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The Order of the Long Death, also known as the Way of the Long Death,[5] was a monastic order devoted to understanding every aspect related to the process of dying and the nature of death itself.[1][4]

They cared little for the afterlife, and sought no deeper understanding of a soul's place in the greater cosmology, but rather the effects of death on intelligent beings and the achievement of 'perfect death'. They saw this as the ultimate offering they could bestow upon any being who was deemed truly ready.[5]


Each monastery was independent of the others and led a single individual.[citation needed]


Monks of the Long Death focused their energies on studying death and the art of killing. They learned about the effect of the process of death on living tissue.[5] The ultimate objective was to discover the 'perfect death' - an objective that no member of the group really understood, let alone achieved.[3]

Within their monasteries, they would spend the majority of their time sparring with one another, resting in quiet contemplation,[2] or studying the nature of death. For their studies, the monks dug up bodies, took them to their respective monasteries examined their states of decomposition within their well-stocked laboratories. Perhaps most horrific, the followers of the Long Death purchased or captured slaves, giving them slow deaths in order to observe and record the results.[6]

Outside of the monasteries, they wandered relatively aimlessly, often disguised as beggars, attacking humanoids that they came across in an effort to inflict as painful a death as they could using only their bare hands.[3]

Every year The leader of each monastery had to prove themselves against their best warrior through trials by combat on the Feast of the Moon.[citation needed]


Due to their particular field of study, monks of the Long Death were both resistant to and capable of wielding deathly effects and magic. The imprint that death left on their soul made them appear exceptionally frightful to others.[5] More skilled monks were capable of inflicting necrotic harm upon others,[7] easily slaying weakened individuals, and even killing others with their mere touch.[8]


When fighting against humanoid opponents, monks of the Long Death preferred to use their bare hands. When forced to fight some beast or monstrous creature, their weapon of choice was the kama.[3]

Base of Operations[]

There were at least three known monasteries of the Long Death. One in the eastern realm of Thay, one in the Firesteap Mountains on the eastern edge of the Lake of Steam,[2] and the Abbot of the High Crypt within the Turnstone Hills in the Silver Marches.[6]

The order even established a small, secret school in the area of Scardale.[4]


Within their monasteries, monks of the Long Death often kept shelves full of rare alchemical reagents and numerous specimens of dead animals and plant life.[5]

The monks dressed in a manner that reflected their fascination with death, wearing dark hooded robes that hid their faces.[6]


While they were generally distrustful of others, the order were civil with those who sought to share any insights about death. Due to their narrow scope of interest they were seldom considered to be interesting or engaging by others.[6] They did maintain a form of relationships with the churches of Cyric and later Kelemvor.[4][3]

The Thayan branch of the order was well-supported by the reigning Red Wizards.[4]


The order was formed after the people of Calimshan freed themselves from the Djen. Its original purpose was to teach people how they could attack and kill their former masters. Over time however, the monks developed an obsession with death. For their perverse fixation they were eventually run out of Calimshan.[2]

As they were similarly expelled from every other place they attempted to settle in, save for Thay, the monks of the order became a semi-secret society in Faerûn. They established hidden monasteries all over the Realms where they could continue their studies in relative peace.[2]


The Order of the Long Death attracted both morbid scholars and those individuals devoted to the deities of death,[5] namely Kiaransalee, Velsharoon,[1] Loviatar,[3] and of corse the successive gods of the dead: Jergal, Myrkul, Cyric, and Kelemvor.[2]

Becoming a member of the order required first finding a monastery. Very few applicants were actually accepted - perhaps a dozen a year - and each one had to pass several tests of strength, agility and endurance before being inducted into the order fully.[3] The ceremony of introduction was filled with hideous acts meant to test the resolve of initiates.[citation needed]

Any member who attempted to leave the order or spoke out against it publicly became a target for their killers.[8]

Notable Monks of the Long Death[]



Video Games

Further Reading[]