Subsection: 22 August 2018 (Airships and Bow) Up Section: Stratford Subsection: 10 October 2018 (Talking to Dragons) 

26 September 2018 (Hunting Brass Earrings)

The group considers the box: it’s copper, hand-made, and Audrey thinks that the flame motifs pressed into it are more recent than the main construction. Bessie takes a rubbing of them. There’s no indication that it contained anything, apart from a slight smell of roasted garlic.
Bessie tries to divine where the maker of the decoration is now, and gets a fuzzy area covering parts of Westminster and much of the City. Once they’ve recovered, the group goes there: Bessie, Gertrude and Audrey searching in one group, Millie and Lin Tan (who don’t believe they’ve been seen) in the other. There’s rather more shine than expected (particularly about old churches, the London Stone, and a surprising number of shops – especially those where some sort of crafting activity goes on). That’s not very helpful, so they ask among jewellers whether anyone recognises the style of the box; they eventually get a pointer to James Isaacs, over in Aldgate (which is just about inside the divined area).
The shop is narrow but goes back a fair way, and seems to deal in various small metal objects, from copper to gold. The assistant tries to be helpful, but has to call for Mr Isaacs, who’s perhaps in his fifties or sixties; he agrees that the box is the company’s work, though he doesn’t recognise the decoration. Perhaps someone else did it? He goes to ask “Rebecca”, but comes back saying that it’s certainly not their work. (Bessie keeps an eye on the door to the workshop, but Rebecca doesn’t appear.)
There are various pleasing pieces, several with a little shine on them, including a pewter box inlaid with a silver dragon; Gertrude buys an articulated silver brooch in the shape of a snake.
The group waits nearby until closing time, then Bessie goes round to the back (via some narrow passages) while Lin Tan waits across the road and the others are nearby. She waits by the back door in case anyone comes out; nobody does, but after about ten minutes she hears a cough to see one of Brass Earrings’ bodyguards at the end of the passage. The bodyguard accuses her of being a coppers’ nark, and pulls a wooden club; Bessie is aware just in time of someone else coming up on her from behind, and uses a pack of cards as a distraction, spilling them into a distracting cloud as she dodges around and runs for the street. When she gets there she sees that she isn’t being pursued.
Lin Tan stays nearby while the others get together; Bessie realises that she’s on fire, the copper box smouldering in her pocket. She tosses it to the ground, and both she and Gertrude try to trace the other end of whatever’s providing it with power, but all they get is a slight sense of direction. Millie tries to read the mind of whoever’s doing it, also without success, then gets Horatio to eat it. There’s no shine at all from the shop (quite odd, given that there were several small slightly-magical things inside).
Gertrude pawns the snake brooch as quickly as possible, and the group repairs to Audrey’s. They decide to try to jump into the dream realm: Bessie shifts furniture and draws a gateway on one of Audrey’s walls, including representations of the emotionally significant things that people saw while they were there. They all try to push through… and succeed, though it’s immediately apparent that this time there’s no portal behind them, and in fact no way of orientating themselves at all (though gravity seems to be consistent between them).
They try to call the dragon, and the ground gradually shrinks, with the borders of the scale they’re standing on slowly becoming visible. The dragon curls round to talk with them, and through somewhat oblique mental conversation they establish that deception is a thing that it finds entirely alien and incomprehensible (“what a dragon says, is”). The deception in this case seems to have taken the form of pretending (in some magical manner) to be a knight. “The work” can continue later, perhaps when humanity has grown beyond deception, or when the knowledge of how to deceive dragons is lost again? The path to the former is magic: the more you have the ability to make a thing so, the less it is possible to lie. Gertrude asks about how one might advance along this path, but the dragon feels that this is a question one can only answer oneself: one might as well tell someone to bite through the thin part of the shell. (The dragon also addresses Horatio as “little cousin”; he hides behind Millie.)
 Subsection: 22 August 2018 (Airships and Bow) Up Section: Stratford Subsection: 10 October 2018 (Talking to Dragons)