Bazaar Things

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This page is about the game Echo Bazaar, a browser game played by several delicious MUDers.
See all Echo Bazaar pages. You can play this game at http://www.fallenlondon.com/.
All Echo Bazaar material is © Failbetter Games 2010, used by permission.

This page contains information that can be considered spoilers. You Have Been Warned.

These are the hints which come up in the sidebar to the right. Copy new ones in as you see them!

Neath culture

These are hints relating to life in the Neath.

Death

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.

What is the Game of Knife-and-Candle? Death is not always permanent in Fallen London. This permits the practice of the violent but strangely boyish game of murderous gentlemen's tag called the Game of Knife-and-Candle.

Why is Hesperidean Cider so sought-after? Death is not always permanent in Fallen London. Old age and disease still take their toll, but a small stabbing or shooting can often be mended with an apology and some deft needlework. Of course this amnesty from death does not extend to the surface. Once you've been shot, you're down here for ever. Unless you have a rare flask of Hesperidean Cider, perhaps.

Snow

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?

Snow in the Neath? The snow that falls in the Neath every December is something of a mystery. Condensation from the cavern's roof, the sloughed chitin of enormous insects, or the dandruff of a tonsorially careless God? In any case, catching snowflakes on your tongue is probably a bad idea.

Snow in the Neath? It must be, in part at least, frozen water: when it melts, it refreezes as black ice. Tiny, desperate fish and insects can be seen frozen in the ice, no larger than a fingernail, eyes distorted with fear.

Candles

Why does the prison need so many candles? New Newgate Prison uses a vast number of candles. It is rumoured that prisoners who can arrange for candles to be delivered can gain privileges or even an early release. It's almost as if they eat the things.

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.

What is 'moonish light'? What we have instead of moonlight, down in the Neath: the uncertain glow from phosphorescent things in the cavern roof. Possibly jewels, possibly very large glowing insects. Frankly it'd be nicer if they were jewels.

Souls

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.

What is a spirifer? There's a healthy export trade in souls from Fallen London to Hell. But like all trade, it's licensed and overseen by the Bazaar. Spirifers are those rogues who bypass the Bazaar to sell directly to Hell. A soul may be a final desperate payment against a bad debt; it may be gambled unwisely; or it may be tricked from its first owner.

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.

An orthopaedic solution? Specialist surgical trusses for the soulless are sold in Fallen London. Do they work? Well they don't return your soul. But the soulless are martyrs to bad posture. They might help with that.

The Correspondence

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.

What is the Correspondence? They say it's the language the bats speak. They say the Snuffer wrote it on the outside walls of New Newgate. They say the Topsy King learnt it, and that's why you can never understand a bloody word he says.

What is the Correspondence? They say it's a series of confidential negotiations between the Masters and a devil of some note. They say it comprises the billets-doux written by Jack-of-Smiles to the Traitor Empress. They say it's the letter the Pope wrote, the one without which Rome would have been the Fourth City. They say if you read it your eyes boil and your hair turns the white of old ice. They say it's written on slate in the blood of poisoned bats.

What is the Correspondence? They say it's the mathematics of Hell. They say it's the geography of Time. They say it was invented wholesale by a honey-sipper sitting giggling in a cramped and filthy room on Hollow Street, and it's been driving gullible scholars insane ever since.

What is the Correspondence? They say only the Brass Embassy knows.

Scarlet Stockings

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.

Scarlet stockings? Like all great cities, Fallen London has its ladies of negotiable virtue. The wiser ones work for Mr Wines. In return, Mr Wines provides them with scarlet stockings, to ensure they won't be troubled by over-zealous constables. Of course anyone can buy scarlet stockings, but the scarlet dyes Mr Wines uses are a colour found nowhere else. Their origin is a closely guarded secret.

Prisoner's Honey

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? The most delightful secret of Fallen London: a substance which physically transports you to a dream. It is gathered by bees from the black roses which grow here. There is another kind of underground rose from which honey may be made, but that's rather less safe.

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..."

What is red honey? Something to do with prisoner's honey? Whatever it is, it's forbidden to buy or sell it in a city where very little is outright forbidden. Even the sale of souls is licensed.

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.

