Polythreme

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Polythreme
Polythreme (Map)
SS Locations Polythreme Map.png
Polythreme (Gazetteer)
SS Locations Polythreme.png
Located in Sea of Voices
Ports Yes
Shops SS clayman6small.png Temple of Labours
Shipyard No
Data ID 143385

"HERE IS SCREAMING."

Polythreme, located in the Sea of Voices, is the land of the Clay Men and living, shouting objects.

Port interactions[edit | edit source]

SS Locations Polythreme.png Polythreme[edit | edit source]

"Taciturn Clay Men. Evasive clothes-colonies, walking like humans. Cobbles that groan underfoot. On the hills above, a palace-villa of marble - but even that writhes like buried bones in an earthquake."

Actions Requirements Effects Notes
Gather intelligence

What news from Polythreme?

What lives

The King with a Hundred Hearts rules from his palace above the city. He is never seen. He makes no treaties with other lands. But there's unrest in the air. The Clay Men you speak to are obedient and humble, but they speak nervously of those who are not: the maimed, the rebellious, the Unfinished...

Rare event (25%)
The city cries out

Roads roil, bricks quiver. The windows of all the buildings flash like eyes. The palace above the city swells and roars. This convulsion is how Clay Men are born. Even now, somewhere below, they open their blind-seeming grey eyes.

Shore leave!

Drink beer that wails from cups that sob. If you like that sort of thing.

An uneasy respite

Under other circumstances, your crew might have been happier.

Game note: Polythreme is an expensive place to reduce Terror.

A contact-colony

Your contact waits at the Whistling Eye: a masked bundle of grimy satin. The light here is poor, but it seems to have more gloves than it should.

A muttered plea

"Please," wheezes a voice from within the mounds of clothing, "take it. I need to pay my debt." It seems that the clothes - mostly gloves, you see - are more wearing than being worn. The pale and sweating fellow within is a prisoner of his wardrobe! Take the report, though your fingers may shrink from the touch of the living cloth that binds him. Return it to London, and perhaps you'll help him pay what debt he owes.

Collect the Cheery Man's cargo

A great temple has been wounded. It will be years in the dying. It groans and shivers, and the Clay Men avoid the place out of fear and respect. But you meet one of their number in the shattered chamber where the altar once stood...

What souls are these?

The Clay Man swallows the coins in handfuls - for safety, not out of appetite, you assume - and hands you a crate of whispering souls. Human? The souls back home are all but silent. Perhaps these are the souls of chairs, hats, swords. That's Polythreme for you.

Game note: Return to the Blind Bruiser in London. Don't lose your cargo.

Carry Clay Men to London

Are they passengers, or cargo? They're certainly the easiest passengers imaginable. Unless - just unless - one turns out to be an Unfinished Man.

They troop aboard

Each one lies down in its appointed position next to the other, nested snugly, head by foot. "WE ARE FOR LONDON," one explains you.

Game note: You should have 6 units of cargo space available.

Put a blemmigan ashore

Who knows what the living furniture will make of it?

Curious alliances

The last you see of your violet murder-fungus, it seems to be flirting with a fanged water-pump. Strange bedfellows.

An audience with the King with the Hundred Hearts

The Clay Broker, leaning on his copper staff, examines you coolly. "The King will see your little friend," he says. "No, he won't see you: not just now." He gestures for you to hand him the Watchful Curio.

That night

That night, the hill of Polythreme quakes. The words on the walls uncurl themselves. The birth-cries are everywhere heard, as Clay Men sit up, opening incurious eyes, awaiting their tithing to London.

The Clay Broker waits on the quayside. On the flat palm of his broad hand, the Watchful Curio squats: but it is changed. "Our regards to Stone," is all he says.

Hunt clothes-colonies with the Modiste

Their abundance of life offers many artistic possibilities.

