What Waits Beneath By Nevyn Holmes

Instruments: Deck of Cards, 10d6

Game Description 

You are a diver, searching the depths of the ocean looking for lost treasures and getting into trouble as you find them.

Game Content Warnings 

These are content warnings that are from the game prompts and are present in all playthroughs.

Playthrough Content Warnings 

These are content warnings specific to this playthrough only.

Game Playthrough

Word Count: 7,046     Played: May 27, 2023 through June 16, 2023

Ship Log of The Emerald’s Last Coin

Entry 1

I set sail tomorrow from the small town of Niacinen. I’ll be headed down south, close but not too close to the Nacred Bridge where the crabs all gather on Valley Island. 

I’m a fool but not an idiot, and any fool knows the idiots all go down to The Dungeon on some hopeless quest for the treasures inside. If the caves itself doesn’t get them, then the Hallowed Cultists do, and if they don’t then oceans do and that’s where I come in. 

The treasure doesn’t always make its way back into the depths of the island, it sits on the floor in the wrecks of the ships waiting for a fool like me to dive down to get it. 

And I don’t know of any other fools looking to trek the benthic so I’m hoping there will still be plenty of goods down there for me to surface and sell back in town. 

The last of my money was on this little dingy so I don’t have much choice. Either the treasures of the sea will be mine or my bones will be its next.

- Livy Cuthberht

Entry 2, Dive 1

Card: Queen of Diamonds, a siren’s song  

Card: King of Spades,  a moment near death

Die: 6 A musical Artifact (Muddy water, fraught with hazard)


A/N: I messed up which value meant what, it should have been one card = fate, one card = treasure, and die = dive, but I used the die for the treasure instead and did 2 fate cards.

I found something today but wasn’t able to surface it. Not sure if it’s too dangerous or I was just careless. 

I went down into a wreck of a ship called (or at least translated to) The Grand Soprano, hoping something in the waters. It didn’t look too old and it didn’t look too worn, but I hadn’t heard of it neither so I put one and three and some other numbers together and thought it would be worth checking out. 

I had a tiny little light-up wand from some of the wizards out in the big city and it works just fine underwater like they said it would. The insides were all dark, but spacious and I soon found myself drawn through the corridors and down into a theater of sorts. 

Up on the stage there was a grand piano made grand house for the urchins living inside. But underneath it was a metronome. I shouldn’t have played with it but curiosity got the better of me (I needed to know if it would work, if it was worth surfacing) and I set it up right there on the grand.

It kept time like a clock and I could hear it all the way though the waters and through the helmet and through the crowd that had gathered and started clapping in their seats. 

I don’t know what possessed me but I saw that empty seat in the front row and knew it was for me. When I sat down the show started. People in large fancy dresses in large fancy wigs, singing large fancy songs danced upon the stage putting on their performance for what felt like just for me. 

I couldn’t move. I didn’t want to move. I’d never seen a show so grand, not even when I was on the mainland. 

But there’s only so much air in a diving suit--long enough for your kid’s first piano recital, but certainly not long enough for a full opera. Halfway through I started choking on the recycled air in my helmet and knew I had to get out of it one way or another. 

I stood up from my seat and every person, including the orchestra, stopped and stared at me. I didn’t know what kind of magic or other such nonsense was going on, but if I didn’t get out of there something was going to get me. 

I swam to the back of the room and out through the corridors, fire in my lungs and icy death on my heels. Eventually I did manage to surface and crawl my way to the decompression chamber where I’m writing this. 

I’ll have to be more careful in the future. There’s still things lurking down here this far from that place. 

- Livy Cuthberht

Entry 3, Dive 2

5 of Diamonds, A heated pursuit 

9 of Spades, A mystic weapon

Roll: 5, Muddy water, Hard Dive


I saw more treasures down below, near another ship, some that were worth surfacing, but the ocean got the better of me again and I lost it to the depths. These waters might just be too treacherous for me and I might just have to pull up the boat closer to the island. 

The ship was called Still Time for Romance and it had a crest carved on it that seemed to disappear in one moment and reappear in another. Not sure if it was the waters playing tricks with the light or there’s something else going on with the magic in this place. 

Beside it I saw something glinting in the light of the wand and went closer for a look. What I saw was the handle of an old spear, made of metal, spotless, dentless, and still pristine after all these years embedded deep into the floor of the ocean. I wasn’t sure how old it was, but it looked to be pretty ancient and carved all over with Divine Script.

