Monks are disciplined warriors that focus on their body and energy. They follow a strict training to be able to control their Qi, also known as life force, or energy. This energy is an element of the magic that suffuses the universe—specifically, the element that flows through living bodies. Monks harness this power within themselves to create magical effects, to augment their own physical abilities, granting them extraordinary speed and strength and exceed their bodies’ physical capabilities. Some of their special attacks can even hinder the flow of Qi in their opponents.
Monks ability to manipulate Qi gives them a wide variety of special abilities. Among the most basic capabilities granted by monks' control of their own energy flow was an enhanced awareness of their own surroundings, improving their ability to sense and avoid attacks. This ability is impeded however, by the use of armor, which is why most monks eschew it. In addition to forgoing armor, most monks often used only their bare hands for weapons, delivering powerful blows that were enhanced through a monk's use of Qi.
Path of the Ascended
Ascended Monks were taught to use their Qi to manipulate the five fundamental building blocks of matter in the universe: earth, fire, metal, water and wood. Ascended monks can bend these elements to their will, manipulating them as though they were a part of their own body. Whereas other monks focused on the mastery of specific martial arts techniques, ascended monks instead use their Qi to master spells which utilized one or more of the five elements. Many monks choose to specialize themselves into a single element, but some can weave the elements together, creating a diverse array of effects.
Path of the Ironskin
Some monks seem to have flesh as strong as iron or stone. Capable of shattering wood or stone blocks of remarkable thickness with ease using steely fist or foot alone. Possessing corded muscles so hard, that punching them feels like striking a brick wall. Iron Skin Monks search for the flow of energy within themselves, the world, and each battle. Calmly anticipating their enemy’s attacks, they can move swiftly across the battlefield. This path is one of physical mastery, relentless exercise, and athletic perfection. Its adherents seek to master their bodies, turning themselves into living weapons capable of supernatural feats of strength, agility, and speed.
Path of the Soul Mender
Soul Menders are a type of monk that can control the flow of their Qi to heal wounded allies around them. They use Qi to hinder opponents, heal their own bodies, or protect themselves from enemy attacks. Masters of hand-to-hand combat, they convert the flow of energy of their powerful blows into healing abilities. They learn to manipulate the life force of others to bring aid to those in need. They are wandering physicians to the poor and hurt, but they can also bring a swift end as an act of mercy to those beyond their help.