The airship settled down in the courtyard of Skull Tower. The General and his retinue disembark and make their way up the stairs. A runner delivers the most recent dispatches to the General, dozens of them on troop movements, threats, assets, and war preparations. “Goettch” the General says, handing him a piece of parchment, “It seems some friends of yours have take up residence here in the city. Go speak with them. The brothers may be most helpful in the coming days.”
Goettch read the dispatch and turned on heel to find the men known only as the Celestial Monks. The Monks are a roving band of brothers, who fight for noble causes. No one knows quite how many there are. Some reports have said there were forty members of the order, but those closest know that there are only four brothers and a few followers. Avi Goettch was raised from a boy, as a guard in their monastery. His education was as diverse and complex as any could be. He was taught the martial arts of hand to hand combat, the songs of bards, and the diplomacy of statesmen. The Monks have never been concurred; their monastery is as they have wanted it, free and unmolested. There have been several attempts for press the Monks into service, but through guile, force, or negotiation they were able to repel the invaders. Goettch learned well their lessons and much of their teachings are responsible for his quick rise to Commander in Di’Rand’s army. He was a little leery to learn that the Monks were in Gothex. They are a powerful ally, and a fearsome enemy.
As he stepped into the practice hall where the Monks were said to be staying, he intuitively snapped his right arm up into a hammer block, catching his attacker’s kick across his armored forearm. The foot retracted as quickly as it flashed into existence. From across the room, in a shadowy alcove, sat a man in heavy robes. “Brother Goettch, welcome back to the fold. You have been missed, my friend.”
“Your pupil is slow and as loud as a horse, Brother Saul. It is good to see you. How are your brothers?”
“They are well. These are busy times. Why have you come?” the monk said as he rose from his prayer rug.
“To ask what your intentions here are. The Celestial Monks are valuable allies, but feared enemies. Are you here to assist us or are you here for battle? I think the General suspects my association with the monastery. Else he would have sent a corps of troops. ” the knight asked stepping into the hall.
“I am here to fulfill an honor debt to the one known as the Fool. As such his agenda is mine. My brothers are here because I am. Are you at cross ways with the Fool? If so, it is a pity.” The Monk steps closer to Goettch as if to embrace him.
“No, I was just informed the he was here. I am not aware of any misgiving the Jester may have with me.”
With that, the monk clasped the knight’s forearm firmly in his grip and said, “Good my friend, let us enjoy some fine honeyed nectar and toast to our good fortune to not be set upon each other. You were always a fierce opponent. And not someone I would wish to kill.” The monk and knight made their way to the hall’s common room to find some mugs and mead.