The House of Rods and Chains

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The House of Rods and Chains
Houseofrodsandchains ambience.png
The House of Rods and Chains (Sidebar)
Located in Eleutheria
Ports The Carapace
Shops The Rubbery Souk

The House of Rods and Chains is a station in the outer circle of Eleutheria, located in the same segment as Piranesi.

Log Entries[edit | edit source]

A giant died here, wreathed in melancholy mists.
The House of Rods and Chains: a ruined palace atop a rotting Messenger. Now home to uninvited guests of a rubbery persuasion.
You near the House of Rods and Chains, a ruined complex atop a great, dead beast. Once it was the favourite Messenger of the sun. Before it disobeyed.

Fatalistic Signalman: "That's not a port. It's a corpse."
Incognito Princess: "What is that objectionable odour? Get me my pomade."
Obsidian shards clang on the hull. The Incautious Driver sounds a belated warning.
The Fortunate Navigator wants to say something nice about the House of Rods and Chains. After serious thought, he remains silent.
The Repentant Devil examines the House of Rods and Chains from the window. "A reminder of how the Judgements treat those who defy them."
Your Aunt is lost in thought. "Hm? Oh, sorry. It reminds me of old London, and the Echo Bazaar."

The Carapace[edit | edit source]

Vast, desolate, broken. Once, this creature flew majestically through the heavens. Now, it floats in silence, a monument to a Judgement's wrath.

Commingling on the Carapace
Amber.png
Category Story Event
Type Story
Data ID 303730


Commingling on the Carapace[edit | edit source]

Rubbery Men from within the House of Rods and Chains have gathered around a fallen Spire on the surface. They hold their heads high, staring out at the stars as if hoping to catch a glimpse of their lost Axile somewhere deep in the Eleutherian darkness. One by one, their warbling ululations rise.

Trigger conditions

Calendar icon.png DateClock icon.png An Opportunity at the House of Rods and Chains,
Clock icon.png An Opportunity at the House of Rods and Chains ≥ 1


Interactions

Actions Requirements Effects Notes
Witness the Lament of Axile
Their voices cry out in unison now.
Comfort in homesickness
The Lament is low, its melodies impossible for any human tongue to capture. In their grief, however, at least the Rubbery Men have kinship; a shared hope that one day, the suffering will be over. It just won't be today.
Trade Golden Amber for other flavours
A few stragglers are exchanging pieces amongst themselves.
A simple exchange.
The Rubbery Men salivate at the sight of Golden Amber. You have your pick of other colours.
A piece of red amber
Light dances inside it.
The Rubbery Men quickly snatch away your Golden Amber before you can change your mind.
A piece of blue amber
A soft, relaxing hue.
The Rubbery Men quickly snatch away your Golden Amber before you can change your mind.
A piece of green amber
The colour of jealousy, glinting with temptation.
The Rubbery Men quickly snatch away your Golden Amber before you can change your mind.
Change your mind
Keep your Golden Amber after all.
The Rubbery Men look disappointed, but move on.
Trade a spectrum of amber for... something.
Their offer is impossible to understand, but they sound eager.
The deal is struck!
The Rubbery Men take your amber. One of them fishes into a sack and produces a twisted glass contraption. They seem pleased with the trade.
Rare event (50%)
The deal is struck!
The Rubbery Men take your amber. One of them fishes into a sack and produces a small faceted idol, the colour of bone. They seem pleased with the trade.


The Spire of Inches
Lantern.png
Category Story Event
Type Story
Data ID 286090


The Spire of Inches[edit | edit source]

Seven obsidian spires once stretched into this sky. Only this one remains. Dim light oozes through a single window at the top, occasionally flickering as someone or something passes in front of the fire.


