Ignominious Defeats

The discussion of rewarding deaths started me recalling some of my own trips to the River, and to other Places of Menace. Some of these were appropriately dramatic - my first encounter with the Boatman came while enacting revenge for the Cheesemaker, at the hands of some of The Game’s most ruthless agents. Others came of pyrrhic victories - rescuing an Urchin from a Deviless, only to have my lodgings set on fire with me inside - or were simply embarrassing… like the time I had my hand fatally caught in a closing drawer. Then there was the time I was arrested for following couriers about in a nonspecifically suspicious manner. What unexpected downfalls or punishing blunders have you experienced?

I once came to the boatsman with my wounds up to 20, because I had been exploiting the fact that you won’t die if you keep pressng “try again” in orde to accomplish a nearly impossible task as part of my Nemesis Ambition. That definently could be interpeted as impressive resolve, and my character struggling trough extreme pain and injury. It took a really long time to get my wounds down too, this was when the daily action cap was still in place. So in the “heroes Journey” this was THE definitive “descent into the Underworld” moment for my character.

I was beaten to death by angry dock workers with my own stick. Not my finest moment as a Neddy Man.

New Newgate while robbing the Brass Embassy. More than once… think they would work on improving their security.

Mirror Marshes just recently, been curious to see them for awhile now though.

Spiders! Spiders everywhere! Oh god, oh man…

I’ve actually been rather careful with my menaces, I must admit.

I have visited the boatman several times though, after an inadvertent discovery in one of Mrs. Plenty’s mirrors. Imagine my shock when I ended up on that boat! Needless to say, leaving that place was somewhat easier than intended, as I was, technically, still alive. I’ve since learned, from that and other incidents, to be suitably wary of mirrors - which hasn’t stomped me from poking at them, every chance I get. Of course, in the search for a decent opponent at chess I’ve found myself wandering back to that mirror several times now. What can I say? The man has a good game, and some of his passengers may have secrets worth knowing.

I have also endured exile to the Tomb Colonies twice so far, both due to my actions at court. The first time was when, whilst associating with a certain Barbed Wit, I encountered a Saturnine Physician of truly appalling disposition. The man was an ass! Needless to say, I was duly exiled after I had hurled him through the nearest window. The only thing I regret about that incident is missing those iron railings.

My second exile occurred at the culmination of my association with the previously mentioned Barbed Wit and an Acclaimed Beauty when… well, let’s just say I may well have not been in quite my right mind. What was I thinking? Both of them? On the throne? I do so love to shock and appal the snobs at court, but such hedonism is really not my style usually. Still, no regrets.

My visits to New Newgate have been similarly brief, and quite intentional. Once to get down here, another to make the acquaintance of a certain Repentant Forger whose assistance I required. I cannot count the number of botched robberies I had to perform before the Constables finally picked me up. One would even think they were asleep on the job half the time - no wonder they still have to hire me to do their work for them.

The Royal Bethlehem I have avoided entirely thus far. My dreams hold far too many secrets for me to loose them over something so petty as mere insanity.

Worth mentioning is the time I got arrested for eating candy. Granted, spore-toffee isn’t exactly something a honest person should be seen eating, espescially not by the mouthful, but I was trying to get myself arrested since I had already worked up too much suspicion and that was the quickest way to get rid of it… But I can’t help but be amused what this means in-character. I ate so much candy that the constaples assumed that I was up to no good and arrested me, the justice system in Fallen London may possibly be slightly messed up (ya think?) “What? He ate candy? Send him off on bread and water!”

Something amusing about my last death (The one with the spiders), is that after a little more research, I found it was indeed a rare success… meaning a normal success would have been fine, but I got lucky… and uh, died.

I tend to stay out of places of menace on principle. I’d rather be succeeding at my tasks anyway, so I go for modest challenges usually, and as any of you would know I’m probably more obsessed with second chances than anyone. I also have a few people I exchange menaces with to keep myself out of harm’s way. My most recent death was mostly due to me wanting to see if playing chess with the boatman at the lowest difficulty increases the “boatman’s opponent” quality. It does not. I may continue to ignore my wounds quality for the time being, as I can get my watchfull quality to just the right spot at the moment, so removing it on the boat is almost as effective as the social action (social action is 2.5 CP per action, as unlike other social menace removers it does NOT increase the menace of the person helping), and asking for people to send me massages in advance so I can use them when my wounds goes up sounds a tad awkward. Though, if anyone’s willing…

I think my last trip to New Newgate (at least, the last unrelated to a certain name) was for piracy. I was zailing about the Underzee with a shiv, tattered rags, and most appropriately a pirate hat! The intention was to attract the Royal Navy. I don’t know what exactly it is, but something about Her Majesty’s ships attracts zee monsters better than the finest baits Rappacini sells. I needed what I think is my third plated seal. I may have been… overzealous in attracting the navy’s attention, and forgotten to remove the garb upon my return to Fallen London. Ah well, let’s hope I don’t forget on my next zailing expidition- I still need another; having lost the previous seals (or their descendants) to some disturbing but quite useful experiments in avian bifurcation.

