Sunless Sea Wiki
Scrimshander (Map)
SS Locations Scrimshander Map.png
Scrimshander (Gazetteer)
SS Locations Scrimshander.png
Located in Sea of Lilies
Ports Scrimshander
Shops Remainder
Shipyard None

Scrimshander is an underzee port accessible for captains with a zubmarine.

Port description[]

Before you looms the bone tower of Scrimshander, the City of Remembrance. Ivory structures jut from the pile, supported by buttressing tusks. As your light plays across them, you can make out inscriptions. Names, pictures, and dozens of lost languages.

The largest ones carry a warning: All are welcome to enter, but none may depart without leaving something of themselves behind.

Available events[]

Entering Scrimshander[]

This event is triggered by docking in Scrimshander.

Actions Requirements Effects Notes
Accept the price and dock

A Drownie floats before the docking gate of a bone cathedral. She wears a cowl and carries a ceremonial key carved from a femur. At your approach, she sings a solemn greeting.

"Soldier, scholar, servant of art,
Hist'ry welcomes without toll,
But be warned, 'ere you depart,
None who enter, escape whole."

A cowed crew

The guardian unlocks the ivory gates. Steel glints in her fingers as she carves an image of your ship into her massive bone key. Your brave crew decides to remain on the ship as you disembark for the tower's dry centre.

Game note: Beware: you will have to pay a price to depart from Scrimshander
Accept the price and dock

A solemn Drownie stands vigil outside of the port, holding a ceremonial key carved from a femur. All travellers, pilgrims, and truth-seekers are welcome - but leaving bears a steep price.

Through the ivory gates

After scrupulously noting your ship's details, the guardian welcomes you to Scrimshander. The ivory gate parts before you. Dozens of finger-bones click apart and beckon you into the dry centre of the citadel.

Keep sailing

No reason to commit yourself to history quite yet.

Not yet

Leave history for the scholars. The present is far more interesting at the moment.

Scrimshander Centre[]

Scrimshander Centre
SS scrimshandergaz.png
Category Story Event
Type Story
Data ID 254670

This event triggers when you do Accept the price and dock action in Scrimshander


You walk down a damp nave of bone. Intricately carved ivory walls depict improbable scenes from history. The walls are edged in tiny finger-bones, each bearing a single name. Inhabitants wear ashen robes and carry steel-tipped bone quills, but you recognise most as Drownies or Chelonate expatriates. While most are quiet and ignore visitors, you hear heated arguments over interpretations of the sacred remains. Sacred remains which will include whatever you leave behind when you depart.


Actions Requirements Effects Notes

Assist an Ancient Chronicler

A bandaged monk sits, attempting to carve a tale with a steel-tipped quill. This is not work for a trembling hand.

Failed event
Inlaid with blood

The bandaged monk describes a day in the life of a tomb-colonist while you carve his words. The tale continues interminably, and your eyelids begin to droop... Until your hand slips, sending the steel-nib of the quill skittering across the bone and into the palm of your hand!

Blood wells against ivory, flowing into the words and highlighting them in crimson. Kindly, the monk takes the quill and offers you a length of bandage. When you staunch the bleeding, he invites you to the Ivory Archives. He confides in you that many of their most beloved records are inlaid with blood..

Successful event
A day dictated

The monk describes a day in the life of a tomb-colonist, while you wield the quill. Its nib carves the bone easily as if it were mushroom flesh.

The tale is dry, but he insists it be recorded for posterity. Few tomb-colonists come to share their tales - a historical blind spot he laments at length. When the work is finished, he invites you to see further tales in the Ivory Archives as his guest.

Wander the halls

The higher in the tower, the more recent the tales. Perhaps they can be useful?

A familiar tale

The simple houses are built with bricks of ash and bone dust. Each bears a finely-engraved story, from the mundane to the profane. Some bricks tell the same tales, from different and contradictory sources.

You spend a quiet hour reading the side of a derelict house. A handful of its tales are suspiciously familiar.

Compile a port report

Consider it an ongoing history of the present.

Few visitors, fewer departures

The inhabitants of Scrimshander spend much of their time praying on the mysteries of the past. They spend almost as much time arguing about their interpretations. Salted residents often collect nearby salvage, studying the results and inscribing their interpretations on any skeletal remains. But those who leave too often are easily recognised by what they have left behind in their travels: memories, personalities, and bones.

