The Nature of Bazaar and the Masters [SPOILERS]

I’m pondering a little on the nature of the bazaar, and the masters. Exactly what both are is shrouded in mystery of course, but i’m collecting snippets here and there.

From the Tireless Mechanic’s storyline in Sunless Sea, it’s pretty much stated that the bazaar is a spaceship of some sort, The Stone Pigs (whatever they are) are it’s engines, i think.

And from various mentions here and there, especially the ending of the Jack of Smiles storyline [Spoiler alert]
It seems that it uses love as a fuel source, somehow? Or at least stories of love. How on earth does that work?

The logical conclusion of that then, is that the Masters are aliens, perhaps the crew of that ship? I’m not sure why they’re on earth, or what their business is with the various fallen cities. Although to hazard a guess, i’d say they crash landed here somehow, and maybe they’re trying to gather enough fuel to take off again

And a crew of twelve seems awfully small for such a large vessel. Were there others in the past? have many of their species died, perhaps?

I’d love some insights and theories on this matter. What are your thoughts?
edited by Nanako on 2/3/2016

hmm, what situation is it in, though? how could stories help it?

The Bazaar is not merely a ship - it is a living organism with its own feelings and agendas. It wants the love stories to help with the situation it is in, and the Masters are stuck helping it for the time being.

Edit: Oops, post shuffle. Anyway, it’s in trouble because it loves and had an offspring with the Sun, a higher being on the chain. It has 7 Cities to provide proof that this can be permitted, otherwise I’m pretty sure it’ll be killed.

edited by Sara Hysaro on 2/3/2016

and another thought. Is the title Masters of the Bazaar really accurate? it seems like they’re the servants, not the masters. Do they hold influence over it? control it, or hold it to ransom somehow ?

It isn’t a ship but it does have a weird propulsion thingy. You might brush against one in one of the Fate stories.

As Sara said, it has a more er… sentimental use for the stories. I don’t think there’s lore that says it eats anything. Maybe it doesn’t need to.

They are masters of what they trade in, and are ultimately in charge of the city they’re in at the time. They’re definitely not in a position of power over the Bazaar, though the Bazaar does need them to do the job they’ve been given and they’ve been growing tired of the whole mess.

and another thought. Is the title Masters of the Bazaar really accurate? it seems like they’re the servants, not the masters. Do they hold influence over it? control it, or hold it to ransom somehow ?[/quote]

Master as in dominion on one of the Bazaar’s trades so more like Ministers of Public Decency, Minister of Liquors etc. or Master as in the origin of the word Mister.

The Bazaar gave them some promise in return for their work. No idea what they get from it though. I think they just do stuff for London’s upkeep and other &quotrecreational&quot projects.

I think the quote from Sunless Sea said that the bazaar uses the stone pigs to travel between the stars

That and, being a building that can be entered, surely qualifies it as a ship, no?

I’m not 100% sure, to be honest. If it stays basically the same way it is now when it flies off into space then I’m sure there’s a way to ride it like a ship (though the Bazaar would also be the captain), but I believe in the Chill of the Void destinies the Masters are following the Bazaar, not riding within it. They don’t need to worry about oxygen, though, so maybe they just don’t want to be cooped up after finally leaving the planet.

I think the quote from Sunless Sea said that the bazaar uses the stone pigs to travel between the stars

That and, being a building that can be entered, surely qualifies it as a ship, no?[/quote]

What you’re entering is a &quothat&quot. In fact, the entire city is a hat. The fact that its pool of emo tears seems to look like a sea makes it really huge. Pyro, through his ambition, has entered deeper into the Bazaar. Trust me, it isn’t designed for crews, batty or human.

I’m not sure if you can call it a ship (that’s quite a simplification, kinda like calling this a ship). I haven’t heard of a ship that is alive and with living animals attached to it.

Sara, I think the Masters ride the Ether (which doesn’t exist IRL by the way) like Lovecraft’s Elder Ones so they don’t really need to ride the Bazaar. Let’s just say that they have &quotwings&quot :D

Oh, I know they can fly through space on their own. :) I just wasn’t sure whether the Bazaar can be ridden in general after it takes off.

edited by Sara Hysaro on 2/3/2016

It’s an organic living space probe. Whether it’s a ship is somewhat a matter of interpretation - but, personally, I would say that a ship has to be a) constructed/manufactured b) for purposes of transport. I don’t believe we have much convincing evidence that it is either “made” or that it’s purpose is transport (in fact we know that it’s primary purpose is information delivery, not cargo/crew transport)

If we’re talking about what the Masters get out of this whole situation, I always assumed the Bazaar promised them they could drain the fallen cities of whatever resources they want in exchange for helping it collect love stories. They’ve apparently grown quite tired of this arrangement and are trying to get through the seven cities as fast as possible considering there is increasingly smaller spans of time between each of the falls. Frankly, at this point, we shouldn’t be worried about the nature of the Masters and the Bazaar so much as finding them the love story they want so they won’t drop Paris on us and turn us all into lacre.

