September Exceptional Story: The Path of Blood and Smoke

Exceptional Story for September: The Path of Blood and Smoke

The Emissary smiles once more, and this time his lips part, revealing white, sharp teeth. “Would you believe me if I told you this meeting was foretold? That I am here attending to matters of prophecy?”

An ancient hunger wakes in the tomb-colonies. A prophecy of the Third City unfurls among the ice and rock, and if the Lace-Wrapped Emissary can be believed, you are the fulcrum. Follow in the footsteps of the Priest-Kings. Tread the path of trust and hear the call of betrayal.

Like it or not, the future comes for us all.


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!

Wow, congratulations to Erion Makuo for such a great poster!
And the synopsis of this story is no less great!

EDIT: And the icon from the free prologue throws one to the past:

What are you scheming, FBG?

EDIT #2: Wiki page with the available tie-ins.

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Not Exceptional, but it looks like this might be pretty good! The preview mentioning the God-Eaters and, from what I can gather, the Red and Gold gala also having them makes me hopeful for a deep lore™️ thing happening soon. Especially with the SMEN Embargo lifted allowing discussion of its stuff.

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This icon, Third City content, so it’s Fidgeting Writer, isn’t it?

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This art is gorgeous! I’m excited to see this game’s interpretation of the concept of prophecy

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I’ve only just set off but I find the reference to the Coppers fascinating. They’re referred to as ‘Servants of the Knife and Well’ and that seems very leading given other ‘knife and [object]’ traditions we’re aware of. Curious if there are any other connections as I can’t find much on this faction and I’m not really up on my third city (very exciting).

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Oh YES. Not even finished, and this is definitely one of my favourites! And yes, I am in fact petty enough to give into some murderous gods just to shank somebody for being an unpleasant travelling companion

If anyone happens to be in touch with The Long-Dead Priests of the Red Bird, could you please echo any unique options? I have to imagine there’s a strong chance that could unlock some.


The writing was indeed gorgeous, but I found the story unsatisfying because nothing seems to have happened as a result of the player character deciding to go with the priest to Xibalba. Granted, an Exceptional Story has to be one-size-fits-all in a sense, because it needs to be available to all players at all levels, But the story here seems to say that all it needed is a random person to come to Xibalba so the violence could be reenacted again. Why? Who knows?


What ending did you pick? I got the impression that my decisions mattered. I chose to willingly let my self be sacrifised and the Epilogue sure sounds like I made something happen.

There is also a very off-brand use of the Red Science going on here, so I think it would be somewhat “normal” for prophecy to get entangled with circular-history-logic stuff.

Overall I really liked this one. Somewhat linear path (you’re following straight road lol) but I felt that my decisions were meaningful both in the moment and at the conclusion. Excellent use of Fallen London’s mechanics with the tracker qualities, especially custom increase text. Good writing, made the events feel unnatural in the way that they needed to.


No, I did not choose sacrifice; I chose to take the knife and kill the priest when he came after me for it. You can see the ending I chose on my profile, Fallen London for now. But thanks for your reply; it’s good to know that there was an ending that arose from a meaningful decision.


I also chose sacrifice, but I think your point still stands that it’s not clear why the Emissary chose the player character. It seems like it could have been anyone, since presumably the Emissary’s death is just as effective as the player’s.

Maybe he was lying? After all, when you search for evidence of the prophecy that the Emissary mentions, you can find no record of it. What I think is that the Emissary was either just wandering around trying to find someone vulnerable to his scam, or he did his research and realised that you were the perfect person to catch. After all, what FLPC wouldn’t easily believe that there was an ancient prophecy about their railway-building, colony-governing, neath-saving eminence and jump at the chance to avert yet another crisis (and indebt the tomb-colonies to themselves forever while they’re at it?)


Just in case you’d be hungry for yet another ending…


Did anyone take the White or red roads? I’m assuming they just led nowhere but just in case.


I was wondering too.

I did. Unfortunately the God-Eaters are the worst kind of DM and railroad you down THEIR path


Oh man, what a story! The writing was an absolute treat throughout, and I loved the little ominous addendums to the descriptions. The Emissary was really interesting despite being a brief character, and his mannerisms were a pleasure to read. The descriptions were a lovely descent into dread.

For those that want to know what happens when, during the climax, you choose the option that involves seeking Mr Eaten’s name, here’s the section in my Journal (also the following part). All-in-all, I died. I do wonder what would have happened if I gave into the knife though.

@Atlas_J I dont remember exactly what it said, but [spoiler] [blur] the ritual ends up going awry if you willingly snackrifice yourself, making the bandaged guys’ plan fail, as he had apparently been promised entrance to a place whose name was axi-something or axl-something. [spoiler] [blur]

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Thanks! My curiosity has been sated

Hey how bad is it gonna turn out for me that I’m spamming tries to identify the creature? Am I about to brick my account?