I need to talk about The Rubberies Murder.

I know the story has a bad reputation, but before I make my final judgement, I want to ask question about the mystery. Yes, it is short (about 9-10) actions, but I don’t mind that. What I don’t like is that all the characters are written like caricatures. The accent given to one of the victim is, well I don’t know how to write a cockney accent well, but I don’t feel good about it, but that could be because of my bias. Also, the story let you role play has a racist (speciesist?) against Rubbery Men, but you can’t physically harm then like you could in the past on their Faction card. But the real meat of the story is the mystery, and that’s why I was here.

First thing first, I have to dispel a common myth. There is an objective answer to the case, and if you got it wrong, and when the story ask you why you chose that particular suspect, you answer that you chose your suspect based on the evidence, the game strongly suggest that you were mistaken. Here is the text in question, if you don’t mind spoilers: Fallen London

In fact, from this echo, the story in the Echo titled &quotA case for a consulting detective.&quot It’s the fourth echo, from top of the page to the bottom if you click on the arrow pointing to the left twice on the link I shared. I want to say this, because I want all of you to see the evidence, because I don’t understand why I was wrong. I am often wrong. I would like to say that I don’t mind being wrong, but it does bother me, and I don’t like that it bothers me, but that’s off-topic. I just want to know why I was wrong. I will talk about the mystery below, so beware spoilers.

Here is my wrong theory, that I posted on Discord yesterday, just before I finished the story (I changed the word brass in the last sentence to copper, because that’s what I meant): &quotThe first victim mentioned that all his pennies and his copper mount had become black, so tarnished. I looked on the internet, and copper get tarnished either because of the atmospheric oxygen, or when it is in contact with sulphur. And, the Esotoxicology uh, specialist said that the poison was a mix of sulphur and hydrogen. This would also explain the awful smell because, one of the reason a lot of sulphur compound smell so bad is because it is present in decomposing bodies and those who develop a profound distaste for this survived longer, and natural selection did the rest. One of the people who interacted with the victim is Slack Harry, a tanner. But there is more. See, in 1858, a new tanning agent was invented. Instead of relying on tannins from vegetables, a new process, called Chronium Tanning, allowed for a more quick tanning. Chronium tanning contain a product called… chromium sulphate. And the lady with a chair in Esotoxicology said that someone who has access to a bunch of acid could make the poison. The tanning industry did rely on on certain acid in the production. But that is not all! The chemical that give the famous rotten eg odour is called hydrogen sulfide, and it is poisonous. So Slack Harry is my number 1 suspect. And he has a motive: He hate amber trader, for having lived that life and being conned by several of them. I think the poisonous creature is a red herring. I think the sort of slime it produce is used to glistening thing, and Mr Fortune like it when things shine, so I reckon Mr Galloway probably sold that substance to Mr Fortune, hence why is finger leave smudge on the book. Also, if I’m correct, it would be another evidence, since the shop of Mr Fortune contain copper, and it is not tarnished&quot I learned all of that by searching on the internet while reading the story. But the real murderer is Mr Fortune, and the story make it clear, so there has to be a mistake somewhere, and I’m trying to find it.

So here what I know. Mr Twixt found the creature underground, so it could have touched amber. Mr Fortune hands were covered in a substance, since he left a smudge on a book. In the &quotgood ending&quot, they keep referring to Mr Fortune infernal connection. I’m not sure what they mean, but do devil leave trace of sulphur to everything they touch? If so, then that might explain why his hands are covered in slime, probably to prevent tarnish on all the copper he touch. But then, why would the coins be tarnished? In fact, now that I think about it, the victims all died of poisoning, so how would the sulphur get in contact with the pennies? I have a tendency to overthink (they said, after talking about their lengthy theory), so I might come back if I understand what my mistake was.

Devils and Hell are famously associated with sulphur. &quotFire and brimstone&quot is a common expression used to refer to divine punishment, and brimstone is an archaic term for sulphur. The tanning connection is some very good, up-to-date scientific research, but I think the story was relying on the common association between sulphur and the infernal.

Fair. I still don’t see how Mr Fortune is connected with the infernal, as they say. He seems like the type who would have sold his soul, but I want to find more evidence then that

So I look at the text for the correct solution, and yes, you were suppose to deduce that because the character own brass (that is never mentioned to not have any heat or be Nevercold), that means the character has infernal connection. There was another hint, which was that the character kept polishing the copper, and I will admit that I didn’t get that, and it is clever. But the rest? Sigh You know, I really wanted to give that story a chance. I thought everyone were just saying that it was bad because they had heard from someone else that had heard from someone else that it was the worst thing ever. I thought people were angry just because it was short. I did my best to engage with the mystery. It’s ok to be wrong, I don’t mind if an ES tell me I made the wrong choice (I even thought 12:15 should have been meaner in that regard). But this is awful. Not only they don’t tell you why you are wrong, one of the clue require a leap in logic. This whole thing is leaving me with a bitter taste in my mouth. I’m not even angry, I’m just sad. This truly is the worst story.

I played this story very early on and got it wrong, in the same way you did. I was never able to work out why, so thanks for opening this thread and getting the information out there. :)

You may like to know that having played the story opens up options elsewhere, including one in the Nadir that is quite profitable. Three assorted favours and other goodies, IIRC. So it isn’t a loss, except in story terms.
edited by Jermaine Vendredi on 1/5/2022

You’re not talking about Woods in WInter, are you?

Did I remember it wrong? I don’t go down there much any more.

The “Long-lost Daughter” story unlocks an option on Old Bones that gives Dramatic Tension and misc items. Meeting Millicent Clathermont unlocks an option on Woods in Winter that gives three favours and Dramatic Tension.

I wonder if your brain has conflated those two esoteric unlock conditions, and forgotten which of the old stories were involved.

If the long-lost daughter unlocks something I would totally believe that the Rubbery Murders unlocks something, though, so it’s entirely possible there’s another thing that I don’t know about. Mysteries and rubbery things would both be at home in the Nadir

I have it on good authority that the story unlock a new option on the Someone is Coming card… which is worst than the Bone Market one. To be fair, I never care that much about reward, but yeah.
edited by Quidam on 1/6/2022

Hahaha, as others I was in the same bucket, but after asking around I picked the right ending even if I didn’t agree with it.

[quote=Quidam]I have it on good authority that the story unlock a new option on the Someone is Coming card… which is worst than the Bone Market one. To be fair, I never care that much about reward, but yeah.[/quote]Fun fact: before… constable renown conversion, picking an ending and changing your mind yielded an impressive EPA for that time. I think there were 3 Rubbery favours in 2 AP with a small penalty to Constable connections if any.