Part 11: Up in flamesJournal entry 10 Up in flames
The journal of Petra Blackwood
January 16th, 1888 - Morning
I've spoken with the Tireless Mechanic. There were some sharp words spoken, and he explained what had happened. In detail. He is apparently being hunted by the Finger-kings, for refusing to turn over a secret he stole from the dreams of the Masters. Normally, I'd keel-haul him for bringing something like that on my ship (Does that make me sound awfully nautical? I felt awfully nautical writing it.) but I'm willing to make an exception in this case.
Because he still has the secret. Or, at least, can tell me where he hid it, deep within Frostfound. He will also need an incredible array of supplies More than I could even carry in the hold of my ship. I won't be attempting this task soon... But I will be attempting it. For now, he stays aboard. And I'll make it very clear to the crew that anyone doing anything to him will be dumped into the Tides of Appetite.
While I was waiting for him to wake up, we put in to London and the crew have disembarked. I have a number of things to do myself before today is over.
January 16th, 1888 Afternoon
My trip into London was very profitable! I went into London proper first with a shambling line of Clay Men in tow. One less than I departed Polythreme with, but if any of the others noticed or cared, they didn't mention it.
After delivering the clay men, I needed to fill some bunks With the loss of Galaxia, we are not exactly at a skeleton crew, but we are closer to it than I feel comfortable being. A short time in some of the Wolfstack pubs solved this problem.
While my new zailors were getting situated, I went and visited my new mercantile patron. He was delighted to see the barrels of dice I'd brought from Mt. Palmerstone. Almost as soon as he'd finished taking stock of the goods, though, he had further requests of me.
With that bit of business done, I returned to the Port Authority. While I didn't have any strategic information, I had plenty of port reports and a map to turn in. They had some very unkind words to say about the Church of Lights, which I did not much appreciate. It's a fine place.
Khan's Shadow is special, because turning in the Port Report always reduces Terror by 5. A really nice little bonus!
With all that done, and my zailors settled, it was time to depart once more. This will be a short trip only to Venderbight and back. I hope the Curator is as generous as he claimed to be, for Galaxia paid dearly for this color.
January 16th, 1888 Evening
Our trip was short and not unpleasant. On the way north, we stopped and took lunch at Hunter's Keep. Lucy entertained us with a delightful story.
And several hours later, we put in at Venderbight.
Before visiting the Curator, I decided to explore Venderbight a little. The town is always so very interesting! Today, I visited a candle-making shop. It opened my eyes to unusual possibilities.
With my curiosity for the dead sated, I moved on; I had two items I wanted to present to the First Curator, and hoped they would meet the exacting standards I assume he has. One does not be a curator for that long without developing them, surely.
cloisonné is a fabrication process where one forms the outlines of desired colored areas with wire, usually gold or silver wire, solders them onto a metal base shape of the object desired, and fills the areas with some sort of colored enamel. High-quality ones can get ridiculously complex and detailed. It's the most gorgeous paint-by-numbers you'll ever see.
I feel like the description of this is a sly dig at Lovecraft, and I love it.
I left with his thanks, and signs of his generosity. While I am certain he hopes I will keep and treasure these items forever, I have other plans but will make sure they go to a good home.
January 17th, 1888 Midday
We were, for once, passing Hunter's keep at a time that is appropriate for lunch, and so I thought it would be a shame to not stop in. We were able to tell things were not right on the island as soon as we arrived.
Something had happened, among the sisters. Lucy had gone mad, or become overly ambitious, perhaps. Phoebe decided to burn herself alive inside of her home. I was not going to permit that, so much as I could; It cost us dearly. During the firefighting, Kraken pulled some poor fool out of the blaze one of the newcomers and succumbed himself later to the smoke.
I'm going to have to start keeping a proper ledger. I don't even have the new man's name written down yet.
In any case, Hunter's Keep is ash, and Phoebe is below deck right now. I took one last look around the island I found some half-burnt relic, but other than that, nothing survived. What a loss. All those stories.
And what of her sisters? I cannot help but wonder.
January 17th, 1888 evening
We put into London, and I had some very important tasks to do. I did not release my crew at first, however I had them start cleaning the ship, top to bottom. I wanted it to look pristine.
I, meanwhile, went to visit the Admiralty. They would want to know about the fall of Hunter's Keep. I answered their questions before departing the air was somber, even for the Admiralty, when I left.
Next, I returned to the Correspondence, gathered up the priceless artifacts the Curator had given me, and took them to the Department of Marine Acquisitions. These belong in a museum, and I deserve a very impressive finder's fee.
This gave me a very large amount of liquid Echos on-hand. And I know just what to do. The Correspondence has served me well For something that was commissioned two years after the Fall. But if I'm to really advance, we're going to need something better. Something newer. Something sleeker.
And I think I know just the thing.
The Phorcyd-class corvette is a lovely vessel. Not a great deal larger than the Ligeia, but much more durable, and, more importantly, able to mound a proper military-grade weapon on the prow.
Part of me will miss the Correspondence. The way the lights all rattled when we went full-steam. The leak in the exhaust meaning that one berth was constantly being covered with soot. The way that every single item permanently installed in the captain's quarters was installed just slightly crooked.
Actually, no. It was a floating deathtrap. That I've lived this long is a miracle. This new ship is far better and opens whole new realms up to us!
My men have a lot of work to prepare it ahead of them, especially as I stopped by the merchant's distinct on the way home and picked up some new attachments for her... And I hired on a few more hands to fill her berths. Oh, I cannot wait to return to zee.
Now nothing will stand between me and Port Cecil!
Those paying attention to my cash on-hand will have noticed an interesting bug, there I had ~3300, and 1000 trade on my old ship, to buy a 4000 echo ship. But after buying it, instead of having ~300 echos, I had 1000. I'd never seen something like that before. But it's working out for us! That's enough to get some shiny new guns, and stock up on supplies.
Now, the next big choice What shall we name our new ship?