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The Merciless Modiste
The Merciless Modiste
Position First Officer

SS ironsmall.png +8 x Iron
SS veilssmall.png +3 x Veils
SS heartssmall.png +1 x Hearts

Promotions N/A
Data ID 118128

The Merciless Modiste is a potential First Officer crew member.

Character description[]

"She has no difficulty with blood. But she very much dislikes bloodstains."


The The Merciless Modiste can be recruited in SS Locations Mount Palmerston.png Mount Palmerston at a cost of 5 x SS parabolalinensmall.png Bale of Parabola-Linen.


The The Merciless Modiste cannot be promoted.


Speak to the Merciless Modiste[]

Interaction Requirements Effects Notes
Challenge the Modiste to her favourite game

Knife and Candle! In London, a spirited little challenge of murder, sedition and subterfuge. At zee, the stakes are higher. The ferryman's grip is tighter here.

Failed event
A game of cat and mouse

You smell her perfume just an instant too late. A gloved hand closes over your mouth, stifling your scream as a blade scrapes your bone. Something catches you as you fall to the deck; a softness behind the pain. Your head rests in folds of silk. A cool, tender caress.

"Ssssh," whispers the Modiste, cradling your head in her lap; tipping it back. Her knife slices playfully across your throat, just enough to leave its mark. "Sleep, my Captain, sleep. We shall play again soon enough, you and I..."

Successful event
A knife in the dark

An attempt on the lock to your cabin in the early hours. (The lock defeats her.) A curious cry in the cargo hold. (You are not foolish enough to investigate.) You bide your time. Wait. Wait under her bed, until all of her attention is taken by a fine piece of stitching. Until her knife is out of reach...

You strike! The Modiste falls limp.

Invite the Modiste to dinner

Her dresses were the talk of London society, before the scandal. Her tastes are no less refined for her exile.

Nostalgia for darker days

"Why, Captain, I hope I have not been forgotten. I had a most delightful little boutique, not too far from the Bazaar. Many Surface commissions, naturally. Once one has sampled the cloths from behind mirrors, it is quite obscene to return to the mundanity of cotton and silk. Velvet, of course, is another matter entirely. Such a fabric!"

The Modiste cuts a slice of fruit tart, licks the side of her knife. "Oh, to show you my finest creations. I would dress you in razors and arsenic and the dream-dyes of Parabola. Tsk, forbidden! When my friends and I first set zail as the Set, we knew no such creative cowardice. Blood and ink, my Captain, blood and ink! Great art has always demanded great suffering. We simply recognised that its obligation does not necessarily have to weigh upon the artist."

Enquire about her time with the Set

It is a scandal she speaks of with deep fondness.

Underwater renegades

"Of course you have heard of us, my captain! We are art's last bastion against the cowardly and the mundane. We zail Irrepressible beneath the waves, free of censors and censure, the muses our compass and guide! Well, when time and tides permit, of course. It has been too long since our last little salon, and the... unpleasantness."

The Modiste adjusts the bodice she is sewing, pins it in place. "Ah, but the wonders we once crafted in the waxlight. The Perfidious Composer, every betrayal a new operetta. The Ender of Critics, knives blunt as their wits. The Silent Sculptress, so unjustly exiled when the truth emerged about her torments of clay and bone. Such fine teas she served. Then, yes, there was the Pianolist and our dear, dear Poet too, but-"

Her finger slips, a drop of blood flowering on white lace. "Blast it," she mutters. "Not even this year's red."

Check in on the Merciless Modiste

She has wasted little time converting her cabin into a surprisingly well-equipped workshop.

The cutting edge of fashion

A sweating crewman stands exhausted, her arms out and wrapped in flowing parabola linen. The Modiste fusses over a stretch of exquisite lace, fixing it in in place with a hooked pin thrust through a pinch of convenient flesh.

"Oh, do stop mewling. If you want something worth sobbing about, you need only ask." She glances over her shoulder, smiling warmly. "Ah, Captain! Do you perhaps know if the current style in London is still to the floor, or if one might finally show a knee in polite company? No, no matter! First we will shock, then we shall inspire!"

Commission a set of fine clothes

"This year's fashion? I think we can do better than that."

