Difference between revisions of "Bazaar Things"
|Line 236:||Line 236:|
* The Starveling Cat! The Starveling Cat! Sits on your chest when you're sleeping flat!
* The Starveling Cat! The Starveling Cat! Sits on your chest when you're sleeping flat!
* the Starveling Cat! the Starveling Cat! it knows what we think! and we don't like that!
* the Starveling Cat! the Starveling Cat! it knows what we think! and we don't like that!
Back to [[Delicious Friends]]
Back to [[Delicious Friends]]
Revision as of 13:18, 8 March 2010
These are the hints which come up in the sidebar to the right. Copy new ones in as you see them!
Linked from Delicious Friends
- 1 Neath culture
- 2 Neath people
- 3 The Bazaar
- 4 History and Geography
- 5 Starveling Cat
- 6 See Also
These are hints relating to life in the Neath.
What happens when you die in Fallen London? Death in the Fifth City isn't necessarily the end. If you're stabbed or shot, someone may come along and sew you back together soon enough. If you're drowned, you'll wake with a hangover. If you die of old age or disease, or if you're hacked to pieces, it's a more serious matter. But in any case, once you die and return to life down here, you'll never be permitted to return to the surface...unless you're one of the few who find a way to immortality.
What happens when you die in Fallen London? Death is not always permanent in Fallen London. This gives rise to a peculiar overlap between the funeral parlour and the sanatorium.
What happens when you die in Fallen London? Death is not always permanent in Fallen London. This has caused the quiet and unacknowledged revision of certain passages in the bibles of the City's churches.
Snow in the Neath? There's a zee-captain down at Wolfstack Docks who claims you can render Neath-snow into white glim on any kitchen stove. I have tried it. I have a pan of goo to show for it. Three of my cats tasted the goo when I left it unobserved a moment too long. The one that lives is locked in the cellar now. I do not expect I will ever dare to release it. I have developed a dislike of zee-captains.
Snow in the Neath? How does one manage a thing that is so patently not snow, and yet so resembles it? Does one leave it hygienically inside quotes? 'Snow'? Does one shrug and regard it as a blessing from the Bazaar? Does one lock one's doors and windows and hide quaking below stairs, while the servants build the fire high and stuff the window-cracks with rags?
Snow in the Neath? In December, enterprising urchins sell bags of snow in Big King Square, even as the stuff lies in drifts around them. Ask them what's wrong with the snow on the ground, and they shrug. 'Pick it up if yer like,' they confide. 'Most of it's probably safe.'
Snow in the Neath? The snow that falls in the Neath is used to make snowballs, to roll snowmen, and to torment the kind of children who are always tormented at school. This may be safe. There may be no ill effects from handling the stuff that, in the Neath, they affectionately describe as 'snow.'
Snow in the Neath? The Neath's annual snowfall has been studied. The learned men of the Department of Chiropterochronometry have attempted to incorporate it into their theories of bat rotation. The microscope that was used still exists. It can be seen in the Museum of Mistakes to this very day. The brass is horribly corroded, but the lenses are essentially intact.
Snow in the Neath? How is it that snow falls in the Neath? It doesn't taste exactly like frozen water. Whey, perhaps. Or saltier. Tears? Or is the sea leaking from the world above?
What do sorrow-spiders eat? These little charmers sneak into the bedrooms of sleepers and bite their eyes off. They take them back to their nests and do...what? No-one's actually seen them eating the stolen eyes.
Why all the candles? This far underground, there are no natural lights. There are distant phosphorescent things in the roof which do for stars - they call it 'moonish light' - but they're not enough to do business by. Some places have gaslight, but it's not cheap. Chandlers - candlemakers - have learnt to use exotic materials to make candles which burn long and well. They don't always smell so very good though.
A trade in souls? Souls are traded to Hell for brass, hydrogen, devilbone, earthly delights, rare coins and other things difficult to find in a department store. Trade without a license is punishable by - well, I don't want to upset you. Nothing you'll need to worry about. After all, you wouldn't be daft enough to engage in spirifage: the unlicensed trade in souls.
