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The Fathomking's Answer
SS fathomkinggaz.png
Category Story Event
Linked to SS Locations Fathomking's Hold.png Fathomking's Hold

Data ID 176515

The Fathomking's Answer is where you progress the middle section of your father's bones quest.

Trigger Events[]

The Fathomking's Answer is accessible when bones and stuff. Also, from the Throne-Cyst.


"His Complexity is watching you. His eyes are cold as polished stones, but a smile lurks at the corner of his mouth, like an eel in ambush."


NOTE: Checking your inventory AT ANY TIME will kick you back to port, and you'll have to spend another Zee-ztory to get back down.

Actions Requirements Effects Notes
Speak of other matters

The sea presses. The darkness seeps. Move on.

- Trigger event: SS fathomkinggaz.png The Throne-Cyst

Return to the previous conversation options.
Ask about the Bone Men and their lost treasure

Does the King have it safe?


He crooks a finger, and a Drownie-child brings forward a pale bone on a mouldering cushion. "Most mortals come to this, some day," the King remarks. "I will not, of course. Perhaps you will not... but you'll learn more of that from the Bone Men." He flicks his finger again, and the child retreats.

Background info about the person, people or thing that you dealt with in London for the first part of this whole chain.
Who was 'Mr Voluminous'?

Why was the Fathomking sending parcels to him?

Come now.

"I will give you the address you need, for the small consideration we discussed. But I won't share personal information so easily. I have my business with the Masters of the Bazaar. It's not always a pleasant business." He shrugs. There are ripples. "One has one's duties."

Why did the Fathomking give your father a knife?

What was he doing at Kingeater's Castle?

Your father had his reasons.

"'The heart is destiny's engine', they used to say in Irem. Your father knew that. He wanted to free himself of his destiny." The King yawns. "He paid me for my help. He failed, and so you are here. Perhaps one day your son, your daughter, will stand before me and ask where your bones lie. Or perhaps they'll ask me for a knife."

What happened to your father's name?

Who broke the rock?

Strategies, strategies.

"It was the Bishop of St Fiacre who sent you there, was it not? Perhaps he broke it himself. He's a wily one. Perhaps it was a roof-lorn rock. Perhaps a - "

He chuckles. "Sorry. An old bad habit. I enjoy being mysterious as much as the next half-human Power, but honestly, I have no idea what broke it. I do know where the shard lies, though. Pay my price, and I'll tell you.

All this for the name of a mask?

It's a high price!

There's more here than you know.

"Visage is a nexus of competing powers. The Masters. The Snuffers. And now the Widow. I will help you unpick the web - oh yes - but I will move carefully."

He leans back. "Besides, I don't get nearly enough fruit down here."

Ask for assistance

"Your Complexity: there is a question only you can answer, to open the final gate of my journey, to my father's bones. I ask this boon of you."

Little Favours

"You are fortunate," the Fathomking announces. "I have only a few small requests. Fulfil them, and I shall tell you what you need to know."

"Bring me the heart of a legend."

"Bring me a light from the sky."

"Bring me a willing guest, to stay with me forever."

"Witness the end of the eldest among its kind. Bring me word."

"Bring me the fruit of an eternal tree."

"And bring me something scientific. Modern. Cutting-edge, I believe, is the term. My Bride enjoys that sort of thing."

He sits back, under-regions pulsing with expectation. "You seem quite capable," he adds carelessly. "I'm sure it's not too much trouble."

There are now many, many complicated things you must retrieve. The values are set to 0 when you retrieve them.
Present the Pirate-Poet's Heart

"Your Complexity. Here is the heart of a legend."

It is sufficient.

The Fathomking nods. "I always liked her. But I'm glad she's dead. She would have caused trouble, some day."

His Drownie chamberlain spirits the heart away on a platter, and gifts you a barbed iron charm for your ship's prow. "Is that all?" the King inquires pleasantly.

Present the Merciless Modiste's heart

"Your Complexity. Here is the heart of a legend."

