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For the discussion of our Sunless Skies, released January 2019.

How I Learned to Start Worrying and Hate the Moon Messages in this topic - RSS

Hattington
Hattington
Posts: 284

4/22/2020
or: The Martyr-King's Cup, and the many, many, many, many reasons you have to kill the Queen and take the Cup for yourself.

I just finished THE most demanding Ambition (mostly because of the completely randomised circumstances for enabling the end condition; contrary to what the journal entry suggested, I couldn't find the Storm That Speaks after 10 minutes of circling the Most Serene Mausoleum or the slain sun but found it instantly after heading towards Brabazon station like I normally do when going between Albion and the Reach), and on the off-chance anyone here made it while mostly anchored to reality just wanted to ask: How many of you folks joined the Queen's quest, and how many drank the Cup yourself?


Because lemme tell you: I am genuinely unsure how much of this was deliberate. But by the end of that Ambition, I had more than enough reasons to turn on the Queen than merely being so immortal the player character captain will apparently outlast the damn stars themselves on top of apparently being powerful enough to impose his will on them. Things explicitly stated at the end of the Ambition.


Meanwhile, what does the Unseen Queen have to offer? She doesn't even bother to, for the most part. The Unseen Queen spends most of the quest trying to gaslight you into being one of her knights. It's not clear how necessary the visions in moonlight are for reforging the Minute to Midnight, which is the key milestone to accessing the Cup within the Arbiter of Fate's vaults, but considering a captain more anchored to reality than dream can still complete it logically it must not have been that great a necessity. But more than that she asks one of her questers to die for her ritual, and then immediately expects your captain to take her at face value when she's already defying the spirit of the agreement on gaining immortality from the Cup. In stereotypically Judgemental high-handed arrogance, it's even framed as less of an offer and more of a commandment despite having earlier acknowledged even the most delusional captain wouldn't volunteer their life to finish it.

If you're already this far in the game you probably have a good understanding of exactly how far you can trust a Judgement (hint: They literally murder each other with poisoned words and conspiracies, and the Halved cheats even harder), and how little they think of every non-Judgement lifeform. Let alone one they consider a servant. What's to stop her from deciding the time at which humanity as a whole is granted immortality should come long after your mortal death, or even the decline of Albion as a power? What's to stop her from imposing conditions of servitude outmatching the Sapphir'd King's rule of the Blue Kingdom once she's usurped it? Nothing. A relationship that unequal can only be shored up by trust, which she has done less than nothing to earn by redefining the terms of the very thing you traded your resources, your labour and your dignity for.

But maybe that's being unfair. To other Judgements, that is. You see, after dealing with all three I've come to the conclusion the Unseen Queen treats you worse than the Incognito Princess and the Arbiter of Fates.

The Princess, for all her flaws, genuinely seems to consider a captain who's proven himself interesting like a friend interesting because of their capacity to surprise and impress, not defer-being disappointed if you kowtow to her during the Cup's Ambition, singling you out to give her away on her wedding, applauding if you make up a particularly outlandish fib to go see her father. By the standards of someone who will ask people to kill themselves for better flattery, that says volumes. Hell in a twisted way, the fact that her skin's so eager to follow you and function as an officer could be seen as a parting gift considering how violent the other old self of the Princess was. She's even eager to volunteer her services in a way, by trading you bargains at her salon. Which is more than can be said for the Unseen Queen, who asks you to hang her up on your train without regard for how this looks to your crew.

As for the Arbiter of Fates, she is polite if nothing else. Open to sound arguments for bending the rules of the Blue Kingdom without outright breaking them. Of course she has an interest in finding a captain to start the Blue Kingdom embassy, but considering she's willing to trade Indulgences for Sky-Stories but ISN'T apparently hassled day and night by captains who figured out they can the implication seems to be, as supported by her attendant spirits' suprise at her expressing an interest in you, that while she absolutely defines your relationship in terms of her benefit you're being given preferential treatment. One standout moment comes if you bring her the Dignity of Albion bill and then mistake hesitation on her part enough to offer a veiled threat. She simply explains the misunderstanding, in good humor. Which is more than can be said for the Unseen Queen, who encourages misunderstandings.

This turned into way more of a rant than I expected, but yeah having finally done the Ambition I'm just amused by how bad an idea it is.

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The Dawnburnt Vake-Rider: https://www.fallenlondon.com/Profile/Hattington
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NNNnobody
NNNnobody
Posts: 115

4/22/2020
I unknowingly balanced my dreaminiess so that I could see all three endings and all I say is: I set out to gain immortality, and immortality is what I would get in the end. Besides being trustworthy, the Queen would have had to offer me something a lot more incredible to change my mind.

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The Curious Watcher
The Curious Watcher
Posts: 304

4/22/2020
It's a matter of perspective, really.

The Unseen Queen is definitely not trustworthy, but being used as a scapegoat by your own father who neglected you tends to do that to a person. Helping the Unseen Queen means giving up your own chance at immortality, but it gives you a powerful friend and a way at ending the Azure's reign over death forever, as dubious as that may seem.

The Unseen Queen does offer you immortality: being a part of the Martyr King's Cup itself. You can forever be a part of the eternal Golden Day, which is much more preferable to worrying about eldritch abominations and truths found in the High Wilderness on a daily basis. If I didn't know better, I would have picked this option IRL.

The last option means drinking the Martyr King's Cup yourself and becoming immortal, but is that a good thing? The former Mr Apples doesn't seem too happy with attaining immortality at the end of his quest since it has simply too much time at his hands, and outliving all your loved ones is not appealing to me. There's a reason why some call immortality a curse, esp. if it's only for yourself.

I agree with you that the best option is to drink the Martyr King's Cup yourself, but there is validity in the other two options.

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Hattington
Hattington
Posts: 284

4/23/2020
The Curious Watcher wrote:
It's a matter of perspective, really.

The Unseen Queen is definitely not trustworthy, but being used as a scapegoat by your own father who neglected you tends to do that to a person. Helping the Unseen Queen means giving up your own chance at immortality, but it gives you a powerful friend and a way at ending the Azure's reign over death forever, as dubious as that may seem.

The Unseen Queen does offer you immortality: being a part of the Martyr King's Cup itself. You can forever be a part of the eternal Golden Day, which is much more preferable to worrying about eldritch abominations and truths found in the High Wilderness on a daily basis. If I didn't know better, I would have picked this option IRL.

The last option means drinking the Martyr King's Cup yourself and becoming immortal, but is that a good thing? The former Mr Apples doesn't seem too happy with attaining immortality at the end of his quest since it has simply too much time at his hands, and outliving all your loved ones is not appealing to me. There's a reason why some call immortality a curse, esp. if it's only for yourself.

I agree with you that the best option is to drink the Martyr King's Cup yourself, but there is validity in the other two options.



If I remember right, Mr. Apples was specifically left empty in later interactions because their drive for hoarding ran out in the realisation of eternity. I assumed a human would have a different reaction given how alien a Master/Curator's mentality is. I'm not really sure if the Golden Day is preferable at all myself, apart from the issue of you apparently losing your memory of the outside world with how unstable interstellar politics are and the fact that even restored the Unseen Queen isn't a hale and whole Judgement (albeit one made immortal and armed with a shard of sharpened time) there is the fact that she does, presumably, drink you down with the rest of the cup to become immortal.

But yeah, my extreme doubt over whether the Unseen Queen DOES consider you a friend or merely an especially competant but entirely disposable pawn like the other questers aside the other issue I see with joining her is...her quest against the Blue Kingdom seems like a MUCH longer shot than, say, the Spider Senate's who has the benefits of enacting it's plan while seemingly completely imprisoned and not a free-floating storm. As I said earlier, she isn't even a true Judgement-just a remnant wearing the power of another dead Judgement's ghost. Moreover without more knowledge about Conjunctions she seems entirely isolated. Presumably the Sapphir'd King can rely on some form of support from the rest of the Amaranthine Conjunction (which may or may not include the White given it's interest in London during the Ambition: The Truth timeskip) while the Unseen Queen mentioned the ritual she enacted to recreate her father's death would've been considered heretical by her peers. It's hard to see what other supporters she could gather without similarly brainwashing them with moonlight.

Actually come to think of it, while I never figured out what the Waste-Waif I suspect she's another dead Judgement ghost.

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The Dawnburnt Vake-Rider: https://www.fallenlondon.com/Profile/Hattington
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