Destiny, Profession, and Treasure Pairing Du Jour (Thought/Character Building Exercise)

So, due to the limitations of the system, roleplaying in Fallen London is largely an exercise is trying to create a gestalt of qualities and items that most closely approximates how you envision your character, or most advances said character’s goals.

And the three core criteria that shape a character’s identity tend to be (as hinted above) their final destination, their vocation, and their most prized possession. Those are hardly the only factors at play, but they are the most dramatically impactful in and of themselves.

And 8 professions, 13 treasures, and 24 destinies makes for a lot of potential combinations. Especially since the non-Iremi destinies have multiple variants, some of which come with dramatically different lore/roleplaying implications.

All of which adds up to the following idle speculative question:

If you were to play Fallen London Sommelier, and were asked to come up with a pairing of those three qualities in order to satisfy a particular hypothetical… say…

“Which pairing would give a player the most theoretical power/influence in the High Wilderness after concluding their business in the Neath?”

What might be your answer? Because the number of rabbit holes opened up by a question like that is not small. There’s so many factors.

How far into the High Wilderness can you reach via Parabola?

Are you willing to sell your Leasehold to another interested party for personal gain? Would it be more-or-less valuable than Stone’s kidney (or whatever the Kitten-Diamond corresponds to)?

Which extends further, the Bazaar’s network of connections, or the Society of the Three-Fingered hand?

How dramatically would the Judgements react to the Neath-local LoN described in numerous Destinies, and which Treasure/profession would leave you in the strongest bargaining position with them afterwards?


I’m more-or-less obligated to offer my 2 cents at this point, so regarding this first challenge… gun to my head?

Destiny: The Star
Treasure: A Vast Network of Connections Wherever the Bazaar’s Influence can be Found
Profession: Midnighter (Iniquitor)

If you picked The Star? That makes you a 3 city veteran able to negotiate your way past the Bazaar ugly crying multiple times + however many ancillary tragedies happened between each sobbing event, so you’ve seen it all, and likely picked up a Memory of Much Greater Self and climbed a few rungs on the chain. So by the end game? You’re about as seasoned in High Wilderness politics as you can be, and you’re just high enough above baseline humanity to be taken (somewhat) seriously by a few of the players at the big kids’ table.

If you picked the Network? That means you also collected a Vake head, which is tantamount to taking out the Curator equivalent of Jack the Ripper. Which no doubt comes with at least a whisper of respect/acclaim from his grateful peers. But more importantly? According to the Seventh Letter, the Bazaar is universally known and recognized among Judgements. She’s not respected, mind, but she’s supposedly a household name among the stars. Which implies her influence is felt basically everywhere. And if you picked the Star? Presumably you parted with her on good terms.

Iniquitor just kinda goes without saying in this scenario, the surface is a stepping stone to the High Wilderness, so making Midnighter your day job and paving the way for your space-politicking only makes sense.

That however is just my first guess, hinging largely on one throwaway line of dialogue from the Seventh Letter and an interpretation of The Star. Would be interested to hear other guesses.

Please pardon my ignorance but what is the “High Wilderness”?

There ya go.

Oh, easy. The operative word here is “concluding your business in the Neath”.

Destiny: The Tower
Treasure: Society of The Three-Fingered Hand
Profession: Correspondent

So here’s the thing: A LOT can change in 10 years, and unless the game takes some very unexpected turns no PC is likely to get out of the Neath for at least 10 years. Sunless Skies is set 10 years later. This is important because while it is a hypothetical future for London, it is one where London has 1. established itself as a spacefaring power with limited and ambiguous control over time, 2. although it’s claim on the King of Hours’ throne is fraudulent, work on weapons such as the Unclear Bomb has advanced significantly, 3. there are various vested interests among the greater powers eager to cut a deal with enterprising captains and 4. judging by one ending to Ambition: Truth even if the Sapphir’d King isn’t assassinated, the Courtesy has rendered the Judgements’ survival a lot more precarious than they’d like everyone to believe. After, I think, a century of imprisonment in Piranesi there are noticeably fewer stars in the sky than there were when you went in. The civil war between the Conjunctions takes a heavy toll, and merely surviving makes one a continuously more important player

This is important because the Bazaar connections are primarily financial and not bureaucratic, military or political. In all instances of the Network’s use you are paid when and where it’s convenient, but it’s not like anyone is going out of their way to support your endeavours. Furthermore the Bazaar is stuck due to both prior commitments and the Stone Pigs literally being put to slumber so there is a VERY real chance that humanity can return to the stars before the Bazaar can. And once it does, anyone left pulling it’s strings will be in an excellent position to wield significant parts of London as their spear.

