The exact number of Fallen Londoners who are without a soul is kept a bit vauge. What I was struck by is the fact that the conflicting numbers are so close to each others, 8-9% versus 11%, with eleven percent being presented as a scandalously high estimate. Why this hair-splitting? Is the exact percentage ammount really that important to the Fallen Londoners? My own suspicion is that it’s intended to lampoon discussions about the percentage of homosexuals, since that’s the only other place I can think of where 8% or 11% is any kind of controversy.
Also, on the topic, how accurate do you think the numbers presented in the game is? I’m not inclined to believe the devils OR the anarchists on this. I personally think that the number of soulless is much higher considering how much souls I had to reap just to get the key to my room at the Western Tower. They do seem to imply that completel soulless people are somewhat rare, but just about everybody has a stain on their soul somehow and it adds up to a thriving market of souls. I’ve yet to look into it further, so I don’t know all that much about the specifics of the soul trade.
It’s pure speculation, but I could imagine it being possible to get multiple “soul” commodity items from a single person, much in the way that a handkerchief can be represented by a quantity of silk scraps or a particularly intriguing text represented by a multitude of proscribed materials.
Also, it’s interesting to note that devils seem to pay a very high fee for the player’s own personal soul, as opposed to mere pennies for a bottled one. The players aren’t entirely alone in this regard either; there’s the lawyer at the University who mentions getting his start-up money from the sale of his soul, and the habit devils have of wining and dining to seduce possible targets… my current theory is that the devils will pay significantly more to remove a soul from its original owner, since that’s the only person who has a real use for it. A spirifer with a crate full of souls doesn’t really have anything to do with them besides sell them to the Embassy, and even if they sell them elsewhere, one assumes they’ll eventually circulate andmake their way back to the devils. Once a soul is bottled, essentially, it’s usually only a matter of time before the devils get it. edited by Early on 1/23/2012
That is certainly one possibility. Another, darker one, (and really what other kind is there in the neath?) is that the soul itself is a bonus, but not the main prize. The cherry on top of the sundae to a devil, if you will. The real reward is the extraction of the soul. Whether or not it’s because removing a soul from a person is simply a pleasurable act for a devil, or if the real reward is one more soulless Fallen Londoner is a debate I look forward to with great eagerness.
Considering that the whole thing basically plays out as a seduction, I’d say there are some pararells at least. The text at least seems to imply that there ratio is one jar = one human soul, but also (unless I misunderstood what he devil at the brass emassy said), it does not necesserily have to come from a single human at once, they can just stain peoples souls a bit and extract from that.
Another possibility, there is a special item for souls of important persons that’s more expensive. Since player characters are more or less by definition quite extraordinary individuals, it may just be that their souls are just espescially sought after.
Or even for procreation. It would seem to me that the first step in turning a human into a devil would be removing that pesky soul and putting in a jar on a high shelf safely out of the reach of it’s prior owner. I’m not saying that’s how one would go about doing it (or even if it’s possible). This is merely idle speculation.
Edit: Upon further consideration, I do not believe that the extraction is truly for pleasure or for procreation, though both of these may also be included in the act. I remember a conversation with an otherwise delightful deviless where she commented that she was so cold here and that she needed some companionship. So being the paragon of magnanimousness that I am (all this and humble to) I endeavored to use my wit and charm to replace her need. Thankfully for some random Londonite, I was successful, this time. I may have, even just for a moment, made her forget what it meant to be a devil, though that is most likely wishful thinking on my part.
This says to me that she didn’t need ‘companionship’ for pleasure, or procreation, or even for hunger. This rather struck more as coping with withdrawal.
You mean devils suffer from having no soul of their own and therefore seek to obtain the souls of humans? Quite a bold theory. I will mention it to my neighbour, the Loquacious Vicar, when he comes around for tea next time. He’s highly interested in the matter and often puts forward some quite unusual theories himself…