Adam's Way

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Adam's Way
Adam's Way (Map)
Adams Way.png
Adam's Way (Gazetteer)
SS Locations Adam's Way.png
Located in Adam's Cape
Ports Apis Meet
Shops Peleghast's Post
Shipyard No

Adam's Way is a large inland waterway leading from the southern Unterzee into the Elder Continent. Its mouth is flanked by giant stone carvings of bees. The port is called Apis Meet.

Sailing south off the map via Adam's Way will reduce both your Hull and Crew to 1 and award you The Touch of the South, and Judgements' Egg.

Port description[edit | edit source]

"On a bed of monumental ruins, warehouses and waystations of shroom-timber rise."

Interactions[edit | edit source]

Near Adam's Way[edit | edit source]

All ships that approach Adam's Way are intercepted by the Gracious - the Presbyterate's splendidly head-dressed coastguards. A quaint but inviolable tradition governs entry: you must tell them one of three stories. In return you will be permitted to spend a single day in the port.

Actions Requirements Effects Notes
A tale of a city, recently fallen

The Gracious are always eager for news from London.

A new day

Is their interest strategic? Or do they just enjoy hearing about London's miseries? Regardless, they permit you to dock.

The day has just begun. In the town's square, a yellow-robed priestess plants a seed in a bed of black soil. No sooner has she patted down the soil than a tiny shoot pokes forth. By mid-morning it will be a sapling; by lunchtime a budding tree. By the evening's end it will wither and fall. You must be back on your ship before then.

An unfinished tale

The Gracious lean forwards, avidly.

A new day

The log ends immediately after an intriguing discovery. Did the captain survive? Did she return to her sweetheart? The Gracious are unconcerned. "Endings always disappoint, don't you think?"

The day has just begun. In the town's square, a yellow-robed priestess plants a seed in a bed of black soil. No sooner has she patted down the soil than a tiny shoot pokes forth. By mid-morning it will be a sapling; by lunchtime a budding tree. By the evening's end it will wither and fall. You must be back on your ship before then.

A tale of Hell

The Presbyterate has never explained its interest in devils. They are keen to hear what you learned in Mt Palmerston.

A new day

An exchange of glances. Your ship is waved on, toward the long stone jetty.

The day has just begun. In the town's square, a yellow-robed priestess plants a seed in a bed of black soil. No sooner has she patted down the soil than a tiny shoot pokes forth. By mid-morning it will be a sapling; by lunchtime a budding tree. By the evening's end it will wither and fall. You must be back on your ship before then.

Why are foreigners only allowed to spend a single day in Adam's Way?

"For your own protection," one of them explains, kindly.

Unsafe

The soil of the Elder Continent is dangerous to incomers, they claim. Those who linger can contract unfortunate conditions: hysteria, rapture, animescence.

And the rumours that Presbyterate law offers no protection to foreigners after dark? "Arrant nonsense."

Adam's Way[edit | edit source]

To the south: the Elder Continent, and the seventy-two cornucopian kingdoms of the Presbyterate. Are the stories true - rivers of honey; castles of ivory?

Who can say? Foreigners (that's you) are forbidden from the interior. The closest most get is Adam's Way: a shouting, feasting, thieving riot of a port.

Game note: The options available may change as the day progresses.

Actions Requirements Effects Notes
Deliver Sphinxstone for Penstock

A tilted temple squats in the shade of a gumheart shroom. This is where Penstock sent you. Your zailors drag the stones, complaining as zailors generally do.

The Temple of the Mountain's Mother

The priestess wears Bazaar-black. Her eyes are lost in the snaking coils of her hair. "The altar is here," she intones. She holds out a bag of coins to you, and points to the floor. "Yes. That block. Place it here. Put the others in the sea. Only one is worthy.”

A trial of blocks. A sacrifice of stones. How quaint! Then the priestess leans over, to whisper the reason for it: the Birth, the Heart, the Chain. Your head spins. You stagger outside to recover. The doors slam shut. Fortunately, you hung on to your coins.

You'll be paid the number of Sphinxstone * 50 Echoes, e.g.
  • 20 Sphinxstone = 1000 Echoes.
Go ashore with the Adventuress

"I'll admit it: I would like one last look around. But we're not going inland. The College would sniff me out soon enough."

A distant light

You both climb a hill to look out over the estuary. The zee curls below; smoke rises from chimneys; the Mountain glimmers on the horizon.

