Part 40: Officer's day inJournal entry 39 Officer's day in
From The Journal of Captain Petra Blackwood,
continued from last entry.
The path was easy enough to follow.
North a ways, and then east to this dried river bed before turning South. Following the instructions wound up taking several hours, in total.
The answers -
1) London is the Fifth city.
2) Go east until you get the above message.
3) Ash Isthmus, Sovereign, Heartsake, Foutainhead, and Port Stanton.
4) The current emperor is Emperor Crispin the Fourth We saw that in Journal entry 20, mentioned once or twice.
5) One step North, towards the Avid Horizon
6) Go west until you find the treasure marker. It takes five steps. The final X, Y coords are always 1,4.
We eventually came across a marker of crossed bones an X made of bones. I don't think the apes could have emulated the stories harder if they'd tried.
The reward was quite lucrative, in any case. Jewels, pearls, and a pot of very unusual ink that will soon be going to a good home.
With that business finished, I return to Port Stanton and got the Checkmate ready for departure, how much more heavily-loaded than it had been on our arrival.
Omitting a regular stop at the Mangrove Collage
January 2nd, 1889
We arrived at Adam's Way today, with the Sphinxstone in tow. Even with the enormous load I had to deliver, the Gracious were unwilling to have more than myself enter the city, even going so far as to provide porters for me to avoid it. I think, in the end, my crew were glad for it. More and more, I get the feeling they don't want to know what I do when I'm in port... And they're just as glad to have nothing to do with the Sphinxstone. Several individuals on night watch had claimed to hear sobbing coming from the hold as late, but nothing was there but the stone. It'll be good to be rid of it.
Dealing with the stones was the very first thing I did. The woman I delivered them too was a priestess, who claimed to worship Stone's mother, whoever (or whatever) that may be. In the end, she wanted only one of the stones, for reasons she tried to explain, but that I am even now not entirely able to wrap my head around. I left the remainder for the porters to deal with.
I spent a little time catching up on recent goings-on,
and then the remainder of the day examining some of the curiosities of the Elder Continent. They claimed to have a genuine Shapeling, one who tried to become more than human with forbidden arts. I am not so sure. I don't think Shapelings are much in the habit of sitting in sideshows. Still, it makes a better story than someone who got sick, or was simply born with unfortunate circumstances.
I returned to my ship once the day was over, and we departed for the west.
January 3rd, 1889
The trip between Adam's Way and Port Carnelian was very dangerous this voyage.
The Crying Heights was empty enough, but upon leaving, we had to steer very sharply north to avoid being swarmed by Blue Prophets.
As soon as we had passed them, the Wax Wind came from the south. While I've never gotten to experience it's effects first-hand, I've heard enough that I don't want too.
We had to skim dangerously close to Velten's Vortex in order to make it to the Coast, but in the end, we've arrived safe and sound, and it's time for me to do what I can to help my agents there.
I met with Antivehicular to talk about the nature of the Great Game, as it was being played here. Another tiger seeking something to get its blood pumping was easy enough, I had a leftover title from last time.
A more expensive chance then arose; secrets were used, enemies were baited out and destroyed. My agents continue to rise to prominence here.
My influence is such that another of the spymasters has requested I come speak to him. I know better than that, of course I have no intention of going and seeing the man. He uses all his efforts to stymie my progress for now, but I'll give it a little time He'll move on when he realizes I'm not taking the bait.
With that done, we set back out to Zee.
January 4th, 1889
There is here one entire page covered with what appears to be Italian, but anyone who knows Italian will be unable to make sense of the words but also be overcome with an incredible nostalgia for the harvest season. Even if they never experienced a harvest season.
January 4th, evening - 1889
On our way back to London from the Iron Republic, I've allowed the Brisk Campaigner to stay below decks, working with the Judgment's Egg that I passed on to her. As we passed Mutton Island, she came into my quarters with barely a knock.