Interaction

Actions Requirements Effects Notes
Visit Mr Barleycorn's Study
The door is open. The endless steps await.
Knock on the door
There is no handle on this side, just the barely perceptible outline of a door with a circular symbol roughly carved onto it.
There is no response
The obsidian surface absorbs the knock, leaving the rap of your knuckles sounding small and hollow. There is no answer.
Present tribute to the Spire: Golden Amber
Golden Amber is rare. It should be sufficient to buy an audience with whatever waits inside.
Tribute accepted
Behind it, seven hundred and seventy-seven steps wind up the wall, leaving an open chimney in the middle that would be ideal if you had wings. At the very top waits a hunched figure wrapped in gauze. "Are you friend, I wonder, or foe? No matter. You may call me Mr Barleycorn. You have proven yourself resourceful. Let us see if you can also be useful."
Present tribute to the Spire: a Searing Enigma
A word spoken by a sun. The keeper of the spire will be eager to pass this intelligence to its master.
Tribute accepted
Behind it, seven hundred and seventy-seven steps wind up the wall, leaving an open chimney in the middle that would be ideal if you had wings. At the very top waits a hunched figure wrapped in gauze. "Are you friend, I wonder, or foe? No matter. You may call me Mr Barleycorn. You have proven yourself resourceful. Let us see if you can also be useful."
Return to the Carapace
They seem the only way into this monster's innards.


Mr Barleycorn's Belfry
Halved.png
Category Story Event
Type Story
Data ID 286096


Mr Barleycorn's Belfry[edit | edit source]

You are in a room, of sorts. It is bulbous in shape, not unlike a kidney. The furnishings (if that is what they are) look like the work of a surrealist. This straight-backed, many-legged edifice is perhaps a chair. That oily surface – a table? An altar? Behind it, the hunched gauze figure stands looking out at something far away; a black sun. The darkness squirms.


Interactions

Actions Requirements Effects Notes
Talk with Mr Barleycorn
It wondered if you could be useful. What does it want?
Loyalty
"There were seven of us, once. Outcasts, bound to this Messenger's service. But the Messenger defied the Halved's command, and the Halved slew it. We were free. My colleagues, fled. But I remained to serve the Halved." The creature sighs. "Don't mistake this for more than it is. I am not lonely," it spits the word, "but our Shapeling guests downstairs are poor conversationalists. It has been a long time since I spoke to any of my kind. If you find one, show them this." It hands you a wax seal, imprinted with a sigil. "Collect their stories. Perhaps advise them I would not resent a conversation, should the wings of fate allow."
Speak with Mr Barleycorn
What was its request again?
An end of things
The figure's impatience burns through its gauze. "Is my request so difficult to recall? Find others of my kin. As Judgements fall, so are contracts broken." It turns towards the dark, squirming sun that it calls master. "Eternity is not the promise it once was."
Consider Eleutheria's black sun
The window of Mr Barleycorn's study frames it perfectly. The sun writhes. A flicker of fire escapes its coils, only to be dragged back and quenched.
The Message In The Water
"My Lord. The Halved. Once-Judgement of Measures and Distance." Mr Barleycorn bows to it. "He knew of London. He beheld it through a wound in the world. We reached out and set his mark on those who trespassed on the wound. They became our Messages, and when they found their way to the skies their marks led them here: to the land of do-as-you-please." The creature examines you. "Would you care for one? A mark? I have one or two left."
Accept the mark
What could be the harm of that?
Mr Barleycorn clamps its arm around your shoulder. For a few agonising minutes it feels like a hive of bees are at work on your flesh. The creature releases its grip, and the pain eases. You twist to see it: an eye embedded in your flesh.
    • Houseofrodsandchains icon.png The Last Seneschal = 20 [You accepted the Halved's tattoo]

    • Halved icon.png An Eye on your Arm = 1 [You have accepted a tattoo from Mr Barleycorn]

    • Hunger icon.png Fermented = 1 [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.]

Reject the tattoo
It is said that the Eye-Marked end up freezing at Avid Horizon, banging on its impenetrable door.
"As you wish," says Mr Barleycorn, returning his gaze to the black sun.
Examine the altar
Its surface ripples oleaginously at your approach.
A memory of water
You touch the surface. The world twists and there is only darkness and water and cold and drowning. You kick your feet, thrashing to the surface. Impossible! The sky with its false-stars. The green-glass expanse of an ocean without waves. This is the Neath: the vast subterranean cavern in which London lay before climbing to the heavens! And the cold, black waters you are thrashing in are its Unterzee!
Look at Eleutheria's black sun
It is vast and roiling, too huge to be framed by the spire's stone window. The pupil of its great eye dilates with the pain of strangling its own light.
Distant Judgement
You stare at the sun, but the Halved's attention has moved on. The swirling light and darkness remains a unparalleled celestial vista.
Ambition: Consult the midnight sun about the Courtesy
You know it is an agreement between the suns, governing their feuds. But what else? What was it that no one else would tell you?
    • Maskedcitizen icon.png The Citizen's Investigation = 60 [Consult the Halved about the Courtesty, at the Spire of Inches. The Spire can be found at the House of Rods and Chains]