Now, to that you might ask: Why not the Newly-Cast Crown? And to that I would reply because based on how comparatively modest the options it unlocks are and how relieved the Masters act if you select it, it really comes across as more of a bauble and a ceremonial position than something they expect to meaningfully honour. Even, EVEN if they try to-Skies again shows that the Empress has no intention on giving up power of her own free will, to the extent the Formerly Captivating And Currently Incognito Princess herself was willing to sign on to a sky captain’s crew just to seek power elsewhere.

As for professions, no offence but you are vastly overestimating the value of “reputation as a really good spy on Earth” in the High Wilderness. While yes, there IS a niche for daring sky-captains willing to ferry things across interstellar distances the higher powers trade for things like chunks of time, and sparks that fell from the literal Forge of Souls. Your reputation as an earthly spy matters very little to beings like Curators who remember a time before the Judgements rose to power and who if dedicated enough, can potentially concoct something like a form of immortality superior to that which the Judgements enjoy with far less effort than the Youthful Naturalist. What does matter, significantly, though is the ability to speak and write the Correspondence. It’s particularly useful for geting in and out of the bureaucracies employed by typical Judgements, but also keeping transportation powered, unlocking the secrets of the Red Science and all manner of other useful logistic things that simultaneously demonstrate value and help you build a power base in foreign territory.

But why The Tower? Simple. You don’t own The Tower because fulfiling it is useful to taking the High Wilderness, you own it because greater powers will have an interest in you not fulfilling it.

It’s like the principle of a nuclear weapon writ large. At the highest heights of power in the High Wilderness there is no state of grace, only realpolitik and the laughter of thirsting stars. The dragons/aeginae have value because they are the strongest soldiers. You will have value greater than any one Judgement’s Servant for one absurdly simple reason: If what you are is made known and if you’ve established yourself as someone too difficult to easily kill (and the Judgements are not very mobile outside of their domains due to their need to keep the Courtesy a secret from lesser beings) then you can extort Correspondence oath-bound favours of unimaginably magnitude just to go back to Irem and alter your lack of future to one where the universe doesn’t end

The thing about attaining power in the High Wilderness is that playing by the rules is a fool’s gambit. The only entities with any influence, including the Judgements themselves, are the ones who play dirty as hell and aren’t afraid to aim high and go for the throat.

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@Thoon, do I need to know about…whatever it is that @captainbloodstorm is talking about in order to add my own here or can I respond to my own, non high-whatthefuckisthat related question? Because I did not understand a word of what they said.

I really have to disagree with you on that. Assuming you mean the whole thing under Lustrum that Mr Pennies is doing, then that is far from superior to the Judgement’s immortality. It’s barely eking out seconds of extra life in a desperate attempt to avoid the River, all while being trapped in a cave (which happens to Curators a lot, one that I think about it) and completely dependent on another Curator, which is a terrible fate for such independent creatures.

Goodness no, I don’t mean that at all though I should clarify it’s a form not available to nearly any Curator-just the one utterly dedicated to the pursuit of immortality. I’m talking about the Chiropterous Hoarder’s/Mr. Hearts’ little quest, which potentially ends with it smoked so immortal it starts comprehending it’s own endless existence

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I like your rationale, but the problem is your nuclear option is the Doctor Strangelove sort. Except you’re threatening to trigger it personally, rather than using it defensively as a deterrent… which defeats the purpose.

“Give me what I want or I’ll kill us all.”

Is something of a self-defeating gambit.

Even assuming that the Judgements wouldn’t instantly close ranks to quash a presumptuous grasper threatening them with omnicide.

EDIT: And if the romance snippets I’ve seen pertaining to the Seculary Missionary post-Exceptional Rose are any indication? The Great Game really is the connective tissue between the Neath and the High Wilderness. It’s only a direct connection at the highest echelons, but basically? Once you get there? You’re acting on behalf of the interests of celestial powers. Knowingly or otherwise.

