Historical Tidbits!

I’ve been thumbing back through my old copy of the Popol Vuh, and I’d forgotten that it’s Camazotz (the Bat God), who brokers the whole enlightenment-in-exchange-for-sacrifice deal between the gods and humans! I mostly remember him from the hero twins story, but he’s got an important role as a dealmaker/salesman sort of guy here. A suitable role for the Masters to fill when they came to the 3rd city, eh?

That got me thinking: with a game so extraordinarily well-researched, and with so many complex literary and historical allusions and references, there have got to be a whole bunch of hidden little historical tie-ins like that! Really specific ones like the one I just mentioned, or more broadly thematic ones, like how the 2nd, 3rd, and 4th cities (and the 1st one, sort of) are all from civilizations famous for sky-blue dye! [li]

SO, in the interest of collaborative spirit, I figured I’d make a little thread for people to find and discuss these fun little tidbits! ^_^

So I’ve spent far too long trying to match Fallen London’s (and other fallen cities’) locales to real-world locations. Some are easy - Jekyll Garden is Hyde Park, presumably renamed in honour of renowned Victorian gardener Gertrude Jekyll. Some are difficult - I’m still not sure, at this point, whether any of FL’s pubs have specific real-world analogues. Some, well, I’m not sure if the link is obvious or if it’s just in my head. For instance, the Antimacassar Theatre is known for its light comic operas. That’s got to be the Savoy, by way of Richard D’Oyly Carte - doily - antimacassar, right? I’m still kind of proud of digging up the possible inspiration for the Prim Baronet’s ancestral home, the Marsh House, in the form of the East Lodge, Marsh Lane - a since-demolished building which was, in its day, apparently rather notorious, and was rumoured to sit atop a network of secret passages dating back centuries. Might be sheer coincidence, of course, but, hey, in Fallen London, serendipity is the name of the game.

Thank you, Sir Frederick! I love the old thread that details the correspondences with historical London.

Thank you - you’re very kind! Another one I’ve been wondering about - Visage. It was a while back that I was looking into this, but the giant face on Visage - it’s meant to be the face of the object of the sculptor’s affections, yeah? And it’s called &quotFlourishing-of-Years&quot. Well, at least according to some sources, that was one of the regnal names of the pharaoh Hatshepsut. Her vizier, Senenmut, was a prolific architect and responsible for several major monuments and sculptures, and it’s long been speculated that the two of them were lovers, or at least very close.

So, is Flourishing-of-Years Hatshepsut, and was Senenmut its sculptor? If so, well, her reign was a good hundred years before that of her great-great-great-grand-nephew (I think I’ve got that right) Akhenaten, whose reign coincided with the fall of the Second City. So how did any of them get to the Neath? Plus, the presence of an apparently once-functional nilometer at Visage suggests that it once rested on the Surface. So, was Visage once an Egyptian surface settlement, that came to the Neath independent of a pact with the Masters? Rooting around for possible real-world equivalents, I came across Elephantine - an island on the Nile with features dating back to Hatshepsut’s reign, and with a number of correspondences to Visage.

…and, in looking all this up again, I realised that I posted voluminously about this theory about a year and a half ago. How do I remember all these stupid details and not remember having a conversation about them? My brain is weird brain.
edited by Sir Frederick Tanah-Chook on 10/19/2016

Your theory seems sound Sir Frederick.

I will merely add that we have good cause to suspect Varchas came from the surface and was not a city taken by the Bazaar. So it would appear there are multiple ways to have a city end up in the Neath.

Some of the objects in the Museum of Mistakes are fascinating historical references. The scrap of 3000 year old black sail cloth is probably from the myth of Theseus returning from slaying the Minotaur and causing his poor father to leap into the (now named) Aegean Sea. I’m not sure about some of the other artifacts though. Does anyone have any ideas about the half eaten fig or the locks of hair?

Forbidden fruit of some variety? A fig closely resembles a pomegranate - perhaps Persephone left it in the Neath when she went back to the Surface for the summer.

Famous scene with fig-eating – Cleopatra’s death. Snake in a basket of figs.

The Forbidden Fruit from the Bible is sometimes portrayed as a fig

Locks of hair are associated with lovers - do we have anymore details about those locks?
If not, then I might place it as a symbol of forbidden love.

Does it describe the lock of hair at all? Is it possible it is Cleopatra’s? That would certainly go with the half-eaten fig.