrous humanoids so members of this order can commonly be found wandering the Muranni region combating the efforts of these creatures and monsters.
Order of the Even Hand (LG, LN)
Ilmater, Torm, Tyr
Following the distancing of the gods after the Longest Year, monastic traditions, which were at best a burgeoning thing in the Triad, had spread out from Ilmater’s order into one that cohesively spanned the teachings of the entire Triad. The monastery of the Even Hand was established outside of Daggerford on the River Delimbiyr and focused on effective and quick mercy and justice alike, blending styles that could be both lethal and sparing into one. These monks were largely former and current clergy of the Triadic faiths that had elected to practice more than preach, and contemplate their own lessons in a different way. Those that joined this order were not to rejoin the clergy, and most sought to aid beleaguered clergymen across Faerun where they could, as while divine presence had dwindled, the abilities of the martial and physical self had not. Monks of this order can multiclass freely as divine champions.
Narrative Considerations: This is a relatively new order found on the Sword Coast so members would not likely come from outside that region.
Brothers and Sisters of Pure Flame (LN)
These monks seek a balance between the purifying aspect and the destructive aspect of Kossuth's flame, and are the mediators of the three orders. This order provides a neutral ground for Kossuth's monastic faithful. They do not hold to the strict moral codes of purification and cleansing which the Disciples of the Phoenix do, yet they are unwilling to commit many of the immoral acts of destruction for the sake of forced renewal that the Disciples of the Salamander have been known to perpetrate. In addition to sharing doctrines, they are known to both oversee and attend the many rituals and festivals of their sibling orders. Most of the monks of this order learn how to understand Ignan as it is used in internal communication by the highest of clergy. Monks of this order can multiclass freely as shamans.
Narrative Considerations: The most popular of the three monk orders of Kossuth, members are afforded a wide range of moral leeway in their actions, though, the expectation of self-control and discipline is just as great. Chaos is not tolerated and those who lose control of themselves or their fires are faced with painful discipline or even death.
Disciples of the Changeless Face (LN)
This simple order is built around a strong resistance to change, especially radical change. They are consumed with maintaining the status quo (from laws to traditions to manners of speech) and preserving knowledge of how things are so as to better detect changes and counter them. From expansionism to changes in government, in organizations, and even in geography (such as building a dam or carving a monument in a cliff). Despite their fervent resistance to change, these monks are not considered fanatics. Their actions tend to be well thought out, and few of the decisions are ever arrived at in haste. Despite that, some actions can be dramatic, such as destroying a new building, sinking a ship destined for distant unknown lands, or discrediting those trying to become new leaders. Disciples of the Changeless Face also take oaths with extreme seriousness and would never break one upon pain of being cast out of their faith. Anyone else caught as an oathbreaker could face anything from public scolding to physical assault (generally a fistfight and never with intent for serious harm). Monks of this order can multiclass freely as fighters and scouts.
Narrative Considerations: This order is Faerûn-wide and members may come from any region. These monks take note of everything around them and work towards keeping things the way they are, or at best, allowing very slow and methodical change. Opposing change through removing those causing change is acceptable within a neutral moral code but those who do unnecessary evil may likely face discipline. Grumbarryn tend to be large, solid men who want to appear as stable as possible. They're typically calm and stoic, slow to emotional responses, but genuine and honest (except in opportunities of undermining some particular action, in which case dishonesty may be acceptable).
Disciples of the Grey Gauntlet (LN)
The followers of Helm had more often than not been guards and protectors, from a city’s watchmen to professional and dutiful bodyguards. The Grey Gauntlet was a small order splintered off from the newly forming Everwatch Knights, slow to grow within a faith resistant to change and new paths. These monks were dutiful and stern, sworn to perfect service in the protection of a cause, or an individual. Their training was unique within the Helmite orders in that it combined the stalwart defense with an unarmed offense, rather than Helm’s hand-and-half chosen weapon. Twinned steel gauntlets and vambraces were able to play host to many defensive and offensive styles, lethal if the monk so chose. Some in this order even preferred the armor they had always been used to, choosing a stalwart defense of steel rather than speed and structure. Shields were, however, forbidden, as both hands were required for the foundational styles of this Order. The Grey Gauntlet and the Everwatch were two orders very closely linked, as their founding had the same intent but with moderately different methods. They have several monasteries in the Vilhon Reach, and one in Darromar. Monks of this order can multiclass freely as divine champions.
