The Let's Play Archive

Sunless Sea

by Black Wombat

Part 33: Twisty little passages, all the same

Journal entry thirty two – Twisty little passages, all the same.

From The Journal of Captain Petra Blackwood,

October 19th, 1888

After spending last night enjoying the company of my beau – and the Checkmate under the surely just as tender hands of Navy mechanics - I'm once more feeling ready to set back out upon the Zee. But before I depart, I will have to do a few more things in order to get my ship in order and prepared to depart.

Including a stop over at the Admiralty.

Then a stop in with the Merchant Venturer, to turn in the Zzoup, and see what next he will need from me.

I also plan to speak to the Unsettling Sage a little more – Now that I have a warm bed and soft touch between me and Frostfound, I am feeling more sure of my place in the world.

My next objective is going to be to acquire a Element of the Dawn. However, to do so, I'm going to need to carry an entire hold full of cargo to the Grand Geode. And that means unloading some of these other items I have – The candles being the largest offenders. I also happen to know a place where I can aquire a large quantity of uncensored romantic literature, for both the Venturer and a certain tiger. It will require honey, but that's affordable enough.

Here omitted uninteresting stops at Mutton Island, the Canal, and an entire page that seems to be covered with pictographs of goats being highly provocative.

October 23rd, 1888

As we neared the Fathomking's Hold, we saw, rising from the mist, a Lorn-Fluke. My cook still longs for its core – I had my crew assume battle positions. Many of the new faces balked, but Jones quickly shouted them into line.

The opening salvos went entirely in our favor, but the beast closed faster than I was expecting.

Fortunately, these creatures don't have the real mettle to stay and fight things to the end. Once badly injured, it tried to flee – but we didn't let it get far.

The Bandaged Cook was delighted. He will soon prepare a feast ready for the Fathomking – he needs only a large quantity of wine to accompany the meal, something I wish he'd told me four days ago. We're almost within cannon shot of the Keep, but have no wine. The feast will have to wait.

Omitting an uninteresting visit to the Fathomking's Keep.

October 26th, 1888

I decided to have another stop-in at Visage.

Once more, I chose the frog mask – since I still have many questions about this island, and don't think there is really much material wealth to be carried away.

And am not suicidal.

Unfortunately, while the frog is expected to be curious, it is also not a mask that really encourages others to actually answer its questions. Fortunately, I was given a chance to get another.

I visited the Temple of Apis, and took notes on its rules and goings-on. This was a acceptable thing for a Moon-Moth to do, it seems, and will make a good piece for research later.

While attending a visit with the Cheif Geometer, I was allotted a certain amount of approval for my selection of gift. But as I watched, I noticed that he did not seem to accept or refuse gifts as much by if he liked them, as if he thought they were appropriate for the role of the giver. This is a strange place, where one's own desires must be subservient to the role you take.

With my work done for the day, I went to visit the side of Flourishing-of-Years. I discovered a space along her side with ancient scripts – but I was unable to decipher the words. I must return another time, to make the attempt.

With evening coming, the change of shift happens, and I took the opportunity to sneak away. I don't feel bad. The Checkmate needs a captain more than Visage needs a moon-moth. But I'll return another day.

Omitting a visit to the Uttershroom where four Honey was traded for four Blemmigans.

October 27th, 1888[/b]

We arrived at the Mangrove Collage this afternoon. I went ashore and took some time to visit with the man the Admiralty said was my contact here. He was... Not like other contacts I've had before.

I was expecting more mud, and less Ming, but I won't complain. He even had a gift for me. I don't think I've met someone so... Civilized in my travels so far. Now that I've returned from that, I'm preparing a small expedition into the Wisp-ways – the natural paths that zig-zag all over the island. There are rumors of treasure and secrets, and we have the supplies and candles to make a trip into the unknown.

Written on the subsequent page; occasional drops of water have smeared the ink, making it hard to read.

This expedition has gone about as well as could have been expected. In the end, Jones, Inferior, Celia, Draki, Vel O. And Quark accompanied me inland.

Almost as soon as we entered, it became clear this was untamed wilderness.

Leeches, ants, thorny vines and mud as high as my knees (or Draki's navel) have been a constant impediment to our progress.

But I've tried to steer us away from danger as well as I can, and not take undo chances.

That was not enough to keep all of us safe, however. The Amphigator got within five feet of us before it burst forth, two maws of teeth snapping. Almost all of us reacted in time – Celia, however, was dumbfounded by the speed of the creature's attack.

Fortunately for her, Jones wasn't. He shoved her back to safety even as the thing's mouth clamped down on his abdomen instead for denying him his prize.

We fired on the thing, and it fled, Jones drawing his boot-knife to go out fighting the whole way. I'll miss the man. He had been with me since my first departure from London. Of my original crew, only Grandalt and A. Kalan remain. Part of me wonders if they will live to see the end of my career; I suppose time will tell.

We've found an abandoned fort to rest in. Soon we will depart again – I hope this isn't just a wild goose chase. I will make sure Jones died for something.

October 29th, 1888

I decided to come slightly out of our way to stop at Varchas today. The glowing city might not let us in, but I want to speak to the 'Neathers, and hear what they have to say.

Not much, it turns out. The leader of the group, the Youth, says they plan to leave, but they have yet to work up the courage to do so. I suspect they might be waiting an awful long time for that man to gather courage.

October 31st, 1888

I have had a short and rather pleasant visit to the Empire of Hands.

Once more, I put Draki in charge of unloading the hydrogen as I went and visited the Mandarins in the Court.

For my gift of honey, I was permitted to attend a poetry reading. Although it was obviously very derivative of the Celestial school back in Veilgarden, that doesn't mean it wasn't also rather good. I was permitted to take more than a few samples with me, enough to satisfy both my potential clients – so long as I can avoid the excisemen.

November 2nd, 1888

I've returned to the Chelonate, story of Glory's founding in-hand.

As I landed, I decided to see what a blemmigan would think of Glory's grisly nooks and crannies – unfortunately, I'd discounted the nature of the locals in my attempt, however. The blemmigan didn't make it very far.

With that little experiment behind me, I went to speak to the Scrimshaw Chronicler. I have resolved to tell him the truth, no matter what he thinks of it.

He took it – I'll be honest – better than I thought he would. He was distraught, rather than angry. He accepted what I said as true.

I forgot to get a screenshot of it, but you can try to lie to him and make up a proper story – It's a Pages challenge, and Petra has a 22% shot at pulling it off. I decided to opt against that.

Even more than that, much to my surprise, as I prepared to depart, he asked to come with me. He said that he couldn't bear the idea of staying on a lie any longer. He seemed like an able man, so I permitted it.

November 2nd, 1888

I've paid a visit to both Polythreme and Godfall today – The residents offered no surprised, but I did, in turn, leave each of them a little fungal surprise.

I hope they get along.

With this completed, I will be heading back to London – I have no more business out here, and expect few, if any, disturbances on the way back.