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And Now His Waltz Is Ended Messages in this topic - RSS

Passionario
Passionario
Posts: 777

7/18/2017
(This is the end of Passionario's story; earlier installments of that story can be found in this thread. The following posts contain spoilers to Seeking Mr. Eaten's Name storyline, references to obscure Neathy mysteries, lies, and outright fabrications. Reader discretion advised. RUN.)

Days and nights blend together. The waves, the airs, the zee-bats - and the cannonfire, of course. Our pursuers are as numerous as they are diverse. The warships of the Navy, full of rum, lashes, and the righteous duty to bring the arch-traitor to Queen's justice. The quinqueremes, sent to avenge the violation of their Hundred-Hearted monarch. Faustian corsairs, undoubtedly tipped off by my Iron Republic contact about the prize worth an infernal dynasty. Most plentiful, however, are the vessels crewed by London's own dynamite faction.

The hardliners and the moderates, the Jovialians and februaristas, the liberationists and the pro-lighters have all set aside their endless internal squabbles to chase their false March. Their list of grievances against me has always been long and bloody - the neddy crackdowns, incinerated books, having their friends and loved ones hauled off into Ministry's basements to be never seen again - yet it was my final crime that galvanized them into unified action.

The proceeds of that crime are securedly stored in our ship's hold now. A single box that looks positively tiny compared to the container that I brought from the Republic. (You still haven't told me what that is.) Yet its destructive potential is far greater than of any demon-forged instrument. When me and the Knights broke into April's secret laboratory, this box was the only item that we retrieved before setting the place on fire. Within it rests the final prototype of the Device, the ultimate weapon of the Calendar Council in their war against universal laws - a bomb that can kill a sun.

So we run - past the drowned horrors of Low Barnet (pay no heed to the Bell), beyond Whither and Codex. One by one, our pursuers fall prey to the zee's hazards, get in each other's way or abandon their hunt in a moment of sensible self-preservation. Palmerston. Chapel. Wisdom. Between cannonfire, boarding assaults, hunger and terror, all of the ship's human crew is long dead - or perhaps they never existed. Only the knights and myself remain now. (And me.) Dahut. Aigul. Wrack. One night, the remaining stubborn stalkers vanish inexplicably, and I wonder whether they have received a visit from an old woman in a small boat. As I begin to freeze (we will freeze together), I realize where that thought came from. We are approaching the North. North. NORTH.

Here is the wall of ice at the end of the world, where it will all end. (Here we will all end.) Here is Void's Approach. Here is Avid Horizon and the Gate. My ship founders on the frozen shores, and I stride forth (Yes. Yes!), while the Knights attempt to salvage our precious cargo from the wreck. Two vast winged shapes guard the gant-coloured gate. The air itself freezes as it passes too closely to its surface. It would be utterly foolish and grievously wounding to touch it.

(Do it! We are accustomed to steep prices by now, are we not?)

"Yes, we are," I say aloud with ice-encrusted lips and walk forward - but not towards the Gate. Instead, I approach the pillar on the dock, where someone's authoritative hand has carved a message: "IF YOU WISH TO RETURN TO LONDON – IF YOU SEEK THE FORGIVENESS OF THE EMPRESS – IF YOU WILL SACRIFICE ALL TO MAKE AMENDS – RECORD YOUR NAME AND CRIME."

(No. No. What are you doing?)

My lips remain sealed. Instead, I take out my knife and begin to carve.

--
Passionario: Profile, Story, Ending
Passion: Profile, Appearance
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Passionario
Passionario
Posts: 777

7/18/2017
(Please stop. Don't do this. Don't throw it all away.)

My name, but which name? The first one that I remember, the name that I've lived under with my mother? Or the proud dynastic name of my father and half-brother, the name that still casts a long shadow on the Surface? Perhaps one of the myriad of code-names - I've certainly committed plenty of crimes under each and every one of them? Or all of them?

(The Gate is right there! You have the Knock; use it!)

No, a single name will do; more space for enumerating my crimes. I carve "PASSIONARIO" into the frozen surface. The Waxwail blade creaks alarmingly, but does not shatter. Like myself, it is far more resilient and deadly than it appears.

(Why are you doing this? They will never forgive you!)

My crimes are far too numerous to list them all, so I focus on the most dire:

"HIGH TREASON."
(My love, I beg you, stop.)
"OBSCURITY."
(Do you seek to be the new Herostratus? They will remember your crimes, but they will not remember you!)
"AIDING AND ABETTING THE THIEF-OF-FACES."
(Forget the Empress's justice: you will be taken straight to the Spire-Chamber, and you'll never leave!)
"CONSPIRACY TO SOLICIDE".
(You are a coward. A coward! So be it. I was never here.)

And just like that, she isn't here. Wasn't here. Will have never been here. My most faithful companion, my candle in darkness, my Queen of Inks. Awash in irrigo, yet red as yes. The final price, finally paid.

