Polythreme (Guide)

From Fallen London Wiki

(The old guide to Polythreme by User:PotatoEngineer is still available in revision history.)

Preparations[edit]

Before leaving consider that while in Polythreme:

  • you cannot access the Bazaar
  • you cannot use item from your inventory except changing gear
  • you cannot send, get or answer social actions
  • you cannot reduce menaces (if one rises to 8 you will feel the consequences the second you get back to London)
  • you cannot gain second chances

Here is a spoiler free list of items that you might want to acquire before heading out to avoid leaving Polythreme not having done what you came for. Continue reading the guide to find out what they are for if you will.

Zailing to Polythreme[edit]

There are two ways to reach the Polythreme.png Polythreme Streets:

  1. The first is to buy a ticket on the tramp steamer at Wolfstack.png Wolfstack Docks using 150 Map.png Map Scraps. Then build your Waves3.png Approaching Journey's End quality to 9, using the various cards and storylets aboard the Tramp Steamer. Once it is at 9, the There at last! storylet will open up. Selecting Polythreme there will place you in the Polythreme.png Polythreme Streets.
  2. The second method requires a ship of your own (check the PoSI Item Crafting guide to see how to get one) and an assembled Screamingmap.png Screaming Map. See the Zailing (Guide) for an introduction to how you zail and plan a trip to Polythreme in the Sea of Voices.

When it's time to leave the island the following options are present:

Story Lines[edit]

There are a handful of storylines to follow:

Basic Mechanics[edit]

Polythreme revolves around Roseyellow.png Fascinating... (F) and Follow.png Investigating... (I) as there are only two things to do that do not concern with these progress qualities:


One Might Profit Even in Such a Place[edit]

Pick up Scrap3.png Surface-Silk Scraps and Heart.png Romantic Notions here to grind or spend extra actions. These are also useful for Paying Your Way to gain Fascinating or Investigating, below.

Option Challenge Success Failure
Make off with a box of silks Bear.png Dangerous 80 Scrap3.png +8 x Surface-Silk Scrap Sidebarsuspicion.png 1 CP Suspicion
Observe the camaraderie of objects Owl.png Watchful 80 Heart.png +8 x Romantic Notion Sidebarnightmares.png 1 CP Nightmares
Soft to the touch Fox.png Persuasive 120 Scrap3.png +12 x Surface-Silk Scrap Sidebarscandal.png 1 CP Scandal
Lurk in the eaves Sidebarshadowy.png Shadowy 120 Heart.png +12 Romantic Notion -

Legion5.png Unnatural Exuberance Carousel[edit]

To access or advance any of the Polythreme.png Polythreme Story Lines you need to complete a 12 action carousel consisting of Beginning your Polythremic Promenade (giving you 11 Legion5.png Unnatural Exuberance (UE), 10 actions reducing these to 1 while changing your Roseyellow.png F/Follow.png I and a last action to collect rewards or advance a story.

Raising Roseyellow.png Fascinating... and Follow.png Investigating...[edit]

The various ways to increase Roseyellow.png F/Follow.png I are:

Paying Your Way[edit]

It's extremely difficult to get Follow.png Investigating... up to 12 by using cards only, so it's best to use Paying Your Way a few times at the beginning before resorting to cards (as the cost of Paying Your Way increases as Legion5.png Unnatural Exuberance decreases.)

If this results in also receiving extra of the quality that you don't want, see above for swapping it for the one that you do.

Legion5.png UE range Cost raise Roseyellow.png Fascinating... raise Follow.png Investigating...
11-8 (4) Scrap3.png 25 x Surface-Silk Scrap (2.50 Echoes) Give surface-silk to Clay Men Offer silks to a clothes-colony
7-5 (3) Heart.png 50 x Romantic Notion (5.00) Spread tales of love and glamour Speak of romance to an empty garden
4-2 (3) Mountainglow.png 25 x Mystery of the Elder Continent (12.50) Speak of the Elder Continent at Arcimboldo's
4-2 (3) Library.png 5 x Volume of Collated Research (12.50) Present your findings to an academic gone native