Otherwise, they rarely consider the present - certainly not with the same focus they give to the histories buried within their tower. Recent world events are met with polite silence, unless it prompts an anecdote about similarities with antiquity. Apart from old grudges and new theories, very little changes here.

Gather at the Stage of History

Scholars file quietly into a pair of great ivory doors at the far end of the hallway. When they stumble out again, you can hear raised voices, arguments, and laughter.

To the amphitheatre

After the reverent silence of the outside, the boisterous noise of the amphitheatre washes over you like the heavy sea beyond these walls.

Delve into the Ivory Archives

The Ivory Archives are a wealth of history, with ages of visitors' stories carved into the bone pillars that build the citadel. It's something between a library and an ossuary, but less inviting.

Downwards, into history

The monks grudgingly allow you to enter, but warn you that staying longer than your allotted time will incur "significant penalties." They refrain from going into details, but you notice that their bone-quills are significantly larger and sharper than their fellows'.

Game note: You will want enough Time in the Archives to explore and return afterwards. At least five points is recommended, but more will allow deeper explorations. Do not overstay your welcome. It will not be pleasant.

Visit Mariam

You know the way to the Stygian Repository, now.

You make your way through the bony tunnels.
Release a blemmigan

This place could use a little colour. The violet blemmigan seems to agree.

An avid student

The blemmigan settles in the shadow of a massive tusk inscribed with a genealogy of zee-beasts. You have the nagging suspicion that it's reading for its own name.

Take note of a veiled woman

A middle-aged woman in a veiled hat is staring at you, waiting for you to notice and listen to her.

The Imperious Sister's tale

She pushes a sheaf of papers into an oversized case and bustles towards you. "I have been all over Scrimshander and I can find no sign of my brother's writing or any inscription about him," she says. "Which is strange, because I was most definitely assured he had come here... Meanwhile, I made certain promises of a pecuniary nature, which mean that I am not at liberty to leave Scrimshander again for a few days. So I turn to you! Could you assist me? Are your services for hire? It is a matter of-- of family loyalty, of the ties of blood."

Deliver a Monastic Drownie

Your silent passenger is transfixed by the murals, eyes wide and mouth agape. His unrepeatable exclamation is the first word you've heard from him.

A flood of words

Something within the Monastic Drownie has been unloosed at the sight of such sweeping histories. After such a long time silent, he is eager to share his own, smaller stories - and until he can earn his own bone quill, you are his captive audience. The coins he gives you are valuable, but not as much as the tales that tumble out of him.

Deliver a Truth-Hunting Chelonate

She kneels before an ivory carving of a faceless warrior. Its scarred figure resembles the tattoo on her arm.

Hearty appreciation

After saying a wordless prayer, the Truth-Hunting Chelonate stands and clasps you in a fierce embrace. In addition to payment, she proudly presents you with a garland of sharks' teeth. "My days of hunting monsters is over - now I hunt heroes through the ages."

Deliver the Cargo of Answers

Scrimshander was its original destination. The shipment has been substantially delayed, but, thanks to you, it is finally here.

An unwanted shipment

A Wan Archivist scurries forward to look at the cargo as you haul it into the nave. "This is going to cause such an awful fuss!" She bends to admire the carvings. "The Drownies will gloat, and the Chelonates will fight to bury it. Best leave before -" She is cut off by a sudden clamour. Drownie voices rising from the depths of the caverns intermingled with the leaden footsteps of Chelonate boots.

Perform a task for the Drownies

The Drownie Paleographer would like your assistance. The Cargo of Answers sits beside her.

The ties that bind

"I've had a chance to examine this." The Paleographer pats the box. "The Fathomking has certain expectations of the Chelonates. They owe him certain ancient debts. He would be interested to see this piece of history. Take this to him, Trespasser. Let the Fathomking render his judgement."

Deliver the Fathomking's judgement to the Drownies

Tell the Paleographer that His Complexity's troubadours shall sing of the Chelonates shame

The Drownie Paleographer is tucked into an alcove examining the down-strokes of a carving. Her milky eyes widen when she sees you. "Did you see His Complexity? Did he give judgement?" She licks her lips nervously as you recount what was said in the throne-cyst. As you finish, she smiles, a touch wistfully. "His Complexity is wise - it is good that they be humbled. Perhaps this will force them to change." She reaches into her satchel and produces a clouded pearl. "This was taken from- well, it's dead now. But there is no other like it. You have earned this."

