Caduceus

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Caduceus
Caduceus ambience.png
Caduceus (Sidebar)
Located in Eleutheria
Ports The Dome of the Rose
Shops Trade with the Devils

Caduceus is a station in the outer circle of Eleutheria, located in the same segment as Langley Hall. Be warned that having a Cold and/or Lightless soul flaw will locked you out of most of the port content.

Log Entries[edit | edit source]

The air is heavy with the sleepy, silken scent of roses.
This is Caduceus, where devils keep a garden of roses.
You near Caduceus, of the golden dome. Caduceus, of the grey stone steps. Caduceus, where the roses grow.

Fatalistic Signalman: "Something's wrong about this place. I suppose that's not unusual."
The Clay Conductor sighs. "I don't care for roses."
The Rat Brigade argues over how to pronounce 'Caduceus'. None of them get it right.
The Repentant Devil looks nervous. "Caduceus. A reunion not to be avoided forever."
"Now this is the proper forum for poetry," the Poetic Forged Companion informs you, casting an unfavourable eye over your engine.

The Dome of the Rose[edit | edit source]

A temple at the top of a mountain, reached by a long pilgrim road. Inside it, statues of devils bearing instruments march towards a throne. The smell of roses lingers.

The Winds of Elsewhere
Choristernectar.png
Category Story Event
Type Story
Data ID 303724


The Winds of Elsewhere[edit | edit source]

The winding hillside paths are meandering and wilful. A wind picks up, carrying a scent of honey and a soothing sibilance. It blows from the caves.

Trigger conditions

Calendar icon.png DateClock icon.png An Opportunity in Caduceus,
Clock icon.png An Opportunity in Caduceus ≥ 1


Interactions

Actions Requirements Effects Notes
Explore the dark side of Caduceus
The devils do not care to set foot here.
Silent history
Ruins litter this side of Caduceus, though their purpose has been lost to time. Columns stand proud amongst ancient rubble. Ancient frames hold broken mirrors. But the wind is warm and lazy, unlike the harried, anguished gusts of the sky.
Investigate a mirror shard
You found it in the wiry grass. It is silver and sharp...
A whisper from beyond
A golden flicker deep in the glass catches your eye. You pick it up and stare at it, trying to find the source in the undulation. A stabbing pain runs through your hand; blood drips from a cut that could almost be a bite. You drop it, but that night, you dream...



The Place of the Rose
Thornmaiden.png
Category Story Event
Type Story
Data ID 286624


The Place of the Rose[edit | edit source]

A temple, garlanded with incarnadine flowers and wreathed with thorns, sits at the apex of Caduceus. It is drowsy with the scent of roses, though you can see none. Poets, artists and musicians lounge in groups on the marble floor. A woman, crowned in thorns, sits on a white throne. She drums her fingers on the arm.


Interactions

Actions Requirements Effects Notes
Search for your Driver
The Driver crashed somewhere in the caverns of Caduceus. The Rose-Binders are at a loss as to how.
A Driver returned
The descent into the caverns is arduous. Knees scrape; shins bruise; tempers fray. The devil's drum beat is incessant. It distorts your voices as you call for the Driver, as though thwarting your progress.

At last, a voice calls back. It takes another three hours to locate the source, as you circle back and back again through the labyrinth below Caduceus.

But at last you find the Driver, who has apparently taken their borrowed engine and driven it into the network of caves below Caduceus before coming undone at an obstinate wall.

"Addressed As(CapitalInformal)!" they cry, delighted to see you. "Small spot of bother. Thanks for coming to pick me up." Their grin is dazzling.
Advanced alteration value probably needs examination.

Advanced alteration value probably needs examination.


Help the Felined Eccentric rid herself of Beleth
Beleth is a stubborn, gaunt, black cat who depends on routine and reliability. The Eccentric meets with a furtive devil; she leaves with an armful of Impossible Roses, whose scent imposes the logic of dreams.
    • Affiliationacadame icon.png Beleth = 10 [Convince Beleth to leave by taking him to the Floating Parliament, or drive him away by acquiring Impossible Roses at Caduceus]

    • Felinedeccentric icon.png Felined Eccentric ≥ 1 [The Felined Eccentric has boarded your locomotive.]

The Is-Not
When Beleth next enters the engine room, he finds it filled with the roses. Their scent cloys the air. He pushes through, looking for his customary sleeping-place among the pipes.

A jungle rises around him, its trees hung with expressionless porcelain death-masks. Beleth's hackles raise. The path twists like a snake. He tries to ignore it, cutting across its loops in a straight line. Doing so takes him through a whispering marsh and a silver river, which he stubbornly swims—

—only to find his sleeping-place has become a bower of bones, threaded with thorny vines. It is home to a pair of masked, silent lovers, entangled in languid passion, scratched and bleeding from the thorns.

In disgust, Beleth leaves the engine-room, your locomotive, and the Felined Eccentric, in search of somewhere less whimsical. The Eccentric exhales, relieved.
Participate in the Rite of the Rose
For those suitably attuned, the Thorn-Maiden is willing to perform the Rites of the Rose. It is the great mystery at Caduceus' heart.
    • Bloody icon.png Cold ≤ 0 [The devils of Carillon claim to be experts in the assessment and improvement of the soul. They would describe yours as tantalisingly opaque, and rich with personality.]

    • Mirrors icon.png Lightless ≤ 0 [The devils of Carillon claim to be experts in the assessment and improvement of the soul. They would describe yours as tantalisingly opaque, and rich with personality.]

    • Caduceus icon.png Rite of Prorrhesis ≥ 1 [You are admitted into the mysteries of Caduceus]

    • Momentofinspiration icon.png Moment of Inspiration ≥ 3

Enter the rose
The Thorn-Maiden rises from her throne and strikes a single bell. Rose-Binders advance on the throngs, passing out garlands of thorns.

A Rose-Binder wearing a mask of thorns and petals passes you a garland. It fits about your neck easily, like a stole. It reeks, like a bottle of perfume left out in the sun.