I gave it a good tug and instantly regretted it when I saw the blood misting and mixing with the waters around me. The ground shook and rolled and bucked me far across the waters, where I was fortunate not to hit anything but more water. 

That thing gave out a mighty screech louder than even the ocean opera from yesterday and rose from its hiding place out of the floorsand and mixed the water into mud and silt all around me. 

I couldn't see but I could feel the currents shift and pull me along as it moved in the water. I couldn’t risk it seeing me, so I swam towards the nearest wreck, a smaller wooden vessel far older than anything else in the area, called Sunshine’s Stillness. It's fun to marvel at the irony now that I’m not in danger of dying. 

I could feel the waters still shifting around me and heard it screech one more time, no doubt looking for me so it could either eat me or take whatever vengeance animals take. 

Unfortunately Sunshine didn’t keep me safe none as that thing rammed into it full force and shook it so hard it nearly broke in two. I swam through it faster than anything before and out the other side and into another nearby ship, who’s name I couldn’t find. 

Unfortunately that thing seemed to have a magic sense of where I was since it followed me and started ramming into that one as well and I wouldn’t be here if I didn’t escape that one just like the first. 

I guess the third time is the charm or it got bored since the last ship, Invacatus, kept me safe while I hid in it for an hour or so before returning to the surface. 

I was about a half mile away from the ship and was too tired to do anything but lie on my back and lazily kick my feet towards the boat, safety measures be damned. 

I’m so glad I got that decompression chamber, as I think I’ll be using it more and more each day. I might just get in the habit of sleeping in it after each dive to be perfectly honest. 

There’s something about knowing I’m right in seeing all the treasures down there, but unable to attain them that makes me feel both righteous and hopeless. 

Here’s hoping tomorrow will be better.

- Livy Cuthberht

Entry 4, Dive 3

Ace of Clubs A blessing,

10 of Spades, A singing Mirror

Dice: None, Lukewarm, you were distracted


I still didn’t manage to surface anything today but for once I wasn’t in danger and had the time to rise properly without the decompression chamber. I did still take the time to move my bed in there just in case I run into any more problems in the future. It's not the most comfortable but it will do for now. 

I’m having to dry out my sheets in the sun while I go diving below and check the fishnets to see if I caught anything new. (Nothing but some small fries today.) 

I decided to go back to The Grand Soprano today. I still felt myself drawn down to the theater, but I knew the door and managed to pull myself away from it at the last minute. 

I went further down into the depths of the ship and winded my way through all doors and corridors, not paying attention to the way that I came. I figured the worst case scenario is I can break a window or something. The historians would be angry but I’m not here to play nice to them unless they give me a good compensation. 

It was then I started to hear the singing again, but it wasn't an opera this time. It sounded more like one of those songs you’d hear in a sleazy bar just before closing, simple, tired, and not bad enough to make you want to throw bottles but bad enough to remind you to leave. It had a sour sounding soprano and the tinkling of chimes combined with giggles and an incomprehensible babble.  

I followed it down to a door that was covered with debris but I was able to pry open the door and enter. Inside there were hundreds of mirrors lining the walls, all shining and reflecting the light endlessly so that it lit up the place so much that it almost felt like the sunshine on my skin.

The singing mirror was huge, far too big for one person alone to bring it to the surface and would need equipment to even get it out of the water. It could be worth something if I had just the right stuff to get it. 

The mirror was clouded and stained and all the gold had become encrusted with barnacles instead of what I assumed must have been diamonds or something. If I get desperate I could try to remove some later but I’ll leave it be until then. 

I suppose the mirror was showing some kind of performance in the glass but I couldn’t see anything past the gunk even when I tried to wipe it away. 

It pains me so much to leave it, but I have a feeling someday that I’ll be able to bring it back up.

- Livy Cuthberht

Entry 5, Dive 4

10 of Spades: A blinding Light

King of Spades: A piece of dread

Dice: None, Lukewarm, what caught your eye


I finally did it! I finally surfaced something! It makes me ill to look at it, but I know someone somewhere will want it, especially if it has some magic properties or something. 

It’s a lead-lined, silver death-mask, of some old person I don’t recognize. Inside is carved with some horrid script I can’t quite read and looking at it makes my eyes itch and my nose hairs start to twitch even though there’s nothing to smell. 

