The ugliest dwarf in Sigil is practicing his tai chi in the center of the room. He moves without any real grace; his precision is the certainty of stone, rocks sliding against rocks, limbs held in place by muscle alone. His hands are enormous: strangler’s hands, with knuckles like pebbles thrusting up out of his weathered grey skin.
He turns, and turns again, balanced on the balls of his feet. His brows jut out over his eyes. He stares, angry, at the world.
In one hand he has a piece of dark heartwood, carved to fit a dwarven hand. He clenches it tight. There are grooves in the wood where his fingers rest, as if they have rested there for years. The wood has no give to it, not anymore. He brings his arm around in a great slow punch, fingers still wrapped around the piece of wood, giving his fist enough heft to strike a blow at the heart of the world.
A long time later, he completes his practice. It is at this moment that he is at the peak of his spiritual development. Tomorrow he will go out and hurt people who owe his superiors money, and this will inevitably result in backsliding. He knows this. But he enjoys both portions of the cycle.
And the following day, he will practice again.