Sunless Sea Wiki
Irem (Map)
SS Locations Irem Map.png
Irem (Gazetteer)
SS irem portgaz.png
Located in Pillared Sea
Ports Carlisle's Haven
Shops SS st mountainssmall.png Wind-Come-Calling

SS scrap2small.png The Fisher of Dawn

SS boat basicsmall.png Threshold
Shipyard No
Data ID 143352

Irem was released in the Diamond update. The port is called Carlisle's Haven.

Port description[]

None have ever spoken truthfully of this place.


Story Events[]

Irem holds SS parabolagaz.png The Mirror-Marches, accessible with one SS coffeesmall.png Sack of Darkdrop Coffee Beans, and a great place to reduce SS skullsmall.png Terror, and find rare fruits.

In SS parabolagaz.png The Mirror-Marches, you can find SS boxwhitesmall.png A Parabox, which is one way to found SS ruins2gaz.png Your Colony on SS aestival portgaz.png Aestival.

SS tombcolonistgaz.png Tomb-Colonists in Irem is one of the three locations you may visit for SS coffin2small.png Tomb-Colonists on their Last Tour from SS venderbightgaz.png Venderbight.


The SS genialmagiciansmall.png Genial Magician can find a Serpent-Image here. In addition, it's a possible location for SS maybesdaughtersmall.png Maybe's Daughter to find her mother.

Port interactions[]

SS Interactions Irem.png Irem[]

Location description[]

Irem, the Pillared City. She will rise from the zee and the ice like dawn. She will be garlanded with red and decked with gold. The Seven-Serpent will watch you longingly from its high pedestal. You will always arrive as a stranger, but when you leave, some part of you will always remain.

Interaction Unlocked by Effects Notes
The Riddle of Stones

A Riddlefisher in a sunset-coloured robe will wait at the edge of the dock, by a scar in the stone. When you look closer, you will see that a gap there has been expertly repaired with chunks of basalt. When she asks "Where was that stone born?", the question will have a ritual quality.

"The Salt Lions."

A widely travelled captain like you must certainly recognise that basalt. The dock of Irem, repaired with the flesh of lion-statues: what can it mean? She will kiss your forehead, and teach you of the tricks light plays on the heart, and of the memories that can be drawn from darkness.

The House of the Amber Sky

"Rest, traveller. Our waters are warm: our cushions are petal-soft. Lay your head here. You will be healed; or better yet, you will be renewed. (Payment in coffee? Yes, please.)"

Close your eyes

The House of the Amber Sky is a roofless space beneath the false-stars of the Neath, rich with the scent of Irem-roses. Despite the ice, it's warm as a desert evening. You will arrange yourself on the cushions, close your eyes just for a moment...

Deliver Sphinxstone for Penstock

A rubbly gap will yawn in the dock's edge. Riddlefishers in sunset-coloured robes will wait for you. "Here," one will say, as your zailors stagger up with blocks of stone. "This has been waiting for you."

A perfect fit

Your sphinxstone fragments match the breach in the dock exactly. "Something was stolen," a Riddlefisher will inform you. "Now something else has been unstolen. There is a gap in your understanding. I will help you fill it."

She will lean forward and whisper to you: "This is the nature of Irem. It is the beach where history comes to rest. This is how riddles are born. One day, we will ask another captain where that stone was born. That is your riddle. And here is your secret."

She will hand you a scrap of pine-bark. It bears the answer to a riddle that has not yet been asked.

Help Maybe's Daughter search for her mother

"She's known to visit. I think she must have come here when I was - ahem - conceived. It's close to dreams." She will inhale a gulp of air, eyes half-closed. "I love this. It's like coming home."

Failed event If you fail to find Maybe here, the chance to find her at the next port is doubled.

"She will be here." The Daughter shakes her head. "D__n it. Is that what I meant? This place is confusing." Her gaze takes in the towers of ice and basalt, the roses blooming in the warm snow, the Riddlefishers gossiping with figments, the glimmer in the East. "It's all right, though, isn't it?"

Successful event

"Up to the Seven-Serpent. The Riddlefisher said - "

You will follow the Daughter's stunned gaze. A woman in a lilac gown will stand beneath the Seven-Serpent, chatting calmly to a half-visible figment. Her features will bear an unmistakable resemblance to your officer's. "We should talk," she will say to the Daughter, quite calmly.

