Tales of terror on the Zee, (open spoilers for Sunless Sea)

So to celebrate the legacy of my captain "Citizen Nobbs" who recently drowned after his spiteful and traitorous crew's rebellion left him too understaffed to survive the journey home, I would like to tell the tale of some of his more unnerving stories. (more to follow)

The Tale of the regrettable salvage:

So, cocky after recently getting my ship outfitted with the latest in submersible modifications, he plunged into the depths with hope of untold wealth from the wreckage of countless sunken transports. The Zee did not disappoint. I soon found a wreckage of a ship of relative size to my own (in hindsight this might have been a clue not to pursue this further). Anyhoo I merrily donned my diving suit and ventured into the watery tomb. I saw corridors, a few dead bodies, nothing of too much interest and decided to head for the captain's quarters figuring that anything of lasting value in the hold would be too heavy to take.

Entering into the room I was struck with a strange sense of familiarity, like I had been in a room very much like this before. My gaze was drawn to a dead body floating in the far corner of the room. A cursory inspection of the clothing made me recall the patterns on my own coat and the result of my inspection of the content's of his wallet nearly (but not quite) made Mr. Nobbs retire from zeefaring forever.

On the body of a decades-decomposing-underwater-corpse, I found my own pocket watch containing photos of my own wife and infant daughter.

anyone else play Sunless Sea, have any stories they found memorable?

Nothing memorable. Just a bump to try and get someone else talking about this game

trunkage:
Nothing memorable. Just a bump to try and get someone else talking about this game

Well I've been busy. I meant to update this with another story yesterday, then several family members came to me to get their taxes done before monday and..... I'll tell the story of a surprise crew member later on today. Probably.

Are there any other games like Sunless sea? It intrigues me quite a lot but I don't do horror. Which, y'know... is half the damn game

Squilookle:
Are there any other games like Sunless sea? It intrigues me quite a lot but I don't do horror. Which, y'know... is half the damn game

They brought out Sunless Skies, which probably wont be that much different. Its Lovecraftian, so you probably cant get away from the horror

Hmm I guess my search continues then

Captain's Log:

Never let someone from the Elder Continent onto your ship.

No sooner had I began to open up and trust my new hire to man the ships main (and only) gun, a "young"* Presbyterate, than my ship was attacked by ruffians whom I would later learn had been there for her personally. Three crew members died in the ensuing battle (and I admittedly would've lost more if not for the fighting skill of the Presbyterate gunner herself) leaving me severely understaffed.

Only four good zailors remained and not nearly enough to safely run the ship at full speed. I was ready to panic and would've sent that damn foreign adventuress away in a dingey if I were not in desperate need of a skilled gunnery officer. I would interrogate her later but for now, my priority was getting home.

Far from London, capable of only 50% speed and relatively low on fuel, I set course, turned off all lights (to save on fuel) and began the very slow process of heading home. The lack of light was going to be a problem as the constant blackness of the zee has a way of messing with zailor's minds. I kept careful watch over my remaining crew for any sense of panic.

Days went by, I dared not sleep and for once it had nothing to do with that giant eye I always saw whenever I closed my own eyes.

When I could stand watch no more, and at the forceful urging of my first officer, I retired to my quarters. People's nerves were on edge anyway and it might have been better for me not to be on deck anyway. Before I had even prepared for bed, I heard a knock on the door. Annoyed, I wrenched it open and, to my surprise, stood a rather beautiful young woman. She apologized for bothering me at this hour but she had wanted the chance, as the ship's new doctor, to spend time talking to her Captain.

Well, I could not recall hiring any new doctor, did not remember ever seeing this woman before in my life, but in my sleep-deprived state I merely brushed it all of. Must've forgotten about it, yeah that was it. Anyway this woman clearly was a surgeon, brought far more in terms of knowledge, skill and experience from what I saw of her stat chart** so I did what any pragmatic Captain would do: I demoted the existing surgeon and replaced him with this striking lass. Over the next few days I noticed that several crew members would give me awkward glances when they though I was not looking.

