Night of Setag

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"Give a man a mask and he will become his true self" The run takes place on the Night of Gates in the early First Month of the Dog in the Tenth Year of the Dog since the Third Treaty of Houses.

The run takes place in the Governor's Headquarters of the Tanzhe Plain

Previous Run

Contents

Unusual Helpers

As people gather again at Tahiti, Takanata finds that he is having trouble with his prophetic art. He can feel prophecy within reach, but the art seems more difficult. In the end, he puts socks on his hands and does a little sock puppet show to himself about the Night of Gates, which suggests that perhaps the party is in charge this time, instead of the spirits.

Elsewhere in the estate, a small person wearing a sheet over their head comes up to Shen-Ji and presents him with a wrapped parcel smelling of fireworks.

"Hey, boss, I made you a bomb."

Shen-Ji is happy enough to accept, but Li Merit is appalled, and summons the butler. How did this happen? How can unknown people in sheets wander into Tahiti, with bombs? Is there no security here? The butler is distressed - he had no idea that there were bomb-carrying hooligans invading the house. Merit admits that whoever it was might have been supernatural, and the butler goes out to scold the staff.

Lijuan has less trouble coming up with prophetic art, and it seems to indicate some sort of party. Possibly one with ninjas.


Ninja party.png

"The animus of the ninja is death. " -Kasumi
"Well, I'm glad you remember the phrase now." -Takanata

Another little person in a sheet walks in, and hands Merit a clipboard. He squints at the figure, trying to figure out who it is, and concludes that there is definitely something about them that is not quite... persony. The clipboard contains a security check showing all the rooms in Tahiti, and all the locations of people with sheets over their heads. The figure points to a line that says "no bombs detected". Merit points significantly at Shen-Ji's bomb. The figure apologizes - it was being carried not by someone with a sheet. The figure says it will do another security check for bombs carried by other people.

There is some discussion as to whether or not it is about to be the Night of Gates. Merit is confused. Didn't Takanata say it wasn't the Night of Gates, according to his prophetic art? No, Takanata said it was the anti Night of Gates, which is completely different. As Takanata does an astrological check to try to figure out if it is, in fact, about to be the Night of Gates, a little person in a sheet comes up and says "Soon! Very soon!"

The person in a sheet comes back in with a list of the bombs. There's that one that Shen-Ji has, there's one in the vault, and there are three in Shen-Ji's room. Does Merit want a check at the party site too? Wait, what party site? The little helper says that the party will be in the Tanzhe.

Another little helper shows up with a package from the Home Office. Merit sent the Bracers of Molting into the shop, and they have returned him a creepy creepy tanning kit to make disguises out of the shed skin. It's like Baby's First Skinwalking Kit. Merit sends off the seventh rank soul seal to be creepified, and then wonders if he can go back to bed and sleep through the rest of the Night of Gates.

"There's a party!" -Takanata
"But it's in the Tanzhe Plain." -Merit
"You run the Tanzhe Plain!" -Takanata
"Yeah, but I subcontracted it to Xiao Fa. WHO IS NOT HERE." -Merit

As Merit starts to wonder out loud if he has already planned a party without thinking about it, his helper in a sheet comes in, with a clipboard with an update on the party status. There seems to be some trouble with the refreshments. Merit offers to help, so the sheet-guy suggests that Merit brief the hosts while the helper deals with the refreshments.

Party Status:

  • Site: configured ✔
  • Invitations: delivered ✔
  • Refreshments: Prepared
  • Door Prizes: Deployed ✔
  • Bombs: Excluded ✔
  • Hosts: Briefed
  • Guests: Arriving
  • Party Favors: Probably

People prepare to head to the Tanzhe for the party. A little helper shows up to take Ho, Kawaii, and Boo to the Tanzhe, but Zhuai says he has already been invited. Huh, really? He shows his invitation: On behalf of Governor Lo, the House of Exuberant Interference is pleased to invite Lord Zhuai to a celebration on the Night of Gates at Command Tent City. (Costume ball) Zhuai notes that it's certainly better than being in the Forest. He has to pick up his costume, though, so he'll see Lijuan there.

Party Prep

The group heads for the Command Tent City of the Tanzhe, and it appears to be a bustle of activity. There are servants rushing everywhere, carrying plates of food and drink back and forth. Merit recruits one of the servants who works for Xiao Fa "just in case".

Takanata tries to duck out of any planning, declaring that he isn't a host, and finds himself spending a Yin.

"Fascinating. I wonder who I invited?" -Takanata

After wondering, he notes to himself that that was a more interesting question than he might have expected.

The Tanzhe butler lets Merit know that they only just found that they are throwing a party, and... the venue has been misplaced. He has people looking for it. Merit points out to the butler that the invitation is for a Night of Gates party. The butler realizes that they have been doing it all wrong, and starts redirecting people again.

Merit goes to find Xiao Fa, but he is in his tent, and the halberdiers outside assure Merit that there is really no admittance. They think Xiao Fa is talking to his boss, and is definitely not to be disturbed. Merit grumps loudly about how he would REALLY LIKE A BRIEFING, but the halberdiers are not able to help with that, and Xiao Fa is not actually in the run.

Takanata wonders whether the figure of Xiao Fa in Lijuan's art is glowing in the prophetic art because Dragon is possessing him. A figure in a sheet wanders up to Takanata and says that he doesn't think that it's Xiao Fa, he thinks it's Takanata.

"Well, why am I glowing?" -Takanata

The sheeted figure looks around at the other party members, as meaningfully as is possible from under a sheet.

"They know already." -Takanata
"Well, then, probably for the obvious reason."

Takanata begins to follow the Fluttering Path, and sees where the ghost leads him, and he wanders into the venue. He nearly appears in the wrong sort of entrance, but realizes that they are VERY DIFFERENT entrances without realizing why. He quickly scans the areas of the map - an auction block, a graveyard, a sort of sands-of-blood arena ballroom, a library, a market, and a space that isn't supposed to be there. But then the ghost-sheet helper tells him they should go back, as it isn't time for the party yet.

Merit wonders who is in town regarding the party. The answer is: Xiao Fa, Dragon, Crane, the Prince of the Arcade, Li Merit's little helper, Shen-Ji's little helper, Min Feng's little helper, Kasumi's little helper, Takanata, the party, and a whole bunch of NPCs in costume.

Takanata starts to contemplate a crossroads about asking the Prince of the Arcade for a m- but before he can finish his sentence, a little helper tugs at his sleeve and says "She'd like to speak to you." Takanata heads off and finds himself in conversation with a woman who is undoubtedly Butterfly, who tells him not to worry about the Prince, and that he will be taken care of. He should be okay - unless he isn't.

"Make sure the party goes well, and don't get too far in debt."

Merit wonders whether the hosts count as briefed at this point, but a little helper comes in and points out that it isn't checked off on the checklist yet. Merit opens his mouth, hoping that a briefing comes out, but it doesn't. The little helper finds that fascinating - is he physically unable to tell them the mechanics of the party? - and so the helper starts heading off to investigate this, but Merit admits that he doesn't know the party mechanics. Oh, all right, then.

The little helper offers to "help" Merit with the briefing, and explains that it's like the traditional spirit party where hapless mortals come and request favors and gain insight. But this time, it's reversed - everyone will ask the mortals (that is, the party hosts) for party favors. But, the favor requests can be averted by addressing the guest by their proper name. (No, not their True Name). Asking who they are is terribly gauche, as it is a costume ball, but rolls can be made to figure out clues - basically, whether they have a particular characteristic. After a little while, people will start asking for favors, and the person with the most party points will get to try. Only one person can ask per tick. Points are earned by interacting with hosts, or in other ways. If a party favor is turned down, or is not done by the end of the party, then a real favor will be owed. The guests are in groups of three (mostly) and if they are able to identify all the members of a single group before any of them ask for a favor, then the group as a whole will owe the hosts a favor,

"Everyone attending the party is in a group of three except the ones who are not. There are six of them, they're not a group of three, they're a group of six and they're terrible cheaters."

In fact, there is an explicit count: there are 3x3x3(+6) guests invited.

Takanata wonders if it would be gauche to use Eyes of the I Ching. The little helper thinks it is allowable, if unwise. But the disguises are also quite good. Hmm - should the party be getting disguises? No, hosts shouldn't wear disguises, only costumes.

Some servants come in with food and beverages, wondering where to lay them out, and Takanata tells them to put them by the entrances, and on the edge of the dance floor, and in the library.

All the things on the little helper's to-do list are checked off, so it is time to start the mechanic!

Min Feng still isn't feeling well, so a little helper in a sheet recruits Kuan-Xi to be costumed as Min Feng.

Party Chit Chat

The penny-gems start already at the party, and with each tick, a new guest arrives through one of the garden doors, or through the door into the arena, or, occasionally, through another entrance.

Merit chats with Blue Pennygem, and determines that they are "spirity".

The Two of Sticks enters and chats with Takanata. Does Takanata know a lot of people here? He admits he doesn't know, since everyone is in disguise. Two of Sticks de-disguises Takanata, but Takanata is not in fact in disguise. Takanata tries to dock him a point for this rudeness, but it's not actually his action so he can't.

Kasumi chats with the Five of Dots and determines that they are not a bureaucrat. Kuan-Xi talks to the Two of Sticks about fashion, and wonders if they are fashionable. The answer is "yes but it's a lie". Mysterious!

Merit talks to Blue Pennygem and wonders whether he is associated with the ocean or the northern border. The answer is a mild yes.

The Five of Dots talks to Kasumi, and asks which of the hosts she would say is in charge. Kasumi thinks that Li Merit is, so Five of Dots says that they will have to see him later, when it is time for party favors.

Shen-Ji talks to Blue Pennygem about fishing, and receives a glare in return. Well, how about magic? Are they interested in magic? Blue Pennygem gestures around the arena - does Shen-Ji see where they are? Does it seem like they are interested in magic? (That would mostly be a no).

The Six of Sticks enters by a garden path. Lijuan picks up some pork buns, and a little helper tells her that if she gives a guest pork buns, they will be distracted.

In Drift, the Purple Pennygem summons Merit to the stable, and the Yellow Pennygem summons Shen-Ji to the graveyard.

Kasumi talks to the Five of Coins about poisons. Do they like poisons? The Five of Coins says with some asperity that Kasumi has confused her with someone else.

The Yellow Pennygem asks Shen-Ji whether this is his fault, and if Shen-Ji is going to fix it. Shen-Ji affably allows that it is probably his fault, and that he never fixes things, only breaks them.

"I had heard that."

The Seven of Sticks arrives in the graveyard.

In the stables...

"Horse! How is it going?" -{{{2}}}
"You know, it might have been a tactical error, summoning you to the stables. So... Xian isn't coming? Keep her on task, would you?" -the Purple Pennygem
"Actually, she's disturbingly on task." -Merit

Lijuan talks to the Two of Sticks about unarmed combat. The guest says that he's a master of kung fu, but this is clearly a lie.

Shen-Ji talks to the Yellow Pennygem about survival instincts about pack animals. Does Yellow Pennygem hunt pack animals? They do.

Takanata talks to the Six of Bones about entertainment, and noble lord pastimes. They are pleased by being titled "Six of Bones" rather than "Six of Sticks", and allows as they are not one of "Lijuan's noble guests". Hmm. That doesn't tell very much about who the Six of Bones actually is, but it does suggest that there is a group of three nobles, one of whom is Zhuai. Takanata also checks to see if the Six of Bones is someone that he has memorized but it isn't.

