Empire of Hands

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Empire of Hands
Empire of Hands (Map)
SS Locations Empire of Hands Map.png
Empire of Hands (Gazetteer)
SS Locations Empire of Hands.png
Located in The Empire of Hands
Ports Port Stanton
Shops No
Shipyard No

The Empire of Hands is populated by ensouled and still-covetous apes. On one of its jungle isles a passing zee-captain might glimpse the astonishing sight of a great zeppelin in construction.

The Empire of Hands was visually completed in the Diamond release and content made available a few weeks later. Its port is called Port Stanton.

Port description[edit | edit source]

"The apes watch you hungrily."

Interactions[edit | edit source]

A Stern Reminder from the Admiralty[edit | edit source]

In the name and by the power of Her Enduring Majesty, a trade embargo and quarantine in absolute perpetuity has hereby been declared on the Empire of Hands.

  1. No ship of London is to permit aboard a Pentecost ape without express and prior permission of the Admiralty.
  2. Any and all acts of spirifage are prohibited.
  3. They know what they did.

Beware of stowaways. Keep a tight grip on your soul.

- Excerpt from Standard Naval Regulations, Vol IV

This event will appear only the first you arrive at Empire of Hands, when SS monkeysmall.png Empire of Hands: Monkey Business = 0

Actions Requirements Effects Notes
The Flea-Ridden Mayor

With the Regulations in mind, it is a surprise to be greeted by a mere itchy monkey in a tattered yellow robe, barely walking with the help of a ceremonial staff.

An official greeting

"Hello!" cries the Mayor, in the broken voice of one not yet used to human speech. "Come! Make selves at home! All souls welcome in bountiful Empire of Hands!"

The crew shifts uncomfortably. They know the stories. It will take more than the natural beauty of this place to make most of them risk shore-leave here.

Port Stanton[edit | edit source]

Soul-hungry monkeys reluctantly tend this trading post, waiting for an opportunity to escape. Bloated fleas hop from ape to man and man to ape, gorging themselves without a care for which is which.

Actions Requirements Effects Notes
A weak call for help
Poke around the shore

The parasynthetic jungle holds many dangers. Step carefully. There is no authority beyond the fence.

An aborted journey

The path through the jungle soon becomes dark and treacherous, the predatory eyes of desperate monkeys staring from behind every bush and tree. Exploring this island will have to wait for a more auspicious day.

Shore leave

The parasynthetic jungle holds many dangers. Step carefully. There is no authority beyond the fence.

The locals call this Shell Beach

It is a place of death, where the bones and still-rotting carcasses of man and ape alike are left to the thirst of the zee. The charnel history of the Empire of Hands stretches out amongst the flies and the maggots; of the apes who would be men and their stolen civilisation.

Something glints. Around the neck of a skeleton, a locket. You pocket it, though it does not look like it is worth much. The zee infamously takes much. Sometimes though, it gives back. Perhaps this will prove to be such a time for some hopeful soul out there.

A return to Shell Beach

The bones and rotting carcasses stretch out in all their macabre glory. Deep strata of maggots squish and crunch underfoot as you search for treasures amongst the dead.

Aha! Here is a trinket that any other searchers have missed. You rub it clean and slip it into a pocket.

Rare event (60%)
A return to Shell Beach

The bones and rotting carcasses stretch out in all their macabre glory. Deep strata of maggots squish and crunch underfoot as you search for treasure. Today though, you find nothing to take with you but bad memories.

A walk in the woods

An ambush! The twisting paths of the jungle have led far from port, into a dark claustrophobia of trees and mushrooms. The party of savage one-soul apes backs you into a corner, its leader sniffing you with an avaricious hunger. It grins. It lunges.

Hours later, you awaken. Something is... missing.

Deep in the island

An ambush! The twisting paths of the jungle have led far from port, into a dark claustrophobia of trees and mushrooms. The party of savage one-soul apes backs you into a corner, its leader sniffing you with an avaricious hunger. Is it the smell that tells it that you have no soul for them today? Or something else?

The ways of the Pentecost apes are mysterious, and this one feels no need to share them. It simply hisses in your face before bidding its minions follow it away.

A hunting party!

Monkey soldiers scour the jungle for fresh meat. The Empire has little of it, but the unsouled monkeys are considered fair prey by their civilised, ensouled betters. So too are any humans who might disappear without too much trouble. Once back at court, both will be served up and heralded the finest venison, veal, chicken and pork for a Court that knows what it is supposed to like... but not what it actually tastes like.

You hide in the bushes until the hunting party has gone, and slip away undetected in the other direction.

Buried treasure... being buried?

Deep in the forest, an important looking ape in yellow robes oversees two lesser monkeys as they dig a hole in the ground. Having dropped a strange looking idol into the pit and covered it up, one scrapes a deep X over it, while the other slides a map into a bottle, corks it, and scampers off to throw it into the zee.

Curious. However, any treasure hunter who may find the map and follow it here will be out of luck.

