November Exceptional Story: The Stripes of Wrath

Since Failbetter staff have apparently been doused with irrigo, I’ll jump into the breach. We can’t have an ES without a forum thread!

The Detective taps her temple. “Allow me to present my prudentials. The Case of the Missing Muffins. The Lizard of Lacewhisper Street. The Mysterious Weasel Thief Who Definitely Weren’t Arnold Even Though The Missing Weasels Showed Up Inside His Hat. That were all me. I mean, it were me that solved 'em. Not me that done 'em.”

A hideous murder attempt rocks London – an attack so vicious it sends its victim off to the Grand Sanatorium. A tangle of magicians, tigers and insects has the Constables scratching their heads and the greatest detectives in London flummoxed. But what did the cabbies see? And what is that persistent buzzing noise…

Exceptional Friendship

In addition to a new, substantial, stand-alone story every month, Exceptional Friends enjoy:

  • Access to the House of Chimes: an exclusive private member’s club on the Stolen River
  • Access to Mr Chimes’ Lost & Found, a shop in the Bazaar where you can exchange currency earned through playing Exceptional Stories for exclusive companions and items
  • Three additional outfit slots
  • An expanded opportunity deck of ten cards instead of six!
  • A second candle – twice the actions! 40 at once!

The Honey-Addled Detective, relevant again in a story? Do my eyes deceive me?

Also, it’s been ages since I’ve thought about the Shroud but the last I recall-they were renowned, even to the FL player character, for being “real” magicians that actually just use stage magic. Is this necromancy thing a new development, or a difference of presentation?

Edit: Poor tiger. Did the right thing in the wrong place for the right reason. London is littered with the bodies of the well-intentioned but foolish. Not today, though. I left the old bugger to his dreams


I am near the ending and I have to say that I have really enjoyed this one. I guess it is mechanically too plain for some people (there is little to no challenge and most of it consists on just following different storylets), but as a detective story it is pretty well done: it gives you room to form different hypotheses from the clues given and the solution is not obvious, but makes quite a bit of sense (poor guy).

And I specially likes the meeting of minds, both for the old, stablished (and in one case, quite forgotten) detectives and for the new introductions. The Urchin Detective is charming -I have a massive soft spot for urchins, anyway- and the Banded Sleuth… well, a large cat as a distinctly hardboiled private eye? Makes me wonder if Mr. Inglis has been reading Blacksad lately.

All things considered, narration-wise this might be one of my favourite exceptional stories.


Though I didn’t like the fact that all of the storylets that were part of the investigation cost an action (even the ones with the most obvious of answers!) the denouement made the story worthwhile! Smart, and sweet. I really enjoyed seeing the various detectives play off of each other. I chose the ending where the detectives withdraw to leave the elderly tiger die in peace, and having that option available really made the ES for me. Thank you, Failbetter!


Idk how you guys decide which stories are fan favorites but… you should mark this one as a fan favorite when it goes to the market.

I’m at the climax of the story and this might be the most fun I’ve ever had in a storyline in this game. No notes.

If anyone is reading this and thinking about becoming an exceptional friend while this is a story… do it. You won’t be sorry.


I was wondering if anyone has the text for Closest Tomb Colonists at the start of the story? I’ve always been curious about Tomb Colonists but I don’t think I have the resources to get closest to them right now.


Closest to TC option:


I rather enjoyed this story. It felt well written, and the ending was well handled by the time you get there.


This was definitely one of my favorite stories in quite some time! The offhanded descriptions and little grace notes in the writing were wonderful (when the detective asks to see the Banded Sleuth’s paw and the urchin holds out her hand!). And the epilogue was adorable. I would love to see a whole series of “the best sleuths in Fallen London unite to solve the case of X” stories.