The Library of Parts

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The Library of Parts
SS paperstackgaz.png
Category Story Event
Type Story
Linked to Ashore in Visage

Library of Parts[edit | edit source]

The Library of Parts is a Sunless Sea Story Event.


Trigger conditions[edit | edit source]

The Library of Parts is triggered by doing the Visit the Library of Parts action while Ashore in Visage.

Interactions[edit | edit source]

As with all events on Visage, your available actions are determined by which mask you are wearing.

Unless otherwise specified, after taking a single action here, you'll return to SS visage portgaz.png Ashore in Visage.

Failure to play the part of the mask you chose in A changing room will cause the Moth to remove your mask and escort you back to SS Locations Visage.png Visage port, and with no Something Awaits You left, that's your time on the island over for now.

Actions Requirements Effects Notes
Ask about the purpose of this room

What sorts of parts are they, anyway?

- Filed under M for Masked

Moon-Moth explains. People think it means something like 'library of fragments', but this is wrong.

The parts in question are like parts in a play. This is where the denizens of Visage come in order to learn how to perform their masks more accurately, more completely, with a truer spirit.

Study the scrolls in a bumbling way

They look very old, after all.

Hearts guarded

Taking the nearest, you read it aloud: 'For guarding against the loss of the heart.'

Moon-Moth takes it from you, rolls it tightly, and returns it to its niche. "There are as many ways of guarding against the loss of the heart as there are different masks," it explains, in that same light and indifferent voice.

Write notes in the margins

If your frog glove will hold a pen, that is.

Halt there!

Description":"Moon-Moth is startled. Apparently no other Frog has gone so far as to attempt to deface the library's holdings. It gets the pen away from you, expostulating.

Later you find it writing down a record of what you just did. To be added to the Library of Parts, a recollection of what can be expected from frogs.

Steal the most valuable-looking scroll for later sale

Not very frog-like, but who cares?

Failed event Note that with high Veils, you can farm Fragments pretty well here, assuming you never learn about masks.
Not your role

Your every move is exaggerated, made louder and more bumbling, by your foolish costume. Moon-Moth finds you with one big flappy glove wrapped around a gilt-edged scroll. He takes it away and escorts you back to the customs house.

"If you are greedy, return to us as a locust," he says. "But do not do locust-deeds from under a frog-mask."

Successful event
Flop, flop

The trouble about your costume is that it amplifies all of your movements; and since everyone is used to hearing you coming and going, even when you succeed in being stealthy, your silence is notable anyway. So it is a considerable coup that you manage to filch one of the scrolls edged in gilt and illustrated in lapis, and tuck it into the giant rubbery belly of your costume.

It is probably a coincidence that the Moon-Moth declares your visit to be at an end, shortly afterward.

Failed event
As expected...

You are not sneaky enough. Moon-Moth sees what you do, and confiscates the sack bulging beneath your carapace. He does not, however, seem angry. What else would the locust do but take whatever is available to be taken? He awaits you outside the library with unruffled calm.

Successful event
More and more

Gilt-edged scrolls. Papyrus bound with emerald-green silk bands. Poems of the traversal to the realm of the dead. Into your sack they go, leaving the scroll-niches bare.

Moon-Moth does not see what you do. The carapace of your costume hides everything.

Pick the pockets of the readers

While they are looking, you can be acquiring.

Failed event
Ignored

You dip your fingers into a Crocodile's purse and acquire a few coppers from a Heron. From the way the Heron flinches, you know she knows you're there. Apparently it is the etiquette of the place not to prevent a Locust from stealing.

Perhaps for the same reason, the coins are no more than tiny copper chips each stamped with an eye sigil. Practically worthless.

Successful event
Successful if not wealthy

You dip your fingers into a Crocodile's purse and acquire a few coppers from a Heron. The coins here are no more than tiny copper chips each stamped with an eye sigil: the exchange rate must be thousands of these to the Echo, hardly worth taking home.

But you have acted as a Locust is meant to act, anyhow. There are no scrolls for locusts in the Library of Parts.

Read over Lotus-blossom's shoulder

What is that she's studying?

Failed event
Bud form

She appears to be reading poetry, but you catch no more than a few references to petals before she sees that you're lurking. Her body folds in on itself, flower returning to bud form.

The Moon-Moth does not like you doing this. Does not like it, and accuses you of being a Bat in disguise, and casts you out.

Successful event
Bud and bloom

She appears to be reading poetry: something about the blossom that folds away beneath the water at night, and blooms again in the daytime. She frowns as she reads, and goes back over and over the same passages, as though committing them to memory. As though it is very important for her to have every syllable by heart.

She is too absorbed to notice you there, but the Moon-Moth is not. It does not like to see you interfering, and accuses you of being a Bat in disguise, and casts you out.

Steal what scrolls you may

There are a large number of them.

More of a Locust activity

You go from niche to niche, putting scrolls into your pockets.

Moon-Moth intervenes. This is a Locust activity, not proper for you at all. It expects you to spy instead. Then it expects you to be taken to the place of execution and hung upside down. This is what happens to Bats in Visage.

The penalty for misplaying your role is only a little better than the penalty for being a Bat. You end up scarred and maskless, back at the dock.

Praise the literary traditions of Visage

The scrolls are so numerous, so neatly shelved, so elegantly illustrated.

Infiltrator

Moon-Moth considers you. Perhaps it thinks you are acting too much like a Frog. Perhaps it thinks this is a Bat gambit to gain favour. Misplaying your role would be bad, and correctly playing the Bat would be worse.

Either way, there are penalties. You end up scarred and maskless, back at the dock.

Look for books about the ritual in the Ear

Perhaps there's more for you to understand.

Scroll after scroll

The ritual is listed yearly for dozens, perhaps hundreds, of years. Each ritual records which citizen cleared the door for entry and which masks were present in the procession.

There are references, oblique but suggestive, that the ritual began long after the Ear was built, 'when the new people came to Visage.' But why they came, and what happened to the old people, is not recorded.

And there is never any record about what was said inside the Ear.

A chance to learn a little more about the story, if you've been through the ritual at the Festival of Flourishing.
Scroll after scroll

You sift through past records. The ritual is listed yearly for dozens, perhaps hundreds, of years. Each ritual records which citizen cleared the door for entry, and which masks were present in the procession.

There are references, oblique but suggestive, that the ritual began long after the Ear was built, 'when the new people came to Visage.' But why they came, and what happened to the old people, is not recorded.

And then, this most recent ritual: it is recorded as having been 'corrupted by light'.

Ah. That will have been you, then.


Linked Events[edit | edit source]

Linked to here[edit | edit source]

SS visage portgaz.png Ashore in Visage

Linked from here[edit | edit source]

SS visage portgaz.png Ashore in Visage

Flood Court[edit | edit source]

Flood Court
SS ruins2gaz.png
Category Story Event
Type Story
Linked to Ashore in Visage, Visage


Trigger conditions[edit | edit source]

The Flood Court is triggered by selecting Visit the Flood Court action while Ashore in Visage.

Interactions[edit | edit source]

Much like the SS paperstackgaz.png Library of Parts, unless otherwise specified, after taking a single action here, you'll return to SS visage portgaz.png Ashore in Visage.

Failure to play the part of the mask you chose in A changing room will cause the Moth to remove your mask and escort you back to SS Locations Visage.png Visage port, and with no Something Awaits You left, that's your time on the island over for now.

Actions Requirements Effects Notes
Ask about the purpose of this room

It doesn't really look as though it's good for anything.

- Depth per day

From a corner Moon Moth picks up a graduated stick. He shows you how a person standing at the end of the room may dip the stick into the water and use it to measure the water level at a pre-selected point, and how the measurements are compared with measurements written on a calendar. If the water level does not match the calendrical position, an assembly of pipes and drains is used to adjust it.

"It used to be," says the Moth, "that the water rose and fell of its own accord, and the People Before wrote down what height it reached. Now the water is still, but thanks to their actions, we can replicate the rise and fall so as still to be pleasing to the God of Flood."

It completes this explanation with a half-body bow towards the statue of the ram-deity. -

Show oafish enthusiasm for this wonderful indoor pool

Frogs like pools, right?

