Bond of Brothers
Cleric of Mishakal
A traveling merchant found a baby boy wrapped in swaddling all alone at a remote roadside shrine in Solamnia. There was no indication of what had happened or why the baby was left there. The kind merchant took the baby boy to the village he was traveling to, nearby at the foot of the Vingaard Mountains. The merchant brought the baby to the inn where he was staying and told the story to the patrons that night.
Everyone was a loss at what to do, the village was poor and they could barely feed the numbers they had. The village elders decided to take the child to the monks of the Order of the Purple Lotus, an order of monks who lived high in the Vingaard Mountains. It was known to the village that the monks from time to time accepted orphans into their order. The monks cared for the boy and taught him the ways of their order, both the martial and the scholarly arts. While the monks had a number of orphans at their order and cared for them all, the boy whom they named Caleb which in their old tongue meant “like the heart” was special. He had a spirit and drive that was rare is someone so young and in Caleb and this captured the monks’ affections. They saw in Caleb someone who would achieve greatness.
As he grew, the monks tested Caleb in many trials but the orphan excelled at all test set before him. It wasn’t before long that it was whispered in the monastery of Caleb being a future master, perhaps even a grandmaster of the order someday, so highly rated was his skills. While the masters were very pleased with Caleb’s progress, some of them started detecting what they called arrogance in the young man and this they believed might stop Caleb achieving his full potential. Master Toyama Dishuko the monastery’s’ master at arms didn’t believe it was arrogance that kept Caleb aloof, but something buried deep inside his soul that stopped the young man from achieving the true harmony required to reach inner peace. With his rapid advancement throughout his training it wasn’t long before the time came for Caleb to take the trails to be initiated as a full member of the order. If he succeeded he would be one of the youngest initiates ordained as a full member of the order of the purple lotus, a rare and treasured honour indeed.
Caleb breezed through the martial trials, defeating all before him. He believed he did well in the knowledge trials and was confident of his success to achieve membership into the order. When presented to the senior monks for the final test, Caleb was confident of achieving his goal. The last trial, called “the trial of the soul” was conducted by the Grand Master of the Order of the Purple Lotus himself – Koyamata Ito. Caleb was made to stand before Ito as the old monk raised his hand and closed his eyes. Caleb remembered a slight burning sensation, followed by some whispering voices, and then a massive jolt of pain that caused him to scream and drop to his knees in agony. The young man had never felt anything like it before. Caleb opened his eyes to see Ito regarding him with pity, and then he spoke. “Caleb Kane, you are not yet ready to take the vows of a monk of our order. I looked into your soul, and where they should be calm and tranquillity, all I see is storm and tempest. You must seek your inner Wal, the calm that will allow you to complete your training. It is clear you will not find it here within these walls, so you must travel abroad and seek that knowledge elsewhere” With that Grand Master Koyamata Ito turned and left. Master Dishuko took the young man and helped prepare him for his travels. “The world is a dangerous place son, you must always be cautious. There is evil, but there is good also. Find your Wal, young Caleb” Dishuko said… “Find it and return to us”
The next day Caleb left to complete his training and left the only home he had ever known.