The power of the gods reside in all of us. It is ours for the taking. Those who gain this power find that it is both light and dark. Not many are willingly walk the path of darkness, but those that do, do so out of duty and necessity. For, without darkness, there can be no light.These words are known by all the practitioners of the Crimson Way. They were spoken by the first monk to learn the secret technique of the Death Touch and they have been spoken to each disciple who has come to learn the power of the Way. The Crimson Way stands for the furtherance of evil in Traykon. The most fearsome aspect about the Crimson Way is the fact that evil is not so much a turn of the heart, but a philosophical choice. Unlike evil priests, the members of the Crimson Way do not follow the word of a deity. They instead follow the dark voice of nature that begs them to commit acts of evil. Nicknamed "Wayists", they travel the land searching for areas that the aura of evil has weakened. In these unfortunate places, a Wayist resides and spends most of his time furthering the cause of evil.
We Know this.
We Accept this.
We Embrace it.
Membership: Fighters and rogues sometimes find their way into the Wayists ranks. When this happens, treat any levels they gain as if they were multi-classing as a monk. This can cause some characters to suffer experience penalties in the normal manner for multi-classing. Monks can become Wayists at any time. 1st level Monks can begin play already having spent a portion of their pre-adventuring live within the order.
Requirements: Anyone may become a Wayist. After spending a year with the Wayists in study, a new member can now advance a level as a Wayist. Also, no matter a characters original alignment, their alignment immediately shifts to Evil. This change is not made in the character's heart but rather in their mind. A Wayist can never loose the Evil alignment due to influence, but a Wayist can decide to abandon the Order. When the Crimson Way is abandoned, the Wayist looses all benefits of the Order. Abilities or losses due to levels gained as a Wayist never return.
Benifits: All Wayists gain a +2 resistance bonus to death spells and effects. Wayists who had alignments other than evil before joining the way have a unique gift. Because the Evil within is a philosophical choice, their nature still remains unchanged. This means that the Wayist who had an different alignment before choosing the Way still registers as being that alignment for detection spells and effects. At 15th level, a Wayist gains a +2 resistance bonus to all saves caused by negative energy. This bonus applies even to the Fortitude save for removing negative levels.
A Wayist's most feared ability is their Death Touch. This is a supernatural ability that can be used only once per day. This attack disrupts the living fabric of nature and can strike an opponent dead. To use the Death Touch, a Wayist must succeed at a normal unarmed attack. The Wayist rolls for damage normally but then rolls 1d6 per level gained in the Crimson Way. If the total of the 1d6 roll is at least equal to the creature's current (after the normal damage is applied) hit points, it dies. A Wayist who is the subject of another creatures Death Touch ability is treated as if they have 10% more hit points (rounded up) than usual for calculating the Death Touch results. (i.e. Keali, a 5th level cleric of Wee Jas attacks Jok, a Wayist, with his death touch attack. Jok has 23 hit points remaining. Keali must add up to a 26 on the Death Touch roll to be able to affect Jok with his Death Touch attack.)
Losses: For Wayists who had an alignment different than evil before following the Way, Magic Wards and Protection spells can effects these wayists as if they had both alignment choices. (i.e. A Lawful Good monk becomes a Wayist and always registers as lawful good to detection spells. The same monk reaches 20th level and can now be affected by Protection from Law, Protection from Good and Protection from Evil.)
Wayist also loose certain focus abilities once they chose to follow the Way. The Monk abilities Purity of Body, Wholeness of Body, and Diamond Body are forever lost due to the focus it takes to channel the dark voices of nature. Quivering Palm is never gained due to the destructive energies of the Death Touch overpowering the Quivering Palm discipline. Wayists who have gained one or more of these abilities before following the Way forever loose the benefits of the ability. Also, even if a Wayist abandons the Way, these abilities never return and can never be gained.
Special: Wayists have only one formal monastery. The location of this Wayist stronghold is a closely guarded secret. None outside of the Order have ever visited this fabled training ground and lived. Even ex-wayists will never reveal the location. Such is the discipline of the Monks that many have died before revealing the secrets of the order to outsiders. Many people believe that those breaking the code of silence about their training ground will die a horrible, instantaneous death.
Solitary Wayists can be found roaming the countryside. They are indistinguishable from normal monks until they use their Death Touch attack. One of these traveling Wayists may encounter a youngster who has talent or someone who hears the dark voice of nature and "remove" them for training in the Crimson Way. Also, some people seek out these philosophers in hopes of joining their order. Normally, the Wayist will travel with the prospective member for many months before sponsoring them in the Way. During this time, they initiate normally undergoes intense lessons in philosophy and the nature of good and evil. Often, these lessons take the form of dangerous encounters with creatures of nature or even a "show and tell" session to the local town.
Some initiates never return from their training. Weather this is because they simply do not survive the training or if they are discovered as being unfaithful to the Way is unknown. Some organizations have tried to infiltrate the Way but none have been successful to date. Ex-Wayists are just as secretive about their abilities as the most devout initiate. A Wayist who imparts the knowledge of the Death Touch or the location of the Wayist stronghold will undoubtedly bring destruction down on themselves. A DM is encouraged to think of any level of supernatural punishment that fits against the offending Wayist and the unfortunates that he imparted the knowledge to.