There was no way Tse-dong could dissuade Bayar and the others from helping the Tathatans escape from the Tathatan Ward, despite pleading that the Governor would be most displeased. So, the best he could do, Tse-dong reasoned, was take a trip to the countryside. That way at least he would have an alibi when the Governor inevitably brought the hammer down on them.
So Tse-dong wasn’t there when his brother Mo-tse finally returned from his home village of Nadera. Mo-tse had stayed an extra few days after their sister’s wedding in order to complete a dare that he foolishly accepted in a drunken stupor at the wedding reception. Tse-dong hadn’t specified exactly what the dare was, only that it involved animals and sexual favors — a joke? When Mo-tse met up with his friends at the Sky Door, they could see he was walking funny and it hurt when he sat. Perhaps judging it best not to ask, no one said a word.
It wasn’t long before they noticed an old Goblinoid in the corner intently staring at their new friend Magsa, the Tabaxi. It wasn’t strange that he was staring — everybody did that — but rather that he seemed to be studying her. Mo-tse went over and introduced himself as her owner, though in truth she was a free Tabaxi, and the old Goblinoid looked surprised.
“I must have been mistaken then,” the Goblinoid said. “For a while there I thought she was one of them, you know… the Nightstalkers.”
“Nightstalkers?” said Mo-tse, his curiosity perked.
The old Goblinoid explained that legends around Shen Bei told of a group of runaway Tabaxi banded together to wreak vengeance on their former owners. Slavers would be found dead in the jungle, with feline fur stuck to their wounds. These incidents, if there was any truth to them at all, were limited to the area around Shen Bei. But recently there had been reports of similar occurrences in the area of Kong Wan.
Meanwhile, as they talked, a commotion was brewing around the entrance to the Sky Door. People were asking about something called “The Spectactular.” Will they still hold it this year? Are they going to have the lottery? Is it really going to be the best yet, as the poster advertised?
This “Spectacular” was apparently an annual event held by the Sky Door. Since Mumuna had been taken away to the Tathatan Ward, everyone was wondering what would become of it. A poster outside the inn advertised the event:
The Sky Door Special Spring Sky Spectacular
Just then Tass did something quite unexpected. She snatched the poster from the wall and ran across the road to a wealthy-looking noble engaged in business with a textile merchant.
“He’s selling tickets! He’s got tickets!” she cried, pointing and waving to the textile merchant.
Everyone, including Tass’ friends, wondered what in the world she was doing. But she was so persuasive in her display that soon a large crowd gathered to find out about these “tickets.”
What Tass had intended, in fact, was to pin everyone’s attention on the merchant so that she could practice her pickpocketing skills on the wealthy noble. Unfortunately, it didn’t go quite as she’d hoped. Perhaps intimidated by the unexpectedly large crowd she’d managed to gather, she botched the pickpocketing. The noble shouted “Thief! Thief!” And Tass recoiled so fearfully that her disguise fell off, revealing to the whole crowd that she was not an Orc but an Elf, and not a boy but a girl. Guards were rushing in from every direction. It looked like Tass was done for.
Just then, Magsa resolved to help her new friend. She ran into the street and performed one of her skillfully erotic burlesque dances. In fact, she did so well, that soon every eye was drawn to her. Tass was able to slip away virtually unnoticed.
NOTE: From here on out, this will be just bare-bones notes until I find time to make it pretty.
Though Mumuna had left no notes about the Spectacular, and all they had to go on was the poster, the PCs felt they had to come through for their friend by keeping this tradition alive.
So, the Sky Door Spring Special Sky Spectacular event was held. Magsa wrote the Pub Quiz questions and came up with the bowl and chopsticks game. Bayar’s group won the quiz, and Old Gramps won the bowl and chopsticks game. Meanwhile, Mo-tse had convinced Lord Gansalahi to attend the “rustic” event, and Gansalahi won the Fashion Parade. Magsa danced well, and in the lottery Magsa won 5 pounds of mutton. Others won only the participation prize of a small packet of salt.
In more serious events, Benari, who had been captured earlier, was made to go to the Tathatan Ward through the tunnels, bound and gagged, and was shoved in a puddle of vomit left by Mo-tse from an earlier drinking contest. Benari was made to tell the Tathatan elders that the Governor’s captain of the guard was working against the Tathatans. The inciminating copy of the Tathatan Law-scriptures, signed by Benari, was shown as evidence, but not handed over (Tass still has the copy). The old Tathatan elder asked to have a private moment with Benari, so the PCs did not hear exactly what Benari confessed to him. They only heard a sudden scream, and then rushed into the room to find the old man had taken off the tip of Benari’s pinkie finger with a pair of hedge clippers. This apparently was some form of vengeance.
Returning Benari through the tunnels, Tass came very close to murdering him, but Bayar intervened and she checked her rage. As they were exiting the tunnel, Benari was made to go first, followed by Mo-tse. When Benari got out of the tunnel, he suddenly turned and released a magical flash of light that blinded Mo-tse. The next thing they knew he was dashing through the alleys far faster than any man of his enormous girth should be able to go. Perhaps both the light and the speed were effects of some strange talismans carried on his person. In any case, the PCs pursued but were unable to catch him. He got away, though they still have the incriminating evidence of the signed Law-scriptures.
Thanks to the PCs, the Tathatans were convinced that they needed to escape, and were now able to do so, and they made their plan for the following night.