That’s definitely a risk. It’s a risk I’m willing to bet my final answer on because of how high stakes and clandestine the Courtesy but I do understand the risks. My main argument they wouldn’t close ranks is to date, none of them seem particularly concerned about my character having that lack of future in the Neath. But well, the Neath is supposedly hidden and I suppose for a creature that can alter history with a (fiery, glowing) word that may only be a minor obstacle. But on the other hand, Skies does also show what I would argue to be a much more insane anti-Judgement plan involving a Spider-Senate going off without a hitch so I err on the side of audacity.

Ironically if I had to pick a runner-up, I’d pick Judgement as the next best-off destiny. Make no mistake. A Judgement will never see a lesser creature as anything more than a useful tool at best. However, being seen as a useful tool for lesser creatures can mean the difference between immortality and not enjoying the protection of numerous Logoi and being allowed to do business in their celestial master’s domain

Also yes, that’s correct. That old man in Vienna who keeps being mentioned with relation to the Great Game is heavily implied to be a metaphor or proxy or…something to the White. I did pick the Society for a reason, I’m somewhat biased due to my disappointment with what others who chose the Network have actually squeezed out of the Bazaar but the impression I’ve gotten is you have a lot more direct sway and ability to act with the Society’s agents while the Network is…just kind of stuck with the Bazaar. Who isn’t exactly popular in the High Wilderness itself.


My issue with the Society is that it’s hard to know how far it actually extends and/or how much the Vake exaggerates the extent of its own influence. Both of which are pretty big “ifs.”

Ironically if I had to pick a runner up (setting aside the Great Game themed options that involve leveraging existing High Wilderness connections) I would probably have floated either of the “Backstage” options.

Since one implies true greater Fingerking levels of influence over dreams (which theoretically gives you free rein to travel Parabola and therefore at least a window to the entirety of the High Wilderness) and the other implies you eat Stone… which… yeah. Eat your actual heart out Mottled Man.

Your preference for “I’ll point a gun at the Sun” options really is ballsy in the most laudable way, but… that’s almost the only thing that’s guaranteed to unite the Judgements again. That is, having a meaningful threat outside their own petty infighting to motivate them to do so.

I don’t want serious threats to my interests who are presently locked in a stalemate by attrition to change course. Far from it. If they’re stuck in gridlock? That means I as a free agent working under the radar with the right tools then have enormous leeway to do what I please.

I mean, Russia has been getting decent enough mileage out of that recently. How it all ends is, of course, an open question.

Let’s not play IRL politics. It’s no fun. No one ever wins.


It’s a deeper lore question, so it’s not as fun to answer if you don’t know the deeper lore – but by all means, shoot.

I’m inclined to put stock in there being something to the idea that the Great Curation is viable for the Society with enough legwork because it’s already quite useful for specific Great Game feats like wins on the Chessboard, creating identities at Balmoral and so on. I’m just much less impressed with whatever the Bazaar offers you, it’s just doesn’t feel like you have meaningful pull with the bureaucracy underlying it’s stuff so much as the Bazaar just flings relative trifles at you-a director position that comes with no more assistance than anyone else appointed to helm the railway, a spare room to display your bones at-and then goes right back to ghosting you.

And yeah, those two probably would result in significant pull if you’re unwilling to take on a sun. Honestly I’m not sure what the Stone one implies. Logically it makes no sense for someone to eat something of her stature unless she is absolutely helpless for no reason, but then again as far as anyone can tell she doesn’t lift a finger in the Presbyterate’s defence during the Seven Against Nidah. My own interpretation was that you were allowed to approach and collect your immortality, whatever form it took.


I always read Stone to be just that one way or another. How else do you explain the Thief-of-Faces having its way with her so easily? Or the Prester doing to her what the Devils did to their deposed nobles?

I figure either she’s a true (dumb) pacifist and therefore easily yoked/maimed, forbidden from drawing attention to herself by her parents because her existence is a singularly huge violation of the Chain (hobbling her), or she made some sort of poisoned pact with the original Prester that keeps her on a leash.

Then again it is possible that you just become the new Prester, but that’s a lot less interesting. Just means a repeat of the Sunless Sea ending you mentioned.

