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The Starved Men Messages in this topic - RSS

James Sinclair
James Sinclair
Posts: 134

1/3/2018
I'm looking for any and all information on the mysterious Starved Men that inhabit the stalactites on the roof of the Neath. As someone with the Nemesis ambition, I'm hoping that some Light-Fingered ladies and gentleman have more information to share than a revenge-seeker such as myself has access to. Below is what I do know (or think I know) about the Starved Men, from Fallen London and Sunless Sea and of course from I'm a Candle. Some of this could be considered SPOILERS:
  • They practice the Shapeling arts, which they somehow acquired from the alien flukes/Rubberies that hitched a ride to Earth on the Bazaar from their home planet of Axile. These arts allow the Starved Men to reshape and elongate their flesh, in much the same manner as the flukes created the Rubbery Men. However, the Starved Men are not themselves Shapelings; they are (or were) human.
  • They inhabit some of the large stalactites on the roof of the Neath, which they've carved tunnels and rooms inside of just like New Newgate Prison (which we're all so very familiar with, hmm?).
  • For transportation between stalactites, they use smaller, gas-filled balloons, rather than the large dirigibles used by Mr Fires and his minions.
  • They fight among themselves, and use era-modern weapons such as cannon and rifles.
  • Godfall was a once a fortress of the Starved Men that was blasted clean off of the roof from a large explosion during one of their wars, and crashed into the zee below. Violent, xenophobic remnants of the Starved Men (or their creations?) still exist deep in the fortress and attack all intruders, but the cheerful alcoholic monks that inhabit the outer section of Godfall are not related to the Starved Men.

This leaves me with a number of questions. Where did the Starved Men originate? Why are they called Starved Men? Do the shapeling arts negate the need for them to eat? Are they somehow connected to Mr Eaten, or Mr Fires? Is Mr Fires in contact/trade with them via the dirigibles? Was New Newgate formerly one of their citadels? Why do they fight each other? Why do they reshape their bodies? Do they practice the Red Science? What do they want? Do they have an ultimate goal? Do they ever come down to the surface of the Neath, or to London? Etc etc. Any information at all would be welcome.

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James Sinclair

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A fully-fledged rêveur of The Night Circus.

Wines is red
Spices is yellow
But old Jack-of-Smiles
Is a murderous fellow
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Tystefy
Tystefy
Posts: 344

1/3/2018
Sounds suspiciously like these forums.

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I am still here. I always was.
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Optimatum
Optimatum
Posts: 2973

1/3/2018
James Sinclair wrote:
Godfall was a once a fortress of the Starved Men that was blasted clean off of the roof from a large explosion during one of their wars, and crashed into the zee below. Violent, xenophobic remnants of the Starved Men (or their creations?) still exist deep in the fortress and attack all intruders, but the cheerful alcoholic monks that inhabit the outer section of Godfall are not related to the Starved Men.



It's pretty clear from a snippet in Godfall that the monks were originally Starved Men, and either prolong their lives or make new monks through the Shapeling Arts.

[spoiler]When it fell, a few of its occupants survived to become the monks' progenitors. How does that work, you wonder, with their vow of celibacy? They become vague, and are suddenly eager to speak of the details of passing shipping.[/spoiler]
edited by Optimatum on 1/3/2018

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James Sinclair
James Sinclair
Posts: 134

1/4/2018
Optimatum wrote:
James Sinclair wrote:
Godfall was a once a fortress of the Starved Men that was blasted clean off of the roof from a large explosion during one of their wars, and crashed into the zee below. Violent, xenophobic remnants of the Starved Men (or their creations?) still exist deep in the fortress and attack all intruders, but the cheerful alcoholic monks that inhabit the outer section of Godfall are not related to the Starved Men.


It's pretty clear from a snippet in Godfall that the monks were originally Starved Men, and either prolong their lives or make new monks through the Shapeling Arts.

[spoiler]When it fell, a few of its occupants survived to become the monks' progenitors. How does that work, you wonder, with their vow of celibacy? They become vague, and are suddenly eager to speak of the details of passing shipping.[/spoiler]
edited by Optimatum on 1/3/2018


On the other hand, they might just be telling tall tales. If they are Starved Men, it seems odd that they inhabit only the 'safe' areas of Godfall instead of having the run of the place. Perhaps the monks just came across the ruins shortly after the stalactite fell, and claimed them as their new home, and recruit new monks from shipwrecked zailors and the like.

--
James Sinclair

Curator of the Sanguine Ribbon Society

A fully-fledged rêveur of The Night Circus.

Wines is red
Spices is yellow
But old Jack-of-Smiles
Is a murderous fellow
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Kukapetal
Kukapetal
Posts: 1405

1/4/2018
I thought I remember someone saying they actually walked upside down on the roof, but I don't know if that's true or not. Anybody know?
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menaulon
menaulon
Posts: 85

1/4/2018
James Sinclair wrote:
I'm looking for any and all information on the mysterious Starved Men that inhabit the stalactites on the roof of the Neath. As someone with the Nemesis ambition, I'm hoping that some Light-Fingered ladies and gentleman have more information to share than a revenge-seeker such as myself has access to.



