December Exceptional Story: SALON SCANDAL!

Well, the unexpected connection with a pre-existing card, for one, but mostly the idea that all this sorry business may have ended up in the pages of a sports magazine!

Well, this definitely was fun. It was like a detective by the Agatha Christie, and I like this genre indeed. Reconciliation of different points of view, small but important contradictions, several mysterious crimes of different gravity. And when it came time for Hercule Poirot to shine…

…it was revealed that neither Tawdry Columnist nor MC are Hercule Poirot :sweat_smile:

I enjoyed this quite new take on an ES. What would have made it even more enjoyable: taking a break into the regular FL world between the three branches. I started this on a sunday evening, and got to bed before finishing it - so waking up on a regular monday made me rush through the second half, which is quite a pity.

But still, very well written!

Here, also team Mountain Sherd.

Wow, you really did make some sense out of it! That’s impressive! For me it looked just like being lost in an awkward nonsense I would never get myself into even in my worst London days. Is there any good reason why I wouldn’t just punch that idiot reporter and throw him out of the restaurant?

To my opinion, there is a lot to be confused about the story. Probably, it was meant to be mysterious and misleading but to me turned out more like disgusting mess. Whatever options you choose, this makes little sense and even less pleasure. This is not how the Exceptional Stories usually work :slight_smile: In fact, there’s a big assortment of them, and new coming every month. Some offer more clear facts and flavors than other, as well they get affected by the player’s choices differently. I would encourage you to keep on delving in! If you would like to get some support on your journey, feel free to look for Lady_Elline in London and suggest whatever social actions you like.

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OK, here’s some concrete comments on the story.

The storytelling technique of omitting the key points to the story as they are supposed to be well-known to and much discussed by the participants to the extent where there is no need to speak them out loud is very interesting and just as much very misplaced. Since it refers to the knowledge the player doesn’t have, it fails to make an impression of recalling something from one’s past experience, and renders the story completely unrelatable. I don’t feel that I revisit memories of things that happened to me, but feel out of place, confused, and awkward.

More confusion is added by the fact that the reporter comes to you to verify other participants’ accounts. As the story has it, you are barely anyone of consequence by that time, while the others are individuals with established notoriety. Why in the Neath would you have more credibility? Moreover, as is discovered later on, the reporter is assured that people will trust whatever he writes, meaning that a) despite the claims, he doesn’t care for facts but for astonishment, b) he is trying to use you for his dubious ends.

This said, he gives me no good reason to speak to him at all. Still, there is no option to have refused to be interviewed, or have fed him some fuzzy nonsense like “I’m not sure at all, I was so shocked, I’m all new to this and know barely anyone, the memories are shifty and painful, so sorry that I can’t be useful for your investigation”, or have punched him in the face and thrown out to the street, etc. There are so many ways to avoid undesirable conversations, but I’m being assured that I have done something I wouldn’t have, without any good reason. And I can’t even drop the story, because it goes and goes on till the very end. It gives me a strong and unpleasant feeling of not being in control of my actions.

The encounters at the auction increase the awkwardness by the next degree. From the storytelling perspective, I don’t even understand why they are there. They don’t provide additional information or valuable insights. People just leave when they know I’m there. Why did they come in the first place? How am I a disruption to their plans? Why do they give up that easily? There’s a strong feeling of something so awkward that people can’t even stand it, and I still have no idea what it is.

Finally, this Lot 77 clearly states that I have some role in the whole business which I myself am not aware of. How poor is, in fact, my state of mind? Somehow I know the true value of the Lot (as the story puts it) without having any context to it. I could stand not being able to understand the motives and intentions of others, but my own?! This is too much.

The overall impression: I have no agency in the story. It feels much of a nightmare – unreasonable, intruding, and inescapable. I can not and want not to appropriate its happenings as my own experience. Not the effect I particularly enjoy :woman_shrugging:


Hi Lady Elline! I’d love to be acquainted! Much to my chagrin, I am currently in the Royal Beth. I may get to my missives once I am released.

I’ll definitely come calling once I get back to London!

Well, this one just became more and more confusing. Of course, I originally thought I really was meant to solve the mystery, so it was frustrating not to be able to gain even the slightest inkling as to what had really transpired, and thus being forced to basically give random answers to the columnist.

I hoped I would at least get an inkling at the very end, but no, not really. Meh. (For the record, I ended up with a Nodule of Pulsating Amber.)

I understand some people like this sort of thing in a story, but it’s not my cup of tea. Seemed like a bit of pointless clicking exercise.


It was all really rather absurd; I loved the writing and the atmosphere, but there is no meaningful plot here. Aside from the self-serving columnist and witnesses, I think we may be meant to think that some mysterious force became involved and messed everything up. (Even my own take a few posts up doesn’t really hold water; the phrase “Smuggling charges, indeed!” at the end is probably meant to dismiss all the known conjectures.) But unless it hints at something advanced players can make out, it’s too vague to mean anything, and in that sense it is indeed somewhat frustrating.

By the way, shortly after this story, I got to play “The Twelve-Fifteen from Moloch Street”, which was actually a proper murder mystery, so I got to scratch that itch after all.

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