The Porcelain Dolls: Session 65 (May 10 2017)

The Porcelain Dolls: Session 65 (May 10 2017)

The Porcelain Dolls: Session 65 (May 10 2017)

The next night, Moira talks to Shade about helping to find Nyryx, explaining the situation. Shade has had dealings with the Dimmer Sisters before, so he may be able to talk this one out.

Shade finds Kamali in her room reading, and recruits her for the mission. On the way out of the factory, they run into Kobb, and convince him that he should go with them as well.

They take the carriage into Silkshore, and arrive at an antiques shop that belongs to Roslyn Kellis, who caught Kamali trying to rob the place some time ago. She slips off the carriage and disappears into the shadows, and Kobb stays with the cart, while Shade and Moira head inside.

Shade speaks to Roslyn, who speaks to the Sisters by some unknown means in the back room. She says that the sisters don’t have Nyryx, but they might have information on where he is, and offers to set up a meeting at Dimmer Manor in Brightstone. Shade is wary of accepting such an offer, as he is very conscious of all the stories he’s heard about people going into the house and never coming out, and they agree to a compromise: tea in the garden. She says she’ll contact him with a date and time. Shade buys a few knickknacks, and Moira buys a very elegant deck of handpainted Severosi divination cards.

Kamali visits Darmot just as he is about to sit down to eat. She shows him her notes, and she peruses his. He’s been stationed in Dunslough, keeping an eye on the refugees. His higher ups are still worried about Wulfric the Slayer, and she assures him that Wulfric’s job is finished. He asks how she can be sure, and she indicates that she is, in fact, Wulfric. She takes her leave, and gets back to the carriage just as Shade and Moira are exiting the shop. They head back to Crow’s Foot.

Shade brings them to the alley to see the spirit well. After seeing Shade disappear through the illusory wall, they are all able to attune and pass through it (even Kobb, though he only narrowly avoids smacking into the opposite wall as he charges through at speed). Shade explains that Jezelle had developed an addiction to the energy of the well.

Kobb attempts to enter the spirit well. It does not go well (no pun intended). He ends up with frost burns, but also, the last knuckle of his left pinky has gone missing. Not cut off, just… missing. It doesn’t hurt, but he’s disturbed by the occurrence nonetheless.

Kamali and Moira head to Coalridge. There they speak to Theodore, a homeless man that Nyryx possesses, who hangs out in the old railyard. He is very worried about Nyryx, who communicates with him via letters.

Kobb goes to visit the brothel where normally sees Nyryx. There he meets Katie, the woman that Nyryx normally possesses, for the first time. She does her best to answer all his questions, and then suggests that since her time costs the same either way, he might as well enjoy himself.


We learn more about Nyryx, the nicest ghost you’ll ever meet.


The Porcelain Dolls: Session 64 (May 03 2017)

The Porcelain Dolls: Session 64 (May 03 2017)

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.


The Porcelain Dolls: Session 63 (April 26 2017)

The Porcelain Dolls: Session 63 (April 26 2017)

The Porcelain Dolls: Session 63 (April 26 2017)

The Red Lamp Tramp Clamp (Part 2):

Madame Tesslyn speaks directly to Constance, identifying her as the leader of the robbers. She incorrectly guesses that they are working for Ulf Ironborn. Constance says that he is working for them.

They begin some very tense negotiations. Veiled threats are made. Tesslyn agrees to leave the Skovlan refugees alone, in exchange for her life. For the trouble she’s caused, she’s prepared to let the Dolls have the money in the upstairs safe. In addition, she’s prepared to pay them handsomely for any information on Ulf Ironborn’s whereabouts. Constance asks why he’s so important. Tesslyn is reluctant to speak on it at first, but Constance reminds her who’s holding the weapons. Tesslyn says that Ironborn is in possession of a particular item, the Hand of Kotar, and he’s been unwilling to part with it at any price. Moira has heard the name, but Shade knows a bit more about it. Kotar was a powerful figure in Akorosi myth, long before the cataclysm. There are lots of conflicting stories about what he was and what he could do, but they all tend to agree that the Hand, Eye, and Heart of Kotar are all incredibly powerful artifacts.