Just looking at it makes me want to hurl it back into the horrible depths so I put it down below deck with the rest of the cargo. 

I have a feeling I’ll be seeing it in my dreams tonight but I’ll just have to remember that I’m asleep and it will be fine. 

I found it among the wreckage of the Sunshine’s Stillness when I went back to see if there was anything worth looking for amongst the planks and the debris. 

I think there might have been more before that thing crashed into it since it was sitting among a bunch of broken planks and what looked like a box, maybe even a sarcophagus of some kind. But I’ll never know. All that has been lost to the ocean now and probably long gone with the way the currents are traveling tonight. 

I didn’t stay down there too long either and had to go back to The Chamber as I’m now just going to call it. When I touched it with both my hands I swore the sun got ten times brighter and I could see everything down there crystal clear for just that moment. I almost wanted to put it on my own face, but I stopped myself just in time when I reached up to unclasp my helmet. 

That would have been a disaster, but I saw some kind of fish swim by at the last second. That little guy probably saved my life and didn’t even know I exist. Probably doesn't even know what a person even is, or even that it’s a fish. 

When I did bring up that mask that’s when I started to feel sick, and not in the decompression way neither. I wanted to let go of it and let it sink back down. 

What a goddamn mess of contradictions that thing is! I want to wear it and I want to hurl it far away. As long as it makes me good money I can live with whatever nightmares it decides to throw my way. 

Here’s hoping tomorrow will have something as well.

- Livy Cuthberht

Entry 6, Dive 5

7 of Diamonds, A locked Box

Jack of Hearts, A watchful Guardian

Dice: 7 , you lost an item to get past an obstacle


Nothing again today, just another day of hulling up myself from the water. I’d be upset but it's only been about a week. I think I’ll head back to town tomorrow and get some supplies and see if I can pawn off that mask. 

I had weird dreams just like I thought. It was some kind of roaring contraption that spewed fire and ran fast down long rails that snaked around the world. It was carved with a horrid script and screeched like a devil from the old stories. 

But about today’s trip. I went down again to search for something new in a new ship: 9 Tenths Past 7 Thirty (written just like that.) 

It was a much older ship, made completely out of wood that was rotting and falling to pieces. I don’t know how much longer it will still be standing at the bottom when I come back a second time. 

There could have been something good today. I just know it. There was something in an old locked box, one that was made of solid metal but was no bigger than a wine bottle, and just about the shape of one too, if the bottle were square. 

I was all set to bring it to the surface when I saw that thing again. The one with the spears and everything sticking out of it. It startled me so good I dropped it down to the floor and swam as fast as I could up to the surface. 

I’m real lucky that it didn’t spot me or I would have been done for out there in the open waters. I’ll have to keep an eye out for it from now on since I know that it doesn't just keep to the sands in the floor.  

Maybe I’ll be able to find that box again one day, but I doubt it. 

I’ve decided I’ll head back tomorrow and look for a spot a little while away from here. There’s no use in staying here when that thing’s got my scent. That mask is mine and I don’t mean to end up as bones on the floor just yet.

- Livy Cuthberht

Entry 7, Dive 6

4 Heart: A shimmering Coin

Jack of Hearts, A watchful Guardian

Dice: 7 You got distracted and made an error


I spent a couple days in town, going from place to place, searching high and low and all around for anyone looking to cut me a good deal on that mask. 

I won’t go into too many details since I’m not too sure as to the kind of person who gave me the best offer, but needless to say I had enough money for more supplies and just a tiny bit left over for me to even save in a bank! 

I can’t help but feel that I didn’t quite get what it was worth, but it was a good enough offer for such a small town that it was either that or take it to the big city and I didn’t want to leave my boat out here while I traveled so it’s good enough for now. 

As for today’s dive.. Well I haven’t outrun that thing just yet, even though I’m at least 10 miles away from where I was last time. At least I think I am… It's hard to tell out here during the day and even harder to pay attention when the sun’s beating down and the wind’s blowing hard, and.. Well, no matter. 

 As far as I know it's haunting grounds can be as large as 100 miles, maybe even 500 hundred. What I know about marine life only extends to what I can eat and how I can cook it, and that’s not something that I want to put in my mouth under any circumstances. 

