Actions

Work Header

Heart of Ice: A Franklin Expedition Dating Sim

Chapter Text

Bird Lord:

WELCOME. Today is your first day of THE NAVY. You are a spritely young sailor excited about the prospects of your new career. Please input your SNAPPY LITTLE SAILOR NAME.

Player 1:

Robert

 

Bird Lord:

Your name is ROBERT. Is there a SURNAME you would like to include?

 

Player 2:

Fucks

 

Bird Lord:

Your name is now ROBERT FUCKS. Welcome, ROBERT FUCKS to the NAVY.

 

 


 

 

Bird Lord:

Before you leave for the docks, there are some ARTICLES on the bed in your shabby little sad London flat. There are CLOTHES, FOOD, and MISCELLANEOUS. What would you like to look at?

 

Player 1: 

Clothes

 

Bird Lord:

There is a SORRY EXCUSE FOR A SHIRT, a CUTE LITTLE HAT, a THREADBARE SWEATER, some MOTHBITTEN TROUSERS, some MUDSPLATTERED TROUSERS, a MINISKIRT, a SOU'WESTER HAT, some NICE LEATHER BOOTS, and a pair of FOAM FLIP-FLOPS. You will have access to more clothes later. What would you like to wear?

 

Player 1:

Threadbare sweater, Mudsplattered trousers, booties

(If ur not dressing, ur depressing)

 

Bird Lord: 

Nice. You put on these clothes and look at the other ARTICLES on your bed. You still have FOOD and MISCELLANEOUS. Would you like to look at anything else?

 

Player 1:

Miscellaneous

OOP cancel

 

Bird Lord: 

ACTION CANCELLED

You feel a sense of good fortune that the GREAT COSMIC WRITER can only type so fast, whoever that is.

 

Player 2:

Food and im getting breakfast as well

 

Bird Lord:

You look at your sorry assortment of FOOD. There is some WEEVILY HARDTACK, some POOR CRUST OF BREAD, a BOWL OF WATERY GRUEL, a FISH HEAD, and a PIECE OF ANCIENT HAM. You only wonder for a moment why all of this is on your bed.

 

Player 2:

Eat the fish head our boy needs protien

 

Bird Lord:

You eat the FISH HEAD. It is slightly smoked and surprisingly delicious. INCREASE FORTIFICATION and also VICTORIANNESS.

The other FOOD remains. Would you like to EAT MORE, DONATE TO THE POOR, DISPOSE, or RETURN TO BED ARTICLES.

 

Player 1:

Donate

 

Bird Lord:

You throw the remaining FOOD out the window to where the EAGER VICTORIAN POOR snap it up. Your CHARITY goes up. You have also earned the first RAT TOKEN from the eager and grateful rats. However, an old man chokes on the PIECE OF ANCIENT HAM and dies. Your HAPPINESS goes down.

 

Player 1:

Oh fuck

 

Bird Lord:

You still have MISCELLANEOUS ARTICLES on your bed. Would you like to look at them or go down to the docks?

 

Player 3:

Look at them

 

Bird Lord:

There is a CLAY PIPE INHERITED FROM YOUR LONG-DEAD GRANDFATHER, a SHINY PIECE OF GLASS, a SPARE BUTTON, a NICE LITTLE KNIFE, and a CUTE SILK RIBBON. You may take TWO ITEMS with you.

 

Player 1:

Knife has gotta be one of them

 

Bird Lord:

You put the KNIFE in your pocket. Its weight reassures you that you have a fighting chance against SMALL CHILDREN and OLD WOMEN. Great!

 

Player 1:

I’m being shaded aren’t I

 

Player 3:

Take clay pipe!

That seems the most useful out of the rest of them

 

Bird Lord:

You get the vibe you are being shaded. It somewhat pleases you. You take the CLAY PIPE and put it in your pocket. You feel like a SALTY OLD SAILOR. Your AESTHETIC goes up.

You now can look around the room or go down to the docks. In the room, there is a MIRROR and a CHAMBER POT. There is not much else.

 

Player 1:
Mirror

 

Bird Lord:

You look in the MIRROR. So handsome!

There is still the CHAMBER POT. You can also go down to the DOCKS.

 

Player 3: 

Docks!

Who wants to examine a chamber pot disgusting

 

Player 1: 

there was something in there I know it

 

Player 3: 

Other than shit? Surely you jest

Go to docks! See big ship!

 

Bird Lord:

You hold your water and decide to make for the DOCKS. Besides, it all goes back to the ocean anyway, right? There couldn't have possibly been any NEAT TREASURE in that CHAMBER POT. You walk down to the docks, enjoying the sea air, the yawp of eager sellers, the scuttle of sad orphans. On the way there, you run into a POOR MAN with THREE TEETH. He offers to TELL YOUR FORTUNE using the MOVEMENTS OF RATS. Will you HEAR YOUR FORTUNE?

 

Player 1:

OES

Yes

 

Bird Lord: 

You ask the old man for your FORTUNE. He nods and looks down at six rats that are currently devouring the remains of SOMETHING QUESTIONABLE. The old man hums to himself and runs his greasy thumb over his REMAINING THREE TEETH. He tells you that you will have a GREAT ADVENTURE and you will have a SAUCY LITTLE ROMANCE. Also, he tells you your hair looks good. Your SELF WORTH goes up.

 

Player 1:

Can I thank him

 

Player 3:

Yes thank the rat man

 

Bird Lord:

You THANK the old man. He says that you're welcome! You have earned another RAT TOKEN.

You take leave of the old man. Then, you notice a VERY STABBABLE ORPHAN. No one will see the crime and no one will miss them. Will you be a SICK FREAK and STAB THE ORPHAN?

 

Player 1:

NO

NO I WILL NOT

 

Bird Lord:

You do not stab the ORPHAN.

The ORPHAN scurries away on all fours. You pretend you didn't see that.

 


 

 

Bird Lord:

You are now at the DOCKS. There are many excited people milling around. Sailors load chests and crates of cargo onto the ships. The atmosphere of excitement is palpable. You look down at your CERTIFICATE to see which ship you are to go to. Your reading is just OKAY, and it is difficult to make out the exact letters.

 

Do you see EREBUS or TERROR?

 

Player 1:

TERROR

 

Bird Lord:

You think it says TERROR. You head toward a man on the side of the dock that is pointing to a ship and saying that it is the TERROR. Very kind of the Royal Navy to provide people like that! You head toward the ship and onto the deck. Once below, you give your CERTIFICATE to a fluffy triangle-haired man. He seems friendly. Do you TRY FOR CAMARADERIE with this TRIANGLE MAN?

 

Player 3: 

go see Jems on Erebus

Go see my husband

 

Bird Lord:

You will see the HANDSOME MAN on EREBUS later. There may be a time for that.

 

Player 4:

BEFRIEND HODGE

 

Bird Lord:

You decide to strike up a conversation with TRIANGLE MAN. You tell him you think his hair looks nice. FRIENDLINESS goes UP. CHARM goes UP. He is very pleased with you and tells you to head to the ORLOP DECK. Before he leaves, he discreetly hands you a SMALL MUSHROOM. Yay!

Will you go to the ORLOP deck, or somewhere else? There are other men on the ship as well, but HODGSON told you to go DOWNSTAIRS.

 

Player 3:

I've never been on a ship of this size before

Go to orlop

You can socialize later

 

Bird Lord:

You go to the ORLOP. On the way there, you see a NICE-LOOKING MAN in a LIEUTENANT'S OUTFIT. He seems busy, but you are eager to make friends. Will you talk to him?

 

Player 1:

YES

 

Bird Lord:

You walk up to the man and say HELLO. He says HELLO. You can say:

>I like your nice hair.

>You seem very kind. I would like to befriend you.

>Hail Satan.

>(Stare at him.)

 

Player 3:

You seem very kind

 

Bird Lord:

"You seem very kind," you say. He thanks you for the compliment. He says his name is LIEUTENANT JOHN IRVING and he is sorry but he is VERY BUSY. You can say:

>Oh, that's alright! Another time, then!

>Lucifer smiles open thou who art idle.

>Too busy for THIS? (Show him your hot ankles)

>(Breathe heavily)

 

Player 3:

Oh that's alright!

I mean the flashing ankles part will come later

You gotta set up a foundation first

 

Bird Lord:

"Oh, that's alright! Another time, then!" you say. IRVING likes that you respect his TIME and gives you a VERY NICE SMILE. 

IRVING RELATIONSHIP +1

You now can either LOOK AROUND MORE or go to the ORLOP.

 

Player 3:

Look around perhaps? Befriend more people?

 

Bird Lord:

You look around for more hapless people to BEFRIEND. There are TWO MEN talking about HOT ANKLES. There is also a BONY STEWARD who is trying to balance some PRECARIOUS PLATES. There is also A DOG.

 

Player 3:

DOG!

pet Neptune

 

Bird Lord:

You pet the FLUFFY DOG. He drools on you in delight. You have received a NEPTUNE'S BLESSING.

 

Player 3:

And then help poor Jopson with the plates

 

Bird Lord:

You run up to the BONY STEWARD who is NOT THE CAPTAIN'S STEWARD, DINGUS. He has very CURLY HAIR and a very STABBABLE BACK. You help him balance the plates and he thanks you for your help. You can say:

>Not a problem!

>I like your sharp cheekbones.

>I would like to have congress with your hand.

>(Stare and snort like a horse)

 

Player 3:

Not a problem!

 

Bird Lord:

You say, "Not a problem!" He admires your helpfulness and thinks you are PRETTY NICE. He introduces himself as WILLIAM GIBSON and says to call him BILLY.

 

GIBSON RELATIONSHIP +1

 

He says he is VERY BUSY as well, but you have a moment before you have to leave. You can:

>Say you hope to see him around later

>Ask him if he cuts his hands on those cheekbones when he shaves

>Pet the DOG again 

>(Breathe heavily and scuttle away like a crab on the shore)

 

Player 3:

Hope to see you around!

 

Player 5:

PET THE DOG

Neptune deserves alll the pets

 

Player 3: 

He does

Say goodbye and then pet doggo

 

Bird Lord:
"I hope I'll see you around later!" you tell BILLY. At the same time, NEPTUNE walks up to you and you simultaneously PET HIM. BILLY admires your LOVE OF ANIMALS and gives you a SMILE. You cherish this. 

GIBSON RELATIONSHIP +1

NEPTUNE'S BLESSING INCREASES

 

Bird Lord:

It is now time to go on deck to meet the OTHER OFFICERS. You did not go to the ORLOP so you are stuck carrying around your stuff and looking like a COMPLETE MORON. Your AESTHETIC goes DOWN. You go to the deck and stand with the other ABs while MISTER LANE takes muster.

You introduce yourself as ROBERT FUCKS. MISTER LANE says he likes that name and has a cousin named EDWIN FUCKS. Perhaps you're related?

There are other OFFICERS onboard. You see the GRIZZLED CAPTAIN, the COOL UNCLE ICE MASTER, and the THREE LIEUTENANTS. Who do you focus on?

 

Player 6:
ICE MASTER

 

Bird Lord:

You look at the ICE MASTER. His name is THOMAS BLANKY and when he sees you, he gives you a WINK that makes you feel like it's CHRISTMAS again and you are NINE YEARS OLD and your UNCLE sneaks you a sip of his QUESTIONABLE ALCOHOL. You feel that you could easily befriend this man.

Would you like to look at anyone else?

 

Player 3:

Grizzled captain!

 

Bird Lord:

You look at the GRIZZLED CAPTAIN. His name is FRANCIS RAWDON MOIRA CROZIER and he is TERRIBLY IRISH. You think he looks at you, but he could also be looking at the SCRAWNY MAN behind you. It's hard to tell. However, you think that CROZIER looks like an interesting man. Also, you think he has the mien of a man who NO ONE LISTENS TO DESPITE HIS GOOD IDEAS. Perhaps you will tell him this later.

 

Player 5:

Let’s hug him

 

Bird Lord:

You cannot HUG THE CAPTAIN. You are in muster right now and you will probably get lashed for that.

 

Player 6:

salute him

 

Bird Lord:

You SALUTE the CAPTAIN. He wonders why you're doing that in the middle of muster.

He thinks you have SPIRIT but are a little CONFUSED.

Muster finishes up and the ship gets ready to leave for REACHES UNKNOWN. You say your last goodbyes to the shores of England and hope to see it again someday, but as an experienced sailor rather than just little ROBERT FUCKS. What wonderful things does this journey have in store?

 

A snappy musical opening plays as the title HEART OF ICE: A FRANKLIN EXPEDITION DATING SIM fades in over shots of ICE and MORE ICE.

The SNAPPY ROMANTIC OPENING is still playing.

It's TERRIBLY LONG.

 

Player 3:

Fast forward a bit

 

Player 5:

Press start to pass

 

Bird Lord:

It may be because the GREAT COSMIC WRITER is getting their COFFEE.

Patch notes:

+Command list

+Dating candidate profiles

+Developer's notes

+Soundtrack in progress

-Removed herobrine

 

Player 3:

And put ketchup in the coffee

 

Bird Lord:

The GCW thinks that's PRETTY NASTY.

Please enjoy some more nice WAITING MUSIC while the GCW imbibes.

Chapter Text

Bird Lord:

You have now been on the TERROR for four days. In that time, you have met a few more of your fellow crewmen and feel comfortable with your job. On one calm day, you are working on deck with LIEUTENANT IRVING and LIEUTENANT LITTLE, as well as MISTER PEGLAR, MISTER HICKEY, and JOHN TORRINGTON, for some reason. There are also some MARINES. 

You have a moment of extra time between duties. Would you like to TALK, LOOK AROUND, or OTHER?

 

Player 7:

Talk

 

Bird Lord:

Who would you like to talk to?

You have a choice between PEGLAR, IRVING or TORRINGTON 

 

Player 3:
Irving

 

Bird Lord:

You carve a SNAPPY LITTLE SCRIMSHAW during your period of indecision. It's VERY NICE!

You decide to talk to LIEUTENANT IRVING. He doesn't seem as busy as before. He smiles at you and greets you as MISTER FUCKS. You salute him appropriately. You can say:

>Nice weather we're having!

>How are you today, Lieutenant?

>I want to ride you like a derby horse.

>Hail Satan.

 

Player 3:

How are you today?

the riding like a derby horse comes later

 

Bird Lord:

"How are you today, Lieutenant?" you ask. He says he's doing very well, thank you for asking! He is enjoying the good weather and says that it is the work of the Lord. Are you religious, MISTER FUCKS?

>Intensely religious. I cannot go a day without prostrating myself before the Lord and begging for mercy for my sinning vessel.

>Relatively. I pray before meals and go to church.

>Not really.

>HAIL SATAN.

 

Player 3:

Relatively

 

Bird Lord:

"I'm relatively religious. I pray before meals and the like," you tell him. He thinks this is ALRIGHT and hopes to see you at Divine Service next. You feel that you have his approval.

IRVING RELATIONSHIP +1

You can KEEP TALKING TO IRVING, TALK to someone else, LOOK AROUND, or MCFREAKIN LOSE IT.

 

Player 6:

TALK to someone else

 

Bird Lord:

Who would you like to talk to?

 

Player 6:

hickey

 

Bird Lord:

You decide to talk to MISTER HICKEY. He is currently making a TAR SOLUTION to CAULK A PRIVY or something. You can say:

>I admire your form and function in tar-making.

>How are you today?

>I have RAT TOKENS.

>(Make unholy groans)

 

Player 6:
How are you today?

 

Player 8:

Rat tokens!

 

Bird Lord:

"How are you today, Mister Hickey?" you ask. He is doing ALRIGHT, HE SUPPOSES. He looks at you very suspiciously.

You show him your RAT TOKENS. He nods. If you gain MORE, he may have things to GIVE.

 

[Editor’s note: Emoji voting begins here, but the Discord emoji’s do not transfer]

 

You can say:

>What are you doing?

>I think your weasel features are very becoming.

>How can I acquire more RAT TOKENS?

>(Squeal like a rat)

 

YOU SELECTED: >What are you doing?

 

You idly wonder how many RAT TOKENS the STABBABLE ORPHAN had. It was probably billions. You'll never know.

"What are you doing?" you ask. He tells you he is going to CAULK A PRIVY which is pretty gross, you think. You don't know much about caulking, or privies. Do you:

>Pretend you know what he's talking about.

>Go on your way. He doesn't seem to want to talk right now.

>Tell him you know about the RAT FELLOWSHIP.

>(Hiss and climb up the rigging)

 

YOU SELECTED: >Pretend you know what he's talking about. and  >Tell him you know about the RAT FELLOWSHIP.

 

You are not savvy enough in the WAYS OF RAT to truly know about the RAT FELLOWSHIP, but you feel that he knows you are on your way.

HICKEY RELATIONSHIP +1

You pretend to know what he means by caulking a privy, and nod along as he mixes the tar in a pot. He admires your WILLINGNESS TO DECEIVE. SNEAKINESS has gone UP. 

You can TALK to someone else, LOOK AROUND, or GET OUTTA YOUR MIND.

 

Player 3: 

TALK TO SOMEONE ELSE

 

Bird Lord:

Who would you like to talk to?

 

Player 1:

Lt. Little

 

Bird Lord:

You decide to speak to LIEUTENANT EDWARD LITTLE. You think he looks like a SAD PUPPY with the soulful eyes of a cow. You also admire his MUTTONCHOPS and hope to someday grow your own. You go up to him and salute. You can say:

>How are you, Lieutenant?

>Is everything alright? 

>I admire the wool growing on your face.

>(Show him how you can stick your own tongue up your nose)

 

YOU SELECTED: >How are you, Lieutenant?

 

"How are you, Lieutenant?" you ask. He says he is doing VERY WELL, thank you. He likes how POLITE and RESPECTFUL you are. You like how he looks in that coat and hat.

LITTLE RELATIONSHIP +1

 

Player 3:

Compliment him on the coat and hat!

 

Bird Lord:

You compliment his COAT and HAT as you think he looks very dashing. He offers you a RARE SMILE and says, "Thank you, MISTER FUCKS." Your CHARISMA has INCREASED.

However, as FIRST LIEUTENANT, he is very busy with other things and cannot talk to you much longer. You may talk to ONE other person, LOOK AROUND, or DANCE LIKE NO ONE'S WATCHING.

 

Player 1:

Look around

 

Bird Lord:

You LOOK AROUND. There is THE C, THE C, THE OPEN C. There are also some NICE ROPES, a bunch of CRATES, the SHIP'S BELL, and someone's NICE HAT. What would you like to interact with?

 

Player 1:

Put the hat on

Hat

 

Bird Lord:

You put the HAT on. You look so good!

AESTHETIC increases.

Would you like to TALK, keep LOOKING AROUND, or GET STUPID.

 

Player 1:

Talk to that one guy

 

Bird Lord:

You decide to talk to MISTER TORRINGTON. He is a very frail looking young man, currently smoking a PIPE on the edge of a crate. You get the sense that you've seen him before, perhaps in a long-faded dream. You can:

>Ask him how he's doing.

>Compliment his deathly pallor.

>Smoke with him.

>(Cradle him like Mary in the Pieta)

 

YOU SELECTED: >Ask him how he's doing.

RUNNER UP: >(Cradle him like Mary in the Pieta)

 

In your mind's eye, you are cradling this FRAIL BOY who seems to be BOUND FOR ILL-GOTTEN FAME. However, you are a sensible man, MISTER FUCKS, and decide to ask him how he's doing. He coughs into his elbow a few times before responding that he's feeling DECENT and then tells you in a HEAVY BUT CHARMING ACCENT that he appreciates you talking to him.

TORRINGTON RELATIONSHIP +1

 


 

 

Bird Lord:

Unfortunately, your leisure time is at an end, and the NORTHWEST PASSAGE awaits. You go down at your watch's end for DINNER. You have a very limited selection of what you can have. Would you like the COOK'S CHOICE or would you like to CUSTOMIZE YOUR DINNER?

 

Player 1:

CUSTOMIZE

 

Bird Lord:

Your options are MUSHY POTATOES, VEAL CUTLET TOMATO, HARD TACK, SALT PORK, and A SOLID BAR OF CHOCOLATE. What would you like?

 

Player 3:
SALT PORK?

gotta fend off that scurvy

 

Bird Lord:

You eat the SALT PORK. It's not half bad! Your FORTITUDE goes up. Your HEALTH goes up.

For your beverage, would you like: RUM RATION, TEA, or WATER?

 

Player 3:

TEA

gotta act like a proper British man

 

Bird Lord:

You sip your TEA like a proper English gent. It's soothing! Your HEALTH goes up. Your VICTORIANNESS goes up.

You now have an hour of leisure before sleep. You can TALK TO SOMEONE, enjoy some RECREATION, or GO TO BED EARLY.

 

Player 3:

TALK TO SOMEONE

 

Bird Lord

There are a few people available to talk to. There is MISTER BRIDGENS, MISTER TORRINGTON, MISTER HICKEY, or THE MARINES.

You can also PET the DOG.

 

Player 3:

PET DOG

 

Bird Lord:

You pet Neptune. He leaves some hair on your clothes. WARMTH goes up!

 

Player 3:

talk to Bridgens

 

Bird Lord:

The GCW messed up and you cannot magically JUMP TO EREBUS so you talk to MISTER PEGLAR INSTEAD.

PEGLAR is very friendly and invites you to play cards with him. PLAY?

 

Player 1:

Yes

 

Bird Lord:

He royally destroys you in a hand of [INSERT VICTORIAN CARD GAME HERE]. You lose a button off your shirt.

 

Player 3:
talk to Torrington next!

we gotta bond before he kicks the bucket

 

Bird Lord:

You speak to MISTER TORRINGTON. He is very pleased you decided to talk to him! You can say:

>How are you feeling?

>Nice evening, isn't it?

>Isn't it funny how short life is? One moment you're here, and the next moment, archaeologists are exhuming you from your cold grave and exposing you to the dread daylight and the scrutiny of a shocked public.

>(Kiss his face)

 

YOU SELECTED: >Isn't it funny how short life is? One moment you're here, and the next moment, archaeologists are exhuming you from your cold grave and exposing you to the dread daylight and the scrutiny of a shocked public.

RUNNER UP: >How are you feeling?

 

In your indecision, you give him your SNAPPY LITTLE SCRIMSHAW. He says it's very nice!

TORRINGTON RELATIONSHIP +1

 

Player 1:

I’m sorry our what

 

Bird Lord:

You ask him how he's feeling. He admits that he's a little tired, but otherwise alright. You hope that he stays well for the rest of the trip, as you are quite fond of him! He thinks you are very kind!

TORRINGTON RELATIONSHIP +1

(EXTRAS: A Scrimshaw is scrollwork, engravings, and carvings done in bone or ivory. Typically it refers to the artwork created by whalers, engraved on the byproducts of whales, such as bones or cartilage. It is most commonly made out of the bones and teeth of sperm whales, the baleen of other whales, and the tusks of walruses.)

You also philosophize on life with him and ask him the question about being exhumed. He has no idea what you're talking about, but he appreciates your enthusiasm!

You may speak to ONE MORE PERSON, enjoy some RECREATION, or GO TO BED.

 

Player 1:

Talk more

 

Bird Lord:

At the moment you choose to talk, SERGEANT TOZER walks up to you and hands you a little card. It's for Player 9! It says HAPPY BIRTHDAY. You have no idea why he handed it to you. Perhaps it's a MARINE joke.

Who would you like to talk to?

 

Player 1:

Tozer

 

Bird Lord:

You decide to talk to SERGEANT TOZER. You can say:

>Good evening, Sergeant!

>You look very nice in that red coat!

>I want to make your face as red as your coat. Meet me in the ORLOP.

>(Snort in his ear)

 

YOU SELECTED: >You look very nice in that red coat!

 

You tell him he looks very nice in that red coat! He appreciates the compliment immensely and admits that he thinks the MARINES don't get the respect they deserve on this ship. You learn that they are not paid even as well as YOU, YOU UNEDUCATED LITTLE WAIF. How unfair!

TOZER RELATIONSHIP +1

(HEART OF ICE EXTRA LORE: ROBERT FUCKS learned to read from CHURCH STUDY. He has not gone to school.)

 

Player 8:

Recommend collective bargaining?

 

Bird Lord:

You recommend collective bargaining to TOZER. He thinks that is a NEAT IDEA. He tells you that he believes in the rights of workers and wonders after some sort of UNION of WORKERS that make efforts towards their RIGHTS. How progressive!

However, it is getting late and you have work to do in the morning. You go to bed in your LITTLE HAMMOCK and listen to the snores and flatulence of the HORRID MEN around you. With the ambience of a terrible dinner soothing you to sleep, you dream about RATS and THE UPRISING OF THE PROLETARIAT.

Chapter Text

Bird Lord:

[SEVERAL WEEKS LATER]

You have now been working on TERROR for some time and you have arrived at the WHALE FISH ISLANDS off the coast of GREENLAND. The men recognize that this may be the last chance to write to friends and family back home before your associated ship returns to ENGLAND. Would you like to WRITE TO SOMEONE, TALK, EXPLORE THE ISLAND, or SLEEP?

 

Player 1:

Write to my gay ex lover

 

Bird Lord:

You write a little note that says YOU MISSED OUT BIG TIME to your ex-lover. What was his NAME?

 

Player 1:

Lewis

 

Player 5:

Lewis

His name is lewis lewis

 

Bird Lord:

Would you like to add a SURNAME?

 

Player 3:

Bigbottom

 

Bird Lord:

You send your letter to MISTER LEWIS LEWIS BIGBOTTOM. It is full of ANGRY material that you hope cuts to his HEART. You feel much better once it's sent.

 

Player 10:

Explore the island

 

Bird Lord:

You choose to explore the island where the crew has set up OBSERVATION HUTS and are meeting with some of the LOCALS. While you are walking around the ROCKY SHORE, you see the COMMANDER of the EREBUS, as well as other men of THAT SHIP. Would you like to MEET THEM or KEEP EXPLORING?

 

Player 3:

MEET THEM

 

Bird Lord:

You walk up to the group from the EREBUS. There is COMMANDER FITZJAMES, the THREE LIEUTENANTS, and several other CREW MEMBERS. Who would you like to focus on?

 

Player 10:

CREW

 

Bird Lord:

You look to the crew. There is MISTER COLLINS, MISTER GOODSIR, the BROTHERS HARTNELL, and a MARINE.

You may choose GOODSIR, HARTNELLS, or COLLINS

YOU SELECTED: Three way tie, inconclusive

In your indecision, you find a LITTLE CRAB! It's delightful! You name it TERRANCE.

 

Player 1:

Can we keep him ?

 

Bird Lord:

You may KEEP TERRANCE.

 

Player 3:

SHOW CRAB TO GOODSIR

 

Bird Lord:

You ask MISTER GOODSIR to identify TERRANCE. He says he diagnoses TERRANCE with HANDSOME CRAB SYNDROME! Incredible! He says he is definitely a CRAB.

GOODSIR RELATIONSHIP +1

 

Player 5:

Can we ask goodsir to be the crab's godfather

 

Bird Lord:

You ask MISTER GOODSIR to be TERRANCE'S GODFATHER. GOODSIR tearfully agrees. He is moved by your words and the offer.

 

GOODSIR RELATIONSHIP +1

 

Player 1:

Ask Goodsir if HCS is terminal

 

Bird Lord:

HCS is NOT TERMINAL. You could potentially make him an UGLY CRAB, but at what cost?!

 

Player 5:

What a nice day

I wanna smile at collins!

Show him the crab!

 

Bird Lord:

You decide to show TERRANCE to MISTER COLLINS. He is surprised at your forwardness but likes your enthusiasm! You tell him that TERRANCE'S type is CRAB and his ability is PINCHING. How smart you are!

 

Player 10: 

Can we show Terrance to the brothers Hartnell

 

Bird Lord:

You show TERRANCE to the BROTHERS HARTNELL. JOHN is very moved by your love for your ADOPTED CHILD and says that he is glad you WANTED HIM, unlike the mother of the HARTNELLS who did not want THOMAS. THOMAS responds by attempting to DROWN HIS BROTHER. What a good bonding experience!

 

Player 1:

Let’s have them all claim fatherhood and mama Mia this shit

 

Bird Lord:
You claim that TERRANCE is the ill-gotten son of ALL MEN PRESENT. GRAHAM GORE claims fatherhood first.

 

RELATIONSHIPS:

GOODSIR +1

GORE +1

COLLINS +1

HARTNELLS +1

FITZJAMES +1

LE VESCONTE +1

FAIRHOLME +1

 

You can KEEP TERRANCE or SET HIM FREE. What would you like to do?

 

Player 10:

KEEP

 

Bird Lord:

You have acquired CRAB.

You feed him some LICHENS. TERRANCE seems pleased!

You can KEEP TALKING to the MEN, EXPLORE, or RETURN TO TERROR WITH TERRANCE.

 

Player 10:

TALKING

 

Bird Lord:

Who would you like to talk to?

 

Player 1:

JAMES

 

Bird Lord:

You walk up to COMMANDER JAMES FITZJAMES. He is a handsome man with a very nice smile and a face like a finely-carved block of balsa wood. He is talking to LIEUTENANT LE VESCONTE, but smiles at your approach. You can:

>Greet him politely.

>Give in to listening to one of his stories.

>Tell him you want to see what that tongue can really do.

>Put TERRANCE on your head like the LIVING CROWN OF POSEIDON.

 

YOU SELECTED: >Give in to listening to one of his stories.

RUNNER UP: >Put TERRANCE on your head like the LIVING CROWN OF POSEIDON.

 

You put TERRANCE on your HEAD while quietly listening to FITZJAMES TALK. He appreciates your SHENANIGANS and says he wishes he had a CRAB to put on his head. He tells you about a time he went CRAB fishing, but stops himself before offending you with the thought that perhaps he would EAT TERRANCE. How very polite and thoughtful of him!

FITZJAMES RELATIONSHIP +1

 

Player 6:

we need to make a house for terrance

 

Bird Lord:

You ask him for advice on making an ABODE fit for a CRAB. FITZJAMES laughs and offers to put up TERRANCE on EREBUS. You consider this. Do you:

>Insist TERRANCE is a TERROR.

>Allow TERRANCE to ERR on the side of EREBITE.

>Propose to FITZJAMES with TERRANCE.

>Ask TERRANCE'S opinion.

 

YOU SELECTED: >Ask TERRANCE'S opinion.

 

How very thoughtful of you to consider your SON'S wishes! You ask TERRANCE what he wants. He looks at you with his little beady CRAB eyes and seems to telepathically communicate to you the IMAGE of A CASTLE.

This CRAB aims for ROYALTY. However, you are still a poor AB and can only afford to create a CASTLE out of maybe some WOOD and a few ROCKS.

 

Player 5:

ASK TIZS TO MAKE A SAND CASTLE WITH US

 

Player 10:

PORTABLE CASTLE FOR TERRANCE

 

Player 3:

Shall we build a castle with the help of the men?

 

Bird Lord:

You ask FITZJAMES to help create a PORTABLE CASTLE. FITZJAMES happily agrees! Nothing is more noble than the pursuit of the care of an acquired child! As a bonus, he asks after GOODSIR'S opinion on proper CRAB care! GOODSIR is moved by your compassion!

 

FITZJAMES RELATIONSHIP +1

GOODSIR RELATIONSHIP +1

 

ACQUIRED CRAB CASTLE

 

The other men are enthused by this act and help FURNISH the CASTLE. LE VESCONTE suggests bestowing a ROYAL TITLE upon TERRANCE. Do you choose:

>Lord

>Lady

>Prime Minister

>CHOSEN ONE

 

YOU SELECTED: >CHOSEN ONE

 

In a MOVING CEREMONY presided over by the COMMANDER, you have bestowed the title of TERRANCE THE CHOSEN ONE upon your darling CRAB. Congratulations! HAPPINESS has INCREASED!

CRABBINESS has INCREASED!

With TERRANCE THE CHOSEN ONE in hand, and the CRAB CASTLE at your disposal, you take leave of your SON'S MANY FATHERS and head back to TERROR.

 


 

 

Bird Lord:

The days pass and you begin your journey into the mouth of the NORTHWEST PASSAGE. The weather is cold but otherwise pleasant, and you and TERRANCE appreciate the changing scenery. Soon, you are approaching BEECHEY ISLAND just as the season begins to change.

Before you know it, the ships are ready to be FROZEN IN. The crews work hard to get the ships ready for a LONG WINTER, but there is an air of excitement! You will get to meet with people from BOTH CREWS on shore and in the ships.

One day, you have the option of either STAYING ON TERROR or VISITING EREBUS. What would you like to do?

 

Player 10:

GO TO EREBUS

 

Player 5:

NO STAY

 

Bird Lord:

Would you like to TAKE TERRANCE or LEAVE HIM ON TERROR. You can also CHECK WEATHER.

 

Player 10:

TAKE TERRANCE

And check westher

 

Player 5:

I WANNA STAY

 

Bird Lord:

The weather is:

-VERY COLD

-VERY WINDY

-CLOUDY

-CHANCE OF SNOW

 

Player 3:

Let's not freeze Terrance

Let's stay on the ship then

 

Bird Lord:

You can stay on TERROR or go to EREBUS.

YOU SELECTED: TERROR

 

During your decision-making process, you KNIT GLOVES for TERRANCE. He appreciates the warmth and goes SNIP SNIP to show them off!

You decide to stay on TERROR with your BELOVED CHILD and your fellow CREW. The weather is looking WORRYING as it is, so maybe it's for the best.

You can MEET WITH PEOPLE, enjoy some RECREATION, CHECK CALENDAR, or REST.

 

Player 11: 

does the recreation involve.... watercolours

 

Bird Lord:

Today's RECREATION involves:

>WATERCOLOURS with LIEUTENANT IRVING (increase CHRISTIAN PLEASURES)

>READING (increase HAPPINESS)

>PLAYING CARDS WITH PEGLAR (chance for ITEMS)

>SINGING WITH TERRANCE

 

YOU SELECTED: >WATERCOLOURS 

 

You decide to go do WATERCOLOURS with LIEUTENANT IRVING. He is hosting a SMALL CLASS in the GALLEY. Today's subject is his LIEUTENANT'S HAT. You have some ARTISTIC ability. How do you choose to paint the hat?

>Realistically.

>With extra colours!

>Abstract.

>Paint a naked man.

 

YOU SELECTED: >Abstract.

 

In your TIME OF DECISION, LIEUTENANT IRVING kindly provides TERRANCE with a CRAB-SIZED PAINTBRUSH. How kind of him!

You paint an ABSTRACT HAT. Your use of swirling colours suggests its outline, but it is filled with the colours and shapes of a storm. Is it the storm within the LIEUTENANT'S MIND? What is a HAT but a BOX OF THOUGHTS? LIEUTENANT IRVING looks at the painting sideways and gives it a firm 5/10.

TERRANCE paints a SMALL BLUE LINE. Good job, TERRANCE!

 

Player 5:

Thank lieutenant irving and tell him he is a good man

 

Bird Lord:

You kindly thank IRVING for his kindness and EFFORTS. He BLUSHES at your gratefulness and suggests you come to class again. CHRISTIAN PLEASURES have INCREASED.

IRVING RELATIONSHIP +1

Meanwhile, IRVING does in fact give TERRANCE a 10/10. God has given this CRAB some gifts!

 

You can now MEET WITH OTHERS, enjoy RECREATION, CHECK CALENDAR, or SLEEP.

 

Player 1:

Check Calendar

 

Bird Lord:

You check the CALENDAR. Today is OCTOBER 8TH. On the list of UPCOMING EVENTS IS:

-DIVINE SERVICE (Sunday)

-A PLAY hosted by the men of EREBUS (Next week)

-Singing with HODGSON (Two weeks)

What are you most looking forward to?

 

Player 10:

HODGE

Oh wait no this erebus thing sounds good

 

Bird Lord:

You see a small NOTE under the CALENDAR. Look at it?

 

Player 11:

Look

 

Bird Lord:

The NOTE is hidden away as though by SOMEONE who did not want anyone to READ IT. However, it is addressed to the PUBLIC from COMMANDER FITZJAMES. It reads:

 

TO ALL THOSE INTERESTED

The men of HMS EREBUS are putting on an original play written by our own FITZJAMES. We are accepting auditions for parts. All those interested should contact FITZJAMES.

 

You think that FITZJAMES has a lot of stake in this PLAY. Will you try out or go as an audience member?

 

Player 10:

Try out!!

 

Player 6:

and have terrance try out as well

 

Bird Lord:

You decide to go tomorrow to TRY OUT for FITZJAMES' mystery PLAY. You will only have a WEEK to remember your LINES!

You may now MEET WITH OTHERS, enjoy RECREATION, or go to SLEEP.

 

Player 1: 

MEET

 

Bird Lord:

Who would you like to meet with? EVERYONE is available!

>HICKEY

>HODGSON

>TOZER

>TORRINGTON

>IRVING

>LITTLE

 

Player 11:

hartnells!

 

Bird Lord:
The HARTNELLS are on the EREBUS. You may see them tomorrow. Yay!

YOU SELECTED: HICKEY

You decide to look for MISTER HICKEY, but he is nowhere to be found! High and low you look, searching out for this man that you'd like to befriend. He is not on deck, or below in the galley, or in the orlop. What a mystery! But as you approach the hold of the ship, you hear a peculiar SCRATCHING noise. Do you investigate?

 

Player 10:

INVESTIGATE

 

Bird Lord:

You go down into the HOLD, following the STRANGE SOUND. Then, you see a SINGLE RAT. How do you approach the RAT?:

>Walk past and ignore it.

>Greet it.

>With enormous graciousness in the presence of THE RAT.

>Pick up THE RAT.

 

YOU SELECTED: >With enormous graciousness in the presence of THE RAT.

RUNNER UP: >Greet it.

 

You kindly GREET the RAT, saluting it like it is a TINY RODENT OFFICER. It does not seem to understand the gesture, as it is A RAT. However, you think you see something in its TINY BEADY RAT EYES that suggests that it accepts you. Then, it scurries off. It leaves behind a RAT TOKEN.

You continue to walk through the HOLD, looking for your NEW FRIEND. Then, you see him picking up a small box of PROBABLY CAULKING EQUIPMENT because you do not understand CAULKING VERY WELL. He sees you and gives you a SMILE. You say:

>Can I help you with that?

>How are you tonight?

>I would like to make very good use of the DARK and STRANGE corners of this HOLD with you.

>(Scurry away into the RAT VOID)

 

YOU SELECTED: >Can I help you with that?

 

You ask if you can help him with the EQUIPMENT. He thanks you but says that he is very capable as the BOX is not VERY BIG. However, you can see that he is impressed with your WILLINGNESS TO SERVE. There is no way he will possibly try to USE THIS AGAINST YOU. However, he wouldn't mind you walking back up to the ORLOP with him!

HICKEY RELATIONSHIP +1

 

You walk back to the ORLOP with HICKEY, and he thanks you in a way that is COMPELLING and SOMEWHAT SCARY. You think his smile is sort of NICE, but at the same time, he gives you the HEEBIE JEEBIES. You return to your hammock and see that someone has left a little GIFT WRAPPED IN FABRIC for you. Will you open it? Or are you suspicious?

 

Player 10:

OPEN

 

Bird Lord:

You open the GIFT and find a tiny, handmade TOP HAT for TERRANCE. There is no sender note, so you do not know who made the HEARTWARMING GIFT. Oh well! TERRANCE is getting more dapper!

You have about an HOUR LEFT before you should probably rest. Would you like to MEET someone else, enjoy RECREATION, or get that extra HOUR OF SLEEP?

 

Player 5:

Extra sleep while we still can

 

Bird Lord:

You snag that EXTRA SIESTA while the going's good. Your HEALTH improves, and you dream about THE RAT KING BESTOWING YOU A GIFT UNDER YOUR HAMMOCK. When you wake up for your WATCH, there is a RAT TOKEN exactly where you dreamt it would be. Go, Rat King!

Chapter Text

Bird Lord:

Today is the day of your AUDITION on EREBUS. You decide to leave early. Will you take TERRANCE to visit his FATHERS? Or will you leave him among his ADORING SUPPORTERS on TERROR?

 

Player 10:
TAKE TERRANCE

 

Bird Lord:

You gleefully wrap TERRANCE up in your COAT with his TOP HAT and GLOVES. He looks absolutely stunning. You make your way across the ice to EREBUS, where you are greeted WARMLY. There is about an hour until THE AUDITION. What would you like to do? You can MEET PEOPLE, you can LOOK AROUND, or you can ENTERTAIN EVERYONE WITH TERRANCE'S ANTICS.

 

Player 10:

MEET PEOPLE

 

Bird Lord:

Who would you like to meet with? EVERYONE is available.

 

Player 10:

BROTHERS HARTNELL

 

Bird Lord:

You strike out to look for the BROTHERS HARTNELL. They are, appropriately, getting ready for the BIG PLAY. JOHN looks a little UNDER THE WEATHER, but he is very happy and wearing a DASHING HAT from the COSTUME CHEST. TOM is wrestling with a MISBEHAVING COSTUME that may or may not be a LOVELY DRESS. What would you like to do?

>Ask the brothers how they're doing.

>Tell JOHN how good he looks in that HAT.

>Show them TERRANCE.

>(Stare blankly, horribly, with the essence of the Void and repeat the exact hours of their deaths)

 

YOU SELECTED: >Show them TERRANCE.

 

Behold! You show them TERRANCE! JOHN almost trips over himself on a SHAKY ANKLE to see his BELOVED SON. He coos loudly and pats TERRANCE'S ADORABLE HEADGEAR, not so different from his own!

 

J. HARTNELL RELATIONSHIP +1

 

TOM, however is VERY BUSY with that COSTUME. He stabs his thumb with a sewing needle and erupts in NOT VERY IRVING FRIENDLY CURSES. You say:

>Anything I can help with?

>Ouch! Want me to look at that?

>You shouldn't swear like that. Jesus is everywhere.

>(Latch your mouth onto his thumb like an unholy leech)

 

YOU SELECTED: >(Latch your mouth onto his thumb like an unholy leech)

RUNNER UP: >Ouch! Want me to look at that?

 

Only vaguely getting beyond your HORRID CARNAL NEEDS FOR BLOOD, you offer to look at Tom's finger. He's poked it several times, and there's really not much you can do other than offer him some CLOTH TO CUSHION IT WITH. He appreciates the gesture and seems to BLUSH at your proximity. FRIENDLINESS INCREASES. 

 

T. HARTNELL RELATIONSHIP +1

 

You ignore that first thought. You don't know how those thoughts just keep appearing in your head.

 

Player 10:

help with costume

 

Bird Lord:

You ask him if that is his COSTUME. He says it IS and he is also working on JOHN'S COSTUME AS WELL. He asks if you are going to be in the PLAY. "Yes!" you say. You're going to AUDITION! He asks what part you're going to help with. You manage to get your hands on the PLAYBOOK which is written ATROCIOUSLY. You pick the role of:

>Miss Dorset, one of the glorious Dorset sisters who are yet to be married. Miss Dorset is a giggling daisy of a girl, caught in the lushest hour of her blooming ladyness, or something.

>Mister Shropshire, the flirt to end all flirts. Mister Shropshire will flirt with anything so long as it breathes.

>Reverend Devon. The curmudgeonly old reverend who hates fun, life, happiness, babies, kittens, and other such things.

>The Great Big Rock. Nothing happens with the Great Big Rock. It just sits there. It's a Rock.

 

YOU SELECTED: >Mister Shropshire, the flirt to end all flirts. Mister Shropshire will flirt with anything so long as it breathes.

 

You declare that your are EXCITEDLY trying out for the role of the ROGUE MISTER SHROPSHIRE. Oh, a delight! says TOM. He the SUITOR vying for the hand of either DORSET SISTER, among other people/things. It turns out that the OTHER DORSET SISTER is played by COMMANDER FITZJAMES. How grand!

 

Player 5:

Arz we gonna kiss the boi on stage

 

Bird Lord:

You glance through the PLAYBOOK. Yes, in fact, there are some MOUTHLY ACTIONS.

 

You ask who your other fellow CASTMEMBERS are. JOHN is playing your LOVE RIVAL, MISTER NORTHUMBERLAND. You seem to have an ELECTRIC ANTAGONISM with him that sometimes foists into the realm of LONGING GAZES. TOM is playing MISS YORKSHIRE, another LADY OF YOUR HEART! LIEUTENANT LE VESCONTE is playing the grand MRS DORSET, the MOTHER of a brood of SILLY DAUGHTERS. What a play it will be!

 

There are still THREE CHARACTER PLACES that remain unfilled! TOM asks if you know anyone on TERROR who would be willing to play the parts. You think:

>IRVING as the REVEREND.

>HICKEY as MISS DORSET.

>LITTLE as the REVEREND.

>CROZIER as the Great Big Rock.

 

YOU SELECTED: >CROZIER as the Great Big Rock.

RUNNER UP: >HICKEY as MISS DORSET.

 

You suggest MISTER HICKEY as MISS DORSET. TOM agrees! He actually doesn't know MISTER HICKEY but supposes any suggestion of yours will WORK OUT GREAT. Then, on the sly, you mention CROZIER to play the GREAT BIG ROCK within earshot of FITZJAMES. He takes a moment to laugh until he CANNOT BREATHE and then passes it on to SIR JOHN FRANKLIN.

 

Looks like CROZIER is going to play the GREAT BIG ROCK whether he wants to or not. Go you!

 

You have a GOOD TIME talking with the BROTHERS HARTNELL, but the time has come for the AUDITION! FITZJAMES and the OTHER LIEUTENANTS are observing you. You decide to play MISTER SHROPSHIRE as:

>A roguish highwayman. He steals hearts AND money!

>A Byronic hero. Extra weeping into your handkerchief and the general creeping dread of death are a bonus!

>A dandy! Beau Brummell would weep at the sight of your stylish silk stockings! Any woman-- Nay. Any CREATURE ON EARTH would be glad to have you!

>You play silently. A mime. You speak no words. Your motions speak for you.

 

YOU SELECTED: >A dandy! Beau Brummell would weep at the sight of your stylish silk stockings! Any woman-- Nay. Any CREATURE ON EARTH would be glad to have you!

 

You, ROBERT FUCKS, are going to be THAT GENTLEMAN! You play the DANDIEST DANDY who ever did DANDY! Your language is FLORID and your movements are EVEN MORE SO. FITZJAMES even comments that he had no idea that people could BEND THAT WAY. 

 

You get the part, and the respect and hearts of MILLIONS, even though only SIX PEOPLE are watching you.

 

FITZJAMES RELATIONSHIP +1

CHARM INCREASED

 

After demonstrating your signature move, the BEND AND SNAP, you take a BOW. But what's this! TERRANCE has come onto the stage ON HIS OWN ACCORD!

 

He SNIPS THE AIR ONCE, TWICE, THREE TIMES! His form! His panache! His TINY TOP HAT AND MITTENS! FITZJAMES cannot help but give him the part of the ODIOUS VILLAIN, LORD MIDDLESEX! The role of LORD MIDDLESEX is intended to thwart MISTER SHROPSHIRE. Will your own BELOVED SON be the end of you, ROBERT FUCKS?

 

FITZJAMES congratulates BOTH OF YOU with only the greatest RESPECT. He says you have brought his CHARACTERS to LIFE! He gives you your own PLAYBOOK to take back to TERROR and tells you to SEND HICKEY OVER but not to tell CROZIER A WORD. It will be a DELIGHTFUL SECRET FOR YOU BOTH.

                                                                                                    

 

Bird Lord:

You have a few hours left to spend on EREBUS before you have to return. Do you MEET WITH OTHERS, LOOK AROUND, or GO BACK EARLY?

 

Player 5:

WE HAVE TO SEE GOODSIR

And Show him his Godson

 

Bird Lord:

You decide to take TERRANCE THE SHOWSTOPPING CRAB to MISTER GOODSIR. He is currently in the SICK BAY with DOCTOR STANLEY. STANLEY takes one look at TERRANCE and ROLLS HIS EYES!

 

You respond by:

>Ignoring Stanley.

>Telling him that you're just there to meet Goodsir.

>DECLARE WAR.

>Let the pinchers do the talking.

 

YOU SELECTED: >Let the pinchers do the talking.

 

AVAST, YE SCURVY DOG! STANLEY is no match for THE PINCH. He makes an EMBARRASSING NOISE!

 

STANLEY RELATIONSHIP -1

SNEAKINESS INCREASES

 

CRABBINESS INCREASES

 

GOODSIR asks to speak with you in PRIVATE while holding back his LAUGHTER. You follow him to his BERTH where he asks how you and TERRANCE have been doing. You say:

>Wonderful! Better than Stanley!

>Alright! I just feel a little lonely.

>Better now that you're here.

>(Heavy breathing)

 

YOU SELECTED: >Better now that you're here.

 

You say that you are feeling better with GOODSIR nearby. He turns a few DELIGHTFUL SHADES OF COLOUR, including a hue that is VERY CLOSE TO TERRANCE'S OWN. He fumbles with his words a few times before asking after TERRANCE'S HEALTH. That's fine, you say. Look at his TOP HAT. GOODSIR sees the TOP HAT. It's VERY NICE.

 

GOODSIR RELATIONSHIP +1

 

You talk about the PROPER CARE OF CRABS for a little while before you feel that you should probably GO ELSEWHERE. GOODSIR is a BUSY MAN after all, but you feel bad leaving him with STANLEY. Before you leave, you:

>Tell Goodsir to have a good evening and wish him the best.

>Make Terrance wave his tiny claw in goodbye.

>Give him a saucy little wink.

>KISS HIM RIGHT ON THE MOUTH!

 

YOU SELECTED: >Make Terrance wave his tiny claw in goodbye.

 

After some CAREFUL MANEUVERING, you get TERRANCE to raise his LITTLE GLOVED CLAW. You even throw in a little squeaky, "Bye-bye!" on TERRANCE'S BEHALF, since he is, indeed, a CRAB and thus INCAPABLE OF SPEECH. GOODSIR is charmed by this display!

 

GOODSIR RELATIONSHIP +1

 

You still have a little bit of time remaining on EREBUS before the WEATHER TURNS BAD. You can MEET OTHERS, LOOK AROUND, or go BACK TO TERROR.

 

Player 12:

MEET OTHERS

 

Bird Lord:

You can meet with THE OTHER LIEUTENANTS or SOME OF THE CREW. Who would you like to meet?

 

Player 3:
The crew!

 

Player 12:

Bridgens?

 

Bird Lord:

You decide to meet with MISTER BRIDGENS. MISTER PEGLAR has spoken very warmly of him! You VISIT and he lives up to your expectations! He asks you if you want a BOOK. This may be a way of levelling up a SKILL. You pick a book about:

>Talking to other people! You think you're pretty charming, but there's always room for improvement! (+1 CHARM)

>A book about how to be happy! It's dark and cold up here, so you can always use some cheering up! (+1 HAPPINESS)

>A book about snooty British things. You're a snooty British man. It works. (+1 VICTORIANNESS)

>A book about crabs. Why does he even have this book? (+1 CRABBINESS)

 

YOU SELECTED: >Talking to other people! You think you're pretty charming, but there's always room for improvement! (+1 CHARM)

 

You choose the BOOK ABOUT TALKING TO OTHER PEOPLE. Wonderful choice! BRIDGENS compliments this decision! You feel like his smile is like a RAY OF SUNSHINE or maybe a CINNAMON-FLAVOURED DRINK. You get why PEGLAR likes him so much!

 

Player 12:

Can we talk about peglar

 

Bird Lord:

You tell BRIDGENS that PEGLAR told you about him. BRIDGENS smiles very KINDLY and says to pass on his LO-- oh no wait, his GOOD REGARDS to PEGLAR.

 

You, your BOOK, and your CRAB must go back to TERROR now. You say GOODBYE to EVERYONE, but specifically:

>GOODSIR

>HARTNELLS

>FITZJAMES

>SOMEONE ELSE

 

YOU SELECTED: >GOODSIR

 

You pause in front of GOODSIR and give him the BEST SMILE IN YOUR REPERTOIRE. Your eyes may be fooling you, but does he look a little bit SMITTEN? Mayhaps! Or he may just be SMILING in ADORATION of your CRAB. Either way!

 

GOODSIR RELATIONSHIP +1

 

You decide on the way back to TERROR that you are probably going to WILDLY... ROMANCE your way through the NORTHWEST PASSAGE.

Chapter Text

Bird Lord:

A few days later, you are working on LINES from the PLAYBOOK. You, the radiant and fabulous MISTER SHROPSHIRE are in the midst of wooing MISS DORSET, played by the triumphant HICKEY who got the part just yesterday. The SCENE you are currently acting out is:

>The tenuous confession of Miss Dorset to Mister Shropshire. She is so in love, but does not know what to do with her feelings! Oh my!

>Mister Shropshire listing off his endless list of conquests.

>Mister Shropshire complimenting himself in a mirror.

>The part where Mister Shropshire gets his fingers tangled in Miss Dorset's corset strings.

 

YOU SELECTED: >The part where Mister Shropshire gets his fingers tangled in Miss Dorset's corset strings.

 

As TOM HARTNELL is currently working on HICKEY'S COSTUME back on EREBUS, you substitute those ACCURSED CORSET STRINGS with TWINE you found in the HOLD. It's tied around HICKEY'S WAIST like he's a PRIZE CHRISTMAS HAM. You have one FIST pressed against his BACK while you hurriedly go through your lines. You say:

>Oh, Miss Dorset, I seem to have gotten myself tangled up in this situation!

>Just a moment. I'm knot having an easy time with this!

>I hope you don't intend to string me along!

>MOTHER[lover] GET MY [beloved] HAND OUT OF YOUR [gosh darn] CORSET BEFORE I RIP YOUR [bandaid] OFF!

 

YOU SELECTED: >I hope you don't intend to string me along!

 

"I hope you don't intend to string me along!" you say with a WINK. HICKEY flutters his EYELASHES at you and says in a very convincing FALSETTO, "Oh! Mister Shropshire! I fear that I've simply trapped you in my web! How shall we get out of this situation?" before putting his ARMS around your NECK. You respond by:

>Keep on keepin' on with your lines. You are an actor! 

>Forget every line all at once. Act like an idiot.

>Sneeze in his face.

>KISS HIS LITTLE RAT MOUTH

 

YOU SELECTED: >Keep on keepin' on with your lines. You are an actor! 

 

Your dedication to your CRAFT is COMMENDABLE. Your FORTITUDE and CHARM INCREASE! You say, "Now, darling, this is no time for such a yarn. We will miss the party!" You get your HAND out of that TERRIFIC TANGLE with a DRAMATIC FLOURISH.

And just in time, too! IRVING comes into your PRACTISE SPACE.

 

He knows about the PLAY but he still seems SURPRISED by the SCENE. He stutters out that he is holding another WATERCOLOURS SESSION and wants to know if you are still INTERESTED. You can either GO DO WATERCOLOURS or stay and WORK ON YOUR LINES. Or you can FORSAKE BOTH and maybe go TAKE A NAP.

 

Player 3:

GO DO WATERCOLOURS

 

Player 12:

Work on your lines

 

Bird Lord:

WATERCOLOURS or LINES w/ RAT

 

YOU SELECTED: WATERCOLOURS

 

Player 10:

LINES

 

[A LINES vs. WATERCOLOURS argument ensues]

 

Bird Lord:

WATERCOLOURS or LINES w/ RAT

 

YOU SELECTED: LINES w/ RAT

 

Player 5:

WE CAN'T LEAVE IRVING ALONE

WE CAN'T BETRAY OUR BOY

 

Bird Lord:

Would you like to see the PLAY SUMMARY before you make your CHOICE?

 

Player 10:

SUM THE PLAY

 

Bird Lord:

The play is entitled THREE GENTLEMEN FROM BRIGHTON which is NOT VERY ORIGINAL.

 

It is about THREE GENTLEMEN from BRIGHTON. They are GENTLEMEN of FORTUNE. They seek out LOVELY WIVES to foist their FORTUNES upon. They are MISTER SHROPSHIRE, MISTER ESSEX, and MISTER KENT. They seek out the MISSES DORSET, young ladies of GRAND INTEREST for their BEAUTY and HUGE... DOWRIES. There are other WOMEN that they are interested in, and the HANDSOME MISTER SHROPSHIRE is the most INTERESTED OF ALL. Other PEOPLE try to PREVENT THEM from taking away these LOVELY LADIES.

 

Player 13: 

god this is homestuck. You guys are doing a homestuck.

 

Bird Lord:

You feel STUCK but not at HOME. You do, however, like PUPPETS and CLOWNS.

 

Player 3:

i still vote watercolors this play sounds like garbage

 

Bird Lord:

It should also be said that COMMANDER FITZJAMES wrote the PLAY.

 

Would you like to VOTE AGAIN?

WATERCOLOURS or LINES w/ RAT

 

YOU SELECTED: WATERCOLOURS

 

Player 14:

Irving COULD HELP PAINT BACKDROPS

 

Player 3:

YES

if we rope Irving into helping with the play

it's a win win

 

Player 5:
We... Rope... Irving…

 

Bird Lord:

There is, in fact, MUCH ROPE.

 

You decide to go to IRVING'S WATERCOLOUR CLASS. It turns out that today, you are doing SMALL SCENERIES on request of FITZJAMES. You must provide IDEAS for a SUITABLE BACKDROP for the play. You choose to paint:

>A summer scene in a garden. Colourful flowers, flowing fountains, a gazebo. The works!

>The wild, windy moors of Yorkshire. Maybe there is a ghost or a tree or a rock. It's perfect for riveting, emotional scenes.

>A dark, terrifying castle. Your romance is INTENSE and PASSIONATE. There are BATS in the background!

>A... Hm. I have no idea what you're going for. That sure is some chiaroscuro, but in what shape? Is that a piano shaped like a skull?

 

YOU SELECTED: >A summer scene in a garden. Colourful flowers, flowing fountains, a gazebo. The works!

 

You decide to paint the SUMMER SCENE. You use BRIGHT PASTEL COLOURS reminiscent of PAINTINGS OF THE ROCOCO ERA. Actually, you don't know much about ART, but you're still RELATIVELY GOOD AT IT. You even include a little smiling PLATYPUS in the corner. You love those things.

 

IRVING is VERY PLEASED with your choice. He gives you SEVERAL compliments! He has no idea what's up with that STRANGE SHAPE on top of the GAZEBO, but he still APPRECIATES IT and APPROVES its use for the PLAY. Woohoo!

 

IRVING RELATIONSHIP +1

 

Player 3:

the strange shape is a dick

 

Player 5:

Can we blush and thank him in a whisper

 

Bird Lord:

You absolutely do BLUSH and THANK him. ROBERT FUCKS, you absolute CHARMER.

 

Player 3:

kiss his hand

 

Bird Lord:
You are not VICTORIAN enough for HAND KISSES, but you are CHARMING ENOUGH and have enough RAPPORT with IRVING to GIVE HIM ONE COMPLIMENT LADEN WITH INNUENDO.

 

Do you give him the COMPLIMENT LADEN WITH INNUENDO or do you HOLD IT FOR NOW?

 

Player 3: 

....GIVE IT TO HIM

 

Player 6:

wait til hickey's out of earshot

 

Bird Lord:

HICKEY is currently CAULKING a BOX, you think. You don't know what he's CAULKING.

 

You compliment IRVING on his:

>Muscular stature from lifting all of that painting... equipment. It's not actually that heavy, but still.

>His lovely eyes. Like twin pools of azure-- Wait, don't say that. Say something nice. About his eyes.

>His form. You love the way he just lays into his artwork. Oof.

>His ass. Booty. Badonk. Rear bumper.

 

YOU SELECTED: >His lovely eyes. Like twin pools of azure-- Wait, don't say that. Say something nice. About his eyes.

 

You compliment the QUICKNESS of his eyes and say how you APPRECIATE how he SEES the art in ALL THINGS. It's not very innuendo-y, but he REALLY APPRECIATES IT. He even BLUSHES AGAIN.

 

IRVING RELATIONSHIP +1

 


 

Player 3:

crab romance?

 

Bird Lord:

APPROVED

 

First things first, ROBERT FUCKS. Some of the men on TERROR have been a little bit curious about you! You talk to a few of the men in the GALLEY after your HEATED WATERCOLOUR LESSON with IRVING. Some of the men want to know how OLD YOU ARE. You decide to make a little GAME out of it. You pose that you are:

>Younger than 21

>21-30

>31-40

>Your age is unknowable by mortal numbers and you see only in colours available to the mantis shrimp

 

YOU SELECTED: >21-30

 

"I'm between 21 and 30," you announce. Wonderful! You are already 2/3 OF THE WAY through your VICTORIAN ERA LIFESPAN! 

 

Next, they ask you for your BIRTHDAY. Perhaps there will be a BIRTHDAY PARTY in your future if you tell them. You say you were born in:

>January, February, or March. You are the lord of beginnings and love and... leprechauns.

>April, May, June. You have a little spring in your step!

>July, August, September. Maybe it's good luck to have someone on the ship with so much summer in their system.

>October, November, December. Yours is the death of the year and the encroaching cold dread of a merciless winter. Neat!

 

YOU SELECTED: >October, November, December. Yours is the death of the year and the encroaching cold dread of a merciless winter. Neat!

 

You give them the options of OCTOBER, NOVEMBER, and DECEMBER. They begin to take BIG BETS on your BIRTHDAY, except these BETS are for things like WASHING SOCKS and UNDERWEAR. Fortunately, since it's your BIRTHDAY TRIVIA, you have nothing to lose and only BIRTHDAY PRESENTS to gain. The place these BETS and you tell them that your birthday month is:

>October

>November

>December

>Octonovdec 32nd

 

YOU SELECTED: >October

 

You inform them that you were born in OCTOBER. You have committed several of your FELLOW MEN to wash OTHER MENS' UNDERWEAR ARTICLES and SOCKS. You are a MONSTER. Also, HAPPY EARLY BIRTHDAY.

 

With that all squared around, the men ask you about your LIFE BEFORE. This is for MANY REASONS that they cannot discuss, but it might be nice for WORLDBUILDING. You tell them that your parents were:

>Just normal people. Your father worked the docks and your mother sold fish heads. Maybe that's why you like eating them so much.

>Pa was in The War and Ma worked her hands to the bone to keep you fed. You've only ever known  the dirt under your bare, nasty feet as your home. 

>You are simply the child fallen from the good graces of your FREAKISHLY WEALTHY PARENTS. You've done something so despicable that you had to join the Navy.

>They cannot know. No one can know. You've left that life behind, sir. You've left it all behind. Only the sea is ahead of you now.

 

YOU SELECTED: >They cannot know. No one can know. You've left that life behind, sir. You've left it all behind. Only the sea is ahead of you now.

 

You tell the men that you simply CAN'T TALK ABOUT your life before. There are some things people just aren't supposed to know! By that, you give yourself an AIR OF MYSTERY. As a consequence, your AESTHETIC goes UP!

 


 

Bird Lord:

The next few days go by, and it's the day before FITZJAMES' PLAY. You have a few HOURS to yourself. You can MEET WITH SOMEONE, PRACTISE YOUR LINES, blow off some steam with RECREATION, or you can NAP. Going to EREBUS is possible!

 

Player 15:

meet jopson!

 

Bird Lord:

You consider yourself pretty FRIENDLY with everyone by now, and your CHARM is high enough that you have no trouble meeting with the CAPTAIN'S STEWARD, THOMAS JOPSON. You've seen him around a few times, mostly running errands and the like. At the moment, he is WASHING LINENS at the same time that you're WASHING CLOTHES. You decide to use the TUB next to his. You start by:

>Introducing yourself like a normal human being.

>Ask him about himself. You're still keeping up your AIR OF MYSTERY, after all.

>Start humming or singing to yourself. Makes the work go by quicker!

>Method act as Mister Shropshire, international man of dandy mystery!

 

YOU SELECTED: >Introducing yourself like a normal human being. and >Start humming or singing to yourself. Makes the work go by quicker!

 

In your moment of INDECISION, you accidentally SPLASH SOAPY WATER onto a nearby SAILOR. He swears at you a few times. You feel a little bit SHEEPISH, but honestly, it makes him smell better. No big loss.

 

You OFFER AN APOLOGY to the SAILOR. He grumbles to himself but appreciates the gesture. Your FRIENDLINESS INCREASES!

 

However, your INDECISION makes for a very interesting INTRODUCTION. You sort of SING your name out, making it sound like, “R O B E R T    F U U U u u u u U U U C K S!" It's a little STRANGE, but JOPSON seems amused. Perhaps after dealing with CROZIER all day, entertaining him isn't a TERRIBLE IDEA.

 

JOPSON RELATIONSHIP +1

 

Speaking of CROZIER, you remember that your CAPTAIN is to be cast as the all-important GREAT BIG ROCK in tomorrow's PLAY. As far as you know, CROZIER doesn't know that he's been cast, and you're not sure how to approach the subject. Do you tell JOPSON to pass the message along to CROZIER, or do you keep this information to yourself as per FITZJAMES' REQUEST?

>Be honest. Crozier is your captain, after all!

>Don't say anything. Let Fitzjames get a kick out of it!

>Tell Jopson that another AB told Manson who told Hickey who told you that Crozier was going to be in the play. You'll be lying, but it's the thought that counts.

>Tell Jopson that Crozier is cast in a totally different role that isn't the GREAT BIG ROCK. Maybe the other MISS DORSET?

 

YOU SELECTED: >Be honest. Crozier is your captain, after all!

 

In your MOMENT OF FATAL INDECISION, you find a RAT TOKEN at the bottom of the WASHBASIN! How'd that get in there?

 

You decide to TELL JOPSON about CROZIER'S ROLE. JOPSON seems pleased with your HONESTY and THANKS YOU for passing the message to him. In fact, he seems DELIGHTED that you were so forthcoming with the information. He says that if you hadn't, CROZIER and FITZJAMES might have gotten into a SPAT, or perhaps a BIG EMBARRASSMENT for CROZIER. Not only do you gain rapport with JOPSON, but he'll pass your name along to the CAPTAIN as well. Big win for you! FITZJAMES might not be so pleased, though. Oh well, that's for tomorrow-you to deal with.

 

JOPSON RELATIONSHIP +1

CROZIER RELATIONSHIP +1

 

You have a little more time at the BASIN before JOPSON will notice that you're just WASTING TIME. You decide to use this valuable COMMODITY OF SPACE-TIME PROGRESSION to:

>Chit-chat with Jopson and establish yourself on a friendly basis.

>Keep singing. Perhaps even louder than before, and with more emphasis on your last name.

>Try method acting the Mister Shropshire character. Really put your all into it!

>Show Terrance to Jopson.

 

YOU SELECTED: >Show Terrance to Jopson.

 

Isn't it convenient that TERRANCE was taking a little CRAB BATH in another available WASH BASIN? You delightfully SHOW JOPSON YOUR CRAB! He's thrilled with the little fellow and warmly compliments his ENSEMBLE. The HAT really is dashing! And by that, yet another LOYAL SUBJECT is added to TERRANCE'S entourage! You feel that there might be some GRAND BENEFITS to follow if you keep this up!

 

JOPSON RELATIONSHIP +1

Chapter Text

Bird Lord:

Taking TERRANCE back to his GLORIOUS CASTLE, you consider that you still have some time to spend. You can MEET SOMEONE ELSE on EITHER SHIP, PRACTISE YOUR LINES, mess around with some RECREATION, or TAKE A NAP.

 

Player 15:

maybe we should practise

 

Player 13:

Practice but also I want to meet Crozier

 

Bird Lord:

Your art is very important to you! You decide to PRACTISE YOUR LINES in the relative privacy of the HOLD. With an invisible REVEREND CHARACTER, you really ramp up the sheer DRAMA of the PLAYBOOK. Here is just a sample of what you're up to:

 

SHROPSHIRE: But dear sir! I cannot possibly repair myself in any way! I am so very perfect as I am!

REVEREND: Vanity! Eugh! Augh! Fooey!

SHROPSHIRE: Lo, it is vanity that keeps me Shropshire, and a lack of that makes you the Reverend! I am the loveliest dove on the branch! I am the dewiest of roses! I am the captain of my own ship of destiny! No one looks finer than me. Am I not God's own creation?

REVEREND: Blegh! Oogh! Ho-hum! 

 

You did say that this PLAY wasn't very GOOD.

Confident that your INCREDIBLE ACTING SKILLS are going to see you through to glorious VICTORY and TRIUMPH on the STAGE, you wrap up the final TRAGIC ENDING with a GRAND MONOLOGUE that would put the Bard himself to shame. You envision the HORRID SCENE of your beloved SON stabbing you in the heart. Oh! It's just too much to withstand! 

Except it's very difficult to practise a DEATH SCENE by yourself. You decide to enlist the help of:

>Hickey

>Irving

>Jopson

>Little

 

YOU SELECTED: >Irving

 

Unfortunately, you are not on a GOOD ENOUGH BASIS with CROZIER to ask.

You decide to ask LIEUTENANT IRVING to help you with the final INCREDIBLE SCENE that will surely AFFIX YOUR CAREER. At least, in your career on this ship. You find him in the ORLOP, inspecting hammocks and happily YELLING AT PEOPLE for being somewhat DISGUSTING. He sees you and seems MUCH HAPPIER!

"What can I help you with, FUCKS?" he asks.

You kindly ask him for assistance in your PRACTISE. He seems SURPRISED, but agrees. It does his heart good to see someone turning to CREATIVE OUTLETS rather than BASE HUMAN CARNAL HORROR and FILTHINESS, whatever that means. With that, you return to the HOLD for PRACTISE.

"Strike me not, DEVIOUS CREATURE!" you howl in agony, shielding yourself from the horrid DAGGER of your NEMESIS. Unfortunately, your NEMESIS is IRVING wielding a POTATO that you found rolled under a TABLE. He sheepishly BATS AT YOUR CHEST with the POTATO. You make a great GROAN OF DYING MISERY and fall to the floor. You have your last few lines that express the TRUTH of your character. They are:

>"Miserable wretch! Damnation upon you!"

>"I will never tell you where I hid the grandiose treasure of the Lost Island!"

>"I always loved... you. They could never compare to our intense relationship. I die with my secret!"

> (UNGODLY SCREAM)

 

YOU SELECTED: >"I always loved... you. They could never compare to our intense relationship. I die with my secret!"

 

Player 15:

wait isn't irving playing our SON

 

Bird Lord:

Your SON is playing your NEMESIS who you have some ELECTRIC TENSION WITH. It's complicated.

 

MISTER SHROPSHIRE cannot be tethered down by HEINOUS FAMILY PROSPECTS.

"I always loved... you! The others, they... Oh, they could never compare to our intense relationship. I... I die, with my secret. Weep at my grave, you beautiful cur! I would kiss you, lest to curse you!"

With that, you fall back to the floor with a loud, "OOOOAAAUUGHHHHH!" You can practically hear the APPLAUSE of tomorrow's AUDIENCE. However, when you open your eyes, IRVING is standing there, POTATO IN HAND, with a VERY NOTICEABLE BLUSH on his face. What could have caused such a reaction?

 

Player 15:

still confused about the son thing tbh

 

Bird Lord:

TERRANCE your CRAB SON is going to play MISTER SHROPSHIRE'S NEMESIS who is NOT RELATED TO SHROPSHIRE. However, you do love TERRANCE but not like THAT because alas, he is a BEAUTIFUL CRAB but your feelings are purely PATERNAL.

 

IRVING helps you back to your feet and hands you the POTATO for lack of anything else to do with it. With one of your hands still in his and the POTATO in the other, you decide to:

>Thank him. Again, like a normal human.

>Respond in character. You're that dedicated to your craft!

>Make some pun about the potato. Release the tension with a stupid joke.

>KISS HIS FACE.

 

YOU SELECTED: >Respond in character. You're that dedicated to your craft!

 

You WAGGLE YOUR EYEBROWS like the HANDSOME DANDY you are. "Do you go around helping up every handsome devil you meet?" you ask in a CONSPICUOUS PURR.

IRVING makes about EIGHT DIFFERENT NOISES and changes SEVERAL COLOURS in a way that is VERY FUN TO WATCH before he QUICKLY EXCUSES HIMSELF to his DUTIES. While your RELATIONSHIP hasn't IMPROVED, you feel that SOMETHING HAS CHANGED.

But for now, you and your new POTATO are going back upstairs.

 

Player 16:

add potato to inventory

that has vitamins!! could come in handy... later

 

Bird Lord:

CONSULT INVENTORY?

 

Player 16:

CONSULT INVENTORY

 

Bird Lord:

INVENTORY:

- Sailor’s certificate

- A dull knife

- Grandpa’s old clay pipe

- Threadbare sweater

- Mudsplattered trousers

- Nice boots

- A stolen hat

- Terrance the Crab (Chosen One)

- Mittens for Terrance

- Crab-sized paintbrush

- An abstract watercolour of a hat

- Top hat for Terrance

- Potato

 

Rat Tokens: 5

Mushrooms: 1

Neptune’s Blessings: 2

 

Player 16:

o damn we haven't figured out whose hat that is yet have we

 

Bird Lord:

Indeed, your VERY NICE HAT is not actually YOURS unless you are of the mindset that ALL PROPERTY IS THEFT.

 


 

Bird Lord:

You still have some time to yourself. It is TOO LATE to go to EREBUS and the WEATHER is starting to take a turn. You can MEET PEOPLE on TERROR, mess around with RECREATION, or NAP.

 

 - MEET PEOPLE ON TERROR

 - ENJOY RECREATION

 - NAP

 

YOU SELECTED: - MEET PEOPLE ON TERROR

 

Player 7:

Croz

 

Player 2:

Hickey

 

Bird Lord:

Would you like to meet

 - CROZIER

or

 - HICKEY

 

YOU SELECTED: CROZIER

 

As luck would have it, CAPTAIN CROZIER is currently inspecting a few things AROUND THE GALLEY with DOCTOR MACDONALD. CROZIER spots you and WAVES YOU OVER. 

"You're FUCKS, correct?" he asks.

You AFFIRM that you are, indeed, FUCKS.

"Thank you for passing your message on to Jopson. I appreciate your honesty," he says. He seems to have OTHER THINGS ON HIS MIND, however. He asks, "And how are things for you, FUCKS?"

 

You tell him:

>Things are doing well! Keep it low-key. 

>Things are GREAT! They're WONDERFUL! The TERROR is like a THEME PARK THAT DOESN'T EXIST YET THAT INVOLVES MICE except with more RATS who bring you STRANGE GIFTS.

>You have a wart on your foot that's starting to worry you and you think that the cook has been giving you bilge water instead of soup.

>(Stare and tremble like a tiny, weird dog)

 

YOU SELECTED: >Things are doing well! Keep it low-key. 

 

Your answer is very POLITE and PROPER. You SALUTE and tell him about the BORING SHIP STUFF that you don't want to DETAIL TOO MUCH. CROZIER sort of LISTENS, but again, he seems to be thinking about OTHER THINGS. MACDONALD, on the other hand, seems MUCH MORE INVESTED at the moment. He is very KIND and asks after your HEALTH. You tell him:

>You're feeling fine! Nothing to worry over. 

>Well, there might be a thing or two to check out, if he has time for you later.

>About that wart. The wart that haunts you. You think it speaks to you in the night. It's waiting for the right time to ruin your life.

>Nothing. You just faint like a goat.

 

YOU SELECTED: >Nothing. You just faint like a goat.

 

Looks like someone has a case of the VAPOURS. Strong SAILOR as you are, you cannot escape the FATE of VICTORIANNESS, of which yours INCREASES. You get about HALF a WORD out before you are on the FLOOR. You have no idea WHAT HAPPENED, but suddenly, MACDONALD, CROZIER, and several other men including PEGLAR and HICKEY are looming over you, WORRYING about you.

MACDONALD asks you what's WRONG and you say:

>Hooghababa?

>Mneeeee?

>Burooopapa?

>Fffffffff.

 

YOU SELECTED: >Mneeeee?

 

"Mneeeee?"

How enchanting! So much so that DOCTOR MACDONALD picks you up with the help of MISTER HICKEY to take you to the SICK BAY. Well, you lose some, but you did WIN SOMETHING from all this.

 

MACDONALD RELATIONSHIP +1

 

You're now in the SICK BAY with the appropriate SICK PEOPLE of which there are A FEW. Some of them, you theorise, are PRETENDING TO BE SICK TO GET OUT OF WORK. Who does that? Anyway, MACDONALD believes you had a case of EXHAUSTION. Perhaps someone SHOUTED TOO LOUD in a room you were in or maybe you even CAUGHT the COLD. Whatever it was, you're JUST FINE and SLIGHTLY MORE VICTORIAN than you were yesterday!

Unfortunately, MACDONALD thinks that perhaps you SHOULDN'T BE IN THE PLAY TOMORROW. He wonders after your HEALTH and hopes this will not HAPPEN AGAIN on stage. You think about it and decide that:

>You worked very hard on this play! You're going to stay in it, no matter the cost!

>You'll stay in it, but perhaps with not as much DRAMA and PASSION as you had when you practised before.

>You agree with him. Someone will have to be your emergency understudy and someone will have to take Terrance to the play tomorrow.

>You cannot BELIEVE this DRIVEL. Does he not know who you ARE? You are the KING of the STAGE? You will not be SUPPRESSED!

 

YOU SELECTED: >You worked very hard on this play! You're going to stay in it, no matter the cost!

 

You make the decision to stay IN THE PLAY. You can SUFFER for your ART. As a result, your RAPPORT with the MEN goes up when they hear about your AFFLICTION, and ATTENDANCE will be MUCH HIGHER tomorrow! As a CONSEQUENCE, however, your HEALTH goes down. That won't have any adverse effect at all, right?

MACDONALD SIGHS, but RESPECTS your choice. He wishes you the VERY BEST and provides you with a GROSS TONIC to help you RECOVER.

You stay in the SICK BAY for a little while longer. When MACDONALD lets you go (and pats you on the SHOULDER to KINDLY ASSURE you that you will be FINE), you go to the GALLEY where you are met with KIND CONCERN as to your CONDITION. Then, LIEUTENANT IRVING calls your attention, to the SURPRISE of some of the men. He wants to SPEAK TO YOU, but says he UNDERSTANDS if you are not FEELING WELL. You decide to:

>Speak to him. It may take awhile, and you are very tired, but you'll do it.

>Tell him you'll talk to him in the morning. You're happy to see him, but too tired to talk right this moment. It can wait, right?

>Go take a nap immediately. Really, Irving, this has to wait. You're dying, remember?

>Faint again.

 

YOU SELECTED: >Speak to him. It may take awhile, and you are very tired, but you'll do it.

 

While SWAYING on your FEET from exhaustion, you decide to TALK to IRVING. Your HEALTH goes DOWN more, but your FRIENDLINESS INCREASES. 

IRVING leads you towards the BERTHS. HIS ROOM in particular. He lets you INSIDE, showing you a SMALL ROOM with SHELVES full of BOOKS. Not all of them are RELIGIOUS, in fact! Some of them are ADVENTURE STORIES and some are TRAGEDIES. You ADMIRE this, even if you don't know what all of them are. IRVING closes the door behind you and seems NERVOUS. He FIDGETS a bit before he talks.

"I... I wanted to see if you were alright. When I heard-- Well, I admit I was concerned by--" He PAUSES and FIDGETS more. Is he BLUSHING again? Or is that just the LANTERN LIGHT? Then, he tries again, looking you in the EYES. "Are you alright?" he asks.

 

>Yes! Keep it short and sweet. You're alright and just tired. You've been working hard, which you're sure he'll respect.

>No. You're feeling terribly ill, still. You really must go!

>"Well, I have this weird wart on my foot, and I think it's sentient--"

>KISS HIM, COWARD

 

YOU SELECTED: >KISS HIM, COWARD

 

He's still TALKING when you make your DECISION. Blame it on your REPRESSED VICTORIAN BRAIN or perhaps the MONSTER ON YOUR FOOT, but you decide to KISS HIM. 

It's VERY SUDDEN and SURPRISES YOU BOTH! You pull him in by the LAPELS, and your CHARM prevents you from ROYALLY BOTCHING THE APPROACH. He GASPS and FREEZES, but then he--

KISSES YOU BACK

It's only for a SHORT WHILE because you are still in the MIDST of RECOVERY, but for the MOMENT, it is VERY, VERY NICE. You get a:

 

IRVING RELATIONSHIP +1

BUT

You have not been LOOKING AFTER your HEALTH and so you FAINT in his ARMS. Whoops.

 

VICTORIANNESS INCREASES

 

You WAKE UP in your HAMMOCK. It is VERY LATE and MOST of the men are ASLEEP. You do not know how you GOT in your HAMMOCK or who TOOK YOU THERE and TUCKED YOU IN, but you are COMFORTABLE. You decide to go BACK to SLEEP. Tomorrow is a VERY BIG DAY and in your VAPOUR-ADDLED MIND, you feel like SOMETHING BIG IS GOING TO HAPPEN.

 

CURRENTLY, the ranking is:

Harry Goodsir - 7

John Irving - 6

James Fitzjames - 3

Thomas Jopson - 3

John Torrington - 3

John Hartnell - 2

Tom Hartnell - 2

Cornelius Hickey - 2

 

EVERYONE ELSE is below TWO HEARTS.

 

Your CURRENT ACHIEVEMENT RANK is 4/37

Chapter Text

Bird Lord:

Because of TODAY'S EVENT, most of the CHORES and DUTIES have been moved to TOMORROW. TODAY is dedicated to having RIDICULOUS AMOUNTS of FUN. The PLAY is scheduled to be held at ONE O'CLOCK, leaving you a FEW HOURS to YOURSELF. You can:

 - MEET SOMEONE (IRVING is currently UNAVAILABLE)

 - PRACTISE YOUR LINES

 - RECREATION

 - NAP

 

YOU SELECTED:  - NAP

 

You decide to GET some REST. Good idea! Your HEALTH IMPROVES, although you are still just a LITTLE WOOZY when you get up.

The time finally comes for you and the OTHERS to go to EREBUS. The ATMOSPHERE is very EXCITING and FESTIVE. Alas, you don't see IRVING in your GROUP, but you're not too worried. 

Once onboard, you, TERRANCE, and HICKEY go to the BACKSTAGE area set up in the GALLEY, where poor TOM HARTNELL is dressed in a VERY NICE ENSEMBLE with an IMPRESSIVE WIG trying to help everyone DRESS with only the HELP of MORFIN casually fixing HEMS. TOM'S BROTHER is absolutely NO HELP. He is currently SLEEPING in a pile of FABRIC.

COMMANDER FITZJAMES is dressed GLORIOUSLY in a VERY FINE COSTUME with NO WIG because his hair is already GREAT. He is EAGERLY instructing some of the other SAILORS serving as BACKGROUND ACTORS, although the STAGE DIRECTION sounds suspiciously like another STORY ABOUT CHINA.

HARTNELL comes RUNNING up to you in a FRANTIC mood. He shoves a SUIT at you and says SOMETHING that is MAYBE an order to put it on. You do so while HICKEY is SHOVED into a VERY FETCHING GREEN DRESS. Then, FITZJAMES sees you and SMIRKS while asking where CROZIER is. In the midst of buttoning your WAISTCOAT, you tell him:

>The honest truth. You told Crozier about the role and he refused. 

>Half the truth. Someone else told Crozier about the role.

>A lie. Crozier still doesn't know about the role. Fitzjames will have to tell him.

>An even bigger lie. Someone else is going to play the Great Big Rock.

 

YOU SELECTED: >Half the truth. Someone else told Crozier about the role.

 

You tell him, and you quote, "I maybe told Peglar who told Manson who told Hickey who told Torrington who told Gibson who told Jopson who told Crozier about the role." FITZJAMES is PUZZLED and a LITTLE PUT-OUT but he does not BLAME you for ruining the surprise. Besides, it WAS technically JOPSON who said it to CROZIER, so was it really a lie? NO RELATIONSHIPS CHANGE.

Then, HORRIBLE NEWS REACHES YOU. OSMER who was playing REVEREND DEVON has fallen ILL! There is going to have to be a SCRAMBLE to find a REPLACEMENT at such short NOTICE. TERRANCE, for all of his CONSIDERABLE TALENT, cannot play BOTH ROLES! What will happen to this PLAY?

FITZJAMES decides that the SHOW MUST GO ON! He charges some of his SAILORS to find a REPLACEMENT while the FIRST ACT goes out. There is nothing you can do now!

 

The FIRST ACT involves a lot of BAD MONOLOGUES. You even have a few, and PLAY UP your CHARACTER to the point that the AUDIENCE is in HUMOROUS RAPTURES at your PERFORMANCE. FITZJAMES is a most RAPTUROUS MISS ELIZABETH DEVON, and FLUTTERS HIS EYELASHES most EVOCATIVELY. However, when you look out at the AUDIENCE, you still cannot see IRVING.

The HARTNELLS perform their ROLES very well! JOHN is your BITTER RIVAL with also an ELECTRIC UNDERCURRENT OF TENSION. You have ONE SCENE before the REVEREND'S ARRIVAL. JOHN'S CHARACTER, MISTER NORTHUMBERLAND, accuses SHROPSHIRE of stealing A DELICIOUS AND WONDERFUL MEAT PIE. You respond:

>Oh, villain! I would not devour such a trifle! I am to go pheasant-hunting with LORD HAMBLYGRAMBLE in the evening and will sup at his ESTATE!

>Yes, WRETCH! I have surely eaten this DELICIOUS and WONDERFUL MEAT PIE and I enjoyed every moment!

>I CANNOT have eaten this MEAT PIE on account of the fact I do not EAT MEAT and you are INSENSITIVE to my DIETARY RESTRICTIONS.

>(Wail like he broke your heart)

 

YOU SELECTED: >Yes, WRETCH! I have surely eaten this DELICIOUS and WONDERFUL MEAT PIE and I enjoyed every moment!

 

"Yes, WRETCH! I have surely eaten this DELICIOUS and WONDERFUL MEAT PIE and I enjoyed every moment!" you announce to that DASTARDLY MISTER NORTHUMBERLAND, throwing your GLOVE on the ground. If it is WAR, then let it be SO! That MEAT PIE is worth his MEASLY LIFE.

On a better note, JOHN seems VERY PLEASED at your PERFORMANCE! "HAVE AT THEE, THEN, SCOUNDREL!" he howls, pretending to STOMP on your FOOT. You make a GREAT SHOW of jumping around on ONE FOOT before SCOWLING and stomping AWAY. Everyone finds this display HILARIOUS.

 

J. HARTNELL RELATIONSHIP +1

 

The time has come for your next scene with REVEREND DEVON. You are suddenly NERVOUS that it will just be you MONOLOGUING at a SACK OF FLOUR dressed as a REVEREND. You swallow hard as the SCENE BEGINS. "Oh woe, for if I die in a duel, then who shall marry the stunning MISS DORSET? Who will hold MISS BERKSHIRE'S dainty gloved HAND? Who will kiss the soft, rosy lips of MISS EAST RIDING OF YORKSHIRE?"

You hear a soft 'ahem', and turn to see REVEREND DEVON.

Actually you see IRVING dressed in an ASKEW WIG and a GREAT BLACK ROBE holding the PLAYBOOK behind his BACK. "Uh," he says, looking around very QUICKLY. "You... You are the villain that ench--"

"BEWITCHES!" stage-whispers FITZJAMES from behind the MAKESHIFT CURTAIN.

"Bewitches the young ladies of this... parish?" IRVING tries.

Well, not exactly what you expected, to be sure. You stand, DUMBFOUNDED, at the sight, but remember that there is a WHOLE PLAY GOING ON. Indeed, it seems that the AUDIENCE is VERY PLEASED at this, especially the CREW of the TERROR. Even CROZIER seems to be caught up in the HILARITY.

"I... am," you finally say. Then, you CLEAR your THROAT and go back into CHARACTER. "I am! If by 'bewitching', you mean DELIGHTING and ROMANCING these finest of LADIES, then yes! 'Tis I! MISTER SHROPSHIRE!"

The CROWD goes WILD. You're a HIT!

 

However, now you're at a dilemma. Do you:

>Keep acting the way Fitzjames wrote the play?

>Change it up to add more tension between Mister Shropshire and Reverend Devon?

>Add more tension between Shropshire and Northumberland?

>Declare passionate love for the Great Big Rock behind you, now played by a slightly bitter Charles Des Voeux?

 

YOU SELECTED: >Change it up to add more tension between Mister Shropshire and Reverend Devon?

 

The GREAT BIG ROCK goes UNLOVED. Instead, you decide to put EXTRA INSINUATION behind your LINES aimed at REVEREND DEVON. You lean forward with a HANDSOME, DEVILISH GRIN and say, "Oh, but Reverend. Were you not IN LOVE once? Did the SPRINGTIME of YOUTH not ENHANCE your SPIRIT? Look around you!" You GESTURE to the enormous PAINTED CANVAS BACKDROP of your SPRINGTIME GARDEN WATERCOLOUR.

He looks. Sort of. Actually, he looks more NERVOUS than looks at ANYTHING ELSE.

"THIS is what life is ABOUT, my ORDAINED FRIEND. To SIP from the FOUNTAINS of MANHOOD--" It was supposed to be WOMANHOOD. Whoopsie-daisies! That there's a SLIP of the TONGUE. "--and REVEL in the WARMTH of AFFECTION!"

IRVING looks he like's about to hit the FLOOR. Good job!

No one has noticed the SLIP of LINGUISTICS, let alone FITZJAMES who is having a LOVELY TIME. IRVING has to fight to get his NEXT LINES out. "Th-there is no place for men of your--" He looks up UP and DOWN. "Proclivities," he says.

You maybe JUT out your HIP. Future generations will call that a POWER POSE.

"I would ask you not to act tha-- that way in front of the ladies."

"Shall I act that way in front of you, Reverend?"

 

That is not in the SCRIPT. ROBERT FUCKS, you absolute CARD.

The next few SCENES go by rather QUICKLY. You have a few more LINES with FITZJAMES and HARTNELL, and then it is ACT 2. AVAST, here is the devious LORD MIDDLESEX with his SNIPPY LITTLE CLAWS of a CHARLATAN. TERRANCE is a STAGE DARLING. Everyone is in RAPTURES. 

You keep placing in INNUENDOS to the NERVOUS REVEREND. Of course, you are still FOLLOWING the SCRIPT, sort of. You're trying, at least. Then, the CRITICAL SCENE COMES. In front of the weeping MISS DORSET and her BORED-LOOKING MOTHER, as well as MISS YORKSHIRE, your DARLING FRIENDS, and REVEREND DEVON, you must now commence your FATAL DUEL with LORD MIDDLESEX.

 

You cry out:

>"For my darling love, Miss Dorset. I shoot MY WEAPON for thee!"

>"For Reverend Devon! For my heart's cry for thee can be silenced no more save for the CRACK of my WEAPON."

>"For GOD, ENGLAND, and VICTORIA!"

>"For EVIL!" before you RUN AWAY with LORD MIDDLESEX

 

YOU SELECTED: >"For my darling love, Miss Dorset. I shoot MY WEAPON for thee!"

 

You decide to stay on the SCRIPT and SHOOT for the lovely MISS DORSET. But-- Oh! LORD MIDDLESEX has drawn a KNIFE! He has STABBED YOU. You STAGGER, WOUNDED in LOVE and in BODY. Literally, in BODY. You're so EXHAUSTED you can barely keep your EYES open. 

"Hnnnggahhh," you say instead of your DYING MONOLOGUE.

And you FAINT, again.

....

 

VICTORIANNESS INCREASES

 

You AWAKEN only MINUTES later in IRVING'S arms, with TOM HARTNELL rapidly fanning you with his LOVELY, LACEY FOLDING FAN. GOODSIR is also there, holding up SALTS to REVIVE you. He also looks INCREDIBLY WORRIED. However, the AUDIENCE is DELIGHTED at the sheer DRAMA of your now-legendary DEATH SCENE.

You have to reassure someone, so you first speak to:

>Irving

>Hartnell

>Goodsir

>Terrance

 

YOU SELECTED: >Irving

 

You TIREDLY smile at IRVING and ASSURE him that you're ALRIGHT. He seems enormously RELIEVED and hides the fact that he is STROKING your HAIR away from PRYING EYES. However, GOODSIR looks a little bit DISTRESSED at what's taken place. Oh dear.

 

IRVING RELATIONSHIP +1

GOODSIR RELATIONSHIP -1

 

ACHIEVEMENT EARNED: I’d Like to Thank the Admiralty - Pull off an amazing performance

 


 

Bird Lord:

You turn your ATTENTION now to GOODSIR, who is putting his MEDICAL SUPPLIES away. You REASSURE him that you are FINE and THANK HIM for CARING. He SMILES at you and seems to be UNDERSTANDING. While you still feel that he is a little bit WORRIED about something, you think you will have a chance to TALK about this LATER.

For now, however, you need to GREET your ADORING PUBLIC, and maybe TAKE A NAP.

 

Player 15:

(show goodsir our fascinating wart)

 

Bird Lord:

Would you like to NAME your WART?

You decide to name it:

>Lester

>Johnson

>Sir Warter Scott

>Oscar

 

YOU SELECTED: >Sir Warter Scott

 

Your have NAMED your WART: SIR WARTER SCOTT. Congratulations!

Your INVENTORY has been UPDATED.

- Sailor’s certificate

- A dull knife

- Grandpa’s old clay pipe

- Threadbare sweater

- Mudsplattered trousers

- Nice boots

- A stolen hat

- Terrance the Crab (Chosen One)

- Mittens for Terrance

- Crab-sized paintbrush

- An abstract watercolour of a hat

- Top hat for Terrance

- Potato

- Gross health tonic

- A wart, Sir Warter Scott

 

Rat Tokens: 5

Mushrooms: 1

Neptune’s Blessings: 2

 

BIRDBOT SAYS: At ANY TIME you may INTERACT with the INVENTORY.

You may also CHECK STATS, SEE RELATIONSHIPS, and CHECK ACHIEVEMENTS.

You can also LEARN A FUN FACT, brought to you by BIRDBOT.

 

Player 16:

learn a fun fact

 

Bird Lord:

FUN FACT: A single cloud can weight more than 1 million pounds.

 

Chapter Text

Bird Lord:

You are now in the EREBUS GALLEY for a sort of CAST PARTY. It is VERY FESTIVE and you have a FEW OPTIONS. You are feeling WELL ENOUGH that you can do a few things without DAMAGING HEALTH. You can:

 - MEET PEOPLE

 - EXPLORE EREBUS

 - EAT 

 - NAP

 

YOU SELECTED:  - EAT 

 

You decide to get a little FOOD IN YOU. Good idea! In front of you is a TABLE with some HALFWAY DECENT STUFF. There is a CHOCOLATE CAKE, some BISCUITS, a FRUIT PIE, a STARGAZY PIE, and a single APPLE. What do you choose?

 - CHOCOLATE CAKE

 - BISCUITS

 - FRUIT PIE

 - STARGAZY PIE

 - APPLE

 

YOU SELECTED: - APPLE

 

You decide to eat the APPLE. Your HEALTH IMPROVES. An APPLE a DAY, they say!

 

You now can

 - MEET PEOPLE

 - EXPLORE EREBUS

 - NAP

 

YOU SELECTED: - MEET PEOPLE

EVERYONE is available to meet. Who would you like to meet?

 

You can meet:

 - GOODSIR

 - IRVING

 - STANLEY

 - LE VESCONTE

 - HARTNELLS

 - JACKO

 

YOU SELECTED: - GOODSIR

RUNNER UP: - JACKO

 

In your MOMENT of INDECISION, you notice TERRANCE is now the CENTER of the PARTY. Good for him!

 

Player 3:

pet jacko and then go see goodsir

 

Bird Lord:

You may only meet ONE PERSON/ANIMAL before returning to TERROR.

 

You decide to go see GOODSIR in the SICK BAY. One man has already DRANK TOO MUCH even though it's only been a HALF AN HOUR. JOHN HARTNELL is in the SICK BAY as well, although he simply looks TIRED. GOODSIR greets you WARMLY and asks how you are FEELING after your last DRAMATIC FAINTING SPELL. You tell him:

>You're feeling alright, and you just wanted to see him and thank him personally for helping you.

>You're still feeling a little dizzy. Does he have something to help with that?

>This WART. It VEXES you. It CONTROLS your DREAMS.

>(Screech loud enough to wake the ill and point at Sir Warter Scott)

 

YOU SELECTED: >This WART. It VEXES you. It CONTROLS your DREAMS.

 

You respond by TAKING OFF your disgusting SWEATY MAN SOCKS and showing him SIR WARTER SCOTT, your HORRIBLE WART. Actually, it isn't so bad, but you swear that it SPEAKS into your DREAMS. GOODSIR, maybe a little put-out by your response still LOOKS at SIR WARTER SCOTT before declaring that it isn't so bad. If it gets much worse, he can REMOVE IT.

 

NO RELATIONSHIP CHANGES

 

Player 16:

is terrance riding around on our shoulder

or is he still the star of the cast party

 

Bird Lord:

TERRANCE is currently the STAR of the CAST PARTY. He is busy doing the CONGA to a JAUNTY IRISH FIDDLE TUNE.

 

Player 7:

Can we please tell Goodsir that he's amazing and that we appreciate his concern about us greatly?

 

Bird Lord:

Your FRIENDLINESS allows you to REASSURE GOODSIR that he is a WONDERFUL MEDICAL PROFESSIONAL and that are you are feeling JUST FINE. You share a LONG LOOK with this SWEET MAN. In the corner, JOHN HARTNELL SNEEZES so HARD that he hits his HEAD off the WALL. He blesses himself.

 

Player 14:

ASK IF HE WILL BE TERRENCE'S GODFATHER

 

Bird Lord:

TERRANCE already has SEVERAL GODFATHERS, of which HARRY GOODSIR is ONE. He adores TERRANCE already and may be working on a SECRET CRAB PROJECT.

 

Your RELATIONSHIP with GOODSIR tenuously CONFIRMED, you decide to go retrieve TERRANCE and head back with the CREW to TERROR. You find TERRANCE in the midst of a sort of TERRANCE-THEMED PARTY, and he now has ANOTHER small CRAB-SIZED HAT. It is CONICAL and STRIPED. Who on earth made such a thing? Either way, it looks VERY NICE.

 


 

Bird Lord:

It's time to march back to TERROR. It's a little bit of a way back, and you can WALK with SOMEONE. Your choices are:

>Irving

>Jopson

>Hickey

>Torrington

Or:

>Someone else

 

YOU SELECTED: >Irving

 

You decide to WALK back across the ICE with IRVING. He seems HAPPY to WALK with you. However, you notice he is still NERVOUS about SOMETHING. He covers this up by asking how you are FEELING. You reply that:

>You're absolutely fine. Never felt better!

>It would be better if someone carried you back to ship.

>Everything is okay except this horrible, horrible nightmare wart.

>MIRROR CARD. How are you, Irving?

 

YOU SELECTED: >MIRROR CARD. How are you, Irving?

 

Aha! You have him in a PATENTED VICTORIAN POLITENESS TRAP. You ask him how HE is and he cannot help but to REPLY. MANNERS demand it! 

 

He tries a few ANSWERS before quietly saying that he was very WORRIED about your HEALTH and thought the WORST when you FAINTED (he may have thought that TERRANCE went too FAR in his ROLE). You NOTICE that he is deliberately talking his way around the EVENTS of LAST NIGHT. Do you bring them up?

 

YES or NO

 

YOU SELECTED: YES

 

Player 14:

i vote for, bring them up tactfully

 

Bird Lord:

It's difficult to find a good way to bring it up, but you ASK him about the KISS. You are TACTFUL and keep your VOICE DOWN so that the other men don't OVERHEAR. Even though it is VERY DARK, IRVING is already starting to turn a MAGNIFICENT COLOUR. 

"I wasn't sure if you did that because of..." He trails off and points to his OWN HEAD. You think this is a suggestion about how your EGGS were SCRAMBLED LAST NIGHT. But he does seem HOPEFUL, if not a bit CONFLICTED. You decide to tell him that you did it because:

>You honestly feel something for him and it was not because of scrambled eggs.

>Your eggs were over-easy and you might not be sure of your feelings.

>You poached the egg and only did it to see what would happen. You don't like him that much.

>HARDBOIL ME, IRVING.

 

YOU SELECTED: >You honestly feel something for him and it was not because of scrambled eggs.

 

You tell him that you actually DO FEEL SOMETHING toward him, even if you aren't SURE what it is. You have only been away from HOME a FEW MONTHS, so it's hard to say. Even so, he NODS to HIMSELF, but still looks CONFLICTED. "I have to think about this," he says. Then, "I have to pray, too."

You think that's PRETTY ALRIGHT because no DIVINE LIGHTNING has struck you YET. You mutually AGREE to spend a little TIME CONSIDERING THIS. Healthy relationships, ahoy!

 

And with that, you reach the TERROR.

 

IRVING RELATIONSHIP +1

CHARM INCREASED

HAPPINESS INCREASED

 

You can now:

 - USE DIARY (BUILDS ROBERT'S BACKGROUND AND PERSONALITY)

 - PROCEED TO THE NEXT EVENT

 - ADMIRE A BIRD

 

YOU SELECTED: - USE DIARY (BUILDS ROBERT'S BACKGROUND AND PERSONALITY)

 

You can:

 - Create ROBERT FUCKS' Navy history

 - Create ROBERT FUCKS' hobbies

 - Narrow down his BIRTHDAY

 

YOU SELECTED:  - Create ROBERT FUCKS' Navy history

 

ROBERT FUCKS' first introduction to the NAVY was:

>Being born on a ship. He's known nothing but the sea since infancy. The taste of sea salt was in his first breath. Legend says that when he cried, the whales cried with him.

>His father, and his father before him, and the one before him, all the way back to when the first land mammal found a way to float in water. It's a FUCKS' FAMILY TRADITION.

>He just signed up one day. He didn't know anything about it before then other than what he had heard in stories. Not all of those stories were good.

>Poor, destitute, eating fish heads out of the garbage - ROBERT FUCKS joined the Navy out of desperation. It was this or MORE FISH HEADS.

 

YOU SELECTED: >Poor, destitute, eating fish heads out of the garbage - ROBERT FUCKS joined the Navy out of desperation. It was this or MORE FISH HEADS.

 

Player 1:

I can’t decide between proletariat Robert Fucks or born of the sea Robert Fucks but proletarirat has won the vote

 

Player 6:

why not both

 

Player 2:

Oh ywah both

Oh oh

Born on a immigrant ship?

 

Player 17:

(german but they messed his name up)

 

Player 16:

MSDLKFJSDF ROBERT FUCHS

 

Bird Lord:

Born at SEA on an IMMIGRANT SHIP, future PROLETARIAT HERO, ROBERT FUCKS rose above his LOWLY STATION as PROFESSIONAL FISH HEAD EATER to eat things like GROSS CANNED FOOD and HARDTACK.

 

ROBERT'S opinion of the NAVY is:

>He enjoys it. Freedom! The sea! Jellied EELS! What's not to love?

>He only likes it because it gets him away from his Dark and Mysterious past. The further he is from shore and the shore of his memories, the better!

>If he had a choice, he'd be out YESTERDAY. It's horrible!

>BOYS

 

YOU SELECTED: >BOYS

RUNNER UP: >He enjoys it. Freedom! The sea! Jellied EELS! What's not to love?

 

If you have a taste for MUTTONCHOPS and GELLED MEAT, the NAVY is for you! Turns out, ROBERT FUCKS likes both of those things! The NAVY was practically MADE FOR HIM!

 

Finally, before he closes the DIARY FOR TODAY, one last question! If ROBERT could describe himself, he'd say he was PHYSICALLY:

>A sweet, sweet side of roast beef. He kisses those biceps every morning and his thighs are insured by the Crown, they say. When he flexes, there's a seismic tremor.

>A lithe, willowy youth that would enchant Byron himself. Is he consumptive? Mayhaps. But when he sleeps, he is compared with the lovely Endymion!

>Soft at the edges and a little bit fuzzy. Future people might describe him as perhaps an otter. For now, he thinks he just looks like a big ol' soft friend. Like a capybara!

>The great unknowable void. How dare you even consider his form?

 

YOU SELECTED: >A lithe, willowy youth that would enchant Byron himself. Is he consumptive? Mayhaps. But when he sleeps, he is compared with the lovely Endymion! and >Soft at the edges and a little bit fuzzy. Future people might describe him as perhaps an otter. For now, he thinks he just looks like a big ol' soft friend. Like a capybara!

 

Player 17:

toddbot twunkscale Robert E. Fucks

 

ToddBot:

Robert e. fucks is a hunkish twink.

 

Bird Lord:

ALL in FAVOR of ROBERT E. FUCKS being a TWUNK?

YES or NO

 

YOU SELECTED: YES

 

IT IS SETTLED

 

ROBERT FUCKS closes up his DIARY for the EVENING. Onto a NEW DAY!

Chapter Text

Bird Lord:

It's been about a WEEK since the BIG PLAY and you are now somewhat of a LOCAL CELEBRITY. That's easy to do, considering there are only 129 OF YOU. Since then, you and TERRANCE are the TOAST of nearly every single RUM RATION. Wherever you SIT there is bound to be a CROWD. However, PEGLAR is still not letting you WIN at CARDS. The life of a celebrity is so difficult sometimes. 

IRVING still hasn't responded in FULL about your SECRET RELATIONSHIP, but he is still being very FRIENDLY, so you know you're on GOOD TERMS. Also, TORRINGTON had to go to the SICK BAY yesterday for a PRETTY BAD COLD. And, SIR WARTER SCOTT has GROWN a little bit more since the PLAY. Lastly, your BIRTHDAY is coming up! Huzzah!

 

So, what are you looking to do today?

 - MEET PEOPLE

 - EXPLORE TERROR

 - RECREATION (today's recreation is CARD GAME, SINGING, and THROW ROCK IN BUCKET)

 - NAP

 

YOU SELECTED:  - EXPLORE TERROR

 

Player 7:

Can we nap if it's with Irving?

Can we maybe like.

Eat something

So we won't faint again 3 times a day

 

Bird Lord:

If you EXPLORE, you can go to the KITCHEN.

Your choices in exploring are: DECK, GALLEY, KITCHEN, ORLOP, or HOLD.

 

Player 7:

Kitchen

 

Bird Lord:

You go to the KITCHEN to see if anything's available. You're in LUCK! MISTER WALL is getting EXPERIMENTAL with some PIES. He's trying to come up with ways to make his PIES more PORTABLE for the HIKES some people are doing on BEECHEY ISLAND. He asks if you would like to try his:

 - APPLE PIE

 - MEAT PIE

 - STARGAZY PIE

or

 - MYSTERY PIE

 

YOU SELECTED: - APPLE PIE

 

As you go for the SAFE-LOOKING APPLE PIE, you see RATS appear in the corner of your EYE to quietly STEAL THE MYSTERY PIE. Maybe it was for the BEST that you didn't EAT IT. Or maybe you should have...?

You thank MISTER WALL for his PIE. It's surprisingly GREAT! Your HEALTH IMPROVES!

 

Player 13:

:< mystery pie

 

Player 18:

prolly chock fulla rat tokens, that pie :<<<

 

Bird Lord:

There was perhaps a RAT TOKEN in that PIE. Now you will NEVER KNOW.

 

You can now:

- MEET PEOPLE

- KEEP EXPLORING

- RECREATION (CARDS, SINGING, STONE IN BUCKET)

- NAP

 

YOU SELECTED: - MEET PEOPLE

 

Who would you like to meet today?

 

Player 16:

jopson

gotta make friends w DAD 

 

Bird Lord:

You decide to look for JOPSON. He's not hard to FIND, as he is currently WASHING PLATES not too far from where you were EATING PIE. Has he been there the WHOLE TIME? You GREET him and he SMILES at you. You decide to:

>Ask how he's doing! A nice, wholesome way to start any conversation.

>Ask him how Crozier is doing. The way to a captain is through his steward, you think!

>Tell him how nice he looks there, with those suds on his handsome, muscular arms, his dexterous fingers working out those little food stains from the rich people on board. Oof.

>Ask him if he wants to see your Wart.

 

YOU SELECTED:  >Ask how he's doing! A nice, wholesome way to start any conversation.

 

You're POLITE and ask him how he's doing! Your FRIENDLINESS goes UP! He tells you he is doing VERY WELL, THANK YOU and says he has been BUSY with all of the MEETINGS they are having about their WINTER QUARTERS. But he doesn't want to BORE YOU with those DETAILS, so he asks about you! Are you FEELING BETTER? You say:

>"Quite so, old chap!"

>"I have a ways to go, but thank you for asking!"

>"Now that you're here, yes."

>"The WART. How it VEXES me. Sometimes I smell the rain and taste the sweet, giving earth. He KNOWS, Jopson. He sees into your THOUGHTS."

 

YOU SELECTED: >"I have a ways to go, but thank you for asking!"

 

You say that you're GETTING BETTER but sometimes still have a CASE of the VAPOURS. He is very SYMPATHETIC and looks somewhat ADORABLE when he says that he hopes for the BEST for you. It's ALL very KIND and NICE.

 

JOPSON RELATIONSHIP +1

 

You have the FEELING that the more JOPSON TRUSTS YOU, the EASIER it will be to get into CROZIER'S CIRCLE.

You can STAY and TALK to JOPSON, or you can do SOMETHING ELSE.

 

Stay or Leave

 

YOU SELECTED: S tay

 

You decide to STAY with JOPSON. You work your way through some SMALL TALK (you learn that he had to STOP NEPTUNE from CHASING A SEAL yesterday, and that they take DAILY WALKS when the WEATHER is GOOD which might be something you're INTERESTED IN, and that HODGSON almost choked on a CHICKEN BONE yesterday). Then, you ask about:

>Jopson himself. His life, his thoughts, whatever! You're just interested!

>Crozier! You'd like to know your Captain better.

>The gossip! You hear a lot as an AB, but Jopson hears more.

>Neptune! Who wouldn't want to know more about him?

 

YOU SELECTED: >The gossip! You hear a lot as an AB, but Jopson hears more.

 

You think you're CLOSE ENOUGH with JOPSON to ask about the GOSSIP. Of course, you're PROPER VICTORIANS, so you don't call it that, but he GETS IT. He tells you that LIEUTENANT IRVING has been acting a little bit JUMPY lately and no one knows WHY. CROZIER and FITZJAMES aren't on a SPEAKING BASIS right now, and there's SOME IDEA WHY. Someone on EREBUS convinced SIR JOHN that an AB'S real name was BETTY and now it's TOO LATE to tell him OTHERWISE because he's CONVINCED. And there is already a GHOST STORY coming from the PEOPLE who work down in the HOLD sometimes. 

 

Wow! There is a LOT going on!

 

You would like more information about:

>Irving

>The Captains

>Betty

>The ghost story

 

YOU SELECTED: >Betty

 

Also, you FEEL that you have enough FRIENDSHIP with JOPSON that you can get WEEKLY GOSSIP from him now. How HANDY is that?

You are HORRIBLY CURIOUS about this mysterious BETTY. 

 

JOPSON tells you that an UNKNOWN but MISCHIEVOUS AB told SIR JOHN that BILLY ORREN'S real name was BETTY. He apparently said it SO SERIOUSLY and with such GREAT ENTHUSIASM that SIR JOHN BELIEVED IT. Now everyone is calling ORREN BETTY and he cannot get them to STOP. This is apparently GREAT FUN for one MISTER COLLINS.

 

You can ask about ONE MORE GOSSIP ARTICLE before JOPSON has to get BACK to WORK.

You ask about:

>Irving

>The Captains

>Ghost story

>On second thought, more about Sir John.

 

YOU SELECTED: >On second thought, more about Sir John.

 

[After a stressful discussion about wanting to fuck Sir John and why we shouldn’t]

 

You, a KNOWN FREAK, ask about SIR JOHN. JOPSON admits he doesn't know much about the AGED GENTLEMAN who you PROBABLY SHOULDN'T DO ANYTHING WITH because it isn't RELEVANT, you absolute ANIMALS. However, he does CONFIDE that SIR JOHN has been a bit PEEVED with CROZIER lately due to the latter's ABSENCE FROM EREBUS DINNERS. Goodness, what SCANDAL!

You get the FEELING that if you EXIT THE SHIP to go to SIR JOHN, an unseasonable BIRD is going to fly out of NOWHERE and PECK YOU TO DEATH.

However, as all good things must, JOPSON has to go back to WORK. You THANK HIM for the CONVERSATION and he replies that he had the BEST POSSIBLE TIME WASHING DISHES as anyone COULD. You think that's a COMPLIMENT. You also establish enough of a GOOD IMPRESSION that JOPSON tells CROZIER.

 

JOPSON RELATIONSHIP +1

CROZIER RELATIONSHIP +1

 

Bird Lord:

Jopson gets back to work darning socks or polishing epaulettes or whatever it is he does, leaving you a little more time to enjoy yourself before you have to go back to holystoning the deck or whatever it is that you do since you're not sailing at the moment. You decide you'd like to:

- MEET PEOPLE

- EXPLORE TERROR

- RECREATION

- NAP

 

YOU SELECTED: - EXPLORE TERROR

 

You can explore Terror by going to the DECK, the KITCHEN, the ORLOP, or the HOLD. Where would you like to go?

 

YOU SELECTED: O RLOP

RUNNER UP: D ECK

 

You go up to the DECK. It is, predictably, very cold, but the weather's holding steady and the wind isn't too bad. You think it's sort of relaxing up here! There are some men working at different spots on deck, including HICKEY, caulking something with his incredibly professional caulking motions, as well as LIEUTENANT LITTLE and LIEUTENANT HODGSON discussing something by the mizzenmast, and MISTER BLANKY who is admiring a piece of ice that is taking on an... interesting shape on the icefield. 

 

Who would you like to talk to?

 

Player 6:

blanky

 

You choose to speak to Blanky who you haven't had a chance to talk to since the first day's muster. However, he did wink at you, so you think he might either be fond of you already, or maybe he had a muscle spasm. Either way, ice mastery must be a much cooler (hah) job than being an AB, and he seems like an authentically interesting person.

 

He's currently leaning over the gunwale, pipe in his mouth, looking at a very... phallic piece of ice. The sea ice is now starting to make interesting shapes, and this one fits the criteria pretty well. You walk up to him and peer at it. You decide to:

>Make an immature joke about the phallic ice.

>Introduce yourself nice and properly. He's still your superior officer. So is literally everyone else, but still.

>Ask him what the hell an ice master does anyway.

>Point out the ice chunk that looks like your Wart.

 

YOU SELECTED: >Make an immature joke about the phallic ice.

 

Instead of speaking right out loud, you reach down and gather up a snowball before hurling it over the edge of the gunwale where it hits the spot above the phallic ice chunk perfectly. For a moment, the two of you look at it like expert ice appraisers. The form, the symbolism, the fact that it's ejaculatory--

Blanky laughs so hard you think he's going to pull a muscle.

 

BLANKY RELATIONSHIP +1

 

Still laughing, Blanky asks, "What's your name, lad?"

 

You respond that your name is ROBERT FUCKS, and he says that it's a good, strong name. You shake hands formally, and you feel like his grip could wrench your hand right off your wrist. It's awesome. He says he's seen you working before and thought your performance in the play was, in his words, "Anythin' but bollocks," which you take as a high compliment. 

 

You decide to:

>Smoke with him at the gunwale like the two salty sailors you are. Maybe philosophise. Talk about... the sea, or something.

>Make another joke about phalluses. 

>Ask him what he's doing up here by himself, alone, on a Friday night.

>Go back downstairs where it's warm, you lunatic.

 

YOU SELECTED: >Smoke with him at the gunwale like the two salty sailors you are. Maybe philosophise. Talk about... the sea, or something.

 

You get out your trusty GRANDFATHER'S PIPE, but alas, you've forgotten your tobacco bag! What kind of sailor are you? (One who doesn't smoke, apparently.) It's all good, though. It turns out Blanky has enough for both of you, and then some! He offers you enough to fill yours and compliments the clay bowl of the pipe. That feels like a compliment to you, too, somehow!

 

After lighting it, the two of you stand and look out at the icefield and the black silhouette of Beechey Island. It's pretty nice, aside from everything looking the same. The Arctic's not much for landscape scenery, but Blanky fills the great, yawning frozen void with conversation. He asks about your time in the Navy (fish heads and all) and talks about his own time at sea (you think he was a pirate but he's not telling you). All in all, the two of you have a very enjoyable time.

 

BLANKY RELATIONSHIP +1

VICTORIANNESS INCREASES

AESTHETIC INCREASES

 

Blanky eventually encourages you to go somewhere warmer with a kind, "Oh, come on now, lad. It doesn't take no ice master to see you're freezin'!", which you appreciate. You can still:

- MEET PEOPLE

- EXPLORE TERROR

- RECREATION

- NAP

 

YOU SELECTED: - NAP

 

[Two people use the Franklin emoji to attempt to do something with Sir John]

 

You still feel like there's an unholy bird out there, waiting for you. Watching.

 

If you decide to NAP, the BIRDBOT will probably also take a NAP, too.

However, tomorrow is IRVING SUNDAY which is a HOLY DAY.

Would you like to SAVE?

 

Player 18:

SAVE GAME

and then, right before exiting, SAVE AGAIN out of reflexive paranoia

 

Bird Lord:

You have SAVED YOUR GAME. 

You have SAVED YOUR GAME AGAIN.

 

Player 13: 

Save a third time to be sure

 

Player 16:

wait 

did we save

 

Bird Lord:

You SAVE YOUR GAME SO HARD THAT IT'S CARVED INTO STONE LIKE A CUNEIFORM TABLET.

 

You dream about Sir Warter Scott.

You take a well-earned nap which ends up turning into a very deep sleep. Throughout the night, your dreams are a little bit strange. At one point, you dream that Captain Crozier is rowing a tiny boat across a little strait of water in between ice floes, carrying a reindeer wearing a wig the likes of which haven't been seen since the French Revolution. In another, you dream that someone has filled your boots with meat from the Goldner's cans and the captain is telling you to wear them. In the last dream you can remember, your are a puppet with your actions controlled by many unseen hands, and voices demanding strange and horrible things of you. From the latter dream, you wake up in a cold sweat. 

Chapter Text

Bird Lord:

You wake to the bosun's whistle, letting you know that today is a new day and you have work to do. You head to breakfast, looking about for your place to sit. There are a few seats open, and you choose to sit with:

- HICKEY

- PEGLAR

- TORRINGTON

- SOMEONE NEW

 

YOU SELECTED: - PEGLAR

 

You decide to sit with Peglar. Good choice! He's very happy to see you and even offers you half of his biscuit! How kind!

It turns out that Peglar is another good source of gossip, although not to the extent of Jopson. People seem to naturally trust Peglar, possibly accounting for the fact that he's so friendly. Apparently, this means that they also trust him with some secrets. In your morning chat, he brings up a few things that you find interesting. 

He tells you that there is going to be an officers' meeting later this afternoon over something that is apparently serious. He also tells you that rumour has it that Fitzjames is already planning another event for next month in order to keep morale up. There is also another rumour about the Terror's own crew planning something special soon! Finally, there's still that ghost story coming up. He wonders if you believe in ghosts, too!

 

You ask about:

- The officers' meeting

- Fitzjames' event

- The secret event that the crew is planning

- The ghost story

 

YOU SELECTED: - The officers' meeting

 

Player 14:

OH HAVE WE DELIVERED BRIDGENS MESSAGE

 

Bird Lord:

While talking to Peglar and thinking about the gossip you want to hear, you tell Peglar that you've met with Bridgens on Erebus and that he sends his:

- Kind regards!

- Love

- Invitation to duel

- Loathing

 

YOU SELECTED: - Love

 

He sends his love! Peglar immediately blushes and stares down at his breakfast, smiling like it's personally asked him to marry it. He tries a few different sentences in vain before he finally thanks you.

Multiple times.

 

BRIDGENS RELATIONSHIP +1

PEGLAR RELATIONSHIP +1

 

While you feel like you probably can't get romantic with Bridgens or Peglar (perish the thought!), you think that a friendship with these two would be very valuable and wholesome. You're probably right.

Back to gossip, though! You, ROBERT FUCKS, have an ear for that kind of thing! You ask about the officers' meeting.

Peglar tells you that he heard from Jopson that the officers of Terror are meeting in the afternoon over rumours of illness. There might also be a disciplinary matter already. You haven't been out of England that long!

 

Unfortunately, a sailor's life is made out of two things: hard work and utter boredom. It's time for the hard work portion of your job, which today involves keeping watch for an hour, followed by more washing. Seriously, these are the filthiest men you've ever met. Why do you even have to wash their stuff? Gross.

You do have the option to work by someone today, especially when you're mending holes and fixing hems. You're surprisingly good at that. Today you can work by:

- Hickey

- Torrington

- Jopson

- Tozer

 

YOU SELECTED: - Jopson

 

Jopson appears to be doing something similar with a pair of trousers, eagerly concentrating on his mending while a particularly talented AB keeps all of you entertained with a fantastic fiddle solo. You decide to keep Jopson company and strike up another conversation.

 

After happily greeting you and saying you're more than welcome to sit with him, you decide to:

>Ask after him personally. How is he doing?

>Ask about the officers' meeting. It's forward, but you think you're on a friendly enough basis to ask.

>Tell him that you admire his sewing skills.

>Tell him that his sewing skills are terrible and that he'll never make it in the fashion world.

YOU SELECTED: >Ask about the officers' meeting. It's forward, but you think you're on a friendly enough basis to ask.

 

You go ahead and ask about the officers' meeting. It's all anyone can talk about as it is, so it's not like you're asking him to divulge trade secrets. He laughs and says he's been asked about it a few times today, but he trusts you enough to tell you what it's actually about, provided you don't go running off to tell everyone else. 

From what he knows, the officers are going to be talking about an illness that has been noticed on the Terror. It's apparently starting to worry MacDonald and Peddie, and they're going to discuss the possibility of a mandatory health check soon. As for the disciplinary issue, it's apparently not anything deserving a lashing, but instead a conversation. Unfortunately, Jopson doesn't know who the subject of the issue is, but he thinks it's another officer and not a member of the crew. If it was, he says, it would be dealt with by the boatswain and a lieutenant.

That's as much as he knows at the moment. It gives you quite a bit to think about.

 

Jopson is called away, presumably to start getting things prepared for the meeting. You finish up your duties and are now left with the rest of the day to do what you'd like. You can:

- MEET SOMEONE (all OFFICERS are unavailable, except PETTY OFFICERS)

- EXPLORE

- RECREATION 

- NAP

 

YOU SELECTED: - MEET SOMEONE (all OFFICERS are unavailable, except PETTY OFFICERS)

 

UPDATE:

You may now use commands like:

OPEN INVENTORY

OPEN STATS

SEE AVAILABLE PEOPLE

SEE RECREATION OPTIONS

SEE EXPLORATION OPTIONS

 

Player 18:

STATS PLS

 

Bird Lord:

STATS ARE:

Fortitude: II

Victorianness: IIIII

Charity: I

Self Worth: I

Health: IIIII

Charm: IIII

Aesthetic: IIII

Happiness: III

Crabbiness: II

Sneakiness: II

Christian Pleasures: I

Friendliness: III

 

Player 5:

Whonis available?

 

Bird Lord:

Your AVAILABLE PEOPLE ARE:

-JOHN TORRINGTON

-HENRY PEGLAR

-ALL MARINES

-CORNELIUS HICKEY

 

Player 14:

recreation options

 

Bird Lord:

Your RECREATION OPTIONS ARE:

-CARDS WITH PEGLAR

-SING WITH FRIENDS

-THROW STONE IN BUCKET

 

Would you like to RECAST VOTES?

 

Player 16:

recast votes!

 

Bird Lord:

- MEET SOMEONE (all OFFICERS are unavailable, except PETTY OFFICERS)

- EXPLORE

- RECREATION 

- NAP

 

YOU SELECTED: - RECREATION 

 

You decide to vent a little steam by going to do some good ol' fashioned recreation. Today, you can:

- Play cards with Peglar (chance at ITEM)

- Sing with friends (increase CHRISTIAN PLEASURES)

- Throw rocks in a bucket (increase FORTITUDE)

 

YOU SELECTED: - Throw rocks in a bucket (increase FORTITUDE)

 

You go play everyone's favorite family-friendly game: THROW STONES IN A BUCKET

Today, your opponent is...

 

SOLOMON TOZER

 

You get FIVE CHANCES to land the stone in the bucket. Best out of 5 WINS THE MATCH. You will receive an increase in FORTITUDE as well as a RELATIONSHIP boost as your opponent will respect your MASSIVE GUNS and HAWK EYES.

(In order to play, you must finish the SENTENCE with the appropriate EMOJI REACTION. At least until I figure out another way to do this.)

 

R OUND 1: A __ in sheep's clothing.

YOU RESPONDED: WOLF x9

PERFECT LANDING! 

 

FUCKS: 1

TOZER: 1

 

ROUND 2: A __ in the hand is worth two in the bush.

YOU RESPONDED: BIRD x9

PERFECT!

 

FUCKS: 2

TOZER: 2

 

ROUND 3: The tortoise and the __.

YOU RESPONDED: HARE x8

PERFECT!

TOZER MISSES!

 

FUCKS: 3

TOZER: 2

 

ROUND 4: Let's get this __.

YOU RESPONDED: BREAD x6

PERFECT!

 

FUCKS: 4

TOZER: 3

 

ROUND 5: Your opponent is an absolute _ .

(Three possible answers: ;D)

YOU RESPONDED: UNIT x2 

 

P E R F E C T    S C O R E

 

You have proven your FORTITUDE and your ABSOLUTE BADASSERY on the court of the BUCKET. Future sailors will come here and tell tales of you.

 

Your FORTITUDE has INCREASED.

TOZER RELATIONSHIP +1

 


 

Bird Lord:

Still slightly high off the vapours of your sweet, sweet victory, you go back to the galley. However, it sounds like there are some raised voices coming from the wardroom. Uh oh.

 

However, there's not much you can do about that. You still have some time to spend to yourself, so you:

- MEET SOMEONE (all OFFICERS unavailable, except PETTY OFFICERS)

- EXPLORE

- RECREATION

- NAP

 

YOU SELECTED: - MEET SOMEONE (all OFFICERS unavailable, except PETTY OFFICERS)

 

Who would you like to meet with?

 

Player 10:

My boy Jorrington

 

Bird Lord:

Would you like to meet with:

- Hickey

- Torrington

- Tozer

- Someone new

 

YOU SELECTED: - Hickey

 

In your indecision, you look at TERRANCE. Hello, Terrance!

He is currently eating something questionable, but he looks like he's having the time of his life in the Crab Castle. You wonder what life as a royal must be like.

 

You decide to forego Torrington and his horrible pastiness and general air of illness that may or may not be the subject of current conversation, and instead go to visit with Hickey. 

 

He's playing cards with some of your fellow ABs and seems to be sweeping them of all their riches (currently amounting to a button, a small pouch of tobacco, and a charming drawing of a turtle). He smiles at your approach and offers you a seat beside him. You take it and watch him play for a moment before you decide to:

>Ask if you can play, too.

>Ask what he knows about the meeting.

>Ask how he's been doing. 

>Tell his opponent that he's cheating.

 

YOU SELECTED: >Ask what he knows about the meeting.

 

You ask Hickey if he knows anything about the meeting. While discreetly shuffling a card out of his sleeve and winking at you, he says, "Probably no more than anyone else. Why?"

His opponent curses and takes another card from the deck.

You say that you're just curious, and Hickey offers you a smile that definitely suggests he knows more than he's letting on. After placing another card down, he says, "Depending on what you know, it seems like our good and upright Lieutenant Irving might be in some tepid water with command."

 

Tepid? 

 

"Not enough to be boiling. Just made some mistakes, s'what I've heard," Hickey replies. Another card down and he sweeps his glorious winnings to his side of the table while the AB groans and throws his cards down.

Oh dear. That doesn't sound good.

While you don't know very much about Hickey yet, you have a feeling that he's the sort of person you don't want to indulge too much personal information towards. However, your CHARM is high enough that you can play into his expectations, you think. You excuse yourself from the table, but give Hickey a sort of sly smile that you think he can understand. That is, the sort of smile you think that he'll think he understands. Apparently, you're right, as he gives you a mirror smile in return, tilts his head thoughtfully, and goes back to presumably cheating at another card game.

 

Meanwhile, you have someone you need to see.

Urgently.

 

As the meeting concludes, you think about your next course of action. You can:

>Find Irving immediately and talk to him.

>Find a way to pass a message along to Irving that you want to meet.

>Find and talk to Crozier.

>Talk to a different officer.

 

YOU SELECTED: >Find a way to pass a message along to Irving that you want to meet.

 

You find a piece of paper and a writing utensil and decide to come up with a message to pass on to Irving. You aren't sure if Hickey was right and it was, in fact, Irving who got into trouble. Hickey isn't completely trustworthy yet. You also aren't sure if he got in trouble because of you, or something completely different. You have to choose carefully how you're going to write this message.

>Straightforward. Something to the tune of, 'Come meet me so we can talk about what happened?' Get right to the point.

>Something unrelated. You're thinking of mentioning divine service or theology lessons, but perhaps you need to consider your level of CHRISTIAN PLEASURES.

>Something encoded. 'Meet the bird in the bush when the piemaker sells his wares,' or something. Get sneaky.

>A straight-up love letter. 'They can never understand our love!' you will declare. 'Meet me so we can run away into the frozen wastes!'

 

YOU SELECTED: >Something unrelated. You're thinking of mentioning divine service or theology lessons, but perhaps you need to consider your level of CHRISTIAN PLEASURES.

 

Do you want DIFFERENT VOTING OPTIONS?

 

Player 7:

Yes voting please 

 

Would you like EXTENDED OPTIONS or would you like to RESUME WITH RESULTS FROM THE LAST VOTE?

 

Extended options or Resume

 

YOU SELECTED: E xtended options

 

You rethink your approach to Irving, and the situation on a whole. After all, you're no officer and a story can change ten times as it leaves command and trickles down to you! You choose to:

>Find Irving directly. Just talk it out now with the meeting still fresh in his mind.

>Write him a note. Let him know you're thinking about him, even if you don't know the situation. You still want to meet, but you don't know if he's ready.

>Wait for him to come to you. If it's important, he'll tell you, right?

>Ignore all of it. You have better ways to spend your time and it's not like you're going anywhere right now. Besides, isn't it best to live a drama-free life while you're stuck here?

 

YOU SELECTED: >Write him a note. Let him know you're thinking about him, even if you don't know the situation. You still want to meet, but you don't know if he's ready.

 

You decide to write him the note you planned to write earlier. It's indirect and doesn't suggest you've been eavesdropping or passing along rumours. You even keep your address of him simple. No Dearest Irving-- or anything more than calling him Lieutenant. In your best 'I'm addressing my superior' sort of way, you ask when you'll next see him-- Divine Service or painting lessons? Finishing it up, you sign off as, --R. FUCKS. Perfect.

Now, how to deliver it to him?

 

>In-person. Better for it to be out of the hands of a middleman.

>Pass it to another officer to give to him. Maybe Hodgson or Little?

>Pass it on to someone like Peglar. He's not very high up in the hierarchy, but he still can reach the wardroom if needed.

>Pass it to Hickey. Idiot.

 

YOU SELECTED: >Pass it on to someone like Peglar. He's not very high up in the hierarchy, but he still can reach the wardroom if needed.

 

With more anxiety than the situation probably demands, you find Peglar in the Galley. You ask if there's any chance he can give the note to Irving. More than anything, you hope he understands why you can't give the note in-person, or why you're sending it in the first place. Judging by his smile, you're pretty sure he understands. In fact, he seems pleased that you trusted him so much! Good going!

He promises to pass it to Irving next time he gets a chance. With that, the note is out there, irretrievable. Now all you can do is wait.

 

You don't hear from either Peglar or Irving for the rest of the evening and into the night. This is somewhat understandable--Peglar works an opposite shift from you in the afternoon, and Irving is busy doing what ever it is that 3rd Lieutenants do. You try not to seem too tense throughout dinner, even though Hickey keeps giving you strange looks throughout. Finally, you go to your hammock to sleep.

 

Chapter Text

Bird Lord:

The next day is SATURDAY. You have one more day until Sir John Franklin holds a mandatory Divine Service for the entire crew. It's going to be one of the first mandatory services held for the beginning of the winter. Crozier holds his pretty well, even though you're sure his heart isn't fully in it. Still, you have a feeling you'll still prefer Crozier's service to Franklin's. 

There's still no word from Irving or Peglar throughout the morning as you work. Then, about an hour before your shift ends (and thank God for that; you hate peeling potatoes), Peglar finds you. He's smiling, which is good. And he has a note in his hands, which is... questionable. 

"Lieutenant Irving told me to pass this onto you," he says, handing it over. Sure enough, it's written in Irving's steady, even handwriting. It's rather short, and a little bit cryptic. Four words have been crossed out before he even wrote your name.

 

-------Robert,

I will be at Divine Service tomorrow morning, but I must go immediate after to meet with Commander Fitzjames on Erebus.

 

Two more words are crossed out before he signed his name, and then an interesting postscript.

 

Isaiah 30:21

[Whether you turn to the right or to the left, your ears will hear a voice behind you, saying, “This is the way; walk in it.”]

 

What could it mean?

 

Note in hand, you consider what to do now. You can possibly:

>Go find Irving and talk to him.

>Dispose of the note. It's not incriminating, but what if?

>Keep the note as a keepsake and go do something else.

>Hold the note to your chest and spin around like a happy maiden while everyone watches you and wonders what the hell is wrong with you.

 

YOU SELECTED: >Dispose of the note. It's not incriminating, but what if?

 

You decide to dispose of it, but how? There might be some consequences depending on how you do it. Or there might not be. Who knows?

>Burn it in the kitchen stove.

>Bury it in the snow.

>Rip it up into tiny pieces and throw it away.

>Eat it.

 

YOU SELECTED: >Eat it.

 

You decide to eat it, but your SNEAKINESS demands you do it out of sight so no one sees you scarfing down a piece of paper like an animal. You rip up the paper into small squares and swallow it down. Probably not the best for your HEALTH, but hey, you've eaten way worse things in your lifetime! Remember all those fish heads!

Note safely disposed of and on its way to the poop... deck, you feel confident that no one can find out what the note said. Now onto your normal day, perhaps.

 

>MEET PEOPLE

>EXPLORE

>RECREATION 

>NAP

 

YOU SELECTED: >EXPLORE

 

Player 13:

aw man I actually did think the note would give us stats

 

Bird Lord:
SNEAKINESS +1?

 

You decide to explore. Your options are: 

Deck

Kitchen

Orlop

Hold

 

YOU SELECTED: H OLD

 

You choose to explore the HOLD. Because of the weather, it's getting pretty cold and damp down there. Still, there's no lack of interesting things to poke around in, including the yet unutilized chest of costumes that Crozier refused to donate to what he called, "Fitzjames' peacock promenade". The other high point of being an AB is that no one questions you going into the Hold, so that's nice!

You wrap up in your coat and pull your wig down over your ears before heading down. It seems like you're alone. There are also some interesting things to look at. You can look at:

>The dead room. Spooky!

>Costume chest. See what Crozier's hoarding to himself!

>Food stores. You might find something good in there, and no one will see you take it!

>The spooky corner that is extra dark and menacing and how come the lantern light doesn't seem to reach it?

 

YOU SELECTED:  >Costume chest. See what Crozier's hoarding to himself!

 

You go to the costume chest hidden in a corner of the hold, presumably placed there deliberately to be out of sight. Opening it, you find a chest full of treasure. Or, if your idea of treasure includes silk dresses, scarves, fancy masks, funny hats, and oil-based make-up material, then yes! Do you feel like dressing up?

>Hell yes! Make me gorgeous!

>Mmm, no. Someone might come down and see.

 

YOU SELECTED:  >Hell yes! Make me gorgeous!

 

Oh yeah, you're going to be absolutely stunning, yes you are! There are a few costume options available. You can be:

>The loveliest lady that the Terror ever did see. There's a lovely lilac-coloured dress, silk gloves, and a pair of shoes that will make your ass legs look great! 

>A sporting gentleman of the Highlands. Tartan, a smoking coat, and a top hat? Oh yeah, you're stylish and Scottish. Or at least, you hunt deer in Scotland.

>Royalty! There's a golden crown, a scepter, and a cape with your name on it! Everything the snow touches will be your kingdom!

>A bodily interpretation of the Battle of Trafalgar. Seriously. There's a tiny model of the HMS Victory in this box, and it's in hat form! How has no one noticed it yet?

 

YOU SELECTED:  >The loveliest lady that the Terror ever did see. There's a lovely lilac-coloured dress, silk gloves, and a pair of shoes that will make your ass legs look great! 

 

The days are short and your life may ever be shorter. Why waste the hours by not looking amazing? That dress is going on you posthaste

Of course, it fits you like a glove! You lace yourself in and get those shoes on, and then admire your reflection. Those curves are dangerous, MISTER FUCKS! But wait, isn't something missing?

 

>A gorgeous wig!

>A gorgeous... face! (Who are you kidding? You're already gorgeous!)

>None of that! You already look amazing! No need to fix perfection!

 

YOU SELECTED: >None of that! You already look amazing! No need to fix perfection!

 

That's right! Your name is ROBERT FUCKS and future generations will see your daguerrotype and call you a BOMBSHELL. Your SELF WORTH goes up +2! Nice job!

You're admiring yourself in the tiny mirror when you hear FOOTSTEPS APPROACHING. Uh-oh. This could either go... meh, or it could go pretty badly. What are you going to do?!

>Pick up those skirts and HIDE!

>Get ready to make excuses. You're... working on another play?

>Try to get the dress off ASAP.

>Pretend to be a ghost.

 

YOU SELECTED: >Pretend to be a ghost.

 

Don't you remember? You're an actor! If you could play the hell out of Shropshire, you can definitely make a convincing ghost. Remember to come from your core, relax your shoulders, and scare the hell out of one of your darling crewmates. You hide behind a pile of crates and begin to wail in a very impressive falsetto. You say:

>"SPURN THEE WHO MURDERED MEEEE IN THIS FORSAKEN HOOOOLD!"

>"Ohhh, I died when my love went to seeaaaaa! I am trapped here foreverrrr!"

>"Mrs. Haversham killed meeeeee!"

>(Scream incomprehensibly and possibly in another language)

 

YOU SELECTED: >"SPURN THEE WHO MURDERED MEEEE IN THIS FORSAKEN HOOOOLD!" and >(Scream incomprehensibly and possibly in another language)

 

>You were MURDERED.

>You were GERMAN.

 

YOU SELECTED: >You were MURDERED.

 

"SPURN THEE WHO MURDERED MEEEE IN THIS FORSAKEN HOOOOLD!" you wail. For good measure, you rattle a nearby boat chain and sob with so much feeling that you're almost fairly convinced you actually are the ghost of a dead lady. Was it really a ghost in those stories, or were you the dead woman murdered in the hold all along?

You come around the corner just in time to hear the mysterious human interloper gasp, and then you see feet making quick work of those stairs. Looks like you succeeded. But are there going to be consequences?

Either way, you made it, you terrified the hell out of someone, and you look great.

 

SELF WORTH +1

VICTORIANNESS +1

 

Time to put your fabulous outfit away, unfortunately. Don't worry, the chest is always there when you need it! You have a little bit of time left before the evening ends. How are you spending it?

>MEET SOMEONE

>KEEP EXPLORING

>RECREATION

>NAP

 

YOU SELECTED: >MEET SOMEONE and >NAP

 

In your INDECISION, you notice another RAT dragging a PIE away. Huh. Weird.

 

Player 7:

FOLLOW THE RAT

 

Bird Lord:

You may be able to CATCH the RAT, or would you like to FOLLOW IT?

 

Player 16:

follow 

 

While still having plenty of time to meet or nap later, you decide to FOLLOW THAT RAT. The rat, not noticing that it's being followed, leads you back down into the Hold. It then scurries into a crack in a wall, and only pokes its tiny rat head out to get the pie, which it breaks into pieces for easy transport. Curious, you bend down and try to look into the hole.

It's too dark to see anything, but you...

You hear music? Ecstatic music! The finest fiddling you ever did hear!

 

Player 6:

IT’S THE FAE

OH NO

RUN BEFORE THE FAE NOTICE US

 

Bird Lord:

You feel like if you had more RAT TOKENS, something could be done about this. However, you are a waif with very little money, so you can't engage in the MYSTICAL PARTY BEYOND THE WALL, if indeed there is a party at all.

Until then, you go back upstairs.

 

You can still MEET or NAP. What are you going to do?

 

YOU SELECTED: NAP

 

You decide to nap. Probably the best choice after eating that paper and pretending to be a ghost. Your HEALTH INCREASES. 

You dream about a cathedral made of ice, and someone standing at the altar. How lovely!

Chapter Text

Bird Lord:

It's Sunday morning, which is a glorious day for the fact that hardly anyone has to work. Of course, there are the basic routine things that need to be done to keep things running, and the poor stewards don't get a day off. However, you do. On the downside, you're subjected to a Franklin's Divine Service out in the cold. It's not a particularly brutal day, but it is dark and chilly, and you've come to realize that Sir John tends to get a bit long-winded. You also have no choice as to who to sit next to, as you're all arranged by rank. Oh well. At least you like most of the ABs.

You head out onto the shore of Beechey where Franklin has declared the optimal place to hold Service. You get to mesh with the other ABs of Erebus, though, which makes it much more entertaining. Once you're all corralled into place, Franklin begins with a loud and very weighty sermon about David and Goliath. You tune out pretty quick once you realise it's all supposed to be symbolic about you teeny tiny Davids versus the Goliath of the Northwest Passage.

 

You can choose to focus on someone, though. You look at:

>Irving

>Goodsir

>Jopson

>Fitzjames

>Someone else

 

YOU SELECTED: >IRVING

 

You turn to look at the row of officers and quickly find Irving in the crowd. Normally, he's very focused on the sermon. Today, however, he's looking everywhere but Sir John and seems very enthusiastic when Sir John says, "Let us pray." But most alarmingly, Irving's not looking at you, even though you're sure he knows you're there. Granted, you all have to be there, but still!

The wind begins to pick up at what you think is Sir John's halfway point, and poor Torrington is looking a little worse for the wear. Fortunately, Sir John isn't completely blind to the fact that half of you look like you're going to shiver yourselves into pieces, so he hurriedly presses through the rest of the sermon. 

As you finally break up to head back to the ships, some of the men begin to mingle with their friends from different ships. You see Bridgens and Peglar talking, for instance. You also watch Crozier attempt to race away from Franklin and Fitzjames as fast as he politely can. 

 

You decide to:

>Try to find Irving.

>Find Goodsir.

>Hang out with the ABs.

>Get the hence back to the ship where it's warm!

 

YOU SELECTED: >Try to find Irving.

 

You find Irving standing with some of the other lieutenants, including Gore and Le Vesconte of Erebus. They're talking amongst themselves beside the hut built as a scientific observatory. Suddenly, you feel like you might be intruding on their conversation, since you're the only low-ranked sailor getting close to them. You're also conscious of the fact that three of these men were at this last mysterious officers' meeting. 

 

You decide to:

>Wait for them to finish their conversation.

>Diversion tactic! Talk to a different lieutenant!

>Keep on keeping on and talk to Irving anyway.

>You're done here so.... Leave.

 

YOU SELECTED: >Diversion tactic! Talk to a different lieutenant!

 

You pretend to be interested in something beside the observatory hut while looking for someone to speak to. Fortunately, Lieutenant Gore notices you first and greets you with a pleasant smile. Lord, he really is handsome. "FUCKS, is it?" he asks.

"Yes, sir," you say.

He says he enormously enjoyed your performance in Fitzjames' play, even though he worried after you during your last fainting spell. You're touched by his notice and thank him!

 

GORE RELATIONSHIP +1

 

He asks how TERRANCE is doing, as he is one of Terrance's fathers. You reply that Terrance is doing exceedingly well and enjoying his castle. Gore laughs (and it's a very nice laugh!) before directing Le Vesconte's attention. "Le Vesconte! You must hear about our darling son's abode!"

This officially gets you into the Lieutenant Circle™ as you talk about Terrance, to the delight of the officers. If wingmen were invented yet, Terrance would be the ultimate. 

Irving is watching you the entire time and says very little other than to smile and laugh when appropriate. You notice that he seems to tense a bit when Gore puts his hand on your shoulder. Oh my!

 

Caught in a strange position with all the lieutenants watching you to some degree, especially Irving, you decide to:

>Lean towards Gore. Make Irving work for it!

>Simply play along. You don't want to upset Irving, but you don't want to make a scene, either. Things will come in time.

>Say that you're heading back to ship and see if Irving follows.

>Tell all of the lieutenants about Sir Warter Scott.

 

YOU SELECTED: >Simply play along. You don't want to upset Irving, but you don't want to make a scene, either. Things will come in time.

 

Not wanting to embarrass Irving or yourself, you politely stay in the conversation as the men talk about Terrance. Hodgson in particular seems very interested in being another father to your handsome crab son. Do you agree?

 YES

or

 ABSOLUTELY

or

 I hate fun so much.

 

YOU SELECTED: ABSOLUTELY

 

Throughout the joviality, camaraderie, and general frivolous conversation, Irving is still watching you. He seems like he wants to say something, but you see him quickly look around at his fellow lieutenants before looking at the ground. Then, the conversation turns to the sermon.

"If it weren't such a typical topic," Le Vesconte is saying with a good-natured shrug. "David and Goliath, indeed."

"I enjoyed myself," Gore adds. His smile is very charming! "It provides a good lesson in many situations. Wouldn't you agree, Irving?"

Irving starts at his name before nodding. "I would. Many stories from the Gospel can be applicable to every situation that God chooses to grant us, no matter how difficult they may be." Then, he looks at you. "Do you think the same, FUCKS?"

 

You choose to:

>Agree wholeheartedly. Smile at him as you say it.

>Side with Le Vesconte. It was a rather droll sermon.

>Disagree. Now's not the time to debate theology.

>Bring up a verse as a response.

 

YOU SELECTED: >Bring up a verse as a response.

 

You nod in agreement and smile at Irving. Gospel scholar you aren't, but you know a thing or two. "There is one verse in particular I've thought of since we've arrived," you say.

Irving's stare is even more intense. "Oh?" he says. He's voice sounds like a scratch of sound, breathless.

"Joshua, chapter one, verse five," is all you say, and you do your best to make it sound casual and conversational.

If Irving had less self-control, you think his jaw would drop. As it is, you know that the colour on his cheeks isn't windburn.

 

[No one will be able to stand against you all the days of your life. As I was with Moses, so I will be with you; I will never leave you nor forsake you.]

 

With Irving still visibly stunned and fumbling his part of the conversation (and thankfully, the other lieutenants either don't mind or don't notice; you can't tell which), eventually Le Vesconte deems their meeting in straits of, "Too bloody cold to continue." He says he hopes that Crozier will be a bit more partial to meetings as a collective, and Graham readily agrees. As he does, he looks at you in particular, much to Irving's apparent chagrin. 

Hodgson and Little take their leave of the group and begin to walk back to Terror, while Irving lingers back a bit. You think he expects you to walk beside him, even though you still feel somewhat out of place what with the difference in rank. Still, you do so.

 

For a long moment, the two of you walk in silence. You decide to:

>Wait for him to say something.

>Talk about something inane - the weather, how the Erebus lieutenants behaved, the sermon. Just nothing direct.

>Cut right to it and ask him about your relationship.

>Do a cartwheel.

 

YOU SELECTED: >Wait for him to say something.

 

You decide that the best thing to do is probably wait for Irving to speak. If he has something on his mind, you hope that the two of you are close enough that he feels free to say so. 

Unfortunately, it's a torturous couple minutes before he speaks. A few times, you think about doing something stupid just to break up the monotony and tension. But, finally, he says, "I... I'm sorry it took so long to meet again. I intended to seek you out but felt..." He fights with his words, looking frustrated with himself. "I should have said something sooner," is what he settles on.

"What do you mean?" you ask.

"I am at an impasse of what to do," he admits. You sense this has been a burden on him. "I have my faith and what I think is right, and then I have moments where I wonder if what I've been taught isn't exactly true. Do you understand?"

You say you think that you do.

He nods, and then gazes out at the great empty ice field around you. "I've prayed about it. Nearly every night now, I ask God if what I feel in my heart isn't some great ruse of temptation. I've yet to receive a clear answer, if I'm meant to have one at all. I've even wondered if this is some test of my will and heart."

 

That's a lot to parse through. You choose to say:

>"What you're feeling is real, and it isn't wrong. God hasn't decided to smite you, so that might be an answer?"

>"I can give you space if you need it. I understand this is a lot to handle for you."

>"You think I'm a test?"

>(Silent treatment)

 

YOU SELECTED: >"I can give you space if you need it. I understand this is a lot to handle for you."

 

"I can give you space if you need it. I understand this is a lot to handle for you," you say. And you mean it. It's hard to really quantify time in a place like this, especially when you're in close-quarters with everyone. You've only been out of England since May, and it's just October. You have time, and so does he.

Irving smiles, even though it's half-hidden by the collar of his coat. "Thank you. Truly," he says. It's as honest to you as you were to him. "This is all just... very different."

The two of you walk back to the ship in a much more comfortable silence, not saying much but simply enjoying each other's company. As you near the snow ramp going up to the deck, you feel just the barest brush of Irving's hand against yours. 

You smile, and head back down to the orlop.

 

IRVING RELATIONSHIP +1

Chapter Text

Bird Lord:

A few days pass. You see Irving semi-regularly, and your interactions are always friendly. No one seems to suspect anything, although you do feel someone's eyes on you. Whenever you turn around, no one is there. It's very strange.

Some interesting bits of news come up in the passing days. First, you find out that the officer being disciplined was not, in fact, Irving. Instead, it was for Second Master MacBean who was caught sleeping on the job. You're oddly relieved. Secondly, a ghost story makes its rounds with rapid speed concerning someone who went down to the hold to get some coal and instead heard and saw the horrific ghost of a beautiful woman, cursing her murderer. Now people are going to the hold in pairs and trios, although no one admits it's because they're afraid. There are also no lack of late night dares to go down alone, much to the annoyance of the lieutenants.

At last, you wake up one day and realize that it is a very special day.

 

Today, ROBERT FUCKS, is your birthday.

 

You're versed enough in Navy traditions to know exactly what men do when they find out it's someone's birthday. There are a few ways you can approach the day, with this in mind. After all, only the Captain and those privy to the muster roll know when your birthday is, and you can always lie.

 

You can:

>Tell EVERYONE it is your BIRTHDAY. It's a national holiday! The biggest holiday in the Arctic Circle!

>Lie! Lie your little heart out! You want to keep every hair on your head!

>Pretend that your birthday is in fact the saddest day of the year because it is also the anniversary of the day that every person in your family died in a horrible housefire, including the family donkey and the entire potato patch. No one can razz you for that. : (

>Hide on Erebus instead.

 

YOU SELECTED: >Tell EVERYONE it is your BIRTHDAY. It's a national holiday! The biggest holiday in the Arctic Circle!

 

Well, Happy Birthday to You! It is, in fact, NATIONAL ROBERT FUCKS DAY and EVERYONE needs to know about it! You roll out of your hammock and remind the nearest two sailors that you are BETWEEN 21 AND 30 YEARS OLD, which is fair because it's the Victorian era and to be honest, no one is completely sure how old they are if they're not rich. 

They congratulate you on another year of not dying of horrible disease, starvation, early devouring by rats, or other afflictions of your day. When you head up to breakfast, you tell everyone at your table that it is NATIONAL ROBERT FUCKS DAY. Peglar gives you a whole biscuit as a present! Hickey's gift to you is a saucy wink! Two of the men give you little bottles of rum they've been squirreling away! Someone sneezes on you for good luck! What a bounty!

 

After you finish your BIRTHDAY DUTIES (which are just your same AB duties but you're now older), you get to choose how to spend the rest of the day. You can:

- MEET PEOPLE ON YOUR BIRTHDAY

- BIRTHDAY EXPLORATION

- BIRTHDAY RECREATION

- BIRTHDAY NAP

 

YOU SELECTED: - MEET PEOPLE ON YOUR BIRTHDAY

 

Great idea! Who wants to spend their BIRTHDAY alone? Losers, that's who.

Who would you like to meet? EVERYONE is available.

 

You decide to meet with:

>Crozier

>Blanky

>Jopson

>Someone else

 

YOU SELECTED: >BLANKY

 

Also, as an aside, how tall are you?

>Taller than most! A bit of a beanpole, in fact! People go to you to reach things on high shelves.

>Average height. Just a normal ol' normal guy.

>Short. Like a gremlin scuttling around. 

>Unknowable.

 

YOU SELECTED: >Short. Like a gremlin scuttling around. 

 

Your short gremlin legs carry you up to the deck. Up there, Blanky is perched on a crate, enjoying a pipe while watching two ABs arguing over how to say the word 'belay'. Is it 'bee-lay' or 'buh-laay'? They're getting very intense about the topic, and you think this might be a cover-up for another, deeper emotional argument. Regardless, Blanky looks terrifically amused. He greets you with a nod and a raise of the pipe, followed by a gesture with his tobacco pouch.

"Heard from some of the gents that you're an old man now," he says as you gratefully fill up your grandfather's cherished pipe. "Welcome to the club, lad."

You thank him and hop up to perch on the crate with him. The two of you sit in companionable silence, watching the ABs now bodily shoving at each other, calling one another very crude names based on their hometowns. It's great fun to watch!

Smoke rising from your pipes, up through the cracks in the canvas and to the stars presiding grandly over your birthday, you feel Blanky clap you on the shoulder with a firm, warm, assuring grip. "You're a good man, FUCKS. Truly. I've only known ye these few months, but I see great things ahead."

You smile and enjoy the rest of the fight, which has now ended in a man reduced to tears in the other ABs arms as he says it all started when his father went to Manchester to pick up some jellied eels. 

"Happy birthday," Blanky says, slinging an arm around your shoulders.

 

BLANKY RELATIONSHIP +1

Also AESTHETIC has INCREASED

 

You go back down, feeling warm despite the frigid Arctic chill. Normally, you would be able to choose what to do next. However, since everyone now knows it's your birthday, you go down to the Galley and are soon dragged towards your...

 

BIRTHDAY CELEBRATION

 

It turns out that because you're so FRIENDLY and CHARMING, everyone has pitched in a little in order to make this a GREAT PARTY. Mister Wall has even prepared a SURPRISINGLY DELICIOUS-LOOKING CAKE complete with little bits of what you think are fruit on top. Even though there isn't much by way of gifts to give on a ship stuck in Arctic ice, you still have gifts in a little pile on a table! And finally, you have a few eager friends that look excited to see you. A little too excited in fact. Are those-- Are those shears?

 

You choose to:

- Eat that CAKE!

- Open your PRESENTS!

- GET IT OVER WITH

 

YOU SELECTED: - Open your PRESENTS!

 

You go to your presents pile! You lucky dog! Oh, and speaking of dogs, someone's even dressed up Neptune with a big fancy ribbon around his neck! How festive!

 

You open your presents and find:

-A POUCH of TOBACCO from BLANKY

-A NEW COMB from JOPSON

-A RAT TOKEN from a MYSTERIOUS BENEFACTOR

-A PAPER PARTY CROWN for TERRANCE

-A DECK of CARDS from PEGLAR

and

-TWO BOOKS from IRVING

 

You made out like a bandit! Right on!

 

Player 16:

PET NEPTUUUNE

 

Bird Lord:

You don't have enough time during your party to look at the books, but you're almost certain something is in one of them. In the mean time, you PET NEPTUNE who gives you a VALUABLE BLESSING right on your face!

 

- EAT CAKE

- [distant chanting] For heee's a jolly good feeeellow, for he's a jolly good fellow........

 

YOU SELECTED: - EAT CAKE

 

Oh, it's absolutely cake time. Coming from a background where your biggest birthday celebration involved fish heads, this cake is a miracle. Not only does your HEALTH INCREASE, but your HAPPINESS as well! You even go for a second piece!

 

Player 12: 

Compliment Mr wall on his excellent cake

 

Bird Lord:

You compliment Mister Wall on his excellent cake! Your CHARM INCREASES! And everyone else thanks him, too! How polite!

 

Now is the hour of your reckoning, however. Jopson has been chosen to perform the deed. He is charged with cutting your:

>Long, luscious locks. Your dewy curls. Your angelic hair that you cherish so much.

>Short, curly hair. God be with ye, sweet twists...

>Rat's nest you call hair. Good riddance!

>Scalp. You are as bald as an egg and twice as shiny.

 

YOU SELECTED: >Short, curly hair. God be with ye, sweet twists…

 

As you're lead to the Chair of Fate, Terrance performs a SMALL BUT CHARMING CRAB DANCE in celebration of your BIRTHDAY. Everyone applauds!

 

Bird Lord:

Your beautiful, short curls are cut away by Jopson's thankfully expert hand. He leaves you enough so that you're not totally bald, but it's going to be quite a while before all of that comes back. Everyone sings 'For He's a Jolly Good Fellow' right into your ears, and as the last lock hits the floor, Tozer pounces on you and you are suddenly under a Great Dogpile of Love, which includes Neptune excitedly barking and jumping about before licking your face in happiness.

 

Your HAPPINESS increases!

Your FRIENDLINESS increases!

Your SELF WORTH increases!

 

Happy Birthday!

 

But it's not over yet! Your head tingling from the new cold of a shaved noggin', you take your gifts, the remainders of your cake, and Terrance and head back to your hammock. Once most of your gifts are put away in your chest, you look at the TWO BOOKS Irving has given you. You decide to:

 

>Open the small, shabby poetry book.

>Open the fancy leatherbound, gilded book.

>Put them away for later.

>Eat the PAPER.

 

YOU SELECTED: >Open the small, shabby poetry book.

 

You open the SMALL, SHABBY book and immediately, a tiny folded note falls from in between the pages. You pick it up and open it.

 

'ROBERT,

 

Page 86. Third poem.

 

-J

 

You turn the pages and find a short poem by Sir Walter Scott. 

 

'In peace, Love tunes the shepherd’s reed;

In war, he mounts the warrior’s steed;

In halls, in gay attire is seen;

In hamlets, dances on the green.

Love rules the court, the camp, the grove,

And men below and saints above;

For love is heaven, and heaven is love.'

 

Stunned by what you're sure is a confession, you decide to:

 

>Find Irving. Right now.

>Look at the second book.

>Think on this. Probably dream about it. You really don't want to seem too forward, and aren't you supposed to be giving Irving some space?

>EAT. PAPER.

 

YOU SELECTED: >Look at the second book.

 

The second book is bound in dyed leather and gilded with embossed figures of vines and flowers on its spine. It's taken care of, but you see that it's actually somewhat old. The title isn't immediately apparent, so you open the front cover and find a handwritten note.

 

'To John,

 

I hope this sees you through as it once did for me.

 

-G.'

 

You don't know who this 'G' is, but as you turn the pages, you find that it's a book of stories, fables, and poems for children. They are beautifully illustrated and you can see hastily-erased marks of what looks like a child's writing. Slowly, you realize that this must have been one of John's childhood books, and for what ever reason, he's chosen to give it to you. You smile at this knowledge and close the book, holding it to your chest while thinking of what to do next:

 

>Go! Find! Irving!

>Think of a way to respond. A love letter? A poem? A gift of your own?

>Sleep on it. Dream about it. Fantasize.

>Eat paper! Eat! Paper!

 

YOU SELECTED: >Think of a way to respond. A love letter? A poem? A gift of your own?

Runner Up: >Go! Find! Irving!

 

You decide that the best course of action is to give something to Irving in return. You deliberate on the best way to respond to these heartfelt gifts and choose to:

>Write a love letter with regards to your deepest feelings.

>Write a sentimental poem, possibly with some assistance.

>Craft something, like a scrimshaw or maybe a tiny wooden trinket.

>Perform interpretive dance.

 

YOU SELECTED: >Write a sentimental poem, possibly with some assistance.

 

Player 15:

we need to go to erebus and talk very loudly about how we love tom bowline's poetry, in the hopes that maybe someone who served with him?? or knew him?? maybe??? will overhear

 

Bird Lord:

Would you like to find Irving before you write the poem?

YES or NO

 

YOU SELECTED: YES

 

You wait until almost all of the men are asleep and those that remain are on watch or duty. Then, certain that no one will see you in your birthday sneakiness, you creep up to the Galley and back towards officers' country. Slipping past Blanky's berth (and you know it is, judging by the snoring echoing from within like a smallscale lumber mill), you approach the next door, amber-warm lantern light flickering in a thin beam underneath, like a stripe of gold.

As quietly as you can, you knock, and then look around quickly to be sure that no one saw you. Then, you wait, counting your heartbeats until the door opens.

It does, until Irving is standing before you in a shirt and plain black waistcoat, a pair of black trousers, and wool socks. He looks tired, but soft in the gentle light. He's initially surprised, but smiles and stands aside to allow you in. Then, he closes the door behind you.

The two of you stand in that small, space, looking at each other, not saying a word. You want to say so many things, but each word falls short before it ever reaches your tongue. You decide to:

 

>Thank him to the best of your ability.

>Ask him about the books.

>Seriously why are you even thinking about this.

>KISS HIM.

 

YOU SELECTED: >KISS HIM.

 

Who moves first, you can't say. He's lowering his head just as you're tilting yours up, and then you're kissing before you can make sense of anything else. His hands are on your waist, and one of yours goes to his side while another slides up to cup the back of his head. You feel his eyelashes flutter against your cheek, like he's opening his eyes to make sure that you're still there and not just a figment of his imagination. To assure him, you pull him even closer, making sure that all he can sense and understand is you, you, you.

Then, you tug him towards the bed, and the rest, they say, is history.

Or at least, they say it was a very happy birthday.

Chapter Text

Bird Lord:

Morning comes far too soon, which is regrettable since you didn't get much sleep last night. Too soon, the bosun's shrill whistle signals your next shift, which you approach like the living dead. Everything is sore (but if you're honest with yourself, it's a very good kind of sore), and you go about your AB duties with absolutely no enthusiasm. Fortunately, you're sneaky enough that no one makes a comment other than to say that you must have had a great birthday.

Well, you did. That's not a lie. 

The entire time you work, you think about the poem you want to write. You're not really a poet yourself, although you enjoy it from time to time. It's just never been your forte. However, there is a poet you have in mind that you hope to emulate. In fact, if it weren't for this poet, you might have never thought to join the Navy.

 

SIDE QUEST: THE SEARCH FOR TOM BOWLINE

ACCEPT? YES or NO

 

YOU SELECTED: YES

 

You have accepted: THE SEARCH FOR TOM BOWLINE

 

Once upon a time, a poem was written that so stunned the nation with its moving words that many were robbed of the ability to respond. With a novel rhyming scheme and incredible vision, legendary poet Tom Bowline penned his very world into poem format. Some criticised his form, but you, ROBERT FUCKS, knew better.

Since that day, when Tom Bowline touched your very soul, you've sought that initial feeling that struck you when you first read his powerful verse. He's not made an appearance since, but you've always known that he's out there. And now, at this most critical hour of your life, in the face of LOVE and TRUTH, you decide to seek out that emotional call.

 

You must find the TOM BOWLINE WITHIN.

 

It's your first day of the year A.B. (After Birthday) and you're seeking inspiration. You've memorised every word Tom Bowline ever wrote, but you feel like you need something more. You know that some of the men between the ships served in China, which Bowline wrote about. Maybe they can help? It will be difficult, especially saying, "Hello! I'm writing a passionate love poem for a lieutenant in the style of my favorite poet. Can you help me?"

You must be SNEAKY, you must have your wits about you! You must be CHARMING! But most of all, you must be VICTORIAN AS ALL HELL!

First thing's first. Will you look for the first bits of the thread of destiny ON TERROR or ON EREBUS?

 

>Terror. The best things start at home!

>Erebus. A change of scenery might help the process.

>Forget that. Back to Irving's bed with you. You need a little extra inspiration on that front.

>Write the poem NOW! Speak from the HEART, ROBERT!

 

YOU SELECTED: >Erebus. A change of scenery might help the process.

 

Aren't you in luck? The weather is clear enough that you can go to Erebus with no trouble. Plenty of men go back and forth between the ships when the weather is good, especially after being cooped up for so long. As you make the crossing, you see men on the shore of Beechey - working, or pretending to work, or not bothering to pretend at all. Then you're on Erebus

You're welcomed warmly, as the mood onboard seems to be far happier than Terror's, for some reason. People greet you like they've known you for ages. You're even cordially invited to their THROW STONE IN BUCKET game, which apparently now has dedicated teams, fans, and tournaments. Someone's even christened the east end of their Galley with a large banner reading 'A.B. ROCK THROWING CLUB 1845'. Neat!

You suddenly realise that there are a lot of people on Erebus, and it seems incredibly busy. You might want to recruit some help in your question in the form of a COMPANION.

 

You can recruit:

>Another AB. Good things come in twos!

>Maybe someone like Goodsir! The two of you get along well, and he's intelligent!

>An officer. Go right for the jugular on this one, you guess.

>THE MONKEY

 

YOU SELECTED: >Another AB. Good things come in twos!

 

You decide to work with another AB. You're all trained to work together as it is, so this should go well, provided they're up to it. There are only a handful of ABs that you know from Erebus, so you choose:

 

>John Hartnell, who is currently carving something that looks either obscene or like a shoe.

>Tom Hartnell, who is resolutely telling his brother not to do that.

> Betty Billy Orren, who is trying very hard to fix a sock that really should have been thrown out about six years ago.

>THE MONKEY, BUT DRESSED AS A LITTLE AB

 

YOU SELECTED: >Tom Hartnell, who is resolutely telling his brother not to do that.

RUNNER UP:   >THE MONKEY, BUT DRESSED AS A LITTLE AB

 

You decide to enlist the help of Tom Hartnell. Good plan! You hope that asking for help from another man named Tom might be good luck in your quest. And it must be! Jacko the monkey decides to launch herself onto Tom's shoulder, and someone has taken the liberty to make her a tiny, tiny AB outfit. Stylish! You think Terrance might need one of those.

You get Tom's attention, and he seems grateful for the distraction from having to be his brother's impulse control. John, on the other hand, gleefully makes his carving more obscene in response. You then roughly explain your plan (omitting the part about who the poem is for), and Tom seems to like the idea! If anything, it's more fun than what he was doing before. 

He suggests making a plan of action. "Maybe go through which officers were in China," he suggests. He was in China once as well, although not for the particular battle outlined in Bowline's legendary poem. He knows GRAHAM GORE and HENRY LE VESCONTE were in China, as well as COMMANDER FITZJAMES. FITZJAMES is busy today, but Tom also thinks BRIDGENS might have some good ideas with regards to poetry.

 

You decide to meet with:

>Gore

>Le Vesconte

>Bridgens

>Meet someone else

 

YOU SELECTED: >Le Vesconte

 

Player 16:

i would like to save our game

 

Player 3:

Save game!

 

Player 12: 

Double save

 

Bird Lord:

You SAVE your GAME SEVERAL TIMES. You even hire an EGYPTIAN SCRIBE to CARVE IT into the side of a PYRAMID for FUTURE GENERATIONS.

 

Bird Lord:

You seek out Hundy Tundy Dundy Le Vundy Le Vesconte with Tom's auspices that Le Vesconte probably knows more about the battle in question, as well as the poem. Perhaps - and you can dream! - he may have known Tom Bowline personally. Fortunately, approaching the lieutenants is far easier on this ship than it is on yours, since everyone is pretty much at their leisure. Tom also seems to be on good terms with most people, so finding Le Vesconte isn't hard to do.

In fact, Le Vesconte is showing off in the officers' THROW STONE IN BUCKET team scrimmage. He's doing trick shots and then rewarding successful throws by eating biscuits. When he sees you, Tom, and Jacko approach, he greets you with enthusiasm.

"Good morning, FUCKS!" he says. "What are you lads up to?"

 

(You look over and see Storybird now sitting on Dundy's head, fluffing his beautiful hair with their tiny beak. No one else seems to notice.)

 

Tom tells Le Vesconte about your quest, which Le Vesconte seems to find noble. You also notice that his smile has gone from politely pleasant to, dare you say, mischievous? As Tom talks, Le Vesconte says very eloquent things like, "Hmm," and, "Oh, is that right?" Does he know more than he lets on?

Finally, he says, "I may know a thing or two about this Bowline fellow. His poem is quite familiar to me. Of course, I'm sure you know that his name is a nom de plume."

You tell him you don't speak German.

"Dear boy," he goes on, smiling like he's trying not to laugh. "Tom Bowline is another name entirely. The man you are looking for is known by something quite different."

 

Gasp! 

Except you kind of knew that already.

 

"I kind of knew that," you reply.

He nods. "Well, I may have some information about your dear Bowline, but as I am a superior officer in this case and I am a very busy man."

Gore throws a stone in the bucket from under his armpit and everyone cheers. Le Vesconte resolutely ignores this and goes on. "So if you lads could do me a few favours, I think I could find it in my heart to provide you with the information you need. Is that fair?"

 

>Sure! It's not like you have anything better to do other than role in the hay with Irving, so to speak .

>Can we bargain? Maybe an I.O.U.?

>Stop wasting our time, sir! We have poems to write!

>(Forego all of that and land a stone in a bucket to assert dominance)

 

YOU SELECTED: >Sure! It's not like you have anything better to do other than role in the hay with Irving, so to speak .

 

You agree to help Le Vesconte with what ever it is that he wants, which earns you both his amusement and a little more of his respect, if you could call it that. Le Vesconte says that this officers' scrimmage is enormously important to him and he still has a few duties that need to be done. All of this he says while Gore, probably his equal in ship responsibilities, lands a perfect shot and lifts poor Des Voeux up like a bag of sand in celebration. Clearly, this scrimmage is top priority in running a ship.

 

He tells you that he needs the two (three?) of you to ask Mister Aylmore if Fitzjames' henway is clean yet (you think it's some fancy part of the officers' uniforms), to find out how many gallons of rope lubricant remains in the stores, and finally, to check with Mister Bridgens about the existence of a book known as (and you write this down) The Incredible Journey of Several Young Men to Absolutely Hopeless Pursuits in Order to Save Time in the Creation of a Story Worth Telling Later by Tom Bowline's cousin, Buford Bowline.

 

It's all very strange, but you agree to it. With a salute and a screech from Jacko, off you go, the intrepid trio.

LE VESCONTE RELATIONSHIP +1

 

You have your list of tasks. Which would you like to do first?

>Find out about the henway.

>Check the stock of rope lubricant.

>Ask about the book.

>Waaaait a minute. There's no such thing as rope lubricant.

 

YOU SELECTED: >Waaaait a minute. There's no such thing as rope lubricant.

 

Although you may not be the brightest knife in the barrel, you do realise that Le Vesconte is messing with you. However, you ask Tom what a henway is, and before he can even get a word out, his brother comes running around the corner, gasping for breath, looking like he's in a panic.

