Sunless Sea Wiki
Cumaean Canal Staging Area
Cumaean Canal Staging Area (Map)
SS Locations Cumaean Canal Staging Area Map.png
Cumaean Canal Staging Area (Gazetteer)
SS Locations Cumaean Canal Staging Area.png
Located in Cumaean Canal
Ports Giannotti Harbour
Shops Harbour Provisioners
Shipyard No
Data ID 153742

The Cumaean Canal Staging Area, located south of SS fallenlondon portsmall.png Fallen London in the Cumaean Canal, is the only passage between the darkness of the Unterzee and the sunlight of SS sunsetgaz.png The Surface.

Port description[]

Here, the dark waters run down from the surface, from a brighter sea...

Port interactions[]

SS Interactions The Cumaean Canal Staging Area.png The Cumaean Canal Staging Area[]

Port description[]

The Canal ascends, through locks and gates and shadowed turns, to the sunlight of the Surface.


Actions Requirements Effects Notes
Gather information for a Port Report

Many ships pass this way, but perhaps you'll pick up something they missed.

Business as usual

The gates open and shut. The locks remain free from sabotage. If anywhere besides London is safe in all the Unterzee, it's here. The Surface nations have an interest in keeping the way open.

Bring the Port Report to The Admiralty Survey Office at London for +5 x Echo.
Listen for Surface gossip

The ships of the Surface linger here: this is their life-line to a warmer place.

A sorry end

A card game ends badly when one Surface sailor knifes another for all the usual reasons. The other players scrabble from the coins that spill from her pockets, but you snatch up a scrap of paper they overlook. Curious markings; dates, times, code-names. Spy's work?

Rare event (50%)

This would be a prime spot for a pub or wine-shop, but the interests of the Echo Bazaar, and the laws of London, prevent it. They don't like competition. Still, there are temporary half-legal hostelries in long-moored ships. Here you trade stories with suntanned Surface sailors - stories of Paris and Batavia, the Lost Fires and the Final Isles...

Travel to the Surface

The Sun is dangerous to Neath-dwellers like your crew, but the Surface has its temptations.

The coils of the Earth

The engineers of the Canal took advantage of existing caves and passages where they could. In ancient times. this was a passage to the Underworld, they say. But still, the labour must have been staggering. The story goes that the Masters of the Bazaar lent their arts and allies to the task, but the Surface nations play down the fact. Certainly, some of the tunnels look blasted or tunneled, others look... dissolved? "Stone pigs," a stoker whispers. "Stone pigs."

Game note: Ensure you're well-stocked with Supplies and Fuel, or you may never return.
Rise and be lost

The time has come. No more darkness. Give yourself to the light of the Sun. If you don't have enough supplies, take passage aboard another ship. Your flesh will wither, and your journeys will end, but some tiny part of you will survive in the memory of the Sun. That's good... isn't it?

A golden death

Ahead of you, now, like the opening of a great Eye: sunlight. The dawn creeps into the tunnel. Stand on deck. Open your arms. Here it comes. Here you go.

This will kill you. Don't do this.
Drop off the August Travel-Writer

"As before, Addressed As. Here is the payment for bringing me here. I'll be back by nightfall. We'll speak more then."

By evening bell

The Travel-Writer sets swiftly into the port, his briefcase hanging easily at his side.

In the middle of your afternoon tea, a crowd rushes by the café. They gather at the foot of a lamppost, gawking, shrieking, gasping. A woman is strung from the light, her face sliced like Venetian blinds. "Heavens," a pale navigator whispers. "Isn't she the explorer? Said she meant to plant a flag on the zee-bed?" No one replies. You spy the Travel-Writer in the crowd, frowning.

Assist the Gnomic Gallivant in an enterprise of dubious legality

"A riddle: there are ten individuals in a room, one of whom is an ancient tyrant. How can you distinguish him? Answer: burglarise a private library for a picture of him beforehand."

SS bloodstainsmall.png Ruby Writing ≥ 1 and ≤ 4

SS Locations Cumaean Canal Staging Area.png Information from the Cumaean Canal ≤ 0

Knowing the enemy

As dinner bells sound throughout the port, you carry a ladder to one of the long-moored, half-legal ship hostels. You prop the ladder to the porthole of what the Gallivant assures you is the cabin of a French diplomat. He ascends swiftly, leaving you to carry the ladder away.

Half an hour later, the Gallivant is back on your deck. He polishes his ruby cuffs. "I have seen the face of eternity printed in ink. It was a terrible face."