I managed to stay out of its sights long enough to slip into a small boat, one that’s even smaller than mine. There wasn’t much there except for a few rusty coins and one that’s surprisingly untarnished. I took all of them up to the surface and I’ve been trying to take a good look at them. 

I don’t know if the tarnished ones are old enough to be worth anything, and I’m a little wary of the shiny one. I’ve heard rumors of cursed coins floating around the mainland with some crazy stories attached to them about cults and bacchanalian parties involving any and every philia and I don’t want none of that.  As long as nothing strange happens tonight I’ll just keep them in storage down below.

- Livy Cuthberht

Entry 8, Dive 7

9 of Spades: a mystic weapon

Ace of Clubs: a curse

Die: None, Lukewarm


I am moving the boat tomorrow I am moving the boat tomorrow I am moving the boat tomorrow. 

It saw me. It saw me. And I saw that evil glint in its eye like the shine of the spear sticking out of its back and it is so much bigger than what I could have imagined. 

Its own pupil was larger than my entire body and to look into it was… it was to see Nothing Itself. 

I was fortunate to be by a large underwater mountain filled with crevices and nooks and crannies I could hide inside. I crammed myself in tighter than any fish in a tin and hid for as long as I could. 

I was real lucky that thing didn’t decide to ram into it or else I might have gotten stuck down there. No, it just stared at me a real long time, with those black, dead eyes. Eventually it either got bored or something else caught it’s attention because it left after what felt like hours. 

I waited even longer after that, long enough for the air in my suit to turn sour and my lungs to start burning. I swam up fast to the surface and straight into the chamber. I can’t stand that thing and can’t wait to be far from it. 

I can only make guesses as to why it hasn’t attacked the boat yet, and it almost feels like jinxing it if I mention it at all. If anyone else finds this journal in the water you’ll know what happened to me. 

- Livy Cuthberht

Entry 9, Dive 8

7 of Clubs, a locked box

Ace of Clubs: a blessing

Die: None, Lukewarm


Well, I kinda hit a rock in shallow waters and had to spend the rest of the day repairing it. It will do for now, but I’ll need to head back to town within the week and have it fixed by someone who knows more than how to just hammer some nails and paint some pitch. 

I intended to move out further than I did, away from that thing, but I haven’t seen it at all during my dive today or yesterday when I was fixing things, so I think I’m safe out here anyway. 

There was only one wreck out here, the Fisher King's Plate and it didn’t have anything of interest inside. It looked real recent too, but given its size it wasn’t anything of any importance to any real king or anything, so I don’t see why it would have been reported in any news. 

Honestly I’m glad I haven’t come across any corpses or skeletons out here, just those music loving ghosts. I don’t know what I’d do if I did see a corpse with its skin still on, maybe just scream and hightail it out of the water back to the boat even though I know it can’t hurt me none. 

But enough about the what ifs, and all that, what I did find, and I don’t know how it got all the way out here, was that same lock-box as before. I know it was the same one, it just had to be! It musta been caught by the current and dragged along until it caught on the rock, the same one that I had rammed the boat into. I don’t know if it’s a blessing or a Decision or what, but I brought it back up to the surface and it’s sitting across from me in the chamber right now. 

The ascent was pretty good so I didn't have to turn on the chamber either, which means that I’m not worried about bending over any which way in pain. 

I haven’t opened it yet,frankly I’m a bit scared to do so. The lock looks easy enough to break, but I wonder if it’s worth more to just sell it as-is. Or maybe even auction it off, that way I know I’ll be getting a good sale no matter what's inside. 

Or maybe, just maybe, it’s something that has always been meant for me. 

I’ll need to sleep on it and I’ll make a choice in the morning.

- Livy Cuthberht

Entry 10, Dive 9

Ace of Spades: A curse

8 of Spades: A single Button

Die: 7, Lukewarm


I mean I guess I brought up treasure today, though it’s one that I’m not going to be able to sell anytime soon on account of it SEALING ITSELF UNDER MY DAMN SKIN. 

I moved a little further out where I saw some boats on yesterday’s dive. It was a little further towards that thing’s territory, but not as close as I was before.

Things were going well, I guess too well since things ended up the way they did. I feel like a fool for letting my guard down and I’ll have to take precautions now so that it doesn’t happen again. 

I went inside a moderate size little schooner, one named Right Past Bedtime, that looks like it lost a fight against something much larger. Half the hull was missing and all the windows were shattered and laced with seaweed and other plants unfortunate enough to get caught in what little remained of the glass. 

