Tsubutai Monks: The Whaling Monks of Hara'Shi
The Tsubutai monk sect promote efficiency, order and pragmatism. Like the other sects they have small schools set up in every major city throughout the land as well as hundreds of wandering missionaries. Their monastery is located south west of the Village Hara’shi between the forks of the Melodic River. The label as fisherman monks is a bit of a misnomer as the Tsubutai monks find the harvest of great numbers of fish to be both time consuming and an undiscriminating, unnecessary waste of life. Tsubutai Monks are primarily Lawful Neutral and taught primarily grappling techniques.
The 600 Tsubutai Monks found at the Monastery don’t eat many fish, they prefer whale. Because of this most outsiders simply refer to them as the Whaling Monks of Hara’Shi.
The monks peer patiently into the angry blue through keen scopes waiting for the slight spray of their quarry. When a whale is spotted an ancient horn, allegedly fashioned from the bones of of the first harvested whale, is sounded. Those monks chosen to be part of the hunt rappel their way down to their small but sturdy vessel. Most hunts last a week, though there have been cases of hunts lasting over two months.
The whaling crew acts as a political entity as well, expected to speak on behalf of Tsubatai monks when negotiating trade agreements, speak on the behalf of the other inhabitants at the monastery to the head monk and also to lead the congregation in daily exercises and meditation with the head monk when not on a hunt.
A normal whaling crew consists of six people, each expected to represent 100 of the 600 residents found at the monastery at any one time.
1. The Stream Reader: This crew member is in charge of tracking the whale as well as determining the vessel’s course. Often called the captain by outsiders this is incorrect as within the elevated status of the whaling crews there is no hierarchy. This member is the only free from rowing duties as they are expected to be constantly on the lookout.
2. The Greaser: The greaser is the diplomat of the crew, so named as they are expected to trade blubber, tallow and other whaling goods to any Darfellan or Merman tribes the ship comes across in exchange for new items for the sect as well as information on current migratory patterns for the pods in the area.
3. The Lancer: The Lancer is entrusted with the actual dispatch of the whale. After being harpooned the whale swims frantically, sometimes for several days, before tiring. When the Stream Reader deems the whale too exhausted to dive the Lancer is sent over to finish the whale. This is considered one of the most dangerous positions as it involves a swim through bloody water that most likely has drawn the attention of sharks and other sea creatures in search of easy prey. After the lancer reaches the whale he lashes himself to the beast with a few long, barbed hooks and plunges his lance into the whale to deliver the killing blow.
4. The Strikers: The crew contains three Strikers in charge of harpooning the whale and defending the Lancer during his swim over to the wounded whale. At least one striker is relieved of rowing duties at any one time so that there is a rested striker always available. The strikers along with the Lancer act as guards for the vessel, defending against sharks and more dangerous threats found amongst the waves.
When the crew returns with the whale carcass in tow the rest of the monastery, acting as processors drags the whale up the side of the cliff using a massive, gnome-manufactured pulley system where the whale while hanging is butchered and harvested for it’s oils and fats. The side of the cliff is a maze of wires with many sections containing only dried meat that is defended by strikers in training.
There is only one leader amongst the monks that is elected from the current crew and can only be removed by an 90% majority. This is to ensure that the sect easily transitions between rulers in case of the death of the head monk. The head monk determines who lives at the monastary, who the whaling crew will consist of, and how resources are distributed amongst the tribe. The current head monk is a stern half-elf named Merkid.