The Let's Play Archive

Sunless Sea

by Black Wombat

Part 5: Rats and boxes

Journal Entry 4 – Rats and boxes

The Journal of Captain Petra Blackwood

Continues from last entry

After a short time considering, I decided to side with the Chief Engineer. While I've never been a huge fan of the LB's, at least they're a known quantity.

He took me and showed me around their camp. It was rather impressive, for a bunch of cast-away rodents.

The last option just says 'And then you met with the War Council' and cuts the following screen.

Eventually, of course, the exact nature of how I could help was brought up.

It was clear, from the appraisal I'd heard earlier, the rats needed one of two things; they either needed a military genius to lead them to victory over a superior foe, or someone to give them parts to make guns. Fortunately, it takes remarkably little to make a rat-sized gun.

I had my crew carry one of our swivel-guns into the camp, along with a box of shot and powder. I took this chance to examine the "Rat star" a little closer. It was beautiful. Just looking at it made me feel at ease, peaceful in a way I rarely feel. Even the crew seemed to be affected by it, showing remarkable ease and comfort, even surrounded by rats – although I did hear Jones ask Helios why he couldn't have gotten a tattoo of this thing, instead.

The camp had become a flurry of activity; equipped with proper parts and ammo, the rats seemed overjoyed. The rat who'd been introduced to me as their chief strategist said that the Cavies were done for, and that I would scarcely recognize the island when I came back.

Having heard of the prowess of the LBs before, I extended an offer to join my crew to anyone who'd wish it. I was rather hoping a ratty astronomer would come with us, desiring to see new false-stars, but I will not scoff at the young rat who did decide to come. I think he will be useful.

Shortly thereafter, we departed, watching the rats make their preparations. I hope all goes well for them. If not, I suspect we may not be welcome here in the future.

We have a new officer! He'll replace the mascot we started with. I'll take +2 Veils over +1 Hearts any day.

I decided to head south. We still seek the Mourn, and it isn't supposed to be far from London.

December 12th, 1887 - evening

As we traveled through the darkness, near an island not far from Pigmote, Snark rang the alarm bell. He'd spotted a Jillyfleur. They're an immature form of the proper Jillyfish, and mostly harmless. But I've heard a rumor... The crew was rather surprised when I told them to get to combat positions.

Even in this game, which has very easy combat, the Jillyfleur has uniquely incompetent AI. I barely had to move as it swam circles around me and got shot to death. But they sometimes come in packs, so this might be intentional.

As it stopped moving, I pulled the ship up besides it and called the crew around to look close.

There was a face, clear as Snark's! Speaking of it, Snark did not look happy about this. In fact, none of the crew seemed as excited as I did. So I am recording here, journal, that this is an exceptional thing! Perhaps someday, we will discover the owner of this face, and prove a sympathetic link between zee-life and other life in the Neath! But for now, we continued on our way.

Shortly after passing the Jillyfleur, we passed Crabcake Island. It did, from a distance, sort of resemble a crabcake, and while I would have once said a crabcake that large could never exist, I am no longer so sure. In any case, it was uninhabited, and we steamed on.

December 13th, 1887 – Morning

None of us saw the frigate come up on us. It had its light on us before we could adjust our course or try to hide. A ship that large had a larger engine, and while we could have thrown more coal in the boiler and tried to outrun it, it might have damaged the engine.

The crew was not looking confident as I ordered them to combat positions.

Didn't get a good shot of this one approaching, but it came from almost due south pointed straight at us. At low Veils scores, enemies can easily see you from off-screen, which happened here. Also worth noting – there is no ramming damage in this game if you hit enemies.

While they were larger, we were able to pull tighter turns – once more, we got behind it, and it was destroyed without much problem. Are these really the pirates we've heard so much about? Terrorizing shipping lanes? I'm underwhelmed. I set my crew to gather what they could from the wreck and retired to my quarters. Grandalt told me they were able to recover some fuel and supplies, and a journal so water-logged as to be mostly unreadable. What was left, though, was fascinating.

Pirate frigates always give 1-2 Fuel and 1-2 Supplies, in addition to whatever is in the hold. They're a very useful find and almost always worth hunting.

December 14th, 1887 – Afternoon

We followed our Zee-bat east, and discovered something very interesting! Station III lays here. We had to fight a steam-pinnace to get there, but it went much as our last confrontation with one. We sunk it, we looted it, and moved on.

Station III is a strange-looking place; it seemed highly-fortified and cutting edge, but we had something that belonged to them and I knew they would let us in.

A brief reconnoiter from the outside didn't tell me much. The remains of industrial work and strange architecture give few clues. I ordered the crew to remove the box from the hold, and to bring it onto the island, although it was a difficult arrangement.

Once we had gotten it to the top of the stairs leading to the dock, I felt our share of work was done, and sent my crew back to the ship – except Kraken and Galaxia, who I left to guard the box. I resolved to find someone to do the remainder of the carrying for us.

All that's getting cut off here is us being told we will almost certainly fail the Irons challenge to carry the box farther.

When I got to the main building, I met a very unusual woman. She seemed to be a artisan of some kind, and sent a group of clay-men down to fetch the box from below.

We also got a point of 'Acolyte's Favor' from this, which is all that was cut off.

As the reached the box, I dismissed Kraken and Galaxia back to the ship. I could have returned as well, I suppose, but I simply must see what is inside of this box.

I was not disappointed. The crate contained a corpse, as we had all suspected! And the corpse contained a unusual metal ball, and that was what she was seeking. She sung constantly as she worked, as though that was as important as her knives or goggles. It was fascinating, absolutely fascinating. I rather suspect my crew might not agree. I don't think I will share what happened in here unless they press. Of course, maybe I'd find someone with a similar interest. That would be amazing!

In any case, I hope we happen across more of these boxes – I simply must know what they do with that metal.

But for now, there's nothing to do but return to zee; the presence of so many pirates suggest we must be near Corsair's Forest. I will set out westward, and maybe find our destination.