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File 160727214283.png - (88.75KB , 800x213 , 1-Title.png )
982838 No. 982838 ID: 0fbdcd

A little more than thirty years ago, London was stolen by bats.
The city, once capital of the British Empire, became the Fifth City to come under the ownership of the Bazaar and its Masters, now planted on the south bank of the Stolen River, formerly the Thames. London was transported, deposited atop the resting place of the Fourth- on the western shore of the Neath, a great underground cave beneath the world, filled entirely with the Zee; a great, dark, sunless sea.

It was quite a lot of fuss at the time, given the peculiarities of life in the Neath. But that was a generation ago.

The year is 1894, and you are a citizen of London. However, a tragedy has befallen you: you have been afflicted with an illness, the kind that kills you well enough you cannot come back, the kind beyond the science of modern medicine to cure. There is only one solution:
You must become wealthy enough to purchase immortality from the Bazaar.
This is typically the project of a lifetime, or a favor offered only to those already tremendously rich before the Fall. You do not have that long to waste. There is, they say, only one surefire way to become tremendously rich all at once, if you live to tell the tale; become a Zeecaptain, sail the Zee, find your fortune.

You have sold every last thing you own in order to purchase a ship and her crew. This is your shot. Your final and only shot.
Expand all images
No. 982839 ID: 0fbdcd
File 160727226395.jpg - (160.92KB , 1343x740 , 2-CharacterSelect.jpg )

But, a rather pertinent question: who are you?

Are you The Masterful Monster-hunter? You made your living working for the Department of Menace Eradication, out on Watchmaker’s Hill. You started with rodents, frostmoths, infestations of sorrow-spiders- graduated towards fighting off marshwolves, fungal-towers, the occasional dock-menacing zeebeast, or contracted murder from the Labyrinth of Tigers. You gained your infestation chasing an Unusually Large Rodent within the city’s sewers- you stumbled right into the nest. A rookie mistake.
This choice will make you Dangerous and Dreaded, and gain connections to the Law.

Are you The Radical Academic? You were a quick study at Benthic college and quickly graduated, before continuing your life in academia as an archeologist and researcher. You delved the Forgotten Quarter for Fourth City relics, and came to a greater understanding of some of the mysteries of the Neath. On your final outing, you were tricked; a Grinning Devil informed you of an old route west towards Hell, deep underground. The passage was harmless for them- lethal for humankind such as yourself.
This choice will make you Watchful and Bizarre, and gain connections to Academia.

Or are you The Faded Music-hall Singer? Once a member of an entertainment troupe at Mahogany Hall- before the fads turned and you were left in the dust. You lived on royalties and reunion shows for a time, but you sought the thrills of the stage, the rapid beat of the heart. You called upon old contacts. You got a few discrete tattoos at Clathermont’s. You became a spy, working neither for nor against the British empire. Woundings are typical in such a line of work, but the boobytrap placed at your dead-drop was, frankly, uncalled for.
This choice will make you Persuasive and Shadowy, and gain connections to The Great Game.

Or are you perhaps Someone Else Entirely? There are, of course, a great many people in London.

Additionally, please choose a name, a gender, and a portrait.
No. 982840 ID: e7c7d3

Let's go academic
Maurice, he/him. and the diving gear portrait
No. 982842 ID: 5950e9

Name: Melissa Sinclair, originally
Gender: Female
Portrait: bottom row, 5th column

You were a star once, burning bright upon the stage, and even when you fell from that stage you were bright across your voice and poise let you coax information from those keeping it and delivering it to those who wanted it, a long and successful stint in the khanate would have left you sitting pretty for a long time...

Damn that trap, your looks and lifespan are evermore afflicted but your tongue and wits are as sharp as ever, your saved funds now devoted to survival instead of retirement. You can give the crew words to allay concerns, but your appearance and past will cause whispers, but nothing you've not dealt with before.
No. 982844 ID: 12b116

Nothing matters to me other than portrait needs to be bottom row second from left (diving gear) and female.
No. 982846 ID: e8bee9

The monster-hunter. Our own immortality will be the most magnificent quarry yet!
No. 982847 ID: e8bee9

name: Jack (Jacqueline) Smith
gender: Female
portrait: furthest right, bottom row
No. 982851 ID: df76b1

Bigby Atwood
2nd Row, 2nd portrait
Monster Hunter
No. 982889 ID: dc0e8b

Burgundy "The Oceanman" Hillsford,bottom row, second on the left

Ready to delve the beneath. You are an academic ready to solve mysteries
No. 982896 ID: 6e4236

Jaqueline Smith, diving gear entusiast and sea-farer extraordinaire.

And you are a Seeker of The Name.
No. 982931 ID: bcda15

Voting diving gear and monster hunter
No. 982932 ID: e8a473

Go monster hunter. Aquire Palico.
No. 982937 ID: 094652

Oh, a hardcore Sunless Sea quest? Cool.

You are The Overburdened Gang-Lieutenant; you started out among The Topsy King's little helpers and moved up into a simple gang of nobodies, flitting from gang to gang as they disbanded, got arrested, or met a true predator on the streets of the Flit. Then one day, you happened to join the gang of someone with an Ambition(TM). An Ambition(TM) so fierce and horrifying, that they had to use the Correspondence to slowly wipe the memories of their identity from even their dearest friends and blood siblings - yourself included. Even then, you stayed at their side through thick and thin, and when they wrote their legend into the heart of the Bazaar by defeating (or was it parleying? or fleeing? Or bedding? you're not sure anymore) one of the Masters themselves, you were there to pick up the spoils.

Then one day they decided to build a railroad that literally went straight through a magical mirror into dreamland.
You were stupid enough to volunteer.

You've cut all ties with your former legendary acquaintance, just as your very blood-vessels have begun to cut their ties with your flesh. Your boss did the impossible - but even they weren't rich enough to buy that ever-magnificent cider.

Well. You'll show them what for, eh?