I respectfully disagree with resources angle

given that the High Wilderness have more exotic resources compared with the Neath. There’s a Judgement that is basically a giant Fabulous Diamond (Mr. Stones). There’s also a huge amount of space booze (10 billion, billion, billion litres of methanol and ethanol is kinda enough for Mr. Wines IMO).

Perhaps they have more sentimental reasons on why they’re here?

Whatever the promise is has yet to be fulfilled in the Chill of the Void destinies, so it’s probably not the opportunity to loot seven cities for all they’re worth. Might be some sort of freedom or power - I’d personally guess the former. The Masters dream of a time before love and the time before names. I could be very off base, though.

This seems like a very worthwhile thread to preserve and document, and a good place to compile what is known about arguably the most influential entities in introducing Fallen London from old London’s ashes.

Given the conversion description as well as the central importance of topic material, further warning on material that people MAY NOT WANT TO SEE strikes one as entirely superfluous. Nevertheless: the following likely contains much that you MAY NOT WANT TO SEE.

Regarding the Masters:
Sara Hysaro’s explanation seems quite succinct and sufficient for many purposes. Consider the collective information presented by this admirable scholar as correct in all its material content to the best of my own knowledge. A slightly wider scope, touching on common knowledge for most Fallen Londoners, can hopefully be offered by coupling this with the other data kept here.

The Masters are supremely secretive, which makes discerning much of value about them a great challenge.
They are humanoid or at least capable of emulating a facsimile of humanity, but almost certainly not human in the usual sense of the word, as suggested by their unusual height and atypical manners. A further personal assumption is that they are homogeneous in kind, if not species.
Since they have been around since the beginning of the Bazaar’s residence in the stolen cities of humanity, they possess at least what the author considers &quotweak immortality&quot - that is, immunity from death by the normal aging process of most biology. Possible but personally dismissed as vanishingly unlikely is the idea that they were ONCE human and were changed in nature by the greater powers of the universe, most likely the Bazaar itself or the Judgements. They are distinctly limited in knowledge and power, and their plans can be frustrated by the careful plotting of Fallen Londoners with sufficient acumen and resources.
Both the Masters and the Bazaar itself jealously seek expressions of human love (particularly romantic love), whether in written form or in representations of sentimental value.

The Masters are, at least in present Fallen London, expert in the arts of social manipulation and quite knowledgeable concerning the motivations of human beings. They appear to have some code of honour or at least practical decency, but in a supremely diminished occupation - currying gratitude with them is a protracted affair which will demand a hugely disproportionate amount of time and effort. Their personal estates are used to further their individual influences, and (on a… curious number of occasions) thwart the designs of select members of their peers. The Masters’ internal politicking has room for both direct conflict - such as between Mr. Fires and Mr. Stones - as well as alliances. One of the natural results of the scope of their somewhat nebulous ambitions is that their day-to-day motivations prove difficult to untangle at the best of times, and not infrequently contain apparent contradictions of character.
There is a clear correlation between the Bazaar and its attendant Masters, and the symbol system known to many as the Correspondence. While this relationship is still unclear in nature, the Masters are known to be supremely fluent in the use of the Correspondence, and some investigation into the Masters’ machinations reveals that they even use it for the relatively mundane task of relaying messages between themselves.

Through a personal desire to bring down that demi-cryptid known as the Vake, contact with the peculiar martial and ecclesiastical community of the Sisterhood has been established in the past. In discussion with their number, the suspicion that the Vake is in fact one of the Masters’ number was lent considerable credence. The… ahem, &quotMother Belligerent&quot of the order at one point expressed uttermost frustration, condemning the Vake as a &quotP–&quot before pure ire caused her to fall silent. Based on this, the assumed homogeneity of the Masters, and an outstanding personal obsession with mirrors and all that lies behind them, the author posits that some might consider the Masters to be Parabolans. This is purest conjecture.

Regarding the Bazaar:
The Bazaar is an entity or aggregate of entities working in concert that warps the world around it in ways thought impossible by traditional understanding of logic, mