Nook

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Nook
Nook (Gazetteer)
SS Locations Nook.png
Located in Rattsey
Ports Nook
Shops The Yawning Maw
Shipyard "None"

Nook is an anarchic semblance of civilisation, nestled within the throat of some unknown leviathan. Nookwater changes people.

Port Description[edit | edit source]

A gap in this colossal sea monster's throat has been forced open with thick heartmetal beams. They strain under the pressure, but hold. As you pass through, your zubmarine lights pass over a message carved in a floating piece of some unfortunate's hull. BEYOND IS NOOK. BEYOND IS FREEDOM. BEYOND IS- The rest is scratched out.

Interactions[edit | edit source]

Nook qualities include Nook: Tolerance for Nookwater, Nook: A Taste of Freedom, and Nook: A Memory of Nook. Nook qualities can be counter-acted in Aigul. After the first visit, re-entering Nook requires one Cask of Mushroom Wine. Low Barnet accepts Nook port reports as a storytelling exchange, returning one Zee-ztory.

The Edge of Nook[edit | edit source]

This event is available when docking in Nook.

Actions Requirements Effects Notes
Enter Nook

Water presses against the airlock door. The breathing and slithering of the beast gives it the rhythm of a drumbeat.

Trespasser in Freedom

You don your heavy diving suit and give the order to cycle the airlock. Water rushes in and you begin the slow swim down into the port. It soon becomes obvious that you are over-dressed for the occasion.

The people of Nook swim and breathe in the cloudy Maw-water with no apparent discomfort. Most are naked, with just a few clad in rotten rags that stream from their skin with no concern for modesty.

None will communicate with you, if they even can. Those who acknowledge your presence just laugh silently at your bulky suit and unnecessary air-hose. You'll need a different approach.

Check the diving suit

Strictly speaking, you don't need it here, but it couldn't hurt.

All in excellent condition

Lady Black can wrap her fingers around another captain's throat. For now though, it doesn't matter. Nook and its foul - but breathable - waters await.

Descend naked into Nook

At least you're unlikely to run into anyone you know.

You undress; every button, every stitch. The door opens. Ice-cold water rushes upwards. Instinct holds your mouth shut. Ten seconds. Twenty seconds. Your lungs burn, holding in that last gulp of air; your legs thrash. You can't hold it in. It escapes! You're choking on water. It forces its way into your lungs, the taste of burning salt suffocating every attempt to gasp, scream or-

Then, through the exhaustion and panic, you realise you're breathing. It's hard work. Your lungs fight against the weight. But it's enough. You can tolerate it, at least for now.

Game note: The liberal application of wine will make this process easier - in future, bring a cask.

Return to Nook

You have the measure of the place now. And you have learned that the liberal ingestion of wine before a visit increases your tolerance for nook-water.

Undressing for adventure

Again, you remove your clothes and put them safely in the watertight diving suit compartment. As the water rushes in, you are ready; taking gulps to speed the transition. It feels less like drowning, now, and more like baptism. You swim into Nook with skin and mind tingling, reborn in the airlock's cold steel.

Return to freedom

Your clothes itch. The airlock grinds so slowly. Your breathe is spiced with wine.

Stamping. Impatient.

Every heartbeat echoes in your head. Your blood strains against your skin. Through that door is freedom. The once foul water now tastes sweet.

The Ruptured Throat[edit | edit source]

A torn, pinned-back cavity in the flesh wall offers access to the city's monstrous host. Razor-sharp teeth the size of buildings jut from fatty, garnet-red flesh. Many teeth have been quarried out into homes, barricaded by scraps of wood from shipwrecks.

Actions Requirements Effects Notes
Search for the Fierce Philanthropist's husband

Did he come here, to lose himself in liberty and poverty?

Failed event Game note: Check your journal for reminders about where the Philanthropist's husband might be.

No luck

Your enquiries are exhaustive - the Philanthropist's husband is not here. You can cross this port off your list.

Successful event Game note: Continue your search at Low Barnet, near London.
A promising lead!

You cannot find him among the tooth-miners, nor the deep-fishers or the white-eyed Nookweed-eaters. But there are those who recognize your sodden sketch. Through signing, and a wearying process of elimination, you identify the place Lytton left for: Low Barnet, the submerged parish near London.

Swim Upwards

To the Great Maw.

Attempt to mingle with the Nookfolk

They may be friendlier now that you're fashionably undressed.

