The Porcelain Dolls: Session 40 (November 03 2016)

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

Shade and Boots sit on their Stray prisoners until Constance arrives. She dismisses Boots, telling him to send a message to Inspector Woll, and have him meet them at the quarry. Shade helps set up a spooky atmosphere in which to question the prisoners.

Constance heads over to the neighboring room across the hall, bangs on the door, and offers some money to the occupants (a young couple engaged in some very personal business) to vacate the premises. Upon seeing the cash, they retreat forthwith, pausing only to hastily put enough of their clothes back on to make a dignified exit.

Constance questions the prisoners separately at first, then all together, telling them that one of them will go free, and the other two will go to Ironhook. The three give up Ellsworth almost immediately, but when it becomes clear to the two larger prisoners, Vladimir and Abdur, that the smallest of the three, Willy, had managed to answer first, they turn on him and toss him out the window. Because fuck him.

Constance has Shade go retrieve Inspector Woll as the crematorium bell tolls, and the ravens are seen circling overhead. Shade brings Woll in to see the remaining two prisoners, and he takes charge of the situation. Vladimir all but confesses to killing Willy. This is good enough for Woll, and he asks Constance to go to the nearest watch station and bring the Bluecoats. Thoroughly bemused by the thought of actively aiding the law, she does so.


Payoff: Constance got 3 Coin off Ulstano. She paid 1 to the Gondolier.
Heat: 2. Willie was killed, but the Inspector got a confession out of Vladimir, so it doesn’t come back on the Dolls.

Constance: Reduces Heat by using Command to threaten everyone in the flophouse to keep their mouths shut. She also reduces Stress, going up to the roof of the factory to listen for the Voice of Yanth Agog. He appears, as usual, as a shadow just barely visible out of the corner of her eye over her shoulder. He tells her that she has been following His instructions well, and she is to be rewarded. He tells her to turn around and look at Him. When she does, the world explodes into a cacophony of light, sound, and sensation, that lasts either an eternity or a fraction of a second, depending on your point of view. Before she can claw her own eyes out, the experience ends, and she finds herself in a wholly unfamiliar location. It’s a city, but not like any she’s ever seen.

Kamali: Trains playbook and reduces stress.

Shade: Finishes the ghost manifest ritual, and picks up Quellyn to investigate Sebjorn. After a successful Attune roll, they find his trail, and it leads to an apparently unclaimed Spirit Well in Crow’s Foot. Jezelle, who had been covertly following them, is transfixed by the sight of the thing, and despite Quellyn’s warnings (and prompted by Shade’s urging), steps forward into the spirit well. The last thing Shade hears of Quellyn screaming “Do something!” before everything explodes. [Note: Shade still has one downtime action left.]

Gears: Reduces stress, and starts a project to build a carriage (and gets halfway).


It turns out that Constance didn’t travel all that far after all. The unfamiliar location she’s found herself is on the roof of one of the more opulent manor houses in Whitecrown. Finding no convenient way down to the ground, which is easily ten stories below her, she pries up some roof tiles and knocks a hole in the ceiling underneath to get into one of the attics. From there she makes her way down to the front entrance. All the while, anyone she comes across, servant and guard alike, is frozen to the spot at the sight of her, seemingly in abject terror. She makes it out onto the street unmolested, and begins the long walk home. Across Bowmore Bridge, through Brightstone and the Docks, the reactions of terror from passersby continue all the way back to Crow’s Foot, and even when she enters the Bucket.

Turns out she’s been missing for three days, and her Lampblack cohort have been busy whipping themselves up into a frenzy, convinced that someone had actually managed to kidnap her, and are just about ready to go out and start rampaging to find her. With her newly purchased Glorious Visage veteran advance, she shocks them into submission (and in the process completes the project to remove their Wild trait).


A side plot session, to be sure, but no small amount of personal drama going on, and Constance’s Forgotten Gods arc comes to a head. The reaction from Constance’s player when I said “Turn around” was well worth the wait.