It wasn’t hard to pry open the rotten doors to let myself into the smaller chambers that would have been below deck. 

Most were filled with sand and other bottom dwelling sea critters that I knew enough about to leave alone so I didn’t bother to go searching through every single one of those rooms. 

But one room, the one furthest inward with now windows, was completely sealed away from the rest of the ocean inhabitants. In hindsight there was a circle all around the mannequin where none of the sand was touching it and that should have been the first sign. 

But the greedy fool that I was, I swam right up to it, entranced by all the gleaming buttons on the rotten coat. I’m guessing it would have been a fine captain’s coat, but it was threadbare and faded, and dark down here on the ocean floor, and the only things I could make out were those shining buttons. 

Each one shimmered under the light of the wand, and each one called to me, asking to be brought back to the surface. I reached out with my hand to pull one of them away and add them to the sac, but as soon as I touched it with my fingertip it lunged forward and burrowed under my glove and bit me so hard I could hear myself scream through all the salt and all the water. 

I tried pulling it off but it was too deep and too dark, so I surfaced as quick as I could, to try and pry it off with one of my knives and to sterilize it so that nothing grows in the wound too. I’ve heard rumors of coral growing out of knees and hands where people didn’t wash them well enough. 

I crawled in the chamber and set it to decompress and I got to work (after sterilizing) to try and get that thing off of me. I don’t know how it did it, but somehow it has wiggled it’s way under all of my skin and I can see the imprint of the pattern as it presses against my flesh. 

It doesn’t move when I press it, at all or even poke at it with the knife but… I don’t know if I’m just a wimp or a coward or what, but I couldn’t cut deep enough with the knife for me to be able to pull it out. It’s too far deep without me doing any more serious damage to myself. I don’t know what I was thinking… that maybe it was like a pimple I could pop out, something that’s real close to the surface and all it would need is just one little jab and I could pull it out. But it’s in there. It’s really in there. 

I can’t feel it none, so hopefully it’s not doing too much damage. Given the state of me and the state of the boat, and the fact that I have one treasure at least to sell, I’ll be heading back to the mainland tomorrow.

- Livy Cuthberht

Entry 11, Dive 10

6 of Spades, a massive creature

5 of Diamonds, a ciphered scroll

Die: 7, Lukewarm drop something


I opened the box and decided that I couldn’t sell it. Not unless I’m in a real desperate spot. Not unless I’m willing to give up almost anything. Not until the end. It’s too dangerous. It’s too precious. I shouldn't even be writing about it. 

I wasn’t able to get that button removed from my skin in the local village. They said it was in too deep and it would be too delicate a surgery and I could risk not being able to move my fingers after. It’s not bothering me none so there’s no point to risk it unless it starts to act up, in which case I’ll have to travel to a larger city to get that taken care of. 

Things aren’t going well in the diving department neither. I don’t think that I’m going to be able to search these waters without seeing that thing, which it did show up again today. I’ll just have to have it figured into the risk of each dive whether or not it will come after me and what to do if it does. 

I could have found something pretty neat today if I hadn’t been scared of by that thing. I was down in a larger wreck called The Steel Grass. I’m guessing it might have been a warship, though I’m not enough of a historian to be able to tell you which war, but there were cannons on all sides and holes in the deck, and weapons littered about inside. 

I’m guessing the sea creatures must have eaten anything or anyone since there weren’t no bodies nor bones. The more and more I think about this I get both more frightened and less frightened. I don’t want to die down here, but when I go, I suppose I wouldn't mind the fishes eating me. 

But enough of that. I found myself down into the belly of this ship, going over a desk and prying it open with one of the tools I had on me, which out popped a bunch of blueprints(?) maps(?) something with instructions and drawings and a language, or code that I couldn’t read, on waterproof papers. 

I was taking a nice gander at it when I saw a shadow cross over the boat and saw that thing down here with me, yet again and I guess it spotted me too since the next thing I knew it was ramming itself into the boat at full force. The entire thing shook like it had been hit again with another cannon and it sent me flying across the room. 

I hit my legs against the wall and I thought I musta broken something for sure, but when I examined them later they seemed mostly fine. I think I was just scared at the time. 

But I dropped the plans when I squeezed my way out of a crack in the hull and made like hell back to the surface.

