The Porcelain Dolls: Session 61 (April 12 2017)

Note: Originally posted to the Blades in the Dark Google+ Community on April 26 2017.

After attuning to the scarab artifact, Kamali finds herself in a dreamscape where she encounters Tahir Bashara, the Iruvian noble who was tricked by the Demon Prince Ixis into touching the artifact and had become imprisoned within it. Kamali takes Tahir’s hand, and the scene becomes vivid and lifelike. They are in a sitting room in a lavishly appointed palace in U’Duasha. Tahir shows Kamali a shimmering portal, and when he attempts to interact with it, he receives a visible shock. And thus he is trapped. He asks how long it’s been, she writes down the current year. He asks if House Ankhuset is still in power (as far as she knows, they are).

She promises to get help, but he’s skeptical as to whether it’s even possible. She attempts to leave via the portal, and finds herself back in her room, but she is now holding the scarab. She instinctively drops it back into the lead box.

Constance receives a message that the Spirit Wardens are releasing Moira, and they want her to collect her, as she was named as the girl’s guardian. She sends Shade and Kobb with a couple of Coin to retrieve Moira from the Crematorium.

Moira was questioned by the Spirit Wardens in relation to someone using arcane abilities to commit some very serious crimes. She was able to figure out from the conversation between the interrogators that they suspected that she might be working for the Dimmer Sisters. Once it became obvious that she was not involved in whatever they’re investigating, they had to cut her loose. However, the experience was not a pleasant one, and it has clearly marked her.

The desk sergeant is annoyed that Constance didn’t show up in person to take custody of Moira, but is so overworked that he’s glad to simply be rid of the girl as long as someone signs for her, which Kobb is happy to do.

Constance and Boots also head to Charhollow, to deal with Hook. They intercept a couple of young boys acting as lookouts on the front step of the tenement building where Hook is supposedly staying, and manage to keep them from raising the alarm. Constance heads upstairs and finds Hook hanging out with four of his friends. She manages to cow the lot of them except for Hook himself. He’s Tycherosi, nearly as tall as Constance herself, and extremely sure of himself. He’s amused when Constance throws her manacles on the table in front of him and tells him to put them on.

Hook goes toe to toe with Constance, and he’s so overconfident that he fights barehanded. However, she’s too fast for him, and in short order she gets him into the manacles and knocks him out. She lets his buddies go with a warning that no one crosses the Dolls, and brings him to an abandoned building nearby while Boots retrieves the rest of the crew.

Gloves asks everyone but Boots to wait outside, and produces a single silver spoon from his jacket pocket. He takes his time, and they can hear him waking up Hook, who is at first incredulous, then verbally abusive. The large man’s threats quickly turn to screams of agony, and eventually taper off into whimpers. It takes almost 15 minutes for him to fall completely silent, and when he does, the crew can hear the sounds of a large burden being shifted, followed by a dull thud from below. Gloves opens the door, and his hands are covered in blood. He looks shaken, but assures Constance that he is fine. On his way out, Gloves passes something to Shade; Hook’s severed eyeballs.

When the crew exits the building, they see the broken body on the street below the window. Shade and Moira hear the toll of the crematorium bell, and everyone sees the ravens circling overhead. Gregor asks if they should deal with the body, and Gloves states flatly that the Spirit Wardens need to do their job. He’s not taking any chances that Hook will come back.

After Gloves has a bath and a change of clothes, he meets up with everyone at the Bucket, and they spend the night celebrating.

Preparation for The Red Lamp Tramp Clamp:

Constance calls a meeting. She brings up Clermont, the Skovlander refugee situation, and the Circle of Flame. They agree that Madame Tesslyn needs to be removed.

Moira and Shade take up positions outside the Red Lamp to observe. The exterior has been half-heartedly dressed up in a style vaguely reminiscent of Iruvian architecture. After attuning, they can see a couple of guard ghosts, as well as a network of diverse protection wards around the inside of the place. It seems like far too much effort to keep a mere brothel protected.

Gregor goes to the Hall of Records. He talks to Edmund Bain, who lets him into the archives to see the plans for the Red Lamp. He pinpoints a likely spot to make an unauthorized entry from below ground using the drill.

Gregor follows up on this information by heading down to Nightmarket via the sewers. Constance goes with him. They find a solid metal door in the spot he was planning on drilling. Constance drinks a vial of quicksilver, and asks Yanth Agog to show her His design. She sees the wards on the inside walls. She is able to sketch about half of them before the quicksilver fades.

Kobb and Gloves head to the Red Lamp as well. Gloves expresses his distaste at the decor, as he finds it gaudy and slapdash. He promises to bring Kobb to Silkshore for a proper Iruvian meal in a proper Iruvian restaurant. They enter the establishment and partake of the services. Gloves is able to sneak into the office and get a look at their books, copying down some important names of clients, while Kobb gets a good idea of the interior layout.

Kamali heads to the Skovlan Consulate. She speaks to Karl Dahl, Erik Petersen’s aide. Together, they sketch out a rough idea of Madame Tesslyn’s comings and goings. He says that while she owns the Red Lamp, she doesn’t frequent the place much, except on paydays, once a month, and the next one is tomorrow night. Kamali gets the idea to rob the place, as that will certainly bring Madame Tesslyn running, no matter what the date.

She draws Karl’s portrait, and he asks why she does what she does, when she’s capable of so much more.


The plot thickens. This may be the toughest opposition they’ve faced yet.

Kamali has successfully attuned to the scarab artifact, and navigated the arcane wards without triggering the trap, so she can safely visit Tahir whenever she wants. Actually freeing him is a different matter altogether.