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The Order of the Blue Rose

The Order of the Blue Rose teaches its devout that the strong must rule the weak.  Unlike priestly orders that preach the word of a single god, or tyrannical leaders who claim might makes right, the Order of the Blue Rose believe that it is the natural order of things that the strong rule the weak.  This doesn't necessarily mean that the strong must dominate the weak, on the contrary, the Order teaches that it is the duty of the strong to exercise their power over the weak to maintain the order of the universe.  Members of the Order can be recognized normally by their fondness for carrying a Blue Rose behind one ear, or having a tattoo of a blue rose somewhere on their body.  Often, the Order can be identified simply by their intimidation of "weaker" people.  Needless to say, this is not a very popular order amongst the common people.

The Order holds no lands and has no stronghold.  This is a nomadic order.  Followers of the Order never attract followers or try to build a large base of operation.  The few members who have attained positions of power have kept their membership in the Order of the Blue Rose a well guarded secret.

Membership:  Monks are normally the only devout followers of this order.  Barbarians and evil beings often attain membership in this order in an attempt to gain some of the strength of the warrior monks.

Requirements:  The Order only accepts members who are exceptionally strong.  Only characters with a Strength of 16 or better can be accepted into the Order.  First level Monks who are members of the Order have spent at least half of their life in the "service" of a senior member of the Order.  Most members are evil but neutral monks can join as well.  Good monks never follow the teachings of this Order.

Benefits:  The sole benefit for joining this order is to learn the Crushing Strike technique.  The Crushing Strike grants the Blue Rose member the ability to deal a devastating strike against his opponent for massive damage.  To deal a Crushing Strike, the member of the Order simply adds up to a +1 for every Order level to both attack and damage for 1 round.  This enhancement does not grant a monk the ability to bypass damage reduction.

This ability is not without a price, at the end of the round, the character looses 2 hit points for each +1 enhancement gained.  (i.e.  A 8th level member of the Order can add up to +8 to both attack and damage rolls for the round.  At the end of the round that the character gains the +8, he loses 16 hit points.)  If a character ever looses more than one half of his remaining hit points from the Crushing Strike, he must make a Fortitude save (DC = hit points lost) or suffer a 1d8 temporary Constitution loss.  This loss is due to the strain the character's body undergoes in delivering such devastating blows in combat.

Special:  The Order of the Blue Rose has no formal structure.  Each member of the Order has the ability to teach an initiate the techniques of the Crushing Strike.  To teach someone the teachings of the Order, a character must have at least 3 levels gained in the Order of the Blue Rose.

Occasionally several members of the Order can be found together.  When this happens, it is most often because of some vast disruption in the "natural order" (like a weak king gaining power through diplomacy).  The Order members will use all of their skills and power to return the universe to the proper order.  Some kingdoms have branded the members of this Order as outlaws.  In these kingdoms, the mere possession of a blue rose can cause someone to be executed.