1,001 Ways to Die: London Edition

Most of us are acquainted with the results of dying in the usual manners, if one can consider being gored by a goat-demon or left bereft of a kidney by Jack-of-Smiles ‘usual’, and of course there are those who live but remain grievously injured and thus shipped off away from polite society. But what of the more fantastic ways to die in London? What happens, for instance, to those who die by fire, or are swallow whole by a hungry zee-monster? Do those who die at zee become drownies as well, or is that reserved for shallower waters? If one were dismembered, would the bits start to twitch in a ghastly imitation of life or would they remain still, reduced to glistening meat?[li]

I am particularly interested in canonical answers, but deduction, invention, and wild speculation are all both welcome and encouraged.

They say that the best way to exorcise worries is to talk or write about them, and so I will, given that you got me thinking about drowning, a … sensitive subject for me, for no rational reasons whatsoever. So I’ll give you my insights as a Bringer of Death instead of sending my Scuttering Squad to give you a, let’s say &quotpersonal lesson&quot.[li]
First of all the basics:
Humans in the Neath obey by the same biological rules of those residing in the surface, they need to breathe, to eat, to have their internal organs intact and they react poorly to pieces of metal encountering their flesh thanks to a sufficient kinetic force (bullets).
The problem arise because they don’t stay dead, because for certain reasons Death is usually temporary in the Neath.
There are 2 &quotexceptions&quot to this rule: Drownies and the so called Tomb Colonists.

For reason unknown drowning is something that you can’t just shake off, and has permanent effect on the ones affected.
Drownies can still talk, reason, they are not &quotzombies&quot but are particularly dangerous because they seem to possess a desire to inflict their fate on others, with the added benefit of boosting their ranks, but they do not persecute this objective excessively, seemingly more interested in keeping away from society.
They also seem to acquire some kind of arcane knowledge, see &quotDrownies’ Songs&quot, but of that I don’t know much.
I see no reasons why the place of death should have any difference, be it shallow or deep water.

Tomb Colonists are the result of some kind of very grievous injury, like a devastating blow to the head. They are still &quotalive&quot, capable of feeling the full range of human emotions but they seem to be bored most of the time, bar a few notable exceptions.
Tomb Colonists seem to be in some state of decomposition, as they tend to give fouls smells, or smell of formaldehyde and they seem to lose pieces.
They can be put down again, for example by sustained rifle fire, but they are a bit hardier than &quotnormal&quot humans.

There are ways to kill someone permanently:
If you die of natural death or of illness you don’t get up again.
Cantigaster Venom kills permanently, even a drop of it is enough to cause the effects and the death it brings seems to be terribly painful. It can be coated on a blade or used to poison foods and drinks.
Chopping someone to pieces works terribly well, as the pieces possess no &quotlife&quot of their own, and there is no chance to come back. The only exception is Feducci.
Cutting someone head off works well, but I suspect only because the head was lost in the struggle.

I suspect it would be the digestion process to kill us if we were to be swallowed whole, but possibly Sunless Sea will answer to this biting question.
As per burning I again must confess my ignorance on the subject. I have saved scores of rubbery men and tomb colonists from strangely recurring fires in the Carnival but I do not possess any insights on such a fate.
I suspect the damage the fire can do, and we must not forget the smoke which possibly is just as deadly, can be enough to damage you body enough to put you on the Boat permanently. but I’m just speculating.

This is all I can think about right now, so I leave the podium to others.

I personally believe the Drownies become what they are due to their death by water. There is something of wells in all water, and all water was once wellwater.

It appears to me that once you have died, even if you get back up again, that seems to be it as far as your body is concerned. I feel that it is this ‘death’ that creates Tomb Colonists. Dying once possibly begins the process of very slow decay, and further wounds may no longer heal as they once did (or perhaps at all). Tomb Colonists represent those who are so disfigured (or otherwise disgraced) that they can or will no longer live in polite society, and so must retire to a land of mausoleums, bandages and boredom.