Lost in freedom

They acknowledge your presence, but little more. Most shrink back, assuming you mean harm. Other's deliberately swim just above you in a crude attempt at intimidation. They carry bone knives, or tooth-tipped spears.

A few gesture to you - in welcome? Invitation? It is unclear. The slightly glutinous water makes speech impossible, so the natives have developed a language of signs. You can interpret the most basic: a finger pulled across a throat, for example, is one of the more polite invitations to depart.

Search for the recipient of the Almost Dead Man's letter

Where will you find this 'etched tooth-house'?

Failed event
'Sounds like...' No. Bad idea.

You do your best, but those few Nookfolk willing to help are unable to make their signing comprehensible.

Successful event
A man lost in Freedom

A complex exchange of hand signals suggests you should swim up. The Latitudinarian's home can be found in the Great Maw.

Compile a Port Report

No one here has anything to hide. Actually, no one here is hiding anything at all.

Notes on Nook

A vile place. Festering. Acidic. No laws but those of tooth and claw, written in scars. Civilisation? Impossible - making tea would be a logistical impossibility.

Yet the inhabitants seem content. Many have come here from London, the Khanate, the Presbyterate; abandoning cultured life for this tenuous existence. They grin, their mouths full of stolen flesh, or float naked and carefree. Many have nothing, and nothing to lose.

A group of swimmers dart past, hunting gleefully. One squeezes your shoulder, companionably. You've never met her before.

Rare event (20%)
A logistical issue

Ah. No pen. Of course. You'll just have to record what you remember when you're back in the zubmarine.

Take from the weak

There is only one law here: survival of the fittest.

Failed event
As above, so below

You pick one of the feebler-seeming Nookfolk - an elderly gentleman, perhaps once a zailor. But the heavy water blunts your blows and your movement, while your victim is practiced, nimble, vicious. His teeth sink into your shoulder. You manage to tear him off you, and he swims away like a minnow.

Successful event
Thinking in three dimensions

You pick your target - a rangy man with a bag of the phosphorescent globules that provide light down here. He doesn't have as many scars as most, but he's missing an eye. You approach from his blind side, and above launching yourself from a Nook-tooth like a torpedo. He fights, but an arm around his neck cuts off breathable water as well as it would air. The other Nookfolk pay no attention as you claim his stash.

Release a blemmigan

Go, little mushroom. Be free!

A place to thrive

The blemmigan adapts to the water before it has even left the zubmarine's airlock. It bubbles contentedly and sinks deep down into the depths, where meat is fresher and the light is low.

Return to the Zubmarine

Better not leave the crew waiting too long.

Swim Downwards

To the Serrated Abyss.

Time to leave

Your lungs - unaccustomed to breathing water - are beginning to labour. You must return to your ship.

Old habits

There: the bright light of your zubmarine's main beam. The airlock. Home.

The Serrated Abyss[edit | edit source]

Down here the water is cloudy, its greens streaked by dissipating patches of coppery red. Only a few teeth still protrude from the walls. Instead, razor-sharp hairs line them, rippling gently in the current.

Actions Requirements Effects Notes
Swim Up

To the Ruptured Throat.

Trade Solacefruit for Phosphorescent Nodules

They will be a rare treat for the Nookfolk.

Sweetness and light

As expected, the Nookfolk flock to take all the fruit you have to offer. They freely give up their nodules for a taste of the delightful juice.

Accept a scandalous invitation

Two Nookfolk - langourously entangled - swim past. Their fingers twine in the water. Their arms stray over bare skin. One smiles at you; beckons.

What happens in Nook

The two lovers lead you to a tooth the size of a London manor. It is riddled with caverns, gently lit by lambent nodules. In each cavern, lovers seethe. You find a chamber of your own. Hands explore. Lips touch. Acquaintances deepen.

Sample some Nookweed

A circle of Nookfolk scrape what looks like a thin algae from the smaller teeth, and chew it like snuff. Their eyes flutter, then bulge, brimming with visions.

Failed event
Low tolerance

You chew the Nookweed and its effects go to work. When you wake, only pieces of memory remain. A descent. A tryst turned bloody. The rush of a sudden air bubble carrying you up to the Maw, almost out of the beast entirely. A dim memory of... flesh?

