The Porcelain Dolls: Session 41 (November 17 2016)

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

Shade wakes up in the alley in Crow’s Foot. It has apparently only been a few minutes. Quellyn wakes up a few moments later, and they take stock of the situation. The Spirit Well is still there. Jezelle is nowhere to be seen. Shade considers informing Setarra of the Spirit Well’s existence, which Quellyn believes is the worst idea ever conceived. She puts up an illusory wall to hide the alley and deter passersby from getting too curious.

Not too long afterward, Jezelle returns to the alley, seeing through the illusion immediately but thoroughly amused by it. She is crackling with spectral energy, and her eyes are solid white. She is more than a bit giddy from the experience, and has been experimenting with her newfound abilities, zapping rats with bolts of energy. She speculates that she should use this power on people that deserve to be punished. Shade and Quellyn have a philosophical difference of opinion on this. They discuss how to proceed, both agreeing that anyone they could possibly ask for information regarding Spirit Wells (The Dimmer Sisters and the Path of Echoes come to mind) would also be someone that certainly shouldn’t be informed of its existence. Quellyn resolves to go look up whatever books she can find on the subject, and they both will work on securing the well in a more permanent fashion.

Shade returns in time to see Constance come back. He is in awe.

The crew discuss business. Shade gives a report on Sebjorn and the Spirit Well. Constance asks Shade about the Skovlanders, he says his cover is intact. She decides Kamali should visit the safe to see if Clermont has any information on their recent activities.

Constance brings up Ellsworth, and Gloves & Kamali give a report of their interactions with Ellsworth’s former blackmail victims. Ridwaan Jaffer (of the Iruvian Consulate) & Ettore Rodia (of the City Council) were both very glad to be out from under Ellsworth’s thumb, and paid a total of 8 Coin for their blackmail information. They will be happy to help deal with Ellsworth when the time comes. However, Luther Curtis was very suspicious of the whole thing, and politely told them to fuck directly off (which they did).

According to the information the crew got from the Lost, the Strays are based in Coalridge, hang out at the Red Lamp pub, and are nominally friendly with the Grinders and the Cabbies. They do not know where the Strays’ HQ actually is as of yet.

Constance has a plan. They will start by planting forged instructions from Ellsworth to some unknown party to hit the Strays’ hideout in a place where the Strays are sure to find it. This will be followed by an actual break-in (the crew will not be wearing anything which would identify them as the Dolls), during which someone (possibly Kamali) will drop the remaining blackmail material for the Strays to discover. If the Strays believe that Ellsworth has sold them out, they are more likely to attempt to capitalize on the blackmail material themselves. Ellsworth will likely see this as the Strays turning on him. Once Ellsworth is cut off from his hired muscle, the crew will hit his house directly, taking anything of value that they can. Finally, the grateful blackmail victims will descend on him and deal with him as they see fit. It is Gears’ intention that the man live long enough to suffer properly.

Preparation & Gather Info:

Gloves puts the word out that Ellsworth is dissatisfied with his arrangement with the Strays, and is looking for outside assistance. However, this doesn’t go as well as he’d hoped (bad roll, -1 to Engagement).

Gears will hang out in the Red Lamp observing. Takes a Devil’s Bargain, and the Strays notice him. But he gets a crit, so it’s worth it (+1 to Engagement). He gives Kamali a detailed report on the members of the Strays that he was able to observe.

Kamali and Boots follow one of the Strays from the Red Lamp all the way back to their HQ, in the basement of an apothecary not too far from the pub. While Boots distracts the shopkeeper with a conversation regarding potential remedies for Valter’s digestive troubles, Kamali is able to slip downstairs unnoticed and scope the place out. Another crit on a desperate roll sees her prowling around the place. She’s able to put together a full map of the place, sees the door to the Strays’ vault (but holds off on opening it right then and there), and finds an emergency exit to the sewers. She decides against leaving the door unlocked, as her policy is to never leave behind any evidence that she was there, so the crew will need to use force if they want to get in that way. She does jam the tumblers of the lock so that if the Strays attempt to use it as their escape route, they will be unable to open it from the inside. She leaves the way she came in, and makes her way back to the hideout to give Constance her report (+2 to Engagement).


A little more planning than is usual for Blades, but we were having fun with it, so it’s all good.

I need to work on coming up with good Devil’s Bargains, and giving them out more often.