Opportunity Cards Overview

Card Option Req Challenge Success Failure
At the Market Attract attention at the market Cardfan.png Luck 70% Roseyellow.png +10 CP
Follow.png -5 CP
Roseyellow.png +5 CP
Follow.png -5 CP
Wander around the market Roseyellow.png 4 Roseyellow.png -10 CP
Scrap3.png 20 
The Temple Have a look around the temple Cardfan.png Luck 70% Follow.png +10 CP
Roseyellow.png -5 CP
Follow.png +5 CP
Roseyellow.png  -5 CP
Poke around the grounds Follow.png 4 Follow.png -10 CP
Scrap3.png 20 
The Priest at the Temple Speak of his spiritual work Cardfan.png Luck 50% Roseyellow.png +15 CP Roseyellow.png +2 CP
Follow.png -10 CP
Speak to the Clay priest of matters romantic Roseyellow.png 8 Roseyellow.png Reset
Heart.png 60 
The Ruin The walls are rattling Cardfan.png Luck 50% Follow.png +15 CP Follow.png +2 CP
Roseyellow.png -10 CP
What's that fluttering? Follow.png 8 Follow.png Reset
Heart.png 60 
Fractious Furniture - Examine the carvings Polythreme.png Spying on Polythreme 1 Sidebarshadowy.png Shadowy 120 Follow.png +10 CP
Roseyellow.png -5 CP
-
The Zailors at Polythreme's Harbour - Speak with the zailors Polythreme2.png Writing of your Polythreme Travels 1 Fox.png Persuasive 120 Roseyellow.png +10 CP
Follow.png -5 CP
-
The Masked Man - Bid him a good morning Cardfan.png Luck 70% Follow.png +5 CP
Roseyellow.png +5 CP
-
The Wax Wind Comes - Crouching in a low stone building Cardfan.png Luck 50% Roseyellow.png +5 CP Follow.png +5 CP

Spending Fascinating and Investigating[edit]

Once you reach your last Legion5.png UE you cash in whatever Roseyellow.png F/Follow.png I you gathered:

Spending your Time

Name Requirement Reward Value EPA
A Distressing Lack of Progress -

Honeymazed.png 65 x Maniac's Prayer

6.50 0.52
The Voice in the Fog

Roseyellow.png Fascinating... 12

Gossip.png 65 x Intriguing Snippet

13.00 1.00
There's someone in there

Roseyellow.png F 13, Diamond.png PoSI

Document.png 2 x Bazaar Permit

25.00 1.92
What's going on in the bay?

Follow.png Investigating... 12

Implication.png 5 x Extraordinary Implication

12.50 0.96
Speak to a matched pair

Follow.png I 13, Diamond.png PoSI

Lips.png 10 x Stolen Kiss

25.00 1.92
What's going on here?

Roseyellow.png F 7, Follow.png I 7

Honeymazed.png 130 x Maniac's Prayer

13.00 1.00
A walk in the villa gardens

Roseyellow.png F 8, Follow.png I 8, Diamond.png PoSI

Adoration.png 10 x Touching Love Story

25.00 1.92

The required number of CP for the relevant levels are (91 CP for lvl13), (78 for 12), (36 for 8) and (28 for 7). It therefore seems easier to get Roseyellow.png F8/Follow.png I8 than Roseyellow.png F12 or Follow.png I12 (36+36=72 vs 78) but since most cards raise one quality while reducing the other it is not.

The highest rewards, easily obtainable if you draw the right opportunity cards, will result in 2.08 Echoes per action. However, this number decreases dramatically if you have to discard cards because each opportunity cards you do not play means an unused action that you have to sink into One Might Profit Even in Such a Place for 1.20 E/A. your overall performance in Polythreme.png Polythreme therefore depends significantly on your Lodgings since having more cards slots means you can keep more unwanted cards in your hand and hopefully draw a useful one from a smaller deck.

See this chart for a decision tree for what cards to play to get 13 investigating. For fascinating, switch the ruins for the priest at the temple and the temple for at the market, as well as the Zailors instead of Fractious Furniture.

Advancing Stories[edit]

All of the listed storylets become available with exactly 1 Legion5.png UE. Playing any option will remove that last one and finish the cycle.

Note that all of the story lines require Roseyellow.png F12 or Follow.png I12 but not all offer a PoSI option needing Roseyellow.png F13 or Follow.png I13. Therefore; it is smart to spend a lvl12 round on a story that only has a lvl12 option even if it is not the one you wanted to advance right now (or just get a lvl13 reward from Spending your Time). But you would rob yourself of the chance to advance that story with a lvl13 round for double the item reward just as it would be a huge waste of a lvl13 round to advance a lvl12-only story since you throw away half of your item reward. Regardless of how you cash in your Roseyellow.png F/Follow.png I, you will lose all of it with your last Legion5.png UE. There is no way to Begin your Polythremic Promenade with any amount of Roseyellow.png F/Follow.png I.

If, maybe because of bad luck, you will reach neither Roseyellow.png F7/Follow.png I7, Roseyellow.png F12, nor Follow.png I12 you can spend small amounts of Roseyellow.png F/Follow.png I via some of the opportunity cards to increase the round's revenue. Picking up Scrap3.png 20 x Surface-Silk Scraps requires 10 CP of Roseyellow.png F or Follow.png I, while getting Heart.png 60 x Romantic Notions requires at least Roseyellow.png F8 or Follow.png I8 and costs all of it. Remember that you will be able to gain Honeymazed.png 65 x Maniac's Prayers at Spending your Time no matter how low your Roseyellow.png F/Follow.png I is.

