Demonstrably untrue theories

Has anyone had any ideas about the Neath that were subsequently disproved by more game content being added? Beliefs about how London worked when actually it just didn’t? Then share your idiocy here for the world to see!

I encourage a format of saying what your theory was and how it was disproved. Such as:

The Soft-Hearted Widow was going to turn up as a major antagonist in the endgame. She was either pulling all the strings or was a Master in disguise.


Her opportunity card appearing so we could donate to her charitable lodging work. And the fact that this was accompanied by closing the ‘let’s see the Soft-Hearted Widow’ request on the feedback page.

Now I realise that because the endgame hasn’t happened yet, this isn’t conclusive proof. But I’m pretty confident. Also, it gives me space to transfer my suspicions to the Ambitious Barrister - never quite trusted that one…

This was less of a theory and more of a lapse in reading comprehension but I used to think the Bishop was ‘gathering a great host of beasts’ for an ‘absolute betrayal’. Yeah, I kinda misread that storylet.

Assuming the Fate-locked second half of the Labyrinth of Tigers isn’t just a very elaborate lie, [color=FFFFFF]the Bishop’s goals are… quixotic, but not those of a traitor[/color].
edited by Cedric Appleby on 9/9/2012

Anyone’s theory about the fourth city being anywhere other than Karakorum at this point have been proven false by The Silver Tree. I was fairly convinced it was Xanadu–close, but no cigar.

By the same token, it looks like my theory - that the Second City was Alexandria, and its surviving couple Antony and Cleopatra - is increasingly unlikely.

Actually, the Ambitious Barrister shows up in some relatively recent content. ([color=#ffffff]In the Iron Republic. It’s one of the branches that you’ll see no matter what path you take, though the strength of the evidence that it’s the Barrister varies.[/color][color=#000000])[/color]

The Capering Relicker recertifies your scraps without care or enthusiasm. He barely looks at them as he says ‘I saw the Fall. I raised my jar as the eye temple fell. And they’ve looked for me ever since. Want me to brew more. They’d flip their cloaks if they knew I was here, under their snouts.’ So he was the one that brewed up Hesperidian Cider, but STONE PIGS have snouts…

The Soft-Hearted Widow was going to turn up as a major antagonist in the endgame. She was either pulling all the strings or was a Master in disguise.


Her opportunity card appearing so we could donate to her charitable lodging work. And the fact that this was accompanied by closing the ‘let’s see the Soft-Hearted Widow’ request on the feedback page.

The new options on the Widow’s card indicate your theory might not be so wrong after all. There is, at least, more to her than meets the eye.

Yeah, the Capering Relicker brewed the HC, possibly for either Mr. Apples or the rest of the Masters. In his bio, it says that Mr. Apples deals with immortality, which is a clear reference to the Golden Apple in the Garden of the Hesperides from Greek mythology. That would explain why you smell an orchard as the Capering Relicker as he recertifies an armful of scraps, and also why he has Dark-Dewed Cherries, which boost your Approaching the Gates of the Garden when you eat them…

(For the record, it’s things like that that make me love FL as much as I do. Please don’t stop, Failbetter Games)

EDIT: Wait, there was a sort of dispute between the Capering Relicker and the Gracious Widow over peaches, and apparently the CR refused the Widow. Is the Widow attempting to overthrow or possibly become a Master of the Bazaar, if she isn’t already?
edited by OPG on 4/13/2013

With regards to Mr. Apples, I’ve read that the reference to the Garden of the Hesperides might not be the only theory. I’ve actually read a rather interesting theory, which examines the full description of Mr. Apples, “food, wood, and immortality,” suggesting that Mr. Apples might be Jesus. The wood would be a reference to how Jesus was trained as a carpenter in his childhood, and the food and immortality are references to well-known motifs from the New Testament, ie, “whosoever eats of my body and drinks my blood has eternal life,” which is symbolically represented with the bread of life, or the Eucharist.

And the description for the Cider is "[color=rgb(255, 255, 255)]WHOSO THIRSTETH AND DRINKETH OF THIS, SO SHALL HE NEVER DIE." [/color]I’d say that theory’s looking pretty good right now. It’s also said that Mr. Apples has contempt for the Egyptological, which might relate to the general distaste for Egypt that the Jews have.

Also, there’s the whole “Fall of Man” thing to consider. The Pison, first headwater from the river that exited the Garden of Eden, “compasseth the whole land of Havilah, where there is gold” (which could tie in to the Garden of the Hesperides in FL). Also, there’s that whole apple business to contend with.
edited by OPG on 4/13/2013

Also, I haven’t played the Silver Tree yet, but is Xanadu the Fourth City (and why is the Correspondence the language of that city)? And would the Gracious Widow tie in with that game, especially given her feud with the Capering Relicker?

The Fourth City is almost certainly Karakorum - and it looks like, at the time, the Correspondence was known as the language of another place (possibly the Third City?) The Gracious Widow does indeed appear in The Silver Tree - you can get to know her quite well.

Thought so. I’m fairly certain the Correspondance is the language of the Fourth City because of what the Shivering Relicker says about the Night-Whisper:
“Despite the bounty of scraps, the Shivering Relicker is reluctant to give up her prize. ‘Don’t let it near the Co… the language of Xanadu. Keep it away from the Bazaar spires, and the ruins of previous cities. Altogether too dangerous to take it there. It will talk back. You understand? It will talk back.’”

Also of interest is this:
“As they heave and shriek, you flip open the Shivering Relicker’s journals. You get as far as ‘…although the language the Masters speak amongst themselves isn’t, strictly speaking, the Correspondence, it could arguably be described as a simplified form…’ before Pinnock’s ears burst into a sickly green flame.”

The Silver Tree reveals that the Correspondence predates the Fourth City, and wasn’t widely known there - in fact, most if not all the exposure you’ll get to it there will be from outsiders, not locals. Frankly, I think the Correspondence predates all human civilisation, and even Earth itself.

But if it predates the Earth, which I believe is similar to how long the Bazaar’s been around, then why do the Masters of the Bazaar speak in a simplified form of it?

Back on topic, here’s a theory that is probably untrue: The Capering Relicker is Satan.

Because… perhaps… even the Masters are mortal, limited, and finite. The Correspondence seems to be a principle that is greater than the Masters… and may be greater even than the Bazaar itself.

I hesitate to call the Correspondence anything but a language because of the description on the Starstone Demark, but I find this interesting: “They say it’s the letter the Pope wrote, the one without which Rome would have been the Fourth City.”
In The Silver Tree, the Pope sent the PC on a mission to Asia, correct?

Is the Correspondence a sort of opposing force to the Bazaar? They are both equal and infinite, yet they will invariably work against each other for reasons human minds cannot comprehend?
edited by OPG on 4/13/2013

Certainly, we perceive and use it as a language… of sorts… or perhaps a sort of runic magic… but the name always makes me think of the Hermetic or Swedenborgian theories of Correspondence - that the world of the mind corresponds to the world of the body, and that the laws of one thing are the laws of all things. As above, so below - and vice versa. As the movements of human bodies are governed by caprice, by economics, by whim, and by love, so are the movements of ancient powers, of celestial bodies.

For a while, I thought that the Nephrite Lens option to use it on yourself would have some incredible impact. Since it turns the soul into jade fragments, I thought using it upon yourself would be akin to, using the Harry Potter series as an example, creating a Horcrux. Once I finally had the ruthlessness to attempt it, I was fairly dismayed that I simply awoke on a slow boat, although having seen something extraordinary.