[Shade and Penelope are lost this session.]
Boots finds a note from Penelope on the meeting room table, advising the crew to attend an auction at City Hall in two days. He brings the note to Constance, but they have no idea what it’s about. She brings him with her to make the rounds in the Docks, visiting the families of the now deceased employees of the Strangford Trading Company. She encourages them to maintain their silence, with Coin as incentive. In one instance, that doesn’t work, and she follows it up with threats.
On the way back to Crow’s Foot, Boots picks up a newspaper, and learns that the Strangford Trading Company has recently gone in receivership and the warehouse is up for auction. He points out that Penelope had offhandedly mentioned that she found something in the company’s tax records that would make Constance very happy. Boots notes that with the STC bankrupt, there will be a vacancy in the Dockers Union leadership that could be filled by the Skovlan Refugees new trading company, and having their own warehouse would make for a much easier start in business.
Constance expresses her desire to buy a ship, hire a captain, and use it to teach people (specifically children) to sail by sailing it around the bay.
Moira is in the Bucket when a Cypher arrives with a letter, addressed to her and Kamali. It’s from the Dimmer Sisters, informing them that there has been a development in the project they have been assisting with, and would like to meet at some point. Moira finds Kamali in Silkshore, and shows her the letter. They head back to Crow’s Foot and pick up Prichard and the carriage. They ride through Charterhall. As they’re passing by City Hall, they can see Kobb’s niece Sabine being escorted by Bluecoats and ushered into a police wagon.
They continue on to Brightstone, and Prichard brings them to the side entrance of the manor. Seraphina is waiting for them at the gate, saying simply that they are expected. She leads them through the garden to the patio, where Lucrezia Dimmer is taking tea with Roslyn Kellis. Upon seeing Kamali, Roslyn is angry, but Lucrezia silences her with magic, and tells everyone to play nice.
Lucrezia apologizes that Anastasia cannot meet with them as she is very busy at the moment, however she shares with them a notebook filled with detailed instructions on the ritual that they are currently developing to free Tahir’s spirit from the scarab. The ritual is incomplete, but the notes begin with a list of ritual components that Lucrezia asks Kamali to retrieve for them. It’s nothing out of the ordinary, but it will take some time to collect them all.
Lucrezia also mentions that the Sisters are planning something big in three days’ time, to kick off their war against the Path of Echoes, and invites the Dolls to be a part of it if they wish. Kamali indicates that she will pass the information along.
On her way out, Kamali gives Roslyn a blank invoice, to be populated with that Roslyn believes Kamali has cost her, along with an address to send it to once filled out.
Kobb is hanging out in the Black Tree when he’s approached by Sgt. Bartlet, who tells him that Sabine was brought in for questioning regarding the drug paraphernalia found in her desk. They head to the police station, and Kobb has the unique experience of walking in the front door (he’s used to being led in the back and directly into the holding cells). He tells the bored desk sergeant who he’s there to see, and they’re directed to one of the interrogation rooms.
Sabine is sitting at the table, looking none the worse for wear, except for the stricken look on her face. The Bluecoats have not handcuffed her, out of respect for her position and the fact that she did not offer any resistance. She says someone is trying to smear her reputation, and the fact that she left Kobb’s gear in her desk simply provided them a golden opportunity. He asks who would do such a thing, and she’s reluctant to mention anyone by name, pointing to the air vents in the room to indicate that someone may be listening. However, she writes the name Gomberto Santoli in Kobb’s notebook. Santoli was one of the council members that did not vote for Lady Drake to join the ranks of the City Council, due to alleged political differences. In fact, Constance did not even bother approaching him.
Sabine says that her solicitor will be in soon, and the Bluecoats will release her, however, she’ll likely be suspended from her post until the investigation is over. Kobb says he’ll do what he can to help. He’s more than a bit weirded out by the prospect of walking out the front door of the police station unescorted, and without needing to have someone sign for him.
Kamali finds Gears in his workshop. He’s sitting at a long table, poring over paperwork. She hands him a card with Sabine’s name on it, and the police station’s address. He guesses that she’s in trouble, and is ready to head out when Kobb returns. He explains the situation, and Kobb tells him he just came from there.
They sit down to discuss the situation, and Gears advocates that Kobb step up and confess that the gear was his in order to clear his niece’s name. However, Kobb is not willing to do this, as it will only hurt his own reputation, and not necessarily repair Sabine’s standing. It becomes clear that Gears has much more respect for Kobb’s family than Kobb himself does. They discuss what to do about Santoli (who Gears keeps referring to as Santolini).
Gears approaches Kamali, he wants to look into Santoli. Moira wanders in, and Gears brings her up to speed. Kamali hands over her notes from the campaign to get Lady Drake elected.
Preparation for The Wholesale Upscale Blackmail Folktale:
The gang engages in some espionage to dig up dirt on Lord Santoli. Kobb starts calling on his contacts, starting with Marian Dunne. She speculates that it’s all to do with some bit of legislation that he wanted to push through, but Sabine was blocking. She mentions Santoli’s wife Angelina, who doesn’t get out much, and likely isn’t very happy.
Constance and Gears go to talk to Lady Drake. She mentions an initiative to give control of the Gondoliers to the Ministry of Transportation. Santoli is very much in favor of it, and Sabine has been blocking it. Drake says she warned Sabine not to cross Santoli, but Sabine apparently felt very strongly about the Gondoliers remaining an independent organization.# dontmesswiththedolls