The penultimate Light Fingers update has a lot of information on the Starved Men and their stalagtite life: http://fallenlondon.storynexus.com/Profile/Gyges?fromEchoId=12545134 (the start of journey)
http://fallenlondon.storynexus.com/Profile/Gyges?fromEchoId=12547785 (the end of update)

The text of becoming closest to Bohemians as a Celestial also appears to relate to them, but I am not sure of exact meaning.
http://fallenlondon.storynexus.com/Profile/NiteBrite?fromEchoId=3021815

(Preceding text here http://fallenlondon.wikia.com/wiki/A_Vision_of_a_Garden )

James Sinclair wrote:
This leaves me with a number of questions. Where did the Starved Men originate? Why are they called Starved Men? Do the shapeling arts negate the need for them to eat? Are they somehow connected to Mr Eaten, or Mr Fires? Is Mr Fires in contact/trade with them via the dirigibles? Was New Newgate formerly one of their citadels? Why do they fight each other? Why do they reshape their bodies? Do they practice the Red Science? What do they want? Do they have an ultimate goal? Do they ever come down to the surface of the Neath, or to London? Etc etc. Any information at all would be welcome.


The Starved Men are people who are using the Static-Star's (super moon-miser's) Red Science capabilities to change themselves. I believe they are Starved because there isn't much to eat on the roof so they have to war with each other for sustenance. They use Red Science for the same reason everything does: to change their position on the Chain. Most basically, it's what allows them to surivive on the roof. My supposition from the Bohemian piece is that they seek immortality by rendering themselves inhuman. Of course it could also mean they wish to seek to light in general, but then they would have likely reached it. The Bohemians text also points to their ability to get down to London. It seems the draw of change is enticing enough to keep them there. Or maybe something makes sure they can't really leave?

They have a general connection to Mr Eaten through Red Science to Flukes to promise to Mr Eaten, but the connection to Mr Fires is much more interesting. Here is a bit about dirigibles:
http://fallenlondon.storynexus.com/Profile/Mstislav?fromEchoId=9493627
If you have finished the Affair of the Box (or Light Fingers) then you know what the Neath stars are and that they have many interesting qualities that Masters hold interest in. Fires might be returning what he has used or stars taken by his "colleagues." In any case, he holds a great amount of interest in the roof and so has definitely dealt with the Starved Men. Unfortunately I don't know anything more about their interaction or New Newgate, although the absence of Starved Men around the area is suspicious.

As for the monks of Godfall
[spoiler] Red Science can create horrors, but it can also return one to a functional or human-like condition: http://fallenlondon.storynexus.com/Profile/Mstislav?fromEchoId=13083675. The monks might be those Starved Men that decided to return to a more human shape, leaving their brethren in the depths alone to let them make the same decision on their own. To be clear, the last sentence isn't a textually proven fact, but my personal theory. [/spoiler]

  • edited by menaulon on 1/4/2018

  • edited by menaulon on 1/4/2018

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    James Sinclair
    James Sinclair
    Posts: 134

    1/4/2018
    @Menaulon: fascinating! This is exactly the sort of information that I was looking for. Thanks very much.

    --
    James Sinclair

    Curator of the Sanguine Ribbon Society

    A fully-fledged rêveur of The Night Circus.

    Wines is red
    Spices is yellow
    But old Jack-of-Smiles
    Is a murderous fellow
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    Optimatum
    Optimatum
    Posts: 2973

    1/4/2018
    menaulon wrote:
    The text of becoming closest to Bohemians as a Celestial also appears to relate to them, but I am not sure of exact meaning.
    http://fallenlondon.storynexus.com/Profile/NiteBrite?fromEchoId=3021815

    (Preceding text here http://fallenlondon.wikia.com/wiki/A_Vision_of_a_Garden)


    That bit is about the Garden, not the Starved Men. Besides the title and mention of a way to escape death, there's also the basalt cliffs - some passages in Flint and the Face-Tailor story mention basalt cliffs in the Elder Continent.

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    Optimatum, a ruthless and merciful gentleman. No plant battles or Affluent Photographer requests; all other social actions welcome.

    Want a sip of Hesperidean Cider? Send me a request in-game. Here's an_ocelot's guide how.

    PM me for information enigmatic or Fated. Though the forum please, not FL itself.
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    menaulon
    menaulon
    Posts: 85

    1/4/2018
    Optimatum wrote:

    That bit is about the Garden, not the Starved Men. Besides the title and mention of a way to escape death, there's also the basalt cliffs - some passages in Flint and the Face-Tailor story mention basalt cliffs in the Elder Continent.

    I agree the painting itself is about the Garden, but there is a specific part that I think talks about the Starved Men:

    you dream of a procession of lank-limbed, half-human things, spidering their way up basalt cliffs, weeping. You are horrified when you wake and find it gone, of course. Perhaps the note that remains, the one reading simply THANK YOU

    I have to admit that I am not 100% certain about this, but the description and the things climbing up makes me think of them.