There’s some interesting new uses in CiS… most of which pertain to the Spindlewolf, but one of which also gives you an option when speaking to London direct. And, devil’s advocate? The snippets you get from the Network genuinely seem a lot better than the equivalent content you get in CiS for the Leasehold. You also get the same free lab consumables that you get for being Mr Cards or having the Kitten Diamond (daddy <3’s shiny).

That said? I’m genuinely surprised how few uses there are. The general rule of thumb is that the overall number corresponds to the popularity of the treasure, and the Network is the Bag a Legend favourite AFAIK.

Tut-tut FBG.

EDIT: WOW… I knew that the returned loved ones weren’t the best mechanically but… 3 uses total? Mercy that’s harsh. Lonely and cold is the high road…

AH, there’s new CiS content specific to the Network? My mistake then, I definitely overlooked it if that’s the case. At the very least I definitely believe that both in lore and gameplay, the Network is a better deal than the Leasehold if only because the Network is something the Vake deliberately overinflated to entice prey that was about to bankrupt the entire Bazaar before some last-minute, largely improvisational accounting tricks let it pay everything off in installments while the Leasehold amounts to a calculated negotiation by the Masters to give you something within their means that has at least some contingency planning.

…and huh, is there a poll for Treasure popularity out there? I genuinely have no idea how popular everything is, I’m pretty vocal about how much I enjoy the Steed but all I’m really sure is that being Mr. Cards is a huge hit even if 1. you’ll never play as an actual Master in the game unless we’re all stuck here playing Fallen London a little less than a century later and 2. as far as I know, the most repeatable use of being Mr. Cards is…ripping off children and nuns in card games. But yeah, not all treasures are made equal. I don’t think the Vake gets the most action-nobody gets any compared to Mr. Cards-but I do appreciate the few repeatable ones it does unlock are fairly practical for my preferred grinds, and EVERY story interaction with it has been memorable. Feel bad for the Long-Dead Priest enjoyers out there, though. I guess the writing was on the wall when their Veils-shard was further diminished than the others from being yanked from the Waswood but turns out pickling and eating Third City Veils doesn’t mean as much as you’d hope.

Also. About returned loved ones, YEAH. I know the Nemesis players on this forum are typically very committed to whatever reward they settled for, but friends I know offsite have been very, very, very disappointed with the Nemesis outcomes.

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It’s been floating around for a while. It’s not up to date, but I doubt much has shifted over time.

Shame about the Priests. Definitely the most outré of the BaL options, and probably my favourite non-steed choice on flavour alone.

And yeah… best not discuss the poor Society. Never had a chance, just on the basis that it’s implied that your shard is about as reliable as Yes Man from New Vegas.

Goodness, the False-Star is popular. I shouldn’t be surprised given from what I’ve seen this community generally likes to be kind to NPCs in need, but I am because it’s more popular than being Mr. Cards. Not surprised the Steed is so unpopular though, it’s the murderhobo option. I still don’t regret it though, I got the power of a Curator to terrorise the Neath a full century before all the Misters Cards finish their transformations instead of an agent of questionable loyalty, some Parabolan parlour tricks or what is ultimately just a pile of IOUs.

…seriously, the folks I normally talk to about the game are far removed from the usual community because those that hunted the Vake HATE the Network for coming across like the most boring and underwhelming of the Vake rewards despite having numerically more options.

I tend to have the same general break from the community norm, as you may have noticed.

I only really like the Network when viewed specifically as a means to maximize (mostly legitimate) influence in the High Wilderness. From virtually any other angle? I would pick it last.

Eating 1/3 of Mr Veils seems to achieve about 1/10th of becoming Mr Cards by breaking the Chain the old fashioned way, serves as a wonderful tie-in to the Authority/Memory/Road outcomes of a Chilly Future, and lets you hum the best song from Princess & the Frog while you play.

The Society is the black market version of the Network (and wholly in your pocket).

The Steed is an FL dragon.

Kind of a no-brainer IMHO.

The Child I kind of get. Down the line it theoretically gives you a huge ally on the roof, and gets you a lot of pull with the factions there. Plus, it’s still technically your progeny. If not necessarily by choice. Which is why my alt has it.

TBD what my 2nd alt gets.

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