Questions and Observations Regarding A Palatial Estate in the Arctic Circle

I’ve been toying with the idea of making a second alt so I can explore the non-Light Fingers ambition rewards (among other things)… and have thought a lot about the other Treasure options lately as a result.

And a whole bunch of questions arose the more I thought about the “escape” option in Heart’s Desire.

For instance:

Doesn’t being the owner of a Luxembourg-sized chunk of the Arctic Circle technically make you the crowned ruler of a sovereign nation-state founded on the outcome of a card game? Like by all appearances that one particular ending to Heart’s Desire is the only way to give the “Lord/Lady” addressed as title real legitimacy. Hell, there’s nothing stopping you from declaring yourself the King/Queen/Empress/Grand Duke of [New Luxembourg] if you want.


Has there ever been any hint as to the actual location of said landmass? Because this:

Is not a narrow search radius. And it changes the extenuating circumstances quite a bit depending on where exactly you pop up on the world map. Personally I’d prefer it to be somewhere in North America, since that would maximize the length of your rocket-sled funicular ride, but that’s just me.

And one more hypothetical:

Say you chose escape, and then devoted every resource in your hyperbolic Sorceror-Scientist piggy bank to developing a city around your palace; using all the knowledge you gleaned from your adventures to build that city in a way meant specifically to catch the attention of the Masters/Bazaar.

Could you theoretically use your escape from the Neath just to sell that same escape back to the Masters later with interest? Because that strikes me as peak Red Chessboard energy.

EDIT: Lastly, am I the only person who would gladly kill for a Treasure-dependent equivalent to professional activities?

It is the height of injustice that you spend your early career working towards the acquisition of a top shelf toy that you only ever get to play with once a month.


This is kind of a hilarious thought… I actually have no idea how the logistics of this would work. I’m pretty sure that the palace coming from a Neathly card game would earn it an automatic rejection, even if you make its surrounding land into a city, but one can never be sure…


Worst case?

Absent block where the Palace would have been in the Neath, and an absent block surrounding the Palace where the 7th City (which we’ll call New Luxembourg for simplicity’s sake) was on the surface.

(Which would make actually using the funicular after the fact a Portal 2-esque nightmare scenario, I’m sure. Seriously, try thinking about that for a minute. Two interconnected negative spaces linked by rocket sled.)


You settle in the North Pole and become Santa Clause. All questions of feasibility will simply be met with “Red Science.”

The elves are actually rats.


Doesn’t being the owner of a Luxemborg-sized chunk of the Arctic Circle technically make you the crowned ruler of a sovereign nation-state founded on the outcome of a card game?

I shouldn’t think so - I’d have thought it was simply a piece of property you owned within the borders of an existing nation.


A palace is a very specific kind of domicile inhabited by a very specific type of person.

I don’t think that choosing Luxembourg as their unit of measurement was a coincidence.

At no point do they specify that you are within an established nation’s borders (they could just as easily have reverse-Atlantis’d a new island/continent out of the sea floor for you with Red Science).

And it rather defeats the purpose of having your own personal “escape” if said panic room comes with a landlord.

Is it a palace, though, or is it a mansion? The Masters call it a palace; the item description calls it a mansion. The description says that it’s palatial, sure, but one wouldn’t call a palace palatial. You’d be laughed out of adjective club with a redundancy like that. (The Masters also say that the land was a gift from one or more surface-rulers - so, probably not reverse-Atlantised.)


What does red-science even do? Is it just general reality-warping through math? Can it create matter out of nothing? transport it? Alter it? Where is the limit?

And your palatial estate is not even in England, is it? There’s something off about the colour of the squirrels.
-Offer a Fresher Memory of the Surface

European squirrels were red (North American Greys were introduced to Great Britain in the 1870s, but that wouldn’t affect Arctic Europe, presumably), so the presence of wrong-coloured squirrels (such as the grey-coloured Northern Flying Squirrel) suggests the landmass which may or may not have become the northern Canadian territories or Alaska.

Reindeer roam beyond your windows. Their eyes meet yours sometimes, deep and luminous. -Visit your other home

If this were North America they’d probably be called Caribou, but Caribou are not not reindeer.


You are certainly not.

Alaska very famously has both.


Exact words used: winter palace. And based on the “lashings of secret passages” alone? Yeah, I’d say it fits the architectural archetype.

