So what happens to children who die in the Neath?

That question has been on my mind quite a bit lately, because IRL Victorian London had quite a bit of infant and child mortality. My guess is that it’s not too different from what happens when adults die in the Neath- they end up on a slow boat to the land of the dead, and can either accept that they’re dead and go to the land of the dead, or not accept it and revive themselves. I’d also guess that since children have more resilience and vitality than adults, and in general more to live for, that they are more likely to successfully revive themselves than adults. What happens after that? Does death permanently stunt one’s growth? Can children end up as tomb-colonists, not-quite-dead but not alive either? My guess is that children who come back as members of the truly living keep growing, but kids who come back as pint-size tomb colonists are stuck at their present physical age for the rest of their unlife.

One question more social than physical. Do children who come back to life return to their families, or are they outcasts who end up becoming street urchins?

(Sunless Sea Spoiler)
You could argue based on the &quotSnow Child&quot plotline, that children who die in the Neath are permanently dead. But I disagree, because it would make no sense for children to be generally less vital than adults. Also, while the game never says it outright, it hints that the snow-child’s family ate him, which would leave him without a proper body to return to.

(/Sunless Sea Spoiler)

Why do you think Urchins horde and accept payment in weasels and bats?

It’s to pay off The Boatman.

… Geez. What a morbid thought. I hope that isn’t actually true. That question better not pop up in the Third Yearly Mysteries Contest…

edited by Tystefy on 8/22/2018

Well… the Tomb colonists are simpl;y those too decrepit to go on living. I assume children are simply revived like we all are, and keep growing. It is not like adult death stops you from aging in the Neath; we are not vampires.

Urchins grow into Longshanks eventually - and when you consider the most violent gangs’ wars, you can imagine at least some of them have died at least once.

Now, if you gave some Cider to an urchin…Hmm.

Whether or not you come back depends on how you died, and as far as I know, age doesn’t affect that (expect old age). This seems to be because of how damaged your body is, so manually cutting someone apart or, in one ES, crushing their head, stops them from returning due to the unsuitably. Then, apparently, they pass on to the Far Country instead of just the Boat.

The second part is willpower. I think some young kids might be fine or not really understand the need to escape, while I’m sure other kids might annoy the Boatman until he allows them to leave.

That’s certainly true, and I certainly agree that most children who revive will continue growing normally. I’m thinking that children who return as tomb-colonists don’t. The reason I think that is because growing takes quite a bit of a child’s metabolism. That’s why teenagers eat so much and stay thin and hungry! Tomb-colonists seem to have a metabolism that’s quasi-functional at best. I don’t think they’d have the energy to keep growing. (SS Spoiler) The First Curator in Venderbight is described as &quotchild sized&quot IIRC(/Spoiler).

Tomb-Colonists seem to have poor metabolisms because they’re generally very old, though. As I understand it, they’re (usually) decrepit because of age-related decay, not because of damage from dying.

It seems to me that if something radically different happened to children who lost their lives in the Neath, it would have been obvious by now; this is not a trivia or an obscure piece of knowledge to be hidden until an ES or a festival brings some bits to light.

Also, let us not forget that the Mountain imbues even London with a more robust vitality, so I am assuming infant mortality is not what it was on the Surface. One can hope at least.

I remember this being a topic mentioned in a thread about London’s Neath population. Can you imagine though? Child birth was more dangerous for both mother and child back in the 1890s. Even then, a child’s safety was not as guaranteed to the degree it is today. As much of a threat living in the Neath is, there’s something pleasant about the thought of mothers living to see healthy crying children, even if one or both had to wait a single boat trip to meet one another, or a parent finding relief after their child returns to the land of the living after a nasty accident. I’m surprised that, for all the stories in which we interact with the half-dead, we’ve not encountered child tomb-colonists. With how much higher the population must be, and how many children happily embrace the dangers around them, it’s a wonder how more aren’t physically damaged.

[quote=Tystefy]Why do you think Urchins horde and accept payment in weasels and bats?

It’s to pay off The Boatman.

… Geez. What a morbid thought. I hope that isn’t actually true. That question better not pop up in the Third Yearly Mysteries Contest…

edited by Tystefy on 8/22/2018[/quote]

Actually I think that makes a lot of sense. Fallen London is a dangerous place, moreso for Urchins, who are perpetually getting into dangerous/illegal activities and prefer to spend life dashing across the rooftops. I’d never thought of it this way before, but even with a lot of luck they probably do &quotdie&quot more often than the average Londoner.

Being a tomb colonist has much more to do with old age than bodily damage; They aren’t undead zombies, they really are still alive. Only something like a full-body burn of some sort or particularly hideous disfigurement would really cause someone to don the bandages prematurely.

barring those kinds of injuries, I think Urchins grow up as normally as any child.
edited by Addis Rook on 9/5/2018

I think he’s just shrunk from extreme old age.

Yes, this is my take of him as well. Just to show you how close to dissolution he is.

Children just seem to die the same Neath-death everyone else dies, as evident if you build an Orphanage.

“Your tradesmen repaint, re-carpet, re-plumb and prudently bar a couple of the windows. Not to prevent escape! It’s not that sort of orphanage. But you don’t want anyone falling to their death. They’ll be so upset afterwards.”

I think the lack of infant mortality and the lack of Birth control is why we have so many Urchins in the first place.