A chance to gather supplies

With the help of a few crewmembers, you gather several crates of fruits and berries from the thick jungle. In exchange for a share, the monkeys of Port Stanton are oddly happy to help you sift through and find the best. Much of the crew subsequently suffers from terrible diarrhoea. The two things are, perhaps, unrelated.

Help your navigator sell his soul

"Perhaps one of these apes will make better use of it." He carries his meagre belongings in a pack over his shoulder.

Goodbye

There is no perceivable difference in him following the sale of his soul. The proceeds furnish him with a tiny, anonymous shack and a modest store of gewgaws to sell to traders who call at the creaking jetty. He shakes your hand at his door. "Thank you for your indulgence, Addressed As. You will find my equipment and charts in my cabin. I hope they lead you on happier journeys."

He rubs at the sigil that now sprawls across the right side of his face, forgets what he was about to say, and goes inside. You do not see him again.

Recover your soul

Some d__ned monkey took it? Even a devil would have the manners to ask! Well, they will not keep it for long!

A painstaking hunt

Pentecost apes steal souls, but also traits and mannerisms from their victims. You just need to find the one that looks the most familiar.

An Audience with the Flea-Ridden Mayor

He is not busy. No appointments are required.

King of an empty castle

The Flea-Ridden Mayor scratches himself on a chair made of crates, surrounded by boxes of long-rotten trade goods. As a five-souled ape, he would be able to petition for membership of Court. For now, the trade embargo has left him trapped on the outside; a three-souled overseer with no talent for order.

An Audience with the Calculating Mayor

He may keep you waiting, but he will find time in his busy schedule if there is a chance of profiting from it.

A chance for profit

The second-hand worldliness in the Calculating Mayor's four-souled eyes glints as he sees you enter.

An Audience with the Esteemed Mayor

He leaves you waiting for several minutes. As the newest member of the Wildweald Court, it would not do to be seen getting friendly with outsiders.

The king of Port Stanton

"Ah, my dearest human..." trills the Esteemed Mayor, relaxing as a concubine picks the nits from his hair. She presents the latest to him, but he graciously gives her permission to eat it herself. Such is the generosity of a five-souled monkey.

An Audience with the Civilised Mayor

Talk business? Why, yes, yes, of course we shall. But after a cup of tea. One must do these things correctly.

A polite welcome

"Darling, do come in," the Civilised Mayor purrs. "Whatever can I do for you?" The soul of the Delightful Adventuress sits comfortably in him, a four-souled ape of cold ambition and very few scruples.

An Audience with the Civilised Mayor

Talk business? Why, yes, yes, of course we shall. But after a cup of tea. One must do these things correctly.

A most civilised welcome

"Darling, do come in," the Civilised Mayor purrs. "Whatever can I do for you?" The essence of the Delightful Adventuress sits comfortably in him, a four-souled ape of flexible ethics and cold ambition.

Prepare a Comprehensive Port Report

Few have reason to brave the waters this far East, especially with the trade embargo. The Admiralty will pay especially well for up-to-date intelligence.

The islands of the Empire

All of them warrant further attention. For now though, it would be best to see if your initial discoveries can whet the interest of anyone back home.

Compile a Port Report

Now that the Admiralty has been brought up to date, this will be far quicker. Unfortunately, also less profitable.

Letters from the Wildweald Court

You write down your latest discoveries and seal them, ready for delivery on return to Fallen London.

Put a blemmigan ashore

Blemmigans and monkeys on the same island? Nothing bad can come of this.

An eager departure

The blemmigan disappears into the dense jungle. It should thrive in the Empire's cold humidity.

Allows triggering SS blemmigangaz.png A blemmigan disaster!
The Zeppelin

Intense work is underway across the bridge.

Turned away

Two monkey guards wielding rifles and rusty bayonets block the bridge. This is not for your eyes, outsider. Avert them. Walk away. Walk faster. Good human.

The Zeppelin

You now have permission to visit and bring supplies.

The guards allow you through

Many monkeys are working on the Zeppelin. Many more are feverishly pretending to, banging nails into blocks of wood or smoothing out smooth cloth in an attempt to convince their overseers that they're helping.

The Zeppelin

The great work of the Pentecost apes is complete. Soon, they will escape their quarantine.

The most precious thing in the Empire

The Emperor is not a trusting ape. His guards are stationed all around the Zeppelin. None will get close without his explicit permission.

The Zeppelin

Pieces of cloth and ash still regularly blow into port.

The end of a dream

The Penties put everything they had into this. What remains of the Soaring Glory will soon be little but a memorial to the apes that would be men.

Gather Strategic Information for the Admiralty

The Admiral commissioned you to gather information. Here at the Empire's edge, that's difficult, but you could pick up a few scraps.

Words on the wind

The barely-souled monkeys of Port Stanton mutter together in a dozen bastardised dialects: invented stories, gossip twenty years old, intimate revelations from the scraps of subconscious knowledge that adhere to souls. The effect is of sampling a rich, fascinating stew that might just possibly contain rat-droppings. The Admiral would regard this mission as a failure, but others might be interested.

Game Note: This will give you an Intriguing Snippet: if you can penetrate the court on Sovereign Island, you may be able to do better.

