Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Monk Rage

The morning after Jiro was assassinated at the Monastery of the Two-Fold Path, The Founders’ Council announced that the Abbot was banished from the town of Pasar. The Council also banished the monk who made the initial attack. He did deserve execution not only because he did not harm Jiro, but also because he did not show a clear intent to do so, but was clearly manipulated by sorcery. Jiro death was the result not of one monk’s evil intent, but of the entire monastery’s mismanagement. The Abbot was responsible for the management of his monastery.

In protest, about half of the monks chose to banish themselves with the Abbot. As the monks prepared to leave the monastery they agreed that the Shining Path had caused them this dishonor. They should be punished. Gwinch and his sohei agreed to support them in breaking into and vandalizing the main temple of the Shining Path.

About 75 monks, marched through Pasar with long knives hidden beneath their robes and bows hidden in a cart of firewood. They convened near the Temple of the Shining Path and, finding the front gate hanging open and unguarded, charged into the courtyard with their weapons!

But the warrior monks of the Shining Path were ready and waiting. Archers shot them from the walls, and spearmen emerged from the temple, followed by about two dozen of the mercenaries commonly employed as Silk Merchant bodyguards.

The Two-Fold Path monks were less disciplined than those of Shining Path, and were guided by fury and revenge rather than well-conceived tactics. Many were shot with arrows, and when they broke ranks, killed by the well-organized Shining Path spearmen and battle-hardened mercenaries. Gwinch’s sohei, on the other hand, responded to the surprise attack with level-headed confidence. They escaped the courtyard into the Shining Path Temple. When the Shining-Path monk pursued them, Saisho suddenly appeared and with a magical blast of steam killed their leader and his lieutenants. At the death of their leader, many of the Shining Path monks and the mercenaries were put to flight. The remainder fought to the death.

Victorious, the Two-Fold Path monks began appropriating the Shining Path prayer banners, while Gwinch searched for evidence that they were responsible behind his own temple’s recent misfortunes. A letter on the body of the dead leader showed that someone had warned Shining Path that they were going to be attacked, and had offered both weapon and the mercenary support. But there was nothing to confirm that they had planned or caused the death of Jiro.

Demolition 5371 (exposed slats) by BrayoDemolition 5371 (exposed slats), a photo by Brayo on Flickr.
An old priest who lived at the temple castigated the Two-Fold Path monks for their violence and so they fled from the Shining Path temple and from the town of Pasar. Together with Gwinch and his own sohei, they rejoined the Abbot in the wilderness. The Abbott led them to a small, secret temple in the jungle which they began to expand and fortify. He told Gwinch that he should continue his quest to find Tempat Larang. Beyond fulfilling the Emperor’s orders to locate and apprehend Governor Goyat and General Kawabi, if Gwinch were to find the legendary lost capital-- from the time before the great divergence of the Paths to Enlightenment-- then he might begin to restore the honor of his monastery.

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