Has there ever been anyone on cradle who "messed up" their path yet still ascended to the Monarch level? Say someone who, out of ignorance, got a poorly matching iron body, or cultivated a really weird mix of auras.
This is a great question. I like this question.
The Beast King is a Herald (right below Monarch) who was crippled as a child while attempting to gain his Iron body. He refocused his Path into communicating with animals, using a mix of life and dream aura. Despite being unable to walk, he ended up befriending some truly ancient sacred beasts, and with their help baptized his body in soulfire and ascended to Underlord.
He's now many levels above that, and can walk just fine, but without the foundation of an Iron body he's physically not as dominant as his peers.
However, he's guarded by enormous behemoths from the deep places of the earth, so it balances out.