Spurious Surface Speculations -(SPOILERS?!)

Greetings fellow denizens of the Neath,

            I  was wondering if wiser minds would care to help me in speculating how  the surface world of 1893 may have been effected by the descent of London  three decades ago. We have a some idea of the state of Vienna and Naples  thanks to Sunless Sea. But what about elsewhere? By implication of the  game we were all once tied to the surface - so what sort of world did we leave  behind? 

The Neath is clearly not an island -The Cumean Canal was built. Great Powers, Anarchists and Aunts all intrude. I suspect many of us also harbor hopes of perhaps returning to the surface one day.

Maybe these are questions best left unexamined in a fictional setting. But what do you think? - has the British Empire fractured? How did the Traitor Empress become an empress? Was there a US Civil War? Did Germany Unite? What about the scramble for Africa? And no doubt a thousand others I haven’t thought of.

Apologies if this has been discussed before (if so I’m afraid I lack the skill and sense to find it).

Kind regards, C.
edited by Charlotte_de_Witte on 11/18/2015

Many of the questions are counter-factual, so you can take them where you will. I’m not clear about the exact year London Fell, so it is difficult to say if it would have had any impact on the U.S. Civil war. How and if Britain stayed together after losing the financial and governmental center of the nation is an interesting question, but I’d suppose that, in the best British tradition, they just muddled through. D’Israeli could have had Vikki proclaimed Empress of the Neath instead of Empress of India in '77; given how the devils handled the British expansionist efforts in '70, that would have been a neat trick, but it’s only a title, after all. I wonder if Teddy was in London when it fell, or if he is now king of the Surface Britain. Maybe the Scots decided to try to put a Stuart back on the throne. Figure that Bismarck would still have been as ambitious as ever, and if anything you’d figure chaos in Britain would make him more bold. So Germany would still unite, and France be well beaten in the Franco-Prussian War.
Status of the Imperial possessions would be interesting as well, although the Colonial Office never was particularly effective or efficient, and thus the various Governors would probably carry on much as usual. All of this supposes that the financial chaos wrought by London disappearing could be compensated for. Perhaps New York City or Amsterdam would pick up the slack.

– Mal
edited by malthaussen on 11/17/2015

Someone with better memory could probably elaborate, but in Sunless Sea we meet a Pirate King in the Isle of Cats who has some connections to the real world, sorry I can’t be more specific. hopefully someone will elaborate.

That’s Leopold. He’s the spawn of the founder of Singapore, Stamford Raffles.

This one I think I know a little bit about, though I’d REALLY rather not spoil it for people who haven’t yet done that content, because I thought it was brilliant - and figuring it out yourself is much more fun than reading the answer in a forum post.

But hints, because what is this game without Whispered Hints and Cryptic Clues?

Regarding her title:

The ‘Traitor’ part involves a betrayal, of course. The best hint I can think of would be to look to the source of Cantigaster Venom. (I’m not sure if this one is in the Light Fingers ambition or a different story I’ve encountered (possibly the University?), but I believe I’ve seen it along the way while playing.)
As for ‘Empress’, well if you’ll pardon my paraphrasing… &quotThe sun never sets…&quot Besides, she’s had other titles before this one - and if I remember correctly the Bazaar has prohibited citizens of the 'Neath from using her name.
But, her name is one that you (as a player) would recognise - if that helps at all. :-)

edited by Kittenpox on 11/18/2015

London fell in '62, so it’s not unreasonable to assume that her imperial title doesn’t refer to India… but so much of the setting is in the realms of alternate history anyway (the Bazaar has been interfering with humanity for millennia) that we can’t take much for granted.

Fair point. I wasn’t sure how the timelines lined up. Anyhow, I’m sure I’ve said enough already.

What about the other Fallen cities? There were 4 other cities that the Bazaar stole before London, things were most likely affected before London, maybe that’s why so many people choose to go to the neath, to escape from…something else?

I always assumed that the folks from the previous cities were yanked down into the Neath along with the city itself, and just kinda muddled along under their new circumstances until they began to figure things out. Until the subsequent city came crashing down on their heads, that is.

I always assumed that the folks from the previous cities were yanked down into the Neath along with the city itself, and just kinda muddled along under their new circumstances until they began to figure things out. Until the subsequent city came crashing down on their heads, that is.[/quote]

By &quotcharacters&quot I also meant players, but there are still characters who got to fallen cities optionally…right?

I suppose it is likely foolish to try to guess too deeply at the history of an imagined world. I’m sure the game’s marvelous writers have quite intentionally and sensibly left the surface, like much else, undefined. The presence of so many historical elements, and indeed people, in the setting would however suggest that somewhere at Failbetter HQ there is at least a vague outline of this alternate history. If only to prevent creating accidental breaks in the players’ suspension of disbelief. - It is certainly my own bad habit to enjoy trying to peer behind the curtains.

@ Mal - thank-you, brilliant answers!

  • Sorry I got my dates mixed with the Civil War - I hope a better question would be- How do you imagine the Trent Affair would have developed in light of London’s sudden disappearance?
  • I remember seeing somewhere that only little Vicky remained on the surface. The fate of the other royal children is much too good to spoil here.

@ Sir Fredrick Tanah-Chook - Thank-you, I had '61 in my head for some reason.

@ The Master and KittenPox - My guess is that part of the reason the other 4 cities were chosen (by the writers) is because their falls have historical parallels of sorts -so the impact might not be so large?
edited by Charlotte_de_Witte on 11/18/2015

In the thread about the new Exceptional Story (well, the old one, released in July and now available) there is some speculation about current/future events. Apparently there is a reference to the Emperor of France, which leads one to wonder if there is no 3rd Republic and if the Prince Imperial managed to avoid getting his silly head cut off by Zulus. OTOH, from what I gather reading the remarks (I haven’t played the content), the story is about dreams/alternate futures/fantasies, so hard to say just what the devs have in mind.

– Mal
edited by malthaussen on 11/18/2015