What is the Exceptional Rose? The Exceptional Rose is a legendary member of the vegetable kingdom. Well, maybe the animal kingdom. Science is complicated. At least we can say with reasonable certainty that it is not mineral. It is a tall creature, growing from the ground and apparently rooted to it; but it carries on top a remarkable bloom. This remains tightly in bud, except for a day in late winter, when the flower opens to reveal, nestling in gorgeous red petals, a little child’s face. It looks very darling, until it smiles.

What is the Exceptional Rose? What do Fallen Londoners do on the Feast of the Exceptional Rose? Fallen Londoners are truly sentimental, and nothing delights them more than romance and secrecy. At the Feast of the Exceptional Rose there are masked balls, organised by Mr Wines himself, and seething with intrigue; folk are more daring behind a mask, and some surprising intimacies occur. Smitten young men create elaborate treasure-hunts to guide their beloved to a gift of jewellery or crystallised fungus, all tied up with red ribbon. Besotted young women write riddling, anonymous messages on cards covered with painstaking decoupage. Urchins sell bunches of paper violets for truly outrageous sums of money to forgetful spouses. Shop windows teem with adorable stuffed bats holding little stuffed hearts. A sizeable part of the population consume as much honey, wine, laudanum or all three as they can lay their hands on, and hide under blankets until it's all over.

What is the Feast of the Exceptional Rose? The Exceptional Rose is said to bloom once a year, around the time of the ancient festival of Lupercalia. It has a little child’s face, plump and smiling, but it only blossoms for a day. So the Feast was fertility and death both. Well it would be. You know how these pagans are. These days, of course, it's all about Love. Fallen London forgets how the Feast was born in the hungry days at the thin tail of winter. Now Londoners send trinkets and sweetmeats to those they are courting. All this is done playfully, in affected secrecy, but sometimes hearts can really be broken. Not all the gifts are sweet ones.

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.

Advertisments

The LABYRINTH OF TIGERS is open under the patronage of the LONDON ZOOLOGICAL SOCIETY to CAUTIOUS VISITORS for EDUCATIONAL PURPOSES. Here you may see the DEVIL-APES of FAR MANDELAY. The THING IN THE MIRROR. The CANTIGASTER'S CHILDREN. The gargantuan CAVE-SNAKE. The INHABITER OF WOLVES. The HYBRID FIEND. N.B. The MANAGEMENT RECOMMENDS that you arrange your exit WELL BEFORE CLOSING TIME.

WHAT LIES...BENEATH THE NEATH? At MRS PLENTY'S CARNIVAL, ENJOY a DIVERTING EDUCATIONAL AND THRILLING RIDE into the CHASMIC ABYSMS of SUB-SUBTERRANEAN TROGLODYTRY! SEE the FOSSILS OF the ELDER PAST! ENJOY our PAINSTAKING RECREATION of the HELLS OF ANTIQUITY! (REFUNDS NOT AVAILABLE in case of UNWISE DEATH.

City Places

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 is the Parlour of Virtue? The Parlour is Mr Wines' most notorious establishment for sating the appetites of flesh. The place is well regarded, although it is still scandalous to be caught visiting. The Parlour caters to those of very particular appetites: many wealthy potential customers have been turned away with very little in the way of explanation.

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's so special about Clathermont's Tattoo Parlour? Letters in and out of the city are routinely read. But one does not often intimately search a gentleman, and never a lady. So, the rumour has it, Clathermont and his three glum-faced tattooists - triplets, who some say are his daughters - although some hint at a more intimate relationship - hm - where was I? Ah yes. The rumour has it, spies come to Clathermont's to have messages tattooed in less public areas of their skin. This has, of course, been responsible for a scandalous vogue for secret tattoos.

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.

How do you get out of the Forgotten Quarter? You can generally find your way out of the Forgotten Quarter. It's just difficult to remember afterwards how you did it.

What happens at Wolfstack Docks? This is where the trading steamer fleets come in from the lands across the Unterzee, the sunless sea of the Bazaar. Mr Fires, who governs trade in coal, keeps his office here among the warehouses and rowdy dockside pubs.

What is New Newgate Prison? The prison is carved into the body of an immense stalactite, clinging to the roof of the Bazaar's cavern. Escape-proof? We'll see about that.

