Our band of acolytes fight valiantly in the arena, racking up throne gelt galore, along with the admiration of black market kingpin, Papa Grist. Grist offers the acolytes a deal: kill the Spider Bride, the infamous information broker of the Akasen Follies, and receive scarlet tickets to the 13th Hour Party in Gabriel Chase. Or die.
The acolytes accept the deal, given little choice, and begin questioning the Spider Bride, trying to find their opening. The Spider Bride, knower of all things on Xirchan, already knows of Papa Grist’s plans and gives the acolytes a counter offer: deliver a simple package to Papa Grist and receive scarlet tickets to the 13th Hour Party in Gabriel Chase. Or die.
The acolytes accept the offer, given little choice to do otherwise, seeing as they were surrounded by dozens of the Spider Bride’s courtesans and minions – the Venomous Ladies. As the acolytes give the package to Papa Grist, it unfolds its mechanical body from inside itself, clambers up Papa Grist’s body and snaps his head off into a convenient basket on the undercarriage of the spider-like mechanica. The head carried away, still screaming, to the Spider Bride, Papa Grist’s thugs do the only thing they can think of: attack the acolytes. The acolytes are surrounded by 12 thugs, including the hulking Crackmarrow and the fearsome pysker Bliss, the acolytes are fighting a losing battle until a swarm of Venomies Ladies come to the rescue.
Having completed – and survived – the Spider Bride’s task, they are each given a scarlet ticket which will allow entrance into the Gabriel Chase manor where the 13th Hour Party will be hosted in the coming hours.