Your fellow visitors to Caduceus are approaching the throne, their arms outstretched, their eyes agleam. The Thorn-Maiden turns away from the supplicants and faces the marble wall behind the throne. She raises her arms and lifts the crown from her head. The rest is lost in a crest of sudden sunlight that crashes over the temple like a golden wave.
Descend to the caverns
Beneath the temple, the mountain on which Caduceus rests is tunneled through with caves. A drumbeat, slow but steady, sounds from below.
Investigate the temple
What is Caduceus?
The march of the roses
Marble statues of devils line the aisles. They have wreaths over their horns, their lips are daubed scarlet as sin, their eyes are the colours of ash and sunlight. The detail is breathtaking: their lyres and lutes, flutes and fiddles, drums and dulcimers are so perfectly carved that, but for the material, they could be real.

Frescoes depict a troupe of musicians marching towards a slender mirror: pipers, flautists, drummers, all. Statues of serpents coil over the musicians.

Thorn-bushes, bereft of roses, encircle the chamber. The plants are tended by devils in crimson masks. These devils are the Rose-Binders of Caduceus. Within the space bounded by the bushes, the bohemians make their art, all of it on the subject of roses.
Write a Port Report
Would anyone take an interest in this languorous idyll? There are said to be mysteries to Caduceus.
    • Caduceus icon.png Rite of Prorrhesis ≥ 1 [You are admitted into the mysteries of Caduceus]

    • Bloody icon.png Cold ≤ 0 [The devils of Carillon claim to be experts in the assessment and improvement of the soul. They would describe yours as tantalisingly opaque, and rich with personality.]

    • Mirrors icon.png Lightless ≤ 0 [The devils of Carillon claim to be experts in the assessment and improvement of the soul. They would describe yours as tantalisingly opaque, and rich with personality.]

    • Caduceus icon.png Report: Caduceus ≤ 0 [You have delivered a port report.]

A place where the roses fall
An isolated temple, approached by a winding pilgrim road. Roses fall about the ruins on the temple approach, but none within the temple walls. Here devils in Rose masks tend flowerless shrubs. Poets and musicians write rhapsodies on roses that never appear. A woman known as the Thorn Maiden presides over it all, while in the caverns below the temple, drums sound in the dark. Poets whisper to you of rites performed by the Thorn Maiden, of sunlight somehow brought into Eleutheria, of revels done when the roses fall.
Talk to the Bohemians
Visitors come and go from Caduceus, but all are generally of a similar temperament.
    • Caduceus icon.png Rite of Prorrhesis ≥ 1 [You are admitted into the mysteries of Caduceus]

    • Wind icon.png Airs of the Arboretum ≥ 34 and ≤ 66

    • Bloody icon.png Cold ≤ 0 [The devils of Carillon claim to be experts in the assessment and improvement of the soul. They would describe yours as tantalisingly opaque, and rich with personality.]

    • Mirrors icon.png Lightless ≤ 0 [The devils of Carillon claim to be experts in the assessment and improvement of the soul. They would describe yours as tantalisingly opaque, and rich with personality.]

Waiting
A louche youth, with acres of golden hair, invites you into his little company. They sit before the throne, painting roses onto each other's bodies. A rose black as the Liberation blooms on his white chest. A pair of twins have daubed a pattern of roses linked like chains – it begins on the right of her neck, and ends on the nail of his smallest left toe. An elderly poet, his moustaches ringed with roses, explains that they are merely passing the time. "We are somewhat listless between the rites," he explains. "When the sunlight pours through and we may taste the rose."
Observe the Rose-Binders at work
They rarely speak, and refuse all assistance.
    • Caduceus icon.png Rite of Prorrhesis ≥ 1 [You are admitted into the mysteries of Caduceus]

    • Wind icon.png Airs of the Arboretum ≥ 67 [The sound of drums, insistent as a quickening heart-beat.]

    • Bloody icon.png Cold ≤ 0 [The devils of Carillon claim to be experts in the assessment and improvement of the soul. They would describe yours as tantalisingly opaque, and rich with personality.]

    • Mirrors icon.png Lightless ≤ 0 [The devils of Carillon claim to be experts in the assessment and improvement of the soul. They would describe yours as tantalisingly opaque, and rich with personality.]

A caretaker's duty
The masked devils menace the greenery encroaching on the temple with severe secateurs. Marble walls crack with creeping vines and tumbling flora – they rip and crush with equanimity. Theirs is an uncompromising battle to prevent the temple's decay. Only the flowerless rose-bushes are afforded mercy. These are trimmed and tended, primped and perfumed. As you watch, a deviless calls over a compatriot. They mournfully examine the coils of a bush gone grey. Eventually, and with a great deal of ceremony, they begin to uproot it.
Explore the temple
It must predate London's entry into the High Wilderness.
    • Caduceus icon.png Rite of Prorrhesis ≥ 1 [You are admitted into the mysteries of Caduceus]

    • Wind icon.png Airs of the Arboretum ≤ 33 [Poets drink honey and wine, and rhapsodise on the rose-dewy eyes of the Thorn Maiden.]

    • Bloody icon.png Cold ≤ 0 [The devils of Carillon claim to be experts in the assessment and improvement of the soul. They would describe yours as tantalisingly opaque, and rich with personality.]

    • Mirrors icon.png Lightless ≤ 0 [The devils of Carillon claim to be experts in the assessment and improvement of the soul. They would describe yours as tantalisingly opaque, and rich with personality.]

Old powers
Corinthian columns line the processional, though their capitals bear budding roses rather than acanthus leaves. Devils, unmasked, recur on the frescoes. Only the wall behind the throne has been left without adornment. The temple contains a multitude of shrines, scattered throughout the complex like links on a chain. Each holds a reliquary to a single figure. One is to the Fiddler, another to the Piper, a third to the Drummer, the Chorister and the Violist. The Rose-Binders treat these shrines with a reverence that borders on fear.
Talk to the Thorn-Maiden
From her throne, she watches all.
    • Bloody icon.png Cold ≤ 0 [The devils of Carillon claim to be experts in the assessment and improvement of the soul. They would describe yours as tantalisingly opaque, and rich with personality.]