Where is New Newgate Prison? They built the Fifth City's prison in a stalactite the size of a fair-sized village. Food and prisoners come and go from the city far below in a dirigible. Any corpses reckoned beyond recovery are weighted with dripstone and allowed to plummet into the Unterzee, far below.

Where does the river go? The Stolen River that flows into the Unterzee - the one they used to call the Thames - passes through Hell. That's one reason why you see so many of the dead at the Bazaar. Which in turn is one reason why being dead round here is an inconvenience, not a disaster.

Where is the Bazaar? The Bazaar is located at the heart of Fallen London, in the Neath, a cavern of impossible size, by the Unterzee, a tremendous saltwater lake. They say it's the skull of some defunct pagan god. That doesn't sound very likely. Although it would explain the dreams.

What is the Flit? A bad altitude. The Flit is where you go when you're no longer welcome at ground level. Or if you really rate a good view from your window.

What happens at the Royal Bethlehem Hotel? The manager of the Hotel offers free rooms to guests of particular note or interest. He irritably denies the suggestion that he might be 'collecting' them.

What can you find in the district of Spite? The ragged old market of Spite is known for its silk-weavers and its pickpockets. Blythenhale is notorious for its feral cats. Flowerdene Street is the heart of the worst rookery in Fallen London.

Who manages the House of Mirrors? Is it Mr Mirrors himself? Surely not. No Master would lower himself to become a carnival showman. But it is a sinister place. And it surely can't turn a profit.

Animals

Rattus faber? The rarer and cleverer of the city rats - the dangerous ones - employ their tiny hands to marvellous effect, making tools and clockwork of unparalleled precision. They use these chiefly to set cat-traps, but can sometimes be employed by humans. Formally, one of these exceptional rats is rattus faber. Informally, it is an "L.B.".

A white raven? The ravens down here are white, and sing like nightingales. But they do still eat carrion.

Which cats know most? Purportedly the cats of the city know a secret or two. The common tabbies and gingers can convey little more then gossip, the whites are deaf but keen-eyed, the greys and blacks know some real treasures. The traditional means of parting them from their secrets is to win their respect by creeping up on them. Sweeping up crowds of yowling alley mogs in a net is technically possible, but not the mark of a true knight of the streets.

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 are they called sorrow-spiders? The story goes that spiders drink from your eyes while you sleep. Sorrow-spiders bite off a whole eye. They get their name from the tears that flow from the remaining eye.

What is a Spider-council? Sorrow-spiders are already repulsive. Spider-councils are what happens when sorrow-spiders go bad.

Music

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')

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.

Who is Mr Wines? Trade in anything drinkable comes under the jurisdiction of Mr Wines. Though it can't be bothered with water. Entertainment, music and the business of the ladies of the evening are also its domain. There's supposed to be some sort of dispute about dreams.

Fan-created: The Bazaar doesn't have its own soundtrack, so a few denizens of Fallen London have taken it upon themselves to fill in the gap. Radio Free Neath, run by CommodoreCreazil on blip.fm, regularly broadcasts to all of Fallen London with "phonautographic equipment working tirelessly to bring sounds to those delicious souls roaming beneath the moonish light"; and singer-songwriter Jo Robbins has written a song called "Nightmarket" that was heavily influenced by her experiences in the Fifth City.


False-summer

False-summer The Neath has no sunshine. None of the trappings of the seasons. Still it becomes hotter sometimes, more humid. A volcano beneath the Unterzee that releases bubbles of hot, sulphurous gas, like gargantuan belches from a sleeping giant? Actual gargantuan belches from an actual sleeping giant? Convection currents created by the migratory flight patterns of bats are also sometimes blamed? Whatever the reason for these hot spells, they make the chiller fogs of the Neath a distant, pleasant memory.

The Wandering Mirage Nasty, shimmering patches of air float along the streets in the false summers of the Neath. Strange lights sometimes dance in attendance. Far-off places can be glimpsed. Don't walk through these. There are worse places than Fallen London.

Heat and Dust The Neath's roughly-annual false-summer brings with it many inconveniences, not the least of which is the proliferation of damp, warm fog. It blows in off the Unterzee, when the breeze is in the right direction. Finding yourself out in it is akin to trying to walk through a hot, wet blanket. One that has recently been used to dry a hot, wet dog.

