I’ve been a bit remiss in blogging, so I need to smash together a recap for both last night and the previous Tuesday.
Viva-3 pursued her kidnapped boy-toy with furious determination. His parents had received a note forgery in Henry’s handwriting that spun a story about running away with an opera singer. When Viva convinced them that he’d been kidnapped, they allowed her to speak with their solicitor to hire her on retainer. Her only clue aside from the notes was the Knot-Brummels’ footman Benjamin Coates, who had received the forgery.
As it turned out, he had written it on the instruction of strange humanoid creatures that used hypnotism and drank blood. Benjamin seems to be a neverending fount of revelations. The crew hired him on as he intended to leave the KBs’ household and learned that he has devastatingly beautiful handwriting and likes to read. With no formal education.
While investigating Henry’s other paramours, they came across a haunted house full of indestructible little girls and a chimera. They killed the chimera but fled from the little girls and set the house on fire. Fire is a bit of a go-to for this crew. A different, less crazy paramour gave them a note that actually helped them find the place Henry was being held.
Long story short, a cult of Moreau-idealists had him strapped to an altar to be killed so the beast god could use his body as a vessel. The crew balked at the numbers, but then Captain Pico came up with a brilliant plan that drew from The Princess Bride. They set fire to Victor’s cloak to keep the cultists back, while Captain Pico shot the head priest in the head. Penny Dreadful swung on a rope to grab Henry. She rolled so well, she would up kicking the head priest as he fell dead to the ground and stealing his hat into the bargain.
Once Henry was conscious and healed, he was able to fill in some gaps. The little girls, who are quickly becoming a legend in this campaign, are not automata. They’re steel golems. Living, breathing creatures who are affiliated with a crimelady who is known only as The Profile.
After that, they went to Russia, with several goals. It’s the only change cage city that does business with Sky Folk, usually in the form of booze. Scrimshaw wanted to take advantage of this, and wound up with an honest business liaison called Matvey who smoothed the way for them quite a bit. Ace Cardinal continues to be the face of Scrimshaw’s product.
Novella sought out Russian vigilantes, with mixed results. A crazy stunt with a blind man brought her to the attention of Jack of Hearts, a very young vigilante with, it was decided, an adorable aspect highly reminiscent of Jacksepticeye. At first he thought she wanted to be his sidekick, but even after she set him straight, he was well-disposed to her. When she actually decided to take him on board with her–which would involve smuggling him out of a change cage city–he was over the moon.
Thanks to Jack’s contacts, Viva and Victor were able to find lightning guns on the Black Market, sold by a man called Innuendo Willy. He jacked up the prices, due to their being misbegotten and mechanical, but he’ll regret a missed business opportunity thanks to snubbing Viva.
Captain Pico hired a male escort and used her highborn family’s connections to set herself up among the elite. Using her sister’s name. When the ball finally came, everyone was in high alt. Everyone was able to attend. Scrimshaw found a place on the catering staff, Victor acted as bodyguard to Shadow Pico and Sergei (the escort), Ace escorted Novella–who brought Jack with her–and Henry is Viva’s arm candy.
Viva wowed the entire court with her dancing. Novella was treated like a proud mama thanks to Jack’s sweet face, which the assembled aristos complimented as if she had created him from the clay. Ace entertained a flock of bird-fanciers who liked his shoulder hawk.
Jack tried to hoard food and sneak a drink of the harder stuff. Novella caught him at the first, but not the second, and he succeeded in getting tipsy. She did, however, manage to stop Ace from picking pockets at the table, with Viva’s help.
Shadow Pico charmed her way to the czar’s table and his side. There, she learned that there is no chance of his paying them to rescue his daughter as Pico had hoped–Princess Bogdana is a beloved KPop Idol, and he’s proud of her.
However, he is not proud of his sons. In a bid to recoup her losses and still do business, Pico convinced the czar to take a pleasure jaunt on their ship and pretend to be a pirate for a day. He fought this hard. He may have been a jolly, dorky Santa Claus of a man, but he had a strong sense of his responsibility. In the end, the czarina convinced him to go. And to take one of their stupid sons with him.
She later worked out with Victor an agreement to assassinate Prince Stupid by pushing him over the side.
This plot was executed beautifully.
First, Viva piloted the ship through pockets of turbulence, ostensibly to make the ride exciting for the czar. Then Scrimshaw got Prince Stupid thoroughly bladdered–while himself as legendarily unaffected by alcohol as usual. Finally, Victor did the job he’d been hired to do. He convinced Prince Stupid that swinging around on the ship’s ropes would be the greatest fun.
Perhaps it was. Perhaps Prince Stupid died having a grand old time.
They were paid He6,000 all told. The czarina was pleased to have her less idiotic son in the position of heir, and the czar enjoyed himself immensely.