Beyond the doors on the upper level of the Mockery Pagoda was a passage, a staircase leading up to a frightening and most unusual monastery. Kumori had returned, and the entire party was glad he had, for blocking the stairway was a large Mungish terra-cotta statue, which came to life and inflicted grievous and accursed wounds when the companions tried to move past. This construct prevented all from passing up the stairs beyond it, so the heroes had to dispatch the magical statue before they could deal with the Obake lepers who were waiting for them at the top of the stairs.
Once they’d turned the clay warrior to shards, the lepers proved little challenge, but what was beyond a curtained portal past the horrific diseased goblinoids was truly daunting. The portal opened into a large room, crisscrossed by a thin-railed, iron trellis for a floor. Balancing nimbly upon this latticework were a group of female Obake monks – Sisters of the Broken Path. A pit opened up beneath the widely-spaced bars, to a deep pit which was filled with a noxious vapor, and later discovered to be the lair of several gorgons.
Once engaged with these monks, the party was discouraged when, from another, adjacent curtained opening, emerged more monks, and their Oni-spawned ja noi barbarian task-master, Ichirou. Ichirou was a treacherous combatant, flying around the room and attacking with his vicious nodachi. He nearly killed Smriti, who was one of the only party members agile enough to dare enter combat upon the treacherous rails. But in the end, Ichirou was destroyed and the upper Pagoda was cleared. Unfortunately, yet another Obake monk escaped to warn whomever might be the next challenge along the way.
Munasukaru must surely be nearby. Does the tangle of chambers beneath the House of Withered Blossoms never end? The heroes still need to unearth the foul plot concocted by the rest of the Oni of this place, which allowed them to escape, leaving their kin, Munasukaru, to keep the stronghold safe from the invading Kami above.
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