(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
Make off with a box of silks Bear Dangerous 80 Scrap3 +8 Surface-Silk Scrap Sidebarsuspicion 1 CP Suspicion
Observe the camaraderie of objects Owl Watchful 80 Heart +8 Romantic Notion Sidebarnightmares 1 CP Nightmares
Soft to the touch Fox Persuasive 120 Scrap3 +12 Surface-Silk Scrap Sidebarscandal 1 CP Scandal
Lurk in the eaves Cat Shadowy 120 Heart +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) Scrap3 25 Surface-Silk Scraps (2.50 Echoes) Give surface-silk to Clay Men Offer silks to a clothes-colony
7-5 (3) Heart 50 Romantic Notions (5.00) Spread tales of love and glamour Speak of romance to an empty garden
4-2 (3) Mountainglowsmall 25 Mysteries of the Elder Continent (12.50) Speak of the Elder Continent at Arcimboldo's
4-2 (3) LibraryVolumes 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 EPA
A Distressing Lack of Progress -

Honeymazed 65 Maniac's Prayers

6.50 0.52
The Voice in the Fog

Roseyellow Fascinating... 12

Gossip 65 Intriguing Snippets

13.00 1.00
There's someone in there

Roseyellow F 13, Diamond PoSI

DocumentBazaar Permits

25.00 1.92
What's going on in the bay?

Follow Investigating... 12

ImplicationExtraordinary Implications

12.50 0.96
Speak to a matched pair

Follow I 13, Diamond PoSI

Lips 10 Stolen Kisses

25.00 1.92
What's going on here?

Roseyellow F 7, Follow I 7

Honeymazed 130 Maniac's Prayers

13.00 1.00
A walk in the villa gardens

Roseyellow F 8, Follow I 8, Diamond PoSI

Adoration 10 Touching Love Stories

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 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 Follow 12 -
The Ironmonger's Workshop 11 -> 12 Find out its history Follow 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 Follow 12 -
Heart's Desire - Gaining an Audience 14 -> 15 A gift for a king Roseyellow 12

Bottlehorse -1 Bottle of Fourth City Airag

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

An Unfinished Story


A Clay Snub 0 -> 1 A Clay Pariah Follow 12 MaskIdentities Uncovered
Investigating the Unfinished 1 -> 2 Go looking Follow 12 ImplicationExtraordinary Implications
An Unusual Approach to Reproduction 2 -> 3 How literal were his words? Follow 12 ImplicationExtraordinary Implications
The Unfinished Birth 3 -> 4 But where? Follow 12

AdorationTouching Love Stories,
Mirror4 +100 CP Touched by Fingerwork

Eyes Everywhere 4 -> 5 From across white walls Follow 12 ImplicationExtraordinary Implications
The Unfinished Fugitive 5 -> 6 Agree to his bargain Follow 12 Fanghat Fanghat2small upgrade Exceptional Hat
5 -> 7 Refuse him Follow 12, Quirkruthless Ruthless 1

Scrap2 40 Whisper-Satin Scraps,
Mastertc +(1-2) CP The Masters,
Quirkruthless +? CP Ruthless,
Clayman Mired in Clay 1 - Hated

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

Spying on Polythreme


A Little Spy Work

0 -> 1

Find out who's here Follow 12 Wake 26 Memories of Distant Shores,

(unlocks Fractious Furniture)

Get more details about the players Follow 13, Diamond PoSI Wake 51 Memories of Distant Shores,

(unlocks Fractious Furniture)

Looking a Little Deeper 1 -> 2 Ask around Follow 12 Wake 26 Memories of Distant Shores
Look to buildings Follow 13, Diamond PoSI Wake 51 Memories of Distant Shores
Making your Report

2 -> 0

For your own records Follow 12 Wake 26 Memories of Distant Shores
Report to the Masters of the Bazaar Follow 13, Diamond PoSI Wake 51 Memories of Distant Shores
Report to Revolutionaries Follow 13, Diamond PoSI Wake 51 Memories of Distant Shores,


Report to the Brass Embassy Follow 13, Diamond PoSI Wake 51 Memories of Distant Shores,


Writing of your Polythreme Travels


A Guided Tour of Polythreme

0 -> 1

Speak to a few natives Roseyellow 12 Wake 26 Memories of Distant Shores,

(unlocks The Zailors...)

Speak to everyone you meet Roseyellow 13, Diamond PoSI Wake 51 Memories of Distant Shores,

(unlocks The Zailors...)

The Deeper Questions 1 -> 2 Speak to those who'll offer opinions Roseyellow 12 Wake 26 Memories of Distant Shores
Speak to those who know Roseyellow 13, Diamond PoSI Wake 51 Memories of Distant Shores
Finishing your Travelogue

2 -> 0

An island of importunate horrors Roseyellow 12 Wake 26 Memories of Distant Shores,

Clayman Mired in Clay 2 - Feared

A strange place, but no better or worse than any other Roseyellow 12 Wake 26 Memories of Distant Shores,

Clayman Mired in Clay 3 - An Enigma

A wonderland Roseyellow 12 Wake 26 Memories of Distant Shores,

Clayman 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

Roseyellow +10 CP
Follow -5 CP

Roseyellow +5 CP

Wander around the market Roseyellow 4

Roseyellow -10 CP
Scrap3 20 

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

Follow +10 CP
Roseyellow -5 CP

Follow +5 CP
Roseyellow ] -5 CP

Poke around the grounds Follow 4

Follow -10 CP
Scrap3 20 

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

Roseyellow +15 CP

Roseyellow +2 CP
Follow -10 CP

Speak to the Clay priest of matters romantic Roseyellow 8

Roseyellow Reset
Heart 60 

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

Follow +2 CP
Roseyellow -10 CP

What's that fluttering? Follow 8

Follow Reset
Heart 60 

Chair Fractious Furniture - Examine the carvings Polythreme Spying on Polythreme 1

Cat Shadowy 120

Follow +10 CP
Roseyellow -5 CP

Piratered The Zailors at Polythreme's Harbour - Speak with the zailors Polythreme2 Writing of your Polythreme Travels 1

Fox Persuasive 120

Roseyellow +10 CP
Follow -5 CP

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

Follow +5 CP
Roseyellow +5 CP

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