The Sea of Shadows

"SUN STOLEN, WHO IS TO BLAME?"
Newspaper reactions from the first few weeks

“The Buggers did it!

below the caption there is a caricatured picture of Otto von Bismarck using something that resembles a large pump doing something to the sun. The character has the flag of the German Empire on his shirt sleeve

In a foul plot to ruin everyone, the buggers on the continet have done a dastardly deed and hid the sun itself from Great Britain, according to an anonymous source in the parliament. “Who else could it have been?”, the source told our reporter after a few friendly drinks. “It must have been them. It would make sense, you know. A show of force. Just… some new thing we don’t understand yet. Something explainable.” When asked about the additional moons, the source merely sobbed in reply. We, too, sobbed in fury, fury at the despicaple Germans!

THE WRATH OF GOD IS AMONG US”

This, our beloved readers, is a sure sign of God’s anger at us. We have been too lenient, too blasphemous, too unrespectful, and now we are being punished by the Lord for our sins. We must root out the foul elements in our society IMMEDIATELY, that is the only way to save ourselves from His Wrath! Do not be afraid, but be grateful, for God has given us a chance to save ourselves!

continues in a long, rambling editorial

“Ireland is gone?”

According to reports coming in from the northwest, Ireland seems to have disappeared. The captain of HMS Inevitable reportedly was coming back from Ireland during the night that the sun disappeared, and noticed during that accursed dawn that instead of one, large island, there were plenty of smaller islands in its place. He turned back to investigate, and if his claims are true, those islands are definitely not the remains of Ireland. He also brought back strange, glowing crystals which seem to never dim.

“Strange fish interrupts a fisherman, yelling match ensues”

Mister Harry Hogson, 47, has an extraordinary tale to tell. On the fourth day – or night? It is difficult to tell – of this nightmare of ours, he decided to go fishing, the strange moons were bright, so he could even see pretty well. Well enough to fish in any case. He was not having much luck at first, the fish seemingly refusing to bite, until he noticed something large swimming in the water. It was too dark to really see what it was, but mister Hogson thought it might be some large predatory fish at first, and deciding that this was what was scaring off any fish from the spot, picked up a rock and threw it at the shape in the water, telling it to “bugger off”.
The next part of the story seems incredible: mister Hogson claims that he hit this ‘fish’, but instead of retreating, it swam towards him (albeit in a somewhat wobbly manner, probably because of being hit in the head with a rock). And then it surfaced – even in the pale glow of the moons, Hogson saw that its upper torso vaguely resembled a human “except, ya know, a bit fishy. Finlike earthingies, gills, ya know.” The creature’s lower torso apparantely resembled some large fish.

A black and white picture of some sort of large, pale crustacean is inserted here

The creature promptly yelled something at mister Hogson in something that sounded strange, but was some unknown language. Mister Hogson thought it must have been “Spanish, pretty sure I heard some swarthy bugger in my sailing days talk like that, ya know”. Mister Hogson said he was utterly baffled, but not baffled enough to stop cursing at the thing – it was definitely scaring the fish away, so it could bugger off in mister Hogson’s opinion.

Mister Hogson also claims that eventually he and this fishperson reached an understanding somehow, and Hogson exchanged a loaf of bread for a rather startlingly bizarre sea creature weighing several pounds, pictured above. “Bugger was nice for, ya know, a fish. Got some weird purple fish after it swam off.”

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The Sea is Calling
From beyond the darkest horizon

Somewhere in London, a butler leaves the noble’s home and sneaks off to a departing ship. When found, she is given a job

A scottish mother of three from Glasgow has made the journey to London by foot, just to get on a ship set for England’s ill-conceived attempt at colonizing some far off island. She is welcomed, with no questions asked.

A Welsh monk suddenly abandoned his parish and stole a boat, trying desperately to reach a departing steam boat. He is picked up, and allowed on board.

A Devil from the Last Bastion comes to London, for the sole reason of joining up into the Imperial Navy despite how he despises monarchy and monarchists, and even with his horns and red skin, he is accepted amongst the crew. They all know why he has come

A Baroness suddenly leaves in the middle of a ball held in her honor, sells significant amounts of her fortune, buys a boat and hires a crew, and sets sail towards the horizon.

They were all afflicted by the same thing, ‘The Call of the Sea’. Ever since the Isles were Stolen, people have begun to feel a strange wish to explore the seas, to set sail to the unknown. The urge is strong, and while not everyone feels it, and its call can eventually stop, it is common. This is what all those who brave the seas has in common, this need to sail towards the dark lights on the horizon, to do battle with bizarre and terrifying beasts of the sea, to visit strange islands and their inhabitants, all for an unexplained urge to sail. While the Empire denies its existence, each and every sailor knows, and accepts anyone on board who utters one, simple phrase:

“I felt the Call”

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