    • Mirrors icon.png Lightless ≤ 0 [The devils of Carillon claim to be experts in the assessment and improvement of the soul. They would describe yours as tantalisingly opaque, and rich with personality.]

The Throned Maiden
Her crown is thorned, her stave coiled with snakes. Her eyes are quiet as an ox's. As you approach, she raises a hand, bedecked with rings of white sapphires. Whether she is bidding you approach or refrain is unclear.
Talk to the Ebullient Decadent
A poet with a tangle of violent red hair is staring at you. "Captain!" he calls. What does he want?
    • Affiliationbohemia icon.png Affiliation: Bohemia ≥ 3

    • Bloody icon.png Cold ≤ 0 [The devils of Carillon claim to be experts in the assessment and improvement of the soul. They would describe yours as tantalisingly opaque, and rich with personality.]

    • Mirrors icon.png Lightless ≤ 0 [The devils of Carillon claim to be experts in the assessment and improvement of the soul. They would describe yours as tantalisingly opaque, and rich with personality.]

    • Rose icon.png A Paeon for Persephone ≤ 0

    • Caduceus icon.png Rite of Prorrhesis ≥ 1 [You are admitted into the mysteries of Caduceus]

A poetic dilemma
"Captain!" he beams at you. "You'll have heard of me! Or my poems! Although, perhaps you haven't – I get censored so." His eyes are wide and wild. "My muse is disapproved of. I came to Eleutheria to be inspired, and my god I have been! I have written panegyrics to our dark star; odes to the Maiden who presides here. But I cannot get published in London." He sniffs, frowns, smiles once more. "Please, take my latest to my publisher, Storridge's, in London! It is better than my last, but they won't even read it. Pass it off as yours. Please say you will." He pushes a sheaf of yellowing pages into your hand. "Thank you!!"
Return to the Ebullient Decadent
Storridge's of London have published his poem.
Fallen in the sear
You can find neither hide nor hair of the Ebullient Decadent (and his scarlet locks are hard to miss). A bewhiskered flautist approaches you. "Looking for the poet? He's gone. Came over all funny after he heard his poem was in print. Sort of melancholy." The flautist frowns. "He did say something about new pastures. And then the Thorn Maiden chose him to attend her at the next rite." The flautist shrugs. "No staying power. Anyway, he wanted you to have the proceeds of the sale."
Return to the Ebullient Decadent
Mr Storridge rejected his work.
Pastures new
The Ebullient Decadent receives the pages of his poem with evident delight. "My poem! You know, I think it could be even better! What do you think about the line 'pierced by pleasure and poisoned by pain, a maiden of crown and thorn and chain'? No, don't answer. Your expression says it all." He sighs. "But I have exhausted this place. My poem is complete, but not good enough. I must seek my muse elsewhere." He hands you a bag heavy with sovereigns. "I can afford to be liberal with my gratitude now!"
Visit the Retired Devil
He pays good money for gossip and other similar items.
A straightforward exchange
There he is now, offering metrical corrections to a poet of dubious scansion, but he's eager enough to make the exchange. Why would a Devil in retirement want for gossip? To decipher the latest roman-à-clef, naturally. Why else?
Drop the Repentant Devil here
Devils have retired to Caduceus before.
A somewhat reluctant departure
The Repentant Devil lingers near you, taking in the frescoes and the poets and the heavy scent of rose.

"Your kind garden when they retire, don't they?" he asks you. It is a rhetorical question. He will settle in here. Whether it changes him or changes Caduceus remains to be seen.

Before he parts company with you, he shares a few last memories of how the Devils traveled into Parabola, long ago.
Try to speak with the Thorn Maiden
From her throne, she watches all.
    • Mirrors icon.png Lightless ≥ 1 [The devils of Carillon claim to be experts in the assessment and improvement of the soul. They would describe yours as distressingly bland, inoffensive and liable to dissatisfaction.]

    • Bloody icon.png Cold ≥ 1 [The devils of Carillon claim to be experts in the assessment and improvement of the soul. They would describe yours as still, pale and chilly to the palate..]

A flaw in the soul
The Thorn Maiden ignores you, as do most of her coterie. Eventually you find a languid bohemian willing to talk to you. He is very deep in his cups. "It's your soul, you see. The Rose-Binders are devils, yes? They have ways of knowing these things. You must have damaged your soul somehow. Made it aesthetically displeasing." He struggles gamely with the word 'aesthetically'. "You should go to Carillon. In the Reach. They'll put you right."
Try to speak with the Thorn Maiden
From her throne, she watches all.
    • Mirrors icon.png Lightless = 0 [The devils of Carillon claim to be experts in the assessment and improvement of the soul. They would describe yours as tantalisingly opaque, and rich with personality.]

    • Bloody icon.png Cold ≥ 1 [The devils of Carillon claim to be experts in the assessment and improvement of the soul. They would describe yours as still, pale and chilly to the palate..]

A flaw in the soul
The Thorn Maiden ignores you, as do most of her coterie. Eventually you find a languid bohemian willing to talk to you. He is very deep in his cups. "It's your soul, you see. The Rose-Binders are devils, yes? They have ways of knowing these things. You must have damaged your soul somehow. Made it aesthetically displeasing." He struggles gamely with the word 'aesthetically'. "You should go to Carillon. In the Reach. They'll put you right."
Try to speak with the Thorn Maiden
From her throne, she watches all.
    • Mirrors icon.png Lightless ≥ 1 [The devils of Carillon claim to be experts in the assessment and improvement of the soul. They would describe yours as distressingly bland, inoffensive and liable to dissatisfaction.]