Summer of Jack False-summer sends Jack-of-Smiles, Fallen London's most prolific murderer, just that little bit more unhinged. Who can blame him? The maddening, stinging clouds of marsh-gnats, the soupy humidity, the incessant chattering of the brightly-dressed crowds thronging the tea-houses and taverns. Not to mention the extra...temptations provided for him at the edges of said crowds, where citizens may not always be strictly sober or entirely without sin.

Spore-fever False-summer would not be the same without it. All of Fallen London is stricken, at once: sneezing, wheezing, eyes streaming. Handkerchiefs are brandished; eyes are concealed behind smoked glass pince-nez; F.F. Gebrandt sells out of remedies, whether they are intended for spore-fever or not. A city is united in self-pity. There are real cures, but their side-effects are nastier than the symptoms.

Summer in the Neath How to relieve the tedium of the warm season, when condensation drips from the roof of the cavern like a monsoon of stagnant sweat, and Fallen London smells as fresh as a week-old corpse? L.B.s can be paid to attach fans to bonnets. Pomander traders make their fortunes. But the best way of all to cool down is with a delicious fungal ice-cream. Urchin entrepreneurs with handcarts can supply everything from toadstool sorbet to frozen puffball creams. Where do they get the ice to keep their wares cold? Trust your correspondent when I assure you you do not wish to know.

Misc

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?

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.

Why is it so easy to get lost in Fallen London? The streets of London were bent into a labyrinth with the Bazaar at the labyrinth's heart. Finding your way around can be troublesome. Pre-Bazaar maps can be surprisingly useful, but they're contraband. Don't be caught with one.

'A bouquet of fresh mushrooms! For your sweetheart!' Flowers are hard to come by in Fallen London. Where resources are scarce, private enterprise inevitably steps in to fill the gap.

What are Mrs Plenty's Rubbery Lumps? The question is not indelicate. The Lumps are a famous - perhaps notorious - delicacy sold in the Refreshment Pavilion at Mrs Plenty's Most Distracting Carnival. Deep-fried sea-monster, they say. They are to jellied eels what a war is to a fist-fight.

What does this mean? Residents have been known to say 'since the Fall', to mean, not the Biblical Fall, but the Descent of London. Well enough. But what do they mean by 'since the Bazaar was between stars'?

A thing about naughty words Before the Fall, gentlemen did not usually say 'damned'. The word is in more common use now. Given the proximity of Hell, it seems coy to treat the word with such caution.

What's so special about Fallen London? Fallen London: once capital of the British Empire, now home of the Bazaar. Deep. Dark. Expensive. Marvellous. Here you can find everything from immortality, to unnervingly good mushroom wine.

What's so bad about Fallen London? The Bazaar stole London three decades ago. Of course only anarchists and revolutionaries say "stole" any more. Everyone who matters has grown to know and love the status quo. It's quiet down here. All those jewels and mushrooms and all that black water. What could be better?

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 Pale Tabernacle? A tall tale told by zailors. They say it's a place of unearthly delights, glimpsed only by the boldest and drunkest of zee-men. They say that the beauty of the place has struck men blind. They say it's where the Fiddler's Fluke came from...

Neath people

These are hints relating to the personages of the Neath.

Clay Men

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.

Are the Clay Men really clay? That's a very personal question. They don't ask you if you're really meat. (Yeah it's pretty much a dup of the above, but... it's a separate Thing nonetheless)

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.

Urchins

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.

Jack-of-Smiles

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.'

Poor Jack's a-cold In a city where death can be temporary, lunatic murderers are not treated with especial respect. Jack-of-Smiles is still dangerous. If he slices you into proper collops, you're not coming back. But a throat-cutting spree is not very much worse than a wasp's nest. It must be vexing for him.

Rubbery Men

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

Where is the Traitor Empress? The Traitor Empress and her consort live safely in the Shuttered Palace, in the protective custody of the Bazaar. No-one is permitted to use her name any more.

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.

Why is the Empress' Palace shuttered? Apparently the Empress doesn't like light. Or sudden movements, loud noises, foreigners, treason, peaches. When you're Empress, you can do this kind of thing.

Madame Shoshana

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.