What is a spirifer? A spirifer, strictly, is anyone who trades in unlicensed souls. But the word usually means the villains who prey on poverty and desperation, kidnapping children to relieve them of their immortal souls, wheedling them from gin-soaked paupers or snatching them from the mouths of drowned men.
How do you know when your soul's gone? In simpler times, Hell would take a soul on the death of the body. Death is more complicated in Fallen London, though not unknown. So it's not terribly uncommon to meet someone who's short a soul. Some of them become mumbling, dead-eyed husks: some of them simply turn to occupations where soullessness is a professional advantage.
Eleven per cent?? An otherwise tedious anarchist pamphlet gained some notoriety when it claimed that eleven per cent of the citizens of Fallen London had traded, lost or otherwise mislaid their souls. An exaggeration, certainly. But the Bazaar does not permit the publication of the real number. Look around you when you next take a seat on a crowded omnibus. The girl sitting next to you could quite easily be one of the soulless.
What is the Correspondence? They say it's the letters that Helen wrote to Menelaus in the years of her imprisonment. They say it's the letters Raffles wrote about the Cat that never were published. They say it's the last accounts of the last days of the Third City, strung in beads on cord in a code no-one living understands...
What is the Correspondence? They say it's the key that opens Mr Stones' vaults. They say it's concealed in Mr Pages' library. They say it's the only way down here you can ever see starlight.
What is the Correspondence? They say it's the only map of all the Unterzee, scratched on the keystone of the Neath. They say it predicts every price change in the Bazaar for the next hundred years. They say it's a script that you cannot write and live. They say every piece of deep amber has a fragment of the Correspondence at its heart.
What is the Correspondence? They say it's a gate that opens in the stalactites behind Wolfstack Docks. They say you can see it in Mrs Plenty's mirrors. They say it's the only sure way to tell the weight of your soul.
What is the Correspondence? They say it's the map that connects every glimmer of moonish light to a star. They say it's the key that unlocks the secrets of bat-flights. They say it's a trap that someone found inscribed on a wall in the First City, and if you decode its complicated patterns you inevitably decide you're God, to the considerable detriment of your social life.
Scarlet stockings? There are many ladies of negotiable virtue in Fallen London, but Sinning Jenny is certainly the most notorious. She is said to have strangled quite a senior devil with a pair of scarlet stockings, a gift from Mr Wines. Although there seems to be some confusion about whether this was in fact a paid service.
Scarlet stockings? Like all great cities, Fallen London has its ladies of negotiable virtue. The ones who work for Mr Wines wear stockings of an extraordinary, vibrant, almost addictive scarlet. There are jokes about men who pay more to spend time in the company of the stockings than their wearers. It is possible not all of these are jokes.
What is prisoner's honey? The most delightful secret of Fallen London: a substance which physically transports you to a dream. Usually a very pleasant dream. But watch out for red honey.
What is prisoner's honey? from the Natural History of Pliny the Elder: "... there is another kind of honey; its effect is attributed to the flowers called exile's rose, which are found in sacred places from Pontus to Baetica. One who consumes these flowers departs and does not return."
A letter fragment, dated Singapore, 1821 "I have, I fear, at last determined the cause of our poor Leopold's sad disappearance. You will recall that I sent by the Borneo a very considerable collection of [illegible] ... identified one variety as the sinister exile's rose of the Bosphorus. Sophia had long admired their colour [illegible] ... gardens here about the Government-house [illegible] ... although here they call it 'lion's rose'. Singapura is Lion City in the Sanskrit [illegible] ... There are of course no lions here, though many tigers. I would not mention this except that when I dream of Leopold, as still I often do, it has always seemed to me that there is an great cat present, the colour of sunset, which is also the colour of the roses..."
The Exceptional Rose
What is the Exceptional Rose? Some say the Rose is a vicious, fanged flower that will bite anyone who gets too close. Some say it's a cherub, keeping watch over star-crossed lovers, or mischievously dooming folk to fall unrequitedly in love with unsuitable people. Some say that if you pick the bloom on the morning of the day it opens, and crystallise it in sugar, you can win the heart of anyone you feed it to. And who wouldn't want a sugared rose petal?