An audience
The black sun revolves until its spasming eye fills the spire's window. The distance between you and it distorts, shortening until the eye fills the sky and you can feel the sun's pull, tugging at your weight. Mr Barleycorn hurries forward, carrying a metal bowl. It is filled with what looks like oil. "Drink. And listen." You do so. The Masked Citizen follows suit.
Wait
It does not take long.
Your mouth begins to itch, then you feel a stab of pain. You lift a hand to it, and feel the corner of your lip slowly split open, parting the flesh of your cheek.

The Citizen cries out. You see their own mouth widen until it stretches from one side of their face to the other, then splits into two. A second mouth crawls over their cheekbone to settle on their forehead.

Your face writhes, and you hear a gasp as your new second mouth takes its first breath.

"Ask," instructs Mr Barleycorn.
Ask about the Rubbery Men
What are they doing so far from London?
Refugees and exiles
"They came to this place in a ship forged from broken shells. They had followed your kind from the Neath. Perhaps they believed they would find their lost Axile here. It is fortunate that they are used to disappointment. I tolerate them. They cannot disturb the Messenger – its purpose is long served. And their amber is ever so pretty."
Give Mr Barleycorn the Seal of Mr Pennies
You have encountered another of its kind.
The Caretaker
"Ah, that one." Mr Barleycorn daubs the seal in ink and presses it to paper. "If the boon of a long life is that one out-lasts one's mistakes, its curse is that they nip at your heels for eternity. I wonder what Mr Pennies hides from. Perhaps one day I will ask, before I too beg for protection under the mountain."
Give Mr Barleycorn the Seal of Mr Pipes
You have encountered another of its kind.
The Hedonist
"Perhaps it is true that we live too long." Mr Barleycorn daubs the seal in ink and presses it to paper. "I suppose there are less pleasurable paths to follow, though the emptiness awaiting at the end of that one's will be dark indeed. I favour music, myself. A symphony is as potent to me as good wine is to you. Your kind have been bounteous in that regard."
Give Mr Barleycorn the Seal of Mr Menagerie
You have encountered another of its kind.
The Runt
"I confess, I am amazed it has survived. My master was not tolerant of its various weaknesses. Its single-mindedness; its cleaving to antiquated custom. How it chafed at its chains." Mr Barleycorn dips the seal in ink and presses it to paper. "Still. I am glad it has found new purpose. I'm pleased to hear it's doing well."
Request a reprieve for the Brittle Servitor
A delicate subject. It will need to be approached carefully.
A distaste for mercy
"We are not in the habit of granting clemency." Mr Barleycorn examines a document on his desk. "Especially not to the Servitor of a rival kingdom. I see no reason why the creature should not remain in Piranesi indefinitely."

"However." The gauzed figure taps its pen thoughtfully against the desk. "I could reduce its sentence. If you bring me something to read." It glances at a mound of half-mangled books piled at one end of the room. "Something wholesome."

Game note: Mr Barleycorn requires a consignment of Ministry-Approved Literature.

Exchange Ministry-Approved Literature for clemency
Mr Barleycorn lays down its pen to consider you.
A favour acknowledged
Mr Barleycorn takes a book from the consignment and turns straight to the final page. After a few moments, it sighs. It snaps the book shut.

"Satisfactory. The Servitor's sentence will be reduced. But it must still change beyond recognition before Piranesi will permit its release."

Game note: You should return to the Brittle Servitor in Piranesi and inform it of your success.

Pass on the Hoarder's message
You spoke to the Chiropterous Hoarder of Mr Barleycorn. Now, it is time to relay the response.
Forever is a wound
"Yes," says Mr Barleycorn and it lets go of a long, long breath. "Forever is a septic injury, one that cannot be cured. The only panacea is something none of us can abide. Our animal hearts will not allow us the solution."

