One month after the fall of Bronze Ledger, the heroes are moving their plans forward. Shadow Scorpion integrated what remained of Bronze Ledger’s gang and took up residence in her mansion. Ka Bar finished training the Unchained, making them a fearsome force. Mambu completed sorcerous workings to bind magic into his armor. Vapor continued to hunt for information onIvory Monkey, but things were suspiciously quiet. Now approaches the Festival of Great Spirits, a local five day celebration that honors the Court of Night and the Satrap.
Mnemon Karn gleefully revealed to Ka Bar that their school had been formally challenged by a minor martial arts school in Champoor called the Nine Venoms Clan. They accepted the challenge and chose to hold the tournament in their dojo at the beginning of the Festival of Great Spirits. Investigations revealed that the Clan loves to use poison and is likely using this challenge as a way to boost their own reputation.
Shadow Scorpion met with Ashen Atani, the informant within the House Ashen spy networks who had previously worked with Bronze Ledger. She agreed to continue her arrangement with Shadow Scorpion and provided him with the exclusive intel on the noble houses and the Prasadi. Her report revealed the Satrap has been sending messages back to the Prasadi capital Kamthahar seeking aid against the Anathema, but so far his requests have been denied since the rulers do not believe him. Also of note, Ivory Monkey had quietly arrived in Champoor weeks ago and was staying at a villa in the Royal District. Three strange advisors arrived with him.
While drinking with his friend in the portion of the Bronze Ledger mansion Shadow Scorpion allowed him, Mambu was visited by Golden Jug. The spirit dropped hints about the real nature of the Festival of Great Spirits and that Perfect Loyalty would be attending a ceremony on the day dedicated to him, one of the few times he would be out of his sanctum. Shadow Scorpion and Mambu formulated a plan to infiltrate Perfect Loyalty’s sanctum during this time to steal the contracts that bound Mambu’s family in service to the god.
When the heroes gathered at the Ivory Bastion to discuss their plans, Tan Khari announced his plan to reveal himself to the public and start his revolution during the festival. The heroes and his advisors corrected some of his naïve assumptions about the people coming to his aid, but they agreed to set up a meeting with Jahar and the other loyalist to make real plans to return the heir to power.
The heroes decided that they would help Vapor get his vengeance against Ivory Monkey sooner rather than later. Wearing in the traditional masks of the Festival of Great Spirits, they made their way to Ivory Monkey’s villa. His “advisors” were a young woman in a mask, a hulking figure in black rusted armor, and a pale intellectual in a fine black cloak. When Ivory Monkey adjusted the mask of one of his servant girls, Vapor was shocked to discover the servant was his wife’s sister Karos Lyna, who he thought had died with the rest of her family.
Seeing no reason to wait, Ka Bar sprang into action and the fight began. The advisors quickly revealed themselves as more than strange characters: the woman was Ninth Handmaiden of Dust, and her companions, Hateful Carapace and Prophet of the Sunless Sky, were cut from the same cloth. The battle was bloody and explosive. Prophet of the Sunless Sky called forth a kraken of living magma, and Hateful Carapace engaged in brutal hand to hand combat. When Mambu was knocked unconscious and the Handmaiden disappeared into the shadows, the heroes realized, for the first time, they might not win this fight. Ka Bar called for the retreat and carried Mambu to safety. For some reason, Ivory Monkey and his friends did not pursue.