    • Bloody icon.png Cold = 0 [The devils of Carillon claim to be experts in the assessment and improvement of the soul. They would describe yours as tantalisingly opaque, and rich with personality.]

A flaw in the soul
The Thorn Maiden ignores you, as do most of her coterie. Eventually you find a languid bohemian willing to talk to you. He is very deep in his cups. "It's your soul, you see. The Rose-Binders are devils, yes? They have ways of knowing these things. You must have damaged your soul somehow. Made it aesthetically displeasing." He struggles gamely with the word 'aesthetically'. "You should go to Carillon. In the Reach. They'll put you right."



The Thorn-Maiden
Thornmaiden.png
Category Story Event
Type Story
Data ID 286634


The Thorn-Maiden[edit | edit source]

The Thorn-Maiden considers you, then approximates a smile. Her fingers still tap against the marble arm of her throne, in time with the drum from below. "How may I serve?" she asks. Her voice resonates like beaten bronze.

Trigger conditions

Thornmaiden icon.png Celebrant ≥ 1

Interactions

Actions Requirements Effects Notes
Ask about Caduceus
If anyone knows about this place, it's her.
A refuge, of sorts
Her voice is without any affect. The intonation is hollow. "I found Caduceus not long after I arrived in Eleutheria. I was frustrated with the methodologies of Winter's Reside. Where was the poetry? Where the beauty in all the horror?" Her fingertips dance as she speaks. "The devils were here before me. They were wearing those masks when I arrived. This temple was once something else, something important to them. They reclaimed it, though for a new purpose." She trails off, having lost interest in your inquiry.
How is she?
She seems restless. Is she bored?
Listlessness
Her eyes widen. "Is it obvious?" Her tone doesn't change. "The waiting between rites becomes more intolerable. All these people—" She gestures; her bracelets are set jangling. "—venerating me, but all they care for are the roses. I am a link in the chain, not the pearl in the crown." She sighs and looks away.
What is going on here?
What are the Rose Rites?
A hidden kingdom
The Thorn-Maiden smiles and beckons you close. She whispers: "There is a gate behind the glass. There is a kingdom that is not. There is a sky more sunless. There are promises that beguile and dreams that do not lie. All impossible. All attainable. This was once an escape; now it shall be a union. Three powers conjoined, like serpents on a staff." She leans back and looks away.
Leave her
You have heard enough. There are other diversions here.


The Darkling Caverns
Category Story Event
Type Story
Data ID 285096


The Darkling Caverns[edit | edit source]

Underneath the dome of Caduceus is a warren of caverns. A labyrinth of caves, walled with slabs of volcanic black glass, burrow their way through the rock. A steady drum beat thrums through the walls, echoing from somewhere deeper.


Interactions

Actions Requirements Effects Notes
Follow the beating of the drums
The sound is steady, like the pulsing of a heart.
Circles and circles and circles again
Following the sound leads you in what feels like circles. You travel between cave after cave, the tunnels narrowing like a throat as you go deeper. The drums sound on, a steady funerary beat. You are forced to cleave to a wall slick with dripping condensation, for the tunnel here has the width of a wicked king's spine. As you do, the drums cease for a moment, and you hear a sound like a finger tapping on glass. When you emerge from the thin cave, you find yourself in the large, wide cavern where you began.
Follow the Rose-Binders
Two Rose-Binders, a devil and a deviless, wait in the main cavern, their eyes like coals in the dark. The deviless beckons you to follow her.
Entreat the Drummer
Below Caduceus, the Drummer plays. One of the greatest Saints of Hell, all Caduceus dances to his beat.
The Drummer in the Dark
The echoing thud of the drums accompanies all the rituals of the rose; the walls of the temple quake to its remorseless beat. When you were first initiated, you heard it in the caverns.

You follow the drum-beat deep into the dark, till the pounding shakes the cartilage in your skull. Your feet bleed; your ears bleed; your heart hammers desperately.

In the deepest nook of Caduceus, you find a glass vessel; the size and shape of a gargantuan heart. Something alive trembles within. A talon taps against the glass; the ground shivers with each subsequent tap.

Your feet dance involuntarily across the rock. Your body will remember the sequence; even as your mind revolts. The steps are the message, sounded in the dance-alphabet of the infernal. Eventually, the drumming stops.
Return to the Temple
You have lingered too long in the dark.
Returning
Back to the marble and the frescoes and the devils in rose-masks. Back to the place where the roses do not fall.


The Rites of the Rose
Rose.png
Category Story Event
Type Story
Data ID 286642

The Rites of the Rose[edit | edit source]

As your eyes adjust to the illegal radiance of the sudden sunlight, you can see that the Arboretum has been entirely transformed. The statues are covered and crowned in wild roses of every possible colour. Impossible roses bloom on the throne and on the marble slabs on the ground. Celebrants run through fields of brightly-hued flowers, drinking and dancing and laughing.

Trigger conditions

Thornmaiden icon.png Participating in the Rites of the Thorn Maiden ≥ 1 ≤ 1,

Interactions

Actions Requirements Effects Notes
Return from the Rites
The roses fade like the tide withdrawing from the shore.
Approach the Thorn-Maiden
Her eyes are on you and only you. "Will you leave it all behind and follow me?" You are ready.
    • Clock icon.png Bloom of the Rose ≥ 1 [The roses fail fast. Petals fall in a continuous stream. The roses are almost gone. You have time for only one more activity here.]

    • Rose icon.png A Cupbearer of the Rose = 3 [You have given enough to the roses. Approach the Thorn-Maiden on your next visit]

The light!
She smiles. "You are ready. Follow me." She takes your hand, then beckons her attendants to follow her, the honey-eyed poets and the wild-eyed bacchants and the dark-eyed musicians.

She leads you behind her marble throne to where the sunlight is strongest, radiant as a new-born star. It pours from the blank white wall.

