Embassies in London

We’ve all heard of the Brass Embassy, which is the home of the diplomatic mission representing Hell. The Brass Ambassador appears at parties. The Presbyterate has an embassy as well, located in London’s sewers. And the establishment of an ambassador from London to the Parabolan nation of Arbor played a major role in the most recent Hallowmas. But are any other nations mentioned as having embassies, ambassadors, or diplomats in London?

I seem to recall something about a Khaganian embassy mentioned somewhere. In particular, I’m curious if diplomats representing any Surface nations are active in London. One would think that most major nations, especially in Europe, would maintain official contact with the capital of the British Empire (or what’s left of it), especially considering how the Great Game has &quotmoved&quot to the Neath. There is, after all, a thin line between diplomats and spies. I do know that the Empress’ family is closely related to the German imperial family (see: ‘The Empress’ Shadow’ story), so is there a German ambassador? And the Cumaean Canal exits right into Italy. Spies for the Russian Tsar are mentioned, too. Do Surface or Neathy diplomats other than those I mentioned ever appear in any Fallen London stories?

(That is, other than The Ambassador, as we all know that it’s rude to ask him which nation he’s representing…)

As I understood it, Diplomats from the Surface, much like the player when he goes to the Court of the Wakeful eye, is only at the location temporarily and probably doesn’t have a specific ambassadorial house.

I believe that in London there would be a large mansion somewhere on Takepenny Street designated as the Surface Ambassadorial Offices, where ambassadors of the Surface would stay during their visits to the Neath. In their absence Secretaries, living in London themselves, would take over and write telegraphs to send to the Surface to the designated country/ambassador.

The Turkish girl is, I think, the duaghter of a Diplomat?

One place there definitely isn’t an embassy for the Khanate is in Port Carnelian, as the diplomats were expelled after ‘the Galatea Incident’, with only one (an old man above a teashop) remaining, unofficially.

But I thought that story mentioned Prussia, not Germany. Which leads to a larger problem…

We’re not entirely sure about the state of Surface politics, but we do know they’re divergent from our own world in significant ways. Prussia is mentioned, Germany is not. France exists, but as an Empire, not a Republic. I strongly suspect that Italy does not exist as a single, unified entity. Its unification in our own world was not complete until the 1870’s (i.e. after the date of London’s fall), and it is often mentioned as the epicenter of revolutionary and anarchic movements on the Surface, so I tend to assume that it’s at least fractured back into city-states.

Regarding the Great Game… I’ve posted this elsewhere, but my own pet theory which is based on nothing at all, is that many of the &quotforeign&quot agents involved in the Great Game in London are actually Neath-born citizens who are so drenched in Irrigo that they’ve forgotten their original identities. This is in-line with the view of the Great Game as a mystery-cult more than rational activities between state actors. If this is true, the actual presence of Surface nations in the Neath is even less than the little we’ve seen.

This is brilliant, and would explain quite a lot.

I’ve been thinking more about this, and another point to consider is that any official diplomatic posting from a Surface nation to London would quickly become permanent, due to the strange effects of the Neath on visitors. Anyone staying for more than a few weeks(?) becomes unable to endure sunlight, even if they didn’t die and revive during their subterranean sojourn. So any ambassadorial or staff posting would essentially be &quotfor life&quot.

Perhaps there’s a lack of people willing to accept or order such postings (other than dedicated spies in the cult-like Great Game), so diplomacy and communication with Surface nations is instead done informally through agents that act as intermediaries and pass on information to their masters (such as the Fierce Old Man in Vienna) via the Canal. The lack of official, regular diplomatic communication might also explain the garbled state of knowledge about London on the Surface and the wild rumours that surround it.

If this is the case, then the answer to my original question is that there are fact no official embassies or ambassadors from the Surface, just occasional state visitors such as the Empress’ Shadow or the &quotTeutonic relative of the Empress&quot.

It’s worth remembering that we don’t actually know how long it takes for people to become stuck down here. For all we know, it could take months or even years. If that is the case, then the chanceries (the buildings and rooms) could be permanent but the embassies (the people) are rotated in and out, possibly to a surface posting at Naples for convenience’s sake. Some lower level staff like secretaries and attaches could be posted permanently to watch over the place, but the head of mission (the ambassador) and the managers (the minister and counselor) might rotate between the neath and the surface.

Some people might crave the posting. Lost relatives, the arcane, the unusual, the strange. Getting away from those who hunt them on the Surface, or a lost love. i imagine the postings would be guite popular.

It’d certainly be interesting should there be an option to become an ambassador for certain countries or some sort of someone who speaks for certain groups.
eg. an ambassador for Parabola (I’d love that personally) or the elected speaker for the Criminal Faction or the Masters themselves, or an ambassador for the Church and the Vatican. Imagine the wars on the Hell faction you could wage!

Well, first Parabola would have to be a place with a single government. Being &quotAmbassador for Parabola&quot is like being &quotAmbassador for Africa&quot (or, perhaps more appropriately, &quotAmbassador for the Whole of Reality&quot).

On the Criminals, the Cheery Man, Widow, and Topsy King occasionally choose a mediator, but I can’t really imagine their choosing a joint envoy. Besides, the Cheery Man mostly likes to send messages with clubs.

Re: &quotthe Church and the Vatican,&quot I think you’re mixing up the Church of England with that of Rome. Yes, in Fallen London the Church does lots of non-English things, but that doesn’t mean that Southwark has suddenly gone over to Rome. The occasional mention of, e.g., the Catholic priest on Flowerdene street makes clear enough that the Protestant Reformation has not been erased. The upshot of which is that, if Southwark and St. Fiacre’s ever felt the need of some joint messenger, and were ever civil long enough to agree on one, he would still have nothing to do with &quotthat old feller in Rome.&quot

Also, we’ve tried waging war on Hell. It didn’t turn out well.
edited by Siankan on 4/24/2019

Why yes, it doesn’t have a government at all yet.
Once London establishes a Colony there an Ambassador or Governor would be needed.

Well, yes but that’s just taking the fun out of it. After all, what’s the fun in playing with Criminals if you cannot maximize risk AND profit?

I did mix up all forms of Christianity at once, that was simply a boorish mistake of mine.

Why wage only one war when there are more to be possibly waged?