The Shattered Lands
The Kir monks is an order of monks that study Death in all its visages. They are a dour folk, dressed in ash grey robes, with shaven heads. They are rare outside the walls of their monastery. Most likely, if you were to encounter one, it would be on a battlefield after the victor has claimed his spoils, the Kir monks will perform last rites on the dead, then any not claimed by family or cleric will be removed from the field to be examined more thoroughly. The main interest of a Kir monk is how each man dies, what killed them, the effects on the body and soul, how the soul is severed, and how a body decomposes. Each Kir monk will do his best to catalog each death he witnesses or comes upon. If he has the time and setting for it, he will attempt an autopsy to better catalog his findings.
For their grisly practices, the Kir monks are often reviled and ostracized. But since a Kir monk will take care of any dead humanoid body, no matter their creed, or deeds, they are valued in clearing the unwanted dead from battles and back alleys. What was once a small donation by people to care for the dead, has turned into a small fee. The Kir charge whatever people will pay to take the dead away. The Kir also properly dispose of the dead, instead of leaving them out for scavengers and rot, preventing the spread of disease.
The Kir monks have no political power, mostly because they have no care for politics, only for their studies. They are not a rich order.
The Kir receive few new initiates. The Kir do not care who a person is, where they come from, or what they have done. As such many of their number are refuges from the law from crimes they may or may not have committed. The Kir also accept children, particularly bastards unwanted by their parents. They raise the children to be part of the order.
All members of the Kir take a vow of poverty, and are not allowed to own or use anything they do not need for survival. They carry quarterstaffs and daggers, no other weapons. Simple homespun robes of ash grey. Their robes and shaven head are their badge, and any who see them will know who they are. Most of their needs in the world are covered by the fee they ask to take care of the dead, or through donated goods and services. Often an Innkeeper will put a monk up in the stalls if there is room, and send a bowl of porridge and bread out to feed them. None wish to have a Kir monk seen on their grounds, for fear of being tarnished by the stink of death that surrounds them.
The Kir Monastery is located far upriver from Naerwell, situated in a boggy lowland far from civilization. Roughly half of the orders numbers reside here at any one time, mostly the old, the young, and those being taught their ways. The remainder are scattered throughout the realms, furthering their studies, frequently returning to the Monastery to leave their notes and pass on their garnered knowledge.