Dying by fire, I assume, is exactly as it would be on the Surface. In fact, there does seem to be some indication that those who have died once, on returning to the Surface, are in fact immolated on the spot.

I believe also that the Neath not only suspends unnatural death, but natural also. I would point towards the Duchess, who, despite being from the Second City and therefore several centuries old at the very least seems to be possessed of ordinary vitality.

The Widow may not be so lucky. The hints of her disfigurement and her tendency to remain hidden would indicate to me that she has ‘died’, and is in fact in a state of quite advanced decay, which she holds off as long as possible by any and all means, like her Peach Brandy. The brandy seems to copy but not quite emulate the effects of Hesperidean Cider, only prolonging the Widow’s decay rather than granting eternal life.
edited by Armand D’Alterac on 4/1/2014[/li][li]
edited by Armand D’Alterac on 4/1/2014

According to a sidebar drowning itself just gives you a hangover when you come to. Turning into a Drownie involves more than that, mentioned in a few places. There’s the Cubit Square Heist, which has a somewhat rare card that involves a Drownie and gives you points in Putting the Pieces Together: The Drownies. You could also spend 5 Fate in the Alleys of Spite doing courier’s work to pick up that quality. After picking up this quality you can head into the Nadir, and play The Web. There’s also the Hollowed-Eyed Tragedian at the Feast of the Exceptional Rose, and last Halloween Seekers who fulfilled the (rather difficult) requirements could see another mention.

[li] The Duchess and the Widow are not the only people in London who date from one of the older cities. There is at least another character (who most people has met several times but are reluctant to greet) who has dodged natural ageing. He was also a great character in one of the Fallen Cities, so he might have had a &quotdispensation
[li]My theory, though, is that everyone in the Neath is impervious to ageing and natural age.

Perhaps we should also add in the Relickers as well? Judging from comments they made in the past, and the fact one of them is the creator of a certain item, we can deduce they are quiet old.

Another tidbit about Death in London is that it seems not to impede procreation. I believe during the Silver Tree Twitter special, someone asked if dying caused you to, ahem, lose your inner working’s efficiency. If my memory is correct, the answer was that yes you can still continue on your legacy.

Though it adds to the mystery of the 'Neath and where exactly these offspring lie then. Makes me curious about the Traitor Empress and the Prince Consort. (I know, I know! I just happen to be a big fan of them is all.) The Consort clearly died and they had the Captivating Princess after that along with other children. Where do they stand in the realm of living and unloving?

There are mentions in some of the earlier content, where the unnatural resilience of citizens of the Neath is first &quotexplained,&quot that old age will still do away with you permanently–suggesting that it still exists. Further, the Tomb Colonist vs. Society card (&quotGoing Gentle&quot) seems to suggest that the individual in question has aged to his current state, which is why he wants to leave for the Colonies, and why his family is hiding him in their attic.

The Duchess and Widow were both involved in the sale of their respective cities. The Forgotten King, being a King, might have been as well. The Manager certainly was, as was his lover, the King with a Hundred Hearts. It is possible/likely that they were granted immortality as a result, though I cannot confirm this.

edited by Snowskeeper on 4/2/2014

I had considered Snowskeeper´s point about people who get old go to the tomb colonies, and also about the rulers of the Fallen Cities being given &quotspecial privileges&quot for reasons unknown so far (and in any case, they were spared from converting into lacre). The Hundreds is for sure a special case, as his heart was substituted for a diamond from the Mountain of Light

Thanks for the answers. In the face of no obvious evidence to the contrary, I’m sticking to the notion that being swallowed alive by some foul giant of the zee would be a particularly terrible fate. Maybe you even keep coming back, just to drown and start being digested again. (Yes, that’s dark, but there are some people you just shouldn’t make enemies of. Not everyone holds to the notion of ‘proportionate response’.)

All the rest of the information is sure to end up useful to me at one point or another and is much appreciated!