    There is another possibility:
    [spoiler] The half-human beings could be Snuffers, exiled from the Garden and seeking to return. It aligns with known lore, but the Snuffers have a good idea of how the Garden looks like and they live on the Elder Continent. They can't enter the Garden, but I am uncertain that a painting would be extremely special to them.[/spoiler]
    Nevertheless, I think it's interesting enough to be included.

  • edited by menaulon on 1/4/2018

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    James Sinclair
    James Sinclair
    Posts: 134

    1/5/2018
    menaulon wrote:
    you dream of a procession of lank-limbed, half-human things, spidering their way up basalt cliffs, weeping. You are horrified when you wake and find it gone, of course. Perhaps the note that remains, the one reading simply THANK YOU

    I wonder if the misshapen creatures who wait atop a cliff and long for the light of the sun are the same as those that you can dream about in the "Dream of a Sunrise" honey-dream in Veilgarden? The description of them as having "many-jointed limbs" is suggestive of Starved Men, and in both the Celestial painting dream and in the honey-dream they are described as being atop crags.

    --
    James Sinclair

    Curator of the Sanguine Ribbon Society

    A fully-fledged rêveur of The Night Circus.

    Wines is red
    Spices is yellow
    But old Jack-of-Smiles
    Is a murderous fellow
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    menaulon
    menaulon
    Posts: 85

    1/5/2018
    James Sinclair wrote:

    I wonder if the misshapen creatures who wait atop a cliff and long for the light of the sun are the same as those that you can dream about in the "Dream of a Sunrise" honey-dream in Veilgarden? The description of them as having "many-jointed limbs" is suggestive of Starved Men, and in both the Celestial painting dream and in the honey-dream they are described as being atop crags.

    Thank you for making me more confident in the connection. The creatures are definitely the same as those in the Bohemian text and there are more comparisons here to the Starved Men. The light is also compared to amber, although this could be just a simile instead of a hidden allusion.


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    Menaulon
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    Optimatum
    Optimatum
    Posts: 2973

    1/5/2018
    I'm still very much sure there's no connection between the Starved Men and Celestials painting. Basalt is explicitly connected to the Elder Continent, with the Basalt Gymnasium and several mentions of basalt cliffs there. Especially this quote from inviting the Presbyterate Diplomat to a salon:

    "The Garden which none will enter, save bees and birds... and the Thief-of-Faces who is worshipped by unhuman things in the basalt cliffs."

    I'm not sure if they're connected to the Dream of a Sunrise creatures, though. Lank-limbed creatures aren't necessarily many-jointed, after all, and there's no mention of basalt or other Elder Continent connections. Those creatures could be Starved Men, but I'm not convinced of that either - I don't think there's enough evidence to be sure either way.

    --
    Optimatum, a ruthless and merciful gentleman. No plant battles or Affluent Photographer requests; all other social actions welcome.

    Want a sip of Hesperidean Cider? Send me a request in-game. Here's an_ocelot's guide how.

    PM me for information enigmatic or Fated. Though the forum please, not FL itself.
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    millea
    millea
    Posts: 17

    11 days ago
    menaulon wrote:
    Optimatum wrote:
    you dream of a procession of lank-limbed, half-human things, spidering their way up basalt cliffs, weeping. You are horrified when you wake and find it gone, of course. Perhaps the note that remains, the one reading simply THANK YOU

    I have to admit that I am not 100% certain about this, but the description and the things climbing up makes me think of them.


    There is another possibility:
    [spoiler] The half-human beings could be Snuffers, exiled from the Garden and seeking to return. It aligns with known lore, but the Snuffers have a good idea of how the Garden looks like and they live on the Elder Continent. They can't enter the Garden, but I am uncertain that a painting would be extremely special to them.[/spoiler]
    Nevertheless, I think it's interesting enough to be included.
    edited by menaulon on 1/4/2018


    I'm pretty sure that snippet does, in fact, refer to the Snuffers. The descriptions of them as "lank-limbed" and variations thereof is a motif that appears over and over in your dealings with them, notably failing to meet up with the Big Rat and spying on the candle dealings at St. Fiacre's.

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    CatLady
    CatLady
    Posts: 51

    10 days ago
    Optimatum wrote:

    It's pretty clear from a snippet in Godfall that the monks were originally Starved Men, and either prolong their lives or make new monks through the Shapeling Arts.
    [spoiler]When it fell, a few of its occupants survived to become the monks' progenitors. How does that work, you wonder, with their vow of celibacy? They become vague, and are suddenly eager to speak of the details of passing shipping.[/spoiler]
    edited by Optimatum on 1/3/2018


    Actually, this, and the other interactions with monks in Godfall, makes me 100% sure that they are just lying - not upholding their "vows of celibacy", and, if having anything to do with the original starved men at their origins *at all*, the link is long gone.

    /CatLady

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