After a short rest, the party continues to investigate Mizuta, once again sticking to the outskirts. Kumiko breaks down the door of a boarded up house to find a tainted makeshift shrine. Inside is a scene of horror: an altar to Kobayashi, a sigil painted on the floor in what looks like dried blood, and a group of cultists preparing a ritual.
Encounter: Cultist’s Lair
The cultists and the characters are both momentarily stunned. Then, the shinkan who appears to be leading the group yells, "Outsiders! Seize them!”
The shinkan, his cultists, and what end up being two zombie servants also attack. "I will feed you to Kobayashi myself!" one cultist exclaims.
The blood magic sigil on the floor gives those standing in it increased chance to hit and damage in exchange for draining health. The two groups battle until the cultists and the zombies lay defeated.
Once the bad guys have been dispatched, the characters attempt to interpret the meaning of the ritual the shinkan was preparing. Through a set of arcana and religion checks, they learn that:
- A ritual was cast with the intent of summoning Kobayashi the Devourer.
- The ritual involved human sacrifice and cannibalism.
- The tainted energies in the area are different than those of Yomi, the land of the dead.
Once they’ve finished with the shrine, the group sets fire to it. They continue on into the village, but encounter a wandering group of zombies. Already drained from the fight with the cultists, the group takes significant damage, putting them in a precarious position.
Worried that they might run into another group of monsters before having a chance to rest and recover, the characters find a hiding spot in an abandoned building. They make it through the night without incident, though they hear plenty of activity in the streets around them.
Running Total: 2028