What's in the stars? Ask Madame Shoshana to cast your horoscope. We all know those aren’t stars in the roof of the Neath, but that’s no barrier to good honest superstition. Those born under the signs of the Bat and the Lantern are particularly lucky people. Be glad, too, that you weren’t born during the month of the Hunter. That wouldn’t be a good thing. No.

Drownies

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.

Watch for the Drownies Drownies are, for practical purposes, walking drowned men. They shiver, they complain, they try to drag you under the Stolen River's surface and make you one of them. They are not neighbourly.

The Duchess

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.

Cat-chasing? What's the problem? Cat-chasing is more popular than ever in some quarters of the city, but the Duchess has let it be known that repeat offenders will feel her displeasure.

Misc

Who is the Ambassador? The Ambassador throws magnificent balls, which are often the highlights of the social season. The competition for invitations is intense among up and coming socialites. He is particularly charming, and it seems churlish to ask him whether he's the ambassador of anywhere in particular.

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.

What is the Vake? They say it's not a monster at all. It's a man who dresses up as a bat. To, ah, prowl the city by night. But that would just be stupid.

The Bazaar

These are hints relating to the Bazaar and it's masters.

The Bazaar

The Bazaar - does it need a gender? The Bazaar is traditionally spoken of as if it's a single living thing. Women call it 'he'; men call it 'she'. The Masters of the Bazaar style themselves 'Mr', but no-one seems to think they're actually men.

(Dup from City Places) Where is the Bazaar? The Bazaar is located at the heart of Fallen London, in the Neath, a cavern of impossible size, by the Unterzee, a tremendous saltwater lake. They say it's the skull of some defunct pagan god. That doesn't sound very likely. Although it would explain the dreams.

What do they sell in Hell? The Bazaar's conveniently located for Hell, and Hell's envoys keep stalls and warehouses here. Which is great if you want to buy brass, obsidian, sulphur, hydrogen, devilbone or any of Hell's other well-known exports. Or if you want to sell souls. But you shouldn't do that.

The 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.

Who is Mr Veils? Mr Veils deals with clothing and fabric, and takes a close interest in the silk-weavers of Spite. But not in any of the more dubious activities in the district of Spite! The mere suggestion is slander!

Who is Mr Wines? Trade in anything drinkable comes under the jurisdiction of Mr Wines. Though it can't be bothered with water. Entertainment, music and the business of the ladies of the evening are also its domain. There's supposed to be some sort of dispute about dreams.

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.

The Tomb-Colonies

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

Look: an eye. The city around the Bazaar is called the Fifth City because, they say, it's not the first the Bazaar chose as a home. You can still turn up bricks from the older cities, now and then. Look: here's one marked with an eye.

What was the First City? Only two things are known to remain of the First City: the name, the Crossroads Shaded By Cedars, and the saying: even the First City was young when Babylon fell.

What's the problem with the Second City? Never mention the Second City to the Masters of the Bazaar. Mr Wines will look at you narrowly and give you his worst vintage. Mr Cups will fly into a rage. Mr Veils will harangue you for your discourtesy. Mr Iron will say nothing, only write down your name with its left hand.

What was the Third City? No-one talks much about the cities that preceded London. The Third City seems to have been acquired a thousand years ago. It had five wells, they say. And the weather was better.

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.

Starveling Cat

The creepy cat rhymes!

  • The Starveling Cat! The Starveling Cat! It sees in the dark! Don't forget that!
  • 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?
  • the Starveling Cat! the Starveling Cat! warm as a lizard! fragrant as a bat!
  • the Starveling Cat! the Starveling Cat! louder than a dog! taller than a rat!
  • The Starveling Cat! The Starveling Cat! Quick as a ratgun! Sharp as a gnat!
  • the Starveling Cat! the Starveling Cat! want to lose a hand? give the beast a pat!
  • the Starveling Cat! the Starveling Cat! stole your shoes! ate your cravat!
  • the Starveling Cat! the Starveling Cat! steals from your pantry! blames it on a rat!
  • the Starveling Cat! the Starveling Cat! look what it did! to your nice new hat!
  • the Starveling Cat! the Starveling Cat! mangy as a goat! mad as a bat!
  • the Starveling Cat! the Starveling Cat! won't sit on a cushion! won't sit on a mat!

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