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Some whisper of a Secret Tenth Path, but I think such rumors are no more than bard's tales. Pay them no attention!

-- Harran Turiyeshar, swordsage

Tenth path? I have seen twelve, and know of six more from reputable sources. You would do well to heed my tales, for they are true.

-- Joclez Goded, bard

Reshar spoke of the Ninefold Path of the Sublime Way, and his vision has dominated martial adepts ever since. But there is nothing fundamental about those nine. Reshar learned them by wandering and gathering lore. That lore had sources. Each path was invented by ordinary people before being brought to the temple. And people keep inventing. It is their nature.

My claws rend armor and my breath is the terror of armies. What need have I of this so-called 'sublime way'?

-- Huaxinious, adult red dragon

There is none so good they could not be better.

-- Sharlineon, juvenile silver dragon swordsage, who slew Huaxinious and took his horde

Most people's first reaction to learning of the Sublime Way is to make it useful to themselves. Often this means changes. What use is an elbow strike to creature with tentacles? Many of the obscure pathes are useful only to a small group of adepts. There is room for that in the Way as well.

Some traditionalist martial adepts simply disbelieve any claims of additional pathes. When confronted with proof, they react with contempt: these techniques cannot be sublime. Others react with child-like curiosity, seeking to learn new pathes even though they would be more effective by refining the ones they already know.

It is not only martial adepts who react to these pathes. The Sublime Way is power, and power cannot be ignored.

  • The lawful theocracy of St Cuthbertsburg bans Kaleidoscopic Dream on pain of death. The church of Olidimarra (also banned) teaches it anyway, in underground gambling dens.
  • In the crime-ridden city-state of Korpom, the church of Hieroneous teaches the Knowing Heart school to guards both public and private at no cost, to ensure that everyone gets a fair trial.
  • In the isolated demiplane of Ternost, the Steel Mountain school is a secret known only to the dwarves, while the Oncoming Storm school is known only to their arch-rivals the kobolds.
  • Among the Gold Dragon Crusaders who defend the Archepelego of Quink against the undead hordes, the Stone Dragon school is known as the "Raging Earth" school. Do not use the name "Stone Dragon". They will take offense.
  • In the tyranny of Wan, private ownership of weapons is banned on pain of death, and teaching Maune Kea or Fool's Grip is banned on pain of death by torture.
  • The Isle of Austlar learned of the Sublime Way from only two teachers: a swordsage and a Crusader. As a result, Iron Heart is completely unknown there.
  • The theorists of Prak Tower have predicted three schools that should be possible but no one has succeeded in inventing. There is a ten thousand gp prize for any who can demonstrate a maneuver from them.

As you adventure forth, you may find all these reactions and even stranger ones. Good luck.

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