The Thorn-Maiden walks forward and through the wall. You touch the wall to discover it is not cold marble, but glass – then your hand passes through entirely. The heat of sunlight is on your hands. The cloying scent of roses is almost overwhelming.
Follow the Thorn-Maiden
You've followed her thus far.
You stand in a garden beneath an amber sky .Wild roses cover arbours. Rose-Binders tend hedges. Larger shapes, akin to the devils, but much longer and with many more limbs, assist them.

The garden is bounded on all sides by a wood, whispering and verdant. Something slithers through the shadows. The Thorn-Maiden places her hand on your shoulder. "No closer. We are permitted thus far and no further. Smell the roses. Enjoy the sunlight. I shall bring it home, one day soon."

Relaxed hours later, she leads you back to the mirror, which sits in the heart of the garden.
    • Terror icon.png +5 x Terror

    • Rose icon.png Crowned in Roses = 1 [The Thorn-Maiden has revealed to you the greatest Mystery of Caduceus]

    • Experience icon.png +1500 x Experience

    • Crimsonpromise icon.png +2 x Crimson Promise

    • Rose icon.png A Cupbearer of the Rose = 5 [You have pierced the heart of Caduceus and seen the garden behind the glass]

    • Drink icon.png Stained = 1 [The devils of Carillon claim to be experts in the assessment and improvement of the soul. They would describe yours as over-rich, cindered and irrevocably damaged.]

Watch from this side of the glass
You will not risk yourself.
Your signaller has been following the rites with you. She volunteers. "I'll go, captain." She passes through the glass like a shadow irradiated by the sun.

From your vantage point you make out a garden on the edge of a forest, where roses grow wild and Rose-Binders and their many-armed kin tend the bushes. Something hisses in the wood, briefly distracting you.

The Thorn-Maiden returns without your signaller. "I'm sorry," she says, "Sometimes they decide to stay."
Back away
Whatever this is, it's not for you.
You step over cavorting celebrants. Showers of petals fall from the roof, drowning you in perfume. The sunlight fades. Later, when the Thorn-Maiden passes you, she shakes her head. You have disappointed her.
    • Mirrors icon.png Lightless = 1 [The devils of Carillon claim to be experts in the assessment and improvement of the soul. They would describe yours as distressingly bland, inoffensive and liable to dissatisfaction.]

Approach the Thorn-Maiden
She stands apart from the celebrations. Faithful acolytes surround her.
The time of the rose
A poet places a garland of silver roses around her neck and bids her follow him to the caverns, where they might gaze on the moon together. The Thorn-Maiden laughs and turns away. A bacchant with wild eyes takes the Thorn-Maiden's hand in her own, coiling their fingers together like serpents in a nest. The Thorn-Maiden smiles distantly, extricates her hand, and turns to a third, a fiddler with eyes flecked with gold. "I think you are ready. The roses have taken enough of you." She ignores you entirely.
Approach the Thorn-Maiden
She stands apart from the celebrations. Only a single bacchant remains at her side. She is watching you.
    • Clock icon.png Bloom of the Rose ≥ 1 [The roses fail fast. Petals fall in a continuous stream. The roses are almost gone. You have time for only one more activity here.]

    • Rose icon.png A Cupbearer of the Rose = 1 [You are drawing closer to the roses. Give of yourself as they fade]

The Rose's price
The Thorn-Maiden considers you for several moments. Finally, she shakes her head. "You are still not ready for Euryphaessa. When the petals are about to fade. when the roses offer you much, give instead. You are still too much yourself." As you turn away, she reaches out to you. Her hand is cool; her copper bracelets tap your forearm. "The rose is palest before it falls." She releases your arm and turns away.
Approach the Thorn-Maiden
You have given of yourself to the roses. Are you ready? The Thorn-Maiden stands alone, watching you.
    • Clock icon.png Bloom of the Rose ≥ 1 [The roses fail fast. Petals fall in a continuous stream. The roses are almost gone. You have time for only one more activity here.]

    • Rose icon.png A Cupbearer of the Rose = 2 [You have given more to the rose. Is it enough?]

The recognition of the rose
She looks at you with a faint smile. Her attendants fade away into the cascade of roses as she bids you approach. "No. The kingdom is almost at hand. You have almost paid your way. They have tasted of your tears and seen into your soul." She runs her hand down her stave, agitated. "If you wish passage to the garden behind the glass, leave a gift in a rose as they fade."
Leave a gift for the roses
As the roses begin to fade, a Rose-Binder approaches. "Come, give a gift to the insatiate rose."
    • Rose icon.png A Cupbearer of the Rose = 2 [You have given more to the rose. Is it enough?]

    • Clock icon.png Bloom of the Rose = 1 [The roses fail fast. Petals fall in a continuous stream. The roses are almost gone. You have time for only one more activity here.]

A sacrifice
You are led to the Hall of the Drummer, where an emerald rose the size of an anemone blooms. There is a hollow at the heart of the petals, where stymen coil like a nest of serpents. The Rose-Binder beckons for you to approach. "What will you give the rose?"
A member of your crew
One more body left behind.
As you make your request, the Rose-Binder turns away. They do not speak to you, but have, apparently, divined the crewmember you'd have chosen. They are masked in crimson and bound in silk. You can see their frightened eyes behind the mask. Their hair is cut over the rose, which closes around the locks. And then – your crewmember is whisked away, towards the tunnels that lead to the caverns of Caduceus.
A piece of your mind
What is one more madness in Eleutheria?
"Kneel," the Rose-Binder says, indicating a silk cushion before the rose. You kneel. A red blindfold is wound around your face, and your head is pushed into the rose, which closes around you. You do not remember what happens there; you wake, covered in nectar. Your eyes have to pried open from the pollen. There is an aching darkness behind your eyes. When you sleep, you will go there again.
A piece of your flesh
Your body is all you have to give.
The Rose-Binder nods, and leaves the chamber. She returns bearing three bronze knives. She winds a length of scarlet cloth around your mouth – the cloth so as to not disturb the other celebrants, the colour to cover the stains. Both prove very necessary. When you are reduced, your flesh is placed in the mouth of the rose, which closes and slowly, languorously, withers away.
Nothing
You have nothing you are willing to part with.
The Rose-Binder nods, and escorts you back to the main temple. She feels inside her robe, and produces a coin. "A gift," she says, "From Caduceus." It bears a drum and two drumsticks on its golden face.
Participate in the Mystery of Indulgence
Celebrants gather in the Hall of the Pipers, where a field of roses bloom purple as a Byzantine court.
    • Clock icon.png Bloom of the Rose = 1 [The roses fail fast. Petals fall in a continuous stream. The roses are almost gone. You have time for only one more activity here.]