Sarah Feutic
(+Shadowy, +Dangerous, 1st row, 2nd column)
No. 982974 ID: 0fbdcd
File 160738490172.png - (204.57KB , 800x800 , Character.png )

You are The Masterful Monster-Hunter, sometimes referred to as Jacquelin Smith to close friends. Very few are given that privilege- many hesitate to get close to you, given your… unique dress habits. None but yourself and a physician has seen what lies beneath your diving suit in quite some time- but who could blame you for being partial to the thing? It’s warm, deceptively comfortable, and provides a valuable layer of protection between you and the items of your work.
And, of course, all the better for hiding your deformities nowadays.

You are strong, Dangerous, and Dreaded- and a touch Bizaare thanks to your unique adornments. Additionally, while it is not as strong as a Favor Owed, you have connections to the Law of the Neath.
No. 982975 ID: 0fbdcd
File 160738497284.png - (91.62KB , 864x400 , 3-ShipSelect.png )

You climb the gangplank and board your ship. It, like all Zeefaring vessels, is powered by steam; there is no wind upon the Zee to push sails, after all. At least, no winds one would hope to come in contact with. It cost you more than you own to acquire this ship and her crew; a collection of rough docker types, ten strong, each one much like the last; scarred, partial to mushroom wine, very capable.
But the question is- what kind of ship have you acquired?

Have you found A Swift Zee-Clipper? Despite mounting a standard engine, this ships light weight, unique profile, and high-riding construction ensures it glides across the Zee at a rapid pace. However, it sacrifices other valuable aspects for this speed; it is small, poorly armored, and has paltry space for crew and cargo. A favorite of smugglers and those others who do no good; in fact, you were ‘loaned’ this one by… a friend of ill repute. You were assured that the transaction came with no strings attached.
Taking the Zee-Clipper will lead to greater speed and fuel efficiency, but will leave you vulnerable. Additionally, you will owe a favor to Criminals.

Perhaps you have chosen A Tramp Steamer? There is nothing remarkable about this ship, sparing its age. The ship has been mass-produced in the yards of the Iron and Misery company for twenty-odd years; this is one of their first. It features a standard (if creaky) engine, standard (albeit dented) armoring, and standard (albeit somewhat smelly) space for cargo and crew. It also, so you were told, carries the luck of all its previous captains with it; for while she has known many crews over many years, she has always come back to port.
The Tramp Steamer is a standard choice, with no particular drawbacks or strengths. You had to promise a favor to Dockers And Labor to acquire this ship.

Or, this could be A Mothballed Corvette. Her Majesty’s Royal Navy has, sadly, been much reduced in modern times. Caminus Yards has been authorized to sell some of the repurposed and decayed items of London’s military- only to those of the right make, of course. As a former member of London’s military, the Corvette is vast, sturdy, armed with a real bastard of a main battle cannon- and moves at the stately pace of government itself.
The Mothballed Corvette is slow, and burns fuel with poor efficiency- but it is strong, and is the only of these three choices to come with a shipmounted weapon. You will also owe a favor to High Society for the wheel-greasing required to acquire it.
No. 982978 ID: 0fae41

A tramp steamer. Can't hunt monsters at the pace of a glacier, except for glacier monsters.
No. 982979 ID: 2aa5f0

Tramp Steamer or the Mothballed Corvette. Our title is monster hunter so might as well pick something that could actually get into a fight and not crumble like paper mâché after the first hit.

The steamer would be easier to start off with being a good jack of all trades type so we could take any kinda of job and have a reasonable chance of completing it plus it is much easier to maintain.

The corvette on the other hand is much more durable, comes with a gun so we wouldn't need to waste money on that, and probably has decent cargo space to hopefully be able to help make up for it's higher upkeep cost.
No. 982982 ID: bcda15

Seconding Tramp Steamer or the Mothballed Corvette, although knowing the Zee running out of fuel is a death sentence.
No. 983225 ID: 0fbdcd
File 160755617888.png - (90.15KB , 369x313 , 4-Tutorial.png )

You found and purchased an old tramp-steamer from a Surly Seafarer; the man had to have been pushing seventy, and claims to have been at either Sea or Zee his entire life. He was certainly salty enough, and even after all these years underground, his skin still carried a tanned complexion, albeit one driven sallow by the sun’s long absence. He cut his palm, then spit in it, then held it out to you for a shake.

You demonstrated that his knife has difficulty piercing your heavy glove, and that spittle would, naturally, glaze only the interior of your helmet. This caused a minor fuss before agreeing to the shake anyway. The deal was struck- your last remaining savings for his ship and the services of her crew. It has been nagging at you that she needs a new name- but this is not an urgent matter, on a timer short as yours.
The first matter at hand is recalling exactly how one operates a steam ship. You’ve not been at Zee for quite some time- but part of your bargain for the ship was a rough rundown of captaincy.

A ship’s captain must keep track of seven key attributes: Fuel, Rations, Supplies, Health, Morale, Funds, and Marks Of Credit.

Fuel is the blood of your ship- most commonly, altered coals imported from Hell. Fuel keeps your engine turning and your glim-lamp burning. For every two hundred pixels of movement on the map, your ship will consume one fuel, presuming regular conditions. This rate may be altered by the weight of your ship, the power and efficiency of your engine, and by special circumstances at Zee.

Rations are what feeds your crew. For every four hundred pixels of movement, one ration is distributed and consumed. This rate may be altered by the speed your ship is traveling at, how many persons are in your crew, or by special circumstances at Zee.

Supplies are what keeps your ship running. They are, essentially, boxes of gear for use in either regular maintenance or emergencies; Supplies may be stashed-and-packed blunderbusses, folded and stored hull pieces, or simply spare parts- anything which has reasonable excuse to have been bought and secured beforehand. Supplies are consumed whenever you require some extra material at hand to perform a herculean task, or whenever you must repair your ship outside of drydock. It is also recommended by savvy Zeecaptains to perform maintenance upon your ship every few times you make port- but this is not a hard and fast rule.

Health and Morale are measurements of your crew. They measure, abstractly, the well-being of your shipmates. Health may be harmed after a rough fracas; Morale may suffer as terror rises. Both are measured on an eight-point scale. Zero is serene. Five is hazardous. Eight is deadly.