Kasumi chats with the Red Pennygem about altering the Cycle. She wonders if this guest is a spirit who is 'not in the cycle.

"No... unless you've heard something I don't know about. Have you heard something?"

Shen-Ji bows to the Yellow Pennygem, and greets him as Master Wolf. Yellow Pennygem is grievously insulted, and insists that Shen-Ji come with him to the arena. He offers to let Shen-Ji take his best shot, whereupon Shen-Ji throws a bomb at him. Yellow Pennygem is flung backwards through the arena, and into a fountain in the next area. The Six of Bones is most distressed to notice that the entertainment has started without them.

Lijuan asks the Orange Pennygem whether they prefer gardens over wilderness. They admit that the question is something of a poser - do they prefer gardens over wilderness for what? Lijuan clarifies: for living in. Orange says they're going to go with "no".

Yellow Seven enters the arena, and eyes Shen-Ji.

"Try that again, I dare you."

Yellow Seven gives Shen-Ji an action, so he happily throws a bomb at them. Yellow Seven catches it, and then opens their hands, and the flamestrike heads back at Shen-Ji.

"It could be that Elemental Braid fire sorceress that doesn't like Shen-Ji." -Takanata

Takanata chats with the Orange Pennygem about noble lord pastimes - are they a great spirit associated with nobilty? No.

The little helpers show up to let people know that the favors are about to start. Any of the non-named guests who have the highest point total may approach a host to ask for a favor.

In Drift 6, hosts can whisk people around, so Lijuan whisks with Orange Pennygem (who is winning the point total) into a far corner of the area that shouldn't be there - and notices that it is squares rather than hexes.

Kasumi successfully identifies Red Pennygem as Magpie, and Merit identifies the Green Pennygem as Tortoise. Merit wonders how he might use Tortoise's library card, and Tortoise suggests that when the party ends, Merit allows himself to be trapped in one of the places that he isn't supposed to be, such as the library.

So, the Pennygems seem likely to be Great Spirits and Contenders: Tiger, Magpie, Tortoise, Whale, Horse, and Wolf.

Takanata picks up a door prize, and a little helper remarks to him that if he gives it to a guest, it's worth points.

Shen-Ji chats with Yellow Seven about kung fu, but they don't admit to having any more than Shen-Ji does.

Kuan-Xi chats with Green Eight about power. Are they a sorcerer? No, Green Eight prefers their power a little more personal.

Orange Pennygem asks Lijuan a favor:

"Noble host, could you do me a favor? What I'd like you to do, if you would, is to find Coyote and introduce him to a Northern Horror as "the secret thirteenth cycle spirit that no one speaks of.""

Lijuan thinks that this is an unlikely thing for Whale to ask, but they've figured out who most of the other Great Spirits are.

"Are you a noble?" -Kuan-Xi
"You wound me, but no." -Green Eight

The Five of Coins chats delightfully with Takanata, and they head towards the refreshment table.

"Tiger, only you could take a hit like that." -Merit
"Indeed. But now he must take my best hit. " -Yellow Pennygem

Takanata asks the Six of Bones if they spend much time in the Forest of Chin. They shrug - more than many, not as much as most. But they do call a lot.

"Are you Whale?" -Lijuan
"Seriously? Whale? Whale? Whale is going to send Coyote to talk to... oh, go think about what you just did." -Orange Pennygem, banishing Lijuan to the arena

At that point, it is clear that Orange Pennygem is Monkey, not Whale. So this is the spirits of the countries touching the Tanzhe, not the invader spirits.

Lijuan asks the Two of Sticks why there is a graveyard at the party. Their answer: "Because Tiger fights while Wolf kills."

Green Eight notes to Kuan-Xi that though the Min Feng disguise is appropriate, she shouldn't think it is fooling anyone, and Yellow Seven asks Shen-Ji about his explosives.

Kasumi greets the Two of Sticks as Pir Pir.