"A... About three pounds," he gasps out before saluting and disappearing again.

Tom sighs. "I hate it when he does that. Anyway."

"So Le Vesconte set us up?" you ask.

Tom agrees. He's gone through this before, clearly. "I think he's trying to buy time," he replies.

 

For what, exactly? Either way, it's clear that you need to spend a little time doing something else before you meet with Le Vesconte again.

 

You decide to:

>Go see Bridgens anyway. Maybe not about that book in particular, is all.

>Ask someone else about the elusive poet Bowline.

>Declare passionate revenge on Le Vesconte and form a team of ABs to take down the officers' team in combat.

>Appease Le Vesconte anyway. Amuse him.

 

YOU SELECTED: >Appease Le Vesconte anyway. Amuse him.

RUNNER UP: >Declare passionate revenge on Le Vesconte and form a team of ABs to take down the officers' team in combat.

 

In your moment of indecision, someone comes up to you with a HANDMADE AB UNIFORM FOR TERRANCE. How thoughtful! Now you don't have to make one yourself!

 

After a little bit of indecision and thoughts of revenge, you decide that probably the best thing to do is appease Le Vesconte. And by that, you instead waste time with the other ABs and enjoy the general camaraderie. You settle on your answers for Le Vesconte in that time, offered to you by Tom's ever-studious brother. For that, and because of reasons beyond your control, your RELATIONSHIP IMPROVES.

 

J. HARTNELL RELATIONSHIP +1

T. HARTNELL RELATIONSHIP +1

 

After wasting what you think is the appropriate amount of time, you return to Le Vesconte with your answers. Currently, he's celebrating a hard-won victory with his teammates and is delighted to see you. "Oh, lads!" he calls to the others. "Mister Hartnell and Mister FUCKS have news for us!" 

Gore, in particular, looks interested. 

 

You tell him:

>Hartnell's answers. The henway is still in the coop, you need to go to a rope lubricant station to refill, and poor Buford Bowline died before he could finish his book.

>That you just didn't understand the directions. Was he fooling you? :' (

>That he can stick his rock where the sun don't shine.

>(Harmonised screeching with Jacko)

 

YOU SELECTED: >Hartnell's answers. The henway is still in the coop, you need to go to a rope lubricant station to refill, and poor Buford Bowline died before he could finish his book.

 

You solemnly give Hartnell's answers to Le Vesconte who looks utterly delighted. So does everyone else, for that matter. Again, Gore stands out as being particularly pleased with you and gives you a quick wink when Le Vesconte is done laughing.

"Well, good job, gentlemen," Le Vesconte says. "I think you've earned your audience with one most privy to Bowline the Bard's private life."

 

GORE RELATIONSHIP +1

LE VESCONTE RELATIONSHIP +1

Chapter Text

Bird Lord:

Le Vesconte leads you, Hartnell, and Jacko back to the Galley where he has you sit down at one of the tables. He reaches into his waistcoat pocket and gives Jacko a biscuit, and she trills in joy before hopping on his shoulder, her loyalties now laid bare for all to see. She is an operative working for her own needs, you now know. You will remember this.

 

Or she's just a monkey who likes food. That could also be.

 

With a smile, Le Vesconte begins to spin a tale that truly convinces you that he knows the real Bowline. He says that he met this noble man in a far-off land; he was a captivating beauty, a wit to boot, a weaver of words, and a singer of songs. He could tame wild animals with just a touch, and whisper words that would make anyone fall in love with him. And...

 

He is on this very ship.

 

You are stunned! Who knew that you were in the presence of such a legendary poet! You lean forward, hands on your knees, while Tom makes a stifled noise that you think might be a laugh buried in his sleeve. As Le Vesconte goes on (the sun cast a golden halo 'pon his head like a radiant angel blessed by God! the skies brought about the rains when he felt his sorrows! he had a cheetah!), you are progressively more enraptured with this man who changed the very course of your life with his words.

 

But who is he? 

 

You ask, and Le Vesconte nods sagely, casting his eyes about the room. "Who is he, indeed? Does anyone truly know? Are we all not, in our own ways, Bowline?"

 

"Who's a Bowline?" someone asks.

 

You turn and see Commander Fitzjames, just now coming in from the hatch, snow still dusting the shoulders of his greatcoat. His cheeks are still ruddy from the cold, but his eyes are alight with amusement.

 

"We were just talking about Tom Bowline. It turns out that young Mister FUCKS adores his work and wishes to gather inspiration in his style," Le Vesconte comments. 

 

"Is that so?" Fitzjames replies. "Well, as luck would have it, I'm acquainted with the gentleman. Would Mister FUCKS like to pay his respects?"

 

>Ohhhh, hell yes.

>Le Vesconte was going to tell us who it was! Stay and listen to him.

>Is this another goose chase? This feels like a goose chase.

>Pay respects

 

YOU SELECTED: >Pay respects

RUNNER UP: >Ohhhh, hell yes.

 

Of course you're eager to pay your respects to Tom Bowline! Anything else would be ridiculous! You could never have dreamed that you would meet the man himself in the Arctic. You excitedly get up and follow Fitzjames, who leads you into the uncharted territory of the Wardroom. Normally, you would never be allowed in this space, but if Commander Fitzjames agrees to it and Tom Bowline may visit, you feel very few qualms about it. Hartnell remains with Le Vesconte, as the two of them seem to be eager to have a conversation of their own.

 

You enter the room and take your seat at the impressive table. Fitzjames makes a great show of pouring himself a drink, swirling it in his glass, sipping it, tasting it, and nodding to himself in approval. Then, as you think he's going to head to the door to call the legend himself, he turns right back around and sits at the table, grinning.

 

"Is... Is Tom Bowline coming?" you ask.

 

"Very punctually," Fitzjames replies. "I would be the gentleman in question."

 

OH MY GOODNESS!

 

Tom Bowli-- Fitzjames keeps grinning, seeming very pleased with himself. You're a bit embarrassed, but also so intrigued! This is the legendary Bowline? You suppose it all makes sense, what with the location of the battles and his apparent penchant for the theatre. There are no words--

 

Well, no. There are a few.

 

You tell him how enthusiastic you are about his work, and then outline your plan to emulate him in your own poem. It's for... someone you love, you tell him. You hope he assumes that they're back in England or somewhere very distant, and not probably reading a Bible in bed one ship away. He says that he's honoured to be such an inspiration, and is immediately enthusiastic about the prospect. In an instant, he has fetched paper and ink, and now...

 

It's time to write your poem.

 

You begin to compose your poem under the graceful tutelage of Tom Bowline, coming out of retirement for the first time to help you write a canto made of love. He begins:

 

My dear, I write from an Arctic shore,

to profess that I love you more,

than there are snowflakes on the ground,

and:

 

>I love you as much as circles are round.

>as many dogs are in the pound.

>when I see you, I can't make a sound.

>upon seeing you, my heart goes, 'Zounds!'

 

YOU SELECTED: >when I see you, I can't make a sound.

 

If I had every pound in the banks,

to your dear love I would give thanks!

I would buy you so many things,

like:

 

>Gold and silver and diamond rings!

>A castle that is fit for kings!

>Some birds with tails and some wings!

>Lots of things that rhyme with things!

 

YOU SELECTED: >A castle that is fit for kings!

 

Excellent! Last stanza. You really need to make this one count!

 

I can think of so many gods to compare,

to the beauty of your eyes and of your hair.

It's proof indeed that my love is real,

when:

 

>My love for you is the size of a seal.

>I would like to make you a meal.

>If someone tried to buy you, I'd refuse the deal.

>I love you more than a jellied eel.

 

YOU SELECTED: >I love you more than a jellied eel.

 

Would you like to see your full poem?

 

YES or NO

 

YOU SELECTED: YES

 

My dear, I write from an Arctic shore, 

to profess that I love you more, 

than there are snowflakes on the ground, and:

when I see you, I can't make a sound.

 

If I had every pound in the banks, 

to your dear love I would give thanks! 

I would buy you so many things, like:

A castle that is fit for kings!

 

I can think of so many gods to compare, 

to the beauty of your eyes and of your hair. 

It's proof indeed that my love is real, when:

I love you more than a jellied eel.

 

Love, Robert

 

Pleased with your poem and still in awe of the fact that you just wrote poetry with Tom Bowline himself, you decide to take your perfect poem back to Terror. You thank Fitzjames profusely for his help, which earned you a smile and a pat on the back.

 

"With you, I'd write a poem any time," he says.

 

FITZJAMES RELATIONSHIP +1

 

FINISHED: THE SEARCH FOR TOM BOWLINE

 

ACHIEVEMENT UNLOCKED:

The Bard Himself - Meet Tom Bowline

 

You make it back to the Terror, your poem folded up and hidden protectively inside your coat, appropriately right over your heart. For the sake of not attracting the wrong kind of attention, you decide to hold onto it until later in the evening, or at least until you get get some kind of private audience with Irving. 

The hours crawl by in tortuous slowness. You sit and eat with your crewmates, play a round of cards (and lose) with Peglar, until finally, finally the men go into their hammocks and the first dog watch goes up. Quietly, you go up to the Galley and are just about to make for Irving's berth when you see a shadow of someone near the hatch. You can't make out who they are, and you don't think they've noticed you.

 

You decide to:

>Stay out of sight and see what happens or who they are.

>Keep going to Irving's room anyway, regardless.

>Go back down to the Orlop and wait until later.

>Ask who's there.

 

YOU SELECTED: >Stay out of sight and see what happens or who they are.

 

You wedge yourself between two crates and peer up over the edge, thankful that it's dark enough that you won't be seen. For a long while, the figure doesn't move. Then, you see someone else approach from the Wardroom side. Whoever it is, they linger near the hatchway. The ship's creaking and the howl of the wind outside make it difficult to hear if they're speaking. If they are, it's so quiet that you can't make out a word.

 

You wonder if the second person is an officer. Judging from their straight posture, you think it might be, but it's hard to tell. The first person is completely out of sight at the moment.

 

You:

>Keep waiting, hoping they don't see you.

>Try to leave in the other direction, again hoping they don't see you.

>Announce your presence.

>Move around, trying to get a better look.

 

YOU SELECTED: >Keep waiting, hoping they don't see you.

 

Eventually, the two figures leave, effectively walking out of your sight without you catching their identities. You wait just a breath longer, ears perked for any sign that you're not alone. The only thing you hear above the usual ambiance is Blanky snoring again. 

 

You quickly walk the distance to Irving's berth and knock on the door. You wait.

 

And wait.

 

And wait.

 

You knock again, slightly louder, and count the seconds until you reach a full minute. Then, as carefully as you can, you slide the door aside a crack and peer in.

 

Irving's bed is empty.

 

You can:

>Stay in the room and wait for Irving.

>Go back to your hammock.

>Look for Irving.

>Hide in between the crates to see if he comes back.

 

YOU SELECTED: >Go back to your hammock.

 

You decide to go back to your hammock. It may be for the best, but you find yourself restless. Something worries at the back of your mind, and the poem in your shirt feels like a leaden weight on your chest. Every time someone moves near you, you look over to see if someone is returning. Then, the first dog watch trades places with the second and it becomes impossible to know.

Chapter Text

Bird Lord:

If you do sleep, you barely remember doing so, as you're sure you're already awake when Lane blows the bosun's whistle. You get up with the rest of the men of your shift and go through the motions of washing, dressing, and preparing for the new day. You're careful with the poem as you change your shirt, and quickly tuck it into your fresh one, making sure it stays close to your chest when you pull your coat on to go up on deck.

Little is your presiding officer of the day, but you eagerly look around for Irving regardless. Honestly, it's a single ship. How can one person disappear so easily? You work rather mechanically, going through the motions and trying to keep the worry out of your mind. Then, your shift ends. Thank heavens.

You head back down into the warmth of the Galley and take your rum ration with gratefulness. As you stand there, you overhear a few seamen talking about something relating to the sick bay. You linger a moment, but they're too far away to hear coherently. You decide to:

 

>Walk over and listen in full.

>Look for Irving, regardless of how many people are around.

>Go about your normal day. Night will come again and it's not impossible that you'll see Irving before then.

>Go back up and ask Little about Irving instead.

 

YOU SELECTED: >Walk over and listen in full.

 

You walk over to where the other men are having their conversation. They don't mind you listening in, and in fact greet you before resuming their conversation.

"Yeah, mate. He just kinda collapsed," George Kinnaird says, looking down at his tea with a look of worry. "Right down on the deck like he fainted. He kept sayin' he was fine, he was fine, but I've seen a man like that before."

William Shanks shakes his head. "Hope the lad's alright. He wasn't lookin' well."

Worry floods you for a moment before you ask who fainted on deck. 

"John Torrington," Kinnaird replies. "The stoker officer fella. You haven't noticed?"

You shake your head, admitting you haven't talked to him much lately. He's been friendly to you, but you haven't been close enough to notice that he was particularly ill.

 

At this point, you decide to:

>Head to the sick bay to see Torrington.

>Keep looking for Irving.

>Go back about your day and wait to see if anything else happens.

>Go back to Little and ask him personally about either issue.

 

YOU SELECTED: >Head to the sick bay to see Torrington.

RUNNER UP: >Keep looking for Irving.

 

[Extended Irving v. Torrington argument]

 

Player 1:

THE VOTE SAYS TORRINGTON

 

Player 17:

(DOES IT BECAUSE I LOST IT)

 

Player 3:

VOTE AGAIN

 

Bird Lord:

At this point, you decide to:

>Head to the sick bay to see Torrington.

>Keep looking for Irving.

>Go back about your day and wait to see if anything else happens.

>Go back to Little and ask him personally about either issue.

 

YOU SELECTED: >Keep looking for Irving.

RUNNER UP: >Head to the sick bay to see Torrington.

 

You decide to look for Irving first. You wonder whether or not Torrington is alright, but you know that men have collapsed before and turned out for the better. For heaven's sake, you collapsed on stage in front of all the men and are no worse for the wear. 

Going to Irving's room isn't possible at the moment, so you walk through the other accessible parts of the ship. The longer you look, the more tense you become. He's not near the Galley, or anywhere on the Orlop deck, and he's certainly not down in the Hold. Where on this ship could he be?

You head back towards the Deck, finally settling on asking Little or Hodgson should you find them. However, before you reach the hatch stairs, the Wardroom door slides open and Irving steps out. He looks tired, but otherwise fine. He seems surprised to see you, and then relieved.

"Are you alright, FUCKS?" he asks.

You nod, breathless, and resist the urge to hold him close. Unfortunately, it's midday and you're within sight of too many people. Before you can think, you say, "I went to see you last night, but you were--"

"On deck with the first dog watch," he finishes, possibly wary of someone overhearing any intimate details.

You frown. "Were you there when Torrington collapsed?"

He nods, reaching up to rub one shoulder. "Unfortunately. Crozier's seen to it that Torrington has some work to do when we're not using the engine. He said he preferred nights, but then he just--" He makes a gesture towards the direction of the sick bay. "I carried him down there with Seaman Kinnaird. I thought it was just some sort of swoon, but he truly did seem ill."

 

You decide to:

>Ask if he met with anyone else last night. You think of the men near the hatch.

>Tell him you need to speak to him privately.

>Be content with the fact that he isn't sick or otherwise in trouble. Go back about your day.

>Leave him RIGHT THIS INSTANT and go see Torrington!

 

YOU SELECTED: >Ask if he met with anyone else last night. You think of the men near the hatch.

 

You ask if he met with anyone else last night. You're honest enough to say that you saw people near the hatch. At this, Irving seems confused. He says he didn't meet with anyone else belowdecks until much later in the night, after Torrington was brought down. That means whoever you saw wasn't Irving. Who could it have been, then?

By this point, you know people might begin to notice you talking so intently to Irving, and you think he notices the same. He looks behind you before nodding to you. "Meet me at my room tonight," he says. "We do have something we need to talk about. Just not here."

You agree, although it does little to soothe your nerves.

Irving takes his leave, leaving you with a few options of how to go about the rest of your day until you meet him again tonight. 

 

You can:

>Go see Torrington now.

>Meet with Doctor MacDonald or Peddie if you can. Ask about Torrington first.

>Go back about your day until tonight's meeting.

>Faint.

 

YOU SELECTED: >Meet with Doctor MacDonald or Peddie if you can. Ask about Torrington first.

 

You head toward the sick bay to look for MacDonald. If anything, you can at least mention that Sir Warter Scott is starting to worry you again. It was dormant for a few days, but it's growing and so is your creeping dread. 

Knocking on the door, your relieved to see MacDonald sliding it open, looking completely calm and not in the panic of dealing with anyone dying. He even smiles warmly at you. "Mister FUCKS. Are you alright?"

You say you are (maybe) and ask if you can speak to him about Torrington. He nods, solemn, and steps outside the door with you into the close quarters of the hall. 

"He's tired, mainly," MacDonald explains. "Lieutenant Irving said he collapsed quite suddenly, but I don't think we can call it just exhaustion. Mister Torrington has a medical history of respiratory problems. In fact, it was his physician at home that recommended he come and take in the Arctic air to alleviate it. Peddie and I are hoping that if he rests enough, he'll be alright. So far, he isn't showing any signs of his previous symptoms exacerbating."

 

Previous symptoms?

 

He frowns and nods. "Consumption, he thinks. It went away for a time, but it seems the condition on this ship might have caused them to resurface." He pauses, glancing back at the door before looking to you again. "You can see him, if you'd like. He's not well, but I think he'd be in the mood for company. It might even perk him up."

 

You say:

>Absolutely. He's your friend, after all! 

>Wait to see him later. You don't know how bad he actually is, but you're not sure you want to risk it, either.

>If he really is consumptive, do you really want to see him? Leave now while you still can.

>Give Macca a come-hither look.

 

YOU SELECTED: >Wait to see him later. You don't know how bad he actually is, but you're not sure you want to risk it, either.

 

You decide to visit later. While you aren't certain of the entire situation, or how sick Torrington really is, something worries you beyond just the well-being of your friend. You tell MacDonald this and he says that he understands. As he does, you can see genuine concern manifesting as soft lines on his brow and at the corners of his eyes. At least you know that Torrington is in good care with this man.

"Do you think he'll get well?" you ask.

MacDonald glances behind him, as though Torrington himself will appear at the door with an answer. "Can't be sure, lad. We'll do our best and hopefully Mister Torrington will do the same."

You nod, taking this news for what it is. Then you take your leave.

 

You still have a few hours remaining until it's safe to meet with Irving again. You take this time to:

- MEET PEOPLE

- EXPLORE

- RECREATION

- NAP

 

YOU SELECTED: - RECREATION

 

Player 16:

is it recreation to make a nice card for torrington and send it via crab mail

 

Bird Lord:

Supposing that you want to MAKE A NICE CARD or NOTE for your FRIEND and not wanting to do anything else like sing happy songs with Lieutenant Hodgson, you proceed to gather the necessary materials. Now all that's left is to figure out what sort of card or note you're going to make.

 

You decide to make a:

>Heartfelt poem, full of sympathy and adoration for your friend.

>Nice drawing! Lots of happy faces and sunshine!

>Kindly note, wishing the best for Torrington in your greatest use of the English language.

>Picture made out of potato peelings and glue.

 

YOU SELECTED: >Nice drawing! Lots of happy faces and sunshine!

 

The next question is: do you do this Alone or with a Friend?

 

YOU SELECTED: F riend

 

You can recruit the help of:

>PEGLAR

>JOPSON

>TOZER

>HICKEY

>GIBSON

 

YOU SELECTED: >JOPSON

 

In your moment of INDECISION, Terrance scuttles by in a fetching Marine uniform. His outfit suggest he's a corporal! Congratulations on your promotion, Corporal Terrance!

 

You decide to recruit the help of JOPSON. While you aren't sure of his artistic inclinations, you still think he might at least be helpful in the inspiration process. He seems friendly enough to understand the gesture.

You find him polishing forks in the Galley, humming to himself (the song sounds terrifically familiar and you swear the lyrics are actually pretty obscene). Once you get his attention, he smiles at you and moves over so you can take the seat beside him. Then, you explain your idea.

"That's very kind of you," Jopson says, putting another sparkling-clean fork into the box. "I know the other lads have been worried for him. It's good to know he has friends like you."

You're pleased, and Jopson is impressed with the gesture.

 

JOPSON RELATIONSHIP +1

 

He admits that, no, he's not actually a very good artist. However, he'd be happy to support you and keep you company as you muse. He gives you a few suggestions of his own, and you decide on a card that depicts:

 

>Torrington smiling in front of a very nice house underneath the sun which is also smiling and a tree with a bird that is also smiling.

>Torrington in a little boat, sailing towards a very clearly marked NORTHWEST PASSAGE.

>Torrington shaking his head in front of a churchyard. No way is he going in there!

>You and Torrington holding hands and singing a very nice song.

 

YOU SELECTED: >Torrington in a little boat, sailing towards a very clearly marked NORTHWEST PASSAGE.

 

You carefully sketch out a little ship and the figure of Torrington gleefully riding atop the sail, for some reason. You have no idea how he got up there, but he seems to be having a great time. Terrance, in his fetching new uniform, is at the helm despite the fact that Marines don't steer ships. He and Terrance (Torringtence? Terrington?) head toward a little notch in a hill of ice, dominated by a large sign in the shape of a hand pointing to the cleft, reading 'NORTHWEST PASSAGE' in large black letters.

 

You have a little room to write a note as well. You write:

>GET WELL SOON!

>FEEL BETTER PLEASE

>DON'T DIE!

>(more smiley faces)

 

YOU SELECTED: >FEEL BETTER PLEASE

 

It's a masterpiece! Jopson even tells you so! He asks if he can sign his name to pass the sentiment along. 

 

You think:

>Of course!

>Well, it was supposed to just be from you.

>Yes, but only in a tiny corner away from your larger signature.

>Not only Jopson, but why not the whole crew?

 

YOU SELECTED: >Not only Jopson, but why not the whole crew?

 

What a wonderful idea from you, FUCKS! You ask Jopson if he would be partial to passing around the drawing so everyone can sign it. He agrees, signs it, and off it goes, out into the wild blue yonder. You can only imagine how it's going to look when it reaches you again. However, from the sound of it, the men greatly appreciate your idea. 

 

FRIENDLINESS INCREASES!

COMPASSION INCREASES!

Chapter Text

Bird Lord:

Jopson promises to get the card back to you by morning next so that the lads on the latest shift also have a chance to sign it. You take the opportunity to get some of your own washing done and spend a little extra time at the basin before getting an early start on sleep. With any (very good) luck, you'll be up late with Irving tonight. However, it doesn't escape you that he said that he needed to talk to you about something in private.

 

With that, you wait, curled in your hammock, listening to the men laugh and converse around you before you fall into a light doze.

After all goes quiet and only the few needed lanterns stay lit, you quietly roll out of your hammock and pad across the floor, mindful of squeaking boards and the swaying, sleeping bodies around you. You take the stairs on cat's feet until you're near the hatch. Then--

"Awful late to be wandering around," says a voice from behind you.

You turn to see Gibson standing near the stove, boiling a pot for tea. 

Your heart stutters in your chest and you try to think of an excuse for being up on this deck. The privies are down below, and you're certainly not dressed for watch. You say:

 

>You couldn't sleep and you're up wandering.

>You were looking for something in the kitchen.

>Something honest. You need to speak with one of the lieutenants.

>Ask him what he's doing up here.

 

YOU SELECTED: >You couldn't sleep and you're up wandering.

 

You tell him that you're unable to sleep and you're simply walking around. 

He looks at you a moment more before taking the teapot off the stove and pouring the water into a waiting cup. "Some might get suspicious of that sort of behaviour," he says.

"I'm not doing anything wrong," you point out. And you're not. As an AB, you're given leave to go where you need to, provided it's within the realms of your usual stomping grounds.

On second thought, where you were going isn't in that AB border. You don't point that out.

"No," he agrees. "I'm simply pointing out a possibility. One of the lieutenants might not see it that way, is all."

One of those lieutenants is the exact reason you're up here. Again, you don't say that either. "Alright," you say, wary.

He looks at you for a moment more before nodding and picking up the cup. "Be careful," is all he says.

He leaves you and heads into his berth, shutting the curtain behind him and leaving behind the stringent scent of the tea. You wait for a moment, counting your breaths and looking around for any other peering eyes. Then, as quietly as you can, you walk toward Irving's door. This time, you don't knock, instead opting to slide the door open outright.

Irving is sitting at his desk, working on what looks like a page of equations. It looks complicated, but you've never had a good head for numbers, so you can't quite tell if it is or isn't. He looks up at you, going from confused to relieved to delighted.

"Come in," he whispers, motioning for you to shut the door behind you. You do say, taking a few steps in just as he stands up. At first, you think he's going to pull you into his arms. However, he holds both of his hands behind his back, his face flushed and eyes darting from you to the floor. "Er. You can... um, sit, if you'd like," he says, reaching forward only to motion toward the chair.

You do so, unsure of what's going on.

He sits on the edge of his bed, still not focusing completely on you, but not saying anything either.

 

You decide to:

>Stay quiet and wait for him to speak.

>Tell him about meeting Gibson.

>Bring up something totally unrelated - something funny, maybe.

>Kiss him and skip the whole awkward talk bit.

 

YOU SELECTED: >Stay quiet and wait for him to speak.

 

You decide to wait for him to speak, which he seems grateful for. Although you can't speak for what goes on in his mind, you think that he's taking the time to collect his thoughts. After a few moments, he says, "I'm sorry it took so long."

You frown. "For what?"

"For... this," he says, motioning between the two of you. "To meet like this. After what happened with Torrington and the..." He stops abruptly and clears his throat.

You raise your eyebrows, waiting.

Sheepish, he fidgets with his hands in his lap. It's rather uncharacteristic compared to his usual rigid attitude when he's working. However, you've learned enough about him now to know that there seem to be two Irvings -- the Lieutenant and this man before you. 

"We may have been noticed," he finally admits, and the very words cause a chill to run through you. Your face must reflect your thoughts, because he suddenly puts his hands up to pacify. "No! No, not like that. I mean our intentions may have gone noticed, by a... a friend." He stops, thinking for a moment longer before adding, "A concerned friend."

You furrow your brow. "'Concerned'?"

"That we may be noticed in a less auspicious way," he replies. "This... friend understands, I think. He wouldn't tell anyone, but he thinks we should mind our actions more."

You nod along, slowly understanding. If Irving isn't terrified of the prospect, then it must not be too bad. This 'friend' is probably more trustworthy than, say, Gibson. While you're on good terms with Gibson, you don't think he would tell you as much as this friend has told Irving. 

Still, Irving goes on. "He's right, of course. I suppose I've been so..."

You wait again.

"Enraptured," is what he settles on. It's a very good word, you admit. "It's made me blind to the possibility that perhaps I was wearing my feelings too publically."

This surprises you. "Have you?"

"Apparently," he replies, but at least he's smiling. "I've spoken of you very warmly to a few close friends. I suppose it might seem obvious if I were to suddenly extol the virtues of someone of your rank so soon after leaving England."

This also makes sense, and even though you know he could have gotten in trouble for such a thing, it warms you in a way that is hard to express to think that he's apparently been in love enough to make it obvious to people he's close with.

"So," you start, unsure of how to proceed. "What is your plan, exactly?"

"I'm not sure," he says quietly. "I mean, I am, but I'm not. I suppose that doesn't make sense."

It does, judging by the look of conflict on his face; his eyes twitch back and forth between his hands and you, and he bites down on his bottom lip more than once. 

"I only have what I know," he explains. "My training as an officer, my upbringing in my faith, and what I know I feel for you. I... I haven't had many close friends in my life--"

Just friends? You frown.

"--and not enough to know what this feeling is," he finishes, his left hand going up to his chest. His fingers dig into the fabric of his sweater a bit before he drops his hand in his lap again. "Or, maybe I did once. I don't know. I'm sure I sound like a fool right now."

 

You tell him:

>He doesn't sound like a fool. You know how big of a step this is for him, and how hard it's been. You understand.

>He does, but that's alright. We are all fools in love, and all that.

>You want him to sort these feelings out before you proceed with your relationship. You can't have him second-guessing this forever.

>Maybe he did once? 

 

YOU SELECTED: >He doesn't sound like a fool. You know how big of a step this is for him, and how hard it's been. You understand.

 

"You don't sound like a fool," you reply. "You told me that you were working your way through this, and I understand."

He smiles, but it trembles like it's on a weak support. "I am," he says, his voice cracking. "I am trying, and I think... I think I know what I want, and how I feel. I'm only sorry that it's taking so long. You deserve better than this from me."

You shake your head, finally standing up and walking toward him. Your hands brace on the border of his bunk, one on either side of his hips. With him sitting like this, you're equal in height, but he still looks at you as though you tower over him. A soft, "Oh," escapes him.

 

You say:

>"I know what I want, and what I deserve. You don't make that choice for me."

>"I know you're trying, and I appreciate that. You still have time."

>"I need you to work through this so I know if you're what I deserve or not."

>(KISS. HIM.)

 

YOU SELECTED: >"I know what I want, and what I deserve. You don't make that choice for me." and >"I know you're trying, and I appreciate that. You still have time."

 

In your moment of INDECISION, somewhere in the distance, the La Cucaracha horn plays. It's very confusing.

Do you want to BLEND THE RESPONSES?

 

Player 12:

That'd probably be for the best

 

Bird Lord:

"I know what I want, and what I deserve," you say, softly but firmly. "I know. And I know that I appreciate what you've gone through for this, but you don't make that decision for me."

"I--"

"No," you go on, stronger now. "You have all the time and space you need, but you need to know what I feel. I make that call myself, even if I'm no lieutenant or mate. But I know myself, and I know I want this. And when you know for yourself and you're sure, then we can make that decision together."

He stares at you for a long moment, eyes looking glassy, mouth parted like he wants to speak but simply can't find the words.

"Oh," he says again. "I... Oh, God..."

His arms go around your middle, pulling you close to him. His face is buried in your shoulder, and before you know what to say or do, you feel a warm wetness spreading through your shirt fabric.

You hold him close for a long time.

 

IRVING RELATIONSHIP +1

 

Irving seems too drained to do much more than sit quietly with you. However, he seems to feel better -- perhaps relieved of some inner burden he's been carrying. For a little while, the two of you talk quietly. He talks about home, about his brothers and sister, what they all do and where they live. He talks about his older brother Alexander as a child, pretending to be a knight until he jousted at the wall with a broomstick handle and put a hole through it. You're delighted to hear him laugh, to see the smile grow on his face until you're certain it's not being forced through tears. You tell him a little of your own life, until the two of you are too tired to give more than one-or-two word answers.

Finally, you think it may be time to head back to your hammock. You're sure to be tired in the morning, but you vastly prefer this anyway. 

 

Before you leave, you:

>Give him the poem still hidden in your shirt.

>Tell him you'll see him soon.

>Stay the night.

>Eat the poem right in front of him.

 

YOU SELECTED: >Give him the poem still hidden in your shirt.

 

You reach into your shirt and pull out the folded poem, its edges already boxed from carrying it around during work. You hand it to Irving who takes it, visibly curious. He looks at you and holds it up. "Should I read this now or later?"

"Now, if you'd like."

He nods and unfolds it before reading through once, then twice, then three times. Each time, his smile grows. By the beginning of the fourth time, he looks delighted. When he looks to you again, his eyes are glittering in the lanternlight. "You wrote this for me?"

"With some help," you admit, but you beam with pride. "But yes, I did."

"That's... I don't know what to say." He holds one arm out at his side, leaving an open space for you. Even though you should be leaving, you go back to him and bask in the warmth of his body, the way he holds you close to him. "Thank you," he says. There are more words woven into those two, and you can almost hear them.

You smile, and take the chance to press a kiss to the crown of his head. "Good night, John," you say into his hair.

He laughs and leans against you. "Good night," he replies. Three words go unheard, but are said all the same.

Chapter Text

Bird Lord:

Two weeks pass.

 

In that time, you and Irving are careful about your relationship, heeding the warnings of both Gibson and Irving's trusted friend. He is careful not to show you as much affection in public, but during the latter few days of these two weeks, the two of you grow exponentially closer. Mindful of your nightly wanderings, you are far more cautious and slip into his berth like a shadow. As the nights grow longer and darker, you use that valuable time to get to know Irving better in multiple ways.

 

The holidays are approaching, though! Far from home as you are, the captains and the commander are adamant on celebrating them above the Arctic Circle. You hear words like 'morale' being thrown around, but your mind goes right back to that sweet, sweet cake that Mister Wall baked on your birthday. You can only hope for a repeat performance.

 

And as these holidays near and it becomes too cold to do most of the deck chores, whispers of events begin to rise. You've heard multiple times now that Commander Fitzjames is planning to host a, quote, "GLORIOUS, GLITTERING, RESPLENDENT WINTER AFFAIR THAT NO MAN HAS EVER SEEN AT SUCH A LATITUDEEEEE", complete with a fermata on the end. The date hasn't been set, but you feel like it's only a matter of time.

 

Also, there's a new means of gathering gossip news! A few of the enterprising sailors have created the Polar Gazette, a joint news venture produced between the two ships, done in two editions and traded by enterprising and brave sailors willing to run the strait between them. You now have news from the Erebus, just as they have news about the Terror. It runs every week, more or less (or when they can get the printing press lever to thaw). Filled with puns and terrible jokes, you've come to enjoy it.

 

Two days ago, a snowstorm came through and blanketed all of Beechey Island and the surrounding landscapes in thick sheets of white. Icicles hangs from every remaining piece of rigging left up after the winter breakdown, and it would be more beautiful if it also wasn't way too damn cold. Any moment spent above the hatch is brief, as the frigidness of the lower decks is still better than the bitter cold that's come with a true Arctic winter.

 

You're essentially trapped inside for a few days, which gets old very fast. You do what you can to keep from clawing the walls in boredom. Terrance gets a few new outfits and a new turret added to his castle. You practise your poetry skills (you'll never be Bowline, but by God you'll try) and write a few cryptic sonnets to Irving. You even go to watercolour class until the water part of the lesson gets too frozen to work with. All in all, it's the least exciting part of the journey thusfar.

 

Today, however, is possibly the last day of your frozen imprisonment. Blanky's claimed that it looks like the weather's going to break up and calm, which means that you'll probably be out tunneling a new path to Erebus before you know it. 

 

You still have to wile away the hours until tomorrow. This morning, after you break the ice on the washing basins and almost freeze your fingers off trying to rinse your long underwear, you decide to:

 

- MEET PEOPLE

- EXPLORE

- RECREATION

- NAP

 

YOU SELECTED:  - MEET PEOPLE

 

Who would you like to meet?

EVERYONE is AVAILABLE

 

[People want to see Sir John]

 

EVERYONE on TERROR. EREBUS is UNAVAILABLE until tomorrow.

It is currently COLD AS BALLS and you MIGHT DIE if you try to GO TO EREBUS.

 

Player 19:

!!!!!

PAT NEPTUNE

GIVE NEPTUNE THE PATS

 

Bird Lord:

You gleefully pet Neptune. He bestows his BLESSING.

 

Would you like to meet with:

>Little

>Hodgson

>Peglar

>Crozier

>Jopson

 

YOU SELECTED: >Crozier

 

By pure coincidence, this morning you think about meeting with Captain Crozier, only for Jopson to find you after your duties are finished to tell you that Crozier actually asked to see you personally.

 

However, by Jopson's positive attitude, you're relieved to see that you aren't in trouble. In fact, Jopson looks very pleased and personally escorts you to the Great Cabin. It's your first time there, and after Jopson knocks on the door and Crozier gives his acquiescence, you're led in.

 

The cabin isn't as... resplendent as you thought it would be. Actually, Captain Crozier keeps things very tidy and simplistic. Nothing is out of order, save for a pair of cut crystal glasses. There are a few charts laid out on the desk, and the stove is merrily crackling away, making this easily the warmest room on the ship. Neptune trots in after you and Jopson shuts the door behind him. Then Neptune takes his place at Crozier's feet, wagging his tail against the floor in happiness.

 

Crozier is looking at a handwritten letter, and his expression isn't... pleased. For a moment, you think this may have something to do with you, until he lifts his gaze to you and offers a polite smile. You knuckle your forehead appropriately.

 

"Ah, FUCKS. Good to see you. Things are going well, I hope?"

 

"Yes, sir," you reply.

 

"Good, good. I've heard good things about your performance," he says, turning to pull the chart toward himself. From your angle, you think it's a map of Beechey, with the two ship locations marked in pencil. "Lieutenant Irving in particular seems impressed with you, and Jopson has followed up with his regards as well."

 

You see Jopson in your periphery, hiding a smile. 

 

"Thank you, sir," you say.

 

"Of course. Now, I have a task for you, if you're up for it." Then, he pauses, looking at you expectantly.

 

You say:

>"Anything, sir."

>"May I know what it is, sir?"

>"I may be indisposed, sir."

>(Stare back, but like, sexy)

 

YOU SELECTED: >"Anything, sir."

 

"Anything, sir."

 

"Good." He points to you. "I admire your enthusiasm."

 

Appropriately, and though you can't physically feel it, your LUCK INCREASES, presumably because of old tired Irish jokes. 

 

He motions to the charts, and you walk to the side of the desk, looking over the lines and curves. "Tomorrow, we start tunneling our path to and from the ships as well as to the shore of Beechey. I've assigned Lieutenants Little and Irving to the general project, but the men need a leader closer to home. With what I've been told, you're a likely candidate. You'll be charged with keeping order and working with the lieutenants to make the paths from here--" He points to the pencil point marked TERROR "--to here--" EREBUS "--and back to the shore in a sort of oxbow shape. Do you think you can do it?"

 

>"Absolutely, sir!"

>"Can I think about it?"

>"Hell no, sir."

>(Sultry stare and very heavy breathing)

 

YOU SELECTED: >"Absolutely, sir!"

 

You smile, happy to be of help. "Absolutely, sir!" you say.

 

Crozier seems impressed with you. "Very good. You'll convene with the lieutenants in the morning instead of your usual duties. Lieutenant Little will brief you on the particulars as he sees fit. Erebus should be attempting the same from their side, so if all goes well, it won't take long. Sir John has already made an offer to berth your group on Erebus should the weather catch you on their side."

 

"Alright. Thank you, sir."

 

You salute again, feeling that this is the end of your orders. However, before you turn to leave--

 

"Ah, one more thing, FUCKS," Crozier calls. You turn and he nods to you. "Lieutenant Little may also have you convene with him and Irving tonight, should he choose it. Keep your ears open."

 

"Yes, sir."

 

With that, and a delighted bark from Neptune, you're sent on your way.

 

CROZIER RELATIONSHIP +1

Chapter Text

Bird Lord:

After taking leave of Crozier (and yes, petting Neptune, ruffling his fur, calling him a good boy, kissing his widdle pubby nose, and all that), you head back to the Galley. There seems to be a bit of a ruckus there at the moment! Curious, you get close enough to see--

 

SOME BRAVE MAN HAS BROUGHT THE EREBUS POLAR GAZETTE

 

Hallelujah!

 

Yes indeed! One poor AB is bundled up near to the eyeballs, coated in snow, currently getting treated by several thankful men fetching him tea and warming feeling back into his arms and legs. More importantly, there's a whole stack of fresh papers on the table in front of his frozen body. Will you take one?

 

YES or NO

 

YOU SELECTED: YES

 

ADDED 'EREBUS POLAR GAZETTE ISSUE #3 TO INVENTORY'

 

You open the Gazette to find several articles and stories from different authors. You recognise very few names, as apparently near everyone on Erebus is writing under a pseudonym. Here are your choices of articles:

 

>TRAGEDY ABOVE THE ARCTIC CIRCLE by JACK DEERHILL

>A LONG NIGHT TO REMEMBER by HAROLD TIMOTHY DORCAS EL BARON

>STOP! THIEF! by TOM BOWLINE

>THE EREBUS CRIME BLOTTER by JIM TOWERS

>THE LADIES' REPORT by MRS HAVERSHAM

 

YOU SELECTED: >STOP! THIEF! by TOM BOWLINE

 

STOP! THIEF! by TOM BOWLINE

 

The most noble array of FINE AND UPSTANDING MARINES gravely reported yesterday that something of great value had been stolen. After intensive interrogation of several PREVIOUSLY UPSTANDING members of our FINE COMMUNITY, we were all HORRIFIED to hear about the crime in question. Indeed, several of our LADIES OF MRS HAVERSHAM'S SCHOOL had to be revived by the doctors after a great affair of swooning that nearly changed the pressure of the entire ship with one great DRAW OF BREATH. Your noble and intrepid detective went in search of these most precious details of the GREAT WRONG committed in our hallowed halls, and was also DISGUSTED by the truth!

 

It seems that only just TWO NIGHTS PRIOR, one man who shall remain anonymous with respect to his privacy had something of GREAT PRECIOUSNESS stolen away. The crime was all the more nefarious for the fact that it was committed within SIGHT of some of our own COMMUNITY MEMBERS. We are appalled! We are outraged that nothing was done to prevent such an affront! Alas, poor MR ------ had, yes, his DIGNITY STOLEN. Right from under his nose! Snip-snap-snip! Nothing could be done, and it was too late. He is all a-grieved at the loss and we are currently waiting on tenterhooks for news of his recovery. 

 

The THIEF has gotten away with the poor man's DIGNITY and has not been found or accosted. If anyone has any details relating to this case, please pass them along to the following address:

 

POLAR GAZETTE - EREBUS OFFICE c/o TOM BOWLINE

NO. 21213 BEECHEY PARK

ARCTIC CIRCLE

 

Would you like to read another article?

YES or NO

 

YOU SELECTED:  YES

 

What would you like to read?

>TRAGEDY ABOVE THE ARCTIC CIRCLE by JACK DEERHILL

>A LONG NIGHT TO REMEMBER by HAROLD TIMOTHY DORCAS EL BARON

>THE EREBUS CRIME BLOTTER by JIM TOWERS

>THE LADIES' REPORT by MRS HAVERSHAM

 

YOU SELECTED: >THE LADIES' REPORT by MRS HAVERSHAM

 

THE LADIES' REPORT by MRS HAVERSHAM

 

The LADIES' SCHOOL is pleased to report that our recent fundraiser was a ROUSING SUCCESS. Our school collected exactly 10 PENCE to go toward our enormous dearth of RIBBONS for bonnets in need. Our chief subscriber was MISTER H. COLLINS who, after great pestering to appeal to his CHRISTIAN SENSE OF CHARITY, reached into his pocket and managed to help us procure half of our funds. He was sent a LOVELY POSY, care of MISS BETTY ORREN as a token of our collective esteem.

 

We are also very pleased to report a rise in WHALEBONE CORSETS owing to our new shop near BEECHEY PARK. Here, we quote one of our senior ladies of the school, MISS GRACE GORE who is incredibly enthused about the future of her silhouette. MISS GORE said, "Oh yes! This will do nicely!" before asking LADY FAIRHOLME to hammer her sides into shape. Both ladies found this operation successful and graciously thanked the WHALES for their donation.

