Apparently, the winking guard had told Yish, “Good job!” before going back to his post. Yish walked into the back, where two guards are posted and other workers are talking together. Yish realizes at this point that he has stuffed a dagger and thieves’ tools in his harem pants. Yish literally sidles into the room and listens to the conversations.
One table of people are complaining: “I hate when she does this! She always freaks out, and the castle is put on high alert for nothing.” Another table of people is beckoning toward Yish, believing him to be Cobus. One waitress approaches Cobus and asks where he’s been. Yish mentions helping a female distressed by the commotion. The waitress elaborates on the situation with the “young miss” and some ghost noises. The two talk about being paid despite the castle shut down; the waitress also talks about the “hot girl” (referring to the disguised Lilith), and Yish admits to getting salad for her (though they don’t serve salad—-and it was Cobus that gave the salad). Yish then asks whether an exorcist will be brought in to deal with the problem. The waitress responds that that is unlikely, since the young miss is scared even of her own shadow. Likely, the castle will be closed for an hour before it gets opened up again.
Meanwhile, Hiss decides to wander seemingly confusedly through the grounds. In actuality, he is looking for more spirits. Hiss eventually notices a strong but indistinct ectoplasmic presence above him, presumably emanating from the castle. Marda is talking to the guards, trying to get them to join PETA-MOO. Emmanuel the guard is ecstatic to join PETA-MOO. He is disgruntled at having to work for the new government and watching the people be so careless about animals. Marda hands him her PETA-MOO business card, and the two talk at length.
Yish goes out to the arrow slits, sees Hiss, and casts message. They have a whispered conversation, where Yish asks Hiss to cause a distraction that will draw all of the guards out of the castle. Hiss returns to Lilith asks for help in making the distraction. They decide to have her stand out in the yard and hope for her ghosts to make problems. Lilith takes on a different disguise. They both begin to cast ghost sounds, trying to act as if they are actually reacting to the ghost sounds and not being the cause. Some of the guards hear Hiss’ ghost sounds, hear another ghost sounds from the other side, and then go back to find Lilith being suspended in the air, eyes glowing red (all thanks to the help of her ghosts). One of Lilith’s ghosts goes flying through the castle, knocking things down. Hiss jumps into some bushes, and he reports to Yish. Yish congratulates Hiss.
Twelve guards now surround Lilith, standing in awe. She casts doom on one of the guards, who drops his weapon and curls into the fetal position, wetting his pants. The other guards are shaken by this. Clarion finally catches on to the plan (no one talked to her), so she walks under Lilith and casts obscuring fog. The ghosts put Lilith down (since no one can see her), and they make the mist glow red.
Marda, now that Emmanuel is occupied with guard duties, decides to go back to the kitchen and asks for spiced potatoes samples. The cook is happy to do something besides be frightened, so he gives her a plate and tells her that it’s on the house. Yish then casts message on Marda, asking her to put on an act. As Marda walks into the cafeteria, Yish casts message on one of the waiters. Marda’s screaming and writhing on the ground was not convincing by itself, but Yish’s chanting in Abyssal causes the waiter to scream and run out from the cafeteria. Hysteria ensues, and all of the servants run out after the waiter. The commotion causes one of the spiced potatoes to fall to the ground; this causes her to become even more earnest in her writhing.
Lilith and Clarion walk to the wall and escape the guards with one guard getting hold person cast on him. Lilith returns to Cobus in cheerleader guise. Cobus is a little weirded out by the fact that he doesn’t have pants on, but he’s still happy to see Lilith.
Yish goes up the servants stairs and comes up to the locked door. He decides he can’t open it with lockpicks, nor does he want to force open the door and leave evidence of entry. Marda stops her act, picks up a potato, and starts munching on it as she asks Yish what he wants her to do. He asks her to stay on alert for others coming this direction. She sits down in the cafeteria and continues eating her potatoes.
Yish goes up a different set of stairs, goes down a hallway with closed doors, and finds an open door. He enters a room that seems to be the king’s solar. Yish finds documents on a desk: two contracts for new establishments in Bandu, one for a major construction project in the middle of town, and one personal correspondence of the king with some not fully named entity mentioning a trade network that will come to be in the near future.. There is also a doll in the room (the girl’s from earlier). Yish contemplates taking the doll, but then he sees the quills and inks. He decides to take an inkpot with a pale yellow liquid. He then looks through the drawers, eventually finding a small, shoebox-sized lockbox, which he takes. Yish then casts invisibility on himself and runs away as fast as possible; as he passes Marda, he tells her that it’s time to leave. He also asks Hiss to round up the others.
They make it to the Cat’s Paw. The busty barmaid eyes Hiss warily (he’s a little underage), but she lets the party back into the room with Cory. Yish unrolls the pants that he was carrying the scrolls and the lockbox in. Yish hangs onto the lockbox but hands the scrolls to Cory. Cory is upset by the two new attractions, but he is more interested in the construction project and the trade network. He muses that the city is being turned into a tourist destination. He is very confused. How are people going to be transported into the city?
Yish mistakes Cory’s reaction as anger and asks why he would be upset at the tourist attractions. Yish reveals that Cory is the rightful king, which Hiss catches onto.
In the middle of this, Clarion’s hands burst into flames. Hiss recognizes immediately that Clarion has failed to cast a spell. As Clarion tries to pat the flames out, Marda creates water as Hiss instinctively casts ray of frost. Her hands are encased in a block of ice. Somehow, a lot of water gets splashed everywhere, and everyone and everything in the room gets wet. Hiss has a conniption as he walks out of the room. Yish apologizes to Cory, and the rest of the party walks out.
Yish confronts Clarion about the fire incident. She says that she was trying to use fire magic to melt the lock on the lockbox. Everyone is very upset. Yish takes the lockbox and decides to pry it open with his art chisels.