The Daughter will assemble the rags of her composure with remarkable speed. "Excuse us," she will say...

A blemmigan ashore

It will spin down the gang-plank, a little cautiously.

A doom?

Two Riddlefishers will stare, aghast, as it whirls into the shadows, raising a cloud of rose-petals as it goes. "The Year of the Blemmigan!" the younger will say. "I was afraid this might happen." He takes the older's arm, and they hurry off to confer with their fellows. "The Whithern will laugh themselves sick," the older groans.

Compile a Port Report

You will record what you will have seen.

A conundrum

When you will sit down to write the report, you will recall that it was written already. Who wrote it? The report records that: it was already written when it was found. Who found it? The report describes another report, which will indicate the name of the finder. Where is the other report? There is a footnote which describes when you will record its location. When will that be? When all is well, and all manner of thing is well.

Gain Salt's Song

You will know where to go. You will remember from the first time you were here.

Up the steps to the Seven-Serpent

In a waking dream, it will rotate its necks like the arms of an articulated god. It will train its eyes on you. It will hiss, sevenfold, "You have come for Salt's Song."

Voyage of the Snow Child

A small boat will be prepared for it at the docks.

A traveller will depart

The crew will gather to see their Snow Child on its adventure, bringing it gifts for the journey. A few supplies none will miss. The occasional weapon. It will accept them all with gratitude, even as its mind begins travelling far beyond any map's border.

"I will row," [Snow Child's Name] will whisper. "I will take myself where the light beneath glass shines green and gold, past the beach where an exile recalls the warmth of suns he left behind. I will find the frozen forest and climb trees tall enough to touch the moon. I will remember you, Captain."

The moment will break. [Snow Child's Name] will board the boat and man the heavy oars. With a salute and a final smile, it will begin its journey. You will watch it go until the smile is just a memory, lost deep in the darkness.

This is the end of the story line.
Sacrifice a Lamentable Relic

You will break the ice on a wide pool. You will toss the relic in.

Life lived

When the waves settle, you will see falling snow and black bark. You will see two men standing in wintry woods. The younger will prove himself to the older. Others have done so before; others will do so after. The vision will change. The old man will sip coffee on a sunlit street. He will write an order. He will send a pawn below, to London.

Game note: Trade a Lamentable Relic for two Moves in the Great Game.
Send word to the Imperious Sister

For a fee, the Fingerkings will craft a dream that will tell the Sister her brother's regret.

You arrange matters

They will think it is a rather mundane dream that you wish to send. They will hiss over this sepia memory of filing cabinets and documents aflame. They will, perhaps, recolour the elements of the dream: a vellum document kept in a scroll-case; the Brother represented by an ape in a viric suit with white braid trim. However, in its essentials it will reach the Imperious Sister, wherever she may be.

Cure an obsession not yet acquired

The Cladery Heir will notice a Riddlefisher in danger of developing an unhealthy obsession.

Preventive medicine

The Heir will cut out something that is not there yet. She will come away with a sample jar of pickling brine. The specimen will grow there later, slowly, layers of tissue gradually forming a missing kidney. The Riddlefisher, cured in advance, will suffer no ill effects except occasional lassitude and lack of purpose.

Available events[]

SS puzzleboxgaz.png The Boxmakers[]

The Boxmakers
SS puzzleboxgaz.png
Category Story Event
Linked to SS box2small.png Whisper-Locked Puzzle-Box
Data ID 155214

A Heavy-Lidded Fellow in a satin smock will smile at you. "One of ours," he will say. "We made it to order, for a zee-captain, to guard her legacy. She might tell you the phrase. We do not."

This event is available if you have the following:

Actions Requirements Effects Notes
You will give them the box

"We will keep it safe for the zee-captain, in case she returned, long ago. When it was opened, it will be safe. We will compensate you."

Four bales of shining linen

You will leave the box in a petal-drift and walk away. "Good," the Heavy-Lidded Fellow will say. "That which is never opened is always precious. That which is always precious is always worth the price. You have not regretted what you will do."

You will ask them where to find the captain

"Are you sure you want to know?" the Heavy-Lidded Fellow will ask. "Perhaps she doesn't want to tell you the key-phrase, no matter how much you offer. Perhaps she wants her box back."

"Which is the cat's chiefest claw?"

