The Legend of Paub Closk: The Beginning
by Rao Lin, Tenth Keeper of Knowledge
It is said by those outside of the Ashen Order that Paub Closk was a visionary, a prophet born of the womb of Quellious, sent to save the world from the tyranny and viciousness of the Gods. Some claim he single-handedly restored order to the world during the Age of War.
These are exaggerations of course, but the truth is sometimes seen as far more outrageous than the myth. Grand Master Paub Closk did indeed help to save the humanity of the world, but he also made life far more dangerous. He gave the world its greatest weapon.
Unlike some of the more fancify stories suggest, Paub Closk was born in the cith of Freeport. He was the child of a hard working merchant family. When he was seven years old his parents and the members of their trade expedition between Freeport and Highhold Keep were slaughtered by orcs. Knowing the expedition would be dangerous, Paub’s parents made arrangements with the monks of the Ashen Order to take and teach Paub in case they were killed.
The monks came for him the day his parents were murdered.
The monks taught Paub about life and Quellious. As he grew older he found consolation in the The Tranquil and pledged himself fully to her. He began spending any free time meditating and reading. Slowly he began to gain true inner peace and understanding.
His teachers believed that he was on the edge of true enlightenment and encouraged him to take lone trips away from the city. Paub took their advice and went out on many excursions to he Desert of Ro. He felt more at home in the desert.
In one of his earlist journals he describes one such trip to the desert, “The brush of sand across my cheek and the cold of the desert’s night only encourage my journey. The wind whispers to me and in it I hear myself. I am the vast openness of the desert waiting for the day’s light to burn me clean.”
His connection to the dunes was obvious.
At the age of twenty-five he was the youngest ever to be granted the title of Sensei. He taught all of his students the ways of the desert and encouraged them to mold themselves into its likeness. Paub was the finest martial arts instructor to ever grace the halls of the Ashen Order.
Nearly everyone he taught became a Sensei in their own right and each of them gives credit to Paub. He gave his position to his protege after only ten years as Sensei.
He spent most of his time meditating and expanding on his martial knowledge. He traveled far and wide to learn new martial styles from all those he could. He refined and polished every style he learned and taught it to the entire Ashen Order.
Paub was well known for disappearing into the desert for weeks at a time without telling anyone when or where he was going.
One such journet came near the end of the Age of Turmoil. Paub disappeared into the desert for well over a season. It is said that the desert called to him and he answered her call, some say it was Quellious herself that called to him. So, that was where he went.
According to his students Paub walked and walked trying to find the voice that called to him. Late one night while meditating on the crest of a dune he heard the call clear. He turned around and saw a river rushing towards him followed by a great of whirlwind sand. It is said the store devoured him and spit him out atop a large red pillar.
All recounts of what happened next are the same. All the stories say that atop this pillar of stone he spoke with Quellious and she praised him for his search of enlightenment and the purity of his mind and self. She then gifted him with the greatest of martial styles, the Acanic Combat. It is said he spent many moons training atop the pillar with no food or drink. There he mastered the styles and brought them back to the Ashen Order.