The Porcelain Dolls: Session 13 (April 30 2016)

Gloves and Kamali, left to their own devices, decide to go get some real food, and head to the Iruvian quarter in Silkshore. Over kebabs and a hookah, Gloves expounds on his family history at length; his father was a Court Philosopher, whose job was to be a sounding board of sorts, one of many advisors to the Sultan. Kamali, for obvious reasons, gives very little information about her background.

Shade is in a bookstore in Silkshore with Setarra. She is arguing with the shopkeeper over the price of a particular book when Shade notices Gloves and Kamali walking past outside. Setarra greets Gloves respectfully in Iruvian (“A thousand blessings upon your House”), but Kamali keeps her distance, and once Shade and Setarra excuse themselves, spits on the ground.

The next morning, Shade finds himself at a loose end, so he and Gloves and Kamali nose around for various rumors. They find the following:

  • Edward Clermont boasts that his new safe (a Turner 302) is invincible.
  • The Path of Echoes are willing to pay top coin for inhabited spirit bottles, no questions asked.
  • There is a new drug called Lure made from leviathan blood that turns people into demons.
  • The Ministry of Transport is taking over the Gondoliers

Kamali decides that cracking the safe is an opportunity too wonderful to pass up, so she takes Gloves and Shade to meet Frake, a locksmith who has a shop in Nightmarket. Frake is a dwarf who is very skilled at his trade. He knows about the Turner 302, a new model of safe from the Turner Security Company, that has a reputation of being uncrackable due to several new advances. He doesn’t have one in stock yet, but he does have the blueprints for it. He loans them to Kamali in exchange for the usual price: a game of chess, which she loses. He critiques her performance afterward, saying that she plays too defensively. “Chess is a game about armies advancing on one another on a battlefield, not about withstanding a siege.”

That evening, the crew sets about gathering information on Clermont’s townhouse, located in Six Towers. Shade attunes to the ghost field, and discovers the bum he killed way back when has been following him around this whole time. They make a deal; if the ghost goes in and scopes out the house, and in return Shade is supposed to end his suffering by dissipating him. The ghost holds up his end of the bargain (learning the location of the safe and the fact that it contains lots of cash and some papers), but when the time comes for Shade to do his part, instead of keeping his word and discorporating the ghost, Shade uses his spirit hook and stuffs him in a bottle. And thus we are reminded (much like in Sons of Anarchy and Peaky Blinders), the PCs may be the protagonists, but they are not nice people, and they are NOT the heroes.

Gloves hangs out near the side door to Clermont’s house, and seduces his maid. After some clever conversation and no small amount of flattery, they adjourn to the maid’s bedroom in the basement of the townhouse.

Later, Kamali sneaks into Clermont’s house, gets the layout and scopes out whatever’s valuable, but doesn’t take anything. She learns that Clermont works for the Skovlan Consulate.

Shortly after Kamali leaves, Gloves is still in bed with the maid when her uncle, Clermont’s butler, knocks on the door demanding to know why she hasn’t been about her duties around the house. There is some tense conversation while Gloves hides in the wardrobe, but it isn’t long before the butler becomes suspicious, barges in, and proceeds to search the room. Finding Gloves in the wardrobe, he orders his niece to go call the Bluecoats, and plans to detain Gloves in the sitting room (aided by a hastily grabbed fire poker) until they arrive. After about half an hour, when it becomes obvious that the Bluecoats aren’t coming, the butler is left in the unfortunate position of not being able to do anything about it himself without letting Gloves out of his sight (Gloves graciously offers to go summon the Bluecoats himself, but the butler is not amused). He ponders simply shooting Gloves, but decides that will cause more problems than it would solve, so in the end, he lets Gloves go, warning him that he will kill Gloves if he sees him near the house again.


This was originally intended to be a fill-in session with just Gloves and Kamali, as Shade’s player would be out, but he was available at the last minute, so it was the whole group after all, and we got to see the B Team doing a side job away from the rest of the group.

Also, that last scene with Gloves and the butler actually happened at the beginning of Session 14, after a discussion regarding 4/5 results. The roll for Gloves to seduce the maid was a 5, and it was pointed out that I didn’t really inflict any kind of consequence on him for that roll at the time. I have resolved to take 4/5 results as opportunities to make things more interesting.