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9.80 Shikudo

"Bah!" he cried. "I should have expected no better from a barely-trained
Sentaari initiate. How foolish of me to hope for a challenge." - these were
the final words of Lord Odysseus Rani before losing the Tournament of Blades to
Catarin deSangre.

In later years as Castomira took control of Seleucar, the Shikudo-trained monks
of Judgement Mountain were forced to put down their staves and canes. Driven by
fear, the Empress sought to disarm those she felt had the power to threaten her
reign. In place of the staff, the fighting style of Tekura flourished, and the
monks started down a new path that would see their very bodies transformed into
deadly weapons for generations and generations to come.

Until the sun rose over Judgement Mountain in the month of Chronos during the
742nd year after the fall of the Seleucarian Empire.

For centuries the monastery had harboured frictions, muttered arguments between
those espousing the honour of holding to the old agreements versus those who
believe the whims of a long-dead tyrant should not shackle the ways of the
living arts. It was in this autumn month that saw the deliberations come to a
terrible head, enlivened by the tragedy of Auldyn, a young initiate. Murdered at
the hands of Belin, the young boy took up the initiate's training staff and
brutally bludgeoned her to death.

Debate raged through the monastery, the once-whispered arguments given loud,
vociferous voice. The Grandmaster Kevadrin stood before a gathered crowd, having
solicited argument and opinion from all who dared to hold one, and announced
that the arts of the Staff, Shikudo, the mastery of balance and extension with
the pole, would return to formal training once more. That these would be offered
to any monk who proved himself disciplined and a master of the unarmed Tekura
style. Though it had taken hundreds of years, Castomira's embargo was finally

Those who successfully demonstrate for the Grandmaster the Krull kata are
granted access to the silent grove. Here, an aspirant to the fighting arts of
old may pluck a branch from the ancient trees and claim his staff of willow or