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Sunless Sea Wiki
The Chelonate
The Chelonate (Map)
SS Locations The Chelonate Map.png
The Chelonate (Gazetteer)
SS Locations The Chelonate.png
Located in The Chelonate
Ports Schabelport
Shops SS harpoonsmall.png Uncle Ankle's Lean Place
Shipyard No

"A shell as big as a wild dream?"

The Chelonate is an island built on the shell of an enormous turtle slain by the monster-hunters that now populate it. The skeletal remains of such quarry looms from the sea around the Chelonate.

Port interactions[]

SS Interactions The Chelonate.png The Chelonate[]

Waves lap the slabby sides of a vast turtle-shell - bigger than any cathedral. Chelonites loaf on wooden docks around the shell-sides, staring sullenly. Lamps hang like decorations in a festive butcher's window. All around you, the sea is rank with scraps of ancient flesh.

Actions Requirements Effects Notes
Allow the Plausible Surgeon to go ashore here

"Oh, my word. Look at these scars. Look at these stains. Release me from my contract, Captain, I beg you. I've saved up enough to compensate you."

A pocketful of Echoes

The Surgeon is as good as his word. Hands trembling, he counts out the coins, and whispers a little secret he picked up back in London. He's vague about why he didn't mention it before.

He collects his knives and instruments, heads into the Shell, and is gone.

Shore leave at the Chelonate

Beer and roistering are cheap here, but the hunters of the Chelonate take their roistering seriously. You can't be sure your crew will make it back safely.

Failed event
One voice missing

"We lost the new one, cap'n. She had one too many and started on the Turtle not being real. Chelonites were on 'er like ants. Not enough to send home."

Successful event
Voices raised in song

"It's not actually beer, cap'n," a zailor confides. "It's eel-blood fermented with zee-fungus, or somefin'. I didn't hear the whole account. I was too busy throwin' up."

Deliver Sphinxstone for Penstock

The Bone Man awaits you. His face and chest are streaked with white clay. His forehead bears a glyph, in the deep code of the void. Long ago, his mother ritually severed his littlest finger. "STONES HERE," he rumbles.

The Death of Stones

The Bone Man carries a maul. No: he bears a maul. "WATCH," he growls. He brings the head of the maul down on the largest stone. It puffs into dust: instantly pulverised. "YOU MUST STRIKE THEM IN ONLY THE CORRECT PLACE." Another dissolves, with a sound like a sigh. "THUS."

Perhaps it's just that you've inhaled too much dust, but as you watch the Bone Man, the scene becomes distant. You are watching it from a great height. The roof?

The maul swings: the stones shatter. This is the nature of strength. This is good.

"THIS IS THE WORK OF STORM," intones the Bone Man. You blink. "FREEDOM IS HIS GIFT TO THE BAZAAR. AND THIS IS MY GIFT TO YOU." He hands you a bag of coins, white with dust. You, too, are white all over with dust - white as bone.

Obtain a Doomed Monster-Hunter

The Chelonate is stiff with Monster-Hunters, awash with the peligin juices that give them strength. A good number of them are Doomed, too. But you'll need to provide for their families.

The hunter's price

"That will suffice. When news of my death comes, they'll offer this treasure to the Bone Men. If they die, they will still be remembered." Cheery lot, the Chelonites.

Meet your contact

A Mutilated Hunter makes her home in a plastron at the wretched end of the shell: well, the more wretched end. Her face is half-immobile from a jillyfish sting. Give her a Hunting Trophy, and she'll share zee-gossip.

A rich vein of story

She has zee-ztories for you - drownie-whispers, Chelonite murder-myths, truths found engraved on bound-shark harnesses. And she adds: "Tell the Admiral: Aestival remains empty. The Sun still kills."

She has zee-ztories for you - drownie-whispers, Chelonite murder-myths, truths found engraved on bound-shark harnesses. And she adds: "Tell the Admiral: our hunters are eyeing Aestival. There is a temptation now." She eyes you. "But I suspect you'd know that, wouldn't you?"

Find someone to teach secrets of butchery to the Bandaged Poissonnier

A Bone Man shows you the glyphs cut into his white-dusted palms. "They mean 'Separation'," he tells you. He will instruct your chef, if you can prove your worth.

An improvement

When the Poissonnier returns to the ship, he is red to his elbows. "I have learned what I need to know," he says, his voice haggard. Back in the galley he throws away all his knives but one. You watch it slice, skin, bone, and butterfly: as precise as a surgeon's scalpel; as quick as a minnow. Flesh goes one way; skin and organs another.

As the crew dine, he seeks you out. "It goes well, my captain. I have my initial ingredients. I have my skills. But the flavours I pursue must be coaxed forth, like a hermit crab from its shell. I'm afraid I need very particular seasoning: mutersalt and zzoup. They sell the former at Whither, where the salt-pools fizz and pop. Zzoup is made at Mount Palmerston. Its composition is a secret, but anything that can be combined can be separated again, with the right equipment."

Put a blemmigan ashore

Perhaps it will nestle in some crevice in the ancient shell. You chivvy it onto the quay.

Oh. Ouch!