Deliver the Fathomking's judgement to the Drownies

Tell the Paleographer that the Chelonate shall become unsung and forgotten.

The Drownie Paleographer is tucked into an alcove examining the down-strokes of a carving. Her milky eyes widen when she sees you. "Did you see His Complexity? Did he give judgement?" She licks her lips nervously as you recount what was said in the throne-cyst. As you finish, she smiles, a touch uncertainly.

"Is it wise to forget? What is thought lost usually returns, eventually." She shakes her head. "I speak out of turn. The Fathomking is wise. This silence may foster a truce." She reaches into her satchel and produces a clouded pearl. "This was taken from- well, it's dead now. But there is no other like it. You have earned this."

Perform a task for the Chelonate

The Chelonate Chronologist sits primly atop the Cargo of Answers. He would appreciate your assistance.

A shame that should be forgotten

"I have arranged for the cargo to be escorted to the deepest Archives." He indicates a Muscular Monk standing grim-faced next to him. "But the escort must remain below to ensure this particular piece of history remains undisturbed. Will you accompany him to ensure the deed is done, and report back when this aberrant history is safely interred?"

Game note: You must enter the Ivory Archives to continue the story. The Glib Historian may be able to help.

Return to the Chelonate Chronologist

You have done as he asked. Evidence of the Chelonate's inglorious origins has been concealed.

He exhales with relief when he sees you return, alone. "We are only what our ancestors are held to have been. Thank you for not tarnishing our pride." The Chronologist stands to shake your hand - his trembles with rheumatism, or nerves. He motions for an attendant to open the wooden chest they are holding. "For all you've done." Your gift burns brightly.

Inform the Drownies

You have not done as asked. The Chelonate Chronologist is unlikely to be pleased. But the Drownie Paleographer will reward you for returning the Cargo.

It is difficult to be inconspicuous while carrying a large wooden chest. The Chelonate Chronologist has spies - and an ambush prepared. The Chelonates rise from biers and slabs carved into the sides of the walls, blocking your escape. The Chronologist steps forward. "We have always been warriors." He hefts an unpleasant-looking ceremonial mace.

The violence is interrupted by the emergence of the Drownie Palegrapher from another bier. "Need I remind you of the Marrow Protocols? 'Spill no blood on the bone'!" She remains smiling until the Chelonates have sloped away. "The truth will out. Especially if it harms our enemies. You have more than earned your reward." She opens a small box. Inside, a burning gift.

Search for the Fierce Philanthropist's husband

Did he come to lose himself among the other old, abandoned histories?

Failed event Game note: Check your journal for reminders about where the Philanthropist's husband might be.

No luck

Your enquiries are exhaustive - the Philanthropist's husband is not here. You can cross this port off your list.

Successful event Game note: Continue your search at Low Barnet, near London.
A promising lead!

He is not here, but a Chelonate bone-scribe recalls him. Lytton did not stay long. He went into the tunnels, and emerged shortly thereafter, weeping. When he departed he found passage to Low Barnet, just a stone's throw from London.

Leave a Cladery Souvenir

It's a piece of someone. Perhaps not a piece of you, but who's keeping track?



Leave Scrimshander

No one departs without leaving something of themselves behind. Be ready.


Were there quite this many guards when you came in? Was there always a pile of fresh bones by the entrance?

The Stage of History[]

Stage of History
SS declaimgaz.png
Category Story Event
Type Story
Data ID 254677

This event triggers when you do Accept the price and dock action in Scrimshander


Actors strut in an amphitheatre of bone, performing historical plays of dubious veracity. An audience watches from below, with each roaring drunk member applauding or jeering different details of the work. Above, an imperious figure wearing a crown of ivory judges each performance from a raised theatre box. All are served by a single man, weaving between the crowd and wearing a perpetual smirk.


Actions Requirements Effects Notes

Talk with the Glib Historian

The mushroom wine he serves is stale. The plays he announces are questionable at best. But the impeccably-bearded man with the olive skin laughs at every performance and has a smile for every patron.

Warring theories on the stage of history

"Some cheer history as the work of brave and inspired heroes. Especially them who wish they could be heroes themselves." The Glib Historian rolls his eyes theatrically. "Others say it's all shaped by cyclical changes in scientific progress, economics, and such. But nothing gets in the way of a good story quite like nuance." He spits out the word like a rotten grape.

