Lights in the darkness

You may have wondered about the lamps. There is no grid on Hopeless, Maine. There are no gas pipes, and since the end of the trade in oil pressed from giant oceanic gnii, there hasn’t been much in the way of reliable lamp oil, either.

Of course any dead thing that washes up on a beach can be rendered down for oil, if you’ve the stomach for it. When the choice is make and use hideous corpse oil, or sit in the dark wondering what it is that you can’t see… well, it’s surprising how attractive those dead things can become. Thanks to the tides, dead things are mostly what wash up on the shores of Hopeless.

Balthazar is one of the island’s more successful inventors. No doubt his greatest achievement is having built a lighthouse, mostly from the bones of a massive sea monster. Balthazar tries very hard to be a scientist, but often finds he is an accidental occultist who has almost no idea how any of that side of his work… works.

Lamps being such good and useful things, people tend to adopt them and try to work out how to keep them going. The one powered by hurdy gurdy mercifully doesn’t need you to actually play a tune. Several are uncomplicated enough to just need oil of some sort. There’s one you have to wind by hand, and one where a weight drops on a chain. The one that was supposed to gather daylight and release it again at night somehow mostly gathers moths, and feeds on them. It is probably best to stay well away from that lamp, in case it gets ideas.

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