    • Rose icon.png A Cupbearer of the Rose ≥ 1 [You are drawing closer to the roses. Give of yourself as they fade]

Adorations of the rose
Celebrants throng a crimson-masked Rose-Binder carrying a thyrsus. First, she draws your attention to a fountain of wine scarlet as saint's blood. Then, she gestures to the celebrants around her, their mouths red and hungry. Finally, she beings stamping in time to the beat of the drum, sounding from far below the temple. She offers indulgences. Which will you partake in?
In wine
It flows like water, sweet as nectar and strong as your heart's desire.
It floods down your throat like a river bursting a dam. Celebrants links arms with you, and haul you into a dance. There is more wine. You wake with your head throbbing in time to the drumbeat below. You are circled by applauding Rose-Binders.
In love
You are welcome. You are wanted. Celebrants sigh for you, as though they'd stepped into a warm bath.
The air is rich with the scent of perfume and honey, jasmine and rose, that only heightens your senses and the acuteness of your ardour. You are adored, venerated, worshipped, and adore and venerate and worship in turn. Such heavenly creatures, all around you, and you one with them. You wake in a tangle of torn silks and limbs. A smirking Rose-Binder stands over you.
In dance
Here, where the music thrums in your head like the clamour of a tolling bell. It summons you.
The beat is all around you, echoing like a toppling church bell, falling down and down a great steeple. You writhe to the beat, worshipping and fearful, your limbs aflame like St Vitus, and your mind resounding with the drums below. You come to with a pair of Rose-Binders massaging your aching arms. They pat you encouragingly.
In sorrow
Give of yourself your tears.
A Rose-Binders offers you a chalice, decorated with serpents and devils chained coil to hand. They listen attentively as you recite your litany of woe. They offer a fresh perspective on each sorrow, revealing something about each encounter that you had not considered before. In every instance, it makes the memory worse. When the chalice is full, it is taken away.
Participate in the Mystery of Beholding
A few celebrants have entered the Hall of the Fiddler.
    • Clock icon.png Bloom of the Rose = 1 [The roses fail fast. Petals fall in a continuous stream. The roses are almost gone. You have time for only one more activity here.]

The dreams promised
As you join the group, a Rose-Binder places their hands on your shoulders. They steer you through the rose-covered portico and into the little shrine. Here a copse of roses the size of church windows bloom. Some are saffron-hued, others crimson, others azure. "Don't be afraid," the Rose-Binder at your ear says, "Look inside. They have something to show you."
Peer into a saffron rose
You can make out a throne and a familiar silhouette upon it.
You have toppled empires. The kingdom of the Gold with its lofty palace of riches is yours. There are none left to challenge you. Your adviser hisses to you. There are further kingdoms yet, a horizon more endless. The sky is a boundless sea, and you must be its master.
Peer into a crimson rose
You can make out lips as dark as cherries and thrice as sweet.
It is your face in the mirror – you are more beautiful and terrible than the night. Your loveliness draws all you want towards you. Never again need you be alone, unloved, despised.
Peer into an azure rose
Inside, you can hear a rushing of water, blue and endless. Something catches in your heart.
There is a voyage yet. There are shores yet farther, and skies yet uncharted. Home is behind you, you will not return. Your engine is ready for all the Wilderness might throw its way. Your crew primed, and loyal. You might be anything. You might go anywhere. There is, the sky promises, a sea more sunless.
Peer into a white rose
You can hear nothing within. Loss emanates from the pale flower. The petals shiver, and open slightly, as though they want to be opened fully.
The flower unfurls to show you a vision of yourself alone. No crew, no engine. Just you and the mirror, facing each other. The mirror begins to devour you. Your reflection shivers as pieces of your flesh slicken and shiver the glass, running down the mirror in rivulets of blood. A Rose-Binder pulls you away.
Rest among the roses
How long since you have known peace?
    • Clock icon.png Bloom of the Rose ≥ 1 [The roses fail fast. Petals fall in a continuous stream. The roses are almost gone. You have time for only one more activity here.]

A dream, only a dream
You lay your head on a cushion of wild roses. Several other celebrants have had the same idea, and lie alone, in pairs or in affectionate tangles. As you drift off, you see the red-masked Rose-Binders making their way through the field of the slumbering, laying petals on the sleepers' eyes. You dream of a sunlit garden, where wine flows like honey, languorous and sweet. The air is filled with a drowsy humming and a quiet hissing.
Advanced alteration value probably needs examination.


Rare event (25%)
Gone away
You lay your head on a cushion of wild roses. One of your stokers has had the same idea – she lies only a couple of arm lengths away. She winks at you, then tugs her hat down over her head. As you drift off, you see the red-masked Rose-Binders making their way through the field of the slumbering, laying petals on the sleepers' eyes. When you wake, you are alone.
Examine the roses
They glisten, but not with dew. Are they weeping?
    • Hearts icon.png Hearts challenge (84 for 100%)

    • Clock icon.png Bloom of the Rose ≥ 1 [The roses fail fast. Petals fall in a continuous stream. The roses are almost gone. You have time for only one more activity here.]

