Marda finds out that Wubbe is dangerously curious and a dirty fighter.
In other news, Sef gave birth to her pups; seven survived
Nen calls the party together into the office (his office door is now open, even propped open). He introduces them to a new figure. It looks like a bipedal black house cat of human size, engulfed in a very wide and full brown cloak. It introduces itself as Hiss, short for Hissis Hississis. It is the new intern (until literally anything better comes up). Hiss is the offspring of a ghost and a female catfolk; hotness level is 9 (out of 20). Hiss is majoring in interplanar communications; Hiss wants to become an interplanar diplomat. Yish doesn’t think Hiss is hip. Hiss notices Lilith’s ghosts, but Lilith refuses to admit that she has them. But as Hiss attempts to converse with her ghosts, Lilith admits that she has ghosts that constantly follow her around, and the two have a conversation which ends with Hiss offering legal help in case of unwanted ghostly advances. Hiss wants to practice advocacy in the field of ghost-living communications.
Marda asks whether she can pet Hiss. Hiss declines, explaining that catfolk can pet other catfolk, but other races typically shouldn’t.
Yish explains that he is the leader of the party, attempts to asks why Hiss is here (especially considering that Hiss has gone to college), and warns Hiss to leave the company as soon as possible. Hiss explains that the internship is only a college job. However, it becomes clear soon that Hiss was looking for only a desk job.
Marda then confronts Ness to see if she can bring Wubbe into the office. She has a bag of carrots and oats.
Meanwhile, Clarion goes down into the basement. She then comes back upstairs, announces that she needs to go out, and leaves.
Immediately after Clarion leaves, the waitress from the Cat’s Paw arrives at the office. Yish swears that he’ll pay the tab; but she instead informs him that Cory wants to talk to him. Yish walks out the door as Hiss asks what to do. Yish asks for a poem and departs. The waitress and Marda follow him.
Cory is sitting at a table in the back. He informs Yish that new intel has arrived. Construction has begun in the middle of town under orders of the Usurper. Yish doesn’t really see the problem with Bandu becoming a pleasure place, but he agrees to gather further information. Apparently, the construction foreman is visiting the Usurper at the castle in the King’s Solar room. Yish agrees to go on the mission. The misunderstanding over Cory’s commandership gets brought up.
Cory also asks when to have the next blue stone session. Yish declares Tuesday to be the day.
On the walk back to the office, Yish and Marda have a conversation about the new intern. Yish expresses concerns about divulging their anti-government activities.
After returning to the office, Yish sits next to Hiss and attempts to understand Hiss’s opinion on the political situation of Bandu. Hiss admits to not knowing much about the political situation. Yish presents Cory’s mission as a white-hat hacker job to evaluate the security of the castle. Hiss realizes that Yish is planning on breaking into the castle and is hesitant if this would cause problems for graduation. Yish assures Hiss that graduation would not be in danger.
Clarion walks back into the office and finds out that Yish is planning a break-in to the castle. After some discussion, Yish and Clarion decide that the best way to fulfill Cory’s mission is to go to the castle gift shop and pick up some information pamphlets. Hiss is interested in looking for ghosts at the castle (the location of an overthrown government sounds like a great place to find spirits).
Yish, Hiss, Lilith, and Clarion put on disguises. Hiss’s disguise is shabby-chic. Marda’s disguise is not very disguising. Lilith’s disguise is to act like a very outgoing, pretty, and loud girl.
At one point, the castle was a stronghold for a well-established government. Now, the castle is a gigantic visitor’s center. The first floor is open to all people, but it seems that upper levels are off-limits. Hiss leaves the party at the gift shop and searches the grounds for ghosts. Yish catches Hiss, asks where Hiss is going, and upon understanding, requests Hiss observe the visitors and people at the location.
