(Click here to see the old guide to Polythreme by PotatoEngineer)


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 aquire 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.

Getting to PolythremeEdit

There are two ways to reach the Polythreme Streets:

  1. The first is to buy a ticket on the tramp steamer at Wolfstack Docks using 150 Map Scraps. Then build your 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 Streets.
  1. The second method requires a ship of your own (check the PoSI Item Crafting guide to see how to get one) and an assembled Screaming Map. Put to Zee! at Wolfstack Docks and enter The Broad Unterzee with its own cards. Raise Approaching Journey's End to 7, then select The Sea of Voices to move on. Again, this Sea has its own cards. Complete another journey and once Across the Sea of Voices, pick Polythreme in order to finally arrive at Polythreme Streets.

Story LinesEdit

There are a handful of storylines to follow:

Basic Mechanics and ActionsEdit

And here is how: Polythreme revolves around Fascinating... (F) and Investigating... (I) as there are only two things to do that do not concern with these progress qualities:

Leaving the IslandEdit

One Might Profit Even in Such a PlaceEdit

Pick up Surface-Silk Scraps and Romantic Notions here to grind or spend extra actions.

Option Challenge Success Failure
Scrap3small Make off with a box of silks Bearsmall Dangerous 80 Scrap3small +8 Surface-Silk Scrap Sidebarsuspicionsmall 1 CP Suspicion
Toolboxsmall Observe the camaraderie of objects Owlsmall Watchful 80 Heartsmall +8 Romantic Notion Sidebarnightmaressmall 1 CP Nightmares
Ruinssmall Soft to the touch Foxsmall Persuasive 120 Scrap3small +12 Surface-Silk Scrap Sidebarscandalsmall 1 CP Scandal
Furtivehandsmall Lurk in the eaves Catsmall Shadowy 120 Heartsmall +12 Romantic Notion -

Unnatural Exuberance CarouselEdit

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

Raising Fascinating and InvestigatingEdit

The various ways to increase F/I are:

UE range Cost raise Fascinating... raise Investigating...
11-8 (4) Scrap3small 25 Surface-Silk Scraps (2.50 Echoes) Give surface-silk to Clay Men Offer silks to a clothes-colony
7-5 (3) Heartsmall 50 Romantic Notions (5.00) Spread tales of love and glamour Speak of romance to an empty garden
4-2 (3) Volcanosmall 25 Mysteries of the Elder Continent (12.50) Speak of the Elder Continent at Arcimboldo's
4-2 (3) Librarysmall 5 Volume of Collated Research (12.50) Present your findings to an academic gone native

Spending Fascinating and InvestigatingEdit

Once you reach your last UE you cash in whatever F/I you gathered:

Name Requirement Reward Value
A Distressing Lack of Progress -

Honeymazedsmall 65 Maniac's Prayers

The Voice in the Fog

Roseyellowsmall Fascinating... 12

Gossipsmall 65 Intriguing Snippet

There's someone in there

Roseyellowsmall F13, Diamondsmall PoSI

Documentsmall 2 Bazaar Permits

What's going on in the bay?

Followsmall Investigating... 12

Implicationsmall 5 Extraordinary Implications

Speak to a matched pair

Followsmall I13, Diamondsmall PoSI

Lipssmall 10 Stolen Kisses

What's going on here?

Roseyellowsmall F7, Followsmall I7

Honeymazedsmall 130 Maniac's Prayers

A walk in the villa gardens

Roseyellowsmall F8, Followsmall I8, Diamondsmall PoSI

Adorationsmall 10 Touching Love Stories


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 F8/I8 than F12 or 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 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.

[Insert heaps of math concerning what cards to play and what luck challenges can be failed while still reaching F/I13 here. There's some discussion on this here.]

  • Advancing Stories

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

Story Storylet Progress Option Requirement Reward
The Jack-of-Smiles Case
Jack's House 10 -> 11 Found it Followsmall 12 -
The Ironmonger's Workshop 11 -> 12 Find out its history Followsmall 12 -
The rest of this story here does not require F/I

Ambition: Heart's Desire


Heart's Desire - Seeking the Manager's Beloved 13 -> 14 Clay wisdom Followsmall 12 -
Heart's Desire - Gaining an Audience 14 -> 15 A gift for a king Roseyellowsmall 12

Bottlehorsesmall -1 Bottle of Fourth City Airag: Year of the Tortoise

Heart's Desire - Meeting the King 15 -> 16 Upwards Roseyellowsmall 12 -
Heart's Desire - Walking in the Garden 16 -> 17 Looking in the garden Roseyellowsmall 12 Ruinssmall +100 CP Walking the Falling Cities
Heart's Desire - The End of Memory 17 -> 18 Meeting the King Roseyellowsmall 12 Coinsmall 1 First City Coin

An Unfinished Story


A Clay Snub 0 -> 1 A Clay Pariah Followsmall 12 Masksmall 5 Identities Uncovered
Investigating the Unfinished 1 -> 2 Go looking Followsmall 12 Implicationsmall 5 Extraordinary Implications
An Unusual Approach to Reproduction 2 -> 3 How literal were his words? Followsmall 12 Implicationsmall 5 Extraordinary Implications
The Unfinished Birth 3 -> 4 But where? Followsmall 12