Failed event
A tear
A violet rose opens its petals at your touch, as if were waiting to bloom just for you. The flower is rich with nectar. As you go to taste it, a filament tears in your hand. The celebrant beside you tuts. "You captains ruin everything with your infernal curiosity."
Successful event
Indulge, imbibe
You carefully peel open a great azure rose, blooming on the head of a statue. A wash of perfume spills out, heady as Benedictine wine. Within, the rose is wet with dew and nectar. Its stigma weeps silver tears. They are saline to the taste, but smell of wild honey.
Kiss a rose
Some celebrants press their lips to the flowers.
    • Hearts icon.png Hearts challenge (50 for 100%)

    • Clock icon.png Bloom of the Rose ≥ 1 [The roses fail fast. Petals fall in a continuous stream. The roses are almost gone. You have time for only one more activity here.]

Failed event
Indecency!
You bend to a rose the colour of a frosted window pane. The petals are cool to the touch, and you struggle to keep them from slipping into your mouth. A celebrant giggles as they see your endeavour. "No, silly. Like this." Good lord.
Successful event
Sweetness as bitter as tears
You bend to a rose the shade of a smouldering sun. The scent is of burning jasmine . The colour drew your eye in, your tongue follows. The taste is as the ashes of Savonarola raining down on Florence. Drops of nectar wash down your throat like stolen sips of wine. Despite the bitterness, you feel a yearning inside your stomach. It is as though you swallowed the longings of a sun. It passes in moments.
    • Clock icon.png -1 x Bloom of the Rose

    • Hunger icon.png Fermented = 1 (if ≤ 0) [The devils of Carillon claim to be experts in the assessment and improvement of the soul. They would describe yours as pungent, febrile and unappetising.]

    • Unaccountablypeckish icon.png +1 x Savage Secret

Dream in the roses
Before the throne, a throng of celebrants lie entwined, asleep.
    • Hearts icon.png Hearts challenge (100 for 100%)

    • Clock icon.png Bloom of the Rose ≥ 1 [The roses fail fast. Petals fall in a continuous stream. The roses are almost gone. You have time for only one more activity here.]

Failed event
Interrupted bliss
Three Rose-Binders lead you to a pile of soft cushions, blooming with white and black roses. They tie a scarlet blindfold daubed with honey over your eyes. You doze fitfully. The celebrant to your right clearly over-indulged, and reeks of stale sick and soured wine. The celebrant to your left snores like a drunk cantankeri. It is intolerable. You rouse yourself, much to the disappointment of the Rose-Binders.
Successful event
Perchance
Three Rose-Binders lead you to a pile of soft cushions, blooming with white and black roses. They tie a scarlet blindfold daubed with honey over your eyes. You drift away with your head filled with the slow, distant sound of drums.

In your dream you walk through a tangled garden of sunlit roses, where Rose-Binders walk the avenues, cutting this flower or that, depositing them into wheelbarrows. Occasionally, a Rose-Binder disappears, leaving their barrow behind. Hissing emerges from the bushes.

When you wake, you can still hear the noise just behind your eyes.
Partial success event (100%)
Perhaps
Three Rose-Binders lead you to a pile of soft cushions, blooming with white and black roses. They tie a scarlet blindfold daubed with honey over your eyes. You drift away with your head filled with the slow, distant sound of drums. In your dream you:
Wander the gardens
All roses thrive here.
It is a feast for the eyes and the nose and the tongue. Scarlet-striped bees dance between indigo roses, dripping with nectar. Something long and elaborate slithers through the hedge at your feet. A devil at your side is quick with the secateurs.
Water the roses
For they are thirsty.
You have jug of wine as red as the passion of Mars in your hand. You tread a maze of roses, all tongued and lapping at the wine you pour over them, stickying the petals. The scent of pollen is strong as Samson, and slowly, you drowse. You wake covered in crimson droplets. They are not wine.
Speak with a gardener
The Rose-Binders wander here, tending the wild roses beneath the ochre sky.
The nearest wears plate of polished brass beneath his robe. "We were here once before. It has grown wild in our absence." He hands you secateurs. "The horse must be broken if it will be ridden." Your hands are soon sticky with tears.
Cavort amongst the roses
Bohemians run through the roses with wild abandon. Some dance, others fall – pulling others down beneath the petals with them.
    • Clock icon.png Bloom of the Rose ≥ 1 [The roses fail fast. Petals fall in a continuous stream. The roses are almost gone. You have time for only one more activity here.]

    • Mirrors icon.png Mirrors challenge (100 for 100%)

Failed event
The kiss of the rose
The roses run wild and verdant in the temple forecourt. You stumble through the undergrowth, dazzled by the variegated flowers and dulled by their perfumes. A poet with eyes like a stormy sea approaches you. His fingertips are bleeding, dripping crimson into the wildflower carpet. "Bitten!" he cries, displaying his bloody fingers. "Oh! The insatiate rose!"
Successful event
Pleasures in crimson bliss
Elgabalus himself never new such indulgence. Roses in a multitude of colours – blue, emerald, violet and carnelian open from the temple roof, showering celebrants with petals. The Arboretum is a riot of laughter and song. You sip dew wine, kiss lips sticky with it, sing along to the throbbing of the drums beneath your feet. Whenever you stumble, a Rose-Binder is at your side to right you, and guide you back to the revel.
Take a gift of the rose
Celebrants wander among the roses, naming and entreating them to offer up jewels held in the petals.
    • Mirrors icon.png Mirrors challenge (50 for 100%)

    • Clock icon.png Bloom of the Rose ≥ 1 [The roses fail fast. Petals fall in a continuous stream. The roses are almost gone. You have time for only one more activity here.]

