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INTEGRATE INFORMATION FROM THE RELEVANT BASICS VIDEO.
Monitors are elite Kua Toa monks. Their unrivaled connection to chi makes them one of the most fearsome fighting forces in the world.
"A monitor finds purpose in battle, solace in destruction and absolution in victory" - common Monitor mantra
With the exception of the Sons of Baal (see below), who are an actual monastic order dedicated to Blibaal, monitors are monks more in a D&D class sense than a traditional sense; they are monastic in the sense of a cloistered and (mostly) spartan lifestyle, they are devoted to training and becoming stronger, and perhaps some other ideals based on their order, but most are not really that religious. That said, they all have at least some religious rituals and at least pay lip-service to Blibaal, other than the Illud monasteries, of course.
There are three ranks of monitor:
- Fin rank monitors are still in training and are not sent out on missions.
- "Name" rank monitors are the standard monitors who perform most missions. The name differs by monastery (see below; for example, Name rank monitors from Diamond Reef are called 'Diamondfin' monitors).
- Deathfin rank monitors are the elites. Upon attaining the vaunted Deathfin title, the monitor undergoes the Lu-go-Kwa ritual, in which the webbing between their fingers and toes is removed in a slow and pain process which leaves no scar tissue. This allegedly makes their strikes faster due to the lack of air/water resistance, but is more likely for the sheer intimidation value (and for tradition). Deathfins are also granted access to their monastery's ancient Deathfin scrolls. These scrolls contain secret martial arts techniques passed down through the ages, but even for Deathfin monitors they are very dangerous. Despite years of study, some monitors never succeed at mastering even one scroll. However, should they find one which matches their mind, their spirit or their blood, they may learn to survive it's power, and thus to make full use of it, gaining bizarre and/or deadly abilities.
- Godfin is not actually another rank of monitor, but rather an honorary title bestowed upon the monitor who leads each monastery (whose actual rank is virtually always Deathfin, and who may not even be the strongest fighter of their order, since they are usually chosen more for their skill as a teacher or administrator). However, even among the KT population, Godfin is sometimes mistaken as a rank 'above Deathfin', particularly since one of history's deadliest monitors was Godfin Shuazul (who actually was head of his order). As a result, the legendary "most powerful monitors ever", Deathfin Du and Deathfin Unon, are sometimes confusingly referred to as 'the Godfins'.
There are currently five monasteries, although two other monasteries existed historically and have since died out. The leader of each monastery is known as the Godfin. The monasteries are:
Diamond Reef (Deluvian)
These monitors (known as Diamondfins) are all about physical superiority. They see the use of magic as a sign of weakness.
Notable examples include:
- Deathfin Du, the most powerful monitor at the Deluvians' disposal.
- Diamondfin Koda, who saved Rollo at the peace offer meeting. He seemed unafraid of the massed of Vistrian troops and numerous golems defending Castle, and told them he hoped they would reject the Deluvian Peace Treaty.
- Diamondfin Hazov (The guy Black killed in episode 43)
Blood Mountain (Deluvian)
The polar opposite of Diamond Reef, these monitors (known as Bloodfins) focus on sorcery. Notable examples include:
- The deathfin who killed Angel's master. He demonstrated astounding supernatural speed, which appears difficult (he claims impossible) to dispel.
Sons of Baal (Deluvian)
These monitors (known as Finlords) focus on honing their mutations, which they see as a sign of divine favour. They accept new recruits only once a year, during the Day of The Divine Gift. Even this limited recruiting was a concession to wartime troop needs. The majority of the Sons of Baal are drawn from House Valun.
Notable examples include:
- Deathfin Vazilai, who assassinated Lady Vasarus.
- Godfin Jo Kaza, who was Godfin when Vazilai completed his Deathfin trials.
- Godfin Guluk, who was Jo Kaza's predecessor.
- Deathfin Kugo "the Beast", who created the first Sons of Baal Deathfin Scroll, possible the first Deathfin Scroll in history.
- Deathfin Zial "the Dragonslayer", creator of the Scroll of the Short Strike.
- Deathfin Uvira, creator of the Scroll of the Heavenly Grasp.
- Deathfin Okul
- Finlord Kumitas, known for her ability to phase through matter.
Mako Ridge (Illud)
These monitors (known as Makofins, after the dense schools of sharks which congregate above their monastery) focus on mastery of psionics. They are the newest monastery, having been founded after the Shadowfin Rebellion and this lack of history often causes them to be looked down upon by the other monasteries. Their connection to the Sahaguin certainly doesn't help with this.
Some of Demonac's early notes refer to this monastery as "Mako Rift" and the monitors as "Riftfins".
These monitors (known as Stormfins) have a well-rounded approach to martial arts, and are known for their signature "Sandform" maneuver.
Notable examples include:
- Deathfin Unon, the most powerful monitor at the Illud’s disposal.
- Oru, the protagonist of the Hero Tale propaganda comics produced by the Illud, was a Stormfin.
Silver Shoal (extinct)
This ancient Deluvian monastery (whose adepts were called Silverfins) no longer exists. It just sort of faded away without ever gaining the power of the other monasteries.
Southern Abyss (extinct)
These monitors (known as Shadowfins), led by Godfin Shuazul rose up against the Deluvian government and tried to seize control of the empire. This uprising, which historians call The Shadowfin Heresy, was the greatest trial the empire had ever undergone, prior to the Illud rebellion, and it took all four other monasteries together to stop Shuazul and his Shadowfins. Though the monastery and the order were destroyed after the revolt, the brutal and efficient martial art they pioneered - "Ran-jul of the Nine Weapons" - was incorporated into the training of many other monitors going forward (though their incorporation of bite attacks is still considered by many monitors to be a sign of weakness).
Training and trials
Basics: Kua Toa Monitors (An overall guide to monitors)
Basics: Kua Toa (An overview of the race monitors are apart of)