Questions on Kai Lords

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Anonymous

Guest
Do Kai Lords marry? Are they allowed to raise their own families?

When children are sent to the Kai Monastery for training, do they ever see their families again? If they ever do, at what point in their training are they allowed to visit with their families again?

What about inheritance? Does a Kai Lord give up his claim to his family's lands the moment he enters the Kai Monastery or can he still become the Lord or Baron after his father passes away?
 

Winter Wolf

Mongoose
I remember a thread on the old Lone Wolf mailing list about this subject. A lot of people seemed to think that the Kai would be celibate if I remember right. However this just does not feel right to me. What happens if a Noble has only one child who has latent Kai abilities. If he isn't allowed to marry and take on his fathers estate, does he not become a Kai Lord or does his famillies line end.

From the story so far from Flight from the Dark.

The Story So Far . . .

In the northern land of Sommerlund, it has been the custom for many centuries to send the children of the Warrior Lords to the monastery of Kai. There they are taught the skills and disciplines of their noble fathers.

The Kai monks are masters of their art, and the children in their charge love and respect them in spite of the hardships of their training. For one day when they have finally learnt the secret skills of the Kai, they will return to their homes equipped in mind and body to defend themselves against the constant threat of war from the Darklords of the west.

To me this says that they are often children of Kai and that when there training is complete, master I guess, they will return to thier Estates.

However a large number of the children taken into the monastery may not be first born of noble famillies and these would probably go on to be full time teachers and agents of Sommerlund.

Kai abilities also seem to be something that runs in Sommelending blood so banning those with the strongest bloodlines from having children would seem to weaken the order.

Just a few thoughts.

I bet August has some answers. :wink:
 
Lone Wolf core rulebook said:
Theories as to the origin of Kai powers abound, but none know the truth of where it came from or why it seems to lie dormant for generations before resurfacing.

I take this as a hint that Kai Lords do marry and have children.
After all, while it is true that Kai live an ascetic life, they still have a body. I don't feel that sex should be completely banished from their lives, they just have to shun over-indulgence.
(Kai Ladies can always use the free time to study :D )

While we know nothing on this matter about Lone Wolf himself in the gamebooks, in the New Order series (#21-22) you get to meet a woman, Oriah (don't know if this is her original name), and there's the slightest hint that your Kai falls in love with her. She's kidnapped anyway, so we don't get to know whether the relationship would have remained platonic or not. Too bad... :D
 

mthomason

Mongoose
parvatiquinta said:
Lone Wolf core rulebook said:
Theories as to the origin of Kai powers abound, but none know the truth of where it came from or why it seems to lie dormant for generations before resurfacing.

I take this as a hint that Kai Lords do marry and have children.
After all, while it is true that Kai live an ascetic life, they still have a body. I don't feel that sex should be completely banished from their lives, they just have to shun over-indulgence.
(Kai Ladies can always use the free time to study :D )

Paraphrasing from book 1:
The children of the Warrior Lords get sent to the monastery for training, and then return to their communities.

I was never entirely certain if this meant there was eventually a choice to make as to whether you remained at the monastery or went home again to your former life and family.

From the class description in the rulebook:
"When a Kai Lord finally leaves the monastery..."

However, we know that some Kai Lords choose to stay on to teach further generations, so personally (until I read otherwise) I'm allowing the choice of leaving the monastery to be made upon mastering the basic disciplines (in other words, at L10), and assuming those who go on to study Magnakai disciplines also help teach the younger students. Those who leave I'm also assuming can no longer develop their skills and follow the Ex-Kai Lords rules on p35 of the rulebook.

I would assume that while still at the monastery, a Kai Lord is far too occupied to form any kind of relationship. Also bear in mind the vow of Spirit (p34), which quotes a vow to "abstain from over-indulgences of pleasure and avoid immoral behaviour". Casual sex would most likely be classified as "immoral behaviour" (the opinion I think most likely held by the senior Kai Lords), which pretty much rules out any sexual activity (except for a possibility in the hint that "undercover Kai know this vow is not entirely possible to keep at all times").

Finally, bear in mind that the generations quote could well refer to the Kai Lord's brother/sister marrying and having a family.
 

mthomason

Mongoose
Although I just said I'd allow the choice to leave at L10, to be honest the choice should be available at any time - but I'd allow L10 to be an "honourable discharge" where the Kai Lord has finished their training in the basic disciplines, and leaves with the blessing of their superiors. Anything before that I'd see as leaving in shame or due to exceptional circumstances (i.e your family have all been killed and you have to go home to manage the estates)
 

columbob

Mongoose
Although at level 10, a Kai hasn't "mastered" the basic disciplines yet, he has simply learned all of them. He will only master all ten once he reaches level 14. He has only learned all ten by level 10, but there is still work to do.
 