Narrative Considerations: This order is generally contained to Tethyr and the Vilhon Reach and members shouldn't come from other places. The Twin Fists of Steel Monastery in Darromar is where those in this region would be based, but monastic duties (which may vary widely) could take them throughout the region for extended periods of time.
Order of the Endless Robe (LN)
None (Faithless) (Open to all races)
The members of this order follow no one religion, instead, they strive for the cosmic balance of all the religions. The order welcomes members of all races and species who are capable of the necessary devotion to the tenents. They do not place the importance of any god over another and only seek to assist or hinder a faith when they feel the balance has been skewed for or against that faith. They believe that each church and its faithful are responsible for supporting a piece of the cosmic balance, including upholding their alliances and actively opposing their enemies. Regional churches or leaders who preach unorthodoxly or create alliances that are heretical to the overall dogma of a god may face the opposition of this order if it threatens to disturb this equilibrium. They preach that all the gods are important and should one faith be disregarded or disposed of the balance will tip; even the vilest of deities serve a purpose because, simply, if they didn't they wouldn't exist. They teach, pragmatically, that everyone should oppose their own god's enemies, but do not hate these enemies for the role they fill. They are simply filling a role the same as you - each is important to the endless cosmic balance.
Secondary to their preaching and activities towards retaining balance, the order collects for themselves, and erases for others, any written mention or knowledge of the Overgod Ao. Only between themselves do they discuss him and should their philosophy be credited towards Ao, they dismiss the mention of the name as best they're able and claim their tenents are simply obvious based on the gods' portfolios themselves. Ministers of Ao and others who openly preach or speak of him are ignored (as opposing or stopping them would legitimize that Ao is indeed a focus of theirs), though a few unspoken exceptions may arise. Cults claiming to receive spells from Ao, such as one previously in Zazesspur, would be discredited and quietly proven as liars. These monks are allowed to multiclass as wizards to bring more utility and magical knowledge into the order.
Narrative Considerations: Seemingly from nowhere, members of this order suddenly appeared across Toril in 1359DR and began recruiting new members. Few monks make major changes to the area they live in, simply because they're spread fairly evenly across the continents already and the need to move is unnecessary. These monks are outspoken about supporting all the gods and may at times be the first to defend a deity of evil or chaos or their faithful, doing so, logically based on the need of that portfolio to be filled. If a god of torture or assassination dies, another god will just fill its place - as history shows. Though no faith truly fears the order, neither does any faith encourage actively opposing them. If not simply for the uncertainty surrounding them, inciting the order's ire may lead these monks to find a reason to support their enemies to cease that aggression. Additionally, it may draw the attention of those who wouldn't normally be an enemy simply for the fact a faithless neutral 'peacekeeper' was targeted.
Disciples of the White Rod (LN, LE)
Monks of the Loviatan faith all belong to the Disciples of the White Rod, named in honor of the token granted to their founder by Loviatar and held in the home abbey near Calimport as a relic. These mystics follow an eccentric philosophy that they call the Way of Transcendence which they do not reveal to others. This philosophy is a commitment to perfecting their bodies and minds against the effects of pain and emotion. Curiously, this is not in the way most people believe. Instead of deadening and dulling the pain, they learn to embrace it. They search out and feel every tiny bit of pain, embracing how it feels, and then controlling their responses to it, with experienced monks learning how to channel it into adrenaline and other beneficial responses - in some cases even pleasure. Emotions are taught to be controlled and set aside, from fear to hate to love all being able to be contained and only used when appropriate. The result of this path are individuals capable of taking inconceivable amounts of pain and mental suffering while still being able to function normally, as well as being able to commit horrendously evil and vile crimes even to those they love the most - or in opposition, hug and compliment a foe they detest with their entire soul. The White Rods prefer using their bare hands to inflict pain rather than using weapons. When forced to use weapons, they prefer nunchaku with white-bleached leather wrappings on the hilts. Monks of this order can multiclass freely as cleric and assassins.
