The Porcelain Dolls Session 19: June 06 2016

Note: Originally posted to the Blades in the Dark Google+ Community in July 2016.

Shade goes to infiltrate the Skovlan refugees. We decide that this is going to take some time, so Shade is Lost for the time being. When he comes back, he will have a story to tell. Boots is also still Lost due to gambling (he’ll be back at the end of this job).

The Church Merch Search & Lurch:

Everyone else convenes to go over Gloves’ info. There are several promising points of entry. It’s decided that Constance and Gears will go in through the sewers and drill their way into the wall of the vault. Gloves and Kamali will disguise themselves as acolytes and enter the basement from above. Gloves will act as lookout and create a distraction if necessary while Kamali attempts to locate and open the vault.

Gears crits on a Tinker roll to build a hydraulic drill, mounted on a raft in the sewers and powered by a foot-operated bellows pump.

I gave them 3 dice on the Engagement roll, because the Church was not at all expecting this incursion, but they are a higher Tier than the Dolls. Wouldn’t you know it, they rolled three 1s.

So everything starts off perfect. Gears breaks his drill down to serveral main components that can be carried around and assembled later. They head down into the sewers and Gears locates the tunnel that adjoins the basement of the church. They put the drill together and start it up. It’s loud, but not as loud as a combustion engine would be. They start drilling exactly at noon, in order to use the sound of the bells pealing out across the city to mask the sounds from below. They start drilling into the ancient brickwork, and not too long after, there’s a loud whine, and the drill stops. They pull it out, and find that behind the brickwork of the wall is a solid metal plate.

Gloves and Kamali have acquired acolytes’ robes, enter the church, and head to the side hallway that leads to the basement. Kamali heads downstairs while Gloves stands lookout. She hears him talking to someone as she heads down the hallway in the basement. She finds monastery-style meditation cells, and around the corner the hallway branches off in a T-intersection, at the end of which is an iron door with a heavy lock on it. Bingo. She downs a silence potion and gets to work with her lockpicks, noticing the intricately drawn ritual circle on the ceiling above her. The moment she touches the lock, she hears a faint whispering which she realizes that if it had not been for the potion would likely be an ear-piercing shriek, centered on the circle above her.

Gloves is approached by an acolyte who tries to get past him to go downstairs for his daily meditation. Gloves engineers a pratfall, and fakes an injured leg. I offer him a Devil’s Bargain to make the injury real, but he declines. It’s alright, as the roll is good enough to convince the acolyte that Gloves needs medical attention.

Constance and Gears do some probing along the wall, and come to the end of the metal plate. Turns out only the wall facing the sewer was reinforced, so they are able to dismantle the brickwork and start bending the metal back and are able to peer into the vault. This is also fairly loud, and they don’t have the bells to cover it up any more, so I throw down two opposing clocks, one for their efforts to expand the breach, and another for the acolytes to hear something. The gap is widened enough for Gears to squeeze past, and he lights a lamp and begins looking for the statue.

The dice are not on Kamali’s side tonight. Try as she might, she can’t get the lock open, and her attempt to set up a trip wire in case anyone comes around the corner also fails. Fortunately, just as she’s about to leave, she hears movement from inside the vault. She gives the secret knock, and Gears responds and opens the door (it having only a latch on the inside) just a crack. Kamali slips inside, and they find the statue in one of the wooden crates. They pass it back to Constance, who is waiting at the breach. There’s a short debate as to whether they should take anything else. Constance decides against it, as there’s only other works of art, and no actual cash around. Kamali locks the vault door again, and they drag one of the larger crates into the corner to cover up their escape. As they make their escape down the tunnel, Kamali moves out range of the magic circle, and it begins emitting its alarm at full blast.

Gloves is having his leg bandaged when there’s an ear-piercing shriek, and the gathered acolytes drop what they’re doing and make a beeline for the vault. The ranking acolyte unlocks the vault, but they don’t notice anything amiss. Gloves assumes that Kamali ran into trouble and aborted the mission, so he heads back upstairs to make his way out the front door. Kamali meets up with him outside, and they head back to the factory.

The group reconvenes, and Constance is there with the statue (she’s using it as a hat rack when Gloves and Kamali arrive). No one is happy about how the job went, but they console themselves with the fact that they got what they came for and got out, and the Church doesn’t seem to know that the statue is missing yet.

Constance and Gears meet with Karstas in one of the now abandoned buildings in The Drop, and he pays them 5 Coin. When Constance mentions how difficult the job was, he gives them another Coin for their trouble. Constance asks about the statues, and Karstas tells them the story of the Twins Who Are One, who figure centrally in a creation myth from several thousand years ago, two siblings who are aspects of the same being that created a sculpture (there is a school of thought that this was a metaphor for a more ‘physical’ act), and in so doing made the world. Many centuries ago, they were locked in a desperate battle with an adversary whose name is lost to time, and they were banished beyond the boundaries of the world. Karstas states that his plan is to attempt to bring the Twins back from wherever they are, in hopes that they will be able to repair the damage caused by the Cataclysm (apparently this isn’t the first such event that has happened in the long history of the world). Karstas assures Constance that the Twins are not in opposition to Yanth Agog (which is technically true, they are from different pantheons).

The group meets with Merrill Brime, who has been in their custody for several days now. Constance orders him to turn over the identities of all of his informants, with the implication being that if he doesn’t, she will decide he’s too dangerous to let live. He begins listing names, which Kamali begins writing down. This lays the groundwork for the Informants claim.

Among the junk that Gears leaves all over the factory is a book which is several hundred years old, but tells the myth of The Iruvian Humunculus, a mixture of machinery and living flesh, inhabited by a human soul, that was supposedly built thousands of years ago. Gears believes it’s just a fairy tale, but that he can make it a reality.


I’ve relaxed my rules on multiple characters a little bit more, since we were down two PCs, so Kamali and Constance were technically on the same job, but on different teams.

I’ve also decided that Hulls do not actually exist yet in my game, and that is what Gears is working on. The difference between his Vice and a Long Term Project is one of scale. It basically moves at the Speed of Plot (much like Yanth Agog’s Grand Design).