A

Anonymous

Guest
mthomason said:
Casual sex would most likely be classified as "immoral behaviour" (the opinion I think most likely held by the senior Kai Lords), which pretty much rules out any sexual activity

Casual sex, yes. But marriage? I can hardly see marriage as immoral behaviour.
Most priesthoods where marriage is forbidden this is due to philosophical reasons I can't see in the Kai (which isn't a priesthood order at all, anyway).
 

mthomason

Mongoose
columbob said:
Although at level 10, a Kai hasn't "mastered" the basic disciplines yet, he has simply learned all of them. He will only master all ten once he reaches level 14. He has only learned all ten by level 10, but there is still work to do.

Hmm. Good point... L14 seems a bit late to be "leaving early", so I'll revise my intentions to "learning the basic disciplines" :)

Thanks!
 

mthomason

Mongoose
Anonymous said:
mthomason said:
Casual sex would most likely be classified as "immoral behaviour" (the opinion I think most likely held by the senior Kai Lords), which pretty much rules out any sexual activity

Casual sex, yes. But marriage? I can hardly see marriage as immoral behaviour.
Most priesthoods where marriage is forbidden this is due to philosophical reasons I can't see in the Kai (which isn't a priesthood order at all, anyway).

Yes, but it still remains that a Kai Lord is pretty much occupied 100% of the time with their work. Inferring from such statements in the rulebook as "live a monastic livestyle even when they leave the monastery on assignment", "The path of the Kai lord requires constant discipline and must be pursued to the exclusions of all else" and "removed from all ties of home and family", I can't see that there is any room in their life for marriage until such a time as they leave the path.

Of course, that's my interpretation, and I wouldn't argue with anyone who interprets it differently (or simply chooses to revise their game world) from running things differently in their own game :)
 

Winter Wolf

Mongoose
I would say that even if a Kai Lord leaves the Monastry at 10-14th level he would still be a part of the order and may even continue to study the Magnakai but at a much lower pace.

If the whole leaving the Monastry thing is correct. The Kai that had left, had they no longer been part of the order would not have been present at the feast of Fehmarn and many masters would have survived Zagarna's attack.

Not sure how you work that in the RPG. :?
 

columbob

Mongoose
mthomason said:
columbob said:
Although at level 10, a Kai hasn't "mastered" the basic disciplines yet, he has simply learned all of them. He will only master all ten once he reaches level 14. He has only learned all ten by level 10, but there is still work to do.

Hmm. Good point... L14 seems a bit late to be "leaving early", so I'll revise my intentions to "learning the basic disciplines" :)

Thanks!

Maybe he could leave once he reaches the rank of "Journeyman".
 

Nyxator

Mongoose
When a Kai Lord reaches the rank of Journeyman, he's sent abroad to gather information about other countries. If instead he becomes a Warmarn, he's sent into the service of the sommlending army as an officer.
Anyway, I don't think that a Kai Lord can permanently leave the order.
Sure, when he fully develops his potential skills and doesn't wish to become a teacher, or he's not qualified to do it, he will probably leave the monastery, but will keep coming back on the day of Fehmarn. In other words, he will still remain a Kai Lord and act as an agent of the monastery.
 
I don't think we need official answers to all those questions - every GM should decide by himself/herself how to handle such things.

Here is my interpretation: I think the duties of a Kai Lord are too demanding and time consuming to allow for marriage and family life.

Now there may be some who leave the order to live a "mundane" life. I guess those people will - technically speaking - change class (e.g. become a Sommerlund Knight). Thus they won't loose their Kai abilities, but they won't improve them either. The ex-members will probably keep good relations to the monastery (unless they left in anger), enjoying some kind of "associated" membership, but they won't be members proper.
 

Greg Smith

Mongoose
If there were Kai Lords outside the of the order, surely there would have been some able to teach the new order of Kai after the massacre in FftD.

I beleive it may be possible for a Kai to take up his duties elsewhere, ie on the family estate, but he still remains a member of the order and must return to the monastary for Fehmarn.
 

mthomason

Mongoose
The best I can come up with so far, given that canon indicates that people come to the monastery for training before returning home to defend Sommerlund is something along the following lines:

Many suspected of having hereditary ability are sent by their families to the monastery (either after a Kai Lord has tested them for innate ability, or for actual testing). In addition, the order seeks out those with ability.

Of those sent to the monastery, some leave the ranks of the order and return home once they are "trained enough", while others "feel the calling" and stay on. The rules allow for ex-Kai, so I feel there should be some, somewhere :)

Every current member of the order, without fail, returns for the feast of Fehmarn.
This does seem a little impractical, however, considering that there must surely have been some undercover operatives working during the feast... still, in lieu of a canon explaination I'm happy to assume that they all felt it important enough to drop what they are doing (in some cases on the other side of the world) and returned for the feast, at least on that one occasion :)

There are two exceptions I'd allow for "survivors" of the massacre.
1) Those who have peacefully renounced any ties to the order (see my final paragraph for details of why they wouldn't have helped rebuild). Examples would be those who wanted to return home after training, those who failed at some stage of training and were asked to leave, etc.
2) Vowbreakers. As is stated in the rulebook, these are hunted down ruthlessly, so they're either dead or happy the order were massacred (or possibly even helped out...)

