The Acolytes venture into the Akasen Follies to speak to the Spider Bride. They are ushered into a silken pavilion by delicate handmaidens and lavished with food and drink. Having survived on meagre rations for the past few weeks, Acolyte Rowarke gives in to temptation and gorges himself on fine wine and exotic fruits.
The Spider Bride offers them a simple deal. She will answer any questions they have in return for delivering a package to a rival known as Papa Grist. She tells them that the package will mean his end. Somewhat gingerly the Acolytes accept the offer and are handed a silver canister.
On their way back through the streets they encounter what appears to be a murder scene. Blood and tattered cloth are scattered across an alleyway. Several adepts are picking their way around the scene whilst promenade sentinels stand guard. Curiosity getting the best of them, the Acolytes move closer in order to get a better look. Acolyte Rowarke notices a severed arm lodged on a balcony several feet away while Acolyte Doptera begins to harass the sentinels. Using Doptera as a distraction Rowarke dislodges the arm and the group manages to make off with it.
Once back at their lodgings they give the package to Septimus to examine. He succeeds in opening the canister to reveal a sinister mechanical spider. The Acolytes decide they have seen enough and continue with their mission. They move on to the Fortune’s Wheel, where they hatch a plan to gain access to Grist. Posing as an aspiring pit fighter and his agent, Rowarke and Doptera attempt to set up a meeting. Once Rowarke has proven himself capable in the arena, they are allowed upstairs to meet with Grist. They offer him the canister and after being mind probed by his pet psyker, he accepts the gift.
The mechanical spider leaps out of the box and decapitates Grist. His bodyguard panics and flees, while the pet psyker giggles. Rowarke dispenses with him. Their task completed, they return to the Spder Bride.
Her answers are cryptic, but what is to be expected of such a being. Once a servant of the Haarlocks, the Widower will serve no longer, and his freedom will bring with it the death of this world. He intents to strike during the Thirteenth Hour as his fate is linked to that of the Steel Clock found within the mansion of Gabriel Chase. With that she hands them a gilded invitation to the revel.