The Fathomking tuts.

"Oh, a pity. She sent so many interesting people here below. But I am a Power of my word. She was a legend. Here. Place this on your ship's bow, and it will give you strength in battle." His chamberlain gifts you a barbed iron charm, and spirits the heart away on a platter.

The King purses his lips. "Hearts," he muses. "I should develop another one. I grow more elaborate by the day."

Fight and kill The Merciless Modiste, preferably after finishing the part of her storyline available to you. Not recommended, unless you are about to retire or plan to side with the Pirate-Poet in her questline. She's the "best" (highest total stat points) possible first officer for non-cannibal captains and the only one that provides an Iron boost.
Present the spider which was the heart of the Tree of Ages

"Your Complexity. Here is the heart of a legend."

One leg twitches in dead reflex

"Charmless beasts," the Fathomking remarks. "I'm very glad to see this one ended. They are no friends of my Bride. Here."

His Drownie chamberlain spirits the heart away on a platter, and gifts you a barbed iron charm for your ship's prow. At a nod from the king, he also hands you a set of carved ivory spheres within spheres. "By way of reward," the King explains, "for your sound choice of target."

It's quite hard to get it, but it's the best choice here; while this Heart can be sold with Zubmariner for about 500 E (see Gant Pole), selecting this option gives you an additional Captivating Treasure, worth about 1000 E by itself, double the normal worth of this item.
Present Mt Nomad's Heart

"Your Complexity. Here is the heart of a legend."

A deep sigh

The Fathomking is silent for an uncomfortably long time. Then he is silent for a while longer. After that, he sinks back in the pool and continues to say absolutely nothing at all. His chamberlain draws back. The guards stand motionless. You are eyeing the exits from the chamber when, finally, he speaks.

"Were you aware," he enquires, "that this is the heart of my niece? By marriage, not by blood; and I doubt you have truly ended her. She is robust. Nevertheless..."

He drums his fingers on the rim of his throne-bowl. "I am in part to blame, and besides, I am a Power of my word. What's done is done. But I must exact payment. Honour demands it."

His Drownie chamberlain spirits the egg away on a platter, and gifts you a barbed iron charm for your ship's prow. "You have fulfilled my request" - the King decrees - "thus your reward. But I must now pronounce this curse upon you. Stand still, please..."

Quite pricey (worth a Searing Enigma by itself), and requires killing a top tier enemy. Also gives you a curse. Not generally recommended. Unless of cause you are actually looking to get cursed for an achievement.
Present the Fathomking with your Serpentine

"Your Complexity. Here is a miracle of science and the subtler arts. Glass and fire, steel and serpents, power and prisoned dreams."


"Is that a Fingerking in there? Alive? And it makes your ship go? I must say, that's splendidly done. You have fulfilled my request handsomely."

At his gesture, a Drownie child walks forward, bare feet slapping on rock, to present you with a knife of coral. (The chamberlain, meanwhile, kindly arranges to replace your engine with a spare from a ship they had 'recently eaten'.)"

Recommended. As long as you have the Satisfied Magician (by either completing his questline or transferring him from your previous captain as a Legacy), you can simply replace this by building it again in London. It's also not the best engine available; once you have something better, the Serpentine is obsolete. However, you cannot acquire it if your Magician has been promoted to anything other than Satisfied, and the Satisfied result is not guaranteed.
Present the Fathomking with your Memento Mori

"Your Complexity: here is a miracle of engineering, of sacrifice, and of the Red Science. I present the Memento Mori."


"What a completely horrible object," the Fathomking observes. "Honestly, if you had flayed a star and brought me its skin, it couldn't be more appalling than this. But I recognise the achievement. You have fulfilled my request."

At his gesture, a Drownie child walks forward, bare feet slapping, to present you with a knife of coral. (The chamberlain, meanwhile, kindly arranges to replace your device with a weapon from a ship they had 'recently eaten'.)