Fulfill your Admiralty Commission

Row out and meet a contact at the foot of the Albertine Gates. The password is 'the Empire Remembers'.

In the shadow of the Gates

A Deeply Tanned Vagabond waits in a jolly-boat. His clothes are ragged and his face is filthy, but his voice and manners are educated. His message is a string of numbers, and the names of seven towns in Essex, Shropshire, Cumbria. He insists that you repeat it back to him three times: he will not allow you to commit it to paper.

Put a blemmigan ashore

Is there anywhere for it to grow?

No soil, no rot

This place is stone and iron. Even blemmigans cannot set root here.

Have the Cladery Heir perform an urgent intervention

A bandage-wrapped zailor is trying to gain passage to the Surface. He must stop desiring it. The trip would kill him.

Failed event Game note: This will always produce a Cladery Souvenir, and may gain a crew member.

You offer the zailor passage upward, and direct him to the Cladery Heir's surgery. When he sees the operating table, he knows he has been tricked, but there is no fight in him.

The Cladery Heir extracts something from the zailor. It gleams with its own light.

The zailor curses you for saving his life, and insists on disembarking again. But the Cladery Heir is pleased with the day's work.

Successful event

You offer the zailor passage upward, and direct him to the Cladery Heir's surgery. When he sees the operating table, he knows he has been tricked, but there is no fight in him.

The Cladery Heir extracts something from the zailor. It gleams with its own light.

The zailor curses you for saving his life. "Now there's nothing but zailing in the dark," he says. "And I'll likely drown instead of burn. But for now you'd better have me on your crew, since you're the reason I still need a job and rations."

A Gift for the Pirate-King

That one looks like a Surface sailor. Surely you could coax him into your ship?

Failed event
Still water

Your smile must ring entirely false to the Surface sailor, for he takes one look at you and takes off running. You order your crew to give chase but one of them slips, falls into the canal. You spend hours trying to dredge him up, but there's no sign.

Successful event
Guest rights

You can be charming, when you exert yourself. You entice the Surface sailor on board with promises of zee-stories and Neath delicacies, and bludgeon them over the head between courses. They fall gently into a bowl of sea-lily soup. You order your crew to take the prisoner below-decks, and lock them up. They comply quickly enough, but you see them shoot dark looks at each other out of the corner of your eye.

Triggered events[]

SS cumaeancanal portgaz.png By the Skin of your Teeth[]

This event triggers from a rare success when doing the Abandon Ship action in SS shipwheelgaz.png Desperate Measures (Fuel).

Arcade of SighsBultitude's House of VisionCaminus YardsCarrow's Naval SurplusDahut ExchangeDaily BreadDearly DepartedDockside MarketFire in the BellyFortune & FortuneHarbour ProvisionersHollow TempleHouse of HarmsHouse of HarvestsHouse of MilksHouse of PleasuresHull-harvestJonah's EndLicensed ExchangeLow ChurchMalebolge ExcavationsMrs Plenty's Shipside ProvisionersPeleghast's PostPortentumRed Stallion PublishingRequisitionsSapphire ExchangeStonemarketTemple of LaboursThe Arrant LimpetThe Charnel LoungeThe Fisher of DawnThe Hunter's CageThe Iron & Misery CompanyThresholdTraveller's FriendUncle Ankle's Lean PlaceWind-Come-CallingWolfstack Exchange
Ports Abbey RockAdam's WayAestivalAigulAntheAvid HorizonChapel of LightsChelonateCodexCumaean Canal Staging AreaDahutDemeaux IslandEmpire of HandsFallen LondonThe Fathomking's HoldFrostfoundGaider's MournGant PoleGodfallGrand GeodeHideawayHunter's KeepIremIron RepublicIsle of CatsKhan's GloryKhan's HeartKhan's ShadowKingeater's CastleLow BarnetMangrove CollegeMount PalmerstonMutton IslandNookNuncioPigmote IslePolythremePort CarnelianPort CecilRosegateSalt LionsScrimshanderShepherd IslesStation IIIThe UndercrowThe UttershroomVarchasVenderbightVisageWhitherWisdomWrack
Places of Interest An Abyss...The Admiralty Survey OfficeAvernusThe Brass EmbassyDawn MachineDrydockThe EyeThe Forgotten QuarterThe House of the QuestionLight-ShipNaplesQuaker's HavenRoser's WharfSurfaceThe UniversityViennaWolfstack DocksThe Wreck of the NocturneYour Lodgings
Characters Blind BruiserMerchant VenturerThe Dark-Spectacled AdmiralThe FathomkingThe First Curator