Irem of the Pillars, and the Finale of Evolution

Evolution: the Finale

“Days will age into nights, and nights grow into days, before the currents converge. Other ships will pass you in the dark, zailing the other way. You will look overboard at the waves, clear as glass, cold as winter’s bite, and daydream. You will see the false-stars reflected, and the stalactites above, their mirrored pillars moving like zee-snakes.”

It has all been leading up to this. The Youthful Naturalist has travelled the length and breadth of the zee, from the citadel of Cline to the heights of Gaider’s Mourn to the dark waters of Death. Together, you’ve outwitted enemies, detractors, and natural law itself. You’ve achieved feats beyond even the Dilmun Club. You’ve proven that evolution is possible; that the bonds of destiny can be escaped.

Now, Irem will open to you. And, one way or another, it will all come to an end.

The final chapter of ‘Evolution’ is out now! Evolution is available to everyone who has a ship and has delved into the mysteries of the Dilmun Club – specifically, you will need to have completed a trip to the Court of the Wakeful Eye and obtained the quality ‘Associating with Radical Academics’ at 75. The entirety of the serial story is free, and available to all players.

Last we left this story, you were waiting for the Implacable Detective to contact you one final time. This chapter begins through a guaranteed card draw in London. You’re ready if your ‘Associating with a Youthful Naturalist’ quality is 630.

Irem, the City of Pillars

“She will rise from the zee and the ice like dawn. She will be garlanded with red and decked with gold. The Seven-Serpent will watch you longingly from its high pedestal.”

Previous Zee locations have been accessible independently of chapters in the Youthful Naturalist’s story, but Irem and the finale are a package deal. The City of Pillars will only fully open to you once you have concluded the Naturalist’s story. What you will find there is neither a linear story, nor a wheel.

It’s something unique in Fallen London, and one of the largest locations on the Unterzee. I don’t want to spoil it – I’ll leave you to discover the rest for yourself.


Time for people to go crazy with the progress and put the servers down! :heartfl:
I’m really curious what mechanics you used in this place to make it unique!

It’s something unique in Fallen London, and one of the largest locations on the Unterzee. I don’t want to spoil it – I’ll leave you to discover the rest for yourself.

And largest! Ha, bigger than the Khan already means it’s quite vast. Well, the Khan requires multiple carousels to get everything bit of text. Hmmm…!

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Enjoying it so far. I’m very fond of the writing around Irem (I love it when they play with tense and narrative tricks. Discordance was part of my favourite stuff before this).

I am a little unclear what the mechanics behind a certain ritual are so I’m just grinding out naturalist stats just in case.

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I crave that poster in a higher, desktop wallpaper-friendly resolution. :hot_face:

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Crap, I picked a Future I didn’t want [The Mortal one], who do I talk to if I want to roll my progress back from that?

Failbetter doesn’t do re-rolls AFAIK, but according to the Spoilerful Irem FAQ you can now change destinies/futures for free during festivals. Worst-case scenario is that you’re stuck with your current destiny/future until whatever festival comes next.

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Yeah I sent an email to the support Inbox and it turns out I was just being an idiot.

And how much is “a lot” of Prisoners Honey? A firkin? :face_with_raised_eyebrow:

It’s a number of some significance, but not a warehouse-full.

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I am starting to understand the puzzle at the end of Irem.

General mechanics:

Basic mechanics: moving from one Future to another requires spending types of Weave. Types of Weave are generated from Cards. When you move to a new Future, the Weave is cleared but the Cards are not.

Some Futures cannot provide certain Weave on their own. Progress in the puzzle will require retaining Cards as you move Futures, to obtain otherwise-unobtainable Weave.

More specific content:

From a Silvery Future, you can move to a Chilly Future but only by playing the type of Weave from the Bad Deal (Silk); it might be possible to bypass this by hoarding cards.

From a Chilly Future, you can proceed to a Ruinous Future. There are options available for all three Weaves, but only Bombazine can be obtained here. Silken in particular has extra requirements.

It’s quite possible the hidden puzzles can only be obtained by spending Boxen.


