So Long, and Thanks for All the Fish
According to the age-old adage, "when the going gets tough, the tough go fishing." Unfortunately, the adage is of little use when the "tough going" happens to be a fishing ban. Eynzahr Slafyrsyn has closed all docks and ports to the Fishermen's Guild on the authority of Admiral Merlwyb. Some sorry sailor supposedly spotted a serpent at sea, and Slafyrsyn specifically started all our services must cease. Well, we may be a group of sedentary fishers, but we're not about to take this sitting down. First, we'll need to know what we're up against. The Brugaire Consortium maintains ties to the Maelstrom, so Sybell may know something we do not. It is time to go fishing...for information.
You go speak to Sybell.
It's certainly a pleasure to see you again, though I wish it were under happier circumstances. The news came as a shock to us as well. Any Lominsan who's ever boarded a boat has heard the tale. Back when the world was naught but a dry, lifeless rock, Llymlaen created a giant serpent. From its massive maw the creature spat forth water until the land was filled. To prevent the world from being completely submerged, the Navigator trapped the serpent in a floating island with the warning that if it were ever to be freed, the seas would rise until the world ended. This is where the thalassocratic motto "till sea swallows all" comes. You can imagine the Admiral's surprise upon learning a sailor claims to actually have seen the serpent in question. While you and I may recognize it as a fairy tale aimed to scare children asleep, the panic in the streets is real, and so Slafyrsyn hasn't had any choice but to take drastic measures in order to maintain the peace. Regrettably, those drastic measures have dire consequences for both your guild and my consortium. And the Maelstrom is too occupied with ship inaugurations to conduct a proper inquiry, meaning our only hope is to take matters into our own form, yet supple hands. Ahem. It may be impossible to prove the sea serpent does not exist, but perhaps the testimony of the eyewitness could be impugned. I believe you have met the sailor responsible for the sighting--the one known as Chuchuroon.
You go speak to Chuchuroon.
You go speak to Wawalago.
I've seen enough at sea to know when sailors are seeing things, and what Chuchuroon saw was no sea serpent, for sure. Missing your marks will make mountains out of molehills, distances deceive and delude the minds of men at sea. My money saysa your serpent is a Mazlaya marlin--a fairly big fish, but by no means a monster. You can brose them bobbing north beyond the Bloodshore. But shown from the shore, people will just shrug their shoulders. You need to make them meet that marlin up close and personal. I'll admit it's easier expressed than executed, and I've never nabbed one. If you don't loose them on the line, they'll rip your rod right out from your wrist! But first, you need a bite! They won't waste their breath on worms from other waters--Mazlaya marlins demand "mooching," familiar to you as "fishwheeling." You'll need to fish up the food chain. Get a goby ball, and hazard to haul in a harbor herring. Once you've hitched your harbor herring, offer it up to an ogre barracuda, then bait that beast to make the mazlaya marlin bite. Makes me want to sail out myself, but Slafyrsyn would slay any guildmaster who slights him. Besides, I'm sure Sisipu would sooner see you succeed at it.
You turn in a Mazlaya Marlin.
Cutscene! You're on a boat in the middle of the ocean.
So many moons has it been, I can scarcely remember the last time I boarded a merchant ship for anything other than an inspection. Quite comfortable indeed aboard the luxurious fleet of the Brugaire Consortium. No doubt to put crooked mongers and traffickers at ease while making illicit deals at sea?
Perish the thought! We would never dream of calling the grand storm marshal to a vessel where such roguery took place.
A shame--I'd imagine those sort of vessels were the most fun. I suppose we'd then best tend to business.
Of course, sir.
Allow me to introduce to you the Mazlaya marlin.
Great Llmlaen's Ghost! The blary thing is massive! However did you catch it? At any rate, it is your contention that this marlin is the source of the sea serpent scandal?
You can sing yourself to sleep with that silly sea serpent story, but it still won't hold water!
I knew things were proceeding along too smoothly. You always know just the wrong time to act the guildmaster, don't you?
Never you mind--I've known Wawalago long enough not to mind his manners. Unlike his fish, I know when I'm being bated.
Boy, you've been baiting and bullying us with your ban--will you let up and lift it?
A fine question. To life the fishing ban? Or to not lift the fishing ban...? What to do, what to do, what to do...? On one hand, I could lift the ban...But on the other...
Oh, now who's the one baiting?
Why not? Of course, there are formalities we must observe, so I'm afraid the declaration will have to wait until the morrow.
And the ban will be lifted?
Unless you'd prefer it weren't...
By no means, It's just...I feared that simply bringing you a large fish might fail to serve as adequate evidence in overturning a formal military promulgation.
Well, I never really believed all this sea serpent silliness in the first place. It was more about putting Lominsans' minds at east than anything else, and the marlin you've brought me should accomplish just that. A few of our more paranoid conspiracy theorists in the Maelstrom alleged the serpent to be part of an elaborate Sahagin plot, so this should make for a nice laugh at their expense as well. And to think, this all started because one of your guildmates spotted a "large fish." And because fish tales are wont to grow in size, the "large fish" became "serpent-sized," and then ceased to be a fish altogether! It makes you wonder about what other sorts of overblown fantasies we've all been led to believe.
It sounds like you were ready to lift the ban whether we brought you the marlin or not.
If only it were that simple! A fine grand storm marshal I would be if I went lifting bans willy-nilly without any evidence the problem had been solved! This marlin is essential to assuaging the irrational fears of the public.
Well, then I suppose PLAYERNAME's efforts weren't all for naught after all. I only wonder how the fish tale grew out of proportion in the first place.
I don't delight in delving into details, but that deed might have been my doing.
Why am I not surprised?
I think it would be in the best interests of all involved if I don't hear any more of this story. The Maelstrom expresses its gratitude for your efforts in bringing this evidence to light. Your guild will be notified when the fishing ban is formally lifted. I bid you good day.
End of cutscene! You report to Sisipu.
Terrifying to think a little exaggeration can get out of hand, particularly when you consider how often fishermen exaggerate. But it sounds like Slafyrsyn knew something was fishy all along. Nevertheless, you saved our guild from destruction at the hands of an imaginary sea serpent! Funny how N'nmulika delivered you to our doorstep just when we needed you most. And I certainly can't call you "guppy," anymore, now that you've caught a marlin the guildmaster himself never quite reeled in. I'd say we name you the guildmaster, but then Wawalago would have nothing to dodge, and I'm not ready to let that fish of the hook that easily. But I suppose we could at least let him know that he has a rival. And that might be your finest fishing accomplishment of all--luring Wawalago back to work!
|The title of this quest shares the same name as Douglas Adam's book.|