Funds is, of course, a measurement of your money- the currency of modern London is the Echo, but those at Zee are known to accept more foreign currencies as well. You will require 160,000 Echos to purchase immortality from the Bazaar and prevent your imminent death. Of likely note to zeecaptains: at market rates, Fuel goes for twenty echos, Rations and Supplies for thirty each, and Marks of Credit can be purchased for one hundred echos. Funds, of course, have countless other uses outside of these specifically mentioned.

Marks of Credit Pages are a new scheme introduced jointly by Mr. Fires and Mr. Iron, two of the Masters of the Bazaar. Marks may be exchanged for shipbound equipment, or paid to special officers to entice them to join your crew. They are, in a sense, points which can be used to upgrade one’s ship. There is no standard rate in the markets for the value of an individual Mark, though, of course, people tend to demand more for more impressive adornments. Sellers across the Neath have been enticed to accept them because each Mark represents a certification of being owed one very tiny extremely small Favor from the Masters themselves.

You then consider your current stocks.
Fuel: 10
Rations: 10
Supplies: 5
Health: 0
Morale: 0
Funds: 0
Marks: 0

No. 983226 ID: 0fbdcd
File 160755623013.png - (933.13KB , 1152x1641 , 5-LondonWaters.png )

With your guidebook fresh in your head, it is time to alight to the captain’s quarters and decide your next steps. The gentle rock of waves borne from the wakes of larger ships, the cries of workers and singers and drunkards on the quay- all things you will need to gain a familiarity with. Unfortunately, there was not much work to be found for such a novice zeecaptain. You have three offers at your disposal.

The first is an unremarkable shipping request from Penstock, one of the rare few of humanity with a standing business arrangement with the Bazaar itself. He is most typically known for handling real estate. The offer is extremely perfunctory. ”Transport supplies to Station IV/’Salt Lions.’ Transport product on return to London.”
Payment is listed at 500 Echos and one Mark of Credit.

The second is a request from an elderly noble- you recognize the name as one attached to a few typographs produced on the further corners of the Neath. “Some evenings ago, during an unremarkable haircut, my barber slipped, cut me, and tragically, I exsanguinated until death. I have recovered well, but my family has politely suggested my visage may be more accepted away from polite society. Requesting prompt transport for a vacation on Venderbight. Not picky.”
Payment is listed at 200 Echos and three Marks of Credit.

The final is almost useless in regards to how much information it affords. “Novice captains only!!! Require assistance regarding shopping at Cumean Canal! Inquire on corner of Ladybones and Pallisade Road!!”
Payment is not listed- but the area is notable. It’s the sort of place where those who spin in the circles of the Traitor Empress’s court live. Perhaps such a thing is promising. Accepting this will require further investigation before leaving London.
No. 983235 ID: 2aa5f0

I'm going to say start with the elderly noble's request first. It actually pays and we just have to follow the coast north. A good mission to get the crew some experience and use some spending money.
No. 983284 ID: e7c7d3

No. 983289 ID: 094652

Lucky you, Salt Lions is so close this iteration!

Just be sure to double-check with the client for the exact weights of the cargo to and from Station IV. You do not want to make more trips than necessary.
No. 983302 ID: 5950e9

Simple wisdom would say taking a comparatively straightforward foray up the coast to visit the tomb colonists would be best.

But simple wisdom doesn't often reach a hunter of monsters, and you are a novice to your new profession for only such a short time.
Investigate this mysterious task while you can.
No. 983424 ID: 0fbdcd
File 160774575904.png - (889.01KB , 1152x1641 , 7-VoyageBegins.png )

You decide to accept the elderly noble’s request- to be paid so handsomely for the transport of a single item? Surely something worth taking, even if said item is in fact a person. He’s dressed in what must be one of his finer suits; it seems he plans to strike the Tomb Colonies in style.
He makes himself comfortable in his quarters- you are loaning him the captain’s bunk for the duration of the journey. You are a monster hunter. You have endured far worse than the passage of night asleep in a chair rather than a bed.

The first leg of your journey proceeds without much fuss. The exit from London is slow and harried- you are at the whims of passing ships, lost cargo, floating detritus, phantom currents underzee. Only as you finally pass the final prong of housing jutting into the Zee does the expanse open before you. London fades away into the fog- first the buildings, then the lights. Soon all that is visible is the dimly glowing shell of the Bazaar and its spires- and even those are fading away.
Before you is the Zee, and only the Zee, for now. You are still close to civilization; on your distant fore, a spyglass can see the sharp spike of Hunter’s Keep, a manor that was ancient even before London fell. But ahead of you is only the great black mirror of motionless water, and the false-stars glittering above. Candles burn steadily through the ship, and the great Glim-Lamp mounted atop it lights the way.
You have used one Fuel, the remainder is nine. How shall you proceed to Venderbight? Please chart your path- or simply state your preferred route. Routes closer to shores are always safer, but rarely faster than straight lines. Additionally, of note to Zeecaptains- there is a bounty issued by the Navy for updated intelligence and charts. For every location you visit during a voyage (marked on the map by the anchor symbol,) you will receive at least that many Fuel for free upon return to London, once the intelligence is delivered to the proper office.
No. 983425 ID: 0fbdcd
File 160774581050.png - (381.71KB , 800x800 , 8-ThePassenger.png )

You spend the time on the voyage getting to know your crewmen and your passenger. The crew are of mixed ages, origins, and creeds- ancient mariners intermixed with the relatively fresh-faced. The Khanate B_____d is the strongest aboard; the crew assert she can outdrink Mr. Wines and shatter Lifebergs by hand, let alone with tools. The woman herself is quiet and humble and greatly enjoys foreign tea. The Electrifying Minister is the ship’s cook; he is younger than he looks, sporting that great bushy beard, and there are few spots on his body not stained with tattoos. He serves sermons as he serves bowls of stew to the crew; it is a long accepted tradition that one must endure cries about Storm and Mercy and Vengeance and Regret and other higher concepts if they wish to eat in the galley. The rest have their own quirks and habits- but the general picture is that this is a crew that has been together for some time before the transfer of their contracts, and while they see you with a skeptical eye, your position as a Monster Hunter inoculates you against many complaints that would befall other inexperienced captains. They are more eager to see you prove your success than to watch you fail.