Narrative Considerations: This order can be found across Faerûn, though more commonly in non-Good places, such as the Moonsea, Calimshan, and Amn. The Black Spires of the Maiden Temple in the Small Teeth Mountains is the largest and most energetic Loviatan temple in the Realms and supports a branch of the White Rods. White Rod monks are generally unemotional, but as part of a plan, they may act in whatever way is necessary. They're extremely thoughtful and while most would probably be comfortable starting fights everywhere they go, the Loviatan dogma states that pain should only be dealt by a disciplined punisher, for unnecessary pain teaches no lesson; unrelenting cruelty will turn folk against the church. So constant and unnecessary fighting would generally be avoided.
Monks of the Long Death (LN, LE)
The Holder of the Death Portfolio (Currently Kelemvor) and other gods of death (Jergal & Velsharoon).
The monks of the Long Death are members of an old order devoted to the concept of death, and they are masters of using natural means to inflict death upon others. They care little for what deity holds the portfolio of death, serving Cyric briefly before Kelemvor, Myrkul before Cyric, and Jergal long before Myrkul. This order of the Long Death dates back to the early days of Calimshan after it was freed from the rule of the genies. It was founded as a means for the slaves of the genies to develop the ability to defend themselves and strike out against their elemental masters, but as time went on the monks became obsessed with killing and death beyond their original purpose. These monks seek to understand death and hope to achieve a perfect death. None are really sure what that means, but they believe that by inflicting pain and death upon others with their bare hands, they gain an understanding of what they need to do to achieve their own perfect deaths. The monks wander the land, accosting people in every part of Faerûn with fist and foot. They have found that pretending to be beggars allows them a great deal of anonymity and freedom to move about. Ironically, many folk mistake them for the Broken Ones (monks of Ilmater), which outrages the worshipers of the Crying Deity.
Monks of the Long Death normally fight unarmed and preferentially attack humanoid creatures. In situations where they must fight nonhumanoids, they are not averse to using weapons, particularly if their unarmed strikes are not very effective against their foes. They tend to favor the kama in these instances. If they down a foe, they use the remainder of their attacks against that foe to kill, or even use a coup de grace to finish a fallen enemy.
The monks are opposed by benign deities of life such as Chauntea and Lathander, and are the enemies of the church of Ilmater, which sees their focus on pain and death as being only slightly less repulsive than Loviatar’s love of punishment. Kelemvor, the Lord of the Dead, would prefer that they not practice their skills on unwilling targets and encourages his followers to destroy these monks or convince them to fight undead. Monks of this order can multiclass freely as assassins and fighters.
Narrative Considerations: Monks of the Long Death can be found all across Faerûn. They're not a highly secretive organization and many adorn their bodies with tattoos or scars of their symbols - images of skulls, often with a black diamond on the forehead. While they were generally distrustful of others, members were civil with those who sought to share any insights about death.
Order of the Dark Moon (LE)
The Monks of the Dark Moon are a sect of sorcerer-monks who have dedicated themselves body, mind, and soul to Shar, the Lady of Loss. The monks are her assassins, her enforcers, and her shadowy agents. Their training is diverse, as are their skills, and their devotion to their Lady is absolute. They serve the Mistress of the Night by carrying out tasks that she prefers not to assign to her ordinary clergy. In practical terms, the monks of the Dark Moon share the same goal as the church of Shar. Their methods, however, are less obvious and more selective. Whereas the priesthood might be engaged in a long-term plan to topple a city government, the monks might be charged with slipping into that city’s chief government building and kidnapping or killing a designated target. The organization’s leaders have direct contact with their goddess, and are not subject to the authority or will of her clergy. The Monks of the Dark Moon began in Purskul, and that city is still home to the group’s most holy monastery. Amn and the surrounding regions continue to be hotbeds of recruitment for both the Monks of the Dark Moon as well as their Sharran comrades. The monks have since spread across Faerûn, establishing other
shrines and safe havens wherever they go. The Monks of the Dark Moon take on a new slate of recruits at each monastery every fourteen months. The hopefuls are drawn from those who are already indoctrinated into Shar’s mysteries, and even then, only those who show incredible devotion to her ideals are admitted. The rigorous training and vile acts that all recruits must perform weed out most of the order’s enemies; the faithful of Shar guard their secrets better than anyone else in Faerûn.
The first principle is that any new recruit must be a young adult so they're capable of understanding the evil to which they are dedicating their lives. Second, recruits must be among the strongest in their faith, but under no circumstances can they have taken the oath of priesthood. Shar commands that her priests and monks be separate, so both can carry out her will without complication. Finally, recruits must have demonstrated the potential to develop sorcerous abilities. This last was the most stringent requirement that Shar handed down, and many recruits have fallen under the sacrificial knife for lying about such potential. The Monks of the Dark Moon do not accept any member who does not undergo their training, though the training can certainly have been undertaken before a character picks up his first class level.