I approach the Knights and the massive container that they have finished removing from the wreckage of the ship, and bid them to reveal the treasure within.
edited by Passionario on 7/18/2017

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Passionario: Profile, Story, Ending
Passion: Profile, Appearance
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Passionario
Passionario
Posts: 777

7/18/2017
If my breath hadn't already frozen, it would be stolen away by the sight of this thing. A marvel of infernal engineering and legislation, its nevercold brass plating gleaming seductively in the wintery air. Elegant, sleek and powerful, it poses a bizarre contrast with the soul-crushing landscape around us with its sheer impossibility.


A sky-locomotive.

As my Knights board it, the box with the Device safely held in Galahad's arms, I consider my options. Touching the Gate would undoubtedly deprive me of my hands, at the very least, yet there is another way. It will be just as damaging, of course, but if there is a kernel of truth to the mad stories I've heard of the place where we're going - and if I can keep my hands and my wits for a bit longer - then me and the Knights might be able to acquire new bodies for ourselves.

I raise my trusted knife and slice open my scarred and wounded chest. The freezing flesh parts surprisingly easily, as if it had been waiting long for this moment. My fingers reach inside and retrieve my heart. It is old, hollow, irrevocably broken - but still pulsing with the rhythm of the Seven-Fold Knock from Millicent's touch.

I face the Gate and throw my heart at it as hard as I can.

--
Passionario: Profile, Story, Ending
Passion: Profile, Appearance
+17 link
Passionario
Passionario
Posts: 777

7/18/2017
My dead heart freezes in mid-air and shatters into fragments upon impact. As the Gate begins to slowly open and I hurry to take my place on the locomotive, my mind is also on the subject of fragments, albeit of a different kind.

When you're playing the Game, it's always the little details that damn you. Responding to the wrong name, paying in the wrong currency, making a misstep in the favourite waltz... or dropping an offhand remark about the interest of the great powers in our progress. Ever since my descent into madness began, I have been piecing an impossible puzzle together. The secret in the Waltzing Duke's eye, the whispers in the Nadir, the careless revelations of Nicator and many more. But it wasn't until I remembered the red river and her words that I had the final piece.

There is more than one Game.

The murders, the secrets, the lies, the Old Man of Vienna, the woods in winter, the Illumination - all have their respective counterparts. As below, so above. Yet if that is so, then the core truth of the Game - that everyone who plays it loses eventually, one way or another - must also apply in the Greater Game. And that is what I am counting on.

To those who await beyond the Gate, we are nothing but insects - yet even an insect can kill. A single venomous sting can stop a heart. A plagued flea's bite can doom a city. And a man with a sun-killing Device can bring down a palace of poisoned crystal.

Perhaps this is why I betrayed the Queen of Inks. The only way she could know of the Greater Game is if she was serving as the eyes for the master of that palace, the White King on the other side of the board. Perhaps that is why I never revealed my plan to her - so that in seven hundred and seventy-seven turns, there would be a checkmate.

Or perhaps the reason is simpler. Despite everything, I loved her and she loved me. And where we are going, love cannot follow.

But I can, and it's time for me to do so.




.
edited by Passionario on 9/20/2017

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Passionario: Profile, Story, Ending
Passion: Profile, Appearance
+18 link
Kukapetal
Kukapetal
Posts: 1442

7/18/2017
I shall miss your fascinating character and his equally fascinating story. Thank you so much for allowing us to experience it with him via your wonderful writing.

Bravo!
edited by Kukapetal on 7/18/2017
+6 link
Tystefy
Tystefy
Posts: 431

7/18/2017
Dang.

This is, and always will be, a bettter story than my quest ever will be.

Dang. Dang. Goodbye indeed.

--
Will sometimes return to post absurdity.
+3 link
Teaspoon
Teaspoon
Posts: 850

7/18/2017
That was not a little astonishing.

--
Truth lies at the bottom of a well.

http://fallenlondon.storynexus.com/profile/Alt%20Ern
+3 link
Slyblue
Slyblue
Posts: 218

7/19/2017
You don't know me, I don't know you, but you're an inspiration to many of us. Just...Thank you for sharing this. Thank you.

--
The Story-Teller The Curt Licentiate The Dreamless One

"For hearts of truest mettle, absence doth join and Time doth settle."
+7 link
Rysiek
Rysiek
Posts: 694

7/19/2017
I'll miss Passionario as well. London may be safer but he was fascinating. I didn't like him, but I suppose he was intended to be hated. Which didn't make him any less of a good character or a dangerous presence. Thank you for the more dangerous cousin of Jack of Smiles!


  • --
    The silesian Detective
    http://fallenlondon.storynexus.com/Profile/Rysiek
    The incredible Warsovian. She certainly didn't steal your diamond necklace. That idea is RIDICULOUS...
    http://fallenlondon.storynexus.com/Profile/Maria~Konstantynopolska
    The silesian vengeance seeker
    http://fallenlondon.storynexus.com/Profile/Agata~Grym


    I apologize for any and all anachronisms. I am too lazy to check some facts if I am sure they are from the 1890s or sometimes think they are.

