The Let's Play Archive

Sunless Sea

by Black Wombat

Part 6: The Mourn and mutton

Journal entry 5 – The Mourn and Mutton

The Journal of Captain Petra Blackwood

December 15th, 1887

We left Station III in the late afternoon, as our chronometer reckoned. As we left the station, a steam-pinnace bore down on us. Perhaps a confederate of the last one we sunk? If I'd ran, I could have outpaced him, but he likely could have fired several times from behind us. Instead, I charged him; we exchanged one volley, and then I fell into pursuit and he sank without further difficulty.

We then continued west; we could see the pillars of Corsair's Forest looming in the darkness. Our goal was within.

December 16th, 1887

Slightly before midnight, we crossed into the Corsair's Forest. I ordered double watches. A fleet of pirates are known to operate between these enormous stone pillars, and I would not have us caught off-guard.

My precautions turned out to be for nothing, however – we made it all the way to Gaider's Mourn without seeing a single other deck lamp. My father used to tell me stories of this place – that it was rough-and-tumble and not a place for proper British men and women. My crew, however, seemed eager to spend some time ashore. Perhaps we are not as proper as we would like to be.

My first order of business was to track down my contact – he demanded a small sum of Echos as hazard pay. Hazard pay! Where does he think he is, the Khanate? The Admiralty's spies are not what I thought they would be.

While the Mourn is not the kind of place that normally interests me, I admit reluctance to simply depart. Partly because I think my crew would like a little more time ashore, and partly because standing in this place my father so vehemently wished I would never be gave me a small thrill. I decided to explore the spire a little before we left.

It was not a terrible time. I had to step quickly to avoid one or two pedestrian brawls, and I purchased lunch from a street vendor.

Petra has a lower-than-20% chance of passing the other options. She's not going to be too wild, today. The second option is locked behind a trait called 'Unaccountably peckish'. However would we get that?

I then went to check on the remainder of my crew. They had been drinking at an establishment called the Arrant Limpet. However, most of them were already departing by the time I arrived. Galaxia informed me they didn't 'Care for their type'. I noticed Jones had bruised knuckles on our way back to the Correspondence. It might be wise for us to be departing, now.

We could try for a port report, but doing so requires a Veils check. Petra is no good at those, so we'll pass for now.

December 17th -

The crew did not complain when I maintained double watches on our way out of the Forest; I think they were on edge after the encounter at the Limpet. This time, it proved prudent; as we left the Mourn, we spotted a Steam-pinnacre coming around one of the pillars. I had our deck light extinguished – we snuck up on it in darkness and then proceeded to destroy them before they could turn about on us.

We had barely disengaged from the Pinnace when we encountered a frigate, having some sort of navigation issues. I considered showing mercy, but then considered what they would have done to our ship, in the same situation, and took appropriate action.

The AI is sometimes really bad. That said, the Corsair's Forest can be tricky. The enemies spawn close enough that you can agrro 2-3 of them at once if you're not careful, but the frigates that spawn here do wonders for flagging stores.

We encountered no other difficulties leaving the Forest. I think keeping the crew away from the wine and honey we took from the pirates will be a greater challenge than the pirates themselves, so I've told everyone that any that is missing without my personal approval shall be deducted from the collective wages of the crew. I will approve Snark's use of a little honey, if he approaches me. The man has not been well since he saw the Jellyfleur. Perhaps the face reminded him of someone?

Hmm. I should ask him about that.

December 18th -
We arrived in the sovereign waters of London today. We paid a small stop outside of London to visit Mutton Island.

Also visiting Mutton Island was a large (but not extremely large) crab. It did not bother us as we put into port.

I kept our visit short. I, at least, was eager to return to London. I questioned the fisherman about enough information that the Admiralty would be interested, and then set my zailors back to work. They were displeased, but the news that we would be in London by early tomorrow appeased them.

You might be wondering about why I didn't do the other options at Mutton Island. Well, that's because of a little mechanic called 'Something awaits you at port'.

The 'Something awaits you at port!' mechanic is designed so you can't sail around in tiny little circles at certain ports and just generate almost unlimited supplies. Many options at ports require you to have, and consumes, the 'Something awaits you' quality. Its represented by a little house shrouded in green fog – clearly seen on the 'Explore the shore' option on Mutton Island.

When you use it up, it will return after you have sailed for a while. The length of time it takes to return is variable; sometimes, it seems to happen almost instantly. Other times, it seems like you can go halfway across the Neath without it coming back. Whenever it returns, it comes with the sound of a bell and a snippit of text – and the appearance of a streetlight at the edge of your log. You can clearly see it happen in the first two screenshots of December 16th.

Since I can't guarantee it'll come back between here and London, and I really want it at London, I'm conserving it. Knowing where best to use your 'Something awaits you at port!' is a major part of surviving the on the Zee.

As we put back to see, I ordered us to leave with our light off. We followed the edge of Mutton Island and by the time the crab knew we were there, we were too far away to stop.

December 19th -

London theme music.

We arrived in London shortly after midnight. Not a single zailor had slept tonight; every eye was on the glittering gas-lamps as we approached. We put in at port, and the disembarking process started. We had a visit from the Customs men, but we had nothing of interest to them.

I then checked in with the harbormaster, who told me several messages had been left for me while I was away. News that a captain was voyaging far into the Unterzee had spread, and several individuals wanted to join me.

This is why I wanted 'Something awaits' in London. When you return to London with it, you get a chance to recruit an officer.

When I returned to check on my crew's progress at the ship, I discovered my bo'sun staring disapprovingly at a one-eyed man standing besides a pallet filled with coal and supplies.

He offered a gift that sounded an awful lot like a business proposal; I told him I'd think about it. He said he'd return another day. Grandalt said the man looked like trouble, and I agree, but so does Jones and I hired him. I'll have plenty of time to consider his proposal at zee.

The Blind Bruiser will only make this offer if you're below a certain threshold of supplies and coal; since I get above said threshold before I leave port, the offer is retracted, but will be offered again next time we're in London with an empty hold.

With unloading completed and their pay distributed, I released my crew into Wolfstack docks to enjoy some merriment before we departed again. I, however, had more business to do. Heavy is the head that wears whatever that kind of hat it is that captains always wear. I first visited the Admiralty office; I had much for me.

I'm only going to post these when they're noteworthy; most of them look an awful lot like that. You get 1 fuel, and between 5 and 40 echos, depending on how distant or interesting the port is. You can gather them more than once, but only get the Admiralty's Favor the first time you turn in any given port.

This report gives 100 echos, but can only be submitted once.

Eventually, I completed giving my reports, and told them I had picked up the information from the contact in the Mourn. It appears the clerk was not important enough to give that too, and instead ushered me upstairs to speak to the Admiral. I delivered my report, and then conversed with him about how I could further help London.

He told me he needed someone to visit Mt. Palmerston, home of the exiles from Hell. I told him it'd be my pleasure. He seemed unconvinced.

I then visited the Wolfstack markets, to sell the wine and honey we'd collected.

In case you're curious, here's all the things we can sell in London, and for how much. I'll go over what we can buy when we're a bit more affluent.

Finally, I set about finding the person who'd requested a space on my ship – I found her by the docks. She seemed to be in a hurry.

I have no doubt she'll be very useful.

Normally, I'd have us vote on which Officer to take. But we're eventually going to get all of them, and Maybe's Daughter is possibly the single best first officer to get, so we'll be taking her. The third option there, by the way, is 'Get 1 zailor for 1 echo', only useful if you can't afford or already have all other officers.

However! There is still a vote to be had. Should we accept the Blind Bruiser's offer?