The Porcelain Dolls: Session 42 (November 22 2016)

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

Kamali forges some written orders from Ellsworth to an unspecified party to hit the Strays’ HQ. Gears drops them in a conspicuous spot in Strays territory, where he knows they’ll find them.

Engagement roll is 6. Everything goes as planned. The Strays are on edge due to what they found, and have all assembled in their hideout.

Constance, Shade, and Boots head into the apothecary, while the Lampblacks stay outside to keep anyone else from coming in. The shop owner sees what’s about to happen, and with minimal coaxing from Constance, decides he’s overdue for a vacation. They head downstairs and Constance kicks the door in. The Strays are ready for them. There are six of them, three in front with clubs, and two in back guarding the leader, who is armed with a crossbow. Constance wades in and starts swinging. She didn’t bring the anchor, as it’s close quarters, and she’s not actually trying to kill anyone. She gets some good hits in, and takes a couple of knocks in return, before deciding to bowl through to first rank to get to the leader. Upon seeing this, he raises the crossbow. Constance grabs one of the bodyguards and throws him into the leader’s line of fire just as the crossbow goes off. The poor guy gets a crossbow bolt in the back as he tumbles into the leader, sending them both to the ground in a tangle of limbs. Shade manages to stay out of the front ranks’ reach for the time being. Boots hangs back with two pistols at the ready.

Gears, Kamali, and Gloves traverse the sewers, and find the side passage that leads up to the Strays’ back door. Gears doesn’t want to use anything noisy like explosives on the door, and he knows he can’t pick the lock after Kamali jammed it. Instead he applies some acid to the door itself, around the area where the lock is mounted. It takes a few minutes, but by the time they hear the front door team getting busy, the acid has done enough damage that Gears is able to kick the door open, the lock clattering to the ground. They make a beeline for the vault door, which is no match for Kamali. Opening the vault, they set about cleaning it out, transferring everything they can carry to Gears’ cart down in the main tunnel. On the way out, Kamali drops the remaining blackmail material halfway down the stairs, and fires a single shot from a Derringer-type holdout pistol.

Upon hearing the signal, Constance is able to down the other bodyguard and disengage, but Shade isn’t so lucky. Boots comes to the rescue and hits each of the remaining front-rankers. The shots aren’t fatal, but they’re enough to distract the thugs long enough for Boots to help Shade retreat while Constance drags one of the shelves from the shop and topples it down the stairs to block the doorway, at least temporarily. The crew makes their escape while the Strays are picking themselves up and trying to figure out what the hell just happened.

Aftermath:

Rep: 1
Coin: 8, -1 for the tithe to the Crows, +8 from the Drug Dens and the Gambling Dens
Heat: 3. They managed to not kill anyone, but it was not exactly a quiet job, and the Strays qualify as a well-connected target.
Entanglement: None

Downtime:

Constance starts by reducing Heat (and manages to clear it all), Heals, and Reduces Stress. Yanth Agog appears, and directs her to go back to Coalridge to find Ellie, the pregnant woman she saved from being trampled by a runaway cart back in Session 20. Constance finds her exactly where she was told she would, and escorts her back to her home, where it is evident that the baby will not wait any longer. Constance assists in delivering a baby boy. Ellie tells Constance that her husband can’t know about Yanth Agog, but she knows that someday He will come for the child. Constance looks into the child’s eyes, and just for a moment, sees something ancient and alien staring back.

Kamali trains Playbook, and Gathers Info on the Skovlanders by going back to Clermont’s safe. The situation is continuing to escalate, and Clermont is evidently not happy that his orders continue to be “observe and don’t intervene”. The Grinders have retaliated very recently, and several of the refugees that Shade was acquainted with have been killed.

Shade reduces Stress, and Heals. He also spends a Coin to cast a Ritual.

Gears works on the carriage (completing the project), and starts a new project to mount the cannon on the carriage (and gets 4 ticks).

Notes:

Nice basic heist. I made good on my promise to myself to start hammering them with Harm, and the job felt appropriately dangerous as a result. I made it clear at the beginning of the fight that the Strays were not out to kill them outright just yet, as they certainly wanted to know exactly who was stupid enough to try and mess with them in their own hideout. Once Constance dropped the first guy however, they realized what was at stake, and the leader immediately went for his crossbow.

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