She had apparently replaced her soul with the contents of the Judgment's Egg. I don't fully understand the metaphysical ramifications of it, but given that she's from the Elder Continent, when she offered me her thanks 'Always and forever', I am acutely aware that she might mean it I do sometimes wonder how old she is. She looks a bit old, and if she's from the South, she must be ancient and is probably set to live much longer now.
Once we make port, I'll have to invite her to my home, and we can celebrate her return to immortality properly.
January 5th, 1889
Another year, another safe return to London. Upon our arrival, I released the crew for a day, and set the Checkmate into drydock. It needed a little work, after all.
I paid my usual visits, and the ordered a small delivery of lovely beverages sent to my home, where I'd invited the Campaigner.
We had arrived in the wee-est hours of the morning, drank until the gas-lights were lit, and then went out for breakfast. She's a new woman perhaps in more ways than I know. Still, her attitude and demeanor have hardly changed, save for the shadow that had fallen across her being lifted.
While you don't get any insane equipment for finishing the Campaigner's story line, it's honestly just a fun little arc, AND the Indomitable Campaigner is probably the best surgeon you can get in the game. Having her also unlocks some interactions on the Elder Continent, but I'm pretty sure we've passed them all already.
After me and the Campaigner had gone on to our own business, I came across the Adventuress. For how long she'd been on my ship, I realized I'd never really spoken to her at great length a state which also applied to several of my other crew members. I decided to spend some time rectifying this.
I spent some time with the Adventuress while out, inviting her to a proper creamery to enjoy herself a little. She, in turn, told me a bit about where she was from, but departed before we could speak at any great length. I encountered another out-of-work Zailor while walking, who knew me for what I was on sight. He asked an unwisely-small number of questions about my vessel, and accepted low pay to join on. I told Nytell to report to the harbor in the morning. He blanched a little at the name of my ship, but didn't renege on the deal.
I then located the haunted doctor, who was staying at a flophouse near the docks. He seemed reluctant to venture farther into the city at all, but he couldn't turn down a chance for a proper dinner at my abode.
He revealed much to me, which I shall not record even here. Perhaps he has a very good reason for fleeing to Zee, more so than most of the others. As I returned to check on the Checkmate, I ran into the Adventuress once more And took the chance to speak to her as Draki was sent to gather up the remainder of the crew.
We had quite a few hours to kill, and spent them pleasantly enough but at some point, all the memories of the Elder Continent made her remember something unpleasant, and she revealed what I can only assume is something of a secret. She was obviously distressed, and I could hear Draki yelling for me outside, so I didn't press.
But perhaps I should have. A group of miscreants although not the type you normally see, down on Wolfstack had come to bar our way to the Checkmate. The Adventuress looked defeated, angry and embarrassed all at once, but I'll be damned before I step aside and let anyone even Presbyterate priest-assassins kill one of my crew under my nose.
The fight was brutal, and short. We had numbers on them, but they were much more accustomed to this kind of fighting than most of my crew. Still, they brought an awful lot of knives to a gunfight. In the end, we won. Before it was over, however, S.M. and Celia both lay dead on the pier neither of them had been exactly the most rough-and-tumble of my crew.
I had other members deliver their bodies to my home, and shove the assassins into the water. The drownies will deal with them, and I strongly suspect S.M. and Celia will make full recoveries. Those recoveries will take longer than I plan to wait, of course, so the least I can do is ensure they were comfortable when they wake back up. Perhaps I will even give them a bonus upon my return.
While that was being done, I spoke to the Adventuress about why such a large group of men wanted to kill her. She went over some nonsense about enforced mortality and rules. All she wants, it seems, is a chance to die well. I'm sure I can arrange that, somewhere.
As I write this, the crew is finishing preparations for departure. The ship is stocked, everyone is here, all that's left is to depart before the Special Constables arrive and deal with what is either a bad hangover or a minor concussion.
Still our first stop is Venderbight, and I'm sure I could get there blind drunk if I needed too. All will be well.