Near the well, Hiss hears ethereal chatter. The well has a plaque describing some historical point or other. Hiss understands that the voices are complaining about how cramped the space is. Hiss looks down into the well and sees 18 spirits cramped inside. After ascertaining that none are watching carefully, Hiss jumps into the well and casts levitate. Hiss goes down and begins talking with the spirits. Their story was that they were guards of the old monarchy killed during the overthrow; after the overthrow, their bodies were thrown into the well, and now they are stuck. Hiss offers to help them get better living conditions. In return, Hiss asks for information from the spirits. Hiss doesn’t ask very good questions so leaves without further insight on getting into the castle.
In the gift shop, Yish notices that the advertising strategy attempts to appeal to all people. Yish, in disguise, converses with the store clerk and discovers that the king and his family live on the second floor; the dungeons are also off limits. Yish decides to watch the main gate, where shipping and receiving seems to be occurring. He’s especially interested in learning the patterns of the delivery people. There aren’t any deliveries occurring, but Yish notices Hiss levitating out of the well and goes over to Hiss. Yish sidles up to Hiss and discovers that Hiss has been speaking with ghosts in the well. Yish asks Hiss to go back down and ask about how to get into the Solar. Hiss has a conversation again with the ghosts; this time, Hiss asks about the King’s Solar, and the ghosts explain that while the King’s Solar is heavily guarded, there is a servant’s passage that goes up to the long drops on the second floor.
With Hiss’ new information, the party (except for Hiss) look around at the rooms available to the public. Yish notices servants in the kitchen and dining area (today’s special is spiced potatoes). The servants are wearing deep-green outfits: sandals, harem pants, and practical belly dancer tops for the females. Yish approaches a half-elf bus boy and introduces himself as JayJu. The bus boy’s name is Cobus. Cobus feels out of his element interacting with customers, but Yish claims to be excited to see another half-elf and asks what work hours are like. Cobus explains that schedules are flexible and that there are shifts open while the castle is open.
During the conversation, Lilith’s beauty has caught Cobus’ attention. Lilith asks Cobus for a salad. As Cobus goes back to the kitchens, Yish asks whether Lilith really likes salads. Lilith stops her act and admits that she doesn’t like rabbit food, which causes Marda to react.
Hiss investigates the northeast corner of the castle. There are lots of vines to make the castle look old, but the vines also make the wall easily scalable. There are two large bay windows on the second floor, where the Solar must be. There are no guards watching the area. Hiss casts ghost sound in the middle of the gift shop; guards run towards the shriek while the clerks and customers run out to the stable looking back at the gift shop. Hiss uses the distraction to cast levitate and thereby look into the Solar. Hiss sees the royal office; there is a six-year-old girl playing in the middle of the room, and a babysitter is watching the girl play; the babysitter has her back to the window. Hiss casts spells, causing books to fly out of the bookshelves and another shriek to emit noises which sound as if ghosts are running around the room. One of the books hits the girl in the head, who falls unconscious. The babysitter screams, grabs the girl, and Hiss descends as quickly as possible, but some people notice that a catfolk has just descended from near the Solar. The crowd is now muttering among themselves, and some are pointing at Hiss. Hiss bows, jazz hands, and walks around the wall.
Cobus returns with a small salad plate. Lilith returns to her act, and Cobus is very pulled into her scheme. With the castle on high alert now from the ghost sounds, the guards are now escorting visitors off to the stables. Cobus follows Lilith. This results in him getting a bucket of water dumped on him and then getting kicked by a horse. With Cobus lying unconscious on the ground, Yish asks for his pants, which Lilith gives. Yish disguises himself as Cobus.
Hiss returns to the party, and Yish, while finishing his disguise, questions Hiss’ actions. Hiss replies that he knew Lilith is an exorcist and so was hoping that the reports of ghosts at the castle might give the party a way in through Lilith. Yish disagrees.
Yish walks back into the castle, where he is greeted by a thumbs-up and a wink from one of the show guards, who returns to his serious pose quickly. Yish continues through the halls, and the other workers in the castle don’t think anything of Yish, thinking him to be Cobus.