"We let 'em argue up on the stage and give an ivory crown to whoever's most convincing at the moment." He waves a hand at the temporary monarch in the raised seat above. "But far as I'm concerned," he confides, filling a patron's mug with cheap wine, "History is what you make of it. And I make a killing."

Question the Glib Historian

You found his self-portrait on the First Skeleton of Scrimshander. This raises a few questions.

History retains its modesty

The Glib Historian strokes his beard theatrically. "What a fascinating coincidence! Does it mean anything?

Beneath his playful eyes spreads a grin as broad and impenetrable as a seaside cliff. Some questions will not be answered.

Watch a heroic play

The Chelonate's champions promise the tale of a lone hero who changed the course of history. Based on historical evidence.

Often enjoyable, occasionally accurate

Truly, this is what heroes are made of: courage, charm, and an ample capacity for violence. The moral is clearly defined. The prop horses are surprisingly well-painted. How considerate of history to provide such an exemplar of heroism.

The crowd roars its approval and keeps the Glib Historian busy with demands for more wine. His efforts to serve the unruly lot deserve a play of their own.

Watch a dramatic reenactment

The Drownie Chorus presents a sweeping historical opera. With a two-drink minimum.

A surprisingly brisk epoch

A city rises and falls in a matter of hours, with cast members playing a dozen roles each over the years. The dance number at the end is a crowd-pleaser. Afterwards, the Drownie king assures the crowd that the dancing was strictly allegorical.

Watch a fierce debate

Two monks propose new historical interpretations based on research in the archives. Weapons are strictly prohibited.

Confusion reigns

The arguments range from impassioned to inscrutable, and the jeers of the crowd don't help. The winner is selected by the monks throwing knuckle-bones at their choice. The winner receives the ivory crown and ascends to the ruler's seat. Your enjoyment of the ceremony is diminished somewhat when you find an errant knuckle-bone in your mug.

Trade coffee for time in the archives

Even the most avid scholar knows not all historical tales are exciting.

The fuel of history

The guardians of the archives can barely contain their greed. While theories differ on what drives history, it is agreed that historians themselves are driven by coffee.

Trade wine for time in the archives

The Glib Historian is always looking to restock his supply for thirsty audiences. And he has surprising influence with the archivists.

The solace of history

The Glib Historian holds surprising sway with the archivists. He assures you that those surrounded by the horrors of history often need a stiff drink.

Agree to search the Ivory Archives for a hero

The Chelonate's champions hope to regain their prestige by staging a heroic play. Assist their research in the Ivory Archives and they'll give you a hero's reward.

No shortage of heroes

They assure you that any hero will do, as long as their deeds are suitably profound. Ideally bloody. But the details are negotiable.

Game note: You will need to trade coffee or wine for Time in the Archives in order to pursue this quest.

Deliver the details of a hero

The Chelonate's champions specialise in tales of heroes. Deliver your findings to them and you'll be their... well.

A champion of the Chelonate

"Oh, this is good," the playwright beams. "Throw in a little romance and a proper moral, and we should have something ready by tomorrow."

Agree to search the Ivory Archives for a pattern

The Drownie Chorus sits dejectedly in the corner, griping about the hero worship on display. They'll pay well if you can research the societal context to the figures on stage.

The quest for context

"'Heroes' are merely the products of their time. These fools celebrate a pearl and ignore the oyster that made it. Help us tell a more responsible tale and we put things right - for now, at least."

Game note: You will need to trade coffee or wine for Time in the Archives in order to pursue this quest.

Deliver a portrait of a time past

Thorough details on manners, opinions, laws, and the people they shaped.

A comedy of errors and accounting

Life moved by the forces surrounding the individual. The pomposity of the great, the spirit of the many made manifest. Clearly the perfect material for a musical, the Drownie Chorus agrees.

Leave the amphitheatre

Leave them to their drinks and debates.

Back to the quiet of the crypt

You leave the noise and the stale wine behind.

Departing Scrimshander[]

This event triggers when you do Leave Scrimshander action in Scrimshander

Departing Scrimshander
SS bloodstaingaz.png
Category Story Event
Type Story
Data ID 254675


No one may depart Scrimshander without leaving something of themselves behind by which to be remembered. Tradition demands it, as do the muscular guards at the gate. Their sharpened bone quills are at the ready to collect your donation.


Actions Requirements Effects Notes
Assist a lost pilgrim's passage

A pilgrim stands by the exit with a confused smile. She hesitantly begs you for passage to... somewhere else?