(And that’s setting aside plural ballrooms, cellars, and hotsprings. A mansion with a ballroom or hotspring of any description is an absolute beast of a mansion. A building with more than one of either is officially one step higher on the great chain of architecture. :stuck_out_tongue: )

And it could still technically be gifted from a surface power and still be smack in the middle of the ocean. I’m sure a nation state would much rather give up a blank spot in their oceanic territory than a landlocked portion.


The hints all seem to point to somewhere in Alaska, Nunavut or the future Northwest Territories.

Which also means I get my theme park wish.


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That’s a sales pitch, not a charter. And plenty of non-government-related mansions have secret passages, palaces don’t have a monopoly on them by a long shot.

One also has to assume that during the sunlit half of the year, the local Inuit nations have taken a good look at the place and tried to figure out when the hell it popped up.

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On the contrary, that’s the Masters outlining what they actually can and will give you. You asked for freedom… and they give you exactly what’s outlined above as their best effort to provide it.

the proud and (if they know what’s good for them) loyal subjects of New Luxembourg*

(Oh, and AFAIK? Inuit isn’t actually the preferred term, because that’s just the name of one specific tribal group from that region. It’s kinda like if you referred to all aboriginal people in the United States as Cherokees.)

I was referring to the Inuit as they’re, as far as I know, the majority in Nunavut, so they’d be the most relevant group if the mansion is actually up there. If the mansion isn’t there, then yes, it’d be another of the circumpolar peoples.

And if you want to put your bets on the Masters making not only an up-front literal statement of what they’re going to do for you, but also giving you some extra freebie national sovereignty… well, we’ll see how that works out.


You’re missing the point. “Escape/Freedom” is the surface level choice offered. And when you open the door to get a look at your prize? What you get is a very nicely appointed palace… in the middle of a frozen wasteland.

This is the fine print. And you’re tryna be unduly pessimistic about that (which honestly says more about you than the Masters lol).

EDIT: And as far as sovereignty goes? Exact words used: “your domain.”

On top of which? The Masters say they were gifted the land in question. Presumably the nature of those agreements are comparable in nature to the one involved in purchasing London. Which would mean total ownership of the land/people/etc. with a Correspondence-backed contract to enforce the agreement.

I like to call my apartments my domain. That doesn’t mean it’s a sovereign nation. Also, just because the definition of palace means the official home of a King, Queen, or other person of high social rank (citing the Cambridge Dictionary for that one) doesn’t mean the word is always used that way. It’s also pretty often used to just mean a really big house, which the Arctic Estate definitely qualifies as.

I don’t think that’s a fair comparison. The London Purchase was a once in every couple centuries agreement to buy the capital of the greatest empire in the world in exchange for defying death itself, while giving the Masters some land in the Arctic as a present to make you more likely to be the recipient of the next Purchase of a city is probably a lot less, well, dramatic.

I’m sure that no one would stop you if you declared independence from whoever’s land exactly you’re on, considering it’s mostly icy wasteland without many strategic resources that the Great Powers of the world don’t care about all too much, but that doesn’t mean the Masters actually gave you a country. Luxembourg is a convenient unit of measurement because it is famously very small as a country but as personal property would be almost unfathomably huge to own, so it falls in that range where you could feasibly live and manage a property that size but still have one of the biggest properties in the world.


I beg of you: look up how land treaties worked in the 1700’s/1800’s.

What’s described is a fairly standard colonial era land treaty, which means the land is under the sovereignty of the Bazaar. Now, whether the Masters are actually ceding that sovereignty to you specifically is DEFINITELY up for debate! But it doesn’t belong to whatever country gifted it to the Bazaar.


I’m not familiar with the relationship between the Crown and Canada. Is it possible the Masters obtained land from the Empress?

I acknowledge that the Bazaar owns the Arctic land, but what I was disputing was the whole

Correspondence-backed contract aspect, considering it was implied to be just a gift, rather than a contract or a treaty. The Masters probably aren’t going to bring in the Letters of Fire just to back up owning some land near the North Pole that was freely given to them, not to mention that they almost certainly wouldn’t bother managing the whole thing themselves. I’d bet that if anything they’ve given administrative control at least to the natives, if not the country that previously owned it. Certainly, they have the authority to grant you sovereignty over the land, but they aren’t going to bring out the bells and whistles to sign a contract the only purpose of which is to give them ownership in name of a bunch of reindeer and snow.

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