The tomb colonist in your quarters introduces himself formally as the Defaced Dandy- something his brother came up with after his injury. He’s really quite young for a tomb colonist- he was only a child during the Fall. Additionally, you inform him he’s not quite dressed properly for the Colonies; over there, the style is bandages and little else, not three-piece suits. Those who cling to outdated fashion are viewed as too attached to their lives before exile- and, well, it’s not like Tombers are getting any younger. They are unlikely to return to the modern world.
The Dandy frowns heavily- or, at least, you presume he is. The one place he has wrapped in bandaging is his face and head- to protect the wounds caused by his barber, he explains. “See, I do have an attachment to my life before exile! I have a wife, children- I’ve only even died once before! A Jack-Of-Knives, you see. It’s purely rotten luck that the issue with the barber was so… disfiguring as to require a retirement from society. My family assures me they are working on a solution- that this is a temporary arrangement. Perhaps they shall commission a luxurious mask, or… something.”
He finishes with a soft sigh, planting himself in a chair heavily. “I’m not ready to leave at all. I don’t want to. So- please, help me think of this as a vacation, not a permanent arrangement.”
No. 983426 ID: 0fbdcd
File 160774583435.png - (334.42KB , 800x800 , 9-Him!.png )

You oblige. You while away an hour discussing what you know of the destination ahead- which isn’t much, but speculation is often just as distracting as fact. The evening is ended as the Dandy suggests a walkabout- he wants to get to know the crew he’ll be spending the week with, and you could do with the same. You exit the cabin and nearly bump into one of your Zailors- but something about this chance encounter makes the Dandy’s spine jerk straight up. “That fellow looked familiar, Captain. Sir! You, sir!”
The zailor turns to look back for only half a second, before redoubling his pace. The Dandy gasps, starts once or twice as he sputters- before he screams. “That man has my face!”
No. 983427 ID: 0fbdcd
File 160774596940.png - (213.80KB , 800x800 , 10-Face.png )

He gives chase immediately. You follow behind. The zailor rounds a corner- there is a great clatter.
There is a hole in an air vent in the wall, and a face upon the ground, wet and discarded. For some, this would be terror. For one of your profession, this is the same, but less so, given the knowledge you are armed with. There is a monster among the crew- a Snuffer, a kind of shapechanger. This will have to be addressed during the voyage, along with route charting.
No. 983429 ID: 8483cf

I have no idea where to go, but I do recommend not sailing into port until we've solved the shapeshifter problem.
No. 983430 ID: 2748b3

It may perhaps be wise to set a bait of candles, assuming you've dealt with such creatures before, and are thus familiar with their- less polite eating habits.
No. 983432 ID: 2aa5f0

well I say we travel along the coast both for safer travel and to give us more time to figure something out with this Snuffer problem that has shown up.

What do you know about Snuffers, the more we know about them the easier it will be to capture the damn thing.
No. 983433 ID: bcda15

Candle bait is a good idea for sniffing out snuffers, I’d advocate for continuing towards our destination but avoiding docking.
No. 983435 ID: 094652

Grab the face, hopefully someone at the university knows how to re-stitch it back on.
Hey look, you get 200 echoes and you didn't even need to set sail yet!
No. 983479 ID: c11c8a

Inform the crew there is an impostor Among Us.

Make them salute each other by whispering a sign and counter-sign into each other's ear whenever they aproach each other.
No. 983539 ID: 0fbdcd
File 160792104505.png - (287.03KB , 542x766 , 11-Route.png )

You instruct the crew to keep the ship on a course hugging the western shores. This is a safe choice, very regular- staying so close to land lightens some of the stresses placed upon the crew.

This course will consume four fuel and two rations total, leaving stores at 6 and 8 respectively. Your proximity to land ensures no random events occur on the ride over- and your long route ensures ample time to deal with the Snuffer situation before making port, probably.
No. 983540 ID: 0fbdcd
File 160792108224.png - (342.81KB , 800x800 , 12-ReadingTime.png )

For now- to attend to the Snuffer. You pull the face off the floor and hand it- gingerly- to your passenger for safekeeping. He studies the thing with mournful eyes, before returning it to his quarters, presumably for preservation. You instruct the three zailors nearest to you to remember closely a sign and counter-sign; this will ensure that, should the Snuffer become any one of them, you will know. Unfortunately, the rest are out of sight, and Snuffers work quickly. But you have eliminated three of your ten zailors from suspicion thanks to quick thinking.

You return to the captain’s quarters, trailing the Defaced Dandy, and rummage briefly before finding your prize: your research. You, like most monster-hunters, carry a heavily dog-eared reference book filled with the collated knowledge of all your peers. The musings and notes of adventurers, old zee-shanties, the wild words of the urchin-gangs; all hold kernels of truth about the endless dangers of the Neath.
No. 983541 ID: 0fbdcd
File 160792111050.png - (286.79KB , 800x800 , 13-Snuffers.png )

Snuffers are an insectile creature of the Elder Continent to the south; alike to men in size and shape, but unlike in bearing, given the chitin and the slime.
They are intelligent, though not more so than can be said of man. They are also not universally malignant: there are scraps of evidence of Snuffers living peaceably among men, though nothing listed here names any particular names.
What is known is that they are able to dig their talons under the skin and remove it with surgical precision- often violently, though not necessarily so. This can be done from the living or the dead. They may then take the face and use it as disguise; the exact method of the transformation is unknown, but it is a complete and flawless ruse.
They are able to consume normal food, but gain nothing from it; their only true source of sustenance is wax, most often candles. They have a great hunger for wax.
They also have a great hunger for change. The precise reason is unknown, but Snuffers rarely keep one visage for too long. They trade faces among one another, or discard the used and gain replacements.
They also refer to one another as Cousin without fail. Thus ends your notes.

