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Neathy Mysteries for the Advanced Student Messages in this topic - RSS

Flyte
Flyte
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Posts: 568

6/10/2013
On my descent to Fallen London, I was greatly entertained by the canonical list of mysteries. By now, though, most of them are either clearly solved ('Which continent...', 'What price was paid...', ...) or stubbornly inscrutable ('Why are there no foxes in the city?') So I thought it might be fun if we compiled an unofficial, extended list. I suggest that we adhere to the following rules:
  • Mysteries need not yet have definitive solutions, but there should be enough basis for reasoned speculation.
  • Mysteries should be worded so as to avoid significant spoilers, so players can peruse them without fear of compromising their enjoyment.
  • Feel free to discuss solutions, but use spoiler tags.
Here's my list, in rough order of difficulty. Please feel free to suggest more felicitous phrasings, and of course to add your own.
  • Who writes Slowcake's Exceptionals?
  • What are Mourning Candles made of?
  • Why do black-clad individuals prowl by night?
  • How does one make authentic rubbery lumps?
  • What causes glimfall?
  • Who is the Gracious Widow, and why does she conduct business in the dark?
  • Why do snuffers wear what they do?
  • How many souls do Clay Men have?
  • Why are there export tariffs on love stories?
  • Why does the Duchess wear make-up?
  • Who are the oldest men in London?
  • What was the House of Chimes before the Fall?
The solutions to the mysteries above are uncontroversial. So far as I know, those below remain open.
  • Apples for the tree?
  • What was the name of the Third City?
  • Why do Rubbery Men seek out Warm Amber?
  • What is the Correspondence?
  • Why are drownies unlike other dead?
  • What was the name of the Second City?
  • What is Pulsating Amber?
  • How did the rubbery courtier come to the Cage-Garden?
  • What political system reigns in Hell?
  • How is the quality of lacre related to where it's found?
  • Why does Mr Fires control the dirigibles?
  • Which was the first city the Bazaar ever bought?
  • What happens to those who drink moon-milk?
  • Why are maps of the city forbidden?
  • The eyes of Icarus?

Edit: I think I should add some notes on spoiler tags.
  • To spoiler text: [*spoiler]SPOILY TEXT HERE[/spoiler], but without the asterisk.
  • You can only do this once per post, so be careful if replying to multiple people.
  • Spoiler tags don't affect the 'Previous messages in the topic' section you can see by scrolling down when composing a reply, or the text that appears when you hold the mouse over a new post on the 'unread topics' page -- be careful!
Edit 2: added more mysteries.

Edit 3: by request, attempted to indicate which mysteries have uncontroversial answers.

Edit 4: more mysteries.
edited by Flyte on 6/13/2013
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Erik Vimes
Erik Vimes
Posts: 182

6/10/2013
If solutions are not to be posted in this thread, how can we do this at all? Where will we share our answers? For example, I know the answers to a few of these that are fairly in-depth, but where else am I to share my knowledge?

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Sara Hysaro
Sara Hysaro
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6/11/2013
[spoiler]I think these spoiler tags allow for answers to be posted without putting new players at risk, but that's just my opinion. [/spoiler]

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Flyte
Flyte
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Posts: 568

6/11/2013
My thinking was that this would mostly be a place to add extra mysteries, but, if they're tagged like that, I guess it's fine. I'll amend my post accordingly.

For those who don't know how to use the spoiler tags: [*spoiler]INSERT SPOILY TEXT HERE[*/spoiler], but without the asterisks.
edited by Flyte on 6/11/2013
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Flapdragon
Flapdragon
Posts: 30

6/11/2013
Two mysteries- What is Mr Veils' connection to the Vake, and what was the Season of Revolutions?
And some answers (spoilery, of course)

[spoiler]
Slowcake's Exceptionals is written by devils.
Mourning Candles are made out of human fat, scented with lilac, and made by tomb-colonists from themselves.
Black-clad individuals prowl by night because they've drunk black wings absinthe and have the Vake in their minds.
Authentic Rubbery lumps are made by boiling things in well-water.
Glimfall is caused by moon-misers that live in the cavern roof shedding.
The Duchess wears make-up to look older/different.
The Third City was either Xibalba or Chichen Itza, with the well possibly being the Sacred Cenote.
Apples are eyes for the tree which is a spider-council.
Clay men share one soul.
[/spoiler]

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Erik Vimes
Erik Vimes
Posts: 182

6/11/2013
Well Flapdragon, you just about took all of mine. I've got a few more answers though;

[spoiler]The correspondence is either the native language of the masters/the Bazaar or the tongue of the dead thunder god.