What is the Exceptional Rose? Scholars find the Rose a very fruitful subject. Its strength as metaphor is explanation enough of the legend, say some. See how the plant is fickle? See how the cherub looks angelic, and has a venomous bite? See how it sucks the very life from the ground! Deadliness, beauty, trickery, and jealousy are all tied up together in this one outlandish notion. Wonderful metaphor for love, you see. Other scholars, of course, believe it exists, and will show you pictures on rotting parchment to prove it.
The Brass Embassy
What is the Brass Embassy? With so much business in Fallen London, you can't expect the inhabitants of Hell to go home at the end of every day, can you? The Brass Embassy is a cosy hell away from hell which, they say, holds the best masked balls in the city.
What do they say about the Veilgarden? A haunt of poets, prostitutes and other low types, and location of the notorious Singing Mandrake. Elderwick is famous for its booksellers. Hollow Street offers the best honey-dens in the city.
What can you find in Ladybones Road? Moloch Street Underground Station is the first stop on the journey to Hell. Clathermont's Tattoo Parlour, haunt of spies, is here. Hangman's Arch can be a good place to hear gossip, and is always a good place for a hanging.
What can you find at Watchmaker's Hill? A sinister fungal wilderness by the river. The Department of Menace Eradication subcontracts the adventurous to deal with the things that slither out of Bugsby's Marshes. An observatory atop the hill employs only blind men.
What can you find in the Forgotten Quarter? The Quarter is the last remnant of the Fourth City, which the Bazaar acquired five hundred years ago. Statues of warrior-kings line silent avenues. A fountain shaped like a silver tree stands before a ruined palace at its heart.
A thing citizens tell gullible newcomers We can't get enough gas down here, see. So you know what we burn for heat? ... sinners.
A defiant proclamation "The Bazaar requires the London Magazine to change its name. The London Magazine has survived two centuries and one duel! It has published Keats, Shelley, De Quincey, Hazlitt! It will survive the translation of London to this d----d abyss, and the dictates of the Bazaar. We will continue to publish under the name, The Magazine Formerly Known As The London Magazine."
Who makes these incredible hats? You may have heard that milliners tend towards insanity. The hat makers of the Neath are the maddest of them all, and this is nothing to do with mercury fumes. How would you feel if your finest creations were the ones most likely to devour you?
What do the zailors zing?
Oh gather round me bully boys And I'll zing you a zong Of the windless waveless sunless Zee Where the mouldy drownies throng Here's to the girls of Mr Veils Here's to their golden locks Here's to a fight in the moonish light Under the Wolfstack docks. Some dream of sun and rain and sky And the true wind in their zails Us Neathy tars won’t swap the stars For the girls of Mr Veils! (from 'Neathy Songs')
A thing about the Church in Fallen London Churches still hold services, London still has its bishops, the Traitor Empress is still the head of the Church of England. Theology has become more flexible, of course. People are more polite about Hell. A few of the saints seem to have had a change of name.
What is the Ring of Roses? The second of Feducci's illegal fighting rings is the Ring of Roses. The loser is the first to make a sound. A chuckle or a cheer counts just as much as a grunt of pain or effort.
A white raven? The ravens down here are white, and sing like nightingales. But they do still eat carrion.
These are hints relating to the personages of the Neath.
What are the Clay Men? The Clay Men are cheap, strong, contented immigrant labour imported en masse across the Unterzee. Are they really clay? Well that's a very personal question. They don't ask you if you're really meat.
What are the Unfinished Men? Unfinished Men are Clay Men who lack something - sight, a voice, a hand, conscience, obedience. You can't really tell a crippled Clay Man from an Unfinished Man, except that ordinary Clay Men are never criminals. The distinction, unfortunately, often evades Constables and citizens alike.
Who are the orphan-gangs? A suspicious number of orphans call the tangled streets of the Fifth City home. The child-gangs that plague us include: the Fisher-Kings, the Naughts, the Crosses, the Regiment, and the Knotted Sock.
