The Porcelain Dolls: Session 37 (October 11 2016)

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

Kamali brings Jezelle back to the factory, and they find Shade in the workshop. Jezelle explains that she found Quellyn at the Devil’s Tooth, and followed her back to where she’s staying.

Jezelle leads Shade and Constance to the tenement building in question. She brings them up to the top floor, where she says she can’t go any further, as Quellyn has apparently warded the entire inside of her apartment. Constance knocks on the door several times and is about to knock it down when it’s answered by a very nervous Quellyn. She is deathly afraid of Shade, as she thinks he tried to kill her. At Constance’s urging, she reluctantly dispels the wards and lets them in. There’s some back and forth and it becomes apparent that Shade and Quellyn each think that the other tried to kill them in the alley that night.

Quellyn admits to poisoning Shade (and Jezelle, inadvertently) with Standstill in get him in a position where she could question him about the money he cheated her out of way back when. The timeline looks like this:

  • Some years ago, Shade and Quellyn were working together with another crew, and each got screwed out of a deal, and each thought the other was responsible.
  • More recently, Tocker was in possession of Jezelle’s body non-stop for over a month, which wrecked her physically and emotionally.
  • During the last of the three days that Shade doesn’t remember, he ran across Jezelle and convinced her to accompany him while celebrating. They made their way across the city, bar-hopping until they ended up at the Devil’s Tooth, where they ran into Quellyn. She dosed them with Standstill so she could question Shade while he was incapacitated.
  • Quellyn underestimated Shade’s tolerance for chemical enhancement, as he and Jezelle left the bar and made their way back toward Crow’s Foot, ending up in that alley.
  • Quellyn was about to catch up with them when there was a huge flash of light. It temporarily blinded Quellyn, who thought it was Shade retaliating, and she ran off.
  • Shade succumbed to everything he’d ingested and imbibed over the past three days, while Jezelle, in her weakened state, succumbed to the Standstill (it’s not normally fatal, but with a weak heart, she didn’t have a chance).
  • Her death summoned the Deathseeker Ravens, which signaled the Spirit Wardens, who came to collect both bodies, as the Standstill had slowed Shade’s heart to the point where he appeared dead.

The question remains, if neither Shade nor Quellyn produced the flash of light, who did? They begin to suspect that a third party is messing with both of them. They start going through their respective lists of enemies, and they come across a name they’ve both crossed off: Sebjorn Henrickson, an old associate of theirs. Shade said he left Sebjorn in an exceedingly compromising position about two years ago, and had simply assumed that Sebjorn didn’t survive. Quellyn said he obviously did, because about a year and a half ago she killed Sebjorn herself. She is very certain of it, as she slashed his throat from ear to ear and watched him bleed out. They agree to work together to look into this.

The entire time this has gone on, Jezelle has been somewhat in a state of shock. She was bound and determined to confront her killer, but when she came face to face with Quellyn, her resolve crumbled, and she found herself unable to act. Quellyn realizes how Jezelle died, and actually feels responsible. She and speaks gently to Jezelle, apologizing for the role she played in her death. They’re in the middle of striking a bargain of their own when Shade and Constance make their exit.

Shade meets with Kamali to get her involved. She heads to the Hall of Records to speak to Edmund Bain. After some searching, they are able to find a record of Sebjorn’s death, where it’s noted the date and time the body was found, and the cause of death (throat was cut with a straight razor). There’s a note that the attending physician was unable to establish an exact time of death, and so there an investigation was launched by the Spirit Wardens. It is noted that the investigation is still open.

Meanwhile, Shade goes to the Devil’s Tooth and meets with Henry and Frans. They tell him about the attack they carried out on the Grinders, and how it was a rousing victory. Shade gets the distinct impression that they got extremely lucky, and it is highly likely that their next attempt will not be as successful. Shade mentions Sebjorn, and they get very quiet. They say he was all kinds of bad news, making deals with demons and whatnot. They confirm he died about a year and a half ago, but they don’t know the details.


This is very much Shade’s subplot here, but I was able to work the other characters in as well.