A casually flung fishing-spear pierces the blemmigan. It deflates to a soggy mess. A Chelonite grins savagely at you: some response is clearly required. "Good shot, madam. Ah, good shot."

Rare event (50%)
Oh. Ouch!

A casually flung fishing-spear pierces the blemmigan. It deflates to a soggy mess. A Chelonite grins savagely at you: some response is clearly required. "Good shot, madam. Ah, good shot."

Compile a Port Report

How does one express this very striking smell?

The limits of meaningful expression

No matter what details you try to record, the stench creeps in around the edges of the sentences. "The Chelonites, watchful despite the reek." "Movement among the miasmic scraps of long-abandoned monster-carcass." "Frequent duels where the stink is thickest - "

Help Maybe's Daughter search for her mother

"I couldn't understand why she came here to begin with, but" - she gestures around you, at the designs sketched on hide and scratched on stone. "It's all tattoos. The alphabets of bone and flesh. That's what our family keeps coming back to." She frowns. "Our family is strange in every way imaginable."

Failed event Learning About: Maybe's Daughter doubles with each port at which her mother is not found.
No luck.

"I found some of these, though. Well, 'found'. You can have one. Are you going to be stern with me? They have so many trophies they don't know what to do with them. Anyway, we're getting closer. I can feel it. I swear."

Successful event
She was here last week, but -

You follow the Daughter's stunned gaze. A woman in a lilac gown strolls past the doorway-slit of the Bone Men's shrine. Her features bear an unmistakable resemblance to your officer's. "We should talk," she says to the Daughter, quite calmly.

The Daughter assembles the rags of her composure with remarkable speed. "Excuse us," she says...

"Tales for the Bone!"

Someone is crying unusual wares. Follow the sound.

Show off a Hunting Trophy

Young Chelonates gather around your ship, pressing their chalked palms to your bow. They demand stories.

One story for another

As your tale of combat on the high zee reaches its pitch, you lift the gory trophy above your head. The children scatter. Only a young boy remains behind, staring.

He holds out a mask: a mess of tiny bones. Most look like they were scavenged from a dinner plate. Nevertheless, he points at your trophy. You trade.

Game note: Trade a Hunting-Trophy for an Outlandish Artefact.

The Scrimshaw Chronicler[]

See SS passerbysmall.png The Scrimshaw Chronicler page.

Triggered Interactions[]

These events trigger when you dock and certain conditions are met.

SS Story Event Tomb-Colonists in the Chelonate.png Tomb-Colonists in the Chelonate[]

See Tomb-Colonists in the Chelonate page.

This event triggers if you have the following:

Your Father's Bones: the Bone Men[]

The Chelonate
SS remainsgaz.png
Category Story Event
Linked to SS Locations The Chelonate.png The Chelonate
Data ID 176399

The Bone Men are the priests who guard the Chelonites' relics. The urchin Slivvy said they keep your father's bones. But why?

For this event to become available, you must have SS footprintsmall.png Your Father's Bones: A Cold Trail ≥ 50 (go to the Chelonate), no SS remainssmall.png Your Father's Bones (obviously) and SS fogsmall.png Memoirs: Your Past = 2 (A Street Urchin).

Actions Requirements Effects Notes

This Bone Man snarls at you from behind a mask of white clay. "WE DO NOT LIGHTLY GIVE UP OUR TREASURES," he intones. "WHAT WILL YOU OFFER US?"

A stolen bone

You dicker and argue for hours. The Bone Men won't accept secrets, money, or even hunting-relics. "BUT" - one says at last - "BUT IF THE FATHOMKING WILL RETURN WHAT HE HAS STOLEN, THEN WE WILL RELINQUISH YOUR FATHER. ONLY THEN."

Game note: Travel to the Fathomking's Hold to pursue this quest further.
The Bone Men are obdurate


Game note: Find the Fathomking's Hold, somewhere in the south or central Unterzee, to continue.

This will only trigger if you come back after speaking to the Fathomking, before completing his requests.

Hand over the Stolen Bone

The Bone Men nod and mutter. They poke the bone with their long-nailed fingers, sniff, taste. "YES," says the one with the missing hand. "WE HAVE MISSED YOU." The tallest nods to you, and squeezes into a crack in the Shell.

A bag of bones

The Bone Man squeezes out, grunting, his white clay coating tracked with sweat. He holds a clattering leather sack crammed with - not human bones. Things like great beams of ivory timber. A jaw crowded with savage teeth the size of fingers.


You never knew your parents. There was a joke at the Orphanage that you were found on the beach like a stranded fish.You fall to your knees, your blood pulsing with salt. The zee roars in your brain. At the edge of your vision, scaled shapes coil. The air turns red, then black, and then no colour at all.

By the time you wake, the Bone Men have dragged you out of their temple-tent and left you on the floor of the Shell. The bones of your father-monster are tucked into the curve of your arm. The zee is with you now, in a way you had never known before.

Game note: Return to London, and bury your father, to win the game. No one but you will ever know what lies in the coffin.
Chelonate story events
Tomb-Colonists in the Chelonate Your Father's Bones: the Bone Men
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