A candle-trap might be the most efficient way to lure the beast, but to make it useful you would need to confiscate candles from the rest of the ship, plunging it into darkness. However, it is almost a certainty that the Snuffer has already taken another face, and shoved the hapless owner into the black Zee below. One of your crew is not your crew.
No. 983542 ID: 8483cf

We're taking a route close to land. No need for candles right now.

Let's get that sumbitch!
No. 983543 ID: 69e52f

The snuffer's false face can be pulled out perhaps as easily as a wig.
Mayhaps it's time to call all your crew together for a moment and, one by one, do just that.
No. 983544 ID: b1b4f3

Uh, what is a candle trap though? And why would darkness be bad?
If it works to lure a disguised snuffer then do it.
No. 983545 ID: 094652

Leave the candles in the lamp room, and put your three sailors on rotating lamp duty.

Put up an offer to the Snuffer for amnesty; if they reveal themselves to you, you'll consider lessening their sentence to a few weeks of indentured servitude with lessened pay, since you're in need of a snuffer for special matters. If you discover their identity on your own, you reserve the privilege to turn the tables and chop them into armor plating and rations with a side order of tartar sauce.
No. 983553 ID: bcda15

Variation of this is to have the zailors each do guard duty around a candle, secretly observed by you. The snuffer will probably fail the compulsion to consume the wax and out themselves and you can then confront it as an equal and either try diplomacy or introduce it to A Notched Bone Harpoon and the color Peligin.
No. 983746 ID: 0fbdcd
File 160809578768.png - (206.91KB , 800x800 , 14-Bait.png )

A candle-trap is not any defined thing; it is a common practice in traditional hunting as applied to the Snuffer. One commonly baits traps with food an animal favors. Because Snuffers can only be satiated by wax, gathering all the candles on the ship in one place is an effective way to lure it out. It must eat eventually, after all.

Darkness is bad for reasons both practical and metaphysical.
Of the practical: Zailors cannot perform work well in the pitch-black of the Neath; should the false-stars above not be shining upon the boat, one can see no more than inches before their face. Light, often from candles, alleviates this concern.
Of the metaphysical: Zailors are superstitious. Light is civilization- darkness is nothing. A ship running no lights looks, to all the rest of the world, to not exist- many claim to have seen a ship go dark and then vanish completely, as if by ceasing to be in the light one is lost completely. This is usually not the case, but even so, darkness brings fear.

You inform your Zailors of the situation- that there is indeed an imposter among us. You gather candles from the ship and store them securely in the glim-lamp room. The rest of the journey will be in darkness, until the Snuffer is found.

The first day, all proceeds as normal, but for the palpable unease in the air. Friends mistrust friends. All grow silent- for fear of misremembering some small detail and being accused of being a saboteur.

The second day is much the same. Progress is steadily made towards Venderbight in the north. The three crewmen you have personally verified take turns watching the store of candles- the rest busy themselves with work, gazing at the shore to the west during rest, eyes hungering for the rare spark of light from some far-ranging hermit or bioluminescent fungus-tree. The distant light helps greatly to fight the sense of gloom on the darkened ship.
Morale has risen to 1/8.

On the third day, the hairs on the back of your neck stand up. You instruct the guardsman to appear asleep. You steady your breathing until it is undetectable. Until you are barely breathing at all.

Slowly, as the rest of the crew are asleep, you hear creeping footsteps. Catlike. But you have hunted cats.
No. 983747 ID: 0fbdcd
File 160809580852.png - (303.28KB , 800x800 , 15-Pounce.png )

“Good evening, Cousin,” you say.
The figure on the end of your harpoon makes no noise and no excuses. They have stolen the face of one of your junior crewmembers. They are found out.
The Snuffer is at your mercy.
No. 983750 ID: 094652

Tie the snuffer up. Learn their life story and write it down for further research.
Have the snuffer sent to the authorities.
No. 983751 ID: b1b4f3

They killed one of your crew, and previously stole the face of one other. There will be justice. Can there also be profit? Is there a bounty for handing Snuffer corpses over to a guild of some sort?
No. 983753 ID: 6e6f32

I wish I could be more amenable, more hands are always welcome, after all. I cannot however, forgive one such as ye whom has given in to their baser instinct, and murdered one of my crew.
However, there may be hope for you yet. If you can prove that you have held this form for some long while, I may be willing to spare your life.

Bind her, taking special precautions with those claws. Then summon the crew to interrogate her. It is important to know when the switch occurred.
No. 983754 ID: 2aa5f0

if there is a bounty for the thing hog tie it and make sure it can't go anywhere. Might as well give you something for all the trouble it's caused when you get to port. If not then kill the thing here and now before it can cause any more trouble aboard your ship.
No. 983757 ID: bcda15

Tying up an insect like creature that has knife like fingers is bound to end up with loose ends. I would like to give them a chance to explain themselves further, especially to find out what happened to the crew they replaced. This is the kind of thing we need to tread carefully with in relation to crew moral, especially considering their "Gods of the Zee" beliefs. Salt won't pay attention to any action here, and Storm might pay attention if we don't maintain justice/enforce order. Stone is the one you might want to worry about paying attention here.
No. 983860 ID: 0fbdcd
File 160833482363.png - (361.53KB , 800x800 , 16-Interrogation.png )

You have the Snuffer bound with thick rope and iron shackles, and bring it before the crew for interrogation. You rip its false face free- the flap of skin is handed, gingerly, to The Electrifying Minister- for rites and burial upon return to shore. The Snuffer’s disguise melts away rapidly- false-skin melting away into a slurry, revealing the chitinous underplating beneath.
It demands food before it will speak- you oblige, and feed it a single candle. The wax cylinder is messily devoured, sucked up into its maw by the mass of dexterous tentacles and mandibles it has for its genuine face.

It stole the face of The Inexperienced Stoker almost immediately after being found out with the Dandy’s visage; it has maintained that form for the last three days. The young man perished shortly afterwards, and he was rolled into the Zee. He is unrecoverable, now. The news brings great rage among the crew- though the Stoker had only been with the crew a few scant months before your purchase and captainship, he was well-liked, and considered promising.
The length of time the Snuffer held this face is not particularly exceptional. Reports indicate that they hold faces for a week, perhaps two, perhaps even four, before suffering an irresistible urge to transition to another.

