The First Curator

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The First Curator
SS blackgaz.png
Category Story Event
Type Character
Linked to SS Locations Venderbight.png Venderbight
Data ID 157004

The First Curator is a Sunless Sea Character Story Event.

The First Curator is responsible for the preservation of the tomb-colonies of SS Locations Venderbight.png Venderbight.

Trigger conditions[edit | edit source]

The First Curator can be visited in SS Locations Venderbight.png Venderbight after you do the Visit the First Curator action.

Character description[edit | edit source]

“No more light,” the Obsequious Steward cautions you. The Curator is terribly afraid of moths. He opens the door, and you step into near-darkness. A pair of luminous lamp-lighter bees buzz in a latticed ivory tube. There is no other source of light.

A bandaged shape no larger than a child lies crumpled on a couch. It lifts its head with obvious effort. It takes several seconds for you to distinguish its voice from the soft buzz of the bees.

Interactions[edit | edit source]

The First Curator's Manse[edit | edit source]

The First Curator gives you the SS bookblacksmall.png THE NEATHBOW, a book that is only complete when you pick up all of the seven missing colour pages.

Actions Requirements Effects Notes
Listen to a whispered request

“Zee-Captain. Silk-skin. Not much left of me. I will go... into the Grand Sanatorium. Bring me colours. Seven colours. Pay. Well.”

Seven colours?

“Cosmogone. Irrigo. Peligin. Steward has... list... Find them here and there, across the wide black zee...”

Ask about the Grand Sanatorium

One hears the name whispered, here and there in the arcades of Venderbight.

A long low chuckling

“Oh, silk-skin. You don't want to know...” The chuckling becomes a cough. “We don't die here below. Not unless we go to zee. So we needed something else: somewhere to end...”

Accept the commission

“Thank you. This poor flesh... thirsts for colours...”

No more words

It collapses, rustling, back on to the couch. Even the effort of speaking seems to have diminished it a little. The audience is over. As the door opens, it shrinks from the finger of light that reaches across the floor.

Outside, the Obsequious Steward nods. “The book? Yes, the book.” He hands you a slim, illustrated volume. “The Curator is old - old as dust. We will all be grateful if you do it this one last favour.”

Give it your Lump of Blue Scintillack

"Oh... bright as... bright as waking..."

Cage-frail fingers

The Curator cups its hands over the lump of glowing coral. Its face, you see now, is masked with copper. Its fingers wither in the light. A curl of smoke rises. But It only clutches the coral tighter. "The sea," it whispers. "I smell the sea."

You smell scorched dust. But here's your payment, in rubies of antique cut. The Curator seems happy.

Generally not advised - Blue Scintillack is both useful and valuable; however some ways of obtaining it are easier and/or faster than the alternative.
Give it your Apocyan Chess Piece

"Oh... yes... it also wants... it also wants..."

Cage-frail fingers

The Curator cups its hands over the soft-glowing chess-piece. Its face, you see now, is masked with copper. Its fingers wither in the light. A curl of smoke rises. But It only clutches the chess-piece tighter. "The sea," it whispers. "I smell the sea."

You smell scorched dust. But here's your payment, in rubies of antique cut. The Curator seems happy.

The best choice here since the Piece is worth only 100 E outside of this quest.
Give it your Ray-Drenched Cinder

"I smell - stars..."

A cavity

Beside the Curator's couch waits a humped machine of iron and brass. "There," it wheezes, straining to raise its arm. A recess, approximately the size of the cinder, waits.

You place the cinder there and close the lid. Faint atonal music, like the pricking of starlight, drifts from within. "I will never see Parabola," the Curator wheezes. "But perhaps you will. Take this mirror. It was born in a volcano..." Dark glass, serpent-carved.

The only possible offering for Cosmogone.
Show it your Weeping Scar

"Let me...see..."

It sinks back, exhausted.

"Disappointing," it wheezes. "I imagined gant as... hungry grey... more... beige... but... promised. Your payment is there..."

A human skull sits atop a dusty notebook.

Easy to get and virtually useless outside of this quest - also you don't lose it by showing it. Would be the best option here except you need to turn your captain into a cannibal to achieve that.
Show it a sketch of the Figurehead of the Eater of Names

"Oh! ...oh... I know..."