The primary goal of every cell is to bring as many Faerûnians under Shar’s influence as possible, so that eventually their dark mistress can win her eternal war against her sister, Selûne. To this end, the worshipers of Shar spread themselves throughout the populated areas of the continent, searching for weak minds into which they can sow thoughts of meaninglessness and revenge. Sometimes a job is too big for one agent to complete, such as the sacking of the temple to Chauntea in Purskul and the assassination of all its priests. Shar does not hesitate to assign the right number of individuals to a job, even if it means combining the forces of her clerics with those of her monks. Monks of this order can multiclass freely as hexblades, shadowdancers, scouts, and sorcerers.
Narrative Considerations: Amn, Calimshan, Cormanthor and the Moonsea, Sembia, and the Sword Coast are prime recruiting locations for the Dark Moon. Members wouldn't likely be from outside those areas. Sharrans prefer to go about their dark business in secret, with as little interference as possible, and a Monk of the Dark Moon would have a hard time acting in a group that was not made up of others of his order or at least those of the Sharran faith. He might disguise himself and hide his true motives in order to travel less conspicuously, or he might even join the group of someone he was tracking in order to gain an edge when the time came to strike.
Disciples of the Salamander (LE)
All followers of Kossuth rank fire as the most important of the elements, however, a few will go to dangerous and damaging lengths to prove its supremacy. Some of these monks rival a Talosian fanatic's love of destructive fire, but most see it as a necessary tool for renewal in the world. Open warfare between this order and the faithful of Istishia, King of Water Elementals, is rampant, though conflict is virtually ensured with the other elemental lords' faithful as well. This order teaches that the controlled destruction through fire provides the cleanest opportunity for renewal. The old, worn, broken, and unworthy should be sacrificed through immolation to provide room for rebirth, new creations, and innovation. However, destruction with fire must be intentional and orderly, requiring discipline, restraint, and self-control otherwise one may lose control to the unpredictable nature of chaos - a grave sin within the order's dogma. Many of these monks bear brands of occult symbolism on their bodies and decorate themselves with fiery ink as well as paintings of charcoal. Most of the monks of this order learn how to understand Ignan as it is used in internal communication by the highest of clergy. Monks of this order can multiclass freely as shamans.
Narrative Considerations: This is a Faerûn-wide order and members may come from any region. Disciples of the Salamander often accompany Burning Braziers (the adventuring branch of Kossuth's clergy) seeking out that which is run its course and must be destroyed to allow for replacement by something new, and zealously opposing followers of rival faiths.
Brotherhood of the Scarlet Scourge (LE)
Created in 927DR, by an orc shaman named Wund, this order was established to organize the surviving orcs of the Blood Plagues against the humans of Waterdeep. Through generations, the Brotherhood kept uniting the northern orcs against the humans until 1026DR when the orc kingdom and the Brotherhood, who sustained it, finally suffered a shattering defeat and the orcs of the Sword Mountains disintegrated into warring tribes. This defeat was the catalyst for the order's spread across Faerûn, as all but a few remaining members left the region. Over the next 150 years, branches of this order would appear in all major territories where orcs and humans came into conflict. Through poison and disease, the order eliminates weak or stupid rulers and their supporters allowing those who support war and strength against humans (and the importance of Yurtrus) to find positions of leadership. Despite being some of the most cunning orcs in a tribe, rarely do they directly lead tribes (and never kingdoms) of their own, as that may upset the orcish gods of strength and war, especially Gruumsh. Instead, the Brotherhood leads from behind, quietly eliminating those who stand in the way of war and destruction and thus Yurtus' spread of death and disease to humans and other enemies. Within the past 50 years, some branches of the Brotherhood have begun accepted half-orcs as a way to infiltrate human society for both espionage and assassination. Scarlet Scourge monks bleach their hands white and grow their nails very long. Before combat, they dip their nails in a powder made of blood infected with the red ache, which lets them infect their opponents. Monks of this order can multiclass freely as clerics.