Zailing the Empire of Hands[edit | edit source]

Zailing the Empire of Hands
SS Locations Empire of Hands.png
Category Story Event
Type Story
Data ID 175461

"Communal wooden boats offer free passage to all travellers willing to row between islands."

Actions Requirements Effects Notes
A Scouting Trip: Sovereign Island

A wooden palace stretches across the whole island, passage to it lit by a field of tiny glim buoys.

The heart of the Empire

Many boats circle the island, all keeping their distance. The one that gets closest is an extended rowboat painted in yellows, whites and reds. Four servant monkeys strain at the oars, while its true passenger sits in comfort behind a gauze curtain. Just for a moment an eye catches yours, but only for a moment. It would not do for a high-souled ape to see something so beneath its notice.

A Scouting Trip: The Ash Isthmus

Neither man nor ape claims this volcanic remnant between islands. Haunted, they say. Ridiculous.

Of apes and monkeys

The trip offers a little time to think on the Penties. Technically, they are monkeys rather than apes, but it is not tactful to remind them of this. To their high-souled faces, the accepted name is 'Pentecost apes'. In private though, 'the b___y monkeys' is about as common. It is, one might say, an ad hominoid insult.

A Scouting Trip: Fountainhead Island

Ancient secrets peek out of the trees. Any may visit, but few Penties ever bother to make the pilgrimage.

A young ancient empire

The Empire of Hands is hardly as old as they pretend, but mimicry and theft infuses their whole culture. If the Penties have come to think that rulers should be buried in ancient temples, then it is ancient temples they will build. It would hardly be the first time their attempts to mirror humanity have entirely missed the point.

A Scouting Trip: Hearthsake Island

A thin pillar of greasy yet appetising smoke rises from the only human settlement in the Empire.

The Blumenbach Quarantine

The Admiralty has never stated precisely why it seeks to keep the Empire confined, though most opposition to it fades once said opposers actually encounter a Pentecost ape. They have been easy to corral, however. Though they do not lack wit, there is not an inventive bone in their hairy bodies, and no amount of stolen humanity has taught them the art of creating engines.

Look for a rowboat

They all appear to be in use at the moment.

You make a note to return later

Until then, business awaits elsewhere. If only the monkeys had proper ships, their islands would have proper docks capable of handling yours. Oh well.

Game Note: You will need the help of someone in Fallen London to continue exploring the Empire of Hands. Check your Lodgings after submitting your Port Report.

Travel to Sovereign Island

They still demand a gift worthy of the Emperor to open up their court. Perhaps on another island...

A quiet, yet exhausting, affair

It has been a long while since you spent this much time behind oars. Your muscles will be glowing by the time you finish your business in the Empire.

Rare event (25%)
A hunting party powers through the water

You barely row out of the way in time, for it has no intention of turning or slowing. The chattering of angry monkeys fades into the darkness as they head for the other islands in search of food.

Travel to Sovereign Island

The Zeppelin is gone. The Court remains.

An angry mob

Pentecost apes from across the Empire are massing outside the Wildweald Court, screaming for answers and comfort those inside cannot give.

Rare event (50%)
An angry mob

Pentecost apes from across the Empire are massing outside the Wildweald Court, screaming for answers and comfort those inside cannot give.

Travel to the Wildweald Court

Your invitation stands unless you violate their sacred laws. Unless of course, they find it funny.

The guards salute as you approach the gates

There is no welcome. They stare at the ground throughout.

The guards nod and open the gates for you

You are making waves, it seems. The good kind.

Travel to Hearthsake Village

The cannibals always have a seat at their table, and the Lost Treasure Hunter has much to trade.

A journey into temptation

The delicious smell of the cannibals' cooking stretches much of the way across the passing. It would make a vegetarian salivate and reach for a fork.

Rare event (50%)
A cold expanse of water

It is strange, after so long in a real ship, to be so close to the surface of the zee that you could run your hand through it. Not that this would be a good idea.

Travel to Fountainhead Island

Ancient tombs and buried treasure await on this island.

An old zee-zhanty finds your tongue as you row

"...and left him treading water, all for the sake of the night he'd shared, with the rubb'ry cap'n's daughter..."

Rare event (50%)
Splash. Splash. Splash. Splash.

The sound of the oars would almost be hypnotic if your arms weren't burning so hard twith the effort.

Travel to The Ash Isthmus

Small, but perfectly formed.

A softly spreading wake stretches out behind

The silence is peaceful here. No engine rumbling, no sounds of crew at work. Just your own heavy breathing as you row, and the rhythmic splash of waters.

Rare event (15%)
Damp, with sore arms

These rowboats are not well maintained, if maintained at all. Water dribbles in from a small leak throughout, until it feels that there is as much zee within as without.

Explorations complete![edit | edit source]

This event appears in Empire of Hands when all four islands have been explored.

Actions Requirements Effects Notes
Prepare a Comprehensive Port Report -

A Delightful Welcome[edit | edit source]

This event triggers automatically when docking with the SS delightfuladventuressgaz.png Delightful Adventuress on board.

Actions Requirements Effects Notes
Payment for the journey -

"A man with no face"