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The Church of They Who Must Grieve
Worlebury ambience.png
Category Story Event
Type Story
Data ID 287753

The Church of They Who Must Grieve is a Sunless Skies Story Event.

Story description

Their chapel lies on the beach, at the edge of the mist. It is wefted tendons and yellowing bone, the pews muscle cured in salt. It's amazing how spacious this place is, given the exterior. From the outside, it looks like just another corpse washed onto the shore.

Trigger conditions

Area: Limbo
Frequency: Always (100%)


Actions Requirements Effects Notes
Have a word with the Parson
Finally. A gash in the crowd. You go up to speak with the parson.
Agree to a request: recruit for the cult
The Bedraggled Parson sighs. "They are so lonely. All of them. Empty but for the grief in their ribs. If only they'd come here..."
"Find them." He burbles. "Find them. Find the lonely, the broken-hearted, the barely breathing, the ones who'd think this port could ever save them. Find them. Tell them about They Who Must Grieve, about us, about how love can turn in the heart like a key, and open the soul to the universe. Speak to them of change. Tell them, tell them."

The words seep from the Bedraggled Parson, tie themselves into gibberish, nonsense sounds like a spill of cold water on glass. For minutes, he is inchoate. Then:

"You need clothes."

The cultists cram you into second-hand finery, shabby but serviceable. Now you are suitably attired, they bundle you across the Off Season and through a door to Worlebury. The membrane blocking it shivers and twitches, reluctantly allowing you to pass through. Time tingles on your skin for several minutes after your arrival.
Report the results of your recruitment mission
The Bedraggled Parson will likely wish to be notified of your success.
"Thank you," says the Bedraggled Parson, tone milk-mild. He gestures; an inflection of the hand that draws the eye to a swathe of new faces, each tendril-haired, paraffin-pale and without expression. Then, one laughs jerkily, fingers picking at their chewed-down hems and it becomes clear who they are. "They Who Must Grieve is soothed by their presence, as they are by their contact with the numinous." A susurrant echo; the parish is repeating his every word.
Agree to visit the Avid Horizon
"Not enough, not enough," the Bedraggled Parson warbles. "They need more. We need more."
He unrolls sheets of vellum, their surfaces vernix-slick and intaglioed with elegant, if mildly tentacular, handwriting. "My poor, poor children. They are unhappy. They listen but they do not understand. They cannot understand. They are deafened by their own grief, broken, bent to the noise of their own hearts. I cannot reach them." The Bedraggled Parson shakes his head as he offers you the stack of paper. "Take these to the Avid Horizon. Find the Displeased. They might assist my flock. Find these guides, these psychopomps of petty suffering, give them these and ask them to come here."
Report back to the Parson of your work
You did what you were told to do. Time to tell the Parson.
"We have..." the Bedraggled Parson warbles, fingers steepled over his mouth. He weighs the next word like a heart on a scale: " ... a transfer. And there are more coming to our doors. The Cult of the Displeased is generous, generous indeed. After all, we are the same, united in this study of suffering. Thank you. They Who Must Grieve know you now and they wait for when they may offer you their gratitude."

Game note: If you take this choice, you will no longer be able to work with the Bureau of Entertainments – they will not trust you.

Agree to commune with the Scorn Fluke
"They Who Must Grieve sent a dream. In it was your face wreathed in brass and kelp, and your eyes were the colour of stars."
"I do not know why they've asked you for this honour. They Who Must Grieve are gods and we are but the bacterium birthed in the gases of their breath. But I know they dream of you, and I know they would have us dream of you too."

He passes you a bell, verdigris-green and smooth as sea glass. Despite the clarity of its surface, your reflection is absent.

"Enter the mists and call them with this."
Join their ritual
A simple communion. Nothing more than that. They could use more bodies.
It is an implausibly festive situation: fairy lights strung through the pebbles, the smell of home cooking, laughter, and a pot steeped in stew and spices. The cultists are dressed like peasantry, but they seem happy enough.

"Eat this." Someone proffers a ladle dripping with Rubbery Lumps, curling tendrils still twitching. You eat what you're given: the consistency is unappealing, but it tastes strangely like a memory you've almost forgotten.

"We'll meet you on the beach. The other beach – in Worlebury. This one's too late."

Advanced query needs investigation

Game note: This will, eventually, get you an Otherworldly Artefact.

Back to the beach
You escape the chapel, its salt-sharp stink of cured muscle and its murmuring parish.
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