Who are the Fisher-Kings? The Fisher Kings are a gang of urchins who keep to the roofs and gutters. They specialise in a particular larceny: relieving passers-by below of their fine hats and wigs by means of a line, a hook, and the deft flick of a wrist. They are a superstitious crew: you can only be a member if you bear the scar of an old wound that never fully healed, and they consider it bad luck to ever set foot upon the ground.
Who are the Naughts and the Crosses? These two gangs of futureless urchins have been waging their ritual war over the territory between the corners of Wick Street and Hobbe Lane, and Alley Alley and Blue Ghost Street almost since the Fall. The savagery demonstrated in the conflict is the stuff of penny-dreadfuls.
Who is Jack-of-Smiles? Either he's learnt to pass from body to body, or there are dozens of him. Every so often some stout citizen puts him down, and then up he pops again, stalking the streets and alleys, murdering Fallen Londoners. Unfortunately they're already busy murdering each other for fun. It must be frustrating.
Who is Jack-of-Smiles? There is no proof for the claim that this villain transmigrates between bodies. The numerous crimson-handed murderers who have cheerfully pleaded guilty to crimes performed with his particular modus operandi are most likely lunatics, or, according to more hysterical accounts, members of the same esoteric society. These madmen have been known to commission penny-dreadfuls detailing the crimes of "Jack". Surely if anything this discredits them further.
Why do they call him Jack-of-Smiles? The lunatic murderer Jack-of-Smiles earnt his name by his fondness for cutting throats, but also for his humourless demeanour. He takes himself very seriously. Not everyone else does, although a certain class of newspaper reports his exploits with some enthusiasm. Don't call him 'Smiles', they say. He hates that.
Smiles at Christmas Jack-of-Smiles, Fallen London's premier lunatic murderer, has been known to hide inside snowmen until passersby come within reach. 'We award this exploit three marks of ten,' the Magazine Formerly Known As The London Magazine opines. 'Smiles' exploits increasingly tend more to the novel than the genuinely ghoulish.'
Who are the Rubbery Men? The Rubbery Men are the ones who resemble squids, a little. They trade deep amber for the tiny blind fish that they eat, and for human music. They seem sad, anxious and very polite. But they are terribly menacing. Faces like squid! Occasionally one is stoned to death in an episode of civic high spirits.
The Traitor Empress
What happened to the Traitor Empress' consort? The Traitor Empress' consort became dangerously ill just before the Fall. Typhoid, apparently. It seems he's quite recovered and lives happily to this day. The air down here must have been good for his health.
Who is Madame Shoshana? The Neath's most mystical fortune-teller. You can tell this by the number of silk scarves she wears, and the size of her crystal ball. She can be found in a stuffy little tent tucked away behind the Hall of Mirrors at Mrs Plenty’s. The secrets of the future can be yours! For a price.
Do you seek to know the future? Ask Madame Shoshana. The cards she uses are a little disturbing, but there's no doubting they get results. Just hope you don’t turn over the Blacksmith. Or the Boat. Or the Gibbet.
Watch for the Drownies Drownies are Fallen Londoners who think they're drowned. That is, they were drowned, but death being what it is there, they recovered. Try telling them that, though.
Who is the Topsy King? In his own words: 'A goden most capering! Hines the walkskies, chanter the powb raggedy men. Dab with viddlo, too, goden!' So there we have it.
What are they doing up there? The Square of Lofty Words is always worth a visit. Go and throw some bread to the philosophers. They get hungry up on their tall poles. Maybe you'll even hear something useful in their elevated discourse.
What is the Overgoat? Is it an infernal creature? An escapee from dreams of scapeless surveillance? The pinnacle of the goat-breeder's art? Only this is certain: the Overgoat is watching. None shall escape its gaze.
Who are the neddy men? The neddy men are the Masters' private enforcers, a shambolic freelance army of cudgel-waving thugs. Anyone can be a neddy man. All you need is a stick.
Who is the Duchess? A lady of style, grace and refinement, whose salons may be the best-attended in Fallen London. Just don't ask about her peculiar diet. Or her name. Or her association with the city's cats. Or her past. Actually, best not to say anything, just nod and drink her lovely tea. It is very lovely tea.
