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Spitz’s Story Corner: Stahn and the Monk

May 31, 2013

Stahn and the Monk

Long before the advent of gunpowder, up in a distant mountain village lived a ruffian, who, after a life of crime and forcing anguish upon others, gave up his dark ways and took up the cloth. While the terror and the pain brought by other peoples misfortune at his hands made him feel more alive than anything he’d known before, deep down inside something glimmered in the pit of his soul that whispered to him that he wasn’t the person life meant him to be. So, over the next few years he tried as hard as he could muster to live a fulfilling life without the need to prey upon others for his own satisfaction. He trained to be a Monk.

A couple years down the road, a rampaging band of soldiers from a distant kingdom pillaged the village just across the river from the monk’s monastery. From atop his tower he could see the fires erupting and he could hear the screams wailing out across the night sky.
That night, from the windowsill of his loft he stood perplexed. He wondered how life could allow for such brutality towards those who had never lifted a finger against another. How his God could allow good, upstanding people whom work hard and have their city and families to show for it, to lie helpless to the blade of those who so little as desired strongly enough to take their lives and belongings. It was from within these thoughts which came a longing for his old ways. He soon wanted to be once again within the city limits. Not to defend the citizens, nor to help the soldiers in their rampage. He desired nothing more but to lash out and take as many lives as he could before he ultimately and unavoidably met his death.

The following days were quiet. Not only from the lack of human activity echoing across the ridge from the city across the river, but nor would even the birds or insects utter a noise. The only sound to be heard, muffled to the outside world by the cold stone walls of the monastery, was the Monk, hammering away at a pair of steel blades.

While he left no fellow monks as known witnesses, the story goes that he forged his seething hatred into the first blade, slaving over the furnace and hammer nonstop for two full days and nights before he was finished. It was a jagged, mangled looking sword; the edge serrated and razor sharp. Legend has it he smelted his very soul into the hilt, and come time to craft the companion to the first sword, the Monk found no emotion within him sufficient enough in his eyes to complete it as he had with the first blade, so he melted the steel down and laid a new cast. This new sword was a piercing weapon.

The monk then embarked upon a trek across sixteen separate countries, destroying countless lives and feeling whole once more. Legions of iron clad soldiers tried in vain to stop the massacre, but the monk, fueled by rage and armed with his evil blade hacked swathes of them through.
Gossip and lore soon started in surrounding countries. Some said the Monk sold his soul to the devil for the power to destroy all who opposed him. Others claimed it was the terrible blade in his sheath which gave him his uncanny ability.

Years into the Monk’s crusade, the second blade was found, discarded within the old monastery walls. It was foretold by a Beggar-turned-Fortune Teller, that whoever pure-hearted enough to give his soul to the blade had the power to stop the Monk and end his reign over the land; once again bringing peace. It was believed however, that once the Monk was defeated, the fragments of his soul locked within the two blades would dissipate, and shatter the steel. The bearer of the second blade, whose soul would be fused with the monks, would also be destroyed forever.

With each passing month, the Monk’s wake of devastation left the earth beneath his feet crippled and decayed. Despite the Beggar-turned-Fortune Teller’s pleas to the people, no one would offer up their soul to put an end to the death brought nonstop by the Monk’s crusade.

Then one day, out of the blue came an orphan boy by the name of Stahn to the Beggar-turned-Fortune Teller. He explained that at no more than thirteen years of age, he had seen enough pain and suffering to last him endless lifetimes, and the only way to rest his anguish would be to destroy the Monk; who days prior the boy named Stahn had witnessed slain with his own eyes.

Wielding the discarded second sword, now fused with his own pure-hearted and just soul, the boy set out to offer the Monk his retribution.
After a twelve day trek across fields of mangled corpses and a billowing wake of flaming cities, the young boy named Stahn at last found and confronted the Monk.

There are several versions of the story from this point forward, depending on who you ask to tell it. Some groups say the boy snuck up upon the Monk while he has sleeping and thrust his own serrated blade into his heart, slaying him. Another version claims a great battle took place; shaking the Earth to its very core. Tidal waves engulfing landmasses and great storms rattling the air amongst the carnage.
But the general word is, that the Monk, enraged beyond even his own comprehension, impaled himself to destroy both he and the boy; this boy who, despite his age and small size, took up a sword almost larger than he could carry, and sought to overthrow a tyrant.
The two were killed; their souls thrust into the great unknowing. The sister swords shattered into useless fragments upon the Monk’s demise, just as the Beggar-turned-Fortune Teller had predicted.
It then goes that while the Monk’s soul was lost forever, the boys genuine selflessness and devotion to setting balance to a world thrust into chaos led the Gods to grant him another chance to live out his life fully.

The boy refused their offer, stating “I have set right which was wrong; and thus, any further existence would be only to revel in endless praise; to live a life with no direction.”

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