You are unable to squeak many further details from the creature. It claims to have lived in London for some time, before taking the Dandy’s face. It claims to have been several key figures in prominent ballets across multiple performances. It claims that its stowing away on your ship was largely by happenstance and merely a way to earn funds.

The crew, naturally, wish to see it destroyed in any number of cheerfully vibrant ways and then summarily fed to the zee-bats. Bringing proof of a murderous Snuffer’s demise would likely earn a summary payment from the Department of Menace Eradication back in London.
...alternatively, you are dimly aware that there is a government office which deals, in some way, with Snuffers. Live ones. You would likely find much greater price from them- if you can find them, and if you can keep the Snuffer contained and alive long enough to get it to them.

You will be in Venderbight shortly, where the Defaced Dandy will seek someone to reattach his face- quite a good place for it. The more prideful dead always need touching up, after all. Should the Snuffer survive the hours between then and now?
No. 983861 ID: bcda15

While the rewards are good for live snuffers if you know where to inquire, keeping it out of trouble that long is unlikely. Crew moral and respect are worth way more.
No. 983863 ID: 094652

Interrogate and Vivisect the Snuffer to satisfy both your curiosity and the crew's hunger for vengeance. If they survive your brutality, have them arrested by the more profitable ventures.
No. 983868 ID: b1b4f3

Yeah it's too late to bring it in alive, especially so without any specific knowledge of where to bring it in.
No. 983882 ID: 6e6f32

Kill it quickly. Let us not become monsters ourselves, even if a simple death is too good for it.

We'll be at port soon. Work with the crew to prepare Rites for our fallen comrade, be they somber or boisterous.
No. 983884 ID: 46a721

I am torn. On one hand, ending the threat now and turning the body in later sounds like the sensible choice.

On the other hand, finding bringing the Snuffer to an organisation that deals with them may be the key that let's us learn new secrets in our quest for immortality.....as well as finding out if this organisation works towards the spread of the Snuffers in a mostrar malicious way.
No. 984068 ID: 0fbdcd
File 160852759520.png - (152.38KB , 800x800 , 17-BurialAtZee.png )

Your crew have many inventive ideas for how the Snuffer should be executed. The Banded Brawler, who has spent far too much time among the tigers in Port Carnelian, has already begun prepping what he claims is a traditional Presbyterate slaying for the Snuffer, which involves creative use of rope, pulleys, and weights.
You are disinclined to make a show of it. You return to your quarters and retrieve a hand-axe. The Snuffer is steadied and sat upright by two zailors. There is no readable emotion in its beady, inky eyes. There is a single swing.

You will preserve the head for presenting to the Department, back in London. A member of the crew proposes broiling the remains, like a great steamed crab. A reasonable extension of rations, he surmises.
You instead kick it over the railing. The body bobs as the ship steams on- before the glass of the zee parts, and something with spines and fins surfaces, draws its extended lips over the carcass, and retreats below the waves.

At the end of the day, you are now down two crewmen, with a complement of eight. This does not significantly impact the running of the ship, but is, perhaps, notable.
No. 984069 ID: 0fbdcd
File 160852762563.png - (239.31KB , 800x800 , 18-Venderbight.png )

You have arrived in Venderbight, the city of the half-dead. The landscape is a crowded, cramped, and ostensibly horrific mishmash of the constructions of perhaps six millenia’s worth of occupants. Most traces of the First City are lost, and little remains of the Second on the surface- though you hear tales of lost sandstone vaults beneath the streets, filled with the embalmed undying. The winners in styling are the Third City and the Fifth; marble columns leaned against squat granite pyramids, fungalwood townhomes and hostels amidst squared terraces with channeled routes. It is cramped, and dark, and quiet but for the shuffling of the half-dead, though occasionally you hear the whoops and hollers of combat, dance, or revels. There is a great scent of lilac in the air.

The Defaced Dandy departs for the dock, after shaking your hand firmly, and passing on banking certifications to transfer your payment. He informs that he will spend his time waiting for the general public to forget his dramatic change of visage, and seeking an expert surgeon; hopefully, by next time you port in Venderbight, he will be ready and waiting to return home. He claims he looks eagerly towards that day, and will hope to ride with you again.

Additionally, given you have stopped in a major port, you assemble a brief report for the Admiralty. Venderbight is landlocked, so it has not changed position, but there is still much data you can assemble for profit. Comings and goings, that sort.
You have gained 300 Echos and 3 Marks of Credit, and one Port Report- worth one free Fuel when submitted back in London.
No. 984070 ID: 0fbdcd
File 160852772114.png - (892.90KB , 1152x1641 , 19-VenderStats.png )

You have no more listed business in Venderbight, but every port in the Zee holds opportunities. You could roll the dice and spend time here, seeking information, commercial opportunities, or anything else. After all, Venderbight is home to the very, very, very, very old. Perhaps the socially undead have information regarding immortality or health?

Every day spent in a foreign port will consume one Ration. Often, seeking in foreign ports is up to chance- but success may be boosted by the expenditure of Supplies, Echos, or by similar narrative force and good sense explanations. Please be specific and thoughtful in the object of your search.
Of course, you could just leave immediately instead- in which case, a new route should be charted.

Your route to Venderbight consumed four Fuel and two Rations. Your stores at present are as follows:
Fuel: 6
Rations: 8
Supplies: 5
Health: 0 - Perfect
Morale: 1/8 - Wary
Funds: 200
Marks: 3

No. 984071 ID: 094652

Buy 4 Fuel and load it onto the ship. Then spend 20 echoes searching for trinkets and jobs. Spend another five on cheap, dental-safe pastries for the crew to lift their spirits slightly.
No. 984073 ID: b1b4f3

Refuel. Let's ask around for commercial opportunities and general information. You could ask about immortality too I guess but don't we already know where to buy it?
No. 984078 ID: 31e1c9

We could investigate Venderbright, since we are here.