To the home of the lost

Too many trips through Scrimshander, perhaps. Or any number of other causes. But after careful questioning, she ventures that she may be nearly finished with her pilgrimage. Only one holy place remains for her. The Gant Pole.

Provide transport for a scholar

A bandaged scholar stands near the exit, angrily brushing ash off of himself. At your approach, he brusquely demands passage to Hideaway. Of course he'll pay.

In search of history's losers

He's studied remains of a hundred wars and read a thousand bitter ends. Now he seeks the survivors so he can interview them in person. He assures you it's a purely academic interest - he his life has been splendid, personally. He merely wishes to see how they live with themselves.

Leave behind a story

You can always make more.

A block of memories

You take a deep breath of bittersweet incense and recount your tales. As you speak, a chronicler carves your words onto bricks of ash and bone powder. The bone quill's scratching grates and the incense stings your eyes, but you continue.

By the time you've finished, your head aches and the chronicler holds a handful of bricks. Before returning to your ship, you examine one. It bears your name and a short tale.

But it isn't a memory of yours. You'd remember anything that outlandish. Best to leave before they realise the mistake they've made.

Leave behind a past triumph

It was dearly earned. Only fair that it be dearly spent.

Some other hero's tale

The guards light incense and clean the trophy with a musky oil. As you recount the victory that won it, a chronicler etches your words into its surface. The scratching of the bone quill grows louder in your ears with every word.

By the time you've finished, your trophy has been replaced with an identical copy. But this one has been inscribed with a thrilling, fictional tale. As you depart, you wonder if you would recognise the hero of such a thrilling yarn.

Leave behind vitality

Stack bricks of bone and ash to build the tower and earn your leave.

Brick by brick, the tower is built

The guards take you to an upper chamber. The floor is bare except for burning incense and a pile of grey bricks in the corner. Each one bears a name and a tale, but you can't pause to read them all. One by one, you carry the bricks across the room, stacking them neatly into a wall.

The work is slow, and the air thick with bittersweet incense. Each brick is heavier than the last, and the work becomes a blur. Sweat beads and trickles down your back. Running down your face. Soaking through your clothes. Drowning you in salt.

You awake from the dream with a start. You are clean and dry, lying in an unfamiliar room. You pull yourself out of bed with great effort and leave the grey-bricked house behind.

Leave behind your warmth

You don't really need it down here, do you?

Burnt away

The chronicler kindly offers you a seat at her desk. She lights some incense and lays out a fine scroll of vellum. When you've made yourself comfortable, she hands you her bone quill and asks you to write the names of your crew.

The quill is clumsy in your hand as you write. After the third name, it slips from your grasp, pricking your finger. Gripping it tighter, the sharp edges press into your flesh. Blood runs down its length and pools on the page. You feel a pang of guilt for ruining the vellum, but it passes as the names continue.

You wake up with a start. The paper is covered in ash. It doesn't matter. You leave without looking back.

Leave something a little more tangible

One guard carries a butcher's cleaver. With a shudder, you recall how many finger-bones decorate the tower.

A brief pinch, then blissful numbness

It's a simple enough process. The guard lights a bittersweet incense and after a few deep breaths, you're ready. All you have to do is place your hand on a low table. The guard takes it from there.

He even offers you a glove afterwards. Its finger is stuffed with a poultice to ease the pain. A moment later, you could even pretend it never happened. Yes, let's do that.

Stay a while

You won't lose anything by staying a little longer. Will you?

On second thought...

The guards watch you turn away impassively. One offers you an ashen robe of your own, but you politely decline.


Links In[]

SS scrimshandergaz.png Entering Scrimshander, SS bloodstaingaz.png Departing Scrimshander, SS declaimgaz.png The Stage of History, SS skeletongaz.png Searching the Ivory Archives, SS remainsgaz.png Discoveries in the Ivory Archives, SS aigulgaz.png Receiving a commission from the Imperious Sister, SS boneshardgaz.png A Cargo In Dispute , SS mariamgaz.png Mariam, SS skullgaz.png Engineering the Downfall of Nidah

Links Out[]

SS declaimgaz.png The Stage of History, SS skeletongaz.png Searching the Ivory Archives, SS bloodstaingaz.png Departing Scrimshander, SS aigulgaz.png Receiving a commission from the Imperious Sister, SS boneshardgaz.png A Cargo In Dispute , SS mariamgaz.png Mariam

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