Not recommended unless you are about to retire. The Memento Mori is the best weapon in the game, can also be sold in other ports for much greater rewards, and is irreplaceable for your current captain.
Offer the Fathomking the Icarus in Black

"Your Complexity. I present the Icarus in Black: a gun that fires monster-hunters."

There is a long silence after you've spoken. One of the King's more monstrous courtiers hisses softly.

We do not like it.

"Perhaps the Chelonate would find it more to their taste. But we do not like it at all. Perhaps you should change the subject."

Present the Fathomking with your Fulgent Impeller

"Your Complexity. This device employs the principles of the Stone Pigs, the symbiotes of the Bazaar itself."

Most acceptable!

"The Bazaar and I are family, after a fashion. Did you know that? Nevertheless, she is chary with her secrets. You have earned my gratitude."

At his gesture, a Drownie child walks forward, bare feet slapping on rock, to present you with a knife of coral. (The chamberlain, meanwhile, kindly arranges to replace your engine with a spare from a ship they had 'recently eaten'.)

Not recommended unless you are about to retire. The Impeller is the best engine in the game. It's also irreplaceable for your current captain and requires a large investment of time and resources to acquire in the first place.
Introduce the Fathomking to your Nacreous Survivor

The Survivor is free of its past, but what of its future? The King could open doors to it, here below.

Be welcome.

The Survivor leaves your side without a word. So much for sentiment. It nods respectfully to the King, who extends a limb to touch its bulging forehead.

"You will be my cup-bearer," the King announces. "You will learn the shapeling arts from my Bride. I will reward the one who brought you here, with gifts of pearl and knowledge, and with the Word that compels attention. And one day, perhaps, more..."

Since you can buy the Survivor here after you complete the Principles quest in the regular way, it seems the obvious choice; just rebuy him later after donating him here. Makes little sense and seems somewhat of a cheat, but it's the way things work in the Zee...
Introduce the Fathomking to your Chef-Paramount

The Chef has learnt everything there is to know of cuisine above the waves. Perhaps he's ready to learn of the culinary treasures below. You'd miss him, but you owe him the chance.


The Chef's moustaches quiver with excitement. He kisses his hand to you and bounds creakily to the Fathomking's side. "I am at your Complexity's service! I have so many questions! The savours of the Peligin Wash: are they distinct? Can Mutersalt survive that fundamental pressure? Is the Feast truly Fluke-flesh?"

The King attempts several times to interrupt the Chef's excited babbling. When he fails, he gestures to his chamberlain. You are rewarded with a Word which compels attention, and an assurance that your service has been recognised.

The Bandaged Poissonnier is available in Venderbight, and can be given to the Fathomking after his questline is completed and he gets upgraded. Note that you'll lose him permanently; since his "Learning about" is left where it was, you wouldn't be able to upgrade the Poissonnier again.
Bear witness to the Curator's End

The First Curator was eldest among its kind. This will certainly satisfy the Fathomking.

An ending

" - and then ceased to move. I had never seen a moth so big - and its wings! Figured with patterns in all the colours I had brought the Curator - "

The Fathomking listens. His face is expressionless, but his under-regions pulse with hammerish fury. "Very good," he says at last (a little breathlessly?). "You have fulfilled my request. Come closer. I will tell you something of the movement of moths: their mysteries and evasions..."

Witnessed: the Curator's End is probably more drawn out than this quest for bones. Still, you'll get this eventually; principles quest ain't the simplest, either.
Bear witness to the Principles' End

How old was the Principles? The Eldest? Perhaps old enough to satisfy the Fathomking.

An ending

"'Hurry', it told me. 'My thoughts grow burdensome.'" And then, at the chess game's end, the dissolution.

The Fathomking listens. A single tear rolls down his cheek, though his face remains expressionless. His chamberlain steps forward, to remove the tear with a darting tongue.

"My Bride's family," he tells you. "They have long grown eccentric, and the Principles was the most eccentric of all. Yes, that is sufficient. Come closer, and I will tell you something of other dissolutions..."

