The Legend of Puab Closk: The End
by Rao Lin, Tenth Keeper of Knowledge
Near the end of The Age of Turmoil, after the betrayal of the followers of Marr, at the beginning of the malicious tyranny that is the reign of the Overlord Lucan D’Lere, the Ashen Order abandoned Freeport. Freeport became a den of evil and villainy where goodly men were fed to the soldiers of an oppressive dictatorship.
D’Lere strangled out every last drop of decency and good will from those he ruled. Puab Closk would not stay to be exploited and corrupted and neither would the Ashen Order. Puab and the Order left Freeport and traveled to the one place left unscathed by The Age of Turmoil. They traveled to the Desert of Ro, to the very pillar where Puab was given the knowledge of Arcane Combat. There they setup the monastery of T,Narev.
The Order spent many years in peace training and refining Arcane Combat under the tutelage of Puab. They found many ways to expand and adapt the concepts to many different styles of fighting. The Ashen Order monks rarely used metal weapons, preferring the purity of fists and feet, but they set aside this preference and also developed many weapon styles. The Ashen Order spent nearly two hundred years in peace atop their butte. These days of peace were shattered by the unstoppable insurgence of The Age of War. The goblinoid, mindless minions burned and pillaged where they pleased, killing everyone they found.
The wicked ran blades through the hearts of the pure. The wars seemed endless, like they would rage until every living thing in Norrath was obliterated. The Ashen Order could no longer stay secluded. They left T,Narev and ran to the aide of both Freeport and Qeynos. The stories of Puab’s conversation with Quellious spoke of this time. The Order felt this was what they prepared for. They knew the might of men would be shown in the great battles to come. The Order split into two large raiding parties composed of several small groups.
One headed to Freeport and the other to Qeynos. They fought many battles on the way to besieged cities. During these battles they noticed that in small groups their power was doubled and in some cases tripled. Certain combinations of Arcane Combat Arts produced effects more powerful than anyone had ever imagined possible. They could produce the greatest of weapons.
The Ashen Order dominated all they faced with this new weapon and turned the tide of battle for each of the cities. Many monks were lost in this war, but all fought bravely for the survival of humanity. In the end with the help of the Ashen Order the sieges at both Qeynos and Freeport were ended. The heads of the Order gathered together in the burnt remains of the Surefall Glade several nights after the great battle. The stars were obscured by the smoke of the funeral pyres, Qeynos lay in near ruins.
The Faydark was believed to be lost and all around them was heavy weight of hopelessness. That night the decision was made to give the Royal Antonican Guard, who fought so bravely beside the Ashen Order, the knowledge of Arcanic Combat. It was also decided to not give this knowledge freely to the Overlord’s minions. An emissary of the Overlord Lucan D’Lere offered to give the Ashen Order a monastery in the Commonlands. The Order considered the offer with trepidation, but also believed that not all of the citizens of Freeport were evil and therefore could not reject it.
They established the monastery and used it to help those they could and also spy on the Overlord. They were betrayed by the Overlord and raided by the Freeport Militia. Every monk residing in the Commonlands monastery was taken and tortured horribly until eventually the knowledge of Arcanic Combat was squeezed from the monks.
Arcanic Combat is now the predominant form of battle used in the post-shattered Norrath. It is the weapon that Quellious and Puab Closk gave the world. Some say that Puab Closk and the Ashen Order saved humanity, that they did, but we have also unleashed the knowledge of a great power to an unenlightened world. This is the legend and legacy of Grand Master Puab Closk.