Wow, that's a lot of resonance very quickly. Once again, the board does not disappoint.
Yeah, we're still using Google Wave. We'll probably go back to standard Play by Post soon-esque, though there's no clear timeframe - we'd like to keep on Wave, but seeing as the service is in its death throes, that's clearly not a long-term option.
As for using magic, I'd have to draw the line at the classic "artillery" mage. Summoning spirits, elemental effects incidental to attacks, supernatural abilities are all fine, but visually speaking, you wouldn't be throwing fireballs. You *could* have a secret technique where you flick your fingers together to create sparks, or you punch people so hard they catch on fire, but the official party line is that there's no magic in the Empire. Just lots of very, very weird things. As long as it's vaguely explainable as intense training, secret ninja technique or the aid of familiar spirits, it should be doable.
A foreign monk is fine, actually! I don't know precisely what you mean - more Christian missionary, or a wandering ascetic monk from a neighboring country? (i.e. "Western" or "Eastern" monk?) Either works, really.