Also buy more supplies and fuel, if the price is right.
No. 984487 ID: 0fbdcd
File 160930721841.png - (464.91KB , 800x800 , 20-Excavations.png )

You decide to spend a day in Venderbight. You don’t have much of a specific goal, but a great many people pass through here; the very injured, the very old, and those exciting enough to seek refuge from scandal and controversy back in London. And, of course, you’ll need time to resupply. You purchase four fuel- your Funds lower to 120, while Fuel rises to 10.
It is worth noting that not all markets across the Zee will have access to the same goods, or for the same prices. The Tomb Colonies are so intertwined with London that their markets are similar and stable, but you should not expect to be able to resupply everywhere you go.

Wandering the stalls of the market, you’re attracted to a mild hubbub; a crew of mixed Londoners and Tombers are doing their best to advertise a job search to the passing crowd, occasionally examining those who volunteer- and finding most unsuitable. You wait in que until you have a chance to speak with their spokesman, The Lively Archeologist.
He grins beneath his bandaging as you approach, and an assistant hands off a string and ruler- he’s quickly performing an invasive series of measurements, bustling around you with surprising speed. As he does so, he declares you suitable, extends a hand, and asks if you’ll take the job.

You explain that you don’t know what the job is. His eyes cut to his assistant in the way one who’s been asked an unfortunate question often does, seeking an imagined out to the query before relenting.

He explains that he’s an archeologist, and has decided to use his time in the Tomb Colonies productively. He’s broken ground nearby, and has managed to find his way into what seems to be a long-forgotten Second City tomb; the sandstone, animal motifs, and gilded treasures indicate as much. However, there is a teensy weensy itty bitty reptile problem.
He cannot see your raised brow behind your viewport. You repeat: “Reptile problem?”

That’s how the last one he sent in described it, he explains. Large, ornery, the usual. Just the kind of thing a Monster Hunter like yourself ought to handle, he concludes, cheerily.
In exchange for removing his reptilian issue, he offers either a modest portion of the profits from the excavation- or a line on a cannon for your ship.
Should you accept? And if so, are there any special preparations to undertake before the hunt?
No. 984488 ID: 0ad2ff

Nets, spears, hooks, and the toughest of our crew will do us well for this job!
No. 984512 ID: e3c839

Sounds like zombie crocodiles. Fresh meat as bait, pole axes, rifles or harpoon guns,
block and tackle, some building supplies. Ask if part of the ruin is flooded, if so demand more pay as an advance, as a full bronze pressure suit, pump assembly, and underwater lanterns will be required.
No. 984603 ID: 094652

Ask if you can ferry the cannon into the expedition site. I mean, why leave your artillery behind when you're facing a giant monster?

You'll also need a steady supply of torches and spearguns.
No. 984683 ID: 008e66

ask for detailed description of the beast if they can provide one, then consult ye notes for what best matches it
No. 984721 ID: 8483cf

Bloody hell. Can we outrun this thing if it decides to take a bite out of our ship? Or is it bad news for the crew if things go south?
No. 985188 ID: 0fbdcd
File 161004467206.png - (491.61KB , 800x800 , 21-GoingIn.png )

You spend some time gathering both assurances and specialized equipment: you gather two Supplies from your ship to make sure you’re properly outfitted, as well as your two most able-bodied crewmembers: The Khanate B_____d and the ship’s cook, the Electrifying Minister. Though reedy, he possesses a wild strength and a chilled determination behind his grey eyes: a mark you’ve seen before, and found promising.
You outfit them with spears, ladders, ropes, lanterns, spare lanterns, and many similar implements.
This reduces your Supplies to three.

On your way back, you catch The Lively Archeologist and ask of him your questions.
"Moistened? Yes. Comes from such close proximity to the Zee. Flooded? Aside from some small side passages, no. The majority of the structure is in remarkably good shape. Those sphinxmen knew how to build 'em to last, didn't they?"
"...hypothetically, yes. I can have it set up outside the front door, but-"
"-I'm fairly sure it's too large to leave through the entrance we've made. So should you rile it severely, leaving is just as good as killing it. To you, I mean. I want it dead so we can move on in there."
"Unfortunately, last man we sent in was a bit delirious with the bloodloss, and wasn't able to provide much in the way of definitive information. Larger than five men, bound and wrapped, crocodilian. I'd offer to let you ask him yourself, but he's still dead." You pass by a tent at the dig- there is, indeed, a man lying very still within. Such a vague report doesn't indicate any particular specialized beast; it may just be a very angry otherwise-mundane animal.

You are as prepared as you will be. You are guided to the entrance- a busted-in wall in a townhouse’s sub-cellar, thankfully cleared of rubble to reveal the passage within.
No. 985189 ID: 0fbdcd
File 161004469105.png - (248.35KB , 800x800 , 22-DeepDark.png )

The hall has no branches- only a long, curving sandstone corridor. You quickly lose track of both distance and depth, rising and falling with the steps. Now and again there is a nook in the wall- a gilded coffin, pottery vases full of foul things, pictographic inscriptions your education has not provided for.
Eventually, the pressure in the air deepens as you approach a cavernous space. It seems to consume the light from your lanterns and torches- you cannot see the bottom. Stairs transition to smooth stone ramps.

In the distance, there is a rumble, and a splash of something very large and heavy landing in a shallow pool. Echoing from the darkness is- speech. Guttural and heavy, leaden with bass, quite obviously inhuman. You cannot understand the tongue it speaks in, but its tone is quite clear: you are not invited in this space.
The Khanate merely adjusts her hat, before looking to you. The Minister murmurs a quiet prayer to Storm.
Morale has risen to 2/8- Nervous.
No. 985192 ID: 008e66

well, the words indicate either your quarry is indeed no mere beast, or has some thinking master.

nothing for it but to descend into the dark. As you do though, reminisce to your companions, drawing parallels to a prior hunt for an unknown creature in the dark. Your experience should help keep morale from falling too much.
No. 985193 ID: 0b42a2

Sing an uplifting zee shanty, to raise the spirits and also to mock the ancient crocodile into drawing itself closer and out of hiding.
No. 985194 ID: 094652

>"I'd offer to let you ask him yourself, but he's still dead."
Only where the suns don't shine, ladies and gentlemen and all other configurations of being.

