Lower Hamlet

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"Under the cliff there is a cave; here, the whales are dragged to the promenade above to be bled in The Chapel. All of its surfaces were covered in that sticky oil, blackened by an age of floating dust, hanging from the ceilings in a dour temper. Statues, sculpted from the chrism, stand over holes dug into the side of the road." [1]

Description

The Lower Hamlet is the oldest part of the hamlet, which grew from these roots. At its centre is the Chapel, which follows the Procession Road. The roads, homes and statues are soaked in wax, which hangs from the ceilings in dour temper. It drips onto the street to form mounds covered in detailed aniconic patterns.

This village is an old settlement, older than most of its inhabitants know. Formed from a constant process of cannibalistic construction, each building is built on top of another, often in a confusing way. Roads are found to go nowhere and bridges, wide enough for a truck, lead to thin staircases or small alleys.

Old House

Located up a small set of stairs (in the square just before the Chapel) is an old house, where Susie and Bill live, and where Susie's younger sister, Smut used to live. It is a large house, with protruding beams holding up its two gables. Like much of the rest of the Lower Hamlet, the building is stained with wax.

Susie

Susie is a child found in the middle room of the Old House.

Dialogue

Before visiting the chapel:

Good morning, are you looking for someone?

I'm looking for my younger sister, she thinks she's lost her father.

If you do see her, will you tell her to come back to me?

When she still lived here, she used to love to visit the body beneath the city.

Have you seen that great corpse that lies in the chapel?

After receiving Smut's Incense:

You carry with you such a strange, bitter scent!

Still, I'd take it any day over the salty headiness

which drifts up from the holes on the road outside.

Garden

Flower found in the garden
Flower found in the garden

At the back of the house there is a large garden, with a river running down its western flank. The shrubbery is in full bloom, with a flowering smoke tree at its centre. Sheds are built on its other side, filled with tools or wood. By the river on a bench, a man called Bill sits.

Bill will give you a tour of the garden if you ask for one. First, he will lead you to the vegetable patches, then the secret garden, and finally he will show you the pond before going back into the house to be with Susie. It is unknown what his relation to Susie and Smut is, as neither acknowledges him.

Old House Beach

"The holier the beast, the more disgusting its change. Here is one that is filled with those hated pustules, discarded on this forgotten part of the hamlet; left to wallow, turn and flop."[2]

On the landing is an open window and a sheer drop. On the sand below there is another whale, whose skin is wet and bumpy. The tide here is further out, so the whale will never float back into the water. This is the first whale to be brought up from the sea and the same whale that is in the Chapel [2]

Procession Road

The Procession Road leads from the entrance to the Lower Hamlet to the Chapel at its centre. It is lined with statues depicting a woman in libation, tipping a bowl over large holes in the ground. The statues are made from the same yellowish wax as much of the architecture around them. It is not said what the liquid being poured might be, but it is assumed it is spermaceti, which is being poured in the lake of spermaceti in the caves under the village. Occasionally, a cortege of animals would march along this road, throwing carcasses wrapped in cloth into the holes flanking the road.

The Chapel

"A world drenched in that plentiful gush. It is here that those whales of old are endlessly sapped of life-giving chrism. Inside, the dripping of the oil is as loud as bells, streaming from the monsterous shape on the altar. It jiggles and spasms as you walk closer to it." [3]

Fifteen steps up to the chapel from the square; it is one of many chapels and churches in the village, but is the oldest. [4] At its centre is the corpse of a Whale found on its altar, cut open at the head and bleeding that wax which covers the chapel and the surrounding area. It slips out all around it and hardens into a mountain on the floor.

Altar

Surrounding the whale is a group of statues in mourning; a woman holds the whale in her arms (the same as the woman in the statues outside) and smaller figures encircle her, similar to the Smelling Statues found on the beach. All of the figures look away from the whale and point their noses upwards.

Chapel Beach

The beach as seen through the door in the Chapel

The Chapel Beach can be reached through a door in the back of the Chapel. Mapped to the position of the beach, the Chapel Beach it is positioned directly below, although there is grey sky in each. Here, it looks the same as the other beach, except there are no whale carcasses, and there seems to be more silver in the water.

Smut

Smut is a woman first found on the Chapel Beach. She is blind and has that accompanying large nose. This means that she is infected with the same plague as Luminary Ramon and the Ulcerated Whale. Now, she has wrapped herself in a thick waxy cloak to try and stave off the itching pain.

She says that she is following her nose, and preaches meeting Luminary Ramon. She says to go into the Yellow Lake, then to the Upper Hamlet and the Fen Churches. Finally, in the New House's Garden, she says to go and meet the bird, at the top of Riving Hill. However, at this point she goes no further and chooses to stand instead in the rising flood.

Dialogue

Upon first meeting:

Sea, I salute you!

They have yet to fully plunder

your dizzying depths,

and yet still you have smited upon us

this disorientation

which I think I can carry the weight of

for only one more day.

But thank you! I smell something new,

something higher on the hill.

Why should I care for those reviled

goats? Still, I think it best

to follow your advice.

Notes