Kamali travels to the Red Lamp to present the amended bill of sale to Madame Margaret. Penelope gets changed, but has already packed, so she’s ready to go. Kamali brings her to the Leaky Bucket to speak to Constance, who gives her the usual “don’t ever lie to me and don’t skim off the top” speech, though she foregoes dangling the girl off the roof. After that, Kamali takes her to the Moon’s Daughter (and later, the Pint and Hound) to deal with the books.
The crew discusses the previous job. Kobb proposes to use one of the spirit bottles they lifted to further the ruse that the sparkwrights are responsible.
Shade, Kobb, and Moira take the carriage (with Boots driving) into Brightstone to visit Dimmer Manor again. Serafina is waiting for them at the side gate, and wordlessly leads them to the patio in the back of the house. Lucrezia is there, and pleasant words are exchanged, and Shade produces the spirit bottle containing Anastasia as Serafina retrieves a small wooden chest from the house. She sets it on the table and opens it. Inside is the Dolls’ payment: 8 Coin.
Shade closes the chest and brings up the impending war between the Sisters and the Path of Echoes. He expresses Constance’s desire to be the only paid muscle that the Sisters call upon. Lucrezia inquires about allies who would fight for them for free. Shade says that Constance is fine with that, as long they’re not cutting into the Dolls’ profits. Lucrezia excuses herself to consult with her sisters on the matter.
Shade asks Serafina where she came from, and she very nervously explains that the Sisters found her at Strathmill House.
Lucrezia comes back and confirms that her sisters are in agreement: The Dimmer Sisters are free to call upon any allies they wish to aid them in the war with the Path of Echoes, but will hire the Dolls exclusively as the only mercenaries. Shade retrieves the chest with the Coin, and Serafina brings the spirit bottle inside the house.
In order to fulfill Yanth Agog’s orders, Constance heads to Silkshore. She finds a coffee bar in the center of the Iruvian quarter, and gives coffee a try for the first time in her life. Before too long, she spies a young man and woman (each about 18) engaged in a heated debate at a cafe across the square. After they finish their meal, they get up to leave, and Constance follows them. They pause on the doorstep of the girl’s house, and share a moment before bidding each other farewell. Constance moves in with weapon in hand to intercept the young man before he can leave, and directs him back to the girl’s house. She has him knock on the door, and when the girl answers, Constance gently but firmly forces her way in, and sits the young couple down. She blocks the door leading to the rest of the house, and speaks in low tones to not disturb the girl’s parents, who are upstairs. After confirming that they speak Akorosi, she questions the couple about their conversation at the cafe. The man admits that he was complaining about the political situation back in Iruvia, that the Sultan was making increasingly unpopular decisions. He strongly implies that demonic control is involved.
While she won’t mention Yanth Agog by name, she questions them about several of his other epithets, and they are genuinely perplexed as to why she would know or care anything about the Demon Prince Ixis. Constance unleashes Glorious Visage, and they are utterly terrified. She tells them that they need to leave the city at once: they are to pack everything they can carry and flee, and if she sees them here again, she will kill them. They are already gathering the girl’s belongings and arguing with her parents when Constance leaves.
[Kamali’s job just got a bit harder, as these would have been two prime candidates.]
Moira brings the spirit bottle containing Nyryx to Theodore and opens it. She gets the briefest glimpse of Nyryx’s true form before he possesses Theodore. Moira questions Nyryx about how he was captured.
Nyryx says Jezelle was captured by the Sisters for attempting to gain access to their spirit well. He went to find Anastasia to appeal to her on Jezelle’s behalf when they were both attacked by Brother Ezekiel’s acolytes and bottled up. The Path of Echoes had worked very hard to lay a trap for Anastasia, and Nyryx was in the wrong place at the wrong time. He confirms that Brother Ezekiel is correct about Anastasia being the most powerful ghost in the city, though he can’t speak to any demonic pact the Sisters might have made.
Moira mentions the spirit well in Crow’s Foot that Shade showed her. Nyryx tells her to strongly advise Shade to buy up all the buildings around the well, tear them all down, and build a fortress around it. He implies that the spirit well controlled by the Dimmer Sisters is inside Dimmer Manor.
Nyryx thanks Moira, and says that he’s in the Dolls’ debt.
Kobb will look into the city council to see if any of them are connected with the Path of Echoes.# dontmesswiththedolls