Sunless Sea Wiki
The Alarming Scholar
SS alarmingscholargaz.png
Category Story Event
Type Character
Linked to London
Data ID 141886

The Alarming Scholar is a Sunless Sea Character Story Event.

Trigger conditions[]

The Alarming Scholar appears in London as an interaction after you do the Visit the University action in London. You also need to have Favours: Antiquarian ≥ 1.

Character description[]

The Alarming Scholar is mercurial, to say the least. A creature of sudden moods and provoking teeth. Possibly her (is it her?) appointment as University Maritime Liaison was precautionary: to keep his (is it his?) razor-sharp enthusiasm from causing too many injuries in the faculty.

“Ah yes,” the Scholar whispers breathily. “I have a budget for acquisitions. What have you brought me?”

Game note: If you have any knowledge items that the Scholar will buy, they'll appear below.


Actions Requirements Effects Notes
A Zee-Ztory

A tale of the deep.

Difficult dictation

“Thrilling! Let me hear every detail. First, I must find my fountain-pen. Oh, how regrettable - it has a spider impaled on the nib - excuse me. Let me - good Heavens! It's still alive! - pass me that volume of Gibbon - there we go. Do you have another pen?”

A Memory of Distant Shores

A piquant piece of picaresque pilgrimage.

Wells of emotion

As the Alarming Scholar listens, tears well in the depths of those shining (or is it blazing?) eyes. They overflow, splashing on to the desk-blotter. “Stop!” he (she?) sobs, at last. “This is too - too beautiful. Allow me to bring the Macaw of Memories. I wish each individual tone recalled.”

A Strange Catch

Pickled into quiescence.

Deep excitement

The Scholar circles your specimen jar, tapping at the glass with a variety of tools: screw-driver, magnet, scrutinizer, tuning-fork, flensing knife, and a sort of slotted spoon. "This will keep them going for weeks," she (he?) says, half to himself. "We'll dine at the High Table tonight, I think."

A Lamentable Relic

Not a scientific curiosity, necessarily, but the Scholar has a collection. Or something.

A beaming smile

“This would be so terribly wasted in an ossuary!” She (he?) buffs the cranium with a sleeve. “I think a climbing briar-rose will suit this one rather well. A yellow rose, perhaps. Thank you so much. Let's keep this between ourselves.”

Player Note: it is worth turning the Lamentable Relics into 3 Unread logs per Relic at Codex, rather than selling them directly to the Scholar, as each log is worth 20, giving you a profit of 60, compared to the Relic's 5. The limiting factor is the Requirement of Something Awaits you, and Time the Healer of 50 or more.
An Ambiguous Eolith

Some of these things were made as tools. Some just look that way.

An accident

"This is the product of Nature, not artifice. Interesting, nevertheless! I have the very shelf for it! But if you could bring me something worked, not evolved, next time -"

Rare event (50%)
A relic!

“Oho! I see the knap-marks clearly! I rather think it was no human hand that shaped this, either. Something from Before. Or at least I like to think it. And that's what's most important.”

Judgement's Egg

A mystery in a bottle.

How intriguing!

"How intriguing! Mm, has it been in an ape? Did you leave it in a jewel? It hasn't been to the Surface, has it? Can it provoke objects to self-motilation? Have you subjected it to imaginary wavelengths? What is - "

You've left it untouched...

...the Scholar likes fresh secrets.

Squeals of delight

"This is a spicy one. Crawcase will be dripping with envy. Remind me to invite you for dinner, soon, and thank you properly."

An Outlandish Artefact

Shaped by hands unknown in London.

A careful scrutiny

“We have something like that,” she (he?) declares. “But not very like that. Interesting. I have some ideas about suitable fees.”

Captivating Treasure

Shiny. And you polished it before you brought it in, so it's even shinier today.

Glinting eyes

“Oh my.” Teeth bared in a hungry grin: there's something odd about those teeth, as if there were too many of them. “This will make quite a dent in my acquisitions budget. But worth it, I think. Yes. Worth it.”

A Live Specimen

Something not yet extinct.

You flick the blanket away, and the creature in the container shrinks away from the light. The Scholar clasps hands in delight. "Oho! It's still moving! I can think of uses for this."
Brimstone Buzzings

A terrifying tidbit.

Pop-eyed suprise

"This - well, I wouldn't say it confirms, but I suppose it supports - and I thought the Department of Infernal Rarefactions were all stark raving mad. Thank you; thank you indeed. I'm sorry our budget isn't larger."

A Watchful Curio

Pitiable little thing.

Inhaling deeply

"Mm! It smells of the Elder Continent! Of wind - of light - of Stone - of things without faces. Thank you!"

A Colossal Fluke-Core

Have your man wheel it in. Remove the cover with a flourish.


Prisoned light scratches at the surface of the Core. "Oh, yes," the Alarming Scholar breathes. "Oh, yes." She (he?) seems to have forgotten you. "So many savours. Come here, my love, come here." The irrigo glow at its core brightens. Colour leaks from the room, to be replaced by one shade only.

