Part 28: Additional monkeysJournal entry 27 Additional monkeys
From The Journal of Captain Petra Blackwood,
August 16th, 1888
Another short trip to London; I performed all the normal tasks, and then set about preparing my ship for another departure. Fortunately, thanks to the generosity of the First Curator, I have a sizable enough nest egg that I will be able to actually fill the expanded hold of the Checkmate with trade supplies A few firkins of Honey for the poor souls on the Uttershroom, and a small cellar's worth of wine for the apes. I still have a mountain of Scintillack to sell in Varchas as well. I expect to make a tidy profit on this trip.
I'm including this image to show off a common glitch Sometimes, monsters won't spawn in properly. I knew it was there because they still leave wake, and you can target and fight them normally, but they can sneak up on you if you aren't expecting it.
August 21st, 1888
We arrived at the Fathomking's hold this morning I paid the price of a story and descended to see the King himself, with an extra gift in tow.
A single peice of Scintillack was all that the King required to return Snark to me He looked a little worse for wear. And he'd never really been the most calm and stable of my crew. One of the guards escorted him up to the Checkmate.
I hope he's able to handle it. It's a far cry from the Correspondence he knew. And probably half the crew he knew is gone, including Helios, who he seemed to be good friends with. Still, hopefully it will be better than living under the Zee.
After that, I requested a boon from him for the story I had been given. He graciously offered me quite a supply of coal, delivered directly to my ship by his unnerving minions. It was more than the hold could hold, but we simply threw some of the old coal overboard A few of the crew complained about why we should drag out coal to be replaced with coal.
Most of them knew better.
August 23rd, 1888
On its good days, the Uttershroom isn't a bad place to visit.
Today was a fairly good day. The spoor was light and the people were in a rather good mood Especially because I'd brought honey to trade. And I'll admit, I've sort of missed having blemmigans around the ship. The little creatures grow on you, after a while. Hopfully these ones will be a little less... Energetic than the last pair, however. The only one on board who could keep up with them was the Monkey Foundling.
As we departed the Uttershroom, we discovered quite a sight -
A massive crab, who seemed to be making its home in the wreck of a ship. Now, while I may not be the closest adherent of the code of the Zee, I'm fairly certain that letting an enormous beast defile the resting place of fellow zailors isn't permitted, and I was willing to go to battle over it.
It also gave us a chance to finally try the Blue Scintillack, which the Cannoneer has been quite excited about for some time. It works remarkably well - Those on the guns simply said they felt they instinctively knew how to line up another shot.
Blue Scintillack immediately fills all of your firing solutions, allowing for an immediate, full volley. The Scintillack itself has a 20 second cooldown. It's fantastically useful.
Even a crab this size couldn't stand up to that kind of barrage for long. There was nothing of use on the body, but at least we can consider ourselves the avengers of the Mikko.
August 26th, 1888
We've arrived at Varchas again. Once more, I expect to have to wait several days in order to fully dispense with the contents of my hold. Fortunately, this should be the last time. I don't imagine the Principalities will be particularly forthcoming with mesmeric coral in the near future.
As we docked, I noticed one of the Belmmigans looking curiously over the railing. While the city itself is probably too bright for the little guys, the jungle around the city looks perfect for them. I went ahead and ushered it down the gangplank and it vanished without a trace,
I then went about doing my trading. Since I had an excess of Blue Scinillack on board, so I decided to offer some to the clergy.
They were quite generous in their payment. Once more, I expect this to be a very profitable several days.
August 30th, 1888
As I finished trading today, something very unusual happened.
The people of Varchas have, it seems, been preparing for a pilgrimage. An enormous and glorious wagon-train has been prepared, ready to take them far afield and let them bask in the light of Stone. The number of people that are making the trip is staggering. The trip will certainly be long, and arduous; and if the light-producing machine they've contrived should break down, they might all wind up Taamas. It's an incredible risk.
Stone must be quite a sight. I must admit, I'm a little jealous.
All the same, there's nothing left for me here, with half the city away. The Checkmate will be departing soon, to the next stop on our trading voyage.
September 2nd, 1888
The Empire of Hands is an exhausting place.
While my Blemmigan was happy to see the trees and humidity, I think I shall be taking a long vacation from these islands. After my arrival, my first order of business was to head to the Court, and offer them outlandishly large gifts of wine.
He was willing to offer a large supply of coffee for the drinks - A very profitable exchange, and one that's rather untraceable. The coffee doesn't seem any different than anything I could have picked up anywhere else. A few lines in the ship's log about purchasing it at Port Carnelian and nobody will think anything of it.
After that, I decided to go and check on the Darling Adventuress.
She had finally finished her preparations to enter the Tomb, and I was just lucky enough to be present when she finally cracked open the tomb.
The darkness inside is overwhelming, but it was easily dealt with.
Within, the monkeys had reconstructed a simple puzzle, blocking the path deeper into the temple. The Adventuress decided, in all her wisdom, to allow me to deal with this issue.
So I did.
My solution was certainly not what the apes would have been looking for, but it got us through, and honestly. Who makes a puzzle that takes that long to solve? It probably wouldn't have worked even if I solved it. Monkeys aren't known for their engineering prowess.
A maze was our next problem, but it was simple and easily navigated. Fitting for an effort by apes Then came something significantly more dangerous.
My attempts to discern the safe route across came to naught Fortunately, I have a friend who might be willing to lend a hand.
While speaking with the Seneschal, she was able to give me something to assist with exploring the tomb, and also informed me of a plan to bring hydrogen from Hell to fill the Zeppelin. On one hand, this seems like a very bad plan. On the other hand, I don't actually care if a bunch of monkeys blow themselves up, so I'll go ahead and do it the next time I'm near Hell.
With the chit of red honey I'd been provided, I was able to translate the runes below. The history recorded in the hall is... Not entirely in-line with my understanding of the Neath.
The trip to the deepest reach of the vault went without anything deserving of mention.
In the depths of the vault, before the final door that seemed to lock away the most deep room of the tomb, laid another bowl of red honey chips. The Adventuress has avoided them, probably because she doesn't think anything from monkeys. Why other apes who'd gotten so far did not try them became clear after I did.
If I lived in the Empire of Hands, I would not much care for these chips either. Even given my own relatively elevated state, I feel pity for them, and cannot imagine the sorrow of someone who would wish to see them do better.
It also gave me what I needed to open the final door.
The final, deepest tomb had been constructed with significant care, and there were a large number of souls very impressive-looking souls, at that. However, not everything went very smoothly Although it did go about as smooth as I had been starting to expect it might.
The Adventuress claimed the souls for herself at swordpoint, and made her escape But all was not lost.
Fortunately, in my hour of need, my crew were able to assist me. The Foundling found me and removed me from the temple through a secret path. I may even forgive her for stealing my clothes after this. We moved quickly, making our way back to the beach where the rowboats would be waiting.
Decision time! How do we navigate this sticky situation? As a reminder, both our Hearts and Irons are pretty low. Choose wisely!