The Porcelain Dolls: Session 64 (May 03 2017)
It’s Thursday night, so Constance is at the Pint and Hound. There’s a bout going on between Sam’s (of Sam’s Place) oldest son Emerson, and a new guy off the docks, a short Skovlander with bright red hair and a big bushy beard. In the middle of all this, Grace the union boss of the Docks waltzes in with two of her toadies, and comes straight up to Constance’s table. She gets right down to it: Constance has been operating a business in her territory, and she’s of the opinion that she’s owed a taste. The Pint and Hound is the Dolls only truly legitimate business venue, so Constance is reluctant to simply kill someone there, even if it is Grace. She tells Grace to name her price. Grace says 25% of the Pint and Hound’s profits, off the top (an obvious insult).
Constance looks at Grace’s two goons, who have taken up positions near the door. She asks which of them is tougher, and Grace calls one of them over, a wall of meat named Marvin. Constance proposes that she fight Marvin one-on-one, and if she loses, she’ll concede to the 25%. However, if she wins, it’s only 10%, and she gets to keep Marvin. Grace agrees.
Constance and Marvin square off. The fight doesn’t take long. She underestimates his speed, and he gets a few good jabs in, but she stomps on his foot and puts him off balance, allowing her to follow up with a brutal swipe to his head. He backs off a bit, and she takes the initiative and attempts to rush at him. However, he’s ready for her and is able to dodge out of the way. He comes in low, attempting to tackle her and get her on the ground, and she counters with a savage elbow to the back of his head.
Constance turns away at that moment and showboats for the crowd a bit, planning to turn back and deliver a roundhouse to Marvin’s head to finish him off. However, this proves disastrous, as she is unable to hear him moving over the shouts of the crowd, and in a flash, he’s on her, with a hand against her throat. He uses his momentum to take her with him as he continues across the ring, and slams her head into one of the wooden posts. He lets go, and her legs give out. Her ears are ringing, blood is streaming down her forehead into her eye, and she’s pretty sure her skull is cracked. She taps out.
After Constance recovers, Grace takes the opportunity to gloat just a bit, and says she’ll stop by at the end of the week for her cut. After she’s gone, Constance discusses the situation with Kobb, Moira, and Boots. Constance doesn’t care about owing money to Grace because she doesn’t plan for Grace to be around much longer.
Meanwhile in Silkshore, Kamali has made the tea, and Kazima pours for them both. She reiterates her warning that the artifact is a bad idea: even being in its presence is incredibly dangerous, and actually attempting to interact with it is playing with fire. Kamali proposes, via writing, a plan to ultimately free Iruvia from the Demon Princes. Kazima asks if she’s heard of the Order of the Hawk, and of course Kamali hasn’t. Kazima retrieves a small book and gives it to Kamali, saying that reading it will reveal a question, and if Kazima sees Kamali again, she will know what Kamali’s answer will be.
Back at the factory, Kamali attempts to get Moira to attune to the scarab. It does not go well. Kamali finds herself in the palace with Tahir, but Moira is nowhere to be seen. Once she’s back out, she sees that Moira is out cold. She managed to resist being trapped in the scarab, but she was knocked unconscious in the process. Kamali does her best to make her comfortable.
Shade is at the Bucket when Angus MacMillan comes to tell him that he’s set up a meeting with Roric. Shade alerts Constance, who says to summon Moira. When Shade finds her, he’s unable to wake her up. He attunes, and can tell that she’s suffered some sort of psychic attack and she’s still struggling with a portion of it. There’s nothing he can do to help, so he leaves her to it.
Angus leads Shade and Constance to Gaddoc station. Constance cannot see Angus, so she’s relying on Shade to communicate between them. They head into an Employees Only area that leads down into the lower levels. In a storage room at the very bottom level of the station, they find Roric, who has possessed the body of an old homeless man. Constance talks to him, and he tells her that Grace killed him, ostensibly as part of a bid to move in on Crow’s Foot, but the war between the Lampblacks and the Red Sashes put a damper on that very quickly. The ironic thing was that Roric’s death was the catalyst for reigniting the conflict in the first place. He asks her to help avenge his death by killing Grace, and Constance says she was going to do that anyway. Roric says that his mind is going, and he’s not always coherent.
Kobb goes to visit his niece. He finds her in her office at City Hall. They have a very pleasant conversation, during which Kobb thoroughly lies to her, says that he’s turned his life around, Constance has found him gainful employment, and what’s more, he’s kicked the Blue Cloud habit. He gives her his old syringe kit as proof. She regards it with distaste, and quickly sweeps it into a desk drawer. [thanks to a Bargain, this will cause problems for her later.]
He asks her if there’s anything he can help her or the Council with, and she says that there isn’t anything at the moment, but she is moved by his offer and will keep it in mind.
On his way out, she asks where exactly he’s working, and he mentions the Pint and Hound. She advises him to ensure that the gambling license and other assorted bits of paperwork are in order.
Back at the factory, Kobb confirms with Boots that the gambling license for the Pint and Hound is indeed current. However, they are likely going to owe a bribe to the inspector at the end of the month. [Next roll for Coin will be at -1.]
Moira has very bad dreams. Ixis attempts to convince Moira to serve him by taking her up to the edge of the tallest building in Brightstone. She refuses, so he instead takes her up to the very top of the Governor’s Stronghold in Whitecrown. She attempts to get a look at him, but all she gets is a glimpse of smoke.
She comments that she smells smoke, and he tells her she should look down. Again, she refuses, and instead leans backward. He doesn’t catch her. She falls, and realizes the stronghold is on fire. She crashes through the roof, breaking many bones, and finds herself in a room engulfed in flames. The pain is excruciating, and she blacks out from smoke inhalation, and finds herself in her bed in the factory, intact if a bit shaken.
Kamali has been sitting by the bed, waiting for her to wake up. Moira says that the demon tried to get her to stop messing with the artifact, so they should resolve to not stop messing with it. [And with that, it’s decided that Moira’s Trauma should be Reckless.]
The confrontation with Grace was a long time coming. Once the Pint and Hound was established, there was a countdown clock that ticked every downtime. BTW, I’d just like to reiterate how much I adore the mechanic of faction clocks, to give the GM some concrete guidelines for “this thing has been brewing for a while, it should happen now.” It reminds the PCs that their actions have consequences, and presents the players a living breathing world, with its own ongoing plots and agendas.