So, I wound up going insane for the first time in a long while. Decided to rob the bazaar again, but at 15 Casing instead of 20. I failed, and while I anticipated jumping up a few levels in suspicion, I was not expecting to go from 3 nightmares to 8. Height of all foolishness indeed.

… So, I have a secondary character, Ben Blithesea, who is kind of a cheerfully reckless soul and based on a prior RP character. When I make decisions for him, I go with what he’d do whether it is wise or not. I fully expected him to go mad, but, well. He has gone above and beyond all my expectations.

It’s been ten days since I started his account, and he’s already done a nice little tour of Menace areas. First, well, Ben was happy to find himself in London at the Feast of the Exceptional Rose, but with his low stats, some of his dancing was a bit too scandalous and people just weren’t ready, so, yes, he ended up leaving for the Tomb Colonies in a wave of scandal for his extremely outre dancing.

When he got back, he was pursuing his Ambition (Heart’s Desire) and drove himself mad in an effort to find a route into the Forgotten Quarter. Matters were complicated when, as it turns out, he cannot resist a charming lady in scarlet stockings, especially not one who has a fossil collection. (He’d make the same decision sane, too. Fossils, stockings, what’s not to love?)

So he got out of the Royal Beth, eventually, and, okay, this one I can’t blame entirely on my character’s foibles, but Ben cannot resist a mirror, and I hadn’t actually tried looking in any of the mirrors at the Carnival, so when he ended up on an unexpected boatride, I was amused but not entirely surprised.


It’s the first time I died and, when I did, I felt as if I wasn’t the same. I always held in the back of my mind the idea that I could always just saunter back to the Surface if I felt like it. That, while the Neath was my home, I could still climb Mt Kilimanjaro or fight in the Boer War if I ever felt like it. After I died, while seeking the name, I knew I was bound to the Neath forever. I sort of felt like there should be some kind of item or accomplishment to denote this, like when you lose your soul. It really made the SMEN storylet come alive. I had to sacrifice something very dear and precious to me, and when I did a little part of me died.
Fortunately, a much bigger part of me didn’t give a damn.

I have been avoiding all purgatory, especially the boat - I am ashamed to say I haven’t met him, not even once.

Well, except the forced exile for that nasty opera business. I still hope I am eligible for the surface, one day…

My trips to New Newgate, the Royal Beth, and the Mirror-Marches have been rather banal-- at least, as banal as those places can be. I do think it’s notable, however, that my first and to date only death was in pursuit of scientific inquiry. I had found myself in possession of a Nephrite Lens, you see! And as knife-and-candle season had closed, I decided to experiment with my own blood, hoping to see something interesting.

I saw something, all right. A bright flash-- some eye-searing color-- and then I found myself on a Slow Boat, though I had been in perfect health previously. I felt slightly foolish, perhaps, though also strangely triumphant.

Now, the first time I visited the Tomb-Colonies was when I formed a rather ill-conceived notion to kiss my Counterfeit Head of John the Baptist, inspired by some depraved whim. Apparently the bystanders found the idea rather too scandalous and I was packed off instantly. I didn’t mind too much, though I did feel rather embarrassed when I realized that my bonnet was preventing me from returning.

(In my defense, it was a fabulous bonnet.)

Seven scars… I regard the Boatman as little more than a charming companion with whom to pass the evening, these days. Many, many matches we have played upon the waters.

(Seriously–I’m at Boatman’s Opponent 11. I’m starting to think that should count for something…)

I have recently come to be somewhat sympathetic to the plight of the rubbery citizens of London and thus chose to take one of their kind for a companion. So one evening we go outside for a perfectly harmless walk which did not seem to go down well with those of high social standing (they had infact already cut all ties with me upon learning of my… intimate connection with a rubbery citizen). Now I admit that I had an idea that it might provoke some Londoners a bit, but perhaps it would have the pleasing side-effect of starting a little debate on the prejudice towards rubbery citizens. However, even though I had just returned from exile, with every last bit of scandal washed away by Londons eternal tide of new juicy gossip, I was still forced to imidiatly flee to the tomb-colonies once again. I guess London is sadly not yet ready for rubbery unions, but I have no regrets, if someone doesn’t stand up against such blatent injustice change will never come (odd to sound like a revolutionary, when one is in fact quite facinated by the masters - perhaps even as facinated as I am unsettled).

I must admit, my first demise was from a rather unexpected source… a most scorching kiss on the cheek from a Quiet Deviless I know sent me to the Boatman.

I just went from wounds 5 straight to the river thanks to that infernal spider-council by the docks. Most inconvenient.

Well, I’ve just managed to die comforting the Quiet Deviless about her deceased bat. What I particularly liked was the following:

Presumably in this case, the gift is for my death and I’ll pick it up when I get back from the river.

The way to the name / the way to the name / THE WAY TO THE NAME

My character Jane probably has those 7 scars forming one big correspondence sigil on her somewhere. And then there were the incidences with the soul and the river…