Finally, exhausted, we arrived at the docks of London. The crew began to disembark for shore-leave but I waited behind to speak more to our new doctor. She was not with any of the crew leaving so I searched the ship for her. Finding nothing I inquired about her to my first officer in a local tavern who, politely told me that he had no idea whom I was talking about. An inquiry amongst the other crew told the same story: I had replaced my ship's doctor with a figment of my imagination.

*I use quotations because it can be really hard to tell with them sometimes, on account of the occasional immortality)
**I mean resume

I still have a Sunless Sea play pending. The little urchin and his close friend rose from the slums and grew up to lead their ship into the adventure. It has been my longest run in the game so far, so I'm kinda afraid of ruin it, because this has been so far my favorite captain.

CaitSeith:
I still have a Sunless Sea play pending. The little urchin and his close friend rose from the slums and grew up to lead their ship into the adventure. It has been my longest run in the game so far, so I'm kinda afraid of ruin it, because this has been so far my favorite captain.

Out of curiosity, how are you finding playing it in a more aggressive style? I kinda want my current new playthrough to be more as a pirate hunter and less as a merchant hauling wine to various ports over and over. Is a more fightey ship economically viable or should I just keep going for the merchant vessel?

jademunky:

CaitSeith:
I still have a Sunless Sea play pending. The little urchin and his close friend rose from the slums and grew up to lead their ship into the adventure. It has been my longest run in the game so far, so I'm kinda afraid of ruin it, because this has been so far my favorite captain.

Out of curiosity, how are you finding playing it in a more aggressive style? I kinda want my current new playthrough to be more as a pirate hunter and less as a merchant hauling wine to various ports over and over. Is a more fightey ship economically viable or should I just keep going for the merchant vessel?

I'm not sure. I'm not even that good at being merchant, and the spoils from fighting never make up from the resources spent (I also suck at fighting). Maybe combining combat with tasks from London is viable?

CaitSeith:
I'm not sure. I'm not even that good at being merchant, and the spoils from fighting never make up from the resources spent (I also suck at fighting). Maybe combining combat with tasks from London is viable?

Possibly, might look up some guides on that one.

For trade, a good route is (once you have found the Empire of Hands and completed the archaeologist quest and gained favour with the Monkey King) to take shipments of wine from London to there. They will trade your wine 1:1 for coffee which you can then take to Irem and trade it for linins. Then just stop by Mt. Palmerston for fuel, Frostfound for a free unit of supplies (and some much needed terror reduction) and back to London.

Linins will net you 60 echos which gives you a net profit of 39 per (wine costs 21).

Captains Log:

I have a "son". He is made of snow. He is also melting rapidly. Due to his frosty origins, I have named him Loki.

Squilookle:
Are there any other games like Sunless sea? It intrigues me quite a lot but I don't do horror. Which, y'know... is half the damn game

One thing you need to keep in mind is that there is a certain whimsical self-awareness to the whole thing. It isn't overpoweringly frightening to you the player. Think of the writing style of Terry Pratchett creating a world that was a blend of Lovecraft, Poe and C.S. Lewis.

I like Sunless Sea a lot. Well, used to. At some point the constant repetition needed to get through to the end game events really drove me away (I remember realizing I needed to make some odd dozen voyages out to the Empire of Hands to help finish their zeppelin and just going flat "no").

Another problem I have with the game, as with most of its' kind, is that I am acutely aware that I am in a Choose-your-own-adventure game. My story about getting the infernal engine or the three sisters or courtly intrigue in the Khanate will be the same as hundreds of other players. It feels like my story, but I have also no desire to re-tell it because I realize that it is not really a unique tale as much as it is plot strands handed to me by the game. It doesn't make the stories any less fascinating, it just makes it hard for me to contribute to this thread.