"You call her Stone, don't you?" the Adventuress says. "The Mountain, I mean. It's as good a name as any other. We have too many names for her. One for every day of the year... I could never get them right. And I resented her. I still do. She has all that life to give, and none of it for me. Because my bloody father got greedy."

She snorts. "The Bazaar is the Mountain's mother, they say. Or her father. I don't understand how these things work. I wonder if she ever complains about her parents."

Attend a funeral feast

A public square. A gathering of the bereaved, uncannily cheerful. A table, shining with cutlery, white china plates, tall glasses.

Curiosity

You move closer for a better look.

Visit an exhibition of Presbyterate curiosities

For the insignificant price of a single echo, the Sober Showman will lay the wonders of the Elder Continent directly at your feet!

A pleasant distraction

You head towards the bright tents.

Assist at an animescence hospital

It stands apart from the port, on a lonely zee-side bluff.

A dusty track

You climb the dusty slope.

Listen to a storyteller

Ignore the gaudy entertainments, intended to defraud visitors. Pass the street-hawkers (they will only tell you what you want to hear). Shun the tavern gossip, most of which is fabricated by the Mithridate Office, the Prester's propagandists.

The buzzing of the bees

Climb the stairs cut into the hill. Sit at the foot of the bee-capped stone columns. They will shield you from the southern Mountain-heat. lie quiet. listen. Old storytellers share the shadow.

The Prester is on the verge of declaring the Dawn Machine a blasphemy. London's bureaucracy is riddled with the children of the Thief-of-Faces. An expedition of foreigners recently put to shore to the west, then went south in search of the Garden. They were discovered. and given to the red river.

Listen to a storyteller

Climb the hill to the bee-crested columns. Sit in their long shadows, and listen to the storytellers.

Tales

An old storyteller is describing the red, running feasts of the Replete as you approach. He stammers into silence. You sit, and wait until another storyteller resumes the tales.

London's Dilmun Club has appealed to the Presbyter for permission to approach the Mountain. Years ago, a director of the Mithridate Office resigned from his position and retired to the Shepherd Isles. Someone has been promising Snuffers forgiveness in exchange for service.

An Avuncular Broker has a commission

His client has a task of modest - but scriptural - significance. He is conducting interviews.

Accept the Avuncular Broker's commission

He orders a plate of figs soaked in honey. "Tell me: what do you know about the disciples of the Thief-of-Faces?"

Doing the Prester's work

"Or 'Snuffers' to children and Londoners. Awful creatures. Eat candles. Steal faces. Erasing them is a sacrament. An associate of mine recently found one in Port Carnelian, but before he could expose it he disappeared. Maybe the Snuffer got him. Or perhaps one of the Port's spies - the place is stuffed with them."

"Your commission is to root out Port Carnelian's Snuffer. Capture it. Bring it back here. I'd like to ask it a question or two." He pops a fig into his mouth.

Deliver the snuffer to the Avuncular Broker

You have contained the creature in a barrel. You order it rolled to the Broker's door.

A job well done

"Excellent! Roll it on in, my friend! I owe you another lunch, I think. But first, your payment." He hands you a large cream envelope. Inside is a chart, its folds stiff with zee-salt. The corner is stamped with the seal of the Empress herself. It is labelled 'First voyage of the Galatea, 1867' and shows a tenuous, roving course across the Unterzee.

As you leave, the Avuncular Broker is keen to keep in touch. "Perhaps I will have another commission for you after a conversation with our mutual friend." He pats the top of the barrel. The thing inside kicks.

The Avuncular Broker's second commission

His invitation is urgent.

A complication

This time he meets you in a private room. A lady in a neat, buttoned suit sits beside him, flicking through an English phrasebook. She seems quietly pleased.

"Sit, sit," the Broker urges. His avuncularity is diminished. 'The Snuffer you caught was extremely surprised by its interrogation: it was under the impression that it was working for us. One of our London diplomats has decided that the expedience of using Snuffers outweighs the prohibition on associating with them. He is incorrect." 

He introduces his associate, a Hands-On Diplomat. "I'd like you to see her safely to the Presbyterate embassy in London. She will explain her colleague's error to him, and replace him in his position. Thereupon, she will pay you. The payment is generous. It covers your discretion as well as your service." 

Catch a nut that falls from the Tree of a Single Day

Picking them from a branch is forbidden, but fallen ones are useless. You'll need to intercept it between bough and ground.

