The motley moves quickly to secure Kyoko and neutralize the Duchess Eloyse.
"I've given an answer that I know is correct, and yet sometimes the information on the card isn't right."
Sophia is still in Kyoko's dream, the latter anxious that if she were to wake up, perhaps the Duchess Eloyse's curse will strike. Why, she asks, would the Duchess create a puzzle for the motley to solve, when she could just as easily curse all of the Kyokos in the meat locker? Sophia uses her Oneiromancy to craft Kyoko's deeper fears into a place, and they suddenly find themselves inside a very well-appointed boudoire. Kyoko, embarrassed, explains that this is King Meilge's private chambers, where she did what she had to in order to try to steal his mask away. Perhaps there is evidence of the Duchess' involvement with Meilge somewhere in this dream-version of his room? Sophia comforts Kyoko as she relives some of the trauma of the experience, and summons Whisper into the dream. Kyoko uses the blade to destroy Meilge's mask (again), realizing that this was the trap all along: had any of the motley touched her, they would have been compelled to return to Willows!
In the atrium of the Chateau Frontenac, Patches' illusion of Sir Xaeron confronts the illusion of Duchess Eloyse. The latter demands they duel, and Patches shade of Xaeron falls to the Duchess in combat, leaving the Duchess demanding that she honour her contract. Her use of Dictum fails, however, targeting a chimerical creation instead of the real Kithain. Patches gets a shot off on the real Duchess Eloyse, causing her to retreat. Braum takes this opening to grab the Baroness Akanthea, hoping to find the thing that the Duchess returned to her freehold to protect.
As Braum and Akanthea race up to the Duchess' quarters, taking a minute to convince Elevator Slug to come back to The Spark, Patches bounds up the stairs after the Duchess herself. Steeling herself, she smashes open the door, finding the Duchess sitting at the far end of the table. Patches' rifle comes up, and the bullets find their mark, exploding the Duchess' head! Which is exactly when the Duchess' casting of Veiled Eyes drops….
Stepping out of Kyoko's dream, Sophia finds herself face to face with eight armed guards of House Beaumayn, recently unveiled after the end of the Duchess' cantrip; Braum, likewise, is surprised by eight guards. Patches, meanwhile, is surrounded by eleven soldiers, one of whom she notices is the Duchess herself! The nocker, hoping to gain a tactical advantage, blows out a window and leaps out of it, using her Wayfare to fly back up, firing down into the soldiers in the boardroom. Sir Xaeron strides through the door, vowing to destroy the Duchess in this moment while tossing a hapless guard out the window.
As their fight continues, Braum holds off the eight assailants by threatening to break one over his knee, allowing the Baroness the time needed to run off and collect Eloyse's diary. While the guards of House Beaumayn are dismayed by the actions of an honourable knight of the Red Branch, Braum maintains that he did what he needed to do in order to bring justice to the kingdom. Sophia, meanwhile, intimidates the other Beaumayn guards in her own way, by conjuring up spikes of ice in a terrifying display of force. She is so effective that she convinces the guards to spread out and find her motley, as well as help her get Kyoko out safely. Claude, barricaded in the basement at the balefire, calls her, telling her that the sooner she can get someone there to take the balefire from Eloyse, the better.
Sophia has Alnek bring her both Duke Granville and Faerilyth, the two high-ranking nobles she feels will be able to best control the Chateau Frontenac until further notice. Sophia rescues Claude from another gang of Beaumayn warriors while the Duke and Faerilyth start on taking control of the Chateau's balefire. Just as Duke Granville is in the midst of securing the freehold for House Fiona, Patches fires the decisive shot that takes out the Duchess Eloyse, leaving her unenchanted body on the cold floor. Sir Xaeron calls for Patches' sidearm, and fires into Eloyse once, twice, three times, leaving the Duchess well and truly dead. Xaeron and Patches disperse the rest of the bodyguards as they rush back to the van.
Knowing that the freehold is safe, under the protection of Duke Granville and Faerilyth, the motley discover an armoire full of Changeling blood. Sophia, horrified, realizes that the Duchess was indeed in league with the vampires, using the dark creatures to fulfill her own demented plans. The motley, along with Akanthea, Elevator Slug, Kyoko, Claude, and Xaeron, start the drive back to Montreal and the Spark, thinking about their next steps. Sophia discovers sections of Eloyse's diary written in invisible ink while Kyoko laughs aloud with Braum, safe. Patches gets a call from an impressed Zistor Flexx, warning her that the two of them have been summoned to the Grand Bes Din….