A thinness of resolve

The Modiste stalks her prey past chittering rocks and wailing pools. Living shirts. Walking trousers. A lonely left shoe seeking a partner. All immediately rip and tear at even her exploratory cuts and stitches, their strange zest gone like the popping a soap-bubble.

"This will not do," she declares, discarding another reject. "Clearly, I must petition the King! If it is in his power to animate these miserable rags, he certainly do a better job. Excuse me, Captain. I shall return presently."

Deliver Polythreme Exile

He stands on deck and cannot look away from the shore.

At home once more

At the shoreline, the Polythreme Exile plunges his hands into the damp mud and scrapes. When he comes away, his palms already look more like clay.

TAKE A FEW DAYS, he says. ITCHY. BUT IT WILL GO BACK.

He gets a box out of his traveling chest and offers it to you. SOME THINGS I GOT FROM THE BONE MEN AT ANTHE. THEY THOUGHT THEY WERE STRONGER THAN ME. THEY WERE WRONG.

Cure the sharpness you gained in Anthe

Enough time in Polythreme, and your sharpness will dissolve back to flesh.

Warm and flexible again

The blood flows. The flesh bends. Your discipline and skill decrease, your desire and feeling return.

Game note: This will not change your Capacity for Sharpness or remove any permanent Anthean Advantage you may carry.

Warn some merchants about Wrack

The tavern patrons are so raucous, the sobbing of the cups seems well-behaved in comparison. Evidently, the zailors will soon travel Wrack on a lucrative contract...

The captain is buying rounds for everyone, despite the beer's gurgled prayers for deliverance. His zailors dance on a table that groans and whimpers. The captain welcomes you with a clap on the back, and asks you what you'd like to drink on this happy occasion. Perhaps not so happy, you say...

By the end of your story, the captain and his zailors are all groaning in unison with the rest of Polythreme. Nevertheless, after he blows his nose into a demoralised handkerchief, he conveys his thanks, and passes you a small - but exceedingly noisy - reward. It should quiet once you leave the isle.

Ask about the House of the Keel for the Unsettled Salvager

The ancient captain in Venderbight said this would advance her search for "Lady Black."

When flesh carved stone

The Clay Men profess ignorance. The benches wail too much to be sensible. But there is an ancient, long-winded harbour-wall that remembers. "THE HOUSE OF THE KEEL MADE EXILES OF THEMSELVES," it says in deep, crotchety tones. "THEY BOARDED THEIR SHIPS AND TOOK TO THE ZEE. THEN, FAR FROM LAND, THEY TOOK AXES THEIR SHIPS, SANK THEM, AND FOLLOWED THEM - MAN, WOMAN, CHILD - INTO THE DEPTHS. IN ABYSSES THEY BUILT THEIR FATHOMLESS CHURCHES, AND RESUMED THEIR WORSHIP OF LADY BLACK, SPIRIT OF THE DEEPS."

The Unsettled Salvager holds onto your arm for support as you walk back to your ship. "I need to dive again," she whispers. "Grant me a suit. Please, Addressed As." You do have one in your possession. You could allow it, next time you set zail.

Triggered events[edit | edit source]

SS Interactions Tomb-Colonists in Polythreme.png Tomb-Colonists in Polythreme[edit | edit source]

Tomb-Colonists in Polythreme
SS tombcolonistgaz.png
Category Story Event
Type Story
Linked to SS Locations Polythreme.png Polythreme

SS coffin2small.png Tomb-Colonist
Data ID 153212

"...this is the city where the stones of the streets cry out. Excellent. If I wanted silence, I would have stayed in Venderbight, where even the bats hesitate to squeak. I look forward to a number of considerable headaches."

This event triggers when you dock in SS Locations Polythreme.png Polythreme if you have the following:

Actions Requirements Effects Notes
Arrange a fine meal at a restaurant ashore

The dead are always hungry. Stuff their mouths with bolete-cake, and they'll stay out of trouble.