Fruitless

The branch is too far, the nut too small, your hand too slow. When it strikes the paved square, the nut bursts into brief, pointless life. Threadlike shoots squirm out, groping for water. Desperate roots claw at a crack in the stone. It's no good. Its strength spent, the shoot browns, stiffens, and expires.

Game Note: A matter of luck.
Rare event (20%)
One in the hand

An hour you wait, and another hour. In that time, nuts fall beyond your reach. You ignore them. Clack-clack-clack! There! A nut has fallen from a high limb! It ricochets from branch to branch as it falls. Your hand snaps out! The nut lands in your palm: glossy, smooth and brown. A number of passers-by cheer your catch.

Sit by the Tree of a Single Day and let the hours pass

The day is young, and the tree is still only a sapling.

Morning

It is not tall enough to offer shelter, yet. You watch it grow, inch by hasty inch, and listen to its roots slide beneath the paved slabs of the square.

This is an extremely poor way to reduce Terror. Consider instead "Visit an exhibition of Presbyterate curiosities".
Sit beneath the Tree of a Single Day and let the hours pass

Already so tall and strong! Its leaves are a mantle of green and gold.

Lunchtime

It topmost branches are higher than the houses, now. The trunk is broad, comfortably cradling your back. You look up into its leafy tangle of limbs. Buds begin to swell from the twigs.

Sit beneath the Tree of a Single Day and let the hours pass

Its leafy branches reach across the square.

Afternoon

You watch buds bulge into blossoms. White flowers burst across the tree like November fireworks. As the afternoon draws on, petals begin to detach themselves, spinning across the square like drifting snow.

Sit beneath the Tree of a Single Day and let the hours pass

Its limbs are bare. The square rattles with dead leaves.

Evening

The trunk groans at your back. Above you, withered branches scratch, spidery, at the air. A gnarled branch falls. The yellow-robed priestess sweeps it away.

The Presbyterate Adventuress

A tall woman in a salt-caked Royal Navy uniform is methodically shooting giant land snails off a chunk of fallen statue.

You approach

She lines up another shot.

Ask storytellers about the Cladery Heart

The Cladery Heir insists it was last seen in the Elder Continent.

The Cladery Heart?

Yes, it was here. A previous owner zailed it as far up the river as it would go, and then submerged it and covered its resting place in reeds. There its ichor bled into the water. The river fish began to throw themselves on shore and hobble about on their fins. At first the local fishermen welcomed an easy harvest, but in time they came to dislike the disruption and the permanent rotting smell. Then... ah, but how the Heart departed and where it went are another story.

The Cladery Heir listens without looking, her gaze fixed on the flowering of the tree.

Ask storytellers about the Cladery Heart's departure

If it is no longer in the river, where did it go?

Hacked free

The people who lived on the banks of Adam's Way brought the Cladery Heart to the surface and made it fit to zail again. But there was no one who wanted to voyage in her. So they chose a crew by lot and chained them to the deck, ordering them to zail north until they had left the Elder Continent, and then to keep zailing as far as they could go.

The Cladery Heir is still looking into the middle distance, but the corners of her mouth have turned down. The storyteller is milking the story, and she knows it.

Ask storytellers about how to retrieve the Cladery Heart

Is there any word of where she might be now?

Khan's Shadow

One can't be certain. But ships that cannot zail any longer often find themselves huddled into Khan's Shadow. You might look there. Perhaps the presence of the Cladery Heart would even make those other broke-down ships eager to move again.

Bid farewell to the departing Aurelian

He's been quiet for the whole trip. Even now, disembarked and sitting on the dock, he listlessly searches through his collection.

A quiet farewell

Without looking up, the Incomparable Aurelian tells you that your assistance has been appreciated. "Being present for the Most-Moth's hatching will be the highlight of my career," he says, miserably. "I'm sure Lorenzo would want to thank you, as well."

Return to your ship

The day is over. It's time to return to your ship.

Back to zee

The Gracious comb the streets, ushering visitors politely back to the dock.

Put a blemmigan ashore

Surely a simple mushroom will not attract the attention of the Gracious.

An ecstatic exit

The southern Mountain heat seeps around the slopes of the hill. The soil of the Elder Continent is rich and strange. If the blemmigan can survive in it at all, it should flourish.

Doing this immediately will waste the rest of your visit.


Nearby event - Sailing South[edit | edit source]

Actions Requirements Effects Notes
Sail South of Adam's Way Sail off the edge of the map. Triggers the event SS amber redgaz.png Way Upstream This is a very risk venture with dire consequences.
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