"Satisfactory," it wheezes. "There will be another Eater, in time. But this trophy - I will taste.. Your reward."

A human skull sits atop a dusty notebook.

Best option for those who have lines they don't cross.
Give it a Star-Shell

"What is... that?"

Almost unreal.

"Disappointing," it wheezes. "It looks... imagined... almost... unreal. A memory. But... enough. Your payment is there..."

A human skull sits atop a dusty notebook.

Give it your Eyeless Skull

"Yes. I want to forget..."

A waiting pedestal

At its direction, you place the skull atop a dripstone pedestal - a stalagmite, once, now carved with crockets and grimacing faces. Irrigo sparks crawl across it. For a moment you forget what you were doing.

"Thank you," the Curator whispers. "Perhaps you have saved me from the Sanatorium. And perhaps - the emergence - will be less painful -" Its chest pulses feebly.

You accept a single huge black pearl. The Curator's fancies grow worse, but it pays well.

Generally less valuable than the alternative, but the alternative is easier to obtain.
Give it your Colossal Fluke-Core

"Yes. End it. I will find my own ending..."

A waiting pedestal

At its direction, you place the Core in a bath of frothing acid. It dissolves slowly. Irrigo vapours ascend, and snake into your mouth, eyes, heart. For a long minute, you forget who you are. When you return to yourself, no trace of the Fluke remains.

"Thank you," the Curator whispers. "Perhaps you have saved me from the Sanatorium. And perhaps - the emergence - will be less painful -" Its chest pulses feebly.

You accept a single huge black pearl. The Curator's fancies grow worse, but it pays well.

Generally more valuable than the alternative, but the alternative is harder to obtain. So you may want to give one up to get at that treasure faster (for example, to turn it into an heirloom sooner rather than later).
Give it your Hunter's Eye

"I saw it once. I saw it long ago... when first I came here below..."

The driest of chuckles

"My left eye is blind. Should I replace it with this one, it will be no blinder. But perhaps I will see - within - " It raises the hand with the Hunter's Eye towards its concealed face.

No sound is indescribable, but some should be. This is one. Let us not trouble ourselves with its nuances - its reminders of marsh and gangrene and chrysalid emergence.

"Take," it says. Its voice is ragged. It gestures at a side-table where a spoire-tusk sits. A pearl tiara is perched jauntily atop the tusk. Both, apparently, are yours.

the only possible offering for Peligin
Give it your Pot of Violant Ink

"We would have made a better contract. But we hungered for the flesh of gods."

A stained finger

It extends a brittle arm from beneath its coverlet - dips it in the ink - conveys the finger back to its hidden mouth.

"Ah," it sighs. "The colour will enter my bones. And then, perhaps, the Moth."

It's plainly rambling, but at least it hasn't forgotten your reward - a cameo of a bandaged beauty painted on the mummified palm of a mummified hand. All right, not to everyone's taste, but it's terribly well executed.

the only possible offering for Violant
Give it your enigmatic painting

"The Fingerkings. Our enemies. The enemies of everyone..."

A deep sigh

"This is the border of Parabola. The dream-country. You know that, don't you? Yes. The devils know that, too..."

It becomes motionless - for so long that you wonder if it is finally truly dead. At last it expels a rattling breath and points wordlessly at a cloisonné mask on a trophy-stand, half-visible in the gloom. "Elder Continent," it wheezes. "Made within sight of the Mountain. Wear it and think... of me..."

since the painting is extremely hard to get (requires doing a 5% chance daily Venderbight event twice, while passing hard skill checks both times) and worth 2 Secrets by itself, it's definitely the worst offering for Viric.
Give it your Mirror-Charm

"Yes. Yes, that has passed between... two worlds..."

A deep sigh

"Varchas. I wanted to see Varchas, before I died. The Mirrored City. So... glorious. But that light... would crumble me... like..."

It becomes motionless - for so long that you wonder if it is finally truly dead. At last it expels a rattling breath and points wordlessly at a cloisonné mask on a trophy-stand, half-visible in the gloom. "Elder Continent," it wheezes. "Made within sight of the Mountain. Wear it and think... of me..."

the best offering for Viric - extremely easy to get and replace, and essentially useless outside of this quest.
Give it your Mirrorcatch Box full of Very Angry Dream-Snakes

"Oh, my, my, my. They are... cross..."

A tomb-dry chuckle

"They won't stay... imprisoned long. But longer than... I will..."

It becomes motionless - for so long that you wonder if it is finally truly dead. At last it expels a rattling breath and points wordlessly at a cloisonné mask on a trophy-stand, half-visible in the gloom. "Elder Continent," it wheezes. "Made within sight of the Mountain. Wear it and think... of me..."

More valuable than a mirror-charm, but depending on your exploration habits can be more accessible than a mirror charm. So you may want to give one up to get at that treasure faster (for example, to turn it into an heirloom sooner rather than later).
Receive a final reward

It reaches up to clasp your hand. “I am... grateful. You don't know what you've done to me. Accelerated... the growth beneath the flesh. Spared me the sanatorium. Here... my... dissolution...”

A birth

The Curator moves faster than you've ever seen - flinging its arms back, as if in delight. Its chest pulses, then crumbles inwards. It cries out softly, and turns its masked face to watch you. Its chest crumbles like damp clay. Something damp and sleekly shining pushes out. Antennae rustle. Faceted eyes glisten.

The Curator's hand reaches up to caress the creature, and then goes still forever. It frees itself, flexing damp wings. A moth of prodigious size. Its wings are figured with patterns in familiar colours - peligin, viric, irrigo...

Depart for now

You have no further business with the Curator just now.

Out of the gloom

The Obsequious Steward bows obsequiously. The flickering lights of Venderbight seem bright after the Curator's lair.

The Curator's End[edit | edit source]

The Curator's End
SS keepermothgaz.png
Category Story Event
Linked to SS Locations Venderbight.png Venderbight
Data ID 158397

"The moth perches at the head of the sofa. You've never seen one this big. Its wings are a whole library of glyphs, clues, ink-blot images.

"It's finished, Captain," the Obsequious Steward says behind you: though he seems less Obsequious, now. "All shall be well and all manner of thing shall be well. But first..."

Actions Requirements Effects Notes
Accept Steam-Yacht Deeds

"It was too frail to sail, by the time she was completed. It would have wanted you to have her."

The deeds are hand-written on bark-cloth from the bolegus, those vast and woody mushrooms that grow on fertile islands. "It preferred the old ways," the Steward says obscurely. "If you visit the Shipyard, you'll find all you need, there. My thanks, again. And - be discreet in the matter of the Birth. Not everyone in Venderbight would understand."

Game note: You will be able to swap to the Steam-Yacht when in Venderbight. The Leucothea class is a mid-sized ship with 250 Hull that increases Hearts, Veils and Pages by 10 each.
Accept a huge trove of Secrets

"Perhaps it would have preferred you to have its memoirs? They're a little dry. But it was very wise. It had lived a long, long, time."

Memoirs in darkness

The memoirs are hand-written on bark-cloth from the bolegus, those vast and woody mushrooms that grow on fertile islands. "It preferred the old ways," the Steward says obscurely. "I recommend the section on its stay in the Khanate. Surprisingly spicy. It was not always old."

"My thanks again. And - be discreet in the matter of the Birth. Not everyone in Venderbight would understand."

Accept seven treasures

"Of course, if it's avarice that motivates you... I must admit I am, myself, motivated chiefly by avarice."

    -

Old gold

Rings, crowns, rods. Copper discs, garnet-studded. A mirror figured with a map of the lost Surface. Silver coins with squat glyphs like wax-stains. A jade tiger with a ruby heart.

"You earnt it," the Steward remarks. "Spend it in good health."

Forget other rewards; take only the Moth

It's watching you. Does it remember the flesh it dwelt in? It spoke often of the zee. Perhaps it would like to travel?

    -

Extend a hand

It glides to your wrist like a falcon. The furred scales of its wings are thick as carpet fibres. It smells of wax and frost. Bend your head closer. If you can't hear it speak, perhaps you can read meaning in its wings?

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
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