Times like this when I think I made a mistake. But there’s just more… more like what’s in that box down there. I just need to find it.

- Livy Cuthberht

Entry 12, Dive 11

2 Clubs: a torn tapestry

7 Diamonds: a swarm of life

Die: 7 You made an error


I saw something beautiful get destroyed today. Deep down in an old, old ship, old enough that even I knew it was old. The name had been worn away and covered in barnacles, seaweed, and anything else that time and the ocean could throw at it. 

Half of it was already missing and the other half was threadbare, so I didn’t expect much going in. I guess I was hoping for something small like a couple coins or maybe just a goblet or something, but there on the wall, in what I’m going to assume was the captain’s cabin or something, was a large tapestry. 

It was as tall as me and almost three times as long, made of shimmering gold thread, and colors so vivid I could still see them, despite how deep we were in the waters. It showed a grand garden with several large birds the colors of light in the summer, shimmering in rainbows and light, playing in the sun. 

I didn’t even have time to contemplate on just how I would have gotten it to the surface, because I did the stupid thing and touched it. (Not with my hand this time, I learned my lesson before.) I bought a long metal rod with a spike on it for touching things first. It’s not sturdy enough to use as as weapon, but it keeps me at least a little while away from whatever it is I wanna examine. 

Well, I lifted up the flap to test how heavy it was and what seemed like a million small bug-like creatures swarmed out of a hole or something behind it. The entire room went black and just before I could start to panic they all swarmed back away from the ship and out into the open waters, like a cloud in the waters, moving faster than my mind could determine its shape. 

And the tapestry was shredded to pieces… 

How many other wonders are just gone because of someone doing something so small that leads to their destruction? I don’t know what I could have done different. I didn't see them at all so there’s nothing for me to have accounted for. 

Sometimes things just don’t survive. 

- Livy Cuthberht

Entry 13, Dive 12

7 of Diamonds: a locked box

5 of Diamonds: A heated pursuit

Die: 5 You narrowly avoid escape


Another day another encounter with that thing. I suppose I should start calling it something, but I haven’t got a clue as to its shape other than “large” and any name associated with that is as cliche as they can get so I’m just gonna call it “The Big Fella.” 

The Big Fella spotted me again today and tried to hunt me down again. This time I was searching through a cute little dingy not far from another larger boat. Given its proximity it was probably a lifeboat that wasn’t too good at its job. The bigger ship was called Roses and The Other Rose, not one that I had heard of before, but it looks like it might have been a luxury cruiser given the types of furniture that was inside. (Not that I could get too good of a look since I was being chased at the time.)

 But before that I had decided to look at the littler one first and I’m glad I did. There was a small little jewelry box about the size of my fist tucked underneath the seat, probably the most prized possession of whoever sank along with the boat. Looking at it now I can see where there would have been gold leafing along the sides in an old filigree pattern, but it’s all been rubbed away by the grit of the ocean.

I was giving the boat a once over when I saw the shadow of The Big Fella, and like the fool I was, I popped my head up to take a good look at it. Well, it saw me too and it started to charge again, and again I sped towards that boat, hoping that it would stop like last time. 

Into the depths of that boat, through all the fancy furniture, and sunken paintings, and passed all the other rooms that I’ll have to explore, maybe tomorrow, as that thing was ramming up against the wall again. 

It struck the ship so hard all the rust started falling off the ceilings and all the carpets shook loose their dirt. But I know the drill by now. I sped through that thing as fast as I could and eventually emerged out the other side. But I waited behind it this time, out of sight of that thing, as it continued to hit it over and over. 

I made sure to stay just out of its sight but nowhere near enough for it to be able to see where I went. Evidently this is what I’ll need to do in the future as The Big Fella eventually gave up and swam off somewhere else. 

I didn’t take my time surfacing, since  who knows when it will be back, so here I am in this decompression chamber, where I’ve made my bed and my peace. 

The jewelry box lock looks easy enough to break, but I’m not too sure on the box's value itself so I’m gonna hold off on opening the thing until I can get a proper locksmith to open it without damaging it.  There is at least something inside, I can feel it shifting and rattling around as I move it. Anything that’s too fragile will have already been broken by the sinking of the boat and other tides. At least that’s what I’ll keep telling myself if anything is broken. 

I might stay a couple more days and then head into town.