 

Would you like to read another article?

YES or NO

 

YOU SELECTED: YES

 

>TRAGEDY ABOVE THE ARCTIC CIRCLE by JACK DEERHILL

>A LONG NIGHT TO REMEMBER by HAROLD TIMOTHY DORCAS EL BARON

>THE EREBUS CRIME BLOTTER by JIM TOWERS

 

YOU SELECTED: >THE EREBUS CRIME BLOTTER by JIM TOWERS

RUNNER UP: >A LONG NIGHT TO REMEMBER by HAROLD TIMOTHY DORCAS EL BARON

 

A LONG NIGHT TO REMEMBER by HAROLD TIMOTHY DORCAS EL BARON

 

Your humble author is pleased to report that we have survived the Great Disgust. After several days of negotiating with those proprietors of the EREBITE Restaurant, we have settled upon terms which all those concerned have found agreeable. This has become common news circulated among our fine readership, but we must belay that the fois gras does not have nearly enough mold in its composition, and we expect better of our cuisine. Your humble author personally is horrified that his crust of bread was not seething in its own scum, and demands improvement posthaste! 

 

However, what is more of a demand of our readership was the length of time spent discussing the terms in full. For nine long hours, those parties thus represented waged a war of words and truffles upon each other until we were all quite clearly in the buillion. Our stomachs aching with righteous fury, we presented our case on the tip of a knife while the steaks were high. At ends, though, we prevailed through to morning, but the conversational egg was quite poached. However, we felt we had taken the biscuit and were quite full of ourselves.

 

And so, brave readers, march through your memories of the Great Disgust when you were presented with horrid finery. Claim that which belongs to you in the form of fungi and filth, and delight in our triumph of the long night.

 

THE EREBUS CRIME BLOTTER by JIM TOWERS

 

-MISS CHARLOTTE DES VOEUX has reported her curling papers have been stolen again and demands immediate recompense for the loss. At ends, she has chosen to take this case to the highest courts.

-MISTER TOM BOWLINE is offering a GREAT REWARD for the apprehension of a thief. What the thief took, he will not say. MISTER BOWLINE was reported as saying, "He knows who he is."

-MISTER DEERHILL and MISTER DEERHILL are both quite VEXED from the repeated CONFUSION of their identities. While this in itself is NOT a crime, MISTER DEERHILL says that he is better looking than MISTER DEERHILL and says if you confuse him for MISTER DEERHILL one more time, he will simply have to duel MISTER DEERHILL.

-LAWYER-ADVOCATE TIMOTHY BADGENTLEMAN claims that he will not represent another man in court as he has been demoted to fishwife in the interim.

 

Player 12:

Can we SAVE Game?

 

Bird Lord:

You have SAVED the GAME

 

You read what you can of the Polar Gazette and spend a few moments talking about the articles with your fellow crew. A few of them are voting on who the prettiest lady from Mrs Haversham's school is. When asked, you reply:

 

>Miss Gore

>Lady Fairholme

>Miss Des Voeux

>None of those! Doesn't Terror have its own?

 

YOU SELECTED: >None of those! Doesn't Terror have its own?

 

Well, no. Terror doesn't have its own because most of your articles are about Neptune and the general state of thing. You think your journalists are a bit lackluster at the moment, and you can't help but feel a slight sting of jealousy that apparently they're having a grand time on Erebus with all their fancy writing and whalebone corsets. 

 

If you're so jealous, why don't you write your own article for the next issue?

 

>I will! It's going to be amazing! They'll call me the next Bowline!

>I... might. If the mood suits me.

>I'll make someone else do it. There's probably someone better at it than me.

>(Eat the Gazette)

 

YOU SELECTED: >I will! It's going to be amazing! They'll call me the next Bowline!

 

That's the FUCKS spirit! Your SELF WORTH goes up at the thought! Editorials, poems, and short stories are already flitting through your quick little mind even as we speak! Will you write about Terror's ladies' school? What about your own crime blotter? Who knows! The Gazette is your oyster!

 

For now, though, you have other things to do while you muse. Like:

- MEET PEOPLE

- EXPLORE

- RECREATION

- NAP

 

YOU SELECTED: - MEET PEOPLE

 

Currently, you can meet: EVERYONE on TERROR (EREBUS UNAVAILABLE)

 

Player 19:

PAT SIR PUBBY

 

Bird Lord:

YOU CAN PET HIM ONCE A DAY

YOU ALREADY PET HIM

 

Player 19:

PLAY FETCH WITH SIR PUBBY

 

Bird Lord:

You can SEE NEPTUNE but you will not RECEIVE A BLESSING. He is not POWERFUL ENOUGH YET.

 

Also, you notice that it is NEARLY NOVEMBER now. That seems important to you, although you don't know why.

[J. HARTNELL falls ILL on NOVEMBER 15TH.]

 

You can meet:

>HODGSON

>LITTLE

>IRVING

>BLANKY

 

YOU SELECTED: >HODGSON

 

You decide to meet with Lieutenant Hodgson. Currently, he's attempting a lesson on the Terror's equipped organ, which sounds... rather pathetic in the intense cold. It sort of bleats instead of plays, but Hodgson continues to play it with enthusiasm for a small audience of huddled, bundled-up men. He sings.

 

No, correction: He tries to sing. It comes out rather odd and strained, again like bleating. Still, it's entertaining in more ways than one!

 

He sees you approach and perks up instantly. "Ah, Mister FUCKS! Glad you could join us! We're having a bit of a concert for your listening pleasure!" At that, he plays the saddest arpeggio you've ever heard. One of the men bursts out laughing and Hodgson joins him. He pats the side of the organ affectionately. "Poor thing. She's got a bit of a cold at the moment. Now, Mister FUCKS, what sort of music do you enjoy?"

 

>Something upbeat and positive.

>Something sombre and sad.

>Something religious! Praise the Lord!

>Something abstract and avant-garde.

 

YOU SELECTED:  >Something upbeat and positive.

 

Delighted, Hodgson begins playing what is probably supposed to be an uplifting melody on the organ. It sounds like a wheezing grandmother attempting to sing, but you appreciate it all the same as you laugh and sway along. He then switches it to a folk tune, apparently Scottish, causing two of the bundled-up men to burst into half-remembered song. Most of the words are mumbled, but you sing right along even though you don't know a single word.

 

Mostly, it sounds like, "Ahhh sh'once wuzza lady annnn--- hmm hm hmmmm, OOHHHH YES SHE HAD AAA-- hmm HM! Hmm!"

 

It really is the pinnacle of entertainment. To believe people pay tickets to see things of this quality.

 

Your FRIENDLINESS INCREASES!

HODGSON RELATIONSHIP +1

YOUR CHRISTIAN PLEASURES INCREASE

 

ACHIEVEMENT UNLOCKED:

Used Every Finger - Get musical with Lieutenant Hodgson

 

BELATED ACHIEVEMENT UNLOCKED:

A Real Romantic - You were a poet and you didn’t even know it!

 

With your Christian pleasure of singing with your friends out of the way, you head back to the Galley, mindful of the fact that you're going to have to be up early for the digging effort. At first, you contemplate heading to bed early. However, before you start making for the Orlop, you remember that Lieutenant Little may be looking for you if you're to convene with him and Irving tonight.

 

Will you:

>Stay up and wait for him and risk being more tired in the morning.

>Go and find him or Irving.

>Sleep anyway.

>Sleep in Irving's bed and just cut out the middleman.

 

YOU SELECTED: >Go and find him or Irving.

Chapter Text

Bird Lord:

YOU SELECTED: >Go and find [Little] or Irving.

 

You decide to look for one of the lieutenants. With any luck, you'll find Irving first (for reasons that are completely professional). 

 

Fortunately, it doesn't take you long to find one of them. Crozier's order has allowed you to enter the Wardroom, provided someone else is there and it isn't time for dinner service. You poke your head in and see Lieutenant Little sitting at the table with a set of charts in front of him. One of them is carefully marked in pencil, while the other is an absolute mess of ink stains.

 

"Oh," you say. "Lieutenant Little, sir?"

 

He looks up and offers you a tired smile. "Mister FUCKS. Come in, please. Irving will be with us shortly."

 

You take the chair across from him and immediately feel out of place. Everything is made of fine, polished wood that have been shined to perfection. Etchings and engravings hang on the walls, whereas in the Orlop, sometimes a crude drawing stays on the wall for maybe a week at most. Little is drinking tea out of one of the finest cups you've ever seen.

 

This is very, very far from fish heads.

 

For a long moment, neither of you speak. Little goes back and forth from the messy chart to his neat, well-lined pencil version. Finally, he leans back and offers a smile that bends just on the side of awkward.

 

"Captain Crozier tells me we're to be working together in the morning."

 

"So I'm told, sir."

 

He nods and folds his hands on the edge of the table. "We'll go over the finer details with Irving in a moment. But, ah--"

 

You feel the question before it's asked, and it creeps cold in you.

 

"To encourage... camaraderie, I had wondered after the nature of your relationship with Irving." He quickly adds, "So as I'm not forcing you to work with your worst enemy or the like."

You say:

>Irving is just a friend.

>Be respectfully honest. You're relationship is perhaps more than friendly.

>You detest the man wholeheartedly and would like nothing more than to see him stuck to the bottom of an iceberg.

>You like Little more. Ooh la la, those lashes.

 

YOU SELECTED: >Be respectfully honest. You're relationship is perhaps more than friendly.

 

You're quiet for a moment, long enough that Lieutenant Little looks at you with a strange expression -- loftily neutral, but pinched at the corners of his eyes. A weight seems to sink in your chest as you consider how best to phrase your relationship. All told, the lieutenant is your superior, and by extent is also Irving's. To lie to him is, in of itself, a violation of both trust and the rules. To bend the truth--

 

No. You've come so far in this, and to simply summarise your feelings as friendship? You couldn't.

 

"I regard Lieutenant Irving with enormous respect," you say as a preface. "He's a good officer and a friend, and..."

 

Shit. What do you say beyond this point.

 

Lieutenant Little's brows rise in expectation. "And?" he says.

 

The weight lifts. This is a point of no return for you. "And perhaps more," you admit. He can interpret that how he would like -- brotherly, if he'd like. You just won't lie

 

He smiles. "I see," is all he says.

 

Before he can say more, the Wardroom door slides open and Irving enters. He pauses his steps at the sight of the two of you, but offers a thin, polite smile before taking his seat at Edward's side. At this distance, you could reach across the table and touch his hand. However, you're smart enough to avoid pushing what Little is already kindly allowing, if he's allowing it. You don't know him well enough to trust him completely.

 

Gibson follows in after with a pot of tea, filling cups for you and Irving. You notice that you're served with a plain, undecorated cup. That figures. 

 

"Anything else, sirs?" he asks. He does not look at you.

 

Little waves him away. "No, thank you, Gibson. We'll call for you should we need anything more."

 

There's a tense moment where none of you speak. Gibson lingers, Irving stares down at his cup, Little regards his chartwork, and you...

 

>Look at Irving

>Look at Little

>Look at Gibson

>Look at the weird chip taken out of the rim of your cup that bares a striking resemblance to the shape of Ireland

 

YOU SELECTED: >Look at the weird chip taken out of the rim of your cup that bares a striking resemblance to the shape of Ireland

 

You stare down at the rim of your cup, eyes mapping out nearly the exact shape of that very Isle of Erin. You can even see a teeny tiny Dingle Peninsula made out of a hairline fracture in the material. By the time you notice an itty bitty pock where Dublin should be (maybe you need to steal this cup for later study, if you're that kind of person), Little finally speaks.

 

"I suppose we need to finalise our plan for the dig-out, civic engineers though we are not," he says before sipping his tea.

 

Irving hums thoughtfully and glances at the chart. You realise he's going out of his way to avoid looking at you. His finger brushes over a tiny pathway etched along the shore of Beechey. "Is this what we're settling on?"

 

"One proposed idea, yes. Commander Fitzjames sent word that he wanted a more direct route between the ships, but Mister Blanky thought that the structural integrity of the ice beneath might be compromised, and suggested the shore route."

 

"It would be less direct," Irving comments. "And they'll be meeting us halfway from Erebus?"

 

"So they say," Little comments, perhaps a bit dryly. "If they rouse early enough to start on their end."

 

Finally, Irving looks to you. "What do you think is the best route, FUCKS?"

 

>The Beechey shore route. It's longer, but probably safer.

>The Direct route. It should be faster.

>Suggest a new route! Maybe one that hugs the shore, but doesn't intersect it completely.

>Keep staring at your cup.

 

YOU SELECTED: >The Beechey shore route. It's longer, but probably safer.

 

Good choice! Word will eventually get back to Blanky that you agreed, so your RELATIONSHIP WITH HIM IMPROVES. 

 

"The shore route, I think," you say, standing up to lean over and trace a line just short of the position of the observation hut. "That way, it provides a direct route not only between the ships, but to the forge, hut, and house onshore. Less need to dig out more tunnels in order to gain access to it, right?"

 

Little nods, a faint smile on his face. Irving looks... proud?

 

"Good eye, FUCKS," Little says. He traces the exact route with a pencil. "We'll start early and make a diagonal route to the shore, and then another cutting back to the agreed midpoint where the team from Erebus should meet us."

 

"And we'll be berthed on Erebus when this is finished?" Irving asks.

 

Little nods and takes another sip of tea. You follow his example, lip brushing against the rough location of Derry. "Provided the weather doesn't turn outright sour, we might be able to make it back to Terror in time. But Commander Fitzjames has assured us that they have all the necessary room and resources for us should we need it."

 

Irving seems content with the idea, and spares another glance to you. There's something far more heated in his eyes now, which you can't entirely account for.

 

You finalise the rest of the plan, including your role in the operation. You're to lead a team of ABs, accompanied by Irving. Most of your job requires the heavy-labor work of picking and digging through the ice and snow. Little will be leading an advance team to plot out the route itself and will double back to aid your group when the plotting is finished.

 

And it definitely means you'll have plenty of time to speak to Irving.

 

Your plan now set for tomorrow morning, you head out of the Wardroom, pausing only momentarily by Gibson who is washing out a cup. Speaking of, what are you doing about the Ireland cup?

 

>Keep it. Is anyone really going to notice that it's gone?

>Give it back. You're ROBERT FUCKS, not ROBERT STEALSDISHWARE.

>Give it back, but come back for it later. Alone. When no one's watching.

>Try to eat it.

 

YOU SELECTED: >Give it back, but come back for it later. Alone. When no one's watching.

 

As much as you love your beloved Ireland cup, it's Not Yet Time to take it. You'll return for it and carefully study its beauty and miraculous topography. You might even be able to recruit Jopson into getting you the cup.

 

Until then, you have a little while more to spend before you should certainly go to bed. You have a big morning ahead of you.

 

You can:

- MEET PEOPLE (EVERYONE on TERROR is AVAILABLE)

- EXPLORE

- RECREATION

- NAP

 

YOU SELECTED: - EXPLORE

 

You decide to EXPLORE. Where would you like to go?

 

Deck

Kitchen

Orlop

Hold

 

YOU SELECTED: K itchen

 

You decide to go to the Kitchen.

 

Your options aren't... the best today, unfortunately. Or, perhaps they're the best for you! You know why? Because you can choose from:

 

- FISH HEADS!

- Slightly scary hardtack

- Salt pork

- Something that another rat is attempting to steal

 

YOU SELECTED: - Salt pork

 

You kindly leave the questionable food item to the rats, and when it is taken away (and it was awfully grey and fuzzy), a RAT TOKEN remains where it was. 

 

You tuck in to a rasher of salt pork, savouring it for all of its salty porkiness. You couldn't get a better meal at the dining room in the King's Armpit Tavern in Whitechapel!

 

HEALTH IMPROVES

RAT TOKEN ADDED

 

You eventually get into your hammock and settle in to rest. However, you have an inkling of a thought before sleep. Do you visit Irving tonight (YES) or sleep (NO)?

 

YOU SELECTED: NO

 

Good idea! Doing otherwise might have ended in you FAINTING ON THE JOB LIKE A COMPLETE MORON!

Chapter Text

Morning comes far too early, even for as long as you've slept. By the time you're roused by Lieutenant Little and the remaining men from the last late watch, you feel like you've only just put your head on the pillow. Still, it's better than it could be, and had you made the CRITICAL MISTAKE of going to see Irving last night, you might have made a complete idiot out of yourself!

 

You dress, shave, and wipe down your face and arms before shouldering on your coat and getting into your slops. A few other ABs are accompanying you, and by the time you reach the hatch, you're delighted to see Peglar and Blanky among your number! Blanky even gives you a pat on the shoulder and a smile before explaining that he'll be going out to keep an eye on the ice, quote, "Mostly so that blind bat Reid doesn't kill the Erebus lads."

 

With that, you and your group go out into the frigid darkness to start on your mission. It's going to be a busy day.

 

Peglar stays in your group while Blanky goes on ahead with Little. By the time the pathetic grey light known as Arctic November Daybreak slivers the horizon, you and your men are hard at work shoveling a path to the Beechey shore. You keep an eye on the looming black dome of Beechey Island's large, flat-topped hill while simultaneously directing the men. Officer you're not, you seem to be impressing Irving who finds no reason to second-guess your directions. 

 

He walks alongside you as you dig, rifle slung over his shoulder, eyes on the horizon for signs of men or polar bears, or perhaps something even more unsavoury. 

 

You work for about two hours, carefully carving out a ditch-like path with a flat bottom about three feet in diameter. One of the men even jokingly returns with a signpost from the carpenters reading ARCTIC ALLEY, placing it like a street marker on a snowy hillock. Peglar suggests you all get your own addresses along the route.

 

"Build our own snow houses," he says as he carves out the edge of the next section of ditch. "I'd like mine to have a parlour. Couches and the like, and maybe a snow-tea service."

 

Another man pipes up, "Oh, I'll 'ave a carriage-house wit' mine! Snow 'orses and the lot!"

 

They look to you for your dream home.

 

>You'll have a real mansion, with ice fountains and a spacious snow parlour with a happy hearth brimming with a distinct lack of heat. You'll be like the snow-gentry!

>Something more familiar. Maybe a townhouse wedged between another pair of townhouses.

>A snow-shack. You're a man on the move! No time for a fancy permanent address.

>SNOW PALACE!!

 

YOU SELECTED: >Something more familiar. Maybe a townhouse wedged between another pair of townhouses.

 

How very Victorian of you! Your VICTORIANNESS INCREASES accordingly, as you have no sense above your station. Will you have little snowy fish heads on your table? 

 

You plan your future address schematics out loud, earning a laugh from some of the men and a friendly pat on the back from Peglar. "I'll visit you every day, Mister FUCKS," he intones with mock-solemnity. Your RELATIONSHIP WITH PEGLAR IMPROVES.

 

Irving just smiles as he walks along with you. One of the men asks him if he'd build them a snow church, and he seems to delight in the idea. For the next half hour or so, you all plan to help him with the construction of it, including packed snow pews and a little bell made of ice. It certainly makes the work go by faster, and Irving seems flushed less with the cold and more with the fact that the men are being friendly toward him.

 

You work for a few more hours until you reach the shore of Beechey, the slick ice and packed snow giving way to dark shale. By the time you're shoveling through the thinner snow of the shore, Little's party has already doubled back with Blanky looking irritated and Little looking as though he'd rather be back on the ship, fast asleep.

 

"Well," Little tells Irving. "It seems that Mister Reid has opted for the direct route on the assumption that we would be doing the same."

 

Blanky scoffs beside him.

 

Little continues, "So Erebus' team is nearly done on their side."

 

"And wouldn't you know that Sir John himself told them they could head back as soon as they reached the midpoint," Blanky finishes for him. 

 

Irving looks between them, confused. "So they won't be meeting us?"

 

"That'd be what it is, lad," Blanky replies, adjusting the strap of the rifle. "We've got a long walk in our future."

 

A very long walk. You get tired just thinking about it.

 

By the time you reach the midpoint later that evening, you're all exhausted and past the point of joking. Even Peglar is going about his work with an uncharacteristic seriousness, only offering you a brief smile when you look at him. Finally, you reach the notch in the snow where the Erebites have been digging. Someone has even thought to mark it with a small Union Jack to commemorate their tiny victory, which seems rudimentary compared to your careful work.

 

"Oh, damn their eyes," Blanky comments, only getting a weary look from Irving for the polite oath. 

 

The paths merged, you and the men head toward the Erebus, far too tired to make the walk back to your ship. 

 

However frustrated you are before reaching Erebus, most of it evaporates on entering it. Once again, the atmosphere is nothing but pleasant, and even warm to a nearly steamy degree. The pipework hums as water and steam are pushed through it. Their cook is making something to such a large degree that a veritable cloud of savoury-scented steam comes up from the kitchen. The Erebus lieutenants greet their counterparts like old friends, and Commander Fitzjames nearly scoops up Little to herd him toward the Wardroom. Irving slinks behind him, laughing at one of Fairholme's comments. It's a warming scene on its own, and leaves you feeling better for it.

 

Your choices are wide open as to where to go, aside from the impromptu Wardroom meeting. You and Peglar choose to sit with:

>Goodsir

>The Hartnells

>With your fellow ABs

>Demand entry into the Wardroom

 

YOU SELECTED: >Goodsir

 

Goodsir isn't with the other officers in the Wardroom, but instead sits in the Galley with a book, looking a bit perturbed at a pair of ABs roughhousing near him and almost falling right into his lap. He shifts out of the way just in time. When he looks up to see you and Peglar, his expression changes to pure delight.

 

"FUCKS! Mister Peglar! A pleasure to see you! How was your journey?" he asks, authentically enthusiastic.

 

"Ah--" Peglar sits down with a wince. "Busy. We'll be sore tomorrow, no doubt."

 

Goodsir looks at you with pleasant expectancy as he shuts his book in his lap. "I've heard you're to be berthing with us tonight, is that right?"

 

"It is," you say, also cringing as you sit. Your legs put up a grand protest. "Not sure where you'll fit us, but that's correct."

 

"Oh, I'm with--" Peglar starts, but quickly shuts up, cheeks coloring as soon as the last word ends on his tongue. "I have a place," is what he settles on.

 

Right. You remember the note. You smile at him and he shyly grins back.

 

Goodsir hardly seems to notice the exchange. "And you, FUCKS?"

 

"Probably with the other ABs in the hammocks," you reply with a shrug. "Wherever they fit me."

 

"Oh, I thought I heard something about you staying in the fo'c's'le," Goodsir says. "You'd be in a bunk, at least."

 

Well, that's news to you!

You have a chance to talk to Goodsir for a few moments longer before the Wardroom meeting inevitably lets out. You decide to talk about:

 

>How he's doing. It's been a good while since you've seen him!

>How things are going on the Erebus.

>What might be wrong with Torrington.

>Say you want to meet with him and talk about something "private".

 

YOU SELECTED: >What might be wrong with Torrington.

 

In your moment of indecision, you hear a strangely pleasant aria emanating from the Wardroom. It might be Fitzjames? If it is, he's very talented!

 

Figuring the chatty officers won't be in an enormous hurry to finish their meeting (especially if Sir John and Fitzjames are talking), you catch up with Goodsir on how he's been these last few weeks. He admits that he's tired, what with the rise of illnesses and an apparent rife case of a cold that's plagued them. He jokes that he really gets his best sleep in between patients. This leads to your next question.

 

"One of our men near fainted on deck the other day," you tell him, and Peglar nods along. "Doctor MacDonald isn't entirely sure of his symptoms yet but thinks he might be... consumptive."

 

Goodsir's expression takes a turn for the grave and you feel a bit disturbed to see it. "That could be quite critical at these latitudes," he says. "I've not yet had a chance to mark how the symptoms change in response to such cold, but I know from some texts on the matter that the nature of shipboard life can sometimes exacerbate or even quicken the appearance of symptoms. What occupation does your man hold?"

 

Peglar answers for you, "He's a petty officer. Our lead stoker. He's hardly had to work since we froze in, but the captain's seen fit to give him work to keep from being idle."

 

"Oh," Goodsir replies, looking down at his book. His fingers twitch on the cover. "This could be very critical, indeed. Is he being treated?"

 

"I think," you say. "I haven't been to see him."

 

"Perhaps for the better," Goodsir says, but doesn't seem entirely convinced. "Consumption is a vicious creature. However, what with the nature of his work, he may also be afflicted with pneumonia or a different sort of inflammation of the lungs. It may not be as bad as it seems."

 

"What can be done?" Peglar asks.

 

"Observation," Goodsir replies, tilting his head in thought. "Keeping him comfortable. Applying the medications that we can. If it's just an inflammation, it can be treated. Consumptive patients, however, are..."

 

He trails off, just as raucous laughter emanates from the Wardroom. Some meeting they're having.

 

"Could he improve if consumptive?" you ask.

 

"It isn't unheard of. Some patients recover and never show another sign of it so long as they live. Others are afflicted with returns of it -- spells of the nature where they are as bedridden and ill as the first time. It's a terrible thing to struggle through, and its means of contagion are... Well, it's a rather lonely life for as long as others know you have it."

 

Peglar must sense your downturn in mood, as his hand is on your arm. When you look to him, there's a sympathetic pinch in his brow. "He'll improve," he tells you. "Be certain of it."

 

You nod, but you can't shake the ill feeling rising in your stomach.

 

The meeting finally lets out and several of the men -- namely the lieutenants -- appear with wide smiles and cheeks pink with delight. Even Irving seems to be in good spirits, and his eyes are alight when they find you in the crowd. When he sees the look on your face, however, his smile dampens. He quickly looks between you, Peglar, and Goodsir before appearing confused.

 

Damn. You hope you didn't ruin his evening.

 

"Well," Goodsir says, slowly standing. "I suppose my exile is up for now, and I'm sure both of you are tired."

 

"A bit," Peglar admits. However, he turns his head and catches sight of Bridgens removing teacups from the room. Suddenly, Peglar looks like he's slept an entire night perfectly. "Yes, I should go to bed soon," Peglar concludes, smiling.

 

You decide to:

>Settle on staying with the ABs, even after Goodsir mentioned hearing something about the fo'c's'le. Better safe than embarrassed if he's wrong.

>Go to the fo'c's'le anyway and hope he's right.

>Go toward the lieutenants. Pretend to pass it off as asking question.

>Just sleep on the floor.

 

YOU SELECTED: >Go toward the lieutenants. Pretend to pass it off as asking question.

Chapter Text

You bid Goodsir a good evening, not missing the faint flush to his cheeks as he bids you a good night as well. As Peglar goes toward Bridgens, you make your way over to the lieutenants. Gore and Le Vesconte look particularly pleased to see you, and Gore even reaches across to clap you on the shoulder in greeting.

 

"FUCKS! We ought to have invited you in today. Half our talk was about how well you did!" he says. He's completely unaware of the sharp look Irving sends him.

 

"The other was about Fitzjames and his latent ventriloquism ability," Le Vesconte says with a shrug.

 

"It was impressive," Blanky admits.

 

You're pleased to hear your praises, but it doesn't change what you came here for. "Ah, thank you, sirs. I meant to ask after the berthing assignments. Peglar said he already had a place. Am I right to think I'll be in with the other ABs here?"

 

For a moment, it seems as though Irving means to argue with that, but Little speaks first. "Right. We agreed that it might be best for you to be in the fo'c's'le for tonight as you did serve a role better meant for an officer."

 

"What he means," Le Vesconte interjects, "is that you're being rewarded without actually using the word."

 

"Oh," you say, smiling. "Thank you, sirs."

 

You don't know how to properly ask where Irving and Little will be sleeping, even though some strange heat is coiling in your stomach at the thought. On a ship like this, privacy will be at a premium.

 

Before you turn to leave, you feel a paper get passed into your hand as quick as a sleight-of-hand trick. By the time you turn to see who it was, everyone is going back to berths or other rooms. However, you'd know that hand anywhere.

 

The note reads:

 

'R.--

 

In room with Little. Meet tonight in -------'

 

The word is irreparably smudged, no matter how you look at it. It looks like it was written in haste, and a finger swiped through the ink before it was dry. Does it say Hold? Or Orlop? Or-- Well, probably not Galley. Still, it leaves you pondering.

 

The excitement of the mixed crew wanes as the night goes on. You spend time with your fellow ABs while getting to know the others. You sing a few songs together while one man goes absolutely wild on a fiddle, much to your delight. However, you finally settle in for a much-needed rest. Peglar disappears with Bridgens, leaving you to work your way into the fo'c's'le with some of the other petty officers. They receive you well enough, even for your rank. Good thing your Friendliness is notorious.

 

As the ship quiets down, you lay in your bunk, thinking of the note in your pocket. You decide to:

 

>Go to the Hold.

>Go to the Orlop.

>Go to the Wardroom.

>Stay in your bunk.

 

YOU SELECTED: >Go to the Hold.

 

You slip out of bed and quietly make your way to the Hold, hoping that the private location makes it an obvious choice. This time, you're careful, mindful of the different set of officers and personnel. You keep to the shadows, and by doing this, IMPROVE your SNEAKINESS. No matter where you end up, you've done well in getting there.

 

Mindful of all the creaking and groaning of the timbers around you and under you, you make your way into the Hold. The chill is almost brutal down here, and you hiss as the cold, damp air hits you. You should have layered more, or at least put your boots on.

 

At first, it seems like you're alone. That is, until you hear footsteps on the boards. You peer through the darkness until you see--

Irving.

 

He looks out of place down here, still dressed in his uniform save for his hat. At first, he seems like a spectre haunting the Hold as you once did. But as he recognises you, you see a smile on his face, visible even in the darkness.

 

"I'm sorry," he says. "This was a risk, but--"

 

You shake your head, looking around to make sure you're truly alone. Then, you say, "I was only worried I would go to the wrong place. The last word was a bit... smudged."

 

He blushes, you think. It's hard to tell in the dark. "I apologise."

 

You smile at him and feel a rush of relief when he holds out his arms, taking you into them. He's taller by far, so you lean into him, your forehead pressed to his shoulder as he kisses the crown of your head in the most tender kiss he's given so far. When you look up to him, he looks otherworldly, eyes flashing in the gloom, skin almost blue-white in the distant lantern light that's spared for you. 

 

"I only wish it was warmer," he says softly. "Or there was somewhere better. I'm sharing a berth with Edw-- Lieutenant Little."

 

"Edward," you say, grinning. "The fewer ranks down here, the better."

 

He laughs and nods. "Alright," he agrees. "I'm sharing a berth with Edward, and I don't think he'd appreciate the noise."

 

You perk up. "Noise?" you repeat.

 

He starts, apparently surprised at himself. "Well, I meant... That is to say that I didn't think he would--"

 

Oh, you know what he meant. You grin and pull him down by the lapels until his face is level with yours. "John," you say. You feel him press closer to you at his Christian name, his breath stuttering as he seems to forget how to go through the action. "What did you mean?"

 

In the blue darkness of the Hold, in the chill and the dampness, he kisses you.

 

And kisses you.

 

And kisses you.

 

...

 

ACHIEVEMENT UNLOCKED: Look for Coal - Have a tryst in the hold

 

You're unsure of the hour when you finally find your way back to the fo'c's'le, unusually warm and content. Climbing into the bunk and huddling down into the blankets, truly comfortable for the first time in months, you wonder after how possible it is to be so happy. Indeed, your HAPPINESS INCREASES. 

 

Throughout the night, however, the usual creaks and groans of a ship beset in ice seem to increase in volume. You wonder if it's always like this in the fo'c's'le, until you see one of the mates stir and pull back the thin curtain of his bunk to look out in confusion. "Aw, hell. 'Nother one?"

 

You don't reply, simply pleased to lay there in the relative warmth of the space. As the howl of the wind seems to come from all sides, you finally drift to sleep with the thought of sharing a large bed with Irving someday. It doesn't strike you at all that you're already envisioning a future between the two of you.

Chapter Text

Morning comes with news. 

 

During the night, a veritable tempest roared through, dropping wave after wave of snow and ice. You go through breakfast hearing that Blanky and Reid were already up arguing as soon as the weather broke for a moment. Blanky apparently asked Reid if he was holding his telescope backward or if he needed his eyes checked, while Reid replied something almost unintelligible until Irving diligently translated it as meaning something like, "If you had your head any further up your arse--" Irving kindly censored this word with 'rear end', "--you'd be checking for ice in your ribcage." 

 

Apparently, you're snowed in again. The weather only broke for a moment this morning, but has returned with a vengeance. The only thing Blanky and Reid seem to agree upon is that it isn't safe to send your group back just yet. 

 

Looks like you'll be on Erebus for a bit.

 

Commander Fitzjames and Sir John go through the morning muster with a laugh. "Well, gentlemen," Sir John begins. "On account of half the deck currently being under a sizable drift, I believe most of your chores will be strictly sub-level."

 

Fitzjames smiles, looking toward the Terror officers. "On account of our honoured guests, we also suppose that we might be inclined to give them a proper Erebus welcome. Something of a festive nature, yes?"

 

Some of the men cheer, clearly pleased at the suggestion.

 

"Well, to our dear Terror brothers, please make yourselves at ease here," Sir John says with a warm smile. "You'll want for nothing, I assure you! I expect only the kindest word to be reported back to your captain when you forge back across the ice!"

 

And with that, you're released to do what you'd like for now. You have no duties until you return to Terror, and the officers appear to be preparing some sort of event for the crew.

 

You decide to:

- INTERACT

- EXPLORE

- RECREATION

- NAP

 

YOU SELECTED: - INTERACT

 

You decide to speak to:

- FITZJAMES

- GORE

- HARTNELL BROTHERS

- COLLINS

- GOODSIR

- SOMEONE ELSE

 

YOU SELECTED: - FITZJAMES

 

Fitzjames appears to be at his leisure at the moment, happily speaking to a few of the men as they begin making preparations for what ever sort of festivity he has in mind. You decide to join them, eager to bask a little more in the radiant charisma coming off of this man in waves. He greets you, with a pleased, "Ah, FUCKS! Pleasure to have you join our party this evening. How are you faring in our accommodations?"

 

You sit across from him, beside one of the petty officers that you can't rightly recall the name of. You're received kindly, though, enough that it feels like you've known all these men for years.

 

You say:

 

>You're doing well enough and the fo'c's'le is more comfortable than your hammock back on Terror.

>You actually kind of miss your hammock! 

>Not enough brocade fabric on your bunk curtain. No one has fluffed the pillows in ages. You disdain at the very inkling of the low thread count of your quilt. And where on earth is your room service?

>Ask if you can trade rooms with him.

 

YOU SELECTED: >Not enough brocade fabric on your bunk curtain. No one has fluffed the pillows in ages. You disdain at the very inkling of the low thread count of your quilt. And where on earth is your room service?

 

You give a sniff of mock disdain. "Never, ever in my life have I been treated thusly," you say, startling the poor man next to you. "My curtains are calico. Have you seen the things? Rags, I say! The pillows are flatter than old bannock, and that quilt!"

 

Fitzjames looks thrilled. "Oh. Oh dear, indeed!" he says, happily playing along. 

 

"Yes! Not a single person came by to ask if I could be assisted in any way whatsoever!" you exclaim, pressing a hand to your chest in agony. "The dining is the only redeeming feature, sir. I am suffering in my lodgings."

 

"By God, we must remedy this immediately," Fitzjames intones, slapping his palm onto the table surface like a judge announcing a verdict. "If it were to reach the public--"

 

"And I do mean to write to the Gazette!" you add.

 

"Oh! Oh, the scandal!"

 

The two of you look at each other a moment more before he dissolves into laughter, and you only a second later. The poor men at the table are baffled, but slowly become amused.

 

Your HAPPINESS INCREASES.

Your VICTORIANNESS INCREASES.

FITZJAMES RELATIONSHIP +1

 

You sit and talk to Fitzjames and the other men for a moment more, listening to his ideas for the party that is now apparently being held "in honour of the good names of Brotherhood, Friendship, and... Boredom, I think," as Fitzjames had said. He expects that you'll be snowed in for at least two days before the weather abates enough to allow you to make the crossing. Honestly, you say, you're not completely worried about it.

 

You take your leave as Fitzjames heads back to the Wardroom. You decide to:

- INTERACT

- EXPLORE

- RECREATION

- NAP

 

YOU SELECTED: - EXPLORE

 

You can explore the:

Orlop

Kitchen

Sick bay

Hold

 

(DECK IS CURRENTLY UNAVAILABLE DUE TO WEATHER)

 

YOU SELECTED: S ick bay

 

While maybe not the most exciting place go while on the Erebus, you choose to go to the Sick Bay. Goodsir had told you that it had been rather lonely on his end, and to some degree, you're still thinking of Torrington and his mysterious illness. Granted, there are other men in the Sick Bay currently afflicted with colds, as Goodsir had said, but you're certain you're healthy enough to withstand the worst of it.

 

As expected, it's a bit cramped at the moment. Men lay sleeping or convalescing quietly in hammocks and there's a certain strange smell that rises above the acrid smoky smell from the lanterns. Doctor Stanley is sitting at a desk, writing in a leatherbound notebook. Goodsir is off in a corner with a book in his lap, appearing to feature -- of all things -- diagrams of shrimp anatomy. 

 

Unfortunately, Stanley sees you first and his expression goes from nonplussed to irritated, as though your existence is a stain on his own. "Mister FUCKS," he says in monotone. He deliberately shuts his book as if to say that you're a living interruption. "What do you need?"

 

You say:

 

>"Nothing. Just admiring the views, sir!"

>"I have this wart that's really starting to worry me."

>"I'm here to visit Mister Goodsir, if that's alright."

>"I may need a salve to recover from your scorchingly terrible attitude."

 

YOU SELECTED: >"I'm here to visit Mister Goodsir, if that's alright."

 

"I'm here to visit Mister Goodsir, if that's alright," you say.

 

Stanley immediately looks like he's ingested something bitter and makes a throwaway gesture toward Goodsir. "I cannot fathom the reason, but have at him all you'd like," he says, immediately returning to his writing and apparently pretending you don't exist. 

 

You turn to see Goodsir already on his feet, evidently pleased to be addressed. He motions out toward the hallway and you follow him, pleased to get out of Stanley's atmosphere of a black rain cloud.

 

Once the door is shut, Goodsir smiles at you. "I didn't expect to see you so soon!" he admits. "To what do I owe the pleasure?"

 

>You just wanted to see him! Do you really need a reason to visit a friend?

>You had a medical question, and seeing as how your knowledge is limited to how to steer a ship and tie knots, he'd be the better source.

>The wart! It speaks into your mind in your dreams, whispering its sinister promises...

>You had a different question! Maybe about shrimp! Maybe about Terrance!

 

YOU SELECTED: >The wart! It speaks into your mind in your dreams, whispering its sinister promises…

 

Out of friendship, you chat with him a moment before finally looking around to see if you're being overheard, and then--

 

"It's alarming me, Harry," you say.

 

He blinks. "Sorry?"

 

You gesture down to your foot where Sir Warter Scott is laying in wait underneath the protective boundary of a wool sock. How long, though? How long can it be contained?

 

"Your wart?" he asks. He looks bewildered.

 

"Not just any wart," you intone. "I think... I think it's gotten a mind of its own."

 

"Goodness," he whispers, looking down at your foot as though Sir Warter Scott is going to rise up and attack him. "Has it grown since last?"

 

You nod.

 

"Well, let me have a look."

 

You pull off your boot, and then hesitantly do the same for your sock. There, Sir Warter Scott is practically pulsating from its position. It looks angry.

 

"Oh my..." Goodsir says, leaning down to get a better look. "That looks positively vicious. Does it hurt?"

 

"No, but--"

 

ANCIENT UNHEARD SECRETS I CAN PROMISE YOU, a voice echoes in your head. YOUR FUTURE, THE FUTURE OF MANKIND. ALL IS KNOWN. ALL CAN BE TOLD.

 

Oh dear.

 

"I mean, it's just an annoyance, really," you continue, trying to ignore the yawning dread spreading through you. "Just grown like a weed."

 

IF YOU REMOVE ME, ALL MORTAL KNOWLEDGE IS LOST. THE WAY SHALL BE SHUT.

 

You look up at Goodsir, weary. "What do you think?"

 

"Well..." He examines it a moment more, observing from different angles before he stands up straight. "It has grown, I'll admit. If it doesn't hurt or interfere with your work, then I hesitate to say that it's causing you any great issue. However, if you feel that it ought to be removed, I can certainly go about it either this afternoon or in the morning."

 

The echoing voice goes into something you think is garbled Latin before howling, UNGRATEFUL SPAWN, YOU KNOW NOT WHAT YOU DO. GOODSIR, PAH! FOULSIR.

 

You decide to:

 

>Have Sir Warter Scott removed now! Begone, demon!

>Wait until morning. Have it prove its abilities.

>Don't remove it. Swear allegiance.

>Have your entire leg amputated.

 

YOU SELECTED: >Wait until morning. Have it prove its abilities.

 

You decide to wait until morning, excusing it as you'd rather not walk around with the lads tonight on a fresh wound. Goodsir says this is probably for the best and says he'll see you in the morning with all of his medical accouterments at the ready. He thanks you for trusting him with this in the first place and appreciates that you came to visit him, even if it was just to talk about the wart.

 

GOODSIR RELATIONSHIP +1

Chapter Text

You leave the Sick Bay and Goodsir (who gives you probably one of the sweetest smiles you've ever seen on a human being -- wow!) and head back toward the Galley. By now, Fitzjames seems to have made a firm plan for the party, and a celebratory edition of the Gazette is going to be printed just for the occasion! Mister Bridgens will be observing for things to put in the paper, and crew submissions are highly encouraged.

 

Do you think you'll write something for the Gazette?

 

YES or NO

 

YOU SELECTED: YES

 

Excellent! Tom Bowline will certainly be pleased.

You also hear a rumour that the Haversham Ladies' Academy will be possibly rating the gentlemen of the party. You should dress your best, you think!

 

As the party preparations get underway, you have a few options for what to do with your afternoon.

 

- INTERACT

- EXPLORE

- RECREATION (this includes PARTY PREPARATION)

- NAP

 

YOU SELECTED: - RECREATION (this includes PARTY PREPARATION)

 

You choose to enjoy a little RECREATION. You can:

 

>Paint backdrops and banners.

>Help prepare the food.

>Show your off your musical skills with practise!

>Do some dancing lessons.

 

YOU SELECTED: >Do some dancing lessons.

 

Dancing lessons are being held in the Galley by Fitzjames and Le Vesconte, who believe that they are probably the best suited to teach in the proper schools of the art. As you head toward the crowd around them, you realise that most of the men there probably haven't danced before outside of the usual raucous dances held in taverns. Then again, how would you rate your own form and technique?

 

>Average! You know how to do a few proper dances, but you're certainly far from the best.

>Despite your rocky upbringing, you are a master of the dance floor. People weep at the sight of your powerful legs kicking up dust in your wake.

