"We do not see what has been done, we only see what remains to be done."
— Mantra of the Monks of Ivgorod.(src)
The Monks of Ivgorod (a.k.a. the Veradani) are practitioners of the Sahptev faith. Rarely seen outside Ivgorod, these holy warriors undergo intense mental and physical training to hone their minds and bodies into living instruments of divine justice.
"I walk among the gods of order and the gods of chaos. I channel both, becoming neither. I am the warrior who
straddles the divide. So long as I act to uphold the balance, I am without sin."
— One of the order's oaths(src)
Amongst Sanctuary's most deadly warriors, the Monks of the Sahptev faith train their bodies and minds so that they may become the foremost holy warriors of the land of Ivgorod. Within the cloisters of the Patriarchs, the Monks endure harsh trials both physical and spiritual, proving their devotion and attaining unmatched focus in battle. They are an order militant of the Sahptev faith, and are charged with carrying out the decrees of the kingdom's leaders.
Daily ritualistic cleansings help monks purify their spirits and overcome the corruption that gnaws at the hearts of all men. In the pursuit of martial perfection, they also hone their legendary balance and clarity, skills that allow them to master both unarmed combat and a diverse array of weapons. All Monks receive a tattoo that runs down the back of their neck so that when a Monk dies, their life's story will be seen through the eyes of the gods. Likewise, Monks receive a pair of circles on their forehead after being anointed. The two circles represent order and chaos. Monks also shave their head-hair as a sign of piety.
Monks in training are not allowed to leave the monastery, and those who do so are not allowed to return, and risk execution if they do. However, after a lifetime of preparation, anointed Monks are permitted to leave their monasteries' halls to serve the decrees of the Patriarchs. The emblem on their foreheads marks them as survivors, achievers, and pillars of their society. Monks who remain in the Floating Sky Monastery spend their days in rapt contemplation of their surroundings, awaiting signs from their gods. Monks are not supposed to feel pride, shame, or fear, and no selfishness as they devote themselves to the will of the gods.
Music is highly regarded in the order.
The Monks of Ivgorod are known to have the following ranks, roughly ascending in the following order:
- Monk (those who obtain this rank gain the honorific of "brother/sister," and are allowed to refer to masters as such)
- Elder Monk (possibly a rank, or simply a descriptive)
- Master (instruct monks)
"The Monks of Ivgorod are trained to move like water — flowing freely into open spaces and crashing hard against their foes."
Monks embody the will of Ivgorod’s one thousand and one gods in every step and every strike. As many of the Monks value strength and resolve, it is common for them to seek the patronage of deities in the faith that embody these traits (e.g. Zaim and Ytar). They are far more in tune with their natural surroundings that most of the people of Sanctuary, and the physical conditioning they undergo is considered legendary.
Monks are sacred warriors who channel divine power through sheer force of will. Healing waves, mantras of protection and attacks empowered with holy might are all within their purview. The Monks exude great control over their bodies, and skilled Monks deliver rapid-fire attacks unarmed or with a variety of well-balanced weapons. In combat, they emphasize high maneuverability over staying power, darting in and out of melees and avoiding protracted slugfests. Monks’ attacks are primarily melee-focused. They can eliminate single foes with extreme damage, or deliver short-range area-of-effect assaults with waves of elemental power that emanate from palm strikes or crescent kicks. To defeat the inhuman evils they pit themselves against, Monks draw upon inner reserves of spirit, a resource that reflects their personal mastery and training. They are able to enter a trance that combines the effects of meditation with a state of alertness.
As living weapons, weapons for Monks are, strictly speaking, unnecessary. However, the Order values training with all forms of armament to increase one's physical prowess. It is not uncommon for a Monk to train with a specific weapon, and use it as an extension of their own attacks. Monks' martial forms commonly incorporate specialized weaponry. Even Monks’ naked fists are vessels of destruction, but they can be augmented with fist weapons like the katar, Monks are also trained to use the daibo. Monks have access to bows, but these weapons are frowned upon, due to the limits of these weapons in close combat.
In the beginning, Monks’ armor is plain, cobbled together to protect their organs without being too restrictive. As experienced monks gain access to better craftsmanship, money and equipment, the quality of armor available to them increases substantially, incorporating personal ornamentation and fine materials. Yet, even such fine armor pales in comparison to the life-saving garb of heroes, carefully chosen to enhance monks’ swift fighting styles and shield them from fire, claw, and sword. To the Veradani, the distinction between armor and weaponry is open to interpretation. What can provide defense, can provide offense, if the application is right.
All Monks are trained in healing arts.
"It is only through hardship that we come to know our limits, and only through knowing our limits that we learn to shatter them."
Many Monk initiates are taken as children from the mountains bordering the Gorgorra forest. Ascetic practices require Monk initiates to go without food, water and sleep for months at a time. Those who survive emerge unmoved by the petty distractions of the physical world.
As soon as they can walk, children of the order are brought up in the company of physical weapons. The Monks teach that every person is a living, breathing weapon, but relying on a single resource at all times is folly. A Monk's true power comes from self-discipline and the spirit. The order, therefore, requires acolytes to master arms from three realms—weapons of the mind, weapons of physical combat, and most potent, weapons of spirit. Once this has been achieved, trainees may wield more mundane weapons as an extension of their balanced spirit.
Monks are trained in six techniques. Not all master them.
Monks receive at least some training in battle tactics (e.g. siege warfare).
Elder Monks who train acolytes don't necessarily punish them for their mistakes, and may foster friendships with them, as they instruct them in the right way to do things.
Initiates who show insufficient aptitude for study are instructed to leave the monastery, but with the proviso of having one last chance to become Monks; to prevail in a physical challenge, thus earning the right to return by demonstrating a previously unseen talent for training, and are sequestered away for diligent study that can last for decades. Those who cannot, or will not complete this task, are forsaken by the monastery forever. Details of how these trials are composed are one of the monastery's most closely guarded secrets. Those who fail cannot speak of it (often being dead), and those who survive and are sequestered into study cannot engage with younger initiates.
The Monks of Ivgorod existed at least as far back as the 11th century, when Rakkis led his forces across the Twin Seas into the western continent of Sanctuary. His forces decimated those of Ivgorod in Aranoch. However, in Ivgorod itself, matters were different, as the forests and mountains of the north were far better suited to Ivgorod's methods of warfare than that of Kehjistan. In the midst of this, the Monks of Ivgorod were called into battle, the followers of Shaptev engaging the followers of the Light, as both steel and faith clashed. Ultimately, while the kingdom of Ivgorod would never recover from Zakarum's crusade, its people and culture survived.
In recent times, with the coming of the Fallen Star over Sanctuary, paranoia gripped Ivgorod as its people turned to the Patriarchs for guidance. The Monks were called into service to beat back the forces of Chaos.
- High Abbott Peshkov
- Waykeeper Tzo Krin
- Mikulov (formerly)
- Kharazim (player character of Diablo III)
- Uliana (exiled)
- Heroes of the Storm Cite error: Invalid
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- Book of Cain
- Diablo III Monk Class Premium Tee, J!NX. Accessed on 2014-01-18
- Monk, Blizzard Entertainment. Accessed on 2014-01-18
- The Order
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- Diablo III Tzo Krin's Gaze
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