Engineering the Downfall of Nidah

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Engineering the Downfall of Nidah
SS skullgaz.png
Category Story Event
Type Story
Data ID 259254

Engineering the Downfall of Nidah is a Sunless Sea Story Event.

Story description[edit | edit source]

"Nidah is a closed city, the guarded heart of the Presbyterate. We must cross the Elder Continent, destroy her numberless armies, and breach her basalt walls."

Mariam surveys the broad map of the Neath. "We have a lot of scheming to do, Addressed As."

Game note: Choose and pursue a method to overcome each of the three obstacles in your way: the armies of the Presbyterate, the way to Nidah, and the city's walls.

Trigger conditions[edit | edit source]

This event is triggered by doing the Tell Mariam that six are assembled or Lay your plans actions when talking to Mariam.

Interactions[edit | edit source]

Actions Requirements Effects Notes
Defeat the Presbyter's armies: commit a spy network

The Presbyterate's military is a patchwork of feudal obligations and treaties agreed between its seventy-six sub-kingdoms. It is a knot, ready to be unpicked.

Mariam's eyes widen as you lay out the extent of your espionage network upon the map-board. "A foothold on the Elder Continent!" She exclaims, and grins with her blue-black teeth. "You've planted the seed, Addressed As. Now, we nurture it; encourage it to grow like vines through the Prester's alliances. Then, in a number of years, we give the order - and the Presbyterate turns against itself." Mariam's memory is more reliable when she's scheming.

"With a little luck, we will be able to take Nidah with a detachment of mercenaries; I think I know just the fellows..."

Game note: To unlock espionage options, if you haven't already, deliver Vital Intelligence to the Dark-Spectacled Admiral in London, then talk to the Voracious Diplomat.

Defeat the Presbyter's armies: foster a popular uprising

Your Propagandist proposes it. "The Prester has vast wealth, unguessable power, and immortality. He is an easy man to resent." It will take time. More immediately, it will take a secret capable of toppling a government. And, inevitably, a great deal of money.

A rumble on the mountain

Movements begin in small ways. Whispers in the bazaar; slogans daubed in alleyways. In this case, the words that spread are sacred - an order of the first Presbyter, written long ago in Nidah. "No man shall live a thousand years."

When the people of the Elder Continent learn that their Presbyters don't die when they live to a thousand, but instead retire to the College of Mortality to advise the next ruler, they are incensed. The movement spreads slowly, the Mithridate Office - the Prester's own misinformers - working hard to stamp it out.

You keep it alive with the liberal application of money. The pebble is rolling, now. In a few years, you will lead the avalanche to Nidah.

Secure the route to Nidah: procure a living fleet to traverse the red river

Your Soldier advocates the route the Seven took on their initial attempt against Nidah. It worked then; and will serve again. Unfortunately, Polythreme - the only source of the ships able to navigate the red river - demands an unusual price.

The bargain

What does the living city want with fluke-cores? Its Hundred-Hearted King will not say. The crewman who delivered them reports carrying them to the white villa atop the hill, where countless statues waited with stony, avid eyes.

It will take years to construct the whole fleet, but when the first vessel slides gracefully into Batuk's hidden shoreside encampment, its oars sing a joyous hosannah. Their harmony is impeccable.

Secure the route to Nidah: plot a course across three deserts

To reach Nidah overland, you must cross three deserts, each more impossible than the last. Your Guide, however, believes a way can be made. They will need some unusual supplies.

Isery explains their plan. "First, we must cross the Desert of Eyes, where eyes bloom in the sands. Their regard strips all pretence, reducing the traveller to a state of foetal self-loathing. Hence the sunlight: we will blind them.

"Next is the Listening Desert, where earthquakes pursue the unwary. Thus, the primordial shrieks - I propose to deafen it. Perhaps you notice a theme?

"Lastly, we would reach at the Desert of Delights. The touch of its sands is indescribably engrossing. Our best hope here is something equally as captivating, to divert us. The whole journey will undoubtedly be awful, but I believe it can be done." Isery taps a clawed finger-ring on one sharp cheek-bone. What they have described is only the beginning of it. Finding the route is one thing. Making it safe for your forces to follow is another, and will take years.

Breaching Nidah's walls: deploy a leviathan from the depths of the zee

Arik has not been idle since the defeat of the Seven. He has tamed a monster of the deep zee, and presents you with a report on its deployment.


Arik's plan involves steering Temtum from the zee, across the Elder Continent, and using the beast as a siege engine. 'Temtum will topple shatter the walls like meringue,' his report claims. He seems confident. But it will take a long period of gradual excursions for the great city-beast of Hideaway to build up a tolerance for life above the waves. Arik gets started immediately.

Game note: Advance the story on Hideaway and favour the Sprightly Visionary to unlock this option.

Breaching Nidah's walls: invest in experimental munitions research

Cotterell & Hathersage have made great strides, recently, in the art of fulmination. If you could combine their chemistry with recent developments in blast-shaping and some terribly modern research into thermobaric expulsion, you could be onto something.


The test-site still glows. Heat hangs in the air like a blanket, crisping the hairs on the back of your hand. You remove your safety goggles (their lenses are warped beyond use now, anyway) and examine what used to be a monolith of basalt and is now a shapeless, seeping mass, hissing as it cools.

"I rather think that will do," says your Financier, whose engineers are engaging in a hearty round of back-slapping. "We'll have to go into mass production, of course. It'll take time."

Retire from the zeefaring life to plan the conquest of Nidah

"The time has come," Mariam says, "to dedicate yourself wholeheartedly to our endeavour. We have much work to do."

Her memories are fading. There is much she must pass onto you regarding the Presbyterate before they vanish altogether, beyond the means of her engravings and statues to recover.
Speak to Mariam

You have questions for her.

The two of you leave the Chamber of Sevens, conversing as you pick your way through the bone statues.
Return to Scrimshander proper

You have other matters to attend to.

Story events
A New RecruitInvitation to a BeheadingAn Inspection by the Ministry of Public DecencyReturning to LondonThe First ClueThe House of the QuestionThe Revenue MenThe Rose and TigerThe Trouble with Tomb-ColonistsThe Vengeance of JonahThe Venturer's PassageThe Web of StoneThe Wisp-WaysYour Father's Bones: A Cold Trail (event)Your Father's Bones: the Next Step