Adorationsmall 5 Touching Love Stories,
Mirror4small +100 CP Touched by Fingerwork

Eyes Everywhere 4 -> 5 From across white walls Followsmall 12 Implicationsmall 5 Extraordinary Implications
The Unfinished Fugitive 5 -> 6 Agree to his bargain Followsmall 12 Fanghatsmall Fanghat2small upgrade Exceptional Hat
5 -> 7 Refuse him Followsmall 12, Snakeheadsmall 1

Scrap2small 40 Whisper-Satin Scraps,
Mastertcsmall +(1-2) CP The Masters,
Snakeheadsmall +? CP Ruthless,
Claymansmall Mired in Clay 1 - Hated

The Clothes-Colony A helping hem Roseyellowsmall 12 Coatgreysmall Legion1small upgrade Battered Grey Overcoat

Spying on Polythreme


A Little Spy Work

0 -> 1

Find out who's here Followsmall 12 Wakesmall 26, (unlocks Fractious Furniture)
Get more details about the players Followsmall 13, Diamondsmall PoSI Wakesmall 51, (unlocks Fractious Furniture)
Looking a Little Deeper 1 -> 2 Ask around Followsmall 12 Wakesmall 26 Memories of Distant Shores
Look to buildings Followsmall 13, Diamondsmall PoSI Wakesmall 51 Memories of Distant Shores
Making your Report

2 -> 0

For your own records Followsmall 12 Wakesmall 26 Memories of Distant Shores
Report to the Masters of the Bazaar Followsmall 13, Diamondsmall PoSI Wakesmall 51 Memories of Distant Shores
Report to Revolutionaries Followsmall 13, Diamondsmall PoSI Wakesmall 51, Flamessmall +10 CP Revolutionaries
Report to the Brass Embassy Followsmall 13, Diamondsmall PoSI Wakesmall 51, Devilsmall +10 CP Hell

Writing of your Polythreme Travels


A Guided Tour of Polythreme

0 -> 1

Speak to a few natives Roseyellowsmall 12 Wakesmall 26, (unlocks The Zailors...)
Speak to everyone you meet Roseyellowsmall 13, Diamondsmall PoSI Wakesmall 51, (unlocks The Zailors...)
The Deeper Questions 1 -> 2 Speak to those who'll offer opinions Roseyellowsmall 12 Wakesmall 26 Memories of Distant Shores
Speak to those who know Roseyellowsmall 13, Diamondsmall PoSI Wakesmall 51 Memories of Distant Shores
Finishing your Travelogue

2 -> 0

An island of importunate horrors Roseyellowsmall 12 Wakesmall 26, Claymansmall Mired in Clay 2 - Feared
A strange place, but no better or worse than any other Roseyellowsmall 12 Wakesmall 26, Claymansmall Mired in Clay 3 - An Enigma
A wonderland Roseyellowsmall 12 Wakesmall 26, Claymansmall Mired in Clay 4 - Respected

Note that all of the story lines require F12 or I12 but not all offer a PoSI option needing F13 or 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 F/I, you will lose all of it with your last UE. There is no way to Begin your Polythremic Promenade with any amount of F/I.

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

Opportunity Cards OverviewEdit

Card Option Req Challenge Success Failure
Banknotes At the Market Attract attention at the market pretty good odds

Roseyellowsmall +10 CP
Followsmall -5 CP

Roseyellowsmall +5 CP

Wander around the market Roseyellowsmall 4

Roseyellowsmall -10 CP
Scrap3small 20

Porticolight The Temple Have a look around the temple pretty good odds

Followsmall +10 CP
Roseyellowsmall -5 CP

Followsmall +5 CP
Roseyellowsmall -5 CP

Poke around the grounds Followsmall 4

Followsmall -10 CP
Scrap3small 20

Clayman5 The Priest at the Temple Speak of his spiritual work either way

Roseyellowsmall +15 CP

Roseyellowsmall +2 CP
Followsmall -10 CP

Speak to the Clay priest of matters romantic Roseyellowsmall 8

Roseyellowsmall Reset
Heartsmall 60

Ruins The Ruin The walls are rattling either way Followsmall +15 CP

Followsmall +2 CP
Roseyellowsmall -10 CP

What's that fluttering? Followsmall 8

Followsmall Reset
Heartsmall 60

Chair Fractious Furniture - Examine the carvings Polythremesmall 1

Sidebarshadowysmall 120

Followsmall +10 CP
Roseyellowsmall -5 CP

Piratered The Zailors at Polythreme's Harbour - Speak with the zailors Polythreme2small 1

Sidebarpersuasivesmall 120

Roseyellowsmall +10 CP
Followsmall -5 CP

Legion2 The Masked Man - Bid him a good morning pretty good odds

Followsmall +5 CP
Roseyellowsmall +5 CP

Clouds The Wax Wind Comes - Crouching in a low stone building either way Roseyellowsmall +5 CP Followsmall +5 CP

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