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Out Now: Sunless Sea: The Pirate Poet

“Blood and ink, my Captain, blood and ink! Great art has always demanded great suffering. We simply recognised that its obligation does not necessarily have to weigh upon the artiste.”

Just a quickie to say that the Pirate-Poet and second half of the Merciless Modiste’s story is now available to all Sunless Sea players, and not just those super-generous DLC backers. I’m really pleased with this, as the Pirate-Poet is some of my favourite writing that I did for Sunless Sea. The Poet herself was my attempt to give the player a ‘worthy rival’ at zee, whose relationship is built up through combat rather than the usual gifts and romancing… though romancing is absolutely on the table, later on. Likewise, the Merciless Modiste was a chance for a little more humour in the game a la the Delightful Adventuress, albeit several shades darker in tone.

Don’t let her anywhere near your Comatose Ferret…

The two stories and characters intertwine, telling what I think is a fun story of honour and dressmaking, with a lot of variation involved depending on the current state of the player’s relationship with the Poet. Mechanically, there’s a lot going on here that most players will never see, but I hope the more surface level stuff is as enjoyable to play as it was to write. I’m particularly fond of the three-part conversation between the Modiste and the Poet on their respective views of Art, the Modiste’s seemingly genuine inability to understand why just because you’re sending someone to their doom doesn’t mean you can’t be friends, and a rare chance for the Captain’s poor crew to make a stand on behalf of something that they believe in.

Thanks to the original Kickstarter backers who gave us the okay to release this one for free. Hope everyone felt they got their money’s worth out of the content while it was still exclusive.