The drownies are people who've almost drowned, and though they are not truely dead, they have convinced themselves they are. I'm not sure, but, instead of that, their souls may have fallen into the river death rows down.

Also, the clay men share their single soul not only with each other, but with all the animates in Polythreme and the Sea of Voices. The soul belongs to the king (of Polythreme) with a hundred hearts.
[/spoiler]

I've got a mystery or two myself for others to solve:
What did the thunder say?
What lies North?
What is the fire sermon you dream of?
What is the connection between the Bishop and the Repentant Soldier?
What was Mr. Eaten's former name? (I'm serious about this, not joking, nor talking about the name the doomed seek. It was revealed in a storylet)

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Flipz
Flipz
Posts: 177

6/11/2013
I've got the answer to the Eaten question, but I don't want to post it here even in spoiler form, since that has traditionally led to Very Bad Things. (This, incidentally, is also why I'm not Seeking the Name unless/until I create a secondary character specifically for that Quest.)

Questions of my own--I don't know if these have specific answers, but there HAVE to be clues:

*Why would giving up the Case of the Fidgeting Writer prompt the Brass Embassy to name you "Hellfarer", and why would it be the key to your fate?

* What are the consequences (or rewards?) of becoming a bringer of true death?

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KatarinaNavane
KatarinaNavane
Posts: 399

6/11/2013
[spoiler] The Dutchess wears makeup not to look older/different but to look younger and European. She is Ancient and Egyptian, after all. [/spoiler]

How about, why are echoes only usable as currency in the bazaar itself? All transactions with other Londoners (in storylets or on cards) are done in some manner of barter, usually using base items such as rostygold or glim as currency.
edited by KatarinaNavane on 6/11/2013

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Sir Frederick Tanah-Chook
Sir Frederick Tanah-Chook
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Posts: 1645

6/11/2013
[spoiler]I suppose the Duchess, in a spectacular double bluff, ages her appearance to make herself look younger - that is, so that she looks like an old woman who one would suppose has been alive for the usual number of years, while actually being a young-looking woman who has lived for centuries upon centuries.[/spoiler]

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Aximillio
Aximillio
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6/11/2013
Just so you know: Spoilers still are visible under Unread posts -> Latest post. But those not wanting spoilers shouldn't use that, I guess...

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Flyte
Flyte
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Posts: 568

6/11/2013
Aximillio wrote:
Just so you know: Spoilers still are visible under Unread posts -> Latest post.
And they're also visible if you scroll down to look at earlier messages while writing a reply. Look not behind, oh Orpheus...

KatarinaNavane wrote:
How about, why are echoes only usable as currency in the bazaar itself? All transactions with other Londoners (in storylets or on cards) are done in some manner of barter, usually using base items such as rostygold or glim as currency.
This is no longer entirely true. Unless the Helmsman is actually a Bazaar outlet, anyway.

Eric Vimes wrote:
[Speculation on the Correspondence and the drownies]
My own views on these topics:

[spoiler]The Correspondence is the language of celestial bodies, including the Bazaar. This is why when made to music it can leave you 'enamoured of the unseen sky', and 'Desperate with desire for the endless spaces between stars', and why it contains phrases like 'The mounting excitement when one's beloved reaches the closest point of his orbit.' This also explains why the Senior Reader thought he could use it to communicate with the Sun.

