In the spring of 1682 a monk of the Xingyiquan school of wudang walked out of the mountains. Khoroli was the chief of the Khoshut Mongols who where then rulers of the large, but thinly populated and rugged province of Qinghai, and it was said that he was the most favored student of the monk. Four years later, Khoroli would submit to rule under the Qing, and it is said that the Monk, upon hearing the news, remarked “He was my best student.”

The monk walked through the spring and into the winter before reaching the Levant and becoming a confidant and tutor to Grand Vizier Kara Mustafa Pasha. Before the spring was through, the Grand Vizier was tempted to sack Vienna, and before the year was out, the forces of the Ottoman Empire had been dealt two crushing defeats in Vienna and Parkany and the Grand Vizier was dead by the hand of an executioner. This marked the beginning of the end for the Ottoman Empire. When the monk was told that the Grand Vizier had been executed by strangulation, it is said that he quietly shrugged and replied, “He was not a very good student.”

The monk was last seen walking north, with the intent of visiting Moscow. His reasons were his own, and he would only offer a small smile when asked what he would do when he got there.

And that’s why I didn’t update last week. Because of a mysterious old Monk traveling into Tsarist Russia at the end of the 17th century. No, really. It’s all true.

Three heads, none of them historical Chinese monks.

Seth is still banging away at the pages for Infestation, and I’m still neck deep in cardboard boxes, although more and more of them are empty, as opposed to full. Last week my house looked like the final scene of Raiders of the Lost Ark. Now it just looks cluttered and disorganized.

Until Seth is ready, we’ll just keep running with these preliminary sketches. Today we have some conceptual head shots of some of the main characters.