The Porcelain Dolls: Session 47 (December 28 2016)

Note: Originally posted to the Blades in the Dark Google+ Community in January 2017.

Constance discusses the Doskvol City Council members with Lady Drake:

  • Ellsworth Dunne (Charhollow): Missing.
  • Matthias Brogan (Charterhall): Arrested and convicted of treason, currently in Ironhook.
  • Hosea Cawley (Crow’s Foot): Dead, courtesy of the Strays (at Ellsworth’s behest).
  • Ettore Rodia (Nightmarket): In Constance’s pocket.
  • Arnold Beckham (Whitecrown): Possibly favorable.
  • Kent Hansen (Coalridge): Possibly favorable.
  • Alda Monaghan (Brightstone): Possibly favorable.
  • Sabine Lyness (Six Towers): Complete unknown. Appointed shortly before Lord Brogan was arrested.
  • Kabeer Wakim (Silkshore): Not likely favorable, for cultural reasons.
  • Gomberto Santoli (Barrowcleft): Not likely favorable, for political reasons.
  • Tobias Norgaard (The Docks): Not likely favorable, for cultural reasons.
  • Emmet Taylor (Dunslough): Not likely favorable, for personal reasons (which Lady Drake is initially unwilling to divulge).

Santoli’s issues with Lady Drake have entirely to do with his disapproval of some of the decisions she’s made in court. He believes her to be entirely too lenient on crime.

Norgaard was appointed at the behest of the Skovlan Consulate 10 years ago, against his wishes. He does his job, but he’s not happy about it, and he’s not happy that he has to deal every day with the Akorosi that subjugated his people. However, his sense of duty has thus far overridden his desire to go home.

Wakim is a truly rare thing in this world: an idealist. He really believes he can make a difference in his adopted city. However, the numerous racially motivated incidents in Silkshore have taken their toll. His resolve has been weakened, and he has been growing increasingly intolerant. The attack on the butcher shop has not helped matters at all.

Constance presses the issue of the personal grudge involving Lord Taylor. At first Lady Drake advises Constance to leave it alone, and insists simply that Taylor will not be swayed. When Constance threatens to walk out on the whole affair, Lady Drake reluctantly confesses that Taylor had some business dealings with the late Lord Drake, and it didn’t end well. It becomes clear that the botched investment is the reason for Lady Drake’s diminished financial state, but she assures Constance that the debt has been paid. However, Taylor blames Lady Drake for influencing her husband in certain decisions. Taylor is a traditionalist, and believes that women have no place in business (much less government). Constance determines that Lady Drake’s reluctance to speak stems from the pain she feels at the mention of her late husband.

Lady Drake agrees to speak to Rodia, Beckham, Hansen, and Monaghan to secure their votes. Constance agrees to look into the rest.

The crew holds a meeting, and Constance doles out the assignments:

  • The Skovlanders (specifically Markus and Clermont) will be dispatched to work on Norgaard, and offer him a share in the shipping company.
  • Gears will approach Sabine Lyness. Constance gives him a Coin to grease the wheels, and authorizes him to promise more, as long as it doesn’t get out of hand.
  • Kamali will approach Wakim, and appeal to him as a fellow Iruvian.
  • Constance will speak to Taylor herself.

Gather Info:

Constance goes to Dunslough, but at the Devil’s Tooth, the bartender says that Markus is currently at work. Constance decides that work is work, and you don’t interrupt a man while he’s working. Instead she goes to Charterhall and visits Clermont at his office in the Skovlan Consulate. She lays out the plan to get Lady Drake appointed to the Council, and asks him to speak to Lord Norgaard on her behalf, and offer him a stake in the shipping company in return. Clermont agrees to speak to Norgaard that afternoon.

Gears goes to City Hall to speak to Lady Sabine. Her office is adorned with several intricate clockwork mechanisms, and these immediately draw Gears’ attention. It turns out that Sabine is the granddaughter of Benedict Lyness, a famous inventor. The conversation ends up going very well, and Sabine agrees to vote for Lady Drake, but Gears gives away a little more about the business than he should when he mentions the Moon’s Daughter (Devil’s Bargain). It is hinted that Sabine is agreeable to Gears returning at a later date to take a closer look at her grandfather’s work.

Kamali visits Lord Wakim at his residence that night, a surprisingly humble townhouse in Silkshore, which is decorated quite traditionally. She gives him a letter “written” by Constance. It asks that he vote for Lady Drake, and in return Constance offers to eliminate an enemy of his choice. He’s impressed by the eloquence of the letter, and speculates that Constance was educated at an Iruvian school, which Kamali inwardly finds quite amusing. His primary concern regarding Lady Drake is her stance on social policy. He asks if Lady Drake would be open to working with him to help improve relations between their two cultures, and Kamali responds in the affirmative.

Wakim seems agreeable to the idea of voting for Lady Drake. However, he is unwilling to accept Constance’s offer of a blatantly illegal act, as he believes that justice is the province of the courts and the council, not of the streets. Kamali indicates the city around them, and he responds that he knows all too well the way of things, and thus is not offended by the offer itself. However, he insists that if he were to lower himself to such level, he would lose all hope of maintaining the proper rule of law. She is taken by surprise, as he seems to genuinely believe what he’s saying, and may possibly be the most idealistic person she’s ever met. She speculates that if her father had been like him, her life would have turned out quite differently.

Kamali takes the letter back and writes at the bottom another passage from the Book of Light: “Let he who has been given a crown and permitted to rule in the world of men dispense justice with my wisdom.” In light of this, Wakim acknowledges that even the courts are fallible, and justice may occasionally require outside assistance. If there were (for example) someone who had faced the courts for some heinous crime but was freed on a technicality, then perhaps Constance and her crew could provide a service in the name of justice after all.


It’s become apparent that all of Kamali’s problems stem from how she relates to older men.

Also, Doskvol is not a democracy. The City Council appoints new members themselves (one for each neighborhood), but they are ostensibly answerable to the Lord Governor, who is ostensibly answerable to the Immortal Emperor. However, everyone is usually quite happy to take a fairly hands off approach, so long as the taxes roll on regularly.

More background on Iruvian history and the Book of Light to come.