Rare failed event (50%)
That night, the ghosts arrive

Hot blood fills your mouth. You bite down and tear, taking the weakling's throat as a prize. Her light is your now light. You have all the light. Until the light-from-above blinds you and the ghosts come. "Cap'n?" they seem to say through the water. "Cap'n? What happened to-"

Ghosts mean nothing. You fear no ghost. You savour their fear instead, as you lick what used to be your arm; the bone carved into a sharp blade. Blood in the water. There is always blood in the water. No longer yours. Soon, theirs. You lick it off the blade as the ghosts fade down into the darkness. No more ghosts come to try to take your Freedom.

You wake, still tasting blood on your tongue.

Successful event
A memory of space

Your vision darkens, then floods with light! Nook is not freedom. There is no freedom down here, in the black belly of the earth. Freedom is above; beyond the thin blue shell of the sky, out in the stirring, shining reaches of the High Wilderness!

Once, you surged between the suns. You recall swelling suns, and golden thrones, and the writhing world of Now you coil in this pit on the bed of this little sea and sleep and dream of the winds of nowhere and stir and sleep again. You are growing hungry.

The vision fades.

Take a moment's rest

All this swimming is exhausting.

A niche within Nook

These deeper Nookfolk either lack the confidence or strength to take a tooth for a home. Instead, they make use of the beast's walls. You follow their example. A bit of floating scrap, just sharp enough, slices through the flesh and exposes the soft tissue behind.

You slide your legs into the warm meat and sinew, trying not to gag on the sudden rush of blood. The muscle clamps shut around your legs and chest. It would not be hard to pull yourself out, but unlikely that you'd find yourself floating defenseless up to the scavengers above, or down into the depths of the stomach. And it is warm. Warm as a moist blanket. Against your better judgement, your eyes start to close.

Swim Downwards

To the Bilious Cleft.

Drowning!

No. Not drowning exactly. You have air. But the water is too heavy. Your lungs scream with the effort. You have to get back to the zub!

Old habits

You know you can breathe, but it doesn't help. You kick furiously with your legs, pushing with agonising slowness towards the bright light of your zubmarine's main beam. The airlock. Home.

The Bilious Cleft[edit | edit source]

Few Nookfolk swim this deep, where the water is foggier than a London pea-souper. Foul gas bubbles up from the Beast's gut, acidic enough to sting your eyes.

Actions Requirements Effects Notes
Swim Up

To the Serrated Throat.

Join a Blemmigan Hunt

The blemmigan you released has flourished down here. Rough-looking hunters with bone harpoons risk the descent in the hope of finding tastier food.

Failed event
War with the mushrooms

The hunters are eager for a blemmigan feast. Their harpoons pierce the mushrooms, and the toothy beasts fight back. The blemmigans swarm, their beaks snapping. Blood clouds the water. The hunters make do with a few skewered prey and retreat, leaving the blemmigans to their darkness.

Successful event
The hunt is on

You join the hunting pack. Clouds of blemmigans live deeper in the throat than most Nookfolk can tolerate for long, and are already breeding at an unseemly rate. Caught unawares, they are easy prey. The challenge comes when the hunt ends, and it is time to divvy up the spoils. More blood stains the water. Still, you acquit yourself well.

Search for Phosphorescent Nodules

The Nookfolk use them for light, and guard them closely. When they do drop them, though, the nodules sink down here, glowing between the teeth.

Quick scavenging

You harvest a handful of the nodules. If you mean to venture deeper into the gullet, where there is only darkness and eye-burning waters, you'll need plenty of light.

Rare event (15%)
Snap-snap!

Not a nodule! Not a nodule! Instead, it was the lambent eye of a giant leech-creature which almost bit your fingers off. You manage to wrestle it into submission. It seems the Nookfolk are not the only ones to call Nook home.

Intimidate Phosphorescent Nodules from nervous Nookfolk

A ragged band squabble over glowing nodules. They stop when you approach, recognising you. They know to be afraid.

Naked aggression

Wisely, they flee. You cradle the precious glowing nodules. Yours, now. Passing deep-divers catch you eye, pale, and flee. Sensible.

Game note: Trade Memories of Nook for Phosphorescent Nodules.

Down the Writhing Gullet

This beast is at least centuries old. Its stomach passages are a labyrinth. Who knows what might be lodged in there?

Time to leave

Your lungs - unaccustomed to breathing water - begin to labour. You must return to your ship.

Old habits

There: the bright light of your zubmarine's main beam. The airlock. Home.

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