    Oh, and by the way, I am not polish, I am GERMAN to clarify for heavens sake... tylko po polsku mowie. Um Himmelswillen...
  • +1 link
    Tystefy
    Tystefy
    Posts: 431

    7/19/2017
    And thus, the first Sunless Skies alpha tester launched their game.

    EDIT: And Failbetter forgot to patch out their dev tools.
    edited by Tystefy on 7/19/2017

    --
    Will sometimes return to post absurdity.
    +5 link
    BrianRodgers
    BrianRodgers
    Posts: 4

    7/26/2017
    Masterfully executed. Good luck and, if you will pardon the pun, godspeed.
    +3 link
    Parelle
    Parelle
    Posts: 1084

    9/23/2017
    Much amiss that I missed this when first revealed - Adieu.

    --
    Parelle, Lady Joseph Marlen. The Singular Librarian. A Midnighter, a Player of the Marvelous.
    pages from a dusty bookshop: a badly updated FL changelog | Useful Guidance and Explanations
    +2 link
    Catherine Raymond
    Catherine Raymond
    Posts: 2267

    9/23/2017
    Farewell, Passionario. I hope your character has, ah, a little brother or sister or other that will descend to Fallen London, to keep us company?

    --
    Cathy Raymond
    http://fallenlondon.com/Profile/cathyr19355

    Catherine Raymond aka Mrs. Rykar Malkus http://fallenlondon.storynexus.com/Profile/Catherine%20Raymond (Gone NORTH)
    +2 link
    Passionario
    Passionario
    Posts: 777

    9/25/2017
    Catherine Raymond wrote:
    Farewell, Passionario. I hope your character has, ah, a little brother or sister or other that will descend to Fallen London, to keep us company?

    Passionario's brother (well, half-brother) did descend to Fallen London, where he was known as the Waltzing Duke. His story did not end well, either.


    Meanwhile, a certain charity-worker who occasionally publishes Celestial poetry under the pen name of 'Passion' is entirely unrelated to either of them.

    --
    Passionario: Profile, Story, Ending
    Passion: Profile, Appearance
    +3 link
    Catherine Raymond
    Catherine Raymond
    Posts: 2267

    9/25/2017
    Passionario wrote:
    Catherine Raymond wrote:
    Farewell, Passionario. I hope your character has, ah, a little brother or sister or other that will descend to Fallen London, to keep us company?

    Passionario's brother (well, half-brother) did descend to Fallen London, where he was known as the Waltzing Duke. His story did not end well, either.


    Meanwhile, a certain charity-worker who occasionally publishes Celestial poetry under the pen name of 'Passion' is entirely unrelated to either of them.


    Good to know! Thanks.

    --
    Cathy Raymond
    http://fallenlondon.com/Profile/cathyr19355

    Catherine Raymond aka Mrs. Rykar Malkus http://fallenlondon.storynexus.com/Profile/Catherine%20Raymond (Gone NORTH)
    +1 link
    Passionario
    Passionario
    Posts: 777

    3/22/2018
    Speaking of alts, shortly after Passionario left Northwards, I created a semi-secret alt named Red-Lilac Phantom to represent his irrighost still haunting London. Over time, he has grown to mid-POSI levels.

    Last week, Time the Healer took away Passionario's final change point of Making Waves. London has finally forgotten him. To mark the occasion, I deleted Red-Lilac Phantom's account.

    Let none say that I don't take my RP seriously.

    --
    Passionario: Profile, Story, Ending
    Passion: Profile, Appearance
    +8 link
    dov
    dov
    Posts: 2532

    3/22/2018
    Passionario wrote:
    Speaking of alts, shortly after Passionario left Northwards, I created a semi-secret alt named Red-Lilac Phantom to represent his irrighost still haunting London. Over time, he has grown to mid-POSI levels.

    Last week, Time the Healer took away Passionario's final change point of Making Waves. London has finally forgotten him. To mark the occasion, I deleted Red-Lilac Phantom's account.

    Let none say that I don't take my RP seriously.

    That's... some dedication to RP. Well done!

    --
    Want a sip of Hesperidean Cider? Send me a request in-game. Here's an_ocelot's guide how.
    (Most social actions are welcome. Please no requests to Loiter Suspiciously and no investigations of the Affluent Photographer)
    +2 link
    Kukapetal
    Kukapetal
    Posts: 1442

    3/22/2018
    Flesh-Stick hasn't forgotten him :P
    0 link
    Greg M
    Greg M
    Posts: 185

    4/23/2018
    Holy cow, that is some gorgeous writing. I loved reading this. Well done.

    --
    Profile: GregM.
    http://www.fallenlondon.com/Profile/GregM

    Available for any non-harmful social interactions.
    +1 link




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