Croak

You exclaim at how much you admire this room and its excellent pool. Your words are, as always, amplified into a croak. Other masks turn towards you (crocodile, lotus blossom, crescent moon) but no one speaks. You have garnered a suitable degree of disdain.

Moon Moth quietly applauds your performance of froghood.

Tastelessly compare this room to other bodies of water

Frogs know water.

Have you seen the Cumaean Canal?

Moon Moth watches inscrutably while you talk about other bodies of water that have impressed you more than this one. Deeper, clearer, colder, more densely populated with fish.

Other denizens move away from you, and towards one another. Your social function is well performed.

Try to steal the statue's jug

It looks ancient, and consequently valuable.

Not your role

You make a grab for the jug and come away with a tiny fragment of paint-daubed clay.

Moon Moth looks scandalized that you would attempt something so locust-like. It hurries you back outside, chittering to itself. Perhaps theft requires a different mask here. At any rate, you're not allowed to keep this one.

Spy on the other occupants

Close watch is what they need.

Not your role

Moon Moth looks scandalized that you would attempt something so bat-like. It hurries you back outside, chittering to itself. Perhaps you needed a different mask?

At any rate, you're not allowed to keep this one. It's back to the dock for you.

Gather coin from the Flood Court floor

Apparently people use it as a wishing well.

Failed event
Take?

You wade into the water and begin gathering coins. People watch you from behind their masks. Moon Moth looks uncertain: you're playing the role of locust flawlessly, but these are sacred.

You hesitate for just a moment, your will wavering, and that's enough. The others rush you and drive you out. But you are not made to leave the city, at any rate.

Successful event
Gotcha

You wade into the water and begin gathering coins. People watch you from behind their masks, but no one tries to stop you.

After a moment, the other locust masks in the room swarm with you, four and five and six of you together, scraping up the coins from the bottom of the pool, working your way along until everything is gone.

It is just how a locust ought to behave.

Say how much you like the pool

The way the surface of the water is so still even a few inches from where it's being poured in. Impressive. Strange.

Not for you

Moon Moth looks around while you speak. Several of the other masks have heard you. "What are you, a Bat?"

It seems this is not the sort of thing that Locusts are supposed to say, supposed to think. Your role is to desire and acquire. Not to notice. Not to exclaim. Not to feel joy or admiration or dread.

Several hours later, you are back at the docks, half-naked. Your locust mask is gone, and with it the strange glimmering tint that it cast on the whole world. You'll remember that.

Study the calendars drawn on the walls

You don't recognise the language, but the repeating pattern of days is unmistakeable.

Failed event
Heights and depths

The sigils are tiny pictures, and the tiny pictures yield a meaning if you stare long enough. You are catching something, something about an ancient river and floods that were, when you are interrupted.

The Moon Moth does not like you staring at the fragments. Does not like it, and accuses you of being a Bat in disguise, and casts you out.

You'll have to come back later, in a new mask.

Successful event
Heights and depths

The sigils are tiny pictures, and the tiny pictures yield a meaning if you stare long enough. The calendar remembers the heights and depths of an ancient river, one that flowed far away and long ago. It remembers cycles of farming time and flood time and drought time. It remembers a circular stasis, a way of being that repeated in just the same fashion for hundreds of generations.

The Moon Moth does not like you staring at the fragments. Does not like it, and accuses you of being a Bat in disguise, and casts you out.

That is also part of a cycle.

Say how much you like the pool

The way the surface of the water is so still even a few inches from where it's being poured in. Impressive. Strange.

Infiltrator

Moon Moth looks at you without surprise. (Of course without surprise. No such expression can register on a mask. But without the small gestures of agitation that accompany a mistake on your part.)

It expects you to ask questions. Then it expects you to be punished for asking. That is what happens to Bats.

You end up scarred and maskless, back at the dock.

Try to collect coins from the bottom of the pool

There are a large number of them.

Not for you

You don't get far. The Moon-Moth determines that you're up to some obscure act of counterfeiting or coinage-related espionage.

It expects you to explore. Then it expects you to be punished for exploring. That is what happens to Bats.

You end up scarred and maskless, back at the dock.


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