As for the drownies... I am wary of attracting unwanted attention. I shall say only this. Long ago, there was a momentous bargain and a drowning. Just as all water remembers, 'because all water contains something that was once well-water', so every drowning is an echo of that drowning. The experience marks the very souls of the drowned, which is why devils disdain them.[/spoiler]
Edit: I just learned that spoiler tags can only be used once per post.
edited by Flyte on 6/11/2013
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Flyte
Flyte
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Posts: 568

6/11/2013
Katarina and Sir Frederick -- very neatly put. I smiled. Flapdragon, I agree with most of your answers, but about the Third City:

[spoiler]Aren't you missing three wells? Also, I'm pretty sure none of the cities are mythical.[/spoiler]
edited by Flyte on 6/11/2013
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Sir Frederick Tanah-Chook
Sir Frederick Tanah-Chook
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Posts: 1645

6/11/2013
Flyte, I like your theories and commentary very much. As for the Third City, I don't think we have enough information to pronounce at this point, but I am abso-bally-lutely sure that somewhere in the Neath is a city that, whether or not it has any history with the Bazaar, is either that legendary place, or pretending to be.

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Spacemarine9
Spacemarine9
Posts: 2036

6/11/2013
here i have some really off the wall ideas at certain things sometimes here are some qs i think i might have something approaching an answer to (and some others im pretty sure i know for definite)

  • Where do the Masters actually originate from?
  • What is the Bazaar?
  • What did Mr Eaten trade in, back when he was actually a Master? (this is slightly more involved than the name question)
  • What is the Vake? (e: dammit someone already asked a vake question)
  • Who are the Committee of the Underground Leagues of K&C?
  • How ever do the Committee get away with casting iron without getting noticed by Iron?
i thought i had more questions but i ran out


Flipz wrote:
*Why would giving up the Case of the Fidgeting Writer prompt the Brass Embassy to name you "Hellfarer", and why would it be the key to your fate?
* What are the consequences (or rewards?) of becoming a bringer of true death?


I think anything marked "This may be the key to your future" is going to have major implications at the game's ending, but not a lot more besides that in the interim.

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BrightonParis
BrightonParis
Posts: 5

6/11/2013
Oh, I've got a few questions.

  • Who wrote the Correspondence symbols on the Bazaar's spires, and what do they say?
  • Is it possible to, hrm, turn certain somethings into humans that may be presently inhuman?
  • Where was there a Temple of Eyes?
  • What do apples, peaches, and cherries have in common?
  • Why does the Traitor Empress hate peaches (while certain others adore them)?
  • How many things CAN you grow in the 'Neath?
  • How did the Bazaar engage the Masters?
  • How long until the next city? (Given that we seem to go back and forth on the time of the other cities, especially the Second, I find it difficult to believe that there is an easy cycle of 500yrs.) How many years has there been in between each city?
  • How are the cities chosen? I've seen the theories and they are plausible, but I want it straight from a Master (or, failing that, an admin).
  • Does London still control the British Empire on the Surface? If so, how? If not, who does?
  • What are the "cold, empty places"?
  • How young is 'young when Babylon fell'?
  • How literal are the five wells?
  • What crossroads are shaded by ceders?
  • How does the Traitor Empress being fallen affect history on the surface- namely, her relations to the last of the Romanovs?
  • Is this city the first one where the Masters were not directly involved, if you catch my drift?
  • Fingerkings. What? Who? How? Why? Relationship to the 'Neath, most curiously to me? Theories and tantalizing hints bear out little of substance.
  • What is the relationship between all of the ultimate mysteries being hunted and sought?

...Rather, I have quite a lot of questions! smile

  • edited by BrightonParis on 6/11/2013

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    Flyte
    Flyte
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    6/11/2013
    Spacemarine9 wrote:
    here i have some really off the wall ideas at certain things sometimes here are some qs i think i might have something approaching an answer to (and some others im pretty sure i know for definite)
    • Who are the Committee of the Underground Leagues of K&C?
    • How ever do the Committee get away with casting iron without getting noticed by Iron?
    I'm interested in your take on these. It'll be some time before I take up the Knife (or Candle), but I don't want that to get between me and Neathy scholarship.

