05. The Luthier And The Songstress
Mount Rokkon
On the center path, spare the baboon and defeat Gorai the Uncaged.
Once upon a time, there lived a nameless luthier, who poured his heart and soul into building a beautiful biwa. His efforts were not in vain, for the biwa's craftsmanship was immaculate─so much so that he found he could not bear to see it in the hands of a common bard. Season upon season passed as he searched for a soul befitting the biwa's brilliance.

It was not until the luthier's twilight years that a worthy songstress at last entered his workshop. The young woman played for him a song as breathtaking as the autumn moon, and he gladly entrusted her with his life's work. Her ephemeral ballads would capture hearts across Hingashi─until the eve that the luthier's tale came to an end. Neither she nor the biwa have been seen since, leaving her audience to wonder if she was the tsukumogami of the biwa all along.

I have come to learn that tsukumogami can take many forms. Depending on how they manifest, they might bestow a thousand blessings or a thousand curses upon the world. If a tsukumogami is rumored to reside within a prized vessel, its value rises exponentially...but only should it be as benevolent as the songstress in our tale. Were a treasure possessed of a spirit more malevolent, one would do well to exorcise it ere putting it to market.