You are making my head hurt.

Wait…How many Futures are there? I found three by going Silken-into-Sinewy-into-Bombazine.

More than eight. Still working on it, I’ll let you know when I’ve found the end. Right now I have to return to London for some crucial supplies, which is frustrating because it wiped all by BOONs.

How 'bout them boons, eh?


So, to map out (heh) a bit more what’s going on.

There are four “regular” Futures. Nearby, where you start, Silvery, Dark, and… Jewelled? Eagle-eyed players will note that except for Nearby, these correspond to existing threads of Destiny. But there are Destinies unaccounted for, implying more Futures.

From Silvered it’s fairly straightforward to find two more Destinies, Chilly and Abyssal (I believe in that order). As mentioned above, it requires either saving cards or taking a Bad Deal.

From Abyssal it is possible to proceed to Ruinous. I forget if this requires hoarding or can be obtained through normal means. Progress from this point definitely requires playing cards, as the only Weave available is Bombazine. The Silk path is still blocked to me.

The Sinew path leads to Altered. I am currently working on the way forward from here. I believe that Futures from here will not have shortcuts, as I now have shortcut options for all seven mirror-catch boxes. Progress up to this point has required the use of 2 such boxes. I’m not sure if it’s necessary, but I suspect that progress beyond will require further.

Examining the quality descriptions of the previous Discovered qualities I have obtained along the way leads me to believe that there are at least three more Futures, up to 11 in total. I am also noticing that they seem to be paired off–an “advanced” one mirroring a regular one. Abyssal → Altered, Dark → Ruinous. Nearby would be the one left-over, or maybe it won’t.

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I do appreciate having to make one last map of our own to navigate the futures and their contents.

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I’m not sure how much I appreciate having the opportunity to hop from one future I know nothing aboutto another I know nothing about, then rinse and repeat, without having much of a clue what I’m doing or why I’m doing it. :slight_smile:


I found that rather frustrating initially too. Once I figured out I could hop back and forth and the aim was really just to make one of each kind of loop, rather than to reach the ‘correct’ one, I got a bit more relaxed and thought there was some interesting stuff there, but I’m definitely much more enthused for the post-naturalist futures (since I recognise several of them from the destinies).

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(Regarding only the Naturalist part of the puzzle):My understanding so far confirms what psgarak wrote above

What I would add from my own toying around with it all day is that each Future on the loom not only provides certain types of weave but only provides cards from a selection of 3-4. That is to say it seems to me that if I empty my hand in any one particular future there is a rather small range of possible cards that I draw, no matter how many times I empty and redraw. Maybe it was just my luck, and once again this observation only extends to the Naturalist puzzle, before the player character chooses his destiny.

Also, going from one future on the loom to any of the other 3 in the Naturalist part is completely deterministic and you can get from any one in particular to any other one directly. I realise this may seem obvious to some, but it took me a while to figure it out and then test it so I hope it helps those who, like me, are unfamiliar with puzzles.

Can anybody confirm this or infirm it? Were it true it would make Irem somewhat less RNG based and more like a real world mechanical puzzle.

To illustrate: it seems to me the Forking future on the loom has always only dealt me Unnatural Selection: Volume II, Quite a Mess to Clean Up, and A Proposal for the Dilmun Club. As for my second observation it seems for example that selecting the sinewy weave in Forking always leads to a Vivisected future

I think you can tell which future you’re going to by the image next to the option. London door always goes back to Forking for example. There’s three cards at each level (I think, certainly this holds for all post-naturalist ones I’ve seen too). But as others have said changing level doesn’t discard your hand so you can move up and down levels. Each level also has a card with the ‘decide your destiny’ option on them so you just need to meet its pre-requisite, then make sure the naturalists stats are such that you can select the option you want (which is a pain since I ended up with all of them over 7, don’t do this).

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I am interested in all these new destinies. Ended up with the Star, but If people manage to get echoes of any other the others it’d be cool to know about them. The future seems to have managed to get much bigger while I wasn’t looking.

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