Constance is not thrilled about the idea of someone getting hold of something so powerful, so she agrees to assist Tesslyn in acquiring the Hand, but insists that her people be allowed a chance to examine it first. Tesslyn agrees. Constance also states that she wants to buy Penelope, gestures to the sack of money that Kamali has retrieved from the safe, and asks Tesslyn to name her price. Tesslyn retrieves a small coin purse from the bag, hands it to Constance, and tells her to put the rest back. Constance questions Penelope’s value, and Tesslyn assures her that she’s getting a bargain. At this point Kobb indirectly threatens Penelope (suggesting that maybe neither party she have her), Tesslyn reacts instinctively, making an arcane gesture that cuts off Kobb’s air supply, but only for a moment.

In response, Constance attacks and knocks Tesslyn out. She then tells Kobb to take Tesslyn upstairs and stage a suicide by hanging. Shade accompanies him to dress up the secret room to look as though the hanging were part of a summoning ritual gone wrong. He draws a ritual circle, places implements and material components, and a chair in the center, upon which Madame Tesslyn is balanced with a noose around her neck. Once the rope is tied off on the side, Shade kicks the chair out, and she drops, her neck snapping instantly. Kobb vomits into a bucket, while Shade proceeds to rip Tesslyn’s spirit from her body using the lightning hook and promptly bottle her.

Constance informs Penelope that she will be working for the Dolls now. In return, Penelope asks that Constance leave the brothel to Margaret. Constance has Kamali draw up a forged bill of sale from Madame Tesslyn to Margaret (Kamali is not happy with her work, but they’re pressed for time). Constance addresses the gathered employees of the brothel, including Margaret. She gives them the official cover story, that Madame Tesslyn signed the establishment over to Margaret, packed a bag, and left the city for parts unknown. She makes sure they understand.


Rep: 3.

Coin: 8.

Heat: 5 total (2 base, +1 for well connected, +2 for killing).

Entanglement: Interrogation. Keel comes to Constance and says that the Bluecoats have picked up Drav along with a slew of other business owners in the Docks, and are questioning them in relation to some suspicious figures hanging about in the Docks, shortly before the business with the food poisoning. Constance spends 3 coin to get him released.


Constance reduces Heat (by 2), Heals the quicksilver poisoning, and reduces Stress (giving out 1 Coin to the folks of Nightmarket).

Kobb reduces Heat (to 0), reduces Stress (down to 4), and works on the Marian project, completing it. He takes her out to dinner at a lavish restaurant, followed by an attendance of a play. When he escorts her home, they have a moment on the front step, where she confesses that she trusts him, and kisses him on the cheek.

Kamali trains Insight (gaining her an advance in Study), and works on the Kazima project (completing it). She shows Kazima her research notes, and Kazima tells her they have much to discuss. She also works on a better forgery of the bill of sale for the Red Lamp (2 of 4).

Shade reduces his stress, trains resolve (raising his Attune to 3), and heals.

Gears works on projects (the Big Idea, and the Eye/Mind Device). He also gets 2 free project slices, which he divides between the Big Idea, and the Eye/Mind Device.

Moira begins investigating what happened to Nyryx (completing it). She discovers that Nyryx, as a member of the Reconciled, was attempting to help Jezelle when he got nabbed, reportedly by the Dimmer Sisters.

The Moon’s Daughter and the Pint and Hound earn a total of 10 Coin.

Constance pays 3 Coin to Lyssa as tribute. Lyssa warns Constance about the dangers in crossing the Circle of Flame.


Things were going so well, and one errant comment knocks the whole enterprise off balance (no pun intended).


The Porcelain Dolls: Session 62 (April 19 2017)

The Porcelain Dolls: Session 62 (April 19 2017)

The Porcelain Dolls: Session 62 (April 19 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.”


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


The Porcelain Dolls: Session 61 (April 12 2017)

The Porcelain Dolls: Session 61 (April 12 2017)

The Porcelain Dolls: Session 61 (April 12 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.