Narrative Considerations: This order can be found throughout Faerûn, however, travel between branches of the order would be uncommon so it's generally best to have your monk come from the Small Teeth region if they're starting in the order. This order also generally works with an orc tribe so a lone, half-orc monk would not be common. For Scarlet Scourge monks in the Murann region, they would be part of the Grave Bone Clan located north of the Ommlur Hills, high in the far western Small Teeth Mountains. The tribal chief is Bromvuk The Mighty, and the leader of this order's branch is Agvokk Spinerot.
Black Crown Covenant (LE)
Bane (previously), Iyachtu Xvim (currently)
The monks of the Black Crown Covenant are masters of infiltrating the upper echelons of society. Their plots and plans can run for years as they build relationships (even through marriage and kids), learn the languages and habits necessary, and slowly maneuver their way into the position (or positions) which best give them access to what their job entails. At times these jobs may be as vague as general infiltration until they learn something more useful to move after. Their most common role is to provide their church with a means of espionage, though, assassination or theft is not out of the question - these acts, however, are always done in a way that the blame clearly falls on someone else; unsolved murders or random crimes arouse too many suspicions. Secrecy and decretion are of utmost importance and those who learn of the monk's plans are nearly always killed, with someone else left to blame. Monks of this order can multiclass freely assassins, rogues, and swashbucklers.
Narrative Considerations: This order is Faerûn-wide and especially found within places in opposition to tyranny, such as Cormyr, Waterdeep, and again recently, Tethyr. These monks will do nearly whatever it takes to assume the position necessary to their duties. Their personalities are typically outgoing and they work diligently to fit into the social identity which best gives them an advantage. With the rise of Iyachtu Xvim, the monks are more open to claiming other faiths - and on a rare occasion, and only if required for maintaining their impersonation, praying to another god. However, under Bane, this was an extremely risky act as Bane expected his faithful to submit to only him.
Monks of the True Path (LG, LN, LE)
None (May be faithless, but not forced) (Open to all races)
Where the nations of Toril’s West, up to and including the Sword Coast, were dependant on faith and magic, the Eastern countries had spread their own influence through other ways, without the input of beings divine or arcane. The Path of Enlightenment, the State Religion of much of Kara-Tur, had only ingrained itself deeper into the land and those in contact with it since the Time of Troubles. Its precepts were widely applicable to many even well outside Kara-Tur, and the peaceful faith drew many followers of many nations, with ambassadors of the True Path turning west. With the emphasis on self-reflection and enlightenment came techniques to achieve it, and then harness one’s body toward those ends. The True Path spawned an order of monks, often austere but of increasing relevance in the modern-day.
The size and breadth of this Order allowed for some internal diversity, welcoming as it was. While some sought enlightenment, others sought prowess through it. Others still sought a closer connection to parts of the world that have always been revered, hidden. As reverent as the State was of the True Path and its monks, the order had political use as well, with some of the trainings emphasizing some of the Path’s virtues over others. “Be Obedient to Your Lord” often carried greater weight than other virtues, and some of the True Path’s monks found true purpose in violent acts, even if they were done dispassionately and honorably.
The Path of Enlightenment was based on a written code of behavior and beliefs: "Honor that which has gone before you. For the past is eternal." - "Honor and respect your Elders and the Ancestors. Show honor in word, thought, action, and deed." - "Speak not false words, nor engage in false deeds, for these are not li." - "Do honor to he who rules you, for the Earth is the Mirror of Heaven, and the Son of Heaven is the mirror of the Celestial One. Be obedient to your lord." - "Engage in no base thing, nor commit murder, for to strike another in the name of anger is not li." - "Do honor to those you must rule, for under the eye of Heaven, they are your equals. Be fair to those you rule." - "Know that all things are One under Heaven, even the lowliest of creatures." - "To make strong the force of the Body, to become one with Heaven in defense of the weak and the defenseless - this is truly li."
* In these precepts, li was a term meaning "rightness under heaven".
* Nine cardinal virtues were also emphasized by the Path: in alphabetical order, these were Artistry, Compassion, Courage, Fidelity, Honor, Karma, Love, Respect for Tradition, and Scholarship.
Narrative Considerations: This order is from Kara-Turan lands, and outside of Saerloon in Sembia (where a monastery was established in 1363DR) there aren't canon monasteries listed. These would be the best two places for your character to come from and having a thoughtful reason for being so far from a monastery would be ideal. The order allows for a great deal of character flexibility.