"What gave it away?"
"You're irrepressible."

Kuan-Xi considers the party mechanics, and comes to the conclusion that the room people have been calling "the auction house" is more like a stage, or a dais, or an altar. Hmm.

Merit wonders if Green Eight spends a lot of time in the Dragon's Throne (no), and whether Red Six has a lot of dodge (yes, certainly).

The Five of Coins asks a favor from Takanata: "Please tell me all the steps that Lady Yanyu has taken towards accomplishing her bargain with the spirit of the Lake." Takanata tries to hedge.

"She has not chosen to share the steps she has taken with me; the only thing I know of is that she has become pregnant."
"So you think she is resting fulfilment of our agreement on her descendants. Good to know."

Merit is fretting about why Dragon is not one of the Pennygems, but a little helper in a sheet reminds him that his "who is in town" didn't get any of the spirits or demons as "in town". So Dragon probably is not a guest, but was visiting Xiao Fa separately.

Pir Pir admits to Takanata that he's sad that his plan to get a favor hasn't worked. Takanata offers him the option of making a deal instead.

"If you could introduce me as one of the great spirits of the empire to a certain person..." -Pir Pir
"Which one? I want to know who I am lying to." -Takanata
"No, you really don't! I could disguise them!" -Pir Pir

The Six of Bones tells Kasumi that the first round of the entertainment (Shen-Ji and Tiger) was interesting. Could she arrange more?

Various other guests talk to hosts, scoring points towards their favors and dropping clues.

"I hope you'll forgive me, I'm not very good at these party things. I'm only speaking to you to get a point. " -Green Eight
" Interesting fact. Zhuai is not your guest. He's Li Merit's." -Seven of Sticks to Lijuan
"That makes her the demon that talks to the little girl who tells you secrets you don't want to know." -Takanata
"Are you the demon associated with the creepy little girl who was at my wedding and keeps telling us things we don't want to know?" -Lijuan
"I prefer Enigma." -{{{2}}}

In Spirit Drift, Tiger whisks Shen-Ji to the Sands of Blood, but he promptly flees to mess with some of the other guests instead.

People ask the little helpers about the mechanics - why are there token cards on the board? Those are for the door prizes. Do drinks distract guests the way food does? Food always works, drinks only work sometimes.

"Is your favorite weapon a blade?" -Kasumi
"Yes, as you should well know." -Red Two
"So red are the ninjas, but I don't keep track." -Kasumi
"That was the 'I am Hirasoto' answer." -Takanata

Yellow Seven asks Lijuan to get Shen-Ji to announce that Yewen Fire-Eye is the most powerful sorcerer at the party.

Takanata checks the Six of Bones and the Two of Sticks for their deepest connection - they're both members of the Demons group. (Bones and Sticks are the same counter type, but the Six of Bones prefers "Bones").

Merit chats with Orange Eight, who speaks Torghut, and gives them a (Magpie flavored) party favor.

Takanata determines that Black Two is a noble, but was not invited as one of the nobles group.

Lijuan distracts the Six of Bones from asking a favor with a pork bun.

Kuan-Xi puddle-gates back to Green Eight, giving them a point to put them in the lead.

"Do you know who the Seven of Coins is?" -Kuan-Xi
"Honestly, of all the spirits in the Empire, that might be one that I have had least reason to interact with. " -Green Eight

Green Eight bows to Kuan-Xi, and asks for a favor: if she could arrange, before the party's end, for him to be given a complete briefing and understanding of the beastmaster of men, he would be grateful.

Two out of the three demons have been identified (Pir Pir and Enigma), but the third entered via the garden entrance from the square side, so people are concerned that they might be a northern-tainted demon, like Comet (who Takanata banished to the north). A little helper tells Merit that the groups are technical, and there are multiple reasons for a being to use a particular entrance.

Shen-Ji asks the Six of Bones if they are related to violence - the answer is "Obviously."

