The way to perfection is a long and arduous road, which lasts a lifetime (or several) for most people. Contrary to what one believes it is not about reaching a destination, it's about the travel itself, the choices one makes when reaching a crossroads on the path.
The start of a journey
Since I am not only a traveler on the road to perfection, but also an observer looking back on my progress and the choices I made. I will write my story in a third person view.
Lotus grew up on a small, uncharted island of the coast of Toran Shaarda far from Avlis’ main continent. However, Lotus has taken a vow of secrecy to not ever reveal the true location of where she hails from, nor to reveal details of her people so I will not commit any thoughts on them to paper.
Therefore the start of the journey will be when she sets foot on the continent of Avlis in her first port of call, the city of O’Ma: Elysia. Having traveled upriver to the fairy city, Lotus arrived at the docks, looking in amazement at the first real city she’s ever seen. At that point she has no purpose in life as yet and needs to find her way around a city filled with strange people and even stranger customs. Her training during her adolescent years has prepared her as well as possible for the events she’s about to face, but she realizes how much she has to learn as yet before she can find her way. She wanders around the city and somehow ends up in the sewers underneath Elysia, where she faces her first trials of combat. Not familiar with the workings of a large city she doesn’t realize that these sewers are inhabited with all kinds of creatures. She’s assaulted by huge rats and nasty big spiders and her training just barely keeps her alive. When recovering from these initial encounters she stumbles around a corner into a pack of hungry firebeetles, which nearly proves her undoing. She nearly succumbs to these ferocious little critters when she’s rescued by two female warriors patrolling the sewers, Val’Tyra Vynn and a Cleric of the goddess Dre’Ana. The women take pity on poor hapless Lotus and take her under their wing telling her of the values of Dre’Ana and their efforts to help the poor and defenseless. Lotus is impressed by their friendly demeanor and quickly takes to the lessons taught to her by these seasoned warriors. She travels with them for almost 4 seasons learning about the values the church stands for, during this period Lotus realizes she sympathizes a lot with those beliefs and becomes a follower of Dre’Ana, the Warrior Maiden.
Who am I, and where am I going?
After having spent several seasons in the company of the Maidens Lotus realizes that although her beliefs coincide with theirs, she is not meant to follow the path of a warrior maiden. It becomes clear to her that although she agrees with much of the tenets of their faith, she would not fit well in their structure. She bids farewell to her friends and sets out on her own to discover the realms of Avlis and to learn and grow. For many seasons she travels the lands, visiting the rolling hills of Ferrel, the land of the small people, the overcrowded desert country of M’Chek with its principal city of Mikona and of course the forest nation of T’Nanshi, home of the elven people. She meets many people and makes and loses friends along the way, all the while learning and observing. For 4 seasons she travels in the company of a young male monk, Jubei Jin, who also hails from her native island, although both don’t talk about it very much. They travel, fight and learn together, but then Jubei, frustrated for lack of a purpose in life, sets out on a journey trying to find himself and his goal in life. He leaves for the north and Lotus hasn’t heard from him ever since.
One day early during her travels in T’Nanshi, while passing the moon tree tavern on her way to the roots under Le’Or Lotus senses an enormous energy in the area coming from near the tree. To Lotus’ keenly developed inner sense the energy seems to emanate from a group of people lounging under the moon tree. To young Lotus these people seem to be possessed of a tremendous inner strength very similar to her own Ki and curiously she moves in for a closer look. The three people under the tree are Master Riva and Mistress Alice of the Order of the Dragon accompanied by Sister Siri van Brockenhamm, Lotus’ future mentor. Siri senses a kindred spirit in Lotus and invites her over for a chat. She explains much of the Order and it’s ideals to young Lotus who drinks it in, like a woman dying of thirst in a desert. After a long talk Lotus leaves the group of powerful monks. She has much to think about and to contemplate, but has promised Siri to look her up if she ever wants to know more about this Order of the Dragon.
Lotus spends several more seasons traveling Avlis and learning and growing, but she always keeps the discussion with Siri in mind and the strange kinship she felt with those immensely powerful people, so different and yet so similar. When Lotus has been roaming the lands for about 10 seasons, she makes up her mind and seeks out Siri again, asking her even more about the order and how she can join. Siri tells her that if she is serious about this she should attend a tribunal and invites Lotus to the next scheduled one, where she’s to be initiated together with Siri’s younger sister Tasi van Brockenhamm. At this tribunal Lotus also meets the mentor and guardian of the Order, the ancient and powerful wyrm, Nargulthonossor the Amber. After the inititiation she feels like she’s come home, these people are so like her. Devoted to the path of perfection, Servants of the Greater Good, Guardians of balance, The Order of the Dragon.