The well-fed dead

They walk a little straighter, when they return. They creak a little less. "Living cake!" exclaims one cheerfully. "My head is swimming with vigour and joy. I must consume more live food. Do you know, I can almost see why cannibalism."

"So where are we going next?"

Let them go off and purchase new bandages

Every stain tells a story, or so the Venderbight fashion has it. But some of these stories are getting a little tired; and the living bandages of Polythreme will make fine souvenirs.

    -
The gladdest of rags

"Don't I look darling? It is a little bit like being tied up with serpents. But one gets used to it. Mm. One really gets used to it. And now where are we going?"

Rare event (50%)
Voices raised in song

"We've made friends! Here's my big friend! And here's my little friend. Yes, I've been drinking. You'd have been drinking too. Where have you brought us? It's like Hell, but noisier. Here. Here, you look after my friends. I had to swap someone. Never mind. We won't miss him."

"So where are we going next?"

Recruit a Bandage-Colony

Clothes-colonies - living assemblages of garments - walk Polythreme, upright as any citizen of London. The more raggedy ones could pass for tomb-colonists...

A furtive conversation

"Yesss. Yesss, We can be one of your dead men. No. No, we require no food. A payment? For our trouble? How delightful. We'll sstay out of the way..."

"Tell uss. Where are we going? Will there be... people? We feel sso empty."

Game Note: If you're missing a tomb-colonist, this may be useful.

Rare event (50%)
A furtive conversation

"Yesss. Yesss, We can be one of your dead men. No. No, we require no food. A payment? For our trouble? How delightful. We'll sstay out of the way...."

"Tell uss. Where are we going? Will there be... people? We feel sso empty."

SS piratepoetgaz.png The Screaming Shores of Polythreme[edit | edit source]

This event triggers when docking in Polythreme if you have the following:

Polythreme story events
Tomb-Colonists in Polythreme
Shops
Arcade of SighsBultitude's House of VisionCaminus YardsCarrow's Naval SurplusDahut ExchangeDaily BreadDearly DepartedDockside MarketFire in the BellyFortune & FortuneHarbour ProvisionersHollow TempleHouse of HarmsHouse of HarvestsHouse of MilksHouse of PleasuresHull-harvestJonah's EndLicensed ExchangeLow ChurchMalebolge ExcavationsMrs Plenty's Shipside ProvisionersPeleghast's PostPortentumRed Stallion PublishingRequisitionsSapphire ExchangeStonemarketTemple of LaboursThe Arrant LimpetThe Charnel LoungeThe Fisher of DawnThe Hunter's CageThe Iron & Misery CompanyThresholdTraveller's FriendUncle Ankle's Lean PlaceWind-Come-CallingWolfstack Exchange
Locations
Ports Abbey RockAdam's WayAestivalAigulAntheAvid HorizonChapel of LightsChelonateCodexCumaean Canal Staging AreaDahutDemeaux IslandEmpire of HandsFallen LondonThe Fathomking's HoldFrostfoundGaider's MournGant PoleGodfallGrand GeodeHideawayHunter's KeepIremIron RepublicIsle of CatsKhan's GloryKhan's HeartKhan's ShadowKingeater's CastleLow BarnetMangrove CollegeMount PalmerstonMutton IslandNookNuncioPigmote IslePolythremePort CarnelianPort CecilRosegateSalt LionsScrimshanderShepherd IslesStation IIIThe UndercrowThe UttershroomVarchasVenderbightVisageWhitherWisdomWrack
Places of Interest An Abyss...The Admiralty Survey OfficeAvernusThe Brass EmbassyDawn MachineDrydockThe EyeThe Forgotten QuarterThe House of the QuestionLight-ShipNaplesQuaker's HavenRoser's WharfSurfaceThe UniversityViennaWolfstack DocksThe Wreck of the NocturneYour Lodgings
Characters Blind BruiserMerchant VenturerThe Dark-Spectacled AdmiralThe FathomkingThe First Curator