Attachment to this world is what causes suffering. Emotions are how we are attached to this world, and the things in it. Attaining perfection is a process of ridding yourself of the things, and ridding yourself of the emotions. Monks gain enlightenment and focus on the world beyond this one by purging themselves of belongings and practicing contemplation of the infinite.
The Dust have their own take on this process. These steps toward perfection are making you as one of the dead, one of the souls consigned to its fate here in this afterlife. Attaining perfection in this way is attaining a living death, making yourself rid of desires, rid of emotions, rid of things. Those who follow this path under the tutelage of the Dust follow the Way of the Dead, a monastic tradition that brings those who practice it closer to the acceptance in life of their status as one of the True Dead.
Way of the Dead
Monks who practice the Way of the Dead learn to rid themselves of emotions, desires, and attachments, to purge from them the last remnants of the lies of life, and to accept their status as truly dead. They learn techniques that harness negative energy and purge life from their own bodies. Monks who practice this art often study at the Fortress of the Soul on the Negative Energy plane.
Starting at 3rd level, when you harness your ki, you can embrace the True Death that lies within you. Whenever you spend a ki point on your Patient Defenses feature, you can also gain one of the following effects:
- Suffer no effects from being charmed, frightened, poisoned, or stunned until the end of your next turn.
- You gain Resistance to bludgeoning, slashing, and piercing damage until the end of your next turn.
- You gain temporary HP equal to 3 times your Monk level.
At 6th level, you can become numb to damage and pain, your body simply a meaty machine, not something you are particularly attached to. You can use this ability as an action to completely ignore all damage against you until the end of your next turn. You must finish a long rest before you can use this feature again.
At 11th level, you can persist at 0 hp. As a reaction to dropping to 0 hp, or to being the target of an effect that instantly kills you, you can spend 5 ki points to fall to 0 hp and continue to act normally instead of falling unconscious. If you take any more damage, you fall unconscious as normal.
At 17th level, you gain immunity to necrotic damage, resistance to cold damage, and immunity to the charmed, frightened, poisoned, or stunned conditions. Additionally, any time a creature damages you, you can spend up to 10 ki points to cause them to take necrotic damage equal to 1d10 for each ki point you spend.