Tribute and retribution are like coming and going.
Now, let’s see if we can whip up a Sunless Sea story here. The key is writing FAST, so let me hit the clock here. 1:45. Now for the starting location: Khan’s Shadow. Why not? Why not? I haven’t the slightest clue what I’m gonna produce, just stay with me sonny. Now we’ll say there’s someone who wants transportation. Open the dictionary at random, pick the first adjective you see; open it again, pick a noun. What do you have? Connected / Soldier? Redolent / Cabbage? Evergreen / Volt? That’s a great name for an island BTW, but what Lady Luck’s putting on my mind is a Shabby Carouser.
So now, the Shabby Carouser wants transportation to - pick one of the islands. You got anything against Visage? All right then. At boarding, I’m going to describe the Carouser as "wearing an old tired yellow scarf around his neck" and with "the high cheek bones and bad teeth of a Khanate zailor." The cheek bones are standard fare, and the teeth, WELL, who’s to say garlic isn’t forbidden to these people? Who’s to say anyone’s gonna take me to court over these details? Are you? Then shut up. Also, when he comes on board, there’ll be an occurence… like… "The waves leap up, and you think you’ve glimpsed a Drownie in the water. So close to shore!" Maaan, writing intoxicates!
Moving on. Part of the job’s already been done for you with all the previous nonsense put it, so at Visage you can safely talk about masks. Yeah, masks. What about them? Give me a sec… 2:02. This is taking too long. I need bolder strokes. "He saunters over to one of the villagers, makes what looks like a secret hand-sign and…" Gosh, this is too much, going too far. My head is pounding. All I wanted was to have him put on a special mask, like THE DROWNED MAN, but now wow. Now it’s all coming together. This must be inspiration!
And, em, this is pretty much the end of it, except along the way two (2) special twists are required. One: a wild comparison like "their voices blend like…" Jesus Christ, why not like "pot-bellied sitherines from the Carnerlian Coast." Sitherines is a new word… 2:09. Dammit. It’s a new word I say, like the Failbetters put in every now and then, and like you’re supposed to know what that means, 'cept what you’re really supposed to be is awed. Also, it’s suggestive of snakes, and we all know that’s a big deal. Also, I might have been influenced by Harry Potter here, for once. Anyhoo, if you don’t know what sitherines are, you’re in no position to object to a bit of blending on their part, are you? It’s lore.
The second special twist will be an Awful Ramification, by which I mean a totally unwarranted development after you get the Carouser off. The more unwarranted, the more non-described events you’ll be graciously left to imagine between beginning and end. Your brain, it will fill the blanks. I mean, technically the blanks will stay blank if you ever go back to reviewing them, so you might get a bit disgusted, but definitely entertained. It’s like Sherlock Holmes in reverse, retreating whimping to his hole.
2:14. So, "the drowned men line up on the shore, wreckage grasped in their arms - here a rudder, there a plank or a gun-mount." Gun-mount you don’t get to see so often, it’s a refreshment on the eyes, 'specially with that hyphen. Now, that being the quest’s conclusion, you might ask what the hell it was all about unless you’re inured. Well, I’m going to add - 2:18 - a little present from the Shabby Carouser, in addition to 1 Secret and a Zee Story. Oh yes, rewards make it all right, don’t you know? But he also! "dips his hand inside a half-rotten barrel the Drownie is holding and produces a little owl - white, wet but, amazingly, alive. He hands her over to you. "A little present. Keep her. She wouldn’t wear a mask anyway," he says." So there’s that. You’re all set. The owl is a mascot, gives +2 Veils, and in case you’re wondering, her name is Sowhat.