These are hints relating to the Bazaar and it's masters.
A peculiar antipathy Certain of the Masters of the Bazaar - Mr Stones, Mr Apples and Mr Wines, and possibly others - seem to have a particular contempt for Egypt and the Egyptological. Perhaps they're simply reacting to the fashion for the Pharaonic that overcame London before the Descent. But it's unusual that they should care.
Who are the Masters of the Bazaar? The Masters of the Bazaar - Mr Wines, Mr Spices, Mr Veils and the rest - speak in high-pitched whispers, and under their concealing cloaks they seem winged or hunchbacked. Fallen angels, stunted pterodactyls, mobile colonies of fungus? They dismiss all personal questions with an airy wave of their gloved hands.
How many names do the Masters have? It's hard to be certain, but some have traded under more then one name. They say Mr Apples was Mr Barley once. Certainly Mr Iron used to trade as Mr Bronze. And Mr Stones was also trading as Mr Marble quite recently. Until that trouble with the tomb-colonies.
Who is Mr Iron? Tools, printing-presses, guns, steam-engines: taxes from trade in these are payable to Mr Iron. They say it never speaks, but can write with both hands simultaneously.
Who is Mr Eaten? A good question. Not a wise one.
Who is Mr Apples? This upstanding citizen governs commerce in food, wood and immortality. They say it's an ally of Mr Veils.
History and Geography
These are hints relating the the previous stolen cities and the wider Echo Bazaar world.
Around Fallen London
What are the things under the City? In no particular order, these are said to be: the first Four Cities; the Masters' summer homes; the hatcheries of the Rubbery Men; and a number of gigantic sleeping beasts which are drugged every year to prevent them awakening and destroying the Neath. These are sometimes referred to as the 'stone pigs', but that's probably some sort of mistranslation.
What's it like being a tomb-colonist? Halfway between being a leper and being bankrupt. They're difficult, these people. You never know quite what to say to them. 'How are you?' rarely goes down well. Down here you can't really talk about the weather, either.
What are the Tomb-colonies like? Full of rotting men and women standing in cobwebby rooms coughing and complaining and losing track of their arguments. Or having duels every day because they've run out of other things to do.
What are the Tomb-colonies like? More Mictlan than Milan. Travellers do go to see the sights, but the sights are mostly dark half-deserted plazas and unfriendly people wrapped in bandages. They have some good churches though.
Who goes to the tomb-colonies? When you hear 'colony', think 'leper colony', not Rio. No-one goes there. Well, tomb-colonists. A few intrepid or desperate tramp-steamer captains. Particularly stupid tourists. Missionaries suffering from bomb-proof optimism.
The Other Cities
Fourth City relics Who carves horse-head amulets out of bone? Whoever lived in the Fourth City. If all the Fourth City amulets on sale are real, they must really have liked horses.
The creepy cat rhymes!
- The Starveling Cat! The Starveling Cat! Wraps round your throat like a cheap cravat!
- The Starveling Cat! the Starveling Cat! it likes your bones! it prefers your fat!
- The Starveling Cat! The Starveling Cat! Jumped down the well for a good long chat!
- Starveling Kitty! Starveling Kitty! Ruled the roofs of five stolen cities!
- "Whose name's on your collar Mr Starveling Cat?" "Come closer, my dear, if you want to read that..."
- The Starveling Cat! The Starveling Cat! Swims like a bloodfish! Tastes like a sprat!
- The Starveling Cat! The Starveling Cat! Why does it look at us like that?
- The Starveling Cat! The Starveling Cat! Comes for the child who acts like a brat!
- The Starveling Cat! The Starveling Cat! Sharp as ravenglass! Blunt as a bat!
- The Starveling Cat! The Starveling Cat! Sits on your chest when you're sleeping flat!
- the Starveling Cat! the Starveling Cat! it knows what we think! and we don't like that!
- The Sterveling Ket! The Sterveling Ket! What did it find in the oubliette?
Back to Delicious Friends