The Neath India Company

Dear Sir or Madam or Both or Neither,

I write to you with an incredible opportunity for adventure, patriotism and profit. London’s fortune has always been tied to the sea, and so it is we look to the past to see our future…

This is an idea that involves a fair amount of Sunless Sea mechanics merged with the personalities and purses of Fallen London. It is known that the Underzee is a dangerous place, full of death and dismemberment at every turn. It threatens lives, but also, most importantly, commerce. But surely the sea has always been such. The Docks of London have always played host to many a teary eyed widow and ruined investor alike. How did the people of London combat these losses in the past? In the heyday of piracy, it used convoys. Indeed it was nigh impossible to have your shipping line insured had it not traveled in a convoy to ward off pirates, ne’re-do-wells and, worst of all, Americans. The reason convoys came out of fashion was that individual ships became too quick to make it effective. But that’s no longer true in the Underzee.
So why are there no convoys active in the Neath? Moreover, why are there no massive convoys run by shipping magnates guarded by private warships? The answer is surely a lack of capital. Ships require a massive amount of start-up capital to purchase and most sea captains rarely survive long enough to buy anything more than a tramp steamer. Those that do retire, go North or sail a monkey blimp out East. Even if they didn’t, it would take one man far too long to gather the capital needed.
But not in Fallen London. Here, a small group of likeminded individuals could pool, say, an Ubergot’s worth of Echoes each and purchase a fleet of around 16 Merchant Cruisers and 4 Dreadnaughts to escort them; along with engines, weapons, crew and supplies. It would be a massive amount of money. But then you set them to trading. Wine to monkey coffee to Parabola Linen at first. The ships would pay for themselves in only a few trips. After that, money will flow like the Stolen River, all without fear of pirates, monsters or Khanates.
You the reinvest and use that money to buy more ships, as much as the London market can hope to handle. Then you expand to all the different ports of the Neath: Supplies from the surface, sapphires from Carnelian to Chelonate, dice from Palmerston to Shadow. You’d have enough capital for a massive fleet and, eventually, enough necessity to set up London ports throughout the Neath.
It would have to steer clear of any illegal trading, such as sunlight or red honey, and pay The Masters their due, but I’d imagine Wines would be happy to see the sheer, hitherto undreamt tonnage of his wine make its way across the zee.
Eventually you could have your own private navy of monster hunters, which could make a fair profit on their own, and fleets of Dreadnoughts to “deter” London’s enemies from interfering with her interests.
Convoys, Capitalism and Colonization: These are the things which will bring about our naval supremacy.

This is my idea to make London a power to be reckoned with once again and to overcome the horror that is the Dawn Machine without having to resort to Liberation.

…and it with this great hope that I look forward to not only your generous investment, but your tireless work n our noble endeavor.

Forever Your Servant,
Nigel Overstreet
Soon to be of The Fallen London Shipping Line

Eli reads the letter with livid enthusiasm! By God, finally, a true opportunity!

“EZ!” He hollers, throwing himself from his favorite reading chair and onto his feet. “Fetch me an Ubergot’s worth of echoes!”

The mushroom monster peers around the corner, wearing a chef’s hat and a pink cooking apron. “Don’t have that much money, sir.”


“Why does this happen every Tuesday?” Ezekiel continues to stir the pot of borscht sitting on the stove. “Does Sir still want-”

“This is no time for mundane and possibly comedic dialogue about the implausibility of the set-up here! I have an adventure to go on!”


“AAAAADVENTUREE” Eli screams loud enough for Ezekiel to hear him, as he is now five city blocks away.

Dirae Erinyes announces “You know what this means?” as they read the letter.
Evensong gives a sigh. "I’ll got get the large captain’s hat… . "

Amelia had ventured to the Docks in hopes of catching a few patrons and pub regulars there. But upon arrival there is a mass of hysteria and fervor capturing quiet a few zailors. Lots of voices screaming out &quotOur time is now!&quot and &quotTa tha Zees!&quot through passing lips as they all haul cargo to their boats. The drunken thief considers sneaking aboard a ship when she hears a light crumple beneath her foot. She takes and reads the letter, chuckling a bit to herself the further she reads. &quotWhat a fool’s errand,&quot she mutters to herself. It seemed errant to rush out and favor a Master but she can’t deny their excitement. There is money to be made here for their hard work. A good investment but only if it’s done right.

The Curious Captain approaches Nigel in person.

“Mr. Overstreet, a pleasure to meet you at last. I have some concerns regarding your current endeavour that I believe should be addressed. It is possible you have considered these things, but in case you have not it will good that I raise them.”

“What you speak of will increase London’s supremacy at Zee. It is no small matter, and I fear is not so easily accomplished as you assert.”

“Firstly, there is logistics, it takes a good two years construction time from laying down a hull to having a Dreadnought ready to zail. Purchasing one is possible for a Captain, provided they have the echoes and do not mind a used vessel near decommissioning. Our Navy’s yards are currently at the Grand Geode, with most of our materiel and skilled builders. Unless you can propose a way to speed time by several years you will not be able to assemble your guards.”

“I should suggest a solution, if you will hear it. Dreadnoughts are ill-suited to escorting convoys. You are treating Capital Ships as if they were escorts. Rather, use the much cheaper, much faster, actual escort class for your purpose. Corvettes are built to escort convoys, and to raid the enemy’s shipping. Their speed is what you want in an escort, not firepower. When an enemy unexpectedly attacks from a vector you did not anticipate your ships will appreciate an escort capable of reaching the battle quickly far more than a dreadnought that will not arrive in firing range before your merchants are taken or sunk.”

“I fear this is the least of your obstacles.”