Kasumi guesses that the Six of Bones is the Blade demon, but no.

In Party Drift, Merit goes with Green Eight to brief him on the Beastmaster of Men. (37 successes) Takanata whisks Monkey out of the Northern area where he has been hanging out. Shen-Ji whisks the Six of Bones to a far corner, and then flees.

Kuan-Xi asks the Seven of Coins if they have met her friend Anto, who appears.

"Oh great Wu-Xing. Surely you can bring me some food?"
"Can you not provide food?" -Anto
" It is not my party."

Red Two talks to Kasumi; they ask how her training has been going, and if she has learned anything new. Kasumi talks about True Katana.

Lijuan checks if she invited Blue Four to the party - no. Does Blue Four have stealth? It isn't their strong suit, but it's irresponsible to not have some.

Merit guesses that the Six of Bones is Carnage. Yes - and she was so close to getting a favor!

So, the party may claim a favor, from Pir Pir, Carnage, and Enigma.

Takanata uses "cheat in minigames", and asks Monkey which group Coyote is in, and finds out that they "slipped him into the spirit group". Which means he isn't actually here yet. Takanata offers to use auspicious summoning to bring Coyote in, if Monkey will protect him from any subsequent corruption, but Monkey isn't sure why he needs to help Takanata do the favor he has promised.

Kasumi asks Red Two if they prefer Laughing Shadow over the House of Night's Promise, and the answer is "Absolutely not."

Red Nine asks Kuan-Xi for an introduction to any other ninjas who are at the party.

Kuan-Xi asks Red Nine if they are Kasumi's Laughing Shadow mentor.

"I wish- no - she wishes I was her mentor."

Kasumi tries to remember the name of the Master of the House of Night's Promise, but he has never given her a name. Lijuan asks Black Two if they are Zhuai, but the answer is no.

As promised, Shen-Ji publicly announces that Yuwen Fire-Eye is clearly the most powerful sorcerer at the party.

"Her skill shows no bounds, truly, her might is unsurpassed. When she strides down, fire shoots from her eyes, incinerating all before her. When she is truly angry, fire shoots from all her orifices... " -Shen-Ji
"Okay, maybe you should stop now."

Black Two asks Lijuan for a favor.

"I really need you to get someone to <waves hands> with the butterfly talisman and promise that none of you will come to my wedding unless you are invited."
"I don't know who you are." -Lijuan
"It's me," - Tsai Su-Yin

Monkey summons Coyote into the party, and the party explains the favor they need to do to introduce him to a Northern Horror. Coyote thinks that sounds like a fine plan, and is on board.

Orange Eight, now identified as a Northern Horror, is at the top of the point leaderboard, and starts trying to reach a host. Unfortunately, it heads for Kasumi rather than the group with Coyote, because she is closer. Takanata places a hand on the pattern to declare that Coyote will be standing next to the Horror after the next drift, and once that has happened, the introductions can be performed.

Lijuan identifies Maku (he says it is pronounced "Mako"), and a favor is earned from the Ninja Group.

Takanata holds the Butterfly Talisman, and promises not to go to Tsai Su-Yin's wedding unless invited. It thumps.

At the end of the turn, all extant party favors have been done, and the party ends.

Party Favors

  • Find Coyote, introduce him to one of the Northern Horrors, tell him he is the secret 13th spirit cycle that no one speaks of
  • Recite all the steps Lady Yanyu has taken toward accomplishing her bargain with the spirit of the Lake
  • Make sure Shen-Ji announces Yuwen Fire-Eye is the most powerful sorcerer at the party
  • Arrange for one of the most expert on the subject to give a complete briefing with a full description and understanding of the beastmaster of men
  • None of the party will go to Tsai Su-Yin's party unless invited
  • A Northern Horror has the Magpie Door Prize
  • Favor owed from: Mako / Master of Night's Promise / Ayuki
  • Favor owed from: Carnage / Pir Pir / Enigma