In issue 4 of the Dangerous Journeys Fanzine Dangerous Ideas author Glenn R. Martin introduced the oriental Monk for Mythus. I suspect that Glenn drew in large part from the Monk in D&D, which in turn took what was presented in the tv show Kung Fu and martial arts flicks from Hong Kong.
This got me to thinking, and the encouragement from Lars Silberg Hansen on facebook helped to spark this
Buddhism in Ærth
It is true that a change in what occurred in the past will change the course of history, but one thing we tend to forget is that sometimes there is no real reason for a certain change to occur. It is true that there no Jews on Ærth—their place is taken by the Shamash—but as far as I can see there was really nothing stopping Buddhism from arising on that world.
An Inadequate History
In the 16th century Before Atlantl’s Fall—our 6th century BC—a philosophical/theological doctrine we now know as Buddhism appeared in the Hindic States. Primary credit is given to the man now known as The Buddha, though there were other notables besides him. The original teachings gave birth to others, and they all began to spread from their point of origin. Sung, Ch’in and later Japan took it up to the east, while to the west the Persians, Babylonians, and later the Shamash, Ægytians, and Greeks adopted it.
More accurately certain of the western gods found things to like in Buddhism and decided their followers should try it too.
Marduk of Babylon liked it because he could use it to promote his proselytizing, Athena of Athens because it promoted civic discipline, and even Loki of the Aesir took it up because he could see ways of using it as a source of mischief. In the far west of Vargaard the Pueblo adopted Buddhism because it promoted self-sacrifice and encouraged the peaceful resolution of conflicts in a land where violence could be a regular part of life.
As in our world the monk idea got its start in two locations largely because it fit the local situation. As in our Europe, in Æropa it served as a refuge from the chaos of the 3rd through 6th century BAF, and promoted the preservation of ways and knowledge being lost in those dark ages. But conditions in the west were not exactly the same as in the east. Where the Oriental Monk too up the practice of arms as a way to promote discipline, the Occidental Monk tended to be more contemplative. Though both did adopt physical exercises as a way of meditation and contemplation. It should be remembered that the Shamash Monks and their Yarbay counter parts took up vigorous dance as a way to meditate.
So I’ve got the basic idea, I just need to come up with a list of skills a Western Monk would be expected to know, and how to rate them according to their respective importance in the Vocation. Have you any ideas you’re welcome to pass them on.