Gethsemani:
I like Sunless Sea a lot. Well, used to. At some point the constant repetition needed to get through to the end game events really drove me away (I remember realizing I needed to make some odd dozen voyages out to the Empire of Hands to help finish their zeppelin and just going flat "no").

Hey, I did that one! Then I stole the zeppelin! But yeah, the repetition of going back and forth places is a total grind.

I really do like Sunless sea and I need to get back to it. The big issue at times is the grindy grind, so I tend to play the game in chunks. I'll play it for 2-3 weeks at a time and then go off it for months. Which of course means I have to remember where I am on any given questline.

Unfortunately, my current goal is for the Song of the Zee, which may be the hardest one to achieve.....

Sunless sea is that sorta lovecrafty, sorta FTL game where you have perma-death?
It was super frustrating from what I remember. Random map, limited fuel, deadly enemies and really really obnoxious quests.
My Steam says I have 29hrs of play time and I don't remember finished more than 2 quests per captain, and that's with the map family heirloom!

Silentpony:
Sunless sea is that sorta lovecrafty, sorta FTL game where you have perma-death?
It was super frustrating from what I remember. Random map, limited fuel, deadly enemies and really really obnoxious quests.
My Steam says I have 29hrs of play time and I don't remember finished more than 2 quests per captain, and that's with the map family heirloom!


Outside that, you're spot on.

CaitSeith:

Silentpony:
Sunless sea is that sorta lovecrafty, sorta FTL game where you have perma-death?
It was super frustrating from what I remember. Random map, limited fuel, deadly enemies and really really obnoxious quests.
My Steam says I have 29hrs of play time and I don't remember finished more than 2 quests per captain, and that's with the map family heirloom!


Outside that, you're spot on.

Are you sure about the map? Like yes, the physical location of each island stays the same, but I distinctly remember getting the same quest two Captains in a row, and the location on the island, say Bill's Landing, was different each time. One play-though Bill's Landing is in the southwest corner, the next play through Bill's Landing is center north.

I remember being lost each and every time because the islands were the same, but what's on the island, with the exception of the lighthouse with the strange ladies just outside the starting dock, was always different.

CaitSeith:


Outside that, you're spot on.

It kinda is. Anything that is part of a major landmass at the edge of the map is static and does not change. Come to think of it, Kingeater Castle is always in the same place too. The majority of the islands, however will jump around quite a bit. Granted you will always find them in the same "general" area (eg. the Nativity will always be at the far eastern end of the map, Mt Palmerston will always be far north, etc).

Silentpony:

Are you sure about the map? Like yes, the physical location of each island stays the same, but I distinctly remember getting the same quest two Captains in a row, and the location on the island, say Bill's Landing, was different each time. One play-though Bill's Landing is in the southwest corner, the next play through Bill's Landing is center north.

I remember being lost each and every time because the islands were the same, but what's on the island, with the exception of the lighthouse with the strange ladies just outside the starting dock, was always different.

The map is semi-randomized, in that the locations are in the same general quadrants, but are moved around inside said quadrants. The map below shows the layout of the quadrants, so you can always expect to find Mt. Palmerston and the Chapel of Light in the north, but in one playthrough Palmerston might be really close to Whither and the next right by Irem:
image

A more in-depth explanation can be found here.

So, is this "captain's log" stuff doing anything for anybody?

Or is my half-remembered-fan-fictionized retelling of mostly other people's stories mixed with my own in-game experiences nothing but a pointless exercise in wankery?

Cause I've got at least six more, including a story of fratricidal cannibalism, satanic pacts with happy endings, satanic friendships with bittersweet endings and a certain Captain who's ship's engine was partially powered by the body and soul of the engine's own maker.

jademunky:
So, is this "captain's log" stuff doing anything for anybody?

Or is my half-remembered-fan-fictionized retelling of mostly other people's stories mixed with my own in-game experiences nothing but a pointless exercise in wankery?