You wake slowly in your cabin. The swinging lights seem dull after the irrigo glow. Your eyes itch oddly. What happened, exactly? The Scholar, you know, will never speak of it.

A Lump of Blue Scintillack

“Apocyan! That's not a hue we often see here.”

Careful inspection

“Thank you! The Department of Paradoxic Optics loves this sort of thing. The Venderbighters are far too fond of colours, and they can generally outbid us.”

A Ray-Drenched Cinder

"That's... cosmogone, isn't it? It's hard to make it out when one's awake, you know. Lovely colour. Reminds me of... crab-flesh. Mm."

Close inspections

"What's this stuff on the bottom? A sort of lilac slime? Have you been digging these out of fungus-towers?, I shan't ask. I'd rather not know."

A Wakeful Idol

Perhaps it's safer to get rid of it.

A twitching nose

"This one has travelled - travelled a long way! I smell diamonds, copper, basalt. Hm ha ah. Thank you."

An Element of Dawn

A strayed component of a strayed star.


The light of the Element kindles an answering light in her (is it his?) eyes. "Dawn," he (she?) whispers. "I won't give this one to the Professor. Not this one."

Offer the Scholar an Intriguing Snippet

"I might perhaps classify this as 'gossip', not 'data'. Nevertheless..."

"Oho, zesty, zesty!"

"This one will do very well shared. Thank you. Your payment."

Offer the Scholar an Extraordinary Implication

“What a tantalising crumb!”

“The scent of secrets...”

“I will place it with the others. One day - one day, I will have enough.”

A Searing Enigma

It won't be safe with her (him?), but then it won't be safe with anyone.

“What's -”

“Give it to me! Yes - yes, now I understand. Listen. The net. The law. The harm. The sky. The light. The clock. The zee. The eye. The night... Leave me. Leave me now. I have things to do.”

A Dread Surmise

"I smell secrets. Searing secrets. Share them with me. I am close to something."

Delighted laughter

"Here! I have the answer. Take it. I have all the answers I will ever need. I'll follow them to Frostfound. You can't come. Don't come. Can't come. Don't come. CAN'T COME! DON'T COME! - "

Proctors burst in and drag the Scholar from his (her?) office. One shakes a sorrowful head at you. "Academics," he sighs. "They never last." You are left clutching a bundle of scrawled notes. You peep cautiously at the first page. Symbols boil before your eyes. The study seems suddenly, terribly bright. No! NO!

Game note: If you choose this option, the Scholar will become permanently unavailable.
A delivery from Isery

The Scholar drags her (his?) tongue over each of the vials. "Fresh, quite piquant - look at the colour! Oh yes, yes, perfect."

He (she?) hands you an untidy bundle of notes written on what you hope is paper. You are almost certainly imagining how the notes seem to shiver in your grip. Isery will be pleased, at least.
An opportunity offered

"Are you sure you didn't lose your shipment on the way?" the Alarming Scholar asks, stroking the casket of red honey vials possessively. His (her?) teeth glint. "I have quite a generous acquisitions budget, I am told."

The Alarming Scholar hands over the money with barely-concealed delight once you give her (him?) the casket of vials. You leave with the distinct impression that he (she?) does not expect to see you ever again. The scholar implies that he (or she) will buy the Vials of Red Honey directly from you instead of using it for whatever purpose it was intended for. Since you don't receive The Scholar's Notes to prove your delivery, he/she tells you to say that you lost the shipment. This will no doubt make you fall out of favour with Isery.
A little present from the Scholar

“You've been so very helpful. I wanted to give you something for your next voyage. I bottled it myself - ”

Dark glass

It smells pickled, chemical. Zalty. Once, it might have been eel-flesh. But the Scholar assures you that it has vital and nutritional virtues. Save it for an emergency, perhaps.

A little chat with the Scholar

"Let me tell you - "

Tantalising shafts of light

Adam's Way - the nature of the Echo Bazaar - what lifebergs eat - the reason the islands seem to move - why candles can't be trusted. The Scholar has opinions on all of these. Some may even be true.

A friend of the Scholar

"A student of mine has long wished to go to zee. She's eager and clever and she grew up on a ship - "

Likely enough

They'll do; with training.

Ask the Scholar about the Whisper-Locked Box

Cobweb-light silver tumblers will align if the words are right. But what are the words? Perhaps the makers of the box will know.

Triggers Event SS alarmingscholargaz.png Advice from the Alarming Scholar Game note: Play Fallen London to find the Whisper-Locked Box.
Leave the University

You have business to attend to, and besides, the Scholar keeps snapping his (her?) teeth like a mechanical trap.

Story events
A New RecruitInvitation to a BeheadingAn Inspection by the Ministry of Public DecencyReturning to LondonThe First ClueThe House of the QuestionThe Revenue MenThe Rose and TigerThe Trouble with Tomb-ColonistsThe Vengeance of JonahThe Venturer's PassageThe Web of StoneThe Wisp-WaysYour Father's Bones: A Cold Trail (event)Your Father's Bones: the Next Step
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