Faith left the building and headed back out into the lightly falling snow. It quickly cooled her skin, warm and damp from nervous sweat. By the time she made the short walk back to the cemetery across from her temporary quarters, she was shivering slightly.
"You'll get accustomed to it," said a bald elf who was leaning against a large crypt, the only structure of size in the small cemetery. He had exceptionally pointy ears and pointy white eyebrows framing pale grey eyes. As with most elves, she couldn't tell if he was young or old. "We all do."
Faith offered him the parchment she had been given by the masters.
"I believe I am to train with you," she said. "Are you the monk trainer?"
"I am," he answered. "And you are?"
"Faith Fayrehold, sir," she said.
He unrolled the parchment and studied it for a few moments. Then he looked her over from top to bottom, rather rudely Faith thought.
"I guess you'll do," he finally said. "Where did you get this ridiculous robe? It doesn't fit and you will not have an easy time training in it."
"I just borrowed it," Faith was a little embarrassed. "I didn't have anything else. What type of clothing do I need?"
"Look for an outfit, something with trousers. You certainly can fight in a robe if you like but you'll be much more comfortable in an outfit. Now, why are you jangling?"
"I, well, that's my coins?" Faith again felt very stupid. What was she supposed to do with it? Sigmund very clearly told her not to leave valuables in the hut.
"Where's your bag of holding? Didn't get you it when you checked in?" She could tell he was getting frustrated with her lack of preparation.
"I didn't get anything but a Mark when I checked in. It was mealtime and I was late," Faith explained.
Valenie spun her around and looked at her neck. He waved a hand over the nape of her neck and she felt a small tingle.
"At least they got that right. I guess the Host is still testing my patience. Well, nothing to do but to get you geared up. Come with me."
He walked her back through the village to the same building where the masters had earlier met with her. There was no one at the L-table now but she could hear people moving about upstairs. Valenie walked over to the steps in the corner and headed up. Faith followed.
"Wait here," he said in an exasperated tone. "No one is allowed upstairs except masters and trainers. Upstairs is the living quarters for staff. And storage for the more valuable items. I'll be right back."
She heard his annoyed voice talking to someone upstairs and after some shuffling and banging around, he came back with some items in his hand.
"First, this is your bag of holding." He held up a small leather bag with several straps on it. "You can wear this however is comfortable for you. Strap it to your back, your side, your leg... doesn't really matter. It will adjust.
It's yours to keep once you put it on. It binds to you, meaning you can't give it away or sell it, it's yours alone. You can destroy it if you want but I don't know why you would. They say the binding magic is what gives it such a strong enchantment to hold as much as it does but personally, I think the gnomes who make these add the binding magic so that we can't recycle them. Gotta keep those gnome children in Zilargo employed I guess, and they do make a fortune off the Union, but whatever. None of my business!
Now, inside of this bag are three compartments to help you sort out your stuff. It doesn't really matter what you put in which compartment, but each compartment holds twenty items. No more. Big, small, doesn't matter. Twenty items. But if you carry too much heavy stuff, you will be slowed down and as a monk, you will be uncentered. Being uncentered means you go back to fighting like a dummy, with slow punches and the occasional kick. You lose your speed. You lose your style. I recommend that you clean out your bags regularly. Got it?"
Faith wasn't quite sure she got it, but uncentered sounded bad. She nodded.
"OK, take this. Now, these are handwraps."
He held up two swatches of muslin that seemed to have faint shadows of flames rippling across them.
"You wrap them around your hands and they not only protect your fists, they can cause extra damage to targets you are fighting or give you other magical enhancements. This set is fire touched and will do fire damage when you hit an enemy. Put them in the bag for now."
Faith thought the handwraps would stuff her bag and fill it- they were about the same size as the bag itself. She put the glimmering fabric strips into her bag of holding and they seemed to disappear. From the outside, the bag appeared to have nothing in it. The surprise must have shown on her face because Valenie immediately started laughing.
"That never gets old, seeing someone with their first bag. It's OK, they are still there, just reach in and grab them."
She did reach in and felt the wraps right where she had put them. This was amazing. She would have to look at this further, but for now she pretended it was no big deal.
"As an adventurer, almost everything you own will probably stay in this bag. You won't stay in any one place for very long so this bag is your key to survival and you will always have it with you. So take some time to figure out how it works and how you want to wear it. Your time, of course, not mine. Do that later.
OK, last item, I grabbed a set of Disciple's Robes for you."
He held up a shirt that looked like it wrapped around in front and a loose pair of pants that had ties at the ankles.
"These will magically enhance your concentration skills just a little. You need to concentrate to be able to use certain monk attacks while in battle. We'll go over all that later.
My workday is nearly over so why don't you play with your new toys, then come see me at second session tomorrow. You'll have a lecture in the morning then after lunch, we'll go over skill training. Got it?"
"Yes," said Faith. "And thank you."
"Don't thank me for doing my job," he rolled his eyes as he swept out of the building.