The Porcelain Dolls: Session 60 (March 29 2017)

The Porcelain Dolls: Session 60 (March 29 2017)

The Porcelain Dolls: Session 60 (March 29 2017)

Clermont brings Shade to the Cat & Cradle. They order lunch, and once Shade is confident that they are not being listened in on, they discuss current events. Shade is able to put Clermont’s mind at ease regarding the Ambassador’s role in the situation. Kamali watches the place from across the street.

Shade escorts Clermont to the Pint and Hound, where he will be safe for the time being.

Constance and Gloves head to the Docks to speak with the Crimson Skulls. On the way there, she discusses Gloves’ time in Ironhook, and asks if anything is plaguing him. He expresses concerns about Kamali.

They find the Skulls in their usual spot. Constance plays a round of darts with Byron and tells him that she wants him and his friends to keep an eye on the locals, and report back anything they find.

Everyone meets back at the factory. Constance asks for everyone’s report. They discuss how to locate Roric’s ghost, if he is still around.

Constance assigns Shade to check his usual haunts (no pun intended) in Crow’s Foot, and Moira to search among the dead. If he is found, Constance wants to know if he can tell them who killed him.

Kobb will accompany Constance to the Pint & Hound, and distract the Bailey & Sons delivery men while Kamali doses the supplies.

Kamali follows the cart and doses the supplies while the deliverymen are distracted. It goes like clockwork.

Moira attempts to locate Nyryx, but instead runs into the Spirit Wardens. They pick up on her extrasensory abilities, and move to bring her in for questioning. She Traumas out while attempting to resist them.

Shade goes to talk to Flint, the spirit trafficker. Flint is friendly enough, but he asks for a cut of whatever is coming to the Dolls in exchange for assistance. They start searching around Crow’s Foot. When they get to Strathmill House, they encounter several spectres who are in the process of menacing another ghost. They successfully fend them off (though Shade takes some nasty scratches in the process), and meet Angus MacMillan, former superintendent of the orphanage. Turns out he knows Roric, who used to live in the orphanage as a child. More to the point, Angus has encountered Roric’s ghost, and can take Shade to meet him. He warns that Roric is not entirely lucid.

Kamali continues working on the deliveries, gets head start with crit, gets a 5 on last roll, finishes, but gets noticed.

The crew meets back at the factory, minus Moira. Kamali and Shade give their reports.


Rep: 0.

Coin: 0.

Heat: 2 (0 base, +1 for a high-profile target, +1 from a Bargain)

Entanglement: Moira was taken in for questioning by the Spirit Wardens.


Constance trains Playbook (earning an advance, which she spends on Closing of the Eye), and reduces Heat (to 0).

The Pint & Hound and The Moon’s Daughter earn a total of 10 Coin.

Constance receives word from her Ironhook guard contact that Hook has been released from prison. He’s currently staying in Charhollow.

Shade heals (spending 3 Coin to remove all his Level 1 Harm, and reduce his Level 2 to Level 1), and indulges his Vice (relieving 6 Stress).

Gears works on The Big Idea (2 of 8), works on the Eye/Mind Interface Device (5 of 8), and spends a Coin to train Playbook.

Kobb trains Playbook, which earns him an advance, which he spends on a Veteran Ability (Calculating, from the Spider), trains Resolve (which gains him another advance, which gets him a 3 in Consort). He spends his third action working on his relationship with Marian Dunne (7 of 8). He then spends a Coin working on his relationship with Sgt. Bartlet (5 of 8).

Moira doesn’t get downtime actions, but when she comes back all her Stress and Injuries are healed and she has a Trauma. We’ll find out what happened to her next time.

Kamali trains Prowess and Insight, and spends Coin to work on her relationship with Kazima (4 of 8). She spends a Coin to work on attuning to the scarab, completing the project. She gets the whole story of Tahir and the Demon from Tahir’s point of view, including getting trapped in the scarab. In the end, she meets Tahir in the dreamscape again, and offers him her hand.


Our third Trauma, and the first one caused by Stress.