Since this solution to Principles quest is the most rewarding one (you can get the Outcase here from Fathomking for a fraction of what you'd lose if you'd lost the match), it seems the obvious choice. Note that the other choice is also sensible, as you'd get it anyway if you'd complete the Curator's quest; the rewards for using any of them here are exactly the same.
Give the Fathomking a Hesperidean Apple

Do fruits get any more eternal than this?

A satisfactory gift

The Fathomking's chamberlain takes the Apple from you, and carries it to him on a salver of verdigrised bronze. The Fathomking accepts the gift, and abruptly drops it into the throne-pool. It is sucked into the churn of the King's under-regions.

"Very good," the King says, languidly. "I will have you sent certain leaves from my library..."

Relatively easy one, but costly - Searing Enigma, which is required to acquire the Apple, is worth about 1500 E.
Give the Fathomking an Uttershroom Sporule

Perhaps it's not what he expected. If it's not, that would be fun, actually.

An emission from a far place

The Fathomking's chamberlain takes the Sporule from you, and carries it to him on a salver of verdigrised bronze. The Fathomking accepts the gift, and abruptly drops it into the throne-pool. It disappears into the churn of the King's under-regions. The King sits upright, blinking.

"My," he says. "The saucy old creature. Perhaps I should not share this story with my Bride. A very satisfactory service, Captain! I will have you sent certain leaves from my library. And you have fulfilled my request..."

Every time Propagation: Blemmigans Abroad hits 7, you can claim a prize at The Uttershroom. This is one of those prizes. Arguably less expensive than the Apple (Uttershroom prizes are worth about half of it).
Present the Fathomking with a Box of Sunlight

It's what he asked for.

With utmost care

The Fathomking's chamberlain pulls on a pair of squid-leather gloves and takes the Box from you. He does not approach the Fathomking: he takes it directly to a slit at the side of the room.

"Satisfactory," the Fathomking says swiftly. "As to your payment. There are optical techniques lost to the upper sea: but now you will learn them..."

The most obvious and the best choice here. Pick up an Empty Mirrorcatch Box from Khan's Shadow. Fill it with sunlight at Aestival or Avernus.
Present the Fathomking with a Mountain-sherd

There is something celestial about that light. Will it suffice?


The Fathomking requests a pair of squid-leather gloves from his chamberlain before he accepts the gem. He turns it over and over in his gloved hands. The light stitches shadows across the hollows of his face.

"The God called Stone," he says. "My sister by marriage. Of all of us, she is the best. Thank you. This isn't what I would have chosen, but it's a pleasant surprise, and the request is fulfilled. I will share certain secrets of optics with you. And - chamberlain! Give this generous captain enough pearls to fill their cupped hands."

A costly choice. Buy it or earn it at Port Carnelian.
Give the Fathomking an Element of Dawn

How will he react? Is it the sky-light he's seeking?


The King reaches for it, seems to catch himself, draws back. All around the room, the thorned guards rustle.

"Interesting," he says thickly. "Yes. Yes, that will suffice. Chamberlain. Put it in the Deep. Give our brave Captain here the notes on the alternate optics..."

Also a costly choice. Grand Geode deals in Elements of Dawn - you can swap one for a Memento Mori, or buy one for an outrageous price.
The Fathomking's Key

Finally, the Fathomking beckons you closer. "You have done everything I asked. So few people do, you know. You are an exception, and so I shall make an exception for you." You bend to place your ear by his mouth.

The reek of the drowned

The Fathomking stinks of salt and rotting flesh, but also of something electric, ozone, alien. His breath is cold. He whispers in your ear, and he presses something into the palm of your hand.

"Go now. Good luck." He smiles thinly. "Perhaps one day your child will stand before me and ask the same questions."

When you've done all the stuff above, you can get this. It sets the ultimate objective based on your past. Should be obvious (if a little cryptic) from your inventory, but check Your Father's Bones (Ambition) if you're stuck.
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