They took her down a street they called the Vitreous Way, & they led her to a crossroads, where the Sanguine Way & the Osseus Way & the Viscera Way all intersected, a mighty place of a tangle, & there was a court there filled with many lofty thrones all of ghosts & skulls & such piled & crafted cunningly. There were many such seats of power but Gemma wasn't fooled; on the thrones were dolls, made up to look like great potentates, but they were frauds meant to humiliate her if she should debase herself to them, but Gemma was wise. Some say as we shouldn't debase ourself to thrones & such, like Gemma, & that we owe her fealty & no other but friend, I am no politician & I won't say so.
So she walked up, square & tall but cold as the grave, cross a street of souls all beaten down to blocks & bricks. Two of the chairs had boys on 'em, boy kings, skin the colour of vegetable gold & they were the Barely Brothers, or Barley Brothers, & one had two eyes & the other six, & their beards were short & curly. In their hands the carried blowguns, & one had a ball of rubber & the other had a ball of knives, would you believe. They brought out bowls of beer & saucers of whiskey & she drank & drank, but concealed the wound upon her breast, where the drink poured out, & when the brothers were drunk, she tricked them into teaching her to brew a potion from ergot & corn & pennyroyal & they gave her a glass box with an egg, & a snake, a phallus, & five magic beans. Can't say as why, but they did.