[quote=The Absurd Rogue]Eli reads the letter with livid enthusiasm! By God, finally, a true opportunity!

&quotEZ!&quot He hollers, throwing himself from his favorite reading chair and onto his feet. &quotFetch me an Ubergot’s worth of echoes!&quot

The mushroom monster peers around the corner, wearing a chef’s hat and a pink cooking apron. &quotDon’t have that much money, sir.&quot


&quotWhy does this happen every Tuesday?&quot Ezekiel continues to stir the pot of borscht sitting on the stove. &quotDoes Sir still want-&quot

&quotThis is no time for mundane and possibly comedic dialogue about the implausibility of the set-up here! I have an adventure to go on!&quot


&quotAAAAADVENTUREE&quot Eli screams loud enough for Ezekiel to hear him, as he is now five city blocks away.[/quote]

Maria, while being VERY far from rich enough, certainly was interested in the idea of an adventure… and what better way to test a few things she heard of and had ideas how to recreate them? She even had the idea radioactivity could be used to power a boat… which seemed a bit absurd and she had no way to prove it… but she thinks, it may be possible in the future. Anyways, she soon found herself knocking on Elis door, wanting to ask him what he thought of the idea, since she just LOVES to jump the gun… which MAY bring her death.

[quote=absimiliard]The Curious Captain approaches Nigel in person…&quot[/quote]“A fascinating conundrum, indeed.

“I concur that increasing London’s supremacy is no small matter indeed. I do not assert that such an endeavor would be accomplished with ease, but rather through the staunch will and indefatigable resolution of the English people. It has been said that nothing worth attempting in this world is easily accomplished, and this is no exception.”

The trouble with corvettes is that they are far less sturdy than the merchant vessels themselves. They can deploy a fair amount of firepower at our enemies, but would soon find themselves at the bottom of the zee were they not to obtain very quick support. This presents a financial liability that might make the endeavor less forthcoming.
Corvettes also present the problem of being too swift. Captains often become impatient with slow and capricious merchant vessels and are apt to leave them unattended for what they perceive as slovenly seamanship.
Their small holds and crew also mean they can do very little to assist with the cargo and direct ships which would also provide the company with substantial profit.
One or two of these ship might be in order for quick deployment or to scout for danger, though. Using them as the primary source of defense seems a temporary measure.

Part of the endeavor is not simply to provide safe passage for our ships, but to deploy such a massive show of force that other nations and, indeed, the small zee beasts will know that to attack our convoys is purely suicidal. A small corvette escort marks us as prey, albeit prey with horns.
A dreadnaught is not simply a tactical choice, but a psychological one as well. They mark us as predators in our own right.
Their speed is also comparable to our merchant vessels, meaning they are unlikely to outrun them and a 4 or 5 to 1 ship ratio means that a dreadnaught is never far enough away from any ship so as not to be able to provide support. Their hulls make them nigh unsinkable, making repairs far cheaper than replacement, and their holds can provide shipping profit alongside the merchant crews themselves.

But constructing enough does pose a small problem. While time is malleable in the Neath, I worry it is not malleable enough for our needs.

I think frigates might be a more reasonable compromise. They are sturdy enough to take a fair amount of punishment as well as deliver a devastating amount of firepower, but also have a considerable advantage in speed, should needs arise.

But such intricacies would surely be up for lively debate and profit projections for each amoungst the shareholders.
Could I take this to mean that such an adventure has piqued not only your interest, but your pocketbook as well?”

Absimiliard bursts out laughing. &quotWell played Nigel, well played indeed. You have indeed piqued my interest, provided we can keep that b____y Dawn Machine out of things – generally a futile act where the Navy is concerned – I am indeed well ‘piqued’.&quot

Their face turns more serious, &quotI should be happy to support research with my private purse. I’m afraid Warwick House and it’s funds are a more serious endeavor and I should remiss if I gambled them – on anything.&quot

A grin, toothy, predatory, &quotBut if we need echoes to help determine if this truly could be viable – that my own purse can support, yes.&quot

&quotWhat would life be without the joy of futile acts?&quot

&quotI’m joyous to count you amongst my first investors. While I intend to devote nigh but all of my personal fortune to expedite our success, I, too, must also make allowance for my other business interests. Without the Tea Shoppe I might not have a fortune to spend.
So I dare not suggest you spend the monies of your House on such an admittedly dangerous adventure.&quot

&quotIf, however, you feel other might benefit from our mutual endeavor, I would impose upon you an introduction, so that I might extoll the virtues of our noble enterprise for our shared benefit.&quot

&quotIn the meantime, I shall begin a list of those not yet wealthy enough to be investors, but whose bravery and intrepid abandon are essential to our success.&quot

To Mr Lowe, Dirae Erinyes, Miss Syrus and Miss Konstantynopolska and any who might wish to join us:
I’m delighted to hear of your interest. Please tell us, where do you feel your strength would lie in this undertaking? or, more bluntly, what is it you do best?

Dear Mr. Overstreet,

First and foremost I can offer you money - I know their are many potential zailors in this city but less so investors.

Second of all, and as so to prove I am not dead weight, my strengths are in navigation and feats of dangerous daring. While I have not gone as far as others, I have earned my reputation of a captain of note in sailing of the closer territories of London.

First and foremost, I bring my experience and skill in defending our crew from dangers of the zee, foreign territories, and occasionally ourselves. I am not a total brute, and I will use words when I can instead of my fists. I have studied what I can of the Elder continent, and I believe my knowledge can be of help, especially in the lands around Port Carnelian. For references or further details, please write back.


Dirae Erinyes

(OOC: I’ve been to the areas open in Fallen London to achieve max rank but I have yet to go far in Sunless sea.)