Cause I've got at least six more, including a story of fratricidal cannibalism, satanic pacts with happy endings, satanic friendships with bittersweet endings and a certain Captain who's ship's engine was partially powered by the body and soul of the engine's own maker.

it makes me want to replay it. But I haven't yet. Soo... That probably doesn't help. Also, I do remember getting the moth and that being an epic achievement. I think one objective was to kill the hardest creature. By throwing a monster hunter at it. Also, making the Scholar mad (I think I burned his eyes out)

jademunky:
So, is this "captain's log" stuff doing anything for anybody?

Well, I started playing again because of you. I don't remember when I stopped but it was apparently mid-adventure (it seems I was doing pretty well, surprisingly). I don't think I'll write anything because I suck at it (I managed to doom the guinea pig civilization, yay me!), but you should continue.

Major_Tom:

jademunky:
So, is this "captain's log" stuff doing anything for anybody?

Well, I started playing again because of you. I don't remember when I stopped but it was apparently mid-adventure (it seems I was doing pretty well, surprisingly). I don't think I'll write anything because I suck at it (I managed to doom the guinea pig civilization, yay me!), but you should continue.

Yeah, I've done that too. So sad, I tried to rally them into declaring independence only to leave and come back to find they were all dead. And it was ALL MY (and your) FAULT!

Captain's Log:

You do tend to find friendship in the strangest places. Places like, for example, a cottage halfway up the side of an active volcano.

The locals of Mt. Palmerston tend to be a cagey lot. They make a living mining coal off the mountainside but are very careful to stay close to the base. They fear a Devil lives further up the mountain and that this creature collects human souls. They are right.

Trekking up the mountain path, I hesitantly knocked on the door and yes, a Deviless answered (they look mostly human but with glowing red/yellow eyes and smell of sulphur). To my surprise, she was quite approachable, friendly and downright grateful for the opportunity to sit down for tea with someone else and just talk for a while. I told her a little of home, how things were faring in London, and eventually left with a rather improved impression of the race.

I would routinely stop by Mt. Palmerston for fuel on every run anyway so I made it a habit to pay her a visit when I did. The tea was always good and she was ever-eager for more information regarding the political happenings back home, particularly as it related to the embassy the forces of Hell had established in my hometown. She told me that she had been a member of Hell's aristocratic class until a few years back when the lower-class rabble had overthrown the existing order, declared Hell an "Iron Republic" and forced the upper-classes to flee.

On one particular visit, I noticed her fidgiting in her seat and asked if anything was the matter. She explained, very hesitantly that she was simply homesick and wanted something to remind her of her old life. Specifically, she wanted my soul. All souls belong to hell by right anyway, she reasoned, and mine seemed like a good one (flatterer).

Well, I had just wrestled my own sould back into my own body from a particularly flatulent ape and had grown somewhat attached to it. I politely explained my reservations and she quickly laughed it off, saying she knew I would say no and that no offense was taken.

I think I will pick up a crate of souls in London (they're fairly affordable) to surprise her with on my next visit.

jademunky:
Yeah, I've done that too. So sad, I tried to rally them into declaring independence only to find they were all dead. And it was ALL MY FAULT!

Yeah, I didn't really like the suggested allies. I thought that weak and unexceptional but happy civilization would prevail. I should've drawn and quartered more poor food thieves!

Major_Tom:

jademunky:
Yeah, I've done that too. So sad, I tried to rally them into declaring independence only to find they were all dead. And it was ALL MY FAULT!

Yeah, I didn't really like the suggested allies. I thought that weak and unexceptional but happy civilization would prevail. I should've drawn and quartered more poor food thieves!

Super-cute. your pets?

jademunky:
Super-cute. your pets?

Thanks! Yeah, Gamma and Dasha. Now you see why failing the guinea pigs hit me so hard.

It made me want to play, then I got angry about how slow my boat was and how dead I was.

 

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