"What cage imprisons nothing?" the Fellow will say. "Where do petals begin? Where do stories end?" He beams at you. Actually, for an Iremi riddle, that's almost helpful.

Triggered events[]

SS parabolagaz.png The Mirror-Marches[]

The Mirror-Marches
SS parabolagaz.png
Category Story Event
Linked to SS irem portgaz.png Irem
Data ID 176846

Beneath the skin of dreams, behind the faces of mirrors, an orange sun sails in a fervid sky. Here are the borderlands of that place, close by Irem, and closest still to the House of the Amber Sky. And here you are, in another place. The sun is warm on your uncovered head.

This event triggers when you do The House of the Amber Sky action in SS irem portgaz.png Irem

Actions Requirements Effects Notes
Rest, recover, dream

The jungle around you is rich with violently coloured fruit, buzzing with insects and unseen life. Explore a little.

A shattered tower

At the top of a low hill, a tower-stump stands. The masonry looks Iremi: the door is rotted, the space within filled with thorned vines. But cracked mirrors still hang on the walls, and in each one you see a different scene. Bright-eyed soldiers bind sharks in iron. Clay Men war with clothes-colonies in the streets of Polythreme. The Alarming Scholar cracks soul-tubes between his teeth. Truth, dream, or both?

You will wake in the House of the Amber Sky. Your clothes will be stained with the juice of crushed leaves.

Rest, recover, dream

The jungle around you is rich with violently coloured fruit, buzzing with insects and unseen life. There's the sound of running water, too. Follow it.

To the river

The water runs deep, sweet and wild. Impassive fish of unguessable age watch you from clear depths. You drink from cupped hands, and your weariness falls from you. Monkeys shriek hilariously. A leopard watches from the undergrowth, but makes no move to attack.

Afterwards, you pluck the flax that grows here. When you wake, later, you will find it already woven.

Retrieve a Serpent-Image

The jungle around you is rich with violently coloured fruit, buzzing with insects and unseen life. There's something nestled in the mossy crook of a grey-leafed tree. A wooden serpent, lacquered with black, red and yellow. Its eyes are garnet flakes. “Mind if I pick that up?” the Genial Magician asks. (Was he with you when you lay down to sleep?)

A weapon, perhaps

“Humans rule the waking world,” he tells you, “more or less. And the Fingerkings rule most of this place. A long time ago, some rather careless people made these images to imprison Fingerkings. I'm not so careless. I can use it to enact my revenge on the 'king that took my hand.” He is gloating. He actually strokes his moustache with his hook.

He retires to his cabin to investigate the serpent-image, but emerges a day later disappointed. “Different geometries,” he explains obscurely. “Do you mind if we pop by the Khanate? I can find someone there to help me work this one out.”

Game note: Visit the port of Khan's Heart to help the Magician further.
Rare fruit

Here in the Mirror-Marches, those who are wounded can sometimes find solace. Or so the ztory has it.

A dying tree

Solacefruit are parasites - delicious, poisonous parasites. These solacefruit made their home on a mahogany tree, from which they have assiduously sucked the life. The tree is a cracked remnant. The solacefruit bloom like dew.

Rarest fruit

In the farthest South, in the arms of the god called Stone, a garden blooms. In ages past, birds stole the seeds from that garden. One bird hid here, in the Mirror-Marches. Perhaps you know the story.

The eternal tree

This is the apple-tree which will never die. Should the forest fail and the river run to ash, still it will stand proudly. Take only one apple. Serpents are sleeping.

Hesperidean Apple can also be used to satisfy the Your Father's Bones: Fruit of the Eternal Tree for the Fathomking requirement in Fathomking's Hold.
Bargain for a Parabox

“Yes,” the serpent says dreamily, “I go to meet the Skin of the Sun. I will die. The space I leave will remain in this box. I am dead here and I do not live in the world. You live in the world, and you are not dead here. It's impossible. But it will protect your kingdom from the worst of the sunlight, until you die.”

His tongue flickers. “But I must drink your future first. I will not die thirsty.”

A drunken future

The serpent is banded black, yellow, red, beautiful as a child's beads. Its fangs sting like snow. It hisses languorously as it drinks your mind, your strength, your wit, your desire, your sight. “So many things to take up the Spire,” it breathes, when at last it withdraws. “Now the worst part.”

When the worst part is over, you have what you came for. The Parabox. Inside, it is like any other box. You will never know that, for it cannot be opened.