    BrightonParis wrote:
    [Many many mysteries.]
    No answers to these from me, but a few comments.
    • First, in my opinion your question about the Masters and the Bazaar is a pretty big spoiler. I may have already been a PoSI when I realised it was an appropriate question.
    • Second, I'm not sure all your questions pass the 'reasoned speculation' test. For example, we have almost no information about the situation on the surface since the Fall: as far as I'm aware, we basically know the names of a few cities and countries, and that the broad politic context is still one of Great Power diplomacy and European imperialism.
    • Third, there are some questions I don't understand -- notably those concerning certain somethings, direct involvement, and cold, empty places. I might just be being dense, but if not, perhaps you could make them a little clearer?
    • Finally, I really like the question about the Empress's attitude to peaches.
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    Spacemarine9
    Spacemarine9
    Posts: 2036

    6/11/2013
    okay! the committee aren't really that cryptic i was just scrabbling for a few extra questions to make my post look less pathetic and tiny :v

    [spoiler]
    The Committee of the Game of Knife and Candle are, most definitely, a bunch of Snuffers. There's most probably even deeper mystery behind why they're Snuffers, but the evidence is probably there. The Searing Enigma option would probably shed even more light on matters, but it's expensive! i haven't found anyone who's paid the requisite 31 prize tokens.
    The Masked Treasurer's breath is described as having a "tallowy stink" when you claim a Waxwail (going off the wiki article) and those who died trying to get it "will not rise again": sound like Snuffers to you?
    Also, the rules dictate that if you die, you have to give up all your tokens. Sorta an emulation of the Snuffer permadeath deal, no?
    The Orders of the Rose are inscribed with wisdoms about the Garden also.

    The Committee escaping the wrath of Iron... well, I haven't gotten anything amazingly concrete on it, but I don't think they go unnoticed. I'm pretty sure the dude just straight up authorises the Underground Leagues, despite protests to the contrary. The guy's a participant, after all! Or at the very least he was for some time at the start.
    Pretty sure some people (might have been the original Mirrorbox holders, but I don't remember it) claimed that Mr Iron himself delivered their first knife token.
    And, of course, there's the Mr Sacks lacre-Iron, with his SOONER THAN YOU THINK sign after you hand him a knife and candle. No way he doesn't know what's up![/spoiler]

    also i think one or two of those questions i posted i don't actually have an answer to, or only have the barest shade of one that's not worth posting, so don't all go grilling me on every single one of them :V. besides some of my theories are concocted in a sleep-deprived state at 4am after altogether too much reading, so they might not be the most watertight or indeed non-nonsensical deals.
    edited by Spacemarine9 on 6/11/2013

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    Flyte
    Flyte
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    6/12/2013
    Spacemarine9 wrote:
    [Secrets of Knife-and-Candle.]
    Cheers, that's really interesting.

    [spoiler]It's also a little more fuel for my conviction that there's a connection between the Waxwail and the Thief-of-Faces. No idea what just yet, though.[/spoiler]
    Spacemarine9 wrote:
    also i think one or two of those questions i posted i don't actually have an answer to, or only have the barest shade of one that's not worth posting, so don't all go grilling me on every single one of them :V. besides some of my theories are concocted in a sleep-deprived state at 4am after altogether too much reading, so they might not be the most watertight or indeed non-nonsensical deals.
    No worries, I think I managed to grab most of the soothingly easy questions with my first post. At least, that's my best guess as to why the ones you guys are posting are so damn hard.

    In other news, I decided there was an unforgiveable lack of rubber in my first post, so I went and fixed that.
    edited by Flyte on 6/12/2013
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    Waffles54
    Waffles54
    Posts: 53

    6/12/2013
    I think we should indicate which questions have definite answers and which don't.

    [spoiler]The committee might not be entirely made of snuffers, after all one of them is a tomb colonist and goes around the cottage with a (disgusting) face. I think that the wax wail knife is just a really strong weapon empowered by the wax wind, you can still permanently kill non snuffers in london although.

    My far stretched theory is that the committee is doing this for the stories that the bazaar and another agent from the "deep earth" want (mentioned in the medallion reward texts and Christmas sacks story) and the game is an imitation of the real knife and candle game that people play in the elder continent. The savage order there use wax wail knifes to truly kill enemies and eat the candle corpses with most of them are snuffers.[ /spoiler]

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    Erik Vimes
    Erik Vimes
    Posts: 182

    6/12/2013
    I know the answer to my Eaten question too; I was more wondering who else found out.

