The Porcelain Dolls: Session 62 (April 19 2017)

Note: Originally posted to the Blades in the Dark Google+ Community on May 08 2017.

The Red Lamp Tramp Clamp (Part 1):

The plan has changed. Carrying out an assassination quietly and discreetly would require more legwork than one day will allow. Instead they will stage a robbery while Madame Tesslyn is there, pretend to bungle the job, and kill her in the process. They plan to hit the place hard and fast, a nice simple stickup job. They discuss how to deal with Madame Tesslyn, and Constance assigns the task itself to Kobb. He is not thrilled with the prospect.

Gears will cover the sewer entrance with some of the Lampblacks. Shade and Moira will cover the back door with the rest of the Lampblacks, and everyone else will go right in the front door.

Engagement roll is 5, so default Position is Risky. The crew surrounds the place, and on the agreed-upon signal, Constance, Kobb, Boots, and Gloves enter via the front and Constance makes their intentions clear. They gather everyone from all the rooms and congregate them in one of the sitting rooms off of the front entryway. The madam, Margaret, sees what’s happening, and quietly asks everyone to cooperate. The Complication is that Madame Tesslyn herself has not yet arrived.

Constance has Margaret lead her and Kamali into the office, where Kamali makes a show of attempting to open the safe. Constance and Margaret leave her to it.


Shade, Moira, and Flint are by the back door when some of the wards go off inside, and four ghosts swarm out and attack the group. Shade compels one of the ghosts, and commands it to attack one of the others, while Moira manages to get a lightning hook around the neck of another one.


Kamali decides that the safe is noticeably below par in comparison to the rest of the defenses, so she suspects it’s a decoy, and starts prowling around the place to look for valuables. After not too long, she finds a secret room on the second floor that contains a much more elaborate safe.


Constance is keeping everyone together, but other than that she allows them to make themselves comfortable.

Kobb makes a show of being more nervous and jumpy than he really is, but ends up overselling it, and Margaret picks up on it. She attempts to convince Constance that they’ve taken on more than they can handle, and they should simply leave, and everyone will forget all about the incident. Constance is having none of it, and threatens Margaret, who promptly faints.


Shade is able to hook one of the ghosts as it takes a swipe at Flint. The ghost Shade compelled attacks the other free one. Moira wrestles with the ghost on the end of her lightning hook, and it manages to break free, yanking the pole out of her hands. He promptly takes off running, presumably to alert reinforcements.


Kamali deftly opens the safe, and finds lots of cash inside. She makes a quick sketch of the upstairs, denoting the location of the safe, and heads back downstairs.


Constance sends Kobb into the other room to retrieve a replacement for Margaret at the front desk. A dark-haired Severosi girl named Penelope volunteers. She reveals that she used to work at a bank, and this is not the first time she’s been in this situation. He brings her to the front to man the desk and turn away anyone that shows up looking for services. Kamali returns from upstairs and delivers her sketch to Constance.


The compelled ghost has managed to subdue the fourth one, and Flint makes short work of it, forcing it into a spirit bottle. Shade commands the compelled ghost to pursue the fleeing one. He then manages to bottle the ghost he had on the hook. Moira and Flint both take off after the two remaining ghosts.


The bell chimes as the front door opens, and two off-duty Bluecoats enter, obviously quite inebriated. One of them launches into a barely coherent story about how his buddy just got promoted, so they’re there to celebrate. Penelope gives them a story about how the establishment is currently undergoing renovations and thus closed for business, and in any case the two of them are clearly far too drunk to properly enjoy their services properly anyway. She recommends an inn nearby where they can sleep it off in comfort. Boots accompanies her as she leads to two men outside.

Constance notices Kobb drinking from a flask, and they discuss his anxiety regarding carrying out her instructions and shooting Madame Tesslyn in the head when she arrives. It is apparent that Kobb has never killed anyone (and possibly never even raised a hand to anyone). She tells him he doesn’t have to shoot her, as there is another way. When Penelope and Boots return from outside (without the two drunk Bluecoats), Constance asks her to fetch a sleeping pill.


Moira has spent 9 years with the Eels, and if there’s one thing you learn living with street urchins, it’s how to run faster than anyone else. She manages to get a hold of her errant spirit hook and give the pole a good yank, which brings the fleeing ghost up short. Flint tosses her a bottle as the compelled ghost begins to come to his senses, just in time to get hooked by Flint. Together they bring both ghosts down into the bottles, which are kicking and smoking as they clamp the lids shut.


There’s another 20 or so very tense minutes, during which Penelope is able to turn away several potential customers (all of which were thankfully less enthusiastic than the Bluecoats).

Finally, the door opens, and a severely dressed woman with pale skin and auburn hair walks in. Penelope immediately rises to her feet. Constance brings everyone into the front room, and Madame Tesslyn sees the weapons, just as the door opens and her two bodyguards enter.

Kobb draws his pistol and fires at one of the guards, but unfortunately misses by a mile. The man charges forward in response, but Constance interposes herself and unleashes Glorious Visage. The guard that Kobb shot at is rooted to the spot, completely transfixed by Constance. The other guard scrambles madly for the door behind him. Kobb, who managed to shield his eyes, attempts to intercept the second guard, but he’s too far gone, and even a pistol placed against the side of his head won’t deter him from attempting to flee.

The rest of the room is in a similar state. Penelope, the other girls, and the erstwhile clients are all backing away, cowering in terror, or attempting to retreat. In fact, the only one who seems unaffected by all this is Madame Tesslyn herself, who stands quite still with a somewhat amused expression on her face.

“Impressive. My turn.”

Notes:

An assassination morphed into an armed robbery, which then morphed into a hostage situation. Can’t wait to see what it morphs into next.

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