Bargain is chapter VIII in the plot of Return of the Obra Dinn, and takes place in the lazarette. It can only be accessed after the chief inspector has concluded their investigation and left the Obra Dinn with all 58 (solvable) fates solved. After leaving, the narrative jumps one year ahead and a brief scene plays out where the catalogue and a monkey hand are mailed back to the inspector. The hand can be used with the pocketwatch, which the inspector has kept.
In the plot, the events in Bargain occur during the kraken attack and the escape of surgeon Henry Evans and others. The chapter reveals several key elements of the plot. It also reveals the fates of third mate Martin Perrott and captain's steward Fillip Dahl.
The chapter consists of five parts that all take place inside the lazarette. Memories (parts) are accessed inside other memories, leading from one to another similar to chapter IV, The Calling.
Since the chapter is short and linear with no ability (or need) to deviate, the parts are all presented here in a single article. In the narrative, the plot events are presented in a reverse chronological order.
In the narrative, the last part is presented first. It is accessed by using the pocketwatch on a monkey's paw that was sent to the inspector in the epilogue. The memory shows surgeon Henry Evans shooting a monkey through the lazarette window aboard the Obra Dinn.
Since Evans is the one who mailed the catalogue and the pocketwatch to the East India Company, it can be assumed that he used the watch's abilities or was aware of them while on board. He put the monkey inside the lazarette and shot it to make sure he or the inspector could get inside in a "memento mortem" experience, as at that point, the door was locked, the key had gone missing, and there was no other access to the corpses there.[speculation]
- [Moss] "There you are. Collect your things, we..."
- [Evans] "Where is the key?"
- [Moss] "To that door? Gone."
- [Evans] "Damn."
- [Moss] "There's no time. We need to go."
- [Evans] "Right. In you go."
- [Moss] "What are you up to?"
- [Evans] "Nothing good."
Part 4 shows what happened to third mate Martin Perrott. Perrott, 4th mate's steward Davey James, and 1st mate's steward Paul Moss came to set an imprisoned mermaid free but the mermaid spikes Perrott as they were dragging it out of the container. They gave the mermaid a shell and assured its freedom, which calmed down the creature. In exchange, they asked that the Obra Dinn be returned to port safely.
The part reveals that the shining light seen in the sea during the inspection is likely a shell held by one of the merfolk who returned the Obra Dinn to port.
- [Moss] "A third shell! Captain didn't toss them all!"
- [Perrott] "Leave it. Help me lift this. Stop! Wait! We're to set you free! Give it a shell."
- [Moss] "Eh?"
- [Perrott] "Do it! Hoist it out. To the main deck. Throw it over. Lock the door when you leave."
- [Moss] "Get the tail, boy."
- [Perrott] "In return.. the ship... ...the Obra Dinn... ...see it home."
Parts 2 and 3
Parts 2 and 3 take place right next to each other in the plot. In the narrative, part 3 is presented to the player first. Both parts take place during the kraken attack depicted in chapter VII. Captain Witterel entered the lazarette and threatened to kill all three mermaids held captive unless they call off the kraken. He then shot the leftmost mermaid first in part 2 and then stabbed the middle one to death in part 3.
The parts reveal that the kraken was summoned by the merfolk and that the third mermaid possibly had a way to communicate with the kraken since it suddenly just ceased its attack.
- [Witterel] "Call it off damn you. This is your kraken. You brought it here. Send it back!"
Part 3 :
- [Witterel] "I'll kill every last one of you monsters. Withdraw the kraken! Or I will kill you all."
In the plot, the events of part 1 take place after captain's steward Fillip Dahl has been thrown into the lazarette for attacking seaman John Naples with a sword. Dahl broke his chain on the port side of the room and opened the chest on the opposite side. He opened the chest, getting a shell from inside but died after quicksilver-like substance burned him. In the memory, he is seen lying next to the chest with a shell on his lap. James, Moss, and Perrott will give the same shell to a mermaid in part 4.
- [Dahl] "What is this? Quicksilver! Herre, min gud! | God in heaven!"