    Waffles54 wrote:
    I think we should indicate which questions have definite answers and which don't.

    I see your point most definitely, but at the same time, what would you consider a "definite answer?" Surely something in the sidebar or in a storylet, but the only way to truely make sure is to cite the exact storylet for reference, which could be a considerable pain. Additionally, some of these questions are never directly answered but are implied or drawn from a variety of information.

    I do however propose the idea that next to posted questions notifications are edited in to tell if the mystery is "solved" (has a valid, not necessarily proven answer) or not.

    Now for some answers I have

    [spoiler]
    Giving up on the Fidgeting Writer marks you as a Hellfarer simply because you have "earned the gratitude of hell" by giving up your research upon the matter, also giving you a Brass Ring as a "token of our agreement." You have not physically gone to hell, but you have deepened connections to a huge extent, perhaps earning yourself a place among them should you ever visit

    Also, being able to traverse Hell and bring final and ultimate death seem pretty self-explanatory as invaluable tools in the future, whether immediate or when one simply ages to his 'death.' Which leads to another question for this thread, which I'll list first after the spoiler block

    Echos are used by the Bazaar because they are the only things of value to it.

    Mr Eaten, when he was still a master, traded in candles. (If Eaten himself has opposition to this information being spread, I shall edit it out promptly upon request)

    I don't think anyone can answer who the Masters really are, or what the Bazaar fully is, but they are observably entangled in some way or another, maybe in service or symbiosis of a kind. The Bazaar, as mentioned, is a celestial body, but also seemingly alive, if not in the strictly biological sense as we understand it. In a slight digression, the Terry Pratchett book Reaper Man offered a very interesting view on cities being "alive," with people as the life of them somewhat parallel-ly in the way cells individually make up a larger organism. This same view may apply to the Bazaar, but it seems that some larger power is at play than we do or ever can understand.

    Perhaps the Masters wrote the Correspondence on the Bazaar, out of will or request, or perhaps the Bazaar itself wrote it. The Correspondence is, as revealed, its tongue.

    Brighton Paris, you were a tad ambiguous with your second question, a bit of clarification could help. If referring to rubbery men, then most definitely with enough modification they could become human. In fact, the humanoid rubbers the Neath is accustomed to are very unlike the majority of rubberies. If talking about clay men, then who knows? How far can one soul stretch? Many humans do fine without one.

    A bit more speculation on the Bazaar and Masters here. Perhaps the Masters are the Bazaar's children, or linked fundamentally with it. Maybe the Bazaar created them, to bring it people, take care of it, or otherwise. Maybe the Bazaar didn't always reside on Earth, and when it came here the Masters welcomed it in and made a deal with it to make/let it stay. I doubt we'll ever really know the full story.

    The next city almost came at the end of the Boxful of Intrigue story, and it came to light that some Masters (I forget which now) desire a new city right now. I don't think there's a set time or any schedule, just when the Masters come to some kind of consensus upon the matter (or some take a new city to the other's dislike).

    London, I believe, has no connection to the Surface whatsoever now, and therefore history up there is fundamentally changed and therefore the British Empire is not probably in existence. Furthermore, history before London's descent must also have been changed to accommodate the events of the Silver Tree and everything in the Neath. I come to the conclusion then, that Fallen London takes place in an entirely different parallel timeline from ours.

    Babylon fell, in the literal sense, in our world, somewhere 1600-1500ish BC. Perhaps "fell" means a descent into the Neath though.
    [/spoiler]


    Whew! I'm enjoying these questions heartily, though I fear I join SpaceMarine9 in a lack of sleep when responding.

    More questions:
    Can people still die of old age in the Neath, with the whole business of the Boatman and whatnot? [solved]
    Why can the Tigers talk? (no offence, Alexis) Or cats in general, for that matter. Or L.B.?
    Why do the mandrakes scream?
    What made the Starveling Cat the way it is?
    Which University was the University before the fall? [solved]


  • Edit1: messed up spoiler text the first time
  • Edit2: put in "solved" mysteries addition

  • edited by Eric Vimes on 6/12/2013

  • edited by Eric Vimes on 6/13/2013

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