- Livy Cuthberht

Entry 14, Dive 13

4 Spades: a wanderer’s visit

6 Spades: a musical artifact

Die: 6, dangerous, fraught with hazard, How did you survive?


Well, I never thought that I’d be able to pull up an artifact without actually having to dive beneath the shores, but here we are. I’ll be honest that I don’t know how I survived in the slightest. 

I woke up to a song, and I know the only thing out here that my radio can get is the Forecast. Only it weren’t no song on the radio, just the voice of some lady calling like a siren. 

I thought I might have been hallucinating at first, but I got up all the same. Though I figured that maybe I would just make some coffee first and I headed out of the chamber and towards the main area where I have my little makeshift kitchen. I was halfway through making the pot when I saw her. 

Standing on the water as if it were only an inch deep, with long hair like seaweed stretching down into the depths and out past my boat. She stopped singing when I dropped the cup. I’m fortunate in more ways than one since it didn’t break and it wasn’t full of coffee neither. 

There wasn’t else much I could do but go up to the bow of the ship and go talk to her. And I could see that all her hair was up and tangled around the ship and she could easily pull it down into the depths if she wanted. 

I started with a greeting and asked her if she wanted to come on board to talk. She didn’t say anything but shook her head and stared at me with those big fishy eyes. I asked her if she wanted something and she just raised that fishy arm and the boat started to shake. 

I don’t exactly know what this sort of creature is, or even if it is a ‘she,’ but I know that she liked singing so I started with the only songs I could think of, a bawdy drinking song. Down here we call it “The Untidy Presence,” but I know it’s got other names up north. It’s the one about the man with only one set of clothes and he refuses to wash them and the lover throws them away so he has to run through the town naked and he sees all the townspeople wearing his things and each verse is about begging for an article back. 

The only one I could think of is the one about the shoes, but it’s really a metaphor for penis, like pretty much all the verses, but she stopped shaking the boat and listened. When I stopped the verse we just stared at each other for a long time. Fish don’t blink and she just wouldn’t walk away. 

Eventually she did get close to the bow, I don’t know how as I didn’t see her walk or swim, but she didn’t teleport neither, she was just there at the edge. The boat’s real close to the water too so she was right up next to me, tugging at my shoes with her slippery hands. 

I let her have them, though I don’t know what a fish needs with shoes. I think she had feet, but I don’t remember. Anyway, she took them, then looked me straight in the eyes as she opened her mouth wide, like a cat, and coughed up something on the deck before disappearing way down below. 

I heard that thing skitter all across the deck, and I spent an hour tracking it down to see where it went before I found it. It’s about a fist sized.. pearl(?) that vibrates a different note when you rotate it in your fingers. It sounds like one of those musical rocks that produces a note when you hit it with a hammer. 

I didn’t do any diving today, on account of the searching, but it was nice to have a day to myself to just 

I tried keeping it in a drawer, but when it was rolling and rattling around it was making a ruckus so I placed it beneath my pillow and the mattress. I don’t know why I felt compelled to put it there, but.. 

Maybe I’ll see that fish lady in my dreams again.

- Livy Cuthberht

Entry 15, Dive 14

Queen of Diamonds: a reminder of love

2 Clubs: deep loss

Die: 5, you lose something incredibly valuable


I found the Wrought Iron Lace today. I didn’t … I couldn’t take anything. It feels so strange knowing I’m the only one who knows where it is. 

Part of me wants to just leave it that way. The bodies are all still on board. I saw them, being picked apart by little fishes and crabs. There was a smaller skeleton in the arms of a much larger one. All the clothes had been eaten away by either the critters down here or the ocean itself. 

I know if I report it I’ll be all over the news. I’ll be famous, but there will be more people like me, and more less like me, out here picking it apart. It feels wrong seeing how recent it was, how the family members are all still alive out there. No one can really keep their mouth shut about this and unless the navy or the coast guard, or any kinda vigilante wants to keep watch all the way out here, it’s gonna be ravaged by those even more desperate than I am. 

This is too much for me to decide. I don’t know if I can keep doing this. 

But it's the only way that I can’t hear that terrible knife in that box calling out to me anymore is when I’m deep below the sea. I can’t seem to throw it back anymore either. It’s just humming away below deck while I pretend everything is fine as I’m watching fish puke pearls. 

I guess I’ll decide in the morning if I wanna take up its offer.

- Livy Cuthberht

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