Of course this raises additional questions about just how far you can go before you are branded a vowbreaker...

A final issue is worth mentioning. Again quoting from the rulebook, those who turn away from the teachings of the monastery are never allowed to return. I assume LW thought this principle important enough not to search for any ex-Kai and ask them for help in rebuilding, or in some cases they may simply have had any interest in helping.
 
The monastary wasn't the only site of a massacre in MS5050. It's also possible that any ex-Kai Lords still in Sommerlund were killed during the invasion's later skirmishes; for example, any former Kai in Toran might have been killed when the port was burned. And if helghast ranged as far as Durenor, then it's conceivable that they hunted down ex-Kai in other countries, as well.
 

mthomason

Mongoose
Reginald de Curry said:
The monastary wasn't the only site of a massacre in MS5050. It's also possible that any ex-Kai Lords still in Sommerlund were killed during the invasion's later skirmishes; for example, any former Kai in Toran might have been killed when the port was burned. And if helghast ranged as far as Durenor, then it's conceivable that they hunted down ex-Kai in other countries, as well.

That's a very good point :)

I'm reminded (please forgive me) of season seven of Buffy, with the Watcher's HQ being blown to bits while the potential Slayers got hunted down around the world. If your aim is to totally destroy a group of people, you don't let a little thing like them and their teachers not all being in the same place at the same time get in the way. And considering the number of agents the Darklords could call upon, it's not impossible that they spent many years working up to that day, ensuring they had a tail on every undercover/former Kai Lord wherever they may have been in the world.
 

GreyLord

Mongoose
Hmm, this is more from the books than from anything else, but it seems that the rank of Warmarn or Journeyman was the rank at which one was typically given a command or able to go out on their own, hence the name. It seemed to me that it was typically at that point where a Kai could go out and return to the normal world with their training and defend their nation ably.

They weren't masters, but they were definately able bodied Kai. A further look could be seen into the legends books where Masters and even Savants were seen as being rather powerful Kai (as per Eclipse of the Kai when they gather for the feast of fehmarn). Kai Masters it seems would be more devoted to the arts, and once a master, would start teaching others. Now Legends isn't as official as the gamebooks, but I get a similar feeling from the gamebooks.

For even a less official look, you can be referenced to the original D&D/D20 system which was around when Lone Wolf was developed. Though Lone Wolf WAS NOT in these systems, during this period they had what they called...name level. Name level occured at around 9th to 10th level. 4-8 were more median levels. Hence a notable character of power would be 9th to 10th level.

Now, in most games of D20 the median levels are a little bit more elevated. Hence it is hard to tell what the level of the Kai would be when they would go off. August would be the best expert on it I would expect to be able to say according to the Lone Wolf RPG.

As for Toran, I suppose it depends on what one would call defeated...

The Darklords attacked Toran but a majority of their march was a surprise assault followed by a hasty march on the Capital of Sommerlund itself, down the valley to Holmgard where they put it to siege, almost quickly enough that Lone Wolf doesn't make it to Holmgard in time to warn them that there will be NO kai coming to their aid. Probably the worst timing for the massacre to happen, and putting the armies of the King in the worst situation without the Kai to lead them.
 
A

Anonymous

Guest
This is an interesting question, I'd love to hear an official (Joe Dever) answer to it.

My guess is that Kai Lords tend to live a very sheltered, secluded and monastic life, and for that period will probably be celibate (and maybe chaste), but they eventually go out into the world and at that point I'd be pretty suprised if they all refrained completely from any kind of romantic action.

Kai Lords are ascetic to a certain degree, but they ain't Jedi - Kai Lords are vivid, and they draw strength from emotions, even the bad ones. I remember in one of the early books, Lone Wolf is terrified and draws on the fear and his own reaction to it to galvanise himself. They're sponsored by a sun god (heat, passion, intensity, being pretty easy things to associate with that) and let's face it, Lone Wolf himself was a slacker by monastic standards (the only reason he survived!) and went on to become one of the greatest Kai Lords ever. I remember my Lone Wolf at least enjoying a certain amount of gambling and hanging around in bars, so that doesn't suggest to me that the path of a Kai Lord involves forgeoing romantic relationships.

On the other hand, Kai Lord does strike me as a dangerous occupation, and also a very involving one, so I do think that plenty of Kai might just not have the time or opportunity or inclination to settle down and get married.
 
Ok, here's the official answer I got in Lucca.
Yes, they do marry and have children, though it is not guaranteed that the offspring of a Kai will be Kai, not even if both parents are Kai. It is probable, but not certain.
 
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