We are the brothers and sisters of the Shaolin. We define ourselves by the two deaths; The first death is the age of light we knew. The second death is our own. Our origins stem from the sacred three; Brave Castor, the strength of the light. Wise Baruch, the will of the light. Clever Numa, wife of Castor and endurance of the light. By their example and through their teachings we seek enlightenment and the clarity to find our own path. We welcome all who would endure the road of sorrow by our side. We seek the wisdom to understand the price of final victory. And we cultivate the courage to act upon this knowledge when the moment calls us to our fate. As Baruch, we sacrifice for the safety of the city. As Castor, we give our flesh for all we cherish. As Numa, we carry the memory of all who have rejoined the light. In this spirit, we take the name of the place our founders were reborn by the will of the Traveler; The forest at the foot of the Shaoshi Mountain--Shaolin.
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[b] By Clan member Sōhei.[/b] [b]The Void and Three Births[/b] To understand what it means to be Shaolin, one must understand death, for it was from two deaths our order was born; The first death: the age that came before. The second death: the lives of those who would rise from the Void to face the Darkness. In a forest at the base of what remained of a mountain, three souls awoke: two men and a woman. Chosen by the Traveler, they had been culled from the limbo between lives and were reborn touched by the Light itself, granted gifts they had not known in their prior incarnations. The first man was named Castor and within him, he contained the indomitable strength of the Light; his body became as rock and his blows as crushing tempests from which no foe could withstand. The second man was named Baruch and he heard the whispers of the Traveler and the Void; his mind filled with the knowledge of worlds unseen by the eye, he conjured the essence of both and gave them manifestation in the physical plane. The last of the three, Nuwa, was the wife of Castor and she moved as the Light itself; her movement graceful and fleet, she appeared and vanished with blinding speed, striking as if from all angles at once. These three would become the founders of our order and, though many will say otherwise, the progenitors of the schools by which all Guardians learn their separate disciplines. [b]The Journey to Heaven's Tether[/b] When the three awoke, they were each greeted by a child of the Traveler; Ghosts of its previous self and yet living avatars of the Light it could once more become. They bade the three to journey to the place of their birth and take up arms in the defense of what remained of their sire and the lives below of those it gave itself to protect. And so they left the forest, traveling far and wide, along the way gathering others like themselves, risen too by the Ghosts for the same purpose as they. After a time unknown, they came to the place they had been called to; a makeshift city shielded by the body of the Traveler, housing the little human life that still dwelt upon the Earth. [b]The Sorrow and the Wall[/b] Much happened in this time, but of its events others can speak, for all that is important to us is that eventually there came a great battle. Little is known of it, save that its ferocity was so great that an immense wall was built around the Last City in an attempt to stave off oblivion. To buy time for its construction, Castor, Baruch, and Nuwa led their followers and others like them to meet the enemy in an attempt to hold them at bay long enough for the massive undertaking to be finished. Many lives were lost and after much fighting, there came a point in which, out of desperation, Baruch was forced to use himself as a living focus for the energies of Void and Light, turning his body into a weapon of energy that exploded with such magnitude that it crippled their opponents' advance. All in the path of the destructive wave were obliterated, save one--Nuwa. Using his body as a living shield, Castor summoned all the strength within him to generate a wall of pure void to surround his beloved and as the Traveler before him, gave his life to protect that which he cherished. When the dust of battle settled, only Nuwa remained amidst a field of death, still cradling the husk that remained of her husband. With the enemy routed, the Wall was finished unmolested, and amidst the celebration of the City's overjoyed inhabitants, Nuwa disappeared without trace or warning, never to be seen again. [b]Modern Day[/b] The students of the three continued the legacy of their forebears, founding a temple within the city and teaching their martial arts and philosophies to those who would dedicate themselves to the path. It is we who continue this sacred tradition, taking our name from the place in which Castor, Baruch, and Nuwa were reborn by the light; the forest at the foot of Shaoshi Mountain, "Shaolin."