The Porcelain Dolls Session 23: July 06 2016

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

After determining that Fitz did not in fact know that the doll factory is currently in use, the group gives him the bad news. Fitz is disappointed that he will not be able to start up a new business venture, but Constance promises to compensate him for the loss of the building. They discover that Fitz went to great lengths to track down the previous owner, Edmund McDonough.

Constance meets with Karstas, and makes it clear that she is not amused by this recent development, and asks if it’s a declaration of war. Karstas asks Constance if she has ever bothered to declare war on an anthill. He points out that by steering Fitz toward buying the building, he has kept other more inquisitive buyers away from the property, and thus the Dolls have avoided dealing with a potentially unpleasant situation later on. Constance gives him a warning, for what that’s worth.

Gears speaks to his former boss, Edmund McDonough, who is drinking himself into an early grave. McDonough points him to a former foreman, Ellsworth Dunne, who ran the business into the ground, and has since wormed his way onto the City Council (and coincidentally is also responsible for having Gears put away). He is married and has two children. Gears brings this information to the group, and is determined to bring him down.

Constance gets the idea to kidnap the man’s children and hold them for ransom, but the true purpose of the kidnapping is to get everyone out of the house so it can be robbed.

Gather Info for The Rich Kid Rid & Bid:

Boots remembers kidnapping investigations he worked on back in his Bluecoat days, and knows that the most vulnerable point in a kidnapping plan is the ransom handoff. Also, if one has no intention of returning the victim, it’s better to not demand a ransom in the first place, as the Bluecoats devote special attention to those who neglect to free their kidnap victims after the ransom is paid.

Constance gets a handle on areas on the waterfront that are not heavily patrolled, etc. This gives them information on feasible escape routes and secure places to stash the children.

Gloves and Kamali get jobs with a local Iruvian laundry service, and arrange to be in the right place at the right time for a delivery. Gloves gets a hold of the childrens’ tutoring schedules from the help, while Kamali scopes out the house itself after hiding in one of the laundry baskets. She finds a wall safe in the master bedroom.

Gears goes to the city planner’s office and find the plans for Dunne’s home. He corroborates Gloves’ and Kamali’s findings by identifying the servants’ entrance as the most vulnerable spot. He also notices a suspicious empty spot in the basement.

Shade gets Nyryx to help shake down the ghost of a dead Bluecoat named Virgil. There’s a brief struggle, but Shade gets the upper hand. He finds out that Dunne was the one behind the frame-up of Lord Brogan. Shade gets the idea to set up a network of spectral informants. Nyryx is somewhat horrified upon seeing what Shade is capable of.


Everything involving Ellsworth Dunne was completely improvised. It all sprang from a single line from Gears’ player when he went to see McDonough: “Tell me where the son of a bitch is.”