>You have the proverbial two left feet. If it was a matter of your life and your dance skills, you would have been dead ages ago.

>You are avant-garde in all respects. Form? Absolutely not. Technique? Your own creation. You move as the spirit moves you.

 

YOU SELECTED: >You are avant-garde in all respects. Form? Absolutely not. Technique? Your own creation. You move as the spirit moves you.

 

You push the boundaries of the very concept of that which they call Dance. No amount of diagrams and notes on the form can contain your body's cry to express yourself, which you do through your own interpretation. Music moves through you, and you are merely the conduit of the Muses. You watch the instruction with some disdain at seeing perfect creativity bound in Prometheus' chains.

 

This simply will not do.

In your head, you have called your "form" the Fuckian Way, or perhaps the Fuckian School. What ever it is (name pending!), it's all about soul. A few men strike up the band for Fitzjames' purposes and Le Vesconte's diligent calling of the steps. You stand on the side, and then begin to sway as the music fills you like a golden decanter. 

 

You throw out a few rhythmic paroxysms, followed by a rapid undulation of the hips. Two steps left, and sliiide to the right. Sliiiide to the left. Criss-cross! Aaaand--

 

You're being stared at by everyone.

 

>Show them what you've got! Express yourself!

>Keep going, but maybe not as violently.

>Sheepishly stop and do as the others are doing.

>Go into hiding forevermore (or at least until dinner).

 

YOU SELECTED: >Show them what you've got! Express yourself!

 

That's right! You are ROBERT E. FUCKS and tonight, the E. stands for Expression. Your SELF WORTH INCREASES because you know how awesome you are. 

 

Fitzjames pauses in his instruction and watches you. By the time you're on the floor and wiggling across like some kind of... worm, he's entranced

 

"Good Lord," he says, baffled and pleased. "That is a dance if ever there was one."

 

FITZJAMES RELATIONSHIP +1

 

After your impressive footwork and the general impact that you've had on those assembled (one of whom is apparently trying to mimic your style and may or may not have a concussion tomorrow because of it), the crowd dissipates. Eventually, you sit in the Galley, playing cards with both Peglar and Bridgens. Bridgens is talking about his ideas for the next issue of the Gazette, including a few column ideas and possibly a short suggestion guide should Terror want to replicate the festivities.

 

Then, as Peglar absolutely trounces you in the game (again), Bridgens asks you if you have any suggestions for the paper.

 

You suggest:

>A 'best dressed' list with pen portraits of those deemed the most gorgeous.

>A recipe booklet for all of the undoubtedly delicious meals you'll sample. 

>A ranking of most-eligible bachelors and bachelorettes. 

>An article dedicated entirely to you.

 

YOU SELECTED:  >A 'best dressed' list with pen portraits of those deemed the most gorgeous. and >A ranking of most-eligible bachelors and bachelorettes. 

 

Bridgens seems to especially enjoy your suggestion of a best-dressed list ("I think Fitzjames will riot, which might be..." Bridgens says, and Peglar follows it up with an emphatic, "Hilarious!") and a list of the most eligible bachelors and bachelorettes. Bridgens tells you that the Erebites have apparently divided themselves into categories of fine, upstanding gentlemen and the curious Mrs Haversham Ladies who are apparently very vocal about their loyalties. Undoubtedly, whoever the editors choose as best and most-eligible will incite an onslaught of letters, both pleased and upset. He jokingly says that they need to choose wisely.

 

He then asks if you would like to participate in any of this outside your potential article, as you're an honored guest and one of those to whom the party is dedicated. You'd like to be:

 

>One of the bachelors. You think you're very eligible and easily more handsome than any of these louts.

>One of Mrs Haversham's finest ladies! These ankles were made to flash under a flick of petticoats!

>Neither! Your own category, defying that which binds you to society's strict social code! You are the most eligible Fucks.

>None of the above! This is a circus and you won't be a part of it!

 

YOU SELECTED: >One of Mrs Haversham's finest ladies! These ankles were made to flash under a flick of petticoats!

 

That's right. You, Miss Fucks, are the most glorious bachelorette of them all! Mrs Haversham's temple of fine ladies seemed to quake like the crumbling Parthenon at the sight of your Athena-like nature. A flick of your fan changes the very air of the room, and a word from you is an enchanted one! You will represent the Terror as no one else can, and prove that your ship is infinitely superior in good manners, graces, and pedigree.

 

Which is to say you don't have much of any of that, but by God can you fake it!

SELF WORTH INCREASES

 

By the end of the evening, someone with access to the ship's printing press has made up actual dance cards, distributing them to nearly everyone, complete with a little silver tassel attached to one corner. The card declares that you will be experiencing the HONORARY GALA for MESSRS. IRVING, LITTLE, BLANKY, and FUCKS and their HONOURED GUESTS of the HMS TERROR to be held on the morrow. You're touched that your name is included with the officers, even if you're still a mere AB. It could have something to do with said printing press operator. Perhaps they like you.

 

It seems that this is going to be a truly good party, with nine dances. You're certain you won't be able to dance them all, but you have a few people in mind for your partners. 

 

The first dance is a spritely reel that sets the tone for the rest of the night. On the first line of your dance card, you choose to dance with:

 

>Irving

>Goodsir

>Gore

>Fitzjames

>(Other options)

 

YOU SELECTED:  >(Other options)

 

You other options are:

 

>Blanky

>Le Vesconte

>John Hartnell

>Thomas Hartnell

>Little

 

YOU SELECTED: >Blanky

 

You think this sort of reel would be perfect for a dance with Blanky. You happily write his name into the slot, hoping that someone else won't take the chance should it come up. However, you have a feeling that some of the men are intimidated by him, especially after his (very loud) row with Reid over the ice conditions. Your chances are good.

 

You decide to fill out three total dances before letting the night do the rest, or to see who decides to put you on their card. The second dance is more mellow but still upbeat. Most of the steps will require you to be close to your partner. For this dance, you pick:

 

>Irving

>Goodsir

>Gore

>Fitzjames

>(Other options)

 

YOU SELECTED: >Irving

 

Of course it only makes sense. You write in Irving's name and smile to yourself, already imagining what that dance will be like. That is, if he decides to dance. You've already learned from experience that he isn't as rigid as people make him out to be, but you wonder if he'll accept something like this. You'll find out tomorrow.

 

There's one more slot left to possibly fill, or you can take a break for that dance, or see if someone asks you. You decide to:

 

>Put in a name.

>Take a break.

>Wait to see if someone asks you.

>Eat the dance card.

 

YOU SELECTED: >Wait to see if someone asks you.

 

Oooh, the mystery! Who will ask you to dance? Will you have a shadowy masked admirer? Who knows!

 

The rest of the evening has a tangible atmosphere of excitement. You wander around the ship, helping with various tasks to help the decorating process along. You help Irving paint part of a backdrop depicting a sparkling palace of ice (and you have the decorum to look away with a small smile when your hands touch briefly) before allowing it to dry. Then, you help peel a few potatoes and carrots for the cook, earning his gratefulness and an extra piece of chocolate for your efforts. Finally, you help poor Tom Hartnell fix the hem of yet another dress left over from the play, now in demand of one of the officers.

 

"Which one?" you ask out of curiosity.

 

He gives you a weary look before accidentally stabbing himself in the thumb with a sewing needle.

 

At dinner, you sit with your Erebus AB counterparts, discussing their party plans. Some of them have opted for themed costumes, while others have decided on a come-as-you-are course. John Hartnell asks what you're planning for your costume. You decide that:

 

>It's a mystery that he'll have to wait and see!

>You're aiming to channel Marie Antoinette, sans head loss.

>An outfit perhaps calling to mind the strumpets and coquettes of The Beggar's Opera. Saucy, come-hither looks are optional. Ankle-showing is not.

>You will be a country darling with rosy cheeks and shy smiles.

 

YOU SELECTED: >You will be a country darling with rosy cheeks and shy smiles.

 

Like those idyllic shepherdesses of old, so to shall you be! Or, at least, you will be within the realms of what ever is available on the ship.

Chapter Text

After dinner, you help with the clean-up and get ready to head back to the fo'c's'le for sleep, expecting a busy morning. You've already overheard some of the men saying that they're going to rush with their outfits as early as they can, and others are planning to put some last-minute touches on the decorations.

 

However, before you get to the arch leading into the fo'c's'le, one of the Erebus ABs stops you.

 

"Mister, um, FUCKS?" he asks.

 

You nod.

 

"Ah, Lieutenant Little wants to see you. He said it can wait until mornin', but..." He shrugs, looking at you expectantly.

 

You ponder this, wondering what exactly Little might want with you. It could be something about the journey to Terror when the weather breaks, but you're unsure why he would want to talk about that before the party, especially with the storm sounding like it has no intent to abate.

 

Will you see him now (YES) or in the morning (NO)?

 

YOU SELECTED: YES

 

Best get it over with, what ever it is.

 

You head toward the row of berths, nearly identical to the rooms on Terror. You know there's been a good deal of shuffling to make accommodations for your group, and you can't imagine what it's like to fit two grown men into the tiny space allotted for their bunk. From the sound of it, Le Vesconte and Fitzjames are sharing space, as are Gore and Fairholme (even though Gore has seniority, but you're sure it's something rather to do with friendship than anything). 

 

It isn't hard to find the shared room of the Terror lieutenants, as it's the only one that isn't loud enough to hear from across the ship. You walk up to the door and briskly knock, pausing to wait for a response. You only have to wait a moment before the door slides open, Little looking down at you with an unreadable expression. Then, it shifts into something almost relieved. He steps aside, revealing Irving huddled up in one corner of the bunk, a book balanced on his knees, his feet hidden under a blanket. He offers you a smile, much more open than what you're used to seeing usually. You quickly look at Little, expecting the worst.

 

His expression doesn't change. All he does is take a seat on the other end of the bunk before gesturing to the only chair.

 

"Have a seat, FUCKS," he says.

 

You do as he asks as Irving closes his book and sets it beside him. For a moment, none of you say a word. You look over the lieutenants -- Irving curled up and dressed down to just a plain shirt and undone waistcoat, looking like a harried and tired university student, and Little in a similar state of dress, his hair raked up on one side from where he's clearly combed a hand through it -- and wonder what to make of it all. With some notable exceptions for Irving, you've never seen them so utterly at their leisure. 

 

Finally, Little sighs and looks up at you. Again, it's hard to decipher his expression. He always looks impossibly serious to you, and you've rarely seen him truly smile. 

 

"I suppose I should apologise for the perjury," he says, making a brief gesture to Irving. "I omitted him for brevity."

 

"Apology accepted," Irving pipes up, uncharacteristically chipper. He even ducks his face down when Little shoots him a look.

 

Little glances back at you. "The fact is, this conversation concerns you as much as it does Lieutenant Irving."

 

Cold seeps down your spine, and you worriedly look at Irving again. However, none of his happiness seems to fade, which manages to soothe you a bit. You hope that it's not all for the worst.

 

"Sir?" you ask.

 

"To be as clear as possible... I know," he says, waving his hands out once, palms up, for emphasis.

 

You frown, the ice in you encroaching on your heart. "Sir, I... I don't understand."

 

He sighs again, looking frustrated, although it seems to be directed internally. "About the two of you. About the nature of your relations."

 

Alarmed, you look to Irving again, but to your complete surprise, he looks utterly unperturbed. If his book was open, you think he'd simply turn a page without looking up. For someone so completely terrified of the idea of being exposed for this, he seems to be at peace--even content

 

Little clears his throat, drawing your attention back to him. "I wanted to say that I approve, as much as I can given the state of things. It's not... It goes against the Articles, which I'm sure you know."

 

You wince. Yes, you know.

 

"And should it reach the wrong people, it would be..." He makes another absent gesture with his left hand before dropping it, defeated, into his lap. "I wouldn't say it to anyone. I can assure you of this."

 

Irving seems to sense your anxiety about this. He offers you a small smile, almost shy in its presentation. Honestly, you've never seen him look like this before, like there's no place he'd rather be than here, in this moment. "I told him," he says. "I would never have done so if I thought it would have put us in jeopardy. Or put you in a place where you would be compromised."

 

Little nods in agreement. "We spoke about it -- several times, in fact."

 

You look between them, bewildered. "And nothing is to come of this?" you ask. It feels as though one of them will suddenly jump up and surprise you, telling you that it's just been one long ruse at your expense. However, your better sense tells you that Irving would never do that. 

 

Little shrugs. "Nothing save for what you've already done and plan to do," he replies. "I advised him to exercise caution in how the two of you interact. Joh-- Lieutenant Irving is a friend, and I'm of the belief that we're close enough that I could speak freely."

 

"And he did," Irving confirms. "As I told you."

 

Realisation dawns. "Your friend that you talked about," you say.

 

Irving smiles.

 

"All this to say that yes, I'm aware of what's gone on between the two of you," Little concludes, resting his hands between his knees. He almost seems to sag under the relief of having said it out loud. "Time was of the essence to finally say so, as I'm sure you'll have some inclination to demonstrate it without penalty tomorrow."

 

"Limited penalty," Irving corrects.

 

"Limited, fine. I would only advise, again, to have care in how you go about it, although I think I can speak for your natures in that it won't be an issue. You, especially," he says, gesturing to Irving. 

 

You look at them, at the fondness they share. Immediately, all of that frigid, horrible tension melts out of you. It's comforting to see. You decide to:

 

>Thank Little for his discretion and kindness. Be heartfelt and honest with it.

>Ask him what the nature of his relationship with Irving is like.

>Talk about something unrelated -- preferably something pleasant to lighten the mood.

>Offer to kiss Little as a thank you.

 

YOU SELECTED: >Thank Little for his discretion and kindness. Be heartfelt and honest with it.

 

You thank Little for being so discreet, but also for his kindness. There are only so many ways to express this, although you're sure Irving has already done the same before you. You know that as lightly as he's taking this now, it's more than likely been a point he's dedicated a lot of thought and prayer to, and it probably took a good long while for him to work up the courage to say anything to Little at all. The least of what you know is that they must have talked about it not before you left on your walk to Terror

 

To truly express how honestly you feel about this, you stand up to grasp his hand, holding it firmly and feeling the warmth, the strength of his grip, and the callouses of his palm and fingers. It's strange, but just from this touch, you know how trustworthy he is, and how much you believe you can rely on him.

 

"Be good to him," he says, not letting go of your hand. If anything, you feel that he tugs you a bit closer. "I know you have been already, but he is my friend."

 

You look him in the eye, almost shrinking under the intensity of his stare. "Of course," you say, meaning each word with leaden weight.

 

Another moment. A heartbeat, then another. He holds you there, both in grip and in gaze. He seems to be assessing something in you, searching for something. By the time he releases you, you aren't sure what he's found, but he seems satisfied. "Good," he says.

LITTLE RELATIONSHIP +2

 

You take leave of the room with enough bolstered confidence to briefly hold Irving's hand, knowing now that Little won't mind. If anything, he seems to be pleased that Irving is as happy as he is, and looks away when you touch. Irving weaves his fingers with yours, marveling at the sight for a moment before smiling at you. "Tomorrow, then," he says.

 

You nod. "Tomorrow," you say.

 

With that, and feeling as light on your feet as a dancer, you leave the room and head back to the fo'c's'le.

 

Sleep comes quickly, your dreams shimmering with visions of possibilities -- cottages in the countryside, long walks along lochs, sitting in a warm parlour. It's all terrifically romantic (thankfully not Romantic) and you awaken refreshed. None of the other men in the bunks seem to notice anything amiss (and for the best, because you're sure that if you felt any better, you'd be doing a pretty nice waltz around the base of the mast).

Chapter Text

Breakfast is loud. The poor cook is shoveling out rations as fast as he can as even the late night watch shift are wide-awake. You manage to squeeze into a place beside Peglar, and even that space is compromised by a small dogpile of ABs arguing over who gets to dress as Queen Elizabeth ("But I have the hair colour!" "Listen, I'm no expert, but pretty sure ol' Bess didn't have a beard that near reached the floor.").

 

"Good morning!" Peglar chirps. His good mood is radiating off him in waves. It's like standing in the full gaze of the sun.

 

You don't have to ask why he's so happy.

 

"Morning!" you return, loud enough to be heard over the mounting tension between the potential Queen Elizabeths. 

 

Peglar grins and spoons another bit of... something vaguely edible into his mouth before saying, "Any big plans before the party?"

 

Oh, absolutely. You plan to:

 

>Start on your costume early. You are going to be the belle of the ball.

>Help with the last few decorations! 

>Practise more of your avant-garde dance technique.

>Nap for ENERGY.

 

YOU SELECTED: >Help with the last few decorations! 

 

Speak to the wart?

YES or NO

 

YOU SELECTED:  YES

 

You remember Sir Warter Scott's threats against removal and have considered that you should give it time to prove itself. After breakfast, you busy your hands with sewing a patch onto a decorative banner while concentrating on The Wart.

 

FOOLISH MORTAL! YOU WOULD DENY MY POWER? it asks.

 

Well, no. You're giving it a chance.

 

...FAIR! echoes the impossible voice in your mind. YOU MAY ASK A QUESTION. CHOOSE WISELY.

 

>Ask how the party is going to go.

>Ask about when you're going to be able to leave Beechey Island.

>Ask about your relationship with Irving.

>Ask about the dichotomy of good and evil.

 

YOU SELECTED: >Ask about when you're going to be able to leave Beechey Island.

 

Beechey Island, you think. That's a pretty safe topic. When are you going to leave? 

 

THE ICE SHALL OPEN WITH THE SPRING, howls the wart.

 

No shit, you think. That's kind of what spring is for.

 

OHOHO, YOU CHALLENGE MY KNOWLEDGE? YE SHALL NOT SEE SPRING FOR AGES HENCE! VALUE THE LAST WARMTH IT BRINGS, O FOOLISH NEOPHYTE.

 

What the hell is a neophyte?

 

YOUR SMALL MIND CANNOT COMPREHEND WHAT THE COSMOS SPEAKS. HEARKEN, FOOL! HEAR MY WORDS!

 

Alright, you're listening.

 

SPRING WILL WARM YE FOR A SHORT WHILE, BUT ITS DAWNING WILL BE PRECLUDED BY THESE VISIONS! GRAVES UPON BEECHEY'S SHORE. SEE THEM, YOU OF A CHILD'S MIND! THERE WILL BE THREE MOURNINGS TO COME! SEE THE SCATTERING OF YOUR SHIPS' DEBRIS AROUND THEM. WITNESS THOSE WHO WEEP!

 

YOU MAY ASK ONE MORE QUESTION, YOU OF THE DOUBTER'S MIND! screeches The Wart.

 

Oh. Huh.

 

>Who is going to die?

>Does it have to be three people?

>Are you going to look good in your dress?

>Is indoor plumbing ever going to be popular?

 

YOU SELECTED: >Does it have to be three people?

 

Does it really need to be three people?

 

YES! insists the Wart. You begin to get visions of the grey span of Beechey's shore, now pocked with three headboards. In your mind, you can see the weather eroding them down to nearly-unrecognizable lumps of wood. FOR THEY MUST BE SEEN. THREE MEN MUST DIE.

 

Well.

 

Shit.

 

Now comes the critical decision.

 

Do you go to Goodsir to remove Sir Warter Scott? Or do you keep your worryingly-omniscient skin condition?

 

>Keep it. It might be useful later.

>TOO SCARY. MUST REMOVE.

 

YOU SELECTED: >Keep it. It might be useful later.

 

You might be forming the newest wart-based religion! Neat!

EXCELLENT CHOICE... whispers Sir Warter Scott, easing back into a meditative dormancy. THE DAWN OF RECKONING COMES SWIFT, O FUCKS.

 

That sounds ominous, but as future people will say -- okie dokie!

 

After conversing with Sir Warter Scott, you decide to help with last-minute decorating. You'll have time for your costume later. 

 

The Hartnell brothers are mending a few sections of a banner along with a young man you've never seen before. He's an AB from what you can see, and the longer you look at him, the more you think he bears some passing resemblance to the brothers.

 

As you approach, John looks up and grins at you. "Ah, FUCKS! Good to see you!" he exclaims, gesturing to you with the worryingly-large canvas-grade needle in his hand. "You coming over to help?"

 

You are! Hurray!

 

John motions for you to take a seat on a crate beside the young man. "FUCKS, this is my cousin, John Strickland."

 

Strickland smiles at you, showing a little gap in his front teeth. 

 

"Our aunt said we have to keep him from dying," Tom says, jerking a thumb at Strickland. "That's been hard to do."

 

"Hasn't," Strickland corrects. "Mum knows I'm careful."

 

"Careful in sneaking out, drinking pints, and taking dares," John corrects, listing the articles off on his fingers before shrugging and going back to his work.

 

You help keep a piece of canvas in place while Strickland mends it, and enjoy listening to their banter.

 

J. HARTNELL RELATIONSHIP +1

T. HARTNELL RELATIONSHIP +1

FRIENDLINESS INCREASES

 

After helping the Hartnells and their cousin with the decorations and enjoying a combination of hilarious stories and very valuable gossip, it's late enough in the afternoon that everyone is now going about getting dressed for the party. 

 

Your ideas in mind, you go down to the Hold where you see some of the other enterprising men fitting themselves into all manner of outfits that really are impressive for how little time they had to assemble them. People are resourceful when they're bored! You finally get your turn with the Erebus Costuming Department (and it is not small, unlike the one on Terror) and look through some of the articles available to you.

 

Would you like to play: ROBERT FUCKS DRESS-UP GAME?

YES or NO

 

YOU SELECTED: YES

 

Of course you're going to dress up! What kind of plebian do these people take you for?

 

You have multiple selections to choose from. The pieces of your costume that you pick will, depending on your choice, influence WHO interacts with you and HOW these interactions will go. There may also be some SECRET RESULTS! CHOOSE CAREFULLY!

 

FIRST: UNDERCLOTHES

 

>Total immersion. There's a soft chemise available that you think would be particularly comfortable for wearing during a long party!

>You really don't know how all this works, so you just decide on a whalebone corset and nothing else. (You don't ask who bought the whalebone corset.)

>Just your regular clothes underneath. Plain shirt and your pants! 

>Nothing at all! You're going to be free!

 

YOU SELECTED: >Total immersion. There's a soft chemise available that you think would be particularly comfortable for wearing during a long party!

 

SECOND: EXTRA UNDERLAYER

 

>Corset for support! Petticoats for layering! A crinoline! We're going for full points!

>Maybe just the crinoline? You feel like you might be able to hide things in there later.

>That corset sounds like a painful ordeal. Forego layer two completely!

>Well, you found a kilt at the bottom of one of the boxes. Maybe that?

 

YOU SELECTED: >Corset for support! Petticoats for layering! A crinoline! We're going for full points!

 

>A soft blue dress that isn't too eye-catching. It's made to be comfortable to wear, but if you say so yourself, it is pretty adorable. Definitely a shepherdess-type dress.

>A pink taffeta and silk dress. You're going for rich pastoral, you guess. A lass in a country manor! And look at all that lovely embroidery on the skirts!

>An eye-burning yellow-and-red dress in a tartan pattern. You want people to look at you, damnit!

>Black silk. Black lace. Black bodice. Black ribbon.

>NOTHING. YOU'RE FREE YOU SAY!!

 

YOU SELECTED: >A pink taffeta and silk dress. You're going for rich pastoral, you guess. A lass in a country manor! And look at all that lovely embroidery on the skirts!

 

FOURTH: ACCESSORIES PART ONE

 

>A cute white apron with a vine-and-flower pattern expertly embroidered along the edge. How sweet!

>An enormous gaudy faux gold necklace. This thing is probably going to give you chest compressions from its weight alone.

>You don't know about accessories, but you do know you want people to see as much of your chest as possible. If you're wearing a dress, open that top a bit. If you're not, then SHOW THE WORLD.

>A little silver bracelet. It's not too much, it has fun dangly parts you can mess around with, and it makes a fun noise when you wiggle your hand!

 

YOU SELECTED: >You don't know about accessories, but you do know you want people to see as much of your chest as possible. If you're wearing a dress, open that top a bit. If you're not, then SHOW THE WORLD.

 

FIFTH: HAIR

 

>A big powdered wig! You might need a brace device to hold this thing up!

>A natural wig that gives you long, luxurious curls!

>A wig that looks like... Oh dear, you think someone misplaced a mop.

>Your hair! No wig!

 

YOU SELECTED: >A natural wig that gives you long, luxurious curls!

 

SIXTH: ACCESSORIES PART TWO

 

>A ribbon for your hair! You can pick any colour and somehow, it will look perfect! 

>A lovely straw bonnet! It even has little flowers woven into it. How nice!

>A beautiful parasol, made for long strolls through the gardens! 

>A BIG TARTAN SASH. Och aye!

 

YOU SELECTED: >A beautiful parasol, made for long strolls through the gardens! 

 

SEVENTH - FINAL: MAKE UP

 

>Just a little colour on the cheeks and maybe some on the lips. You're humble, but lovely as a rose!

>Slather that stuff on with a butter knife. You're going full harlequin.

>A mask you found at the bottom of the chest. It's fetching, and no one will know who you are!

>No make-up! You're beautiful just as you are!

 

YOU SELECTED: >Just a little colour on the cheeks and maybe some on the lips. You're humble, but lovely as a rose!

 

OPTIONAL:

 

>Shepherd's staff. Immersion!

>The one bottle of perfume you found. Enchanting!

>Brooch in the shape of a giant spider. Spooky!

>None of that!

 

YOU SELECTED: >The one bottle of perfume you found. Enchanting!

 

You dress yourself with incredible attention to detail. Soft chemise, petticoats, corset, crinoline, and the whole number. You decide upon a dusky rose-pink silk and taffeta dress, lovingly marked with rich embroidery, and complement all of it with an open bodice, showing off your chest. Yes, you dress well, but you are also in this to impress! Finally, you wear a lovely wig, giving you long, luxurious curls that you sweep back with a coquettish, practised flick of the hand. You arm yourself with the gorgeous parasol hooked over your wrist, and add just a dusting of make-up to complete the ensemble. 

 

And then, for that last touch, you spray a bit of perfume on your wrists and neck. It has a faint, floral odour that you think is very nice, and you hope others find it this way as well.

 

Now, ROBERT, what shall you call yourself for the evening now that you are DROP DEAD GORGEOUS.

 

>MISS FUCKS. No need to change a perfect name!

>LADY FUCKS. You are high-status and you want people to acknowledge it!

>MISS VON FUCHSSTEIN. From the faraway lands!

>QUEEN VICTORIA, because nothing is sacred to you.

 

YOU SELECTED: >LADY FUCKS. You are high-status and you want people to acknowledge it!

 

Of course! LADY FUCKS! Who else could you possibly be!

 

You finish up the last little details of your outfit before glancing at yourself in the mirror. This is critical, LADY FUCKS. How do you look?

 

>Amazing! Gorgeous! Lovely! Beautiful! You will snare the hearts of all that see you!

>Alright, you suppose. It's not bad considering what you had to work with!

>Uh. Well. Stick to your day job?

>THOU ART A MONSTER.

 

YOU SELECTED: >Amazing! Gorgeous! Lovely! Beautiful! You will snare the hearts of all that see you!

 

That's right! You're looking incredible and you KNOW it! SELF WORTH INCREASES!!

 

ACHIEVEMENT UNLOCKED: Belle of the Ball - Wear ‘The Dress’

Chapter Text

Bird Lord:

You head up to the designated party space (Fitzjames optimistically calls it the "Ballroom"). With all the decorations in place, the band playing, the smell of (good?) food in the air, and the unusual warmth of the stoves, bodies, and general atmosphere, you're delighted and dazzled by everything you see. It's hard to believe all of this is being held in such a small space!

 

The outfits are one hell of a display. With limited resources, you see a collection of famous figures, fine ladies, upstanding gentlemen, bizarre monsters, and... beings that cannot properly be identified. Rainbows of fabrics twirl about, rendered in every material from plain calico to luxurious silk. Some of the people you can identify. Others are a complete mystery to you!

 

You've tucked your dance card into the bust of your corset. However, you don't need to check it in order to know that your first choice for a dance was Blanky. Spying him happily imbibing an extra rum ration in the corner, dressed as what appears to be an oddly dapper chimney sweep, you approach with your hand already out and waiting. He has to squint to make out who you are, but once he does, he bursts into surprised laughter.

 

"Oh, I'll be damned! Thought some officer's lady walked aboard without us noticin'!" he crows. "Nice t'see ya, FUCKS."

 

"LADY FUCKS," you correct. "And I think I would most desire a dance with the gentleman!"

 

He laughs. "Would you, now? With this ol' bastard?"

 

When the band strikes up the first song on your dance card, you nod. "I most certainly would!"

 

"Who am I to deny you!" he exclaims, making a show of throwing his hands into the air in defeat. Then, with a snort, he links an arm with yours. "Come on, then! We've got a room to impress."

 

BLANKY RELATIONSHIP +1

 

Between your avant-garde Fuckian School of Dance technique and Blanky's general... everythingness, the two of you certainly make an impression on the dance floor. A few times, you stomp on each other's feet to the point that you're certain you're going to have some bruises on your toes. He also nearly flings you into a wall on a twirl, and the only thing that saves you from impact is the immense form of Henry Collins serving as an unfortunate cushion. However, for all of that, you have a wonderful time and end up breathless and laughing by the time the dance ends.

 

"Ohhh!" Blanky sighs with a full-on belly laugh, falling onto one of the seamens' chests. "LADY FUCKS, I had no idea you danced so well!"

 

You fan yourself with your hand, grinning at him. "It helps to have a good partner!"

 

"Aye, that it does! Ought I hand you off to your next suitor?"

 

"Like my father?" you joke.

 

He smiles, and it seems half-joking. "If that's what I've got to be, then certainly. Not to say I'd deny you twice for another dance later, if that's how you dance all the time."

 

"It is," you affirm, and you enjoy the little copse of radiant warmth forming in your chest. Without looking at the dance card, you smile at him. "Feel like handing me off to Lieutenant Irving?"

 

His eyes seem to glitter in the lantern light. "Thought I'd be doin' that. Come along, LADY FUCKS. Let's get your noble officer on that floor. I have t'see this."

 

Irving apparently opted for unoriginal, but that certainly isn't a bad thing. For lack of access to his normal dress uniform, he seems to have borrowed someone else's. His hair is combed and neat, and he's trimmed back his beard to be perfectly regulatory in all things. He cuts a handsome figure in the crowd, and by the time you and Blanky appear in his sight, his expression changes to enthusiastic delight.

 

"Oh," is all he says, and it can hardly escape you that he sounds like he's trying to find breath.

 

"Lieutenant," Blanky greets cheerfully. "It's my duty to hand off the fine LADY FUCKS this evening."

 

"I... Alright," Irving says, smiling as he takes your hand. 

 

"Have fun," Blanky says. "Don't do anything completely foolish!" And with that, he disappears back into the crowd, loudly singing all the way.

 

You and Irving stand close, with him looking over you like he's unsure of what to make of it all. He leans forward in order to be heard over the crowd. "Is this intentional? And-- Are you wearing perfume?"

 

"Yes and yes," you reply. "Are you going to dance with me or are you going to gawk all evening?"

 

He smiles. "I'd prefer to gawk, but if your intention is dancing, it's not in my power to refuse you."

 

"Oh, please, Lieutenant," you say, your free hand already on his shoulder as you lead him into the dance. "Do not refuse me. I don't think I could stand it!"

 

He gives you a wry smile before falling into step with you. The dance is, as written, mellow but pleasant. It reminds you of the sort of made-up dances people do when they catch the sound of a distant song. You twirl about, no real steps in mind. Irving plays along, albeit with far more skill. Obviously he's had lessons in his life.

 

Your own style still shows through in how you twirl him, causing him to break up into a laugh. Across the room, you can hear Blanky do the same before hooting his approval. Then, Irving's hand is on your waist, swaying as he grins. "You must have come from a very unorthodox school," he comments.

 

"My own. I'm an entrepreneur of the art," you tell him with mock-seriousness. 

 

"I'm intrigued. Would I be able to take a class?"

 

You laugh before twirling about in his arms. "You might have potential. I'd see to it to give you personal lessons, perhaps."

 

The double meaning isn't lost by any means. His cheeks flush with the connotation. "When?" he asks.

 

Wouldn't he like to know? You simply smile and accidentally brush a hand over his cheek before resting it on his shoulder again.

 

The rest of the dance is tense, but in the most delightful way. The proximity of your bodies, the way Irving looks at you as though he isn't entirely sure that what he's experiencing is real, the way he leans against you, drawn to you with the single force of magnetism―it's almost too much. 

 

"Will you dance with me again, Lieutenant?" you ask, desperate for something other than that singular intensity. If it went on any longer, you would have to do something about it. 

 

The spell is hesitantly broken on him, and you see that he visibly shakes it off. "Pardon?"

 

"Later on in the evening," you clarify. "Will you dance with me again?"

 

He's silent, and then he smiles. "As many times as you'd like," he says.

 

You hear the music begin it's crescendo to the end. In the quickest lane of thought you can take, you open your parasol in a twirl and dip Irving back at the waist, concealing the two of you behind it for a brief moment that could simply be seen as yet another unorthodox trick of your dance. Behind it, however, you kiss him, letting your lips linger against his, feeling how warm they are, slightly chapped from the cold. He hums, surprised, before you let him back up to the cheers of the men around you. Folding your parasol again, you see that they think it was some kind of ruse, like a play on a dip kiss.

 

Little do they know.

 

You give Irving a smile and see it shyly returned before he takes his place by Little. By the look on Little's face, he knows exactly what the two of you did, and you see him lean over and whisper something into Irving's ear, causing him to flush pink in the cheeks before nodding. You'd gaze longer, admiring the sheepish expression on Irving's face and the rather fetching palette of colours he's going through in his embarrassment. However, a voice behind you interrupts any viewing of that particular artform.

 

"Excuse me, Lady FUCKS," someone says. "May I have a dance?"

 

You turn to see Captain Fitzjames. He's dressed in an incredibly fine suit, tailored to fit him perfectly. It's not his Navy attire, but is the sort of thing he might wear at an intimate dinner party. The only oddity is a crown of gold laurels on his head, making him look like some Greek god accidentally alighting on an English country house. When you look up at them in confusion, he smiles like he's in on a particularly funny joke.

 

"Le Vesconte crowned me King of the Evening, through no choice of my own," he explains, and then holds out a hand to you. "Far be it from me to assert my new-found royal status to press you for a dance. You are at liberty to refuse me at no risk of losing your head."

 

Will you dance with Fitzjames?

YES or NO

 

YOU SELECTED: YES

 

You gleefully put your hand in his, earning a polite bow from him complete with a slight twinkle in his eyes. 

 

"I've never danced with a king before," you tell him as you go back out to the dance floor.

 

"Well, prepare to be dazzled, my dear," he intones. "I've danced with the Tsarina of Russia, and all manner of princesses from Spain to Romania. Even the American president's wife finds me dashing."

 

You furrow your brow. "Who's the president?"

 

"Not important," he says, just as the band begins the next song. "What's important is that there was no eye in that room that was led astray from my form. You are in very good hands."

 

With that, he twirls you about, casting the room in a whirling blur of colour and light. You bark out a laugh before he pulls you back to himself. Between your own unique style and his, you're sure to provide at least a few minutes of entertainment to the others around you.

 

FITZJAMES RELATIONSHIP +1

 

It's only natural that your dance with Fitzjames attracts plenty of attention. By the time it culminates into a very daring lift (as in Fitzjames bodily hoisting you over his head to the delight of everyone, and also the fact that death flashed before your eyes before Sir Warter Scott assured you that you were fine), it seems that you've attained something of a local celebrity status among the Erebites. This is also probably natural, considering there's only about sixty men to impress.

 

Fitzjames finishes the dance with a sweeping bow that takes him near to the floor. Then he applauds with the other men as you drop into a perfect curtsy, sweeping your petticoats out around you (and aren't you glad you put them on!). 

 

There are a handful of men who seem eager to dance with you now, but there is also a table of refreshments calling your name. Fitzjames was your third dance, with six remaining. What will you do for the Fourth Dance?

 

>Wait for the bravest of the bunch to ask you. You've got a line waiting and an ego in need of stroking!

>Pick someone in particular out of your array of suitors. LADY FUCKS has discerning tastes!

>Get some refreshments! You need to replenish that energy if you're going to dance in the Fuckian Style for the rest of the evening!

>Run off into the hold like a spurned, heartbroken waif and see who follows you. All this close tension is making your loins all a-tremble!

 

YOU SELECTED: >Get some refreshments! You need to replenish that energy if you're going to dance in the Fuckian Style for the rest of the evening!

 

What a good idea! You forego the fourth dance in order to replenish yourself. You'll need the energy if someone like Fitzjames is going to attempt to lift you into the air again!

 

The Erebus crew has prepared a feast the likes of which you've never seen! It's hard to choose just a few things from the full, sumptuous table! However, nothing is going to go to waste on this ship and the others have to eat as well. You decide to be prudent and make only a small meal for yourself. You choose:

 

>A hearty vegetable soup. Someone much fancier than you would call it a Julienne soup, but all you know is that it looks and smells wonderful!

>A meat and vegetable potage. You have no idea what kind of meat is in it, but it's definitely edible!

>Good ol' Yorkshire pudding, drizzled in gravy! There's a savoury cloud of deliciousness floating above it, and you think Lieutenant Le Vesconte is aiming to bite your hand off in order to compete for it.

>None of that dinner business! It's all desserts! You want candied fruit and a piece of lemon tart posthaste!

>Stargazy pie!

 

YOU SELECTED: >Good ol' Yorkshire pudding, drizzled in gravy! There's a savoury cloud of deliciousness floating above it, and you think Lieutenant Le Vesconte is aiming to bite your hand off in order to compete for it.

 

Your hands go for that heavenly Yorkshire pudding at the exact same moment that Le Vesconte attempts the same. The two of you freeze, at an impasse, staring at each other with a weighted tension. You, hungry and full of a need for delicious, savoury pudding. Him, handsome, thirsting for beef gravy, and outranking you by far.

 

Or, does he?

 

This is your Trafalgar, LADY FUCKS. Today, every FUCKS must do his duty. What will you do?

 

>Relinquish the pudding to your superior officer.

>Assert that you, in fact, outrank him as an English Lady and thereby assert your need for this pudding.

>Offer to take half and leave him the other. Represent the working man.

>Eat it right off the table, right in front of him.

 

YOU SELECTED: >Eat it right off the table, right in front of him.

 

You have the good graces imparted by your superior pedigree of the noble FUCKS family to at least tuck a napkin into the front of your dress to prevent that glorious gravy from making a mess of the fine fabric. Then, you make direct eye contact with Le Vesconte as you prepare to wield your spoon.

 

At first, he's confused. Then, as he realises what's about to happen, his expression shifts to pure bafflement, and finally to outright horror. Without even blinking you proceed to eat

 

the

 

entire

 

pudding.

 

Each bite is deliberate. Each one is savoured to the full extent of your palate. You marvel in the flavour notes, the subtleties of the... gravy, you guess. The texture! The grand history of puddings on a whole! You can practically taste the pasture that the cow who so nobly lended its beef to you had grazed in! It's the finest of puddings, and the weight of Yorkshire on a whole momentarily rests on your satin, velvet, and silk-clad shoulders. Le Vesconte is terrified of you. In that moment, you feel as though Olympus would bow to you.

 

You drop the spoon right into the sad little puddle of gravy that you've left behind. Then, you smile at Le Vesconte. It's the smile of a person who has reveled in the glory of not just a good pudding, but the best; the sort of pudding that no man should ever squander by simply waiting too long to eat it. Le Vesconte will forever mourn the day that he didn't move quick enough. 

 

You, ROBERT FUCKS, are the supreme creature of this party. All shall love you and despair.

 

You delicately dab at your lips with the napkin before giving Le Vesconte a wink. Back to the party with you, and for him, back to his sad, puddingless life.

 

FORTITUDE INCREASES

HEALTH INCREASES

Chapter Text

Bird Lord:

The fourth dance finishes with a rousing round of applause. Everyone is in very high spirits and with that perfection of a pudding improving your spirits, you're just as eager as the rest. That said, you have a few options as to how to spend your time. Again, there appear to be some hopeful suitors trying to catch your eye, and among them, some of a pedigree worth your title.

 

You decide to:

>Let one of them approach you. You're always up for a surprise!

>Pick someone. You're a discerning individual and won't let just anyone have the privilege of dancing with you!

>Relax off to the side. You're no wallflower, but some time off your feet might do you some good. You might even strike up a nice chat with someone!

>Off to the mysterious Hold with you! Undoubtedly, there are some eager gents down there and command appears to be none-the-wiser! Get frisky, FUCKS!

 

YOU SELECTED: >Pick someone. You're a discerning individual and won't let just anyone have the privilege of dancing with you!

 

Of your beautiful suitors is:

>The radiant Miss Gore

>One of the fine and dapper Misters Hartnell (and they both look eager)

>Your friend and confidante, Mister Peglar

>A surprisingly excited Mister Goodsir

>Having lost a bet but still looking very fine, Miss Sergeant Tozer

 

YOU SELECTED: >Having lost a bet but still looking very fine, Miss Sergeant Tozer

 

You approach the radiant Miss Tozer, done up near to the throat in a crimson dress that nearly matches the hue of the uniform of the Marines. Someone's seen fit to plaster poor Tozer's face in make-up that would typically be the sort used in a stage production, meant to be seen from some back gallery. He has little discs of rouge on each cheek, but you're certain he's blushing under all that as it is.

 

"Miss Sergeant," you say, grinning.

 

"Miss--"

 

"Lady," you correct immediately.

 

He laughs. "Lady FUCKS. Do you dance as well as you throw rocks?"

 

"Better, you tell him. "Would you like a demonstration?"

 

Ignoring the stifled laughter of his Marine companions, he nods and holds out a gloved hand, the seams on the red satin positively bulging under the threat of his musculature. Awesome. You take his hand before pulling him close enough to weave your arms together, rather more like two fine ladies going about a park stroll. And you look damn good while doing it.

 

TOZER RELATIONSHIP +1

 

You and Tozer utterly outdo yourself in dancing, even though you feel like your corset is going to snap you right in half by the end of it. Going from being an AB in loose-fitting clothes to this is a bit difficult, but you manage fairly well. And for the best, as the Sixth Dance is slow. None of that raucous bouncing about that you've been doing! 

 

You can:

>Choose from your suitors again. There are a few that you think you wouldn't mind a slow dance with.

>Let someone approach you! Learn about the kind of attention you attract!

>Sit this one out, refresh yourself, and get some of your breath back before your corset squeezes it all out of you.

>GO! INTO! THAT! HOLD!

 

YOU SELECTED: >GO! INTO! THAT! HOLD!

 

Is it really a party if someone doesn't run off to a less-populated part of the venue to spend time alone or perhaps with some close accomplice or intimate connection? Actually, you have no idea, seeing as how you haven't gone to many of these kind of things. But you go as the spirit moves you, and you do what you think LADY FUCKS would do. LADY FUCKS would definitely go down into the dark and empty Hold to do what ever it is people do down there.