Set up a series of ropes as an escape plan. This is the monster's domain, and they will know how to cut off the usual exit routes.
No. 985208 ID: 6e6f32

The Egyptian god Sobek was depicted as a crocodile, or crocodile headed man. He was said to protect the Pharos from evil.

Pehaps this creature can be reasoned with. From a distance, of course. First though, we need a better vantage point.
No. 985602 ID: 0fbdcd
File 161057525554.png - (352.10KB , 800x800 , 23-Cronk.png )

You will labor under the assumption that you are merely dealing with a beast, rather than a god. Good for morale. Besides, as far as you're aware, only three gods yet live in the darkness of the Neath.
Also good for morale is the idle conversation you carefully curate among your comrades; tales from similar hunts. In fact, this isn’t entirely dissimilar to the one which caused your infestation, descending into the sewers of london- though you leave the details sparse, in that tale.
As you spelunk, when coming to a ramp, you drive an anchor into the sandstone and drape a rope across the side. Better safe than sorry. As you speak, you hear in the distance- the quiet splash of something heavy and quadrupedal moving through brackish water. Approaching, steadily.

You find a small bridge, instruct your companions to quiet, reach for your supplies- and throw a slab of meat over the side, holding torches and lanterns aloft to watch its descent. It lands with a splash in the water- followed immediately by an explosion of movement. A great scaled head rushes from the darkness, and snaps the side of bloody flesh into its mouth. Its neck twists up as it devours, before settling.
The great bandaged tomb-crocodile murmurs a snatch of unknown language to itself, before pushing itself through the water. The beast is old, clearly- scarred and loosely wrapped in bandages composed more of mold and hope than cloth. It’s scales are white, and it’s eyes are bulbous and milky. It trundles through waist-deep muck, disappearing into the darkness again. You now know your foe.
No. 985603 ID: b1b4f3

Is it blind? Perhaps we can lure it somewhere with noise, then ambush it.
No. 985609 ID: 094652

The beast looks like a cross between the god of all crocodiles and a cartoon plush toy.

Attempt to communicate. Their brain might be large enough to facilitate sentience.

If not, make the world's largest carnie prize.
No. 985793 ID: 16d082

yeah, it seems like it’s blind; instead using sound, water vibration, or both to sense food.
dropping down is tempting but we would need to kill it in one plunge or risk getting killed ourselves. I think we should lure it to a more advantageous area as was already suggested, like a tight tunnel entrance.
No. 985797 ID: 46a721

Maybe we might be able to reason with it if we find someone who speaks ancient egyptian among the tomb-colonists.

If that fails, we can attempt to lure it below the bridge and drope something
heavy on its nogging.
No. 986244 ID: 0fbdcd
File 161154963840.png - (351.34KB , 800x800 , 24-Shout.png )

You briefly consider leaving, and seeking someone to communicate with the beast. It has clearly kept its mind after all this time locked down here- or, you presume it has. It might be speaking what passes for loony gibberish to an ancient crocodilian. But you have been hired to kill a beast, and you are a Monster Hunter. It is not in your blood.
You consider your situation briefly. You have an approximate knowledge of the depth of the water in this area- perhaps knee-high. You are perched above a relatively narrow and tight space- not a tunnel, but it seems unlikely you’d find one in this open space. This is your current ideal ambush spot- one you should take advantage of. And so you do.
You toss a slab of flesh into the water and cry out in false pain. There is silence for a moment- then a heavy splash, and then more, a thunder rapidly approaching. The beast rises again from below the bridge, and snaps the meat into its crooked jaws.
No. 986245 ID: 0fbdcd
File 161154965423.png - (208.58KB , 800x800 , 25-Plunge.png )

In the same instant you and your compatriots leap.
You feel a sensation of the world slowing as battle calm rises over you. You are a slayer of beasts and you are unafraid.
The ideal would be to land your spear in one deadly strike- but you are unfamiliar with the biology of this creature, and this cannot be guaranteed. You must assume there will be battle.
You briefly recall the lecture of a nun, who taught you some of what you know of battle; A battle is not won with strength. It is won with the first strike, and the prediction of reaction, and the prediction upon that reaction.
The half-seconds stretch as gravity pulls you towards your prey. Your blood races. You will spear it. But what will the beast do then? And then, and then and then?
No. 986247 ID: 8483cf

That beast is going to ignore the pain and come right at you. Dodge and let it tire itself out while you work the spear.
No. 986250 ID: b1b4f3

Uhm, I guess it's going to try to shake you all off, then bite at whoever landed closest to it, then maybe thrash around once the battle's not going its way and perhaps even turn around to use its tail to swipe everyone and run away.
No. 986268 ID: 5a58c5

If it doesn't die instantly, it will throw it's head up, and then thrash back and forth in an attempt to dislodge you. If it fails in it's thrashing it will roll over and crush you. If it succeeds it will attempt to bite at you.

Upon landing, center yourself over the spear, lower your center of gravity, and hold fast. You decide when you dismount, not it. Any thrashing it does whilst you hold firm will worsen it's internal injuries.
Upon dismount pull the spear out with the whole of your body, and land by its neck, just behind the skull, it won't be able to bite you there. Stab quickly up into the back of the skull to fell the beast, before it starts getting creative.
No. 986272 ID: 3a2400

Presuming the creature will fall back on instinct under duress, it is likely to dive down in response to attack where it usually has the advantage of panicking attackers that can drown. From there,it will probably try to bite and death roll its way to victory.
No. 986273 ID: 031458

'Spose it depends on how deep that canal is.
If it's walking in it that's one thing, if it's swimming, however...
No. 986277 ID: cc0880

We know the muck its in is knee deep to us.
Presuming it doesnt have some ability to make that darkness a deeper one, knee deep the muck shall stay.

I concur.
No. 986695 ID: 5a788d

It's a crocodile, so it's going to roll.
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