The Honeyed Tongue

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The Honeyed Tongue
SS salon3gaz.png
Category Story Event
Type Story
Linked to Isle of Cats
Data ID 168541

The Honeyed Tongue is a Sunless Sea Story Event.

Trigger conditions[edit | edit source]

The Honeyed Tongue is triggered when you do the The Honeyed Tongue action in the Isle of Cats.

Story description[edit | edit source]

Entering the brothel is like sliding into the dream of a Surface orientalist: jewel-embroidered cushions, bright silk drapes, gilded statues of elephants, sun bears and clouded leopards. Silver censers release curling plumes of rose-scented smoke into the air.

The courtesans are red-lipped and kohl-smudged. When you catch their eyes, they smile back at you with professional interest.

Game note: Your actions will attract the Pirate-King's notice. You need 5 x Pirate-King's Notice to gain an offer from a Patron.

Interactions[edit | edit source]

Actions Requirements Effects
A meeting with the King's Claw

The Claw keeps a suite in the maze of corridors above the brothel.

Ask what red honey is

You know, of course. Only, the particulars may have slipped your mind.

One of the nearby courtesan's eyebrows lifts infinitesimally, but his reply is practiced. "When lamplighter bees suck the nectar of the crimson strain of exile's rose, they are driven to madness. They enter the brains of humans and harvest their memories." He shudders, as though imagining the process himself. "Those memories are instilled in red honey. Each sip is a burst of memory on the tongue."

"Deliciously awful, isn't it?" He flutters his dyed feather fan.

Comfort a zee-captain

A zee-captain is weeping gently into a courtesan's bosom, muttering of her lost crew, and rose gardens.

"They're all tending the gardens now!" she wails, and begins to weep again. "My poor crew."

You wait for a hitch in the sobs, and inquire further. It is a slow, delicate business drawing answers out of her, but you are nothing if not perseverant. It seems her crew was conscripted by the Lady of the Gardens, and that their duties are something far worse than horticulture. You leave her reciting the names of her lost zailors, and commending them to Salt's mercy.

Swap tales with a honey-smuggler

A few rousing zee-stories should loosen his tongue about the mysterious Pirate-King.

You touch your cat's eye brooch, and the zee-captain chortles. "The Pirate-King is watching you! Indeed he is, though not many see him these days. The people you want to watch out for are the King's Claw and the Lady of the Gardens. The Claw makes sure everyone keeps in line on the island, and the Lady - well, she's the keeper of the Cage-Gardens. Where they extract - um."

He seems to remember himself, all of a sudden, and blanches. "Er. Forget I said any of that, will you, Addressed As?"

Isery's Experiment: A purposeful assignation

The courtesans at the Honeyed Tongue are warm and accommodating, if you have the coin.

It is not easy to create an amorous mood between a nectar-maddened bee and a chanting Melliferous Sister. Luckily, the courtesan you selected takes the situation as something of a professional challenge. You emerge from the encounter a few hours later, smiling and thoroughly rumpled.

The Melliferous Sister collects the cage, and gives you a small nod. Your duty is, as it were, discharged.

Isery's Experiment: Sacrifice a member of your crew

She is unwarily drunk on mushroom-wine, and sitting alone. Fear is an intense emotion, and one you can easily provoke.

You tell the Melliferous Sister to stay close, and approach the zailor's table. "Captain!" she says happily. She tries to stand, which is when you slice through the tendons of her leg with a swift flick of your sword.

She collapses on the floor with a shuddering scream. You very deliberately make your eyes cold and empty before you meet hers, and you can almost smell her responding fear. That should do. The Melliferous Nun gives you a small nod, and carries the cage away to your Patron. You put your zailor out of her misery.

Isery's Experiment: Start a bar-fight

Easy enough in a crowd such as this one, and guaranteed to generate intense feeling. The question is: do you dare?

Failed event
The Catties are, unfortunately, far more accustomed to bar-brawls than you are, and even better at quashing them. You are firmly ejected from the Honeyed Tongue, and have to endure the Melliferous Sister's exasperated sighs. It seems you will have to try some other method.
Successful event
You end up on top of a table, duelling with a wild-eyed pirate carrying an antique sword. Your limbs feel as though they are touched by fire and wind, and you laugh at your blade strikes true. Your luck holds for your next two challengers, and the two after that. You are almost disappointed when the brawl staggers to a halt. One of the courtesans drops the man she was strangling with her silk scarf, and calls for honey-mead for those left standing.

The Melliferous Nun - who is entirely unscathed, of course - catches your eye from across the room, and gives you a nod. She takes the caged bee and slips back to Isery's laboratory. A job well done.

Isle of Cats story events
A Message for ZairaA Request from ZairaCavendish AbbeyThe Honeyed TongueThe Rose and Tiger
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