It falls silent for an ageless moment.

"Give them my gratitude. It was good to know, at least, that someone understood."
Return downstairs
Mr Barleycorn returns to its quiet vigil.


The House of Rods and Chains
Locomotive.png
Category Story Event
Type Story
Data ID 285094

The House of Rods and Chains[edit | edit source]

The air tastes of salt and rot. Up close, the carcass of this ancient crustacean resembles a battlefield. Its carapace is pockmarked from the impacts of space detritus, and cracked open from the impact of six spires. Doors of Leather, Rubber, Chitin, Scale, Fur, Flesh and Feather lead inside, each of them carved and branded with a letter of the Correspondence.


Interactions

Actions Requirements Effects Notes
Attempt to open the Chitin Door
The other doors are tightly closed or too high to reach. This one is slightly ajar.
Into the House
It takes every last drop of your strength, and the Chitin Door fights you all the way. It is as thick as armour plating, and almost as heavy. Inside, a hundred Rubbery Men carefully ignore your arrival. Refugee Londoners, you recognise, the giveaway being their hats on their tentacled faces and the yellowing copies of the Gazette under their clammy armpits. Such earnest social camouflage never helped them fit in with society back home, but it seems old habits die hard.
Head back into the House
The Chitin Door leads down into the Rubbery Men's market.
Explore the shell
There may be something to find in the wreckage.
A house of the dead
The surface is desolate. It is littered with obsidian blocks from the fallen spires. Here and there a large piece of space debris has torn up part of the carapace and exposed the flesh below. Even that is desiccated now, and cold as any rock. None of the damage you find looks like something that could be fatal for a creature of this size.
Retrieve your crew and their amber
They should have returned from their scouting trip.

Game note: If you haven't enough space for all your returning crew, they will be lost

A sack of amber
You meet up with the crew at the designated spot, and they hand over what amber they have found. That done, they return to the train to take a much needed wash.

Advanced query needs investigation Advanced query needs investigation Advanced alteration value probably needs examination.

Advanced alteration value probably needs examination.

You get back 1 up to 5 crew members back depending on how many you sent out and how much space you have left for them

Rare event (50%)
A sack of amber
You meet up with the crew at the designated spot, and they hand over what amber they have found. That done, they return to the train to take a much needed wash.
Retrieve your crew and their amber
They should have returned from their scouting trip.

Game note: If you haven't enough space for all your returning crew, they will be lost

A sack of amber
You meet up with the crew at the designated spot, and they hand over what amber they have found. That done, they return to the train to take a much needed wash.
Rare event (50%)
A sack of amber
You meet up with the crew at the designated spot, and they hand over what amber they have found. That done, they return to the train to take a much needed wash.
Retrieve your amber
They should have returned from their scouting trip. Pity, there's no room for your old crew.

Game note: The crew you do not pick up will be lost in the Morass.

A sack of amber
You meet up with the crew at the designated spot, and they dish out what amber they have been able to find. They ask about being returned to the locomotive – alas, there is just no room.

Advanced query needs investigation

Advanced query needs investigation Advanced alteration value probably needs examination.

Advanced alteration value probably needs examination.


Rare event (50%)
A sack of amber
You meet up with the crew at the designated spot, and they dish out what amber they have been able to find. They ask about being returned to the locomotive – alas, there is just no room.
Explore the ruins
Most of the Spires have collapsed and crumbled.



The Throat of Lamentation
Rubberyman.png
Category Story Event
Type Story
Data ID 286094


The Throat of Lamentation[edit | edit source]

The Rubbery Men have taken over this spiral shaped atrium. They gather here to trade amber and share songs of loss and regret. Its shape gives it excellent acoustics – the songs resonate from the walls, doubling the volume and timbre of their voices.