Failed event
Perbibo
A celebrant with hair the colour of a fox cub appears beside you, holding a cup of honey and dew. They proffer the chalice. "Will you drink?"
Drink deeply
Take the chalice
You raise it your lips, as the celebrant, now flanked by Rose-Binders, watches. The liquid is heady: a mix of wine and honey, nectar and dew. It tastes like pale fire. Later, you wake to a pair of crimson masks staring down at you. The Rose-Binders escort you back into the rites.
Indulge with the celebrant
Their smile is knowing. Their eyes promise much.
They drop the chalice, spilling honey and dew onto the floor. They gather you up in their limbs, pale as marble. Later, amidst the nectar, with rose petals sticking to your skin and your mouth wet with honeyed kisses, you are alone.
Refuse
Push away the chalice.
The celebrant bows. "As you wish." They leave you alone amidst the falling petals.
Successful event
A gift
A celebrant with lobelia tangled in his hair leads you to a patch of roses blooming in red and black and gold. Each gleams with something akin to dew. The youth pulls back the petals of the nearest, exposing a jewel: broad as an athlete's thigh and faceted as the mortal soul, nestling in the rose's maw.

"Only take one. They will be affronted should they all be plucked at once." He offers no further explanation.

Which will you take?
A ruby
A stone as red as the fall of dynasties.
The petals part willingly as you reach in to take the stone. It is warm to the touch and fills your palm entirely. "A gift," the celebrant says, an awed smile on his face. "They bring us such gifts. They have no use for them."
An onyx
A stone as black as the paintings of Lucifer.
The black rose draws back its petals like veils as you reach in to grasp the onyx. It is cold to the touch and stains your palm. "A promise," the celebrant says, a hungry smile on his face. "They promise such wonderful things. As long as we return."
A citrine
A stone as gold as the dreams of empires.
The petals brush against your hand like sylphs as you reach in to grasp the golden stone. It smells of honey and wine. "A dream," the celebrant says, beatifically. "The finest of dreams."
Mr Menagerie is Passing Through Caduceus
Cagedcatch.png
Category Story Event
Type Story
Data ID 294888

Mr Menagerie is Passing Through Caduceus[edit | edit source]

A tattered poster by the station advertises the services of a 'Mr Menagerie: Purveyor of Fine Scouts'. An accompanying picture displays a tall cloaked figure, slightly stooped, clutching an array of adorable little beasts close to its long chest.

Trigger conditions

Cagedcatch icon.png Mr Menagerie's Last Voyage ≥ 6 ≤ 6,


Interactions

Actions Requirements Effects Notes
Visit Mr Menagerie
A pile of cages is visible near the rose-carved portico.
You pick your way through the smog to Mr Menagerie.

Game note: You can buy scouts from Mr Menagerie, but he will move on after your visit.


A Note from Mr Menagerie at Caduceus
Envelope.png
Category Story Event
Type Story
Data ID 294897


A Note from Mr Menagerie at Caduceus[edit | edit source]

The poster at the station has been torn down, and there is no sign of Mr Menagerie itself. Many disreputable sorts gawp at the frescoes while libating wine, but none have a collection of adorable little beasts. The Stationmaster waves you over. Mr Menagerie has left a note for you.

Trigger conditions

Cagedcatch icon.png Mr Menagerie's Last Voyage ≥ 7 ≤ 7,


Interactions

Actions Requirements Effects Notes
Read the note
It should tell you where Mr Menagerie was headed.
Somewhere old, somewhere new


Shops[edit | edit source]

Trade with the Devils

They sell two things: pre-human souls of exceptional quality and supplies: mostly blind, pale fish from the caves beneath Caduceus.

Item Buy Sell
Supplies square icon.png Supplies Sovereigns icon.png 40 Sovereigns Sovereigns icon.png 20 Sovereigns
Selectionofimmaculatesouls square icon.png Selection of Immaculate Souls Sovereigns icon.png 250 Sovereigns
Locations
Region Hub Ports Discoveries / Spectacles
The Reach Newwinchester icon.png New Winchester Carillon icon.png Carillon

Hybras icon.png Hybras
Naturereserve icon.png Leadbeater & Stainrod's Nature Reserve
Lustrum icon.png Lustrum
Magdalenes icon.png Magdalene's
Circus icon.png Polmear & Plenty's Inconceivable Circus
Portavon icon.png Port Avon
Portprosper icon.png Port Prosper
Titania icon.png Titania
Traitorswood icon.png Traitor's Wood
Transitrelay icon.png Transit Relays

Signalbox icon.png An Abandoned Signal Box

Default icon.png Faith's Fall
Well green icon.png Old Tom's Well
Regentsgrave icon.png Regent's Grave
Rose icon.png The Flowerfields
Default icon.png The Regent's Tears
Wreckgeneric icon.png The Silent Saint
Reach icon.png The War of Fossils
Wreckgeneric icon.png Wreck of the Parzifal

Albion London icon.png London Avidhorizon icon.png Avid Horizon (The Stair to the Sea)

Perdurance icon.png Perdurance
Brabazon icon.png The Brabazon Workworld
Clockworksun icon.png The Clockwork Sun
Floatingparliament icon.png The Floating Parliament
Serenemausoleum icon.png The Most Serene Mausoleum
Royalsociety icon.png The Royal Society
Transitrelay icon.png Transit Relays
Worlebury icon.png Worlebury-juxta-Mare

Default icon.png Skyhenge

Lantern icon.png St Anthony's Lighthouse
Avidhorizon icon.png The Avid Horizon
Well purple icon.png Well of the Wolf
Wreckgeneric icon.png Wreck of the Boatman

Eleutheria Pan icon.png Pan Achlys icon.png Achlys

Caduceus icon.png Caduceus
Eaglesempyrean icon.png Eagle's Empyrean
Langleyhall icon.png Langley Hall
Piranesi icon.png Piranesi
Houseofrodsandchains icon.png The House of Rods and Chains
Transitrelay icon.png Transit Relays

Default icon.png The Xanthous Moon

Well yellow icon.png The Well of Wonders
Wreckgeneric icon.png Wreck of the Berrenger

The Blue Kingdom Tolltower icon.png Sky Barnet Deathsdoorstep icon.png Death's Door (The Shadow of the Sun)

Forgeofsouls icon.png The Forge of Souls
Whitewell icon.png The White Well (Wellmouth)
Transitrelay icon.png Transit Relay

Deathsdoorstep icon.png Horologion