Appropriate for any occasion

The Modiste's hands grip the creature's gelatinous mass, squeezing out every drop of ink into a waiting bowl. It is not merely black, the classic black of style and class, but the deep peligin that is blackness beyond the reach of light. This will be an outfit the envy of any in London society, once the fish smell has faded.

"Should it be cufflinks, or earrings?" the Modiste enquires, toying with the scintillack in the light. "Oh, I know. Choosing is such sweet torture, is it not?"

Game note: This will provide a boost to Hearts.
Commission a new dress uniform

"Captain, they will be calling you Admiral."

The Modiste goes to work

You only just avoid saluting your own reflection in the mirror. Such rich linen, expertly cut to every contour. The understated plumage. The fur collar, so... Ah.

"I know what you're thinking. A damned shame it couldn't have been ermine." The Modiste nods, admiring her work. "Come, Captain. Your public awaits!"

Game note: This will provide a boost to Pages.
Commission some protective armour

"Ah, a challenge! I shall rise to it at once!"

Style over substance

The Modiste closets herself away with the quartermaster and a few unlucky volunteers, experimenting until the ship's doctor threatens to leave in a lifeboat.

What she presents may not be the most protective armour around, but it makes up for it in comfort and decoration. A handful of lingering bloodstains do not hurt its intimidation factor.

Game note: This will provide a boost to Iron.
Check in on the Modiste

She has been in a foul mood since she finished her last commission.

Creative indifferences

Dresses hang in ribbons on makeshift dummies. Rags lie at the Modiste's feet. "No, this will not do!" she hisses, slicing her latest creation. "Mundane! Uninspired! Unfit even for dusters!"

She pauses, sensing your presence. In an instant, her smile is back on. She tucks a loose strand of hair back into position. "Ah, Captain. A pleasure as always. I fear you find me in something of a creative... temper."

"Would you perhaps indulge my little hobby? I have long fancied a little Polythreme élan in my designs. Immortal fashion, ha!"

Check on the Modiste

Her audience with the King with a Hundred Hearts did not go so well.

Tension relief

The Modiste is face down on her bunk, but that doesn't prevent her from berating the unlucky crewman pressed into massaging the knots from her back. "The King is a vulgarian of the worst flavour!"she announces. "I bring him the once in a lifetime chance for cultural immortality, and all he can think of is payment. What is-Stop! Enough of this incompetent fingerplay! Get out of my sight before I write down your name."

She sits up, scowling. "He wants the Pirate-Poet. Of course he does. Not Unfinished, but not obeying her clay? Such an anomaly, the poor little pebble. Hmm. This may be difficult. She was a dear friend once. She knows better than to let me use that against her."

Hunting the Pirate-Poet

The Modiste has a plan.

Sending a challenge

"Yes, she was part of our Set, for a while. Such a naive little thing. Most squeamish in matters of the Art." The Modiste paces around, lost in thought. "She will be difficult to track down. Unless..."

She turns back, triumphant. "Captain, to London! There is an ushabti in the Museum of Mistakes that will greatly ease our search. I shall explain everything on arrival."

Game note: The rest of this story requires the Pirate-Poet DLC. With it, the ushabti will let you summon the Pirate-Poet's Alcaeus-class vessel to you. You may also find her while zailing on the wide Unterzee.
The Modiste and the Poet

The Pirate-Poet has received and performed for many visitors in the brig. Not all are welcomed equally.

An artistic reunion

" I was thinking, we really should do this homecoming properly," continues the Modiste, cutting herself a slice of cake sent by one of the Poet's on-board admirers. "We could get rid of that silly hood, perhaps... yes, something in taffeta would be wonderful for turning those crags into curves, don't you think?"

The Pirate-Poet growls. She reaches through the cell-bars for the Modiste's neck. Safely out of reach, the Modiste just sighs, picks up her fork. "Well, tut. If you're going to be like that, sweetie, then you simply don't deserve any of this delightful sponge cake."

Answer questions about your past

You've kept your secrets long enough.

Game note: Unmask yourself! This will allow you to select a Past, Ambition, and form of preferred address - also providing you with a specialist ability bonus.

SS mercilessmodistegaz.png Overheard In The Brig[]

This interaction appears at zee when you have:

SS pianolistgaz.png A Zubmarine surfaces![]

This interaction is triggered at zee when you have:

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