Interactions

Actions Requirements Effects Notes
Locate the gland desired by the Chiropterous Hoarder
You could do it yourself or you could seek assistance.
    • Chiropteroushoarder icon.png Learning about the Chiropterous Hoarder = 70 [The Chiropterous Hoarder wants to travel to the House of Rods and Chains, in Eleutheria. You will need an Unlicensed Chart or two Visions of the Heavens]

Attend the Lament of the Old Sun
The Rubbery Men are gathered. They lower their heads and raise their voices.
Memories of Axile
Words without language. Pain without end. They sing of their lost home and in waves of shared sorrow they remember how they came to this place. They sing and remember— Silence falls, sudden and heavy. A hunched figure shuffles through the choir, and the Rubbery Men fall back. This is Mr Barleycorn, or so it is called by lesser beings. Its form is indistinct beneath layers of gauze that wrap it, if not from head to toe, then at least from top to bottom. One Rubbery dares approach, extending tribute: golden amber. The figure takes it between clawed appendages. Tastes it. Appears to approve.
Attend the Lament of London
The Rubbery Men are gathered. They lower their heads and commingle their choir.
Adrift on a sea of misery
This Lament hangs heavy. The chime of once-great bells. A constant chattering of teeth that brings to mind boots pounding cobbled streets. Though there are lyrics to the Rubbery song, the wails often take on the form of tunes that once seeped out of London's musical halls. It ends, as most Rubbery laments do, in a confused gurgling that trails away as members of the choir lose interest and wander off.

Advanced query needs investigation


Attend the Lament of False Hope
The Rubbery Men are gathered. They lower their heads and commingle their choir.
Loss and London
The choir splits into two groups – the majority circled by a small number of Rubberies that shuffle around the rest like some counter-clockwise tick. The music is a roundelay of cheer that crashes down into a wailed grief.

Advanced query needs investigation


Attend the Lament of Axile
The Rubbery Men are gathered. They lower their heads and commingle their choir.
Distant voices
From every throat, the same ululating chord. It breaks. Splinters. From the shared dream of home to each individual shame and loss. Soon every Rubbery is singing their own song, as unique as the tentacles that hang from their faces. If there is any orchestration, it is impossible to make out in the cacophony. Even so, deep within the discordance there is the ghost of order – every sadness gets at least a moment to be heard.

Advanced query needs investigation


Visit the marketplace
The Rubbery Men sit around the edges of the atrium, ready to trade and offer their services.
Offer passage to a Rubbery Man
Not all of them are happy here. They mumble of opportunities in Pan.
All aboard!
The Rubbery Passenger hurries to your train as if fearing you might change your mind. It travels light. A newspaper. A hat. A packed lunch, squirming in a paper bag.

Advanced query needs investigation


Compile a Port Report
The Rubbery Men are far from home, even for the High Wilderness.
Exiles from exile
The Rubbery Men show little interest in you as you explore. They shuffle around on their own business, polishing and cleaning and preserving the corpse of the House with equal parts elbow grease and embalming fluid.
Descend deeper into the House
Spiral stairs run down into the darkness.
Return to the Broken Carapace
You are done here for now.


Mr Menagerie is Passing Through the House of Rods and Chains
Cagedcatch.png
Category Story Event
Type Story
Data ID 294877

Mr Menagerie is Passing Through the House of Rods and Chains[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 ≥ 5 ≤ 5,

Interactions

Actions Requirements Effects Notes
Visit Mr Menagerie
A pile of cages rests just outside the Chitin Door.

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


A Note from Mr Menagerie at the House of Rods and Chains
Envelope.png
Category Story Event
Type Story
Data ID 294886


A Note from Mr Menagerie at the House of Rods and Chains[edit | edit source]

The poster at the station has been torn down, and there is no sign of Mr Menagerie itself. Cowled figures lurk in the fog, 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 ≥ 6 ≤ 6,


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]

The Rubbery Souk

One rubbery merchant accepts sovereigns instead of amber. Unfortunately, all they sell - apart from crabby, curdled meat and fuels piped from the gargantuan carcass' innermost organs - are writhing horrors. They do at least supply cages.

Item Buy Sell
Fuel square icon.png Fuel Sovereigns icon.png 20 Sovereigns Sovereigns icon.png 10 Sovereigns
Supplies square icon.png Supplies Sovereigns icon.png 40 Sovereigns Sovereigns icon.png 20 Sovereigns
Cagedcatch square icon.png Caged Catch Sovereigns icon.png 200 Sovereigns