Game note: This will halve all your skills, which must be at least 100. It will, however, give you an item which will allow you to colonise Aestival.

To unlock SS aestival portsmall.png Objective: Kingdom, visit Aestival.

An alternative can also be acquired, at far less a cost, in Grand Geode

Seek the Glory's story

A hunter will wait beside a fallen stone with a splintered spear. He will beckon you. “There is a place,” he will say, “where I sent my enemies. What you want is there. Be ready to join it. There is the path.” Above the path, the sky cools to the cracked orange of old lava.

The Waswood

A blackened cliff falls away at your feet. In the glen below, a white wood of leafless trees awaits you. This is the Waswood: all things within are gone forever, and all things that are gone forever lie within.

You sought the counsel of the dead

In this place, the dead might be guides.

The dead were not loquacious

“Left,” the relic rattled. “Left. On. Across the empty stream. Past the stone post marked with white.” But when you looked for further counsel, it was silent, and you cast it aside. Your hand shook. Your eyes were bleared as if with age or sleep. Now you knew a little more of the paths.

Game note: The counsel of the dead will give you wounds, but it will bring you closer to your quest's end.
You walked the Waswood

“All things within are gone forever, and all things that are gone forever lie within.” When you walked its paths, you knew you might join them.

Successful event

    The ground was dry as chalk, but no dust puffed from your footsteps. It lay thick on the earth, on the ruins, on the bark of trees, on the bones, but it clung like lichen. You crushed the bones beneath your feet. Impossibly, you followed that trail of crushed bones into the heart of the wood. Once known, that path was not easily forgotten.

    Game note: When Where the Wood Was reaches 7, you'll find what you seek.

    Failed event

    As you pushed through the thickets, you had the sense that you were not moving at all. Your path extended behind you, creeping, reaching for the edge of the wood, like a green shoot probing for the light. There were no green shoots here. Nothing moved. Your path had never touched the wood's edge. You had always been here - you had always been nowhere. But you might still leave whenever you chose.

    Game note: When Where the Wood Was reaches 7, you'll find what you seek.

    You heard the Glory's story

    In the heart of the wood there was a ring of bones, standing in the earth like dry saplings. In the heart of the ring there was an egg, the size of a coach, the colour of a bruise. In the egg there was a voice.

    A long long life

    "This is where I began," the egg told you. "I broke my first shell. I roamed to the Unterzee. I feasted on monsters. I battened on whales. I grew city-vast. I sickened. The Gant Pole drew me, and there I died of age and weariness, turning on my back to rot until the hunters found me."

    The Chelonites have long boasted of how they slew the Glory, but they've claimed the details were lost in antiquity. Now you know the truth, that they never slew the Glory. They camped in its shell like a hermit crab seeking a new dwelling.

    SS tombcolonistgaz.png Tomb-Colonists in Irem[]

    Tomb-Colonists in Irem
    SS tombcolonistgaz.png
    Category Story Event
    Linked to SS irem portgaz.png Irem

    SS coffin2small.png Tomb-Colonist
    Data ID 155214

    We will wander the stairs for hours. We will forget our scars and our stains. The leaves will be red as remembered blood. The sea will be black as memory. Irem, Irem. We will not leave. We must leave.

    This event triggers automatically when you dock in Irem and if you have the following:

    This is the final stop for this tour, so it's back to SS venderbightgaz.png Venderbight, whatever you choose.

    Actions Requirements Effects Notes
    The Colonists will look East

    They will be drawn to the edge of the isle, where Salt's realm opens out into the darker zee: the places beyond the edge. What will they see?

    Their bandages will be soaked with tears

    “We saw it,” one will say. “The light across the water. We'll see it again at the end. Please let us sleep, now. Let us sleep.”

    Rare event (25%)
    Their eyes will be flushed with light

    One of them will not return. “An exchange,” another will say, and they will gift you with secrets that will guide you across the zee, to home. (“There is no home for us,” they will tell you. “But take us back to Venderbight. It's all we have left.”)

    Encourage them to purchase Parabola-Linen Bandages

    They will deck themselves in imagined crimson.

    They will thank you

    “When we return to Venderbight,” one will say, “when we return, we will be sunset. Red and gold. We will always remember you, Captain. You gave us this ending. Here. Lagniappe.”

    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