Story Storylet Progress Option Requirement Reward

The Jack-of-Smiles Case

Jack.png

Jack's House 10 → 11 Found it Follow.png 12 -
The Ironmonger's Workshop 11 → 12 Find out its history Follow.png 12 -
The rest of this story here does not require Roseyellow.png F/Follow.png I

Ambition: Heart's Desire!

Heartsdesire.png

Heart's Desire - Seeking the Manager's Beloved 13 → 14 Clay wisdom Follow.png 12 -
Heart's Desire - Gaining an Audience 14 → 15 A gift for a king Roseyellow.png 12

Bottlehorse.png -1 x Bottle of Fourth City Airag

Heart's Desire - Meeting the King 15 → 16 Upwards Roseyellow.png 12 -
Heart's Desire - Walking in the Garden 16 → 17 Looking in the garden Roseyellow.png 12 Ruins.png +100 CP Walking the Falling Cities
Heart's Desire - The End of Memory 17 → 18 Meeting the King Roseyellow.png 12 Coin.png 1 x First City Coin

An Unfinished Story

Clayman6.png

A Clay Snub 0 → 1 A Clay Pariah Follow.png 12 Mask.png 5 x An Identity Uncovered!
Investigating the Unfinished 1 → 2 Go looking Follow.png 12 Implication.png 5 x Extraordinary Implication
An Unusual Approach to Reproduction 2 → 3 How literal were his words? Follow.png 12 Implication.png 5 x Extraordinary Implication
The Unfinished Birth 3 → 4 But where? Follow.png 12

Adoration.png 5 x Touching Love Story,
Mirror4.png +100 CP Touched by Fingerwork

Eyes Everywhere 4 → 5 From across white walls Follow.png 12 Implication.png 5 x Extraordinary Implication
The Unfinished Fugitive 5 → 6 Agree to his bargain Follow.png 12 Fanghat.png Fanghat2.png upgrade Exceptional Hat
5 → 7 Refuse him Follow.png 12

Scrap2.png 40 x Whisper-Satin Scrap,
Mastertc.png +1 CP The Masters,
Quirkruthless.png +3 CP Ruthless,
Clayman.png Mired in Clay 1 - Hated

The Clothes-Colony A helping hem Roseyellow.png 12 Coatgrey.png Legion1.png upgrade Battered Grey Overcoat

Spying on Polythreme

Polythreme.png

A Little Spy Work 0 → 1 Find out who's here Follow.png 12 Wake.png 26 x Memory of Distant Shores,

(unlocks Fractious Furniture)

Get more details about the players Follow.png 13, Diamond.png PoSI Wake.png 51 x Memory of Distant Shores,

(unlocks Fractious Furniture)

Looking a Little Deeper 1 → 2 Ask around Follow.png 12 Wake.png 26 x Memory of Distant Shores
Look to buildings Follow.png 13, Diamond.png PoSI Wake.png 51 x Memory of Distant Shores
Making your Report 2 → 0 For your own records Follow.png 12 Wake.png 26 x Memory of Distant Shores
Report to the Masters of the Bazaar Follow.png 13, Diamond.png PoSI Wake.png 51 x Memory of Distant Shores
Report to Revolutionaries Follow.png 13, Diamond.png PoSI Wake.png 51 x Memory of Distant Shores,

Flames.png 1 x Revolutionaries

Report to the Brass Embassy Follow.png 13, Diamond.png PoSI Wake.png 51 x Memory of Distant Shores,

Devil.png 1 x Hell

Writing of your Polythreme Travels

Polythreme2.png

A Guided Tour of Polythreme 0 → 1 Speak to a few natives Roseyellow.png 12 Wake.png 26 x Memory of Distant Shores,

(unlocks The Zailors...)

Speak to everyone you meet Roseyellow.png 13, Diamond.png PoSI Wake.png 51 x Memory of Distant Shores,

(unlocks The Zailors...)

The Deeper Questions 1 → 2 Speak to those who'll offer opinions Roseyellow.png 12 Wake.png 26 x Memory of Distant Shores
Speak to those who know Roseyellow.png 13, Diamond.png PoSI Wake.png 51 x Memory of Distant Shores
Finishing your Travelogue 2 → 0 An island of importunate horrors Roseyellow.png 12 Wake.png 26 x Memory of Distant Shores,

Clayman.png Mired in Clay 2 - Feared

A strange place, but no better or worse than any other Roseyellow.png 12 Wake.png 26 x Memory of Distant Shores,

Clayman.png Mired in Clay 3 - An Enigma

A wonderland Roseyellow.png 12 Wake.png 26 x Memory of Distant Shores,

Clayman.png Mired in Clay 4 - Respected