The Porcelain Dolls: Session 59 (March 22 2017)

The Porcelain Dolls: Session 59 (March 22 2017)

The Porcelain Dolls: Session 59 (March 22 2017)

Kamali brings Clermont’s message to Shade, who brings it to Constance, who calls a meeting. She doles out the work:

* Kobb and Boots will follow the Bailey & Sons delivery cart to learn the route.

* Moira and Gears will go the Hall of Records to research what became of Roric.

* Kamali and Shade will go to the embassy to bring Clermont in if possible. If he is not agreeable to this, then they should learn all they can from him. They resolve to stash him at the Pint & Hound.

* Constance and Gloves will pay a visit to the Crimson Skulls to get them on retainer to spy on the Dockers for them.

Kobb follows the Bailey & Sons delivery cart, changing his outfit each time he comes across them. Boots follows along from up on the rooftops. Kobb gets the route, but the eventually the delivery guy notices him and becomes suspicious.

Kobb and Boots then spend the rest of the night bar-hopping, and keeping an eye on what the other patrons are ordering at each place. During the course of the evening, they exchange their life stories. Boots tells Kobb the story of how he first joined the Bluecoats, and then was later drummed out for attempting to bypass his superior officer in a side deal. Kobb gives an abbreviated account of his life before joining the Dolls. He says he doesn’t see himself or the rest of the crew as criminals, compared to the aristocracy. Boots heartily agrees. By the end of the evening, they have a good idea of what’s popular at each of the stops on the Bailey & Sons’ delivery route.

Gears and Moira visit Edmund Baines at the Hall of Records. They get a surprising amount of information on Roric, including when and where he was born, how long he was affiliated with the Crows (which, aside from whatever illegal activities they engage in, do operate a legitimate service for the city). Regarding his death, it is known that his body was found in the canal and his throat cut. However, the Spirit Wardens were not able to sufficiently determine the exact time of death, and as such there is still an open investigation, and they are on the lookout for his ghost.

Kamali and Shade head to the Skovlan Embassy to meet with Clermont. As they speak to the receptionist at the front desk, Kamali notices an aide who perks up at the sound of Clermont’s name and disappears down a side corridor. Kamali makes herself inconspicuous and follows him. The receptionist asks Shade to wait, and after a few minutes comes back to lead him up to Clermont’s office. Before Clermont can speak, Shade Attunes, and discovers an enchanted ring in a cigar box, which is being used to spy on Clermont. He tells Clermont that he’s taking him to lunch.

Meanwhile, Kamali finds the aide in Erik Petersen’s office, speaking with Petersen in hushed tones about Clermont and Shade (whose real name causes a significant amount of amazement and concern). Petersen tells the aide to follow them but not to engage.

Kamali tails the aide as he’s tailing Shade and Clermont. Once they’re off the main street and out of traffic, she intercepts the aide and diverts him into a blind alley. At first he believes she’s with the Circle of Flame and think they’re escalating matters. However, soon enough it becomes apparent to him that this is not the case. She shows him Wulfric’s symbol, and he understands the implication. She shows him a garrote and a dagger, prompting him to choose. This he doesn’t pick up on so easily, so she gestures over her shoulder back at the embassy. Realization dawns, and he tells her that Petersen isn’t her enemy, he’s being manipulated by Madame Tesslyn. She’s intrigued by this notion, and gestures for him to go on. He gives her as much information as he can, and asks her to help get his boss out from under Tesslyn’s influence. Again, she offers the garrote or the dagger. He chooses the former. She politely indicates to him to back off from tailing Shade and Clermont.


The Porcelain Dolls: Session 58 (March 15 2017)

The Porcelain Dolls: Session 58 (March 15 2017)

The Porcelain Dolls: Session 58 (March 15 2017)

Aftermath of The Protection Collection Interception:

Rep: 3.

Heat: 4 (2, +1 from a well-connected target, +1 from a Devil’s Bargain).

Payoff: 5 (8 to start, +2 for the fence, -1 from Constance’s religious weirdness, -1 for the Bluecoats’ cut, -3 for Lyssa’s cut).

Entanglement: Gang Trouble (which they avoid).


Moira trains Prowess (2xp), and Insight (1xp).

