We'd been at zee for a long time, running dark to conserve fuel and avoid the attention of the pirates and great beasts. Despite my best efforts -- spinning tales of comfort for my zailors, brazenly defying Nightmares, even initiating an affair with my engineer -- I'd managed to let my Terror get all the way to 100%. The achievement pops up; "Lose Your Mind". This doesn't bode well, but I'm a mere ship's length away from home port, and docking will reduce terror to 50%; a much more manageable level. Surely I can hold out just a little--
I'm instantly presented with a choice between murdering my entire crew (with 12% chance of success), or attempting to win them over (9%). Failing either one, I was told, would end my game. I did the only thing I could do, and somehow managed to kill everyone aboard, save two. We made harbor and, with a fresh batch of new faces, set out to zee once more.
An adventurer whom we've been running jobs for finally announces that he has all of the supplies he needs to make his final journey and I, having proven my capability, am his first choice of transport. There's just one problem...my trusty ship lacks the capacity to hold his cargo with room for food and fuel. We're going to need a bigger boat.
I buy a bigger boat and hire on twice again as many zailors as I already have. We load up and set sail, but not before I accept just one more smuggling job from my "friend" with the bad eye and the concealed knife. Corsair's Forest? I've been there a dozen times; consider it done.
It's not until we're two days out that I realize my new ship has half the speed of my old one, and my triple-size crew are a hungry bunch. We're running low on supplies before we've even reached our initial destination, but we make the drop and start to head home.
Then the realization strikes. If we dock in London now, before finishing that smuggling job, I'll have to cough up the fee plus a hefty chunk of interest, not to mention lose a valuable connection...but the nearest trading port is in the opposite direction.
It took every scrap of food we had, but we managed to reach Mount Palmerston without resorting to cannibalism...again. We traded with the devils for supplies and loaded up on coke freshly dug from Hell. On our way home we made port at Pigmote isle, where a civilization of guinea pigs threw a banquet in our honor -- their returning saviors, though this time we were the ones in need of saving.
After a harrowing encounter with a manic Jillyfleur brought hull integrity to 1%, and a misbehaving Clay Man took five lives before we subdued him, we were desperate for rest and repair. An ill-fortuned shore leave on Gaidur's Mourn pushed Terror to worrying levels, but we had our package. As we pulled out of the port, a straggling pirate ship fired one last shot across our bow -- but the shell missed by an arm's length and we were homeward bound. Two days later, limping into port with a skeleton crew, I breathed a sigh of relief that I'd narrowly escaped losing my mind for the second time in the space of a week. My sweetheart and child welcome me home. I say nothing of the suicides -- surely they were suicides? -- that only I had been privy to. I pass on an uncanny artifact to my son; someday he, too, will be a zee captain, with enough cares of his own. No need to trouble him with details.
My friend has another job for me, and the Admiralty has need of news from the outlying colonies. I take a loss on a purchase of a smaller ship, name her after the one I'd traded to begin with. Eighth of my house and 211 days at zee, I sail on.