The Porcelain Dolls: Session 12 (April 26 2016)

Downtime after the Luxury Fence Claim:

Boots gets his broken nose treated and goes to play cards for a while.

Constance works on clearing out the machinery from the factory, and trains Prowess.

Gears helps Constance with clearing out the machinery and goes to spy on the Docks. In the late afternoon he sees a ship crew bring an unmarked crate off the ship and into Ferros’ warehouse as surreptitiously as possible.

The Unmarked Crate Job:

There is a particular warehouse in The Docks, controlled by the Seaside Dockers. The crates that come in and out of this warehouse are all marked with a series of 10 digit tracking numbers. However, recently a crate came into the warehouse with no visible markings on it. This has piqued the crew’s curiosity.

Gears gathers info by visiting an old friend named Milos, an ex-docker who retired with a bad back. Milos explains the numbering system. Certain pairs of digits denote what shipping company is moving it, its port of origin, the destination port, and other miscellaneous information. Once a crate is brought into the city, the local warehouse has the corresponding paperwork to inform its final destination within the city, and whether it’s to be delivered or picked up.

Boots watches the warehouse while walking Valter, keeping track of the comings and goings, and notes some consistency to the pattern of numbers, as well as when and how they are updated or removed as the crates move through the warehouse (crates are frequently reused, and the old numbers are just painted over). He also collects samples of fur from the goats used to pull the delivery carts and stores them for later use in tracking.

Constance and Marlane go to The Black Tree, a pub in the Docks where Ferros’ dockworkers hang out. They pick a fight with the dockworkers, and injure a number of them enough that they will miss work. The next day Constance watches the tenement building where some of the injured workers live, and sees the shift supervisor Frost come to check on the workers who have failed to show up to work. She ambushes him and ties him up, questioning him about his home address and correctly guessing that he has a wife. She visits his wife (and infant son) at home, and strong-arms Frost into giving up his paperwork. She brings it back to the crew, and they locate the line indicating when the unlabeled crate is to be delivered (day after next) and where (Shade, passing through, recognizes the address as belonging to Lord Scurlock). Gears forges a change of address to have it delivered to The Hive, and Kamali returns the papers to Frost’s wife.

A day and a half later, Boots is walking Valter near the warehouse again when the crate is loaded onto a delivery cart. When he sees which goats are being used to pull the cart, he has Valter track by scent, and sure enough, the cart goes to the warehouse owned by The Hive. Boots arrives just as the cart is leaving, and finds Corville & Lady Casslyn in the entryway with the crate. He informs them who it belongs to and how it arrived there. Upon learning that the crate belongs to Lord Scurlock, Lady Casslyn wants nothing to do with it, and immediately has Corville get a carriage ready so she can deliver it personally to Lord Scurlock, along with a heartfelt apology for any inconvenience. She thanks Boots, and informs him that this certainly fulfills their obligation, and pending Lord Scurlock’s reaction to the Dockers, she will release Basran from his contract.


There was some nifty foreshadowing of the force of nature that is Lord Scurlock. The mere mention of his name was enough to make a senior lieutenant of the Hive extremely nervous.

Another house rule we instituted was that I am allowing the crew to gain certain upgrades through the completion of long term projects, rather than XP and crew playbook advances, since those have been coming fairly slowly. The first item on their agenda is Quarters, so the first project is to clear out all the machinery from the factory floor, and divide that space up until smaller rooms.