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They used the spirit forces, elements, and the powers of nature. Usually living in the wilderness as hermits and anchorites, they purified their minds and bodies in order to make contact with assorted natural and supernatural powers in the world around them.
The wu jen devoted their lives to achieving a single goal, in a task that required great mental disciple, much like the shukenja. Reaching it usually required the sacrifice of family ties and concerns for honor.
Wu jen adopted special taboos that appeared insignificant or silly to outsiders, but were vitally important to the wu jen, since they drew their power from supernatural sources. Breaking these taboos resulted in the loss of spells, illness, or other misfortunes.
- David "Zeb" Cook (May 1996). “Campaign Classics: Wu-jen: the Oriental mage revisited”. In Pierce Watters ed. Dragon #229 (TSR, Inc.), pp. 54–58.