Kobb works on the projects of solidifying Mrs. Dunne’s trust in him (5 of 8), as well as that of the Bluecoats (2 of 8). He arranges for the piano to be found by Sgt Bartlett’s crew, and it is returned to Marian. He also starts a project to actually find a legitimate buyer for it (0 of 8).

Kamali trains Insight (1xp), starts a project to make Kazima a contact (3 of 8), and helps with Moira’s scarab project (6 of 8). She Attunes to the scarab, and gets the entirety of the story of the artifact’s history, 700 years in 10 seconds. In the middle of it is the story of Rashid Shabaz the mad sorcerer who hatched a plan to free the Demon Prince Ixis from his obsidian prison (and the subsequent civil war to bring him down), and later the story of Tahir Bashara, who succumbed to the folly of trying to entreat the Demon Prince Ixis was tricked into touching the sigil, and whose soul is still trapped in it. He speaks to Kamali and tells her to run.

Constance spends both actions to reduce Heat (down to 0).

Shade and Gears were only missing for one session, so they don’t get full downtime cycles, but we find out what they’ve been up to.

The Pint & Hound and the Moon’s Daughter earn a total of 12 Coin. Woo hoo!

A Cypher delivers a large thick envelope to the Bucket, which contains the paperwork for the incorporation of the Skovlan shipping company (there are copies in both Akorosi and Skovlan), which Gloves brings in when Constance calls a meeting. Shade and Kamali read through the papers, and are satisfied that Clermont was true to his word. Constance explains the purpose of the shipping company to Moira and Kobb (to provide the Skovlander refugees the means to help themselves, and coincidentally make a lot of money for the Dolls in the process), and the next steps required (actually purchasing a ship).

Prichard comes up from the factory floor to inform Constance that the construction project is complete. So the Dolls have their secret sewer access, and the locals have an inexpensive place to eat (free if they’re employees of the factory).

Constance doles out the assignments:

* Kobb and Gloves will press Mrs. Dunne and her associates for assistance in raising the funds to purchase a ship for the shipping company.

* Shade, Moira, and Boots will surveil Clermont to try and discover who is opposing him in the Skovlan Embassy.

* Kamali will check the contents of Clermont’s safe.

* Constance and Gears will attend to administering his pathogen to the stores of the local provisioners in the Docks.

Preparation for The Quaint Taint Complaint and The Flagship Flip & Skip:

Constance contacts Bailey & Sons to establish a delivery contract in order to have the goods come to them. All they have to do is follow the cart and taint the supply after it passes by the Pint & Hound.

Boots trails Clermont for several days, keeping an eye out for anything amiss. He is able to spot a trio of dangerous looking individuals also trailing him, but they do not engage him at any point. He follows them for a while, keeping out of sight, and eventually identifies them as the remnants of the Grinders.

Shade conducts the invisibility ritual and he & Moira go to the Skovlan Embassy and begin rifling through desks while invisible. They discover relevant information in the desk of Erik Petersen, a senior aide of Ambassador Johannes Paulsen. Petersen has been in contact with Madame Sophia Tesslyn, a prominent businesswoman (she runs the Red Lamp in Silkshore), who has been pressuring him to keep the Skovlan refugee situation as is, as she represents certain business concerns that have a vested interest in keeping the tensions high. She is accomplishing this with a combination of bribery and blackmail. Petersen suspects that she’s actually a member of the Circle of Flame.

Kobb talks with Mrs. Dunne, and Gloves talks to his lady friends, and between the two of them they are able to engineer a fundraising enterprise, with the Real Housewives of Doskvol as the driving force behind it. Due to a fortuitous roll (and spending Coin to raise the effect), they make much progress toward the goal (4 of 8!).

Kamali goes to Clermont’s house. She finds the petty cash fund, and the accompanying ledger, but all other documents have been removed from the safe. She also finds a coded message directly for her in the ledger: “I don’t know who you are, but I have my suspicions, and I believe we’ve already met. The situation has escalated. I have reason to believe they’re on to me. If you want more information, you’ll have to talk to me directly.”


Lots of exciting things happening for Kamali this time around, between investigating the scarab and checking Clermont’s safe.


The Tragic Tale of Tahir Bashara and the Demon Prince Ixis

The Tragic Tale of Tahir Bashara and the Demon Prince Ixis

The Tragic Tale of Tahir Bashara and the Demon Prince Ixis

[This is the story that was relayed to Kamali after she began researching the scarab artifact that they retrieved from the Dumham & Sons warehouse in the Docks in Session 55.]

The story of Tahir Bashara of House Akhuset begins many centuries before his birth, as it is inextricably tied to that of Rashid Shabaz, the Mad Sorcerer of House Anixis.

Long before the Cataclysm, four black crystal spires fell from the sky, and forever changed the destiny of the people of U’Duasha (and indeed, all of Iruvia). The Demon Princes imprisoned within the spires began to whisper to the people, and there rose up four great Houses, each dedicated to one of the Demon Princes:

House Anixis was dedicated to Ixis, the Demon Prince of Shadows and Secrets. The symbol of House Anixis is a scarab, for the beetle scuttles in the dust and hides in dark corners, listening to all.

House Ankhayat was dedicated to Khayat, the Demon Prince of Wisdom and War. The symbol of House Ankhayat is a snake, for it is said that the serpent possesses all the knowledge of the world behind its eyes, but the price of such wisdom can be deadly.

House Ankhuset was dedicated to Khuset, the Demon Prince of Justice and Truth. The symbol of House Ankhuset is a falcon, flying high over the world and bearing witness to all of man’s deeds.

House Anserekh was dedicated to Serekh, the Demon Prince of Strength and Building. The symbol of House Anserekh is a bull, which Serekh used to raise up the mountains and dig the mighty trenches that became the seas.

700 years ago, Rashid Shabaz of House Anixis was the Grand Vizier to Sultan Hassan II. By all accounts a man of noble bearing and surpassing intellect, he nevertheless fell prey to the will of Ixis, whispering in his ear as he worked. Rashid began to formulate a plan to free his master, by enacting an elaborate ritual. To focus the arcane energy required for the ritual, Rashid chose a bronze scarab seal that had been created for use on official court documents, transforming it into an arcane artifact of immense power.

Rashid’s goal would not be realized within his lifetime, partly because the ritual required a particular alignment of stars that the court astronomers had determined would not occur for several centuries, but mostly notably because Rashid himself was killed while resisting arrest when the I’Yalim came to summon him before the court of the Sultan to stand trial for crimes against man and nature. Officially, House Anixis would condemn Rashid’s actions to distance themselves from the scandal, but in secret, his descendants would continue to follow his instructions to ensure that everything was in place at the proper time to enact the ritual.

Approximately three centuries after Rashid’s death, Prince Tahir Bashara of House Ankhuset was the victim of unfortunate circumstance. On the night before his wedding, his bride-to-be was bitten by a deadly spider, and fell into a deep swoon. Within three days, she was dead from the spider’s bite. In his grief, Tahir entreated the Demon Princes to aid him in returning her to life. Only Ixis would answer his cries. He began to whisper to Tahir, giving him instructions and promising him all that he desired and more.

At first, it began with small, insignificant things. Go to the square and give three copper coins to a blind beggar. Travel to the highest point in the city and place a clay jug on the edge of a wall. However, before long the commands of the Demon Prince led him to enter the Tower of Stars and infiltrate the highly guarded storage room where Rashid’s artifact was kept after the I’Yalim wrested it from his dead hands. He retrieved the artifact, which had been stored in a pewter box of little decoration, and removed it from the Tower of Stars, bringing it to the house of healing where his bride had been brought before she finally succumbed to the spider’s venom. At the prompting of Ixis, he opened the box.

The attendant healers report that the moment Tahir reached into the box and touched the scarab, he was struck down, as with a bolt of lightning. It is possible that he was simply struck dead, but at least one account maintains that his soul was ripped free of his body and was trapped inside the artifact.

It is unknown if Rashid’s descendants were ever successful in enacting the ritual, but it should be noted that several decades ago, the spire located on the northwestern edge of the district of Sukru’At was cracked and broken, and rumors abound that Ixis roams the world free, whispering of His Design to those who would hear His voice and obey.


The Porcelain Dolls: Session 57 (March 08 2017)

The Porcelain Dolls: Session 57 (March 08 2017)

The Porcelain Dolls: Session 57 (March 08 2017)

Kamali visits a bookstore in Silkshore run by a woman named Kazima, who gives her some info on U’Duasha, and the fact the the pillar imprisoning the Demon Prince Ixis was shattered some time ago, and the rumor is that the demon escaped.

When Constance wakes up the next day, Gears is nowhere to be seen, but he has left behind half a dozen small glass vials and a handwritten note with instructions on how to administer his pathogen. Shade is also MIA for the time being.

Constance calls a meeting. She wants another wave of instability among the docks to keep up the pressure, as well as to identify the primary sources of food among the restaurants and pubs in the Docks and taint that supply so the dock workers start getting sick in a few days.

She also wants someone to investigate if the Dockers have any connections to the Bluecoats.

Preparation for Protection Collection Interception:

Constance will sit this one out (at least the legwork), as she is too well known in the Docks.

Moira taps Nyyx to help her scope out the local pubs. She is able to identify at least one supplier: Bailey & Sons.

Kobb investigates the Bluecoat connection. He contacts Sgt Bartlett, the Bluecoat in charge of the investigation into the piano theft. A conversation ensues during which an arrangement is proposed and accepted, and a bribe (the first of many) is paid. He asks about the local businesses in the Docks, and gets info on half a dozen companies that pay protection to the Bluecoats.

Kamali investigates the more upscale import/export businesses to figure out which ones are paying protection and to whom. Boots will come along as backup. They are able to get fairly good info on five establishments that pay protection to the Dockers.

Gloves goes door to door to the pubs and restaurants in the Docks, presenting himself as a purveyor of fine Iruvian spices, in order to determine who their current suppliers are. He is also able to identify several local suppliers.

Constance hears everyone’s reports. She decides that the crew will hit all of the collections at once.

* She assigns Kobb to bribe the Blucoats to stay away from the Docks for the evening.

* Constance, Kamali, Boots, and Prichard & the Lampblacks will carry out the hits.

* She assigns Moira to coordinate the rest of the crew and signal as each bagman is hit.

* Boots clarifies with Constance that they are NOT hitting any of the places that pay protection to the Bluecoats.

The Protection Collection Interception:

Moira is staking out the Docks from the rooftops. Nyryx is with her. He has possessed an athletic young man of about 15 for the occasion.

Kobb is able to distract all the Bluecoats in the Docks for the entire evening by taking Sgt Bartlett and his buddies to the Black Tree. Much alcohol is consumed, and a good time is had by all.

The job is very meticulously planned, but in the end doesn’t go as well as they expected. Constance stakes out her first warehouse to find that the bagman is not sticking to the schedule. Moira signals her, and she moves on to the next one. She approaches him as he exits the warehouse, but has to use Glorious Visage to get the envelope. She spends the rest of the job randomly giving away coins to anyone she can find, because this is His Design (-1 Coin at the end).

Boots holds up a guy and gets the envelope without a word. He leaves the guy conscious, so Nyryx jumps down, possesses the guy, puts him to sleep, and as the guy is falling forward, jumps back into the kid.

Prichard and three of the lampblacks mug one of the guys. After he hands over the envelope, they proceed to beat him within an inch of his life.

Kamali and Boots meet up at the secondary rendezvous, but Constance isn’t there. They go after the guy who was supposed to be collecting from the fist warehouse. Boots approaches him and makes a show of Valter being menacing, and Kamali blitzes him from behind just before he attacks the dog. Constance shows up just as it’s resolved.

The crew meets up at the factory. Kamali is counting the take when Constance addresses the issue of Mrs. Dunne’s piano with Kobb. They agree that if it is Kobb’s intention to return it to Marian, then it should be discovered by the Bluecoats and returned to her very publicly. This will strengthen Kobb’s relationship with Marian, as well as his relationship with the Bluecoats.


Nice basic heist. There were half a dozen stickups, and each one got to feel unique.