Robin walked from the Blue Recluse with a new straw pandaren-style hat on her head. It fit her perfectly, her master…former master had chosen the exact fit. She felt as if her heart had stopped when Temujin Oxplow had lifted the hat from his pack and offered it to her.



Robin, my equal. She smiled at the fresh memory, and skipped down the canals with her chi-formed cub of Xuen trotting closely behind.



The new student, Tock, had seemed equally surprised. He would be a good monk. One day. With the right training, of course.


A master. She. Robin Gryoshock. Was a master. Briefly, she felt the joy pouring from her might be enough to disturb the sleeping city, but that was ridiculous. She hadn’t felt this good since the first time Romind had kissed her. For months she’d played at getting the hat through small little tricks. But she’d never actually thought it would actually happen. All she’d ever had to do was ask for it.


There was still much to learn. But she’d accomplished a major life goal. She’d proven something. That she could. She could be more than a barmaid or a timid janitor. Not that she held a grudge against the Fordragon Vanguard for her time with them. The Vanguard had been supportive, full of great people. They’d allowed her to be who she was. They’d believed in her as the Templars did now. Oxplow had been confident enough in her ability to succeed that he’d been carrying a hat in his pack just for her. But first had been Ciera and Min. Her sister had believed. Believed in her goodness enough…to risk sacrificing her very life, her love, everything. And Min had trusted Ciera’s belief enough to let it happen.


Yet, Robin still wasn’t quite sure what being good really meant. When she’d tried asking for Oxplow’s hat, taking the road of humility, he’d said no. She’d felt disappointed, but understood. A few moments later… he’d asked her what being good meant. The question seemed simple on the surface, but she found her definition had changed without her noticing. She’d responded with uncertainty. A year ago she’d have said it was her way. She didn’t leave room for mistakes. It was an impossibility. But all the contempt for those choosing a different form of justice had grown into a hatred that threatened her relationships and values. There were many ways, many paths to the same end. Not all of them were wrong, or bad. All she could do was tell the truth: She didn’t know for certain…all she could do was try. After she’d answered…he’d pulled out the hat.


It was possible that her teacher saw what she hid. Temujin was perceptive. Did he read the truth in her hesitation to fight? In every lesson? He hadn’t commented on her switching from the staff to two blades. He hadn’t ever seen her train in them.


Robin took hold of her hat and flopped down on the grass on the small pandaren area of Stormwind. She hugged the symbol of her new status close to her chest. What did it matter? SHE HAD HER HAT! Oxplow had believed in her ability, and wisdom. Robin wasn’t so sure about wisdom. He’d recommended that she teach other monks! Oxplow was one of the first people to ever believe her truly capable of anything. And, she loved him for that. She hoped they would remain close friends and continue training and learning together.


Robin smiled up at the sky. No matter what was going wrong around her. She’d accomplished this and no one could take it from her. Robin Gyroshock was a monk. A master.

Author Robin
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