 

You take leave of the party and head down the stairs, mindful of your multitude of glorious skirts. The sounds of the party become progressively muffled until all you hear is dull thumping of drums and a high, reedy shriek of an excitable fiddle player. The hold smells of clouds of lingering perfume and the chalky sweet scent of starchy wig powder. Scraps of fabric and empty pots of face paint litter the floor, more than likely to be taken care of in the morning by hangover-laden ABs. 

 

In one dark, secluded corner, however, you hear a soft scratching sound, followed by three distinct thumps. Do you investigate?

 

>Absolutely!

>Yes, but carefully. What if it's something... not good?

>No. Go the other direction and ignore it.

>Actually, you want to go back to the party. Maybe something bad is going to happen down here.

 

YOU SELECTED: >Yes, but carefully. What if it's something... not good?

 

You cautiously approach the source of the sound, minding your footsteps on the creaking planks. Fortunately, all those years of stepping lightly on the job have done you some good, and your SNEAKINESS is high enough that you're practically silent. 

 

As you get closer, you find that the source is coming from a section of the Hold divided from the rest of the space by some precariously-stacked crates. They reach the low beams of the ceiling, possibly arranged that way on purpose in order to serve as a divider. You draw nearer and hear a... whisper?

 

"What if someone sees?" 

 

Whoever it is, their voice is soft enough that you can't figure out who you're hearing. You frown and lean up against one of the crates, trying to eavesdrop better.

 

"No one's comin' down here."

 

"I swear I heard footsteps earlier."

 

"Probably some of the dancers."

 

"Are you sure?"

 

You decide to:

 

>Peek around the edge of the crates to see who's talking.

>Keep listening!

>Leave now. This doesn't concern you!

>Stomp your feet like a wild bull at a hootenanny!

 

YOU SELECTED: >Keep listening!

 

You stay where you are and listen closely, practically holding your breath as you keep every muscle still. The conversation goes on and... not exactly in the direction you think.

 

"Should we tell someone?"

 

"About— Oh, I suppose eventually, but..."

 

"What if someone finds out before then?"

 

You hear a soft sigh, followed by…

A very, VERY tiny meow.

Are you going to peek around now?

 

>Yes.

>Absolutely.

>Definitely.

>No, because I'm a miserable fungus and deserve no friends.

 

YOU SELECTED: >Absolutely.

 

Of course you're going to look! How can you not?

 

You peer around the corner to see Peglar and Bridgens together, and tastefully ignore how Peglar's hair is mussed on one side and Bridgen's shirt collar is partially opened. Their secret has always been safe with you! More importantly, the two of them are leaning over a pile of bunched up wool blankets, and when Peglar spots you, he looks momentarily surprised before grinning.

 

"FUCKS! Oh, I'm so glad to see you! How long have you been sitting there?"

 

"Just a moment, Henry!" you say, trying to peer at the blanket nest. "What's going on?"

 

Bridgens laughs and shifts aside to make enough room for you and all your petticoats to come over. You do so, coming into full sight of a sleek black cat curled around six kittens. There are two black kittens, two striped, a black-and-white, and a little calico, all cozied up against their mother's belly. They barely have their eyes open and their tiny ears are pressed to their heads still. 

 

"It turns out someone secreted another ship cat on board," Peglar remarks happily. "Directly against the orders of the Captain. Isn't that grand?"

 

"Fagin must be the father," Bridgens says, reaching out to stroke the mother cat's head. She closes her eyes and leans up to him, purring loudly. "She needs a name as well, I think."

 

You suggest:

>Something from Oliver Twist to match her beau.

>Something to do with her colour.

>Something regal and royal.

>Something nautical to match her surroundings!

 

YOU SELECTED: >Something nautical to match her surroundings!

 

You suggest that they name her something nautical, oceanic, or somesuch. Seeing as how your own name is ROBERT E. FUCKS, perhaps you're not the best consult on naming. However, Bridgens agrees! He promises to make a list of good possibilities. He also suggests that you're to be a future consult in naming some of the kittens as well.

 

As the party loudly goes on upstairs, you smile in delight as the little kittens squirm about. Peglar pats you on the back.

 

"John says they're far too young yet to be separated from their mother, but undoubtedly they'll be quite popular with the men, eh?"

 

You agree.

 

"What would you think of having one once it grows up?"

 

You decide:

>That you absolutely want one! Maybe two! All of them? Is that an option?

>You're not sure. Taking care of a crab is hard enough. You want a little time to consider the responsibility.

>Raising cats just isn't for you. They're cute, but no thank you!

 

YOU SELECTED: >You're not sure. Taking care of a crab is hard enough. You want a little time to consider the responsibility.

 

Both Bridgens and Peglar are impressed with your level-headedness and assumption of responsibility! They agree that it's for the best, and Bridgens promises to send word across to Terror when he's sure the kittens are old enough.

 

"Will you ask Irving?" Peglar asks, genuinely curious.

 

You blink. "Pardon?"

 

"About having one of them," he replies, gesturing to the kittens. One is rolling around, unsure of how to work its own legs. "I'm assuming it would probably stay in his room, right?"

 

Oh. You had no idea Peglar knew.

 

He grins.

 

You tell him:

>You'll ask Irving. Peglar already knows that he's a part of your life! You can't do this (potential) parenting thing by yourself!

>You'll mention it on the sly. Irving's a busy man and you're not aiming to clutter his life even more.

>Nah, you'll keep this to yourself. You can do this single-parent thing just fine.

>Deny you've ever met Irving in your life. Ask who Irving is.

 

YOU SELECTED: >You'll ask Irving. Peglar already knows that he's a part of your life! You can't do this (potential) parenting thing by yourself!

 

You offer him a smile as one of the kittens seems to take notice of your hand, gently draped over the edge of their blanket nest. The kitten blindly snuffles at your fingertips, experimentally suckling on each one before mewing in... frustration, you think. You're a poor excuse for its mother at the moment and it takes leave of you by sort of stumble-rolling away, its milk-heavy belly dragging on the blanket.

 

"I'll ask," you tell Peglar. The thought of Irving holding a tiny kitten and the two of you caring for it warms your heart up so completely that the chill of the hold is hardly noticeable. 

 

"Good!" Peglar says cheerfully. "We're never at a lack for ship cats, but I think this many might be a bit much, even for the local rat population. They'd be excellent companions."

 

Bridgens nods and continues to rub a spot in between the mother cat's ears. "I'm certainly keeping one in my room."

 

Honestly, you can't imagine a better set of people to be cat-fathers.

 

It's time for you to head back up to the party. Bridgens and Peglar seem to be attending to Mama Cat's needs well enough and promise they'll keep you updated on the kittens. You pet one kitten's head with the tip of your finger as Peglar leans his head onto Bridgens' shoulder and smiles. D'aww.

 

You missed the Sixth and Seventh dances, leaving two remaining. However, considering that you spent it looking at adorable kittens and enjoying the company of your friends, that was time well-spent in your book. 

 

The Eighth dance is another lively one, more reminiscent of what you're used to at your particular social stratum (or, as you'd call it, bein' one o' them proletariats). It's jaunty, and two fiddlers appear which promises that this is going to be fun.

 

You decide to:

>Dance with a mystery suitor. They look a little put-out at your disappearance, but that's only made them more eager to ask for your hand.

>Dance with someone of your choice.

>Dance with your own bad self.

>Do none of that and instead terrify Dundy by drinking the entire bowl of punch without taking a breath.

 

YOU SELECTED: >Dance with a mystery suitor. They look a little put-out at your disappearance, but that's only made them more eager to ask for your hand.

 

You opt to finally let one of your mysterious and excitable suitors attempt to approach you. In true form in accordance with your complex costume plans, you seat yourself along a wall, sprawling at your leisure. One hand is extended over the back of a chair, just begging for some fine dancer to come along and ask for it.

 

At last, the bravest of the lot approaches. It's JOHN HARTNELL. He's dressed in a dapper ensemble of a coat, waistcoat, and trousers that probably aren't originally his. If he's aiming for a costume, you believe he's dressed as a fine country gentleman that suits your fine country shepherdess-lady-strumpet costume. 

 

Do you accept a dance from him?

 

>Oh, hell yeah.

>No, but at what cost?

 

YOU SELECTED:  >Oh, hell yeah.

 

You GRACIOUSLY ACCEPT! 

 

As Hartnell (John... Jartnell? You don't know. You have to find a way to differentiate them!) leads you out onto the dance floor amid jealous stares and plenty of huffing from your line of suitors, he gives you a quirked smile. "I hope you don't think I'm a master of dance or anything. My schooling's been limited to public houses."

 

You hook an arm around the back of his shoulders as you grin. "We attended the same schools then, Mister Hartnell. And honestly, our schooling is far superior to these graceless louts, right?"

 

He laughs. "Absolutely."

 

Needless to say, your superior dance form in combination with John's exquisite style of stomping about while twirling you at musical intervals really impresses the men. Most even give you some room for clearance so that they don't get knocked away, concussed, or maimed by your movements. Honestly, beside dancing with Blanky and Fitzjames, this is the most fun you've had so far!

 

HAPPINESS INCREASES

J. HARTNELL RELATIONSHIP +1

Chapter Text

Bird Lord:

You finish the dance with John, making a grand show of curtsying in perfect form as he bows so deep that one of his mates attempts to startle him and almost causes him to fall over. He bursts out laughing and so do you. All in all, it's wonderful.

 

"If you ever feel like teaching these lead-footed peacocks how to really dance, please, feel free to ask," he tells you with a wink.

 

Finally, it's the Ninth and Final dance. It's a celebratory one, meant to be played with enthusiasm and great fortitude, which really means that the seamens' orchestra is going to play as LOUD as POSSIBLE. You hope the lads on the Terror can hear it through the snowstorm and across the distance. 

 

This also means it's time for a critical choice in your final dance partner. You get to choose from:

>Irving

>Blanky

>Fitzjames

>Tozer

>Goodsir

 

You can also HOOK PEOPLE UP with others if you'd like.

 

YOU SELECTED: >Irving

RUNNER UP: >Goodsir

 

You choose to dance with IRVING. It's close, as Goodsir looks at you with a sort of pinch in his brow and a slight smile like he hopes you'll choose him. When he sees you head toward Irving, you get the distinct sense that poor Goodsir's heart is sinking with every step--his smile visibly falls.

 

However, you have a brief moment to suggest a few partners for your friends! Would you like to set up a few?

 

>Is that really a question?

>No, because I hate my "friends".

 

Natürlich! You are practically Cupid in disguise! Aside from completely shattering Harry Goodsir's heart into several tiny, ground-down pieces.

 

You decide to set up:

(You may choose TWO)

 

>Goodsir and Collins

>Fitzjames and Le Vesconte

>Gore and Hartnell (of the John variety)

>Goodsir and Hartnell (Tom edition)

>Little and Le Vesconte (come on down to chops town)

 

YOU SELECTED: >Goodsir and Collins and >Gore and Hartnell (of the John variety)

 

It doesn't take much coercion to get Lieutenant Gore to ask Hartnell to dance. Gore is already a bit warm with one too many tots of rum and would probably ask a broomstick to dance with him. His cheeks are ruddy and his smile is wide as you tell him that you swear you heard John asking about him.

 

"Oh?" Gore asks, eyes bright. "Did he now?"

 

Yes, absolutely. You're the most trustworthy person here and he definitely said he wanted to shimmy with Graham.

 

So that's done.

 

But now you mean to set up Collins and Goodsir. You don't have much rapport with Collins, which means you need to talk to Goodsir first. Oh dear.

 

You walk up to Goodsir, who immediately sits up straight and smiles as you approach, possibly thinking that you've changed your mind on a dance partner. The next dance isn't for a few more minutes as everyone refreshes themselves and chooses their final partners, so you sit on the bench beside him and clear your throat.

 

You tell him:

>He's a good person, and you cherish your friendship--but it's not meant to go beyond friendship. You think there's someone out there who would be a far better match. Essentially, you tell him the truth.

>You still really like him and clearly have some feelings for him, but now isn't the time. You hope he stays open-minded, and, more importantly, open-hearted. 

>That you're quitting him cold turkey. In this path lies... not good things. You're just going to end up breaking his heart, right? You hope he understands. 

>It's been real, but this birdie's gotta fly. And this birdie doesn't like doctors.

 

YOU SELECTED: >He's a good person, and you cherish your friendship--but it's not meant to go beyond friendship. You think there's someone out there who would be a far better match. Essentially, you tell him the truth.

and

>You still really like him and clearly have some feelings for him, but now isn't the time. You hope he stays open-minded, and, more importantly, open-hearted. 


SIDE VOTE: Should TOADBERT the FRIENDLY TOAD WIZARD be a possible future friend?

 

>Yes!!!

>NO!

 

YOU SELECTED: >Yes!!!

 

Excellent. The Toad Kingdom will send their best COURT WIZARD. Now, back to your dramatic confrontation with the broken-hearted doctor.


It's a tough decision to make, considering that you really do feel something for Goodsir, even if you're not entirely sure what it is. For everyone's best interests, though, you need to handle it now while you can, and before anyone gets hurt.

 

"Harry," you start, feeling something catch in your chest. It's a bit painful, but you swallow through it and go on. "You're one of the best men I've known on this Expedition, and I feel that we've... Well, we've developed something, haven't we?"

 

He nods, quiet. You think you see a shine of hope in his eyes.

 

"And I think I can trust you with something of myself that I wouldn't normally confide in anyone," you continue, playing with a loose thread coming off your dress sleeve. "Can I do that?"

 

"Of course," he says. You can tell he means it wholeheartedly. There's nothing but warmth in his voice.

 

"I feel something for you. I don't know what it is, but I know it's there, and I'm sure you've got something like it as well."

 

He leans a bit closer. "I do," he says.

 

"And..." You wince, thinking of what to say next. "What I feel for you isn't the same as what I feel for Lieutenant Irving. I'm sure you've noticed that."

 

He leans away, but you see his head turn toward where Irving is quietly conversing with Little on the edge of the dance space. "I... had my suspicions," he says, already growing cautious. You only hope he won't close off entirely from you.

 

"It's only that I see Irving every day on Terror. I only see you on the rare occasions where we have any reason to cross paths," you tell him. "And while I don't want to entirely cast off this--" You make a quick waving motion between the two of you. "--I don't want to hurt either of you in the process without talking to you and him. Does that make sense?"

 

He's silent for a long, long moment.

 

You go on, growing worried that somehow, you've said the wrong thing. It wouldn't be hard to do, considering how delicate the matter is. For as easy as it is to say how it isn't him, it's you, it wouldn't mean much if he took it the wrong way. And honestly, him coming away from this brokenhearted is the last thing you want.

 

"You deserve someone who could be around you more than I am," you say softly. "Someone who would admire your ideas and your enthusiasm. And I do, and I care, but I can't come to you at a moment's notice."

 

He nods stiffly. He's not looking at you anymore.

 

"Harry," you say, reaching over to rest a hand on his forearm. Fortunately, he doesn't pull away. "I want to be that kind of person for you. Believe me."

 

"I do believe you," he says. His voice sounds distant, like he's pulled it from an entirely different part of the ship.

 

You furrow your brows. "Do you?"

 

He looks back to you, his eyes almost glassy, but a sad smile already in motion of being tugged up into the corners of his face. "You're right. And I admire the capacity of your heart, Robert. Every chamber appears to have a different sort of love stored in it. You and Lieutenant Irving... Well, I suppose I can't match him in that."

 

Honestly, you can't help but smile gently at him.

 

"But I know I have a place."

 

"You do," you assure him.

 

He's silent a moment longer before he reaches up and rests a hand over yours. You feel the callouses from years of specialty work, and wish there was a way you could know those hands better. Perhaps, in time.

 

"I'll keep those horizons open," he promises you, even though he still sounds wounded. There's a pleasant but bittersweet look on his face. "I suppose it would be entirely melodramatic to also promise that I would keep a candle burning for you, wouldn't it?"

 

"Not melodramatic at all," you say. 

 

Colour tinges his cheeks as he looks down at your hands. "I wish you and the Lieutenant the best. Truly, I do."

 

You gently squeeze his hand, letting your touch linger for a moment. You wonder what it will be like between the two of you a month from now, or a year, or by the  time you make it through the Passage and into the Pacific. The future is a strange thing to consider at the moment, surrounded by merrymakers and people you've already come to enjoy the company of. You hope for the best, and by the gentle look on his face, you're sure Goodsir is thinking something similar.

 

You part as friends, which is all you could ask for.

 

GOODSIR RELATIONSHIP +1

 

Goodsir goes to speak to Collins, just as Hartnell literally sashays across the dance floor, his arm hooked with Gore's like they're out for a Sunday promenade. Hartnell's saying something loudly that is so accented that you think he's dipped into more than his fair share of rum, making him sound like a Dickensian character. Whatever he says, he punctuates it by slapping Gore's back so hard that Gore stumbles a few feet, bursting into laughter. Hartnell gives a loud, "Gawd blessit!" while looking at his aching hand, earning a sharp look from both Irving and Sir John at once.

 

Speaking of Irving! You eagerly approach him, opening your parasol (and almost concussing Orren in the process) and twirling it about. "Mister Irving!" you say with delight. 

 

"Oh!" he exclaims, turning away from Hartnell's slightly blasphemous display. His face lights up, colour rising like a sunlit tide into his cheeks. He looks positively boyish in delight, not even hesitating to reach out and grasp one of your hands in his. "LADY FUCKS! Do I have the honour of a final dance with you?"

 

You say:

>"Oh, I suppose I could condescend to take one last turn about the room with you."

>"Only if we can have a little dance of our own later." (Winking may or may not be optional.)

>"You do, my love!"

>(Bray like a horse)

 

YOU SELECTED: >"You do, my love!"

 

You weave your fingers with his and give the parasol another twirl. "You do, my love!" you tell him. 

 

If possible, his blush deeps in colour until he's as ruddy as if he spent a half an hour in the Arctic cold. If you had less of a hold on yourself, you'd kiss him for it.

 

CHARM INCREASES

 

The ship's band decides to give this last dance the best possible treatment by sawing or bellowing on their instruments so that you can barely hear yourself think. You shut your parasol just in time for Irving to pull you into his arms, laughing as he dances with you. It's the happiest you've seen him outside of bed, smiling widely as he twirls you around. 

 

You want to ask him where he learned to dance like this, but you know he wouldn't be able to hear you. You settle for enjoying your time with him, feeling lighter than air as you go through all the spins and hops of the dance. Honestly, you wish you could dance with him like this every day.

 

Off to the side, you see Little watching you both with a look of approval. There's a bare suggestion of a smile on his face, and slight colour dappling his cheeks.

 

Too soon, the dance is finished. Everyone applauds the band and the dancers, cheering breathlessly before dispersing to groups of friends and acquaintances. You follow Irving, holding his hand in yours and playing the part of the lovestruck lady of grand pedigree that you are. He leads you to where Little stands at the side, nodding to the both of you like a lieutenant rather than a partygoer. You'll make a fun-havin' kind of guy out of him yet.

 

"John," Edward greets. "ROBERT--"

 

"LADY FUCKS," you immediately counter.

 

He smiles, feigning the sort of politeness usually demanded by the aristocracy. "My apologies, my LADY. Both of you were most entertaining to watch."

 

"You should have joined in, Edward," Irving says, reaching with his free hand to clap Little on the shoulder. "You could have proven to the Erebus lot that you're quite a student in the art."

 

"Rather not," Little says, almost shyly. "There's a time for that sort of thing. Besides, I've enjoyed taking in the atmosphere. That's reward enough for me."

 

Irving gives you a look that tells you all he thinks of that statement. It's a wonder he doesn't roll his eyes.

 

"My dear," Irving says to you, earning a quick flutter of your heart at the words (more than likely said since everyone believes the two of you are playing up an act -- little do they know! Hah!). "Edward and I were going to have a sort of post-party event of our own, if you don't mind joining us."

 

There's a second meaning there. You know it.

 

You tell him:

 

>Absolutely! Wouldn't miss it!

>You want to spend a little more time at the party itself first before you go with them. You'll meet with them later.

>If it's just for the two of them, you probably shouldn't go.

>Assert that you're having your own party all by yourself and they're not invited.

 

YOU SELECTED: >Absolutely! Wouldn't miss it!

 

You know a double meaning when it's dangled in front of your face like that (heh, dangled). However, there's a slight knot of nervousness that forms in your belly at the thought of what's to come (heh), and by how tight (heh) Irving's holding your hand, you think he might be feeling the same way.

 

The three of you make your exit look natural, with Little dutifully providing an excuse to a put-out Fitzjames who insists that you should stay another hour or so in order to play a game of charades or even a game of snap-dragon (you have a feeling that would be dangerous right this moment). Little tells him that the three of you are still exhausted from the events of the last few days and still need to talk about the route back to Terror.

 

"At a party?" Fitzjames exclaims. "Edward, what kind of festivities have you gone to in your life that required strategy outside of a game of Consequences?"

 

"The worst kind, sir," Little replies, dryly. "But I really do insist, lest FUCKS keel over from lack of sleep."

 

Appropriately, you make a show of swooning on your feet, supporting yourself entirely by the buttress (heheheh) of Irving's shoulder.

 

"Oh, very well. You'll all be put down in the Gazette as the most boring representatives of your ship, I'll have you know!"

 

"Noted, sir."

Chapter Text

Having made your formal escape (pleased to see that Collins and Goodsir are engaged in animated conversation and Gore and Hartnell are... nowhere to be seen?), you follow Little and Irving to their borrowed room near the Great Cabin. 

 

It's a slightly larger space than the equivalent on Terror, probably owing to Erebus minimally grander dimensions. That's not saying much, considering that the circumference of your petticoats takes up the space of a whole other person once the three of you are crammed into the space. Irving opts for getting onto the bed and taking his boots off, followed by the jacket that he carefully folds up for temporary storage. Little sets his own jacket over the back of the chair by the fold-down desk before turning and looking at you.

 

Neither of you say anything for a long moment. You think Little isn't sure what to say, so you suppose you should say or do something in the interim.

 

You decide to:

>Ask him how he enjoyed the party.

>Kindly ask if he'll help you remove your dress so you won't take up as much room.

>Direct your conversation to Irving until Little feels like joining in.

>Kiss his beautiful, beautiful lips.

 

YOU SELECTED: >Kindly ask if he'll help you remove your dress so you won't take up as much room.

 

"Lieutenant," you start, and then pause. You take a bit of a leap and say, "Edward."

 

His stare grows more intense, ember-like in its heat. He doesn't say anything, but you feel him urge you on.

 

You carefully remove your wig and set it aside with the parasol before gesturing to your petticoats. "Would you... help me remove this? It was far easier to put it on, but I'm afraid I'm too tired and the space is too cramped to be as simple in its removal."

 

You could do it by yourself, but by the way his tongue quickly swipes over his bottom lip and the way his fingers twitch at his sides, you know you've made the right choice.

 

LITTLE RELATIONSHIP +1

 

With careful precision, he helps unlace and untie you from the confection of your outfit. The speed he works at suggests this isn't the first time he's done something like this. You say as much, and you hear (and feel) him quietly laugh behind you, his breath ghosting over the bare nape of your neck.

 

"I have sisters," he supplies as he undoes a ribbon of your bodice. "This is years worth of balls and dinner parties."

 

You nod quietly as you feel him slide a silk sleeve down over your arm, followed by another. As he carefully tugs down the rest of the dress bodice to your hips, leaving you in the corset and chemise, you realise you've brought nothing to wear. Undoubtedly, the two of them can offer a nightshirt or pair of trousers, but there will certainly be a moment where you'll be standing nude before the two of them. Judging by the look on Irving's face, this epiphany hasn't escaped him either. 

 

You say nothing as Little continues. Your dress skirt is removed with great care, placed along with the pile of your things forming in one corner. Then, he undoes the main ribbon of your petticoats, until the fall in a great heap at your feet. You step out of them, nudging them aside with your foot while his fingers tug at the laces on the corset. His breathing has gotten heavier -- more audible to you. You swear you can feel the heat of his body radiating against your back, like standing in a sunbeam.

 

Without a reason to do so, once the corset is loosened, Little slides a hand up between it and the layer of your chemise, his hand pressed warm against your midsection. He makes a motion to loosen the corset enough to undo it entirely, letting it fall in front of you while he takes another step until he's flush against your back. He stays still for a moment, and you realise he's silently asking for your permission to go on.

 

You look to Irving, feeling like your heart is caught in the most pleasant of snares. You see that his bottom lip is red from biting on it, one hand resting on his thigh, edging closer to its inner side. You make eye contact, seeing that his pupils are wide. He gives you the barest nod, which is unneeded. You know him well enough to see that he wants to see this, desperately.

 

This now known, you raise one hand to rest over Little's, pressing it back to your chest where he can undoubtedly feel the persistent shudder of your heart as it trembles in the cage of your chest in anticipation. His fingers bunch in the fabric of your chemise like he means to take your heart for himself. 

 

"Edward," you say, tilting your head back to rest against his shoulder. You turn your head enough to see him looking at you, eyebrows raised as he moves his opposite hand to press against the upper ridge of your hip.

 

You:

>Lean in to kiss him.

>Wait for him to make the next move.

>Move this closer to Irving so he can participate.

>Leave! This is a den of iniquity!

 

YOU SELECTED: >Lean in to kiss him.

 

You take the initiative that you don't think Little will take, tilting your head close enough to brush your lips over his. Even though it seems like the obvious move, it takes him by surprise, judging by the quick intake of breath you hear him draw. You also hear a low hum from Irving, clearly pleased at what he's seeing.

 

Edward doesn't draw away from you, but he doesn't move either. He seems paralyzed, unsure as to how to proceed. You continue to lead the way, turning around so you face him directly, moving your hands so they press against the back of his neck, you fingers brushing against the fine, curled hairs there. This alone seems to encourage him, as he places both hands on your lower back, holding you close. Even though he holds you gently, you imagine how powerful he could be if he wanted to. Some excitable, imaginative part of you wants to test that out -- but for now, you just want to make him comfortable with this.

 

You deepen the kiss, moving your right hand to frame his jaw, thumb brushing under his chin. Spurred on by this, he reciprocates, opening his mouth against yours and lowering his head at a better angle. He still kisses shyly, unsure of different pressures and technique. However, you draw him in enough that his caution wanes by the second.

 

Beside you, you can hear Irving start to draw and release breaths in careful, conscious measures. You wonder what he's doing, but you don't dare open your eyes, too enraptured by Edward's closeness.

 

You have enough mind about you to consider how to approach this. You decide on:

>Going on with reckless abandon, with only your aching loins to guide you.

>Pausing to ask Edward what he wants. Check his boundaries.

>Pause to look at Irving. What is he doing?

>Laughing hysterically and running out of there in just a chemise and your make-up.

 

YOU SELECTED: >Pause to look at Irving. What is he doing?

 

Reluctantly, you pull away just enough to turn your head, brushing your cheek against Edward's shoulder. He gives a low groan of dissatisfaction before turning his attentions to your neck, kissing a line down to your chest and you peer through half-lidded eyes at Irving.

 

He's sprawled out to the best of his abilities, given his height and the short bed. His waistcoat long discarded, he's pulled his shirt up to the middle of his chest, giving an easier method to... well, quite plainly, to pleasure himself. His right hand is hidden under the upper hem of his trousers, but there's certainly movement below that. It takes you much longer than you'd care to admit to realise that he's entranced and excited by the sight of the two of you. 

 

In time, you're sure the three of you will talk about this in greater detail. At the moment, however, you're far too content in watching your lover pleasuring himself while watching Edward go about exploring your body.

 

Fortunately, as the party goes on, no one bothers to see after your whereabouts. Quite plainly, you have the ENTIRE NIGHT with the two of them.

 

You spend it very well.

 

LITTLE RELATIONSHIP +1

IRVING RELATIONSHIP +1

 

You have reached MAX RELATIONSHIP POINTS with IRVING.

Chapter Text

Bird Lord: 

The powers that be have seen fit to mercifully let the morning after the party be one of very loose duties. Breakfast still needs to be made and some laundry has to be done (there was a lot of sweating involved), but aside from the most basic chores, nearly everyone is allowed to recover from the festivities. Sir John pretends that no one has hangovers ("Good heavens, is there a cold going around? Never have I heard of such a rash of headaches!"), but Fitzjames quietly goes around and recommends easy cures and techniques to alleviate the agony.

 

You wake up in something of a lieutenant tangle. Someone's legs have trapped yours in a very warm and pleasant vise, and someone's arm is wrapped around your middle, holding you close to a warm body that you can't immediately identify. One of the lieutenants is softly snoring, and it would be endearing if you could figure out what body part belongs to which officer.

 

All in all, it's a good way to wake up. It's also a bit risky, considering that you're not sure if the stewards are working this morning (you assume they are), or if their duties involve visiting lieutenants.

 

You decide to:

>Stay warm and cozy while risking getting caught in the human pretzel you're currently locked in.

>Five more minutes, mum!

>Slowly get up and gently wake your lovers to alert them of the time. (Also maybe get a good view of them.)

>Wake them up abruptly by singing (read: screaming) loudly.

 

YOU SELECTED: >Slowly get up and gently wake your lovers to alert them of the time. (Also maybe get a good view of them.)

 

You slowly extract yourself from the human tangle while making nice little gestures like rubbing an arm (Edward's?) and pressing a kiss to (John's?) shoulder. Finally, after the most careful manoeuvering you've ever done in your life, you're free to get dressed--

 

Except your only clothes are heaps of colourful silk and taffeta and a very fetching chemise. You remember that you need to wake one of them up in order to get some spare clothing.

 

Fortunately, your view is very nice. Edward has since rearranged himself to curl around John like a particularly cuddly ivy plant, one arm latched around John's midsection while under the blanket, you know he probably has a leg hanging over John's as well. Edward has his nose pressed against the back of John's head, gently stirring his hair with each breath. It's almost too wonderful to warrant waking them.

 

Except you probably should. The three of you can only be missing from the ship for so long before someone notices. Also, it's way too cold for you to be standing there completely naked. 

 

You go up to the side of the bed and lean over to press a kiss to Edward's cheek. When he snuffles like an irritated hound, you stroke your fingers through his hair.

 

"Edward," you say softly. 

 

He doesn't wake. If anything, he cuddles up closer to John's back.

 

This calls for a more drastic measure.

 

You decide to:

>Wake John up instead.

>Announce that Lieutenant Little is needed on deck.

>Stick your freezing hands under the blanket and touch his back.

>Jump on both of them.

YOU SELECTED:  >Wake John up instead. and >Stick your freezing hands under the blanket and touch his back.

 

You go to wake John with a kiss without realising that the berth is tiny. How the three of you managed to fold yourself into such a small space and still had room to get physical is beyond you. There isn't much room to put your hands, and so in the course of balancing yourself to lean enough to kiss John, your FREEZING COLD HANDS touch Edward's bare back, causing him to awake with a yelp. He sits upright, knocking his head into your face--

 

Specifically your nose.

 

So while John wakes to yelping and your omnipresent love, and Edward can sit there in a horrified daze, you, ROBERT FUCKS, now have a bloody nose due to your hubris.

 

"Oh! FUCKS, I am so sorry! The worst kind of sorry!" Edward exclaims, reaching out as though he can magically heal your hemorrhaging nostrils. John just looks over his shoulder in a bleary way, slowly blinking as he takes in the scene of the two of you, both naked, you with blood gushing out of your nose. It takes a moment to register, although the sleepy confusion combined with his pillow-mussed hair is pretty cute.

 

"Wha--" is all John says before Edward is up on his feet, pulling up the pristine chemise and shoving it into your face in a panicked attempt to help you.

 

All this is going on--1st Lieutenant Edward Little holding a now blood-soaked chemise while he stands there completely nude, you bleeding profusely out of your face while also naked, and 3rd Lieutenant John Irving laying in bed and trying to make sense out of everything while apparently trying to convince himself he's not still dreaming--just as the door slides open.

 

"Sirs, I brought you some tea-- Oh," says Bridgens, standing there with a tea tray while taking in the sight. "Oh dear."

 

You decide to:

>Explain yourself through a compelling and creative lie.

>Pretend absolutely nothing strange is going on. Maybe work on your best impression of a lamp post.

>Cheerfully ask Bridgens for a towel or maybe a shirt.

>Explain yourself through a compelling and creative version of the truth.

 

YOU SELECTED:  >Cheerfully ask Bridgens for a towel or maybe a shirt.

 

"Mister Bridgens!" you say, as chipper as a robin greeting the morning. Actually, with your nose trying to drain every last drop of blood out of your body, it sounds more like, "Midter Bridjes!" but whatever!

 

"Mister FUCKS," Bridgens says with way more respect than you should probably be offered.

 

"You woudet happed to hab a dowel nearby, woud you?" you ask. 

 

Edward silently and sheepishly offers you the entire chemise to stifle the blood which is now dripping onto the floor.

 

"Ah," says Bridgens. "I suppose-- I'll just leave this here." He puts the tea tray down on the chair in the corner. "A moment, gentlemen."

 

"Thak you!" you call after him.

 

By the time Bridgens returns, John's rewrapped himself in blankets in an attempt at modesty that the most dedicated medieval peasant would appreciate, Edward's dressed in trousers and a half-buttoned shirt, and you're hiding your nethers with a bloody chemise. "We're doomed," John says into the pillow, as morose as said dedicated medieval peasant.

 

"We're dot--" you say, then sniff hard before clarifying with exaggeration: "Not."

 

"Mister Bridgens doesn't seem the sort to inform, I think?" Edward says, possibly to convince himself rather than state a fact.

 

"We'll be flogged and demoted and shamed before the entire country and-- ROBERT, you're getting blood on the corset."

 

So you are! You take a few steps aside so you're bleeding on the good ol' fashion wood.

 

Bridgens comes back with a warm towel and a fresh suit of clothes of unknown origin (you have a feeling Peglar might be involved). You thank him profusely as you begin the delicate dance of holding the towel to your face with one hand while wrestling yourself into your clothes.

 

Then, Bridgens steps into the room completely and closes the door behind him. Now the four of you are crammed in the tiny space which now reeks of multiple bodily fluids (most of them from you) and was never designed for more than one person. "Sirs, if I may," he starts. "I claim complete ignorance as to what's happened here. Mostly I want to be sure that none of you deliberately harmed Mister FUCKS."

 

Edward's eyes go wide at the same moment Irving splutters from the bed, "We would never!"

 

Bridgens nods and gathers up some of the components of the dress as he speaks. "Far be it from me to discourage camaraderie among the men in these strange times." He pauses and looks up at the three of you. "It was camaraderie, correct?"

 

You all nod.

 

"Very good. Lieutenant Little, Lieutenant Irving, do either of you need service in dressing?"

 

"No, sir," Edward says quietly while John makes some kind of distressed noise from his blanket cocoon.

 

"I'll have these cleaned, then," Bridgens says, gesturing with the dress. "And Commander Fitzjames has called an officer's meeting for the early afternoon. I'll fetch you for that."

 

John manages a, "Thank you, Mister Bridgens," before clearing his throat and huddling back down as though the blankets will magically help him disappear.

 

"Sirs," Bridgens says before giving you a knowing smile. He takes his leave while simultaneously convincing you that you owe this man an ENORMOUS DEBT.

 

BRIDGENS RELATIONSHIP +2

Chapter Text

Bird Lord:

The three of you get dressed in stifled silence--you because you're trying to stop your nosebleed, and the other two from the surprise of Bridgens just letting the situation go even though he saw true strangeness in chiaroscuro format--and too soon, the time has come for the three of you to go your separate ways. Edward and John are to go have breakfast with the other officers before the meeting, and you're probably expected with the lower-ranked men.

 

You stand there, unsure of what to say. You want to ask about your new relationship, but at the same time, it all still feels oddly fragile.

 

You decide to:

>Ask about what This is and what's going to happen now. Do you have two loves of your life now or was it just a fling?

>Assume it's a Thing now and say goodbye to both of them with that in mind.

>Tell them you'll see them later but don't remark on the relationship part.

>Leave without saying anything like a jerk.

 

YOU SELECTED: >Ask about what This is and what's going to happen now. Do you have two loves of your life now or was it just a fling?

 

"Um," you start, very eloquently. Edward looks at you while John can't seem to decide if his boot is more interesting or not. "Before we go... back," you say, making a throwaway gesture toward the direction of the Terror (you think). "I just want to know what all of this is."

 

"This?" Edward repeats, brows raising.

 

"Me and you, and John?"

 

He looks at John as though he somehow appeared in the room without Edward noticing. "Oh," is the only answer.

 

John clears his throat, cheeks already turning pink. 

 

You press on, sensing that you won't get much from the two of them otherwise. "I cherish what I have with John, so I just want to come to an understanding of where we stand, collectively. Is this for one time?"

 

Edward opens his mouth, then shuts it. Then, like John, he flushes with something that isn't embarrassment, but is some great rush of emotion that he simply can't vocalize. Quietly--much quieter than you've ever heard him speak--he says, "I'd like it to be more than once, if the two of you are partial."

 

John is of his own opinion, you're sure; you've already sensed that the two of them have some sort of history together that exceeds professional boundaries. However, how do you feel about it?

 

>You're not entirely sure. You feel that you need to get to know Edward better before falling into something romantic.

>You are sure. This is completely what you want!

>You'd like to hear what John says first. How you feel about this relationship is dependent on him.

>You want to back out so fast that you'd probably break through the door.

 

YOU SELECTED: >You'd like to hear what John says first. How you feel about this relationship is dependent on him.

 

Regardless of opinions, this does feel like a decision you and John need to make together. You ask him as much. What does he think?

 

He immediately gets flustered, looking down at his hands and stammering a few times before he manages to settle himself. "Well... I-- I haven't an idea as to how to..." He trails off, only gesturing between himself and Edward, and then to you. You think he means this sort of relationship. Regardless, you nod to urge him to go on.

 

"I know how I feel," he continues, if not a little uncertain. "I... I suppose I should have told you before we got... um, intimate."

 

You've heard of dental extractions that are less painful. Still, you silently encourage him.

 

"Edward and I-- We..."

 

Edward interjects, presumably to save John from worrying himself to death. "I relied enormously on John during the first months of the voyage," he explains. "Lieutenant Hodgson is a good man and an upstanding officer, but John was able to relieve some of the pressures of the workload. I've never... Well, to put it plainly, this expedition warrants more responsibility and acclaim than my previous postings. I admit I had some... very dark thoughts in those early hours. I thought perhaps I wasn't suited as I thought."

 

"He was," John adds emphatically. As though on impulse, his left hand goes up to brush against Edward's right. You sense this is a gesture they've repeated often.

 

"John kept me tethered to myself, rather than allow my thoughts to run freely into worse pastures," Edward continues. His fingers flex at the thought. "And I suppose with how often we met to talk and relieve the stress of it all, it seemed only natural for things to progress as they had."

 

You look between them, understanding better now what sort of relationship they've had. 

 

John looks to you, a soft look on his face. "We had promised not to advance further if what you and I had was more intensive. I promise to God that I would never do such a thing to you."

 

"I know," you say. You understand and feel his conviction.

 

"But I... We discussed it," John concludes.

 

Edward nods in confirmation. "I believed you would be good for John. He was ecstatic when talking about you."

 

"Edward!"

 

A slight smile begins to turn up a corner of Edward's mouth. You decide that a smile looks good on him. "I understood that he was enamoured, and I wanted to do everything in my power to encourage his pursuit."

Chapter Text

You grin as you leave a flourish—just the right proper touch—to this portion of your manuscript. For weeks now, you’ve toiled and laboured alongside your noble (and voracious in multiple definitions of the word ‘appetite’) companions, carefully constructing the narrative of the adventurous and sometimes scandalous Robert Fucks, proletariat hero extraordinaire. Every evening, you’ve sat around in a circle of your friends, allowing them to cast little heart tokens in votes controlling your protagonist’s very actions and thoughts. With each vote came a heart-swaying declaration of love, a dramatic twist, and—more often than not—something plainly ridiculous. All in good fun, of course.

 

This evening, you labour away in the local park, editing your plot and giving it the last details to pique your group’s imagination. Just wait until they hear about what you have in store!

 

Then, quite suddenly, you are assailed by a blur of blue and white, followed by a sharp guffawing series of squawks. Paper and feathers rustle violently, and by the time you get your head about you and look up in the direction of the grand commotion, you see an oddly small blue bird perched on a tree branch above your head, your manuscript in its teeny tiny talons.

 

“Hey!” you shout. “Those are mine! Give them back!”

 

The peculiar little bird—and peculiar indeed, as it wears a size-appropriate wide-brimmed hat the likes of which might be seen on a desperado—gives you a look. Then, it rapidly pecks at your manuscript, pocking it thoroughly with little beak-shaped holes. The cry of rage you level toward it would shake mountains. As it is, all you do is cause the bird to squawk again and rain shredded parchment confetti upon your furious head. Soon, you are crowned in the remnants of Robert Fucks’ exploit, and the bird looks a little too happy about that.

 

You use a few colourful terms for the bird, but, as it is just a bird in a hat, it appears completely unfazed. Once or twice, it fluffs up its little blue capeau of feathers as if in indignance, or perhaps in an attempt to preen out fleas or ants. You like to think that it feels some semblance of shame, but alas—it’s a bird.

 

Right at the peak of your rant (you curse the name of every corvid before it and call its grandmother a gossipy old crow), the little bird takes flight—manuscript and all—and flies off in a northwesterly direction.

 

You stand alone in the park, tarred and feathered with ink and scraps of paper, and feeling just as much a fool as anyone who has every undergone such treatment. You worked so hard on that story; your friends did as well! But—

 

Oh, but alas, isn’t the nature of all good stories its ending? To leave something open-ended is to leave it open-hearted! It is just as capable of love from another as it was from you and your friends. What more, the memories are so very pleasant! Even as you are now, you can still happily recall the sensation of writing Robert Fucks’ first romantic interaction with Lieutenant Irving, or the delight at increasing Terrance’s costume closet in his little crab palace. More than that, you feel you’ve gotten closer to your friends through this! How lovely!

 

Perhaps the strange blue bird will take your story elsewhere, to drop it into the lap of some hapless person. Your story may yet continue! Or, perhaps, it will fall into a lonely, stagnant pond and be slowly picked apart by opportunistic fish puzzled by the introduction of it into their algae-thick world. Regardless of what happens, your story has literally taken flight, and you’re better off in the world for it!

 

You look out toward the northwest, imagination shimmering like the Arctic sea in the paling sunlight—and you wish your story well.

 

When you finally leave the park, you fail to notice a little crab in a top hat skittering across the pavement toward your former seat. In his right claw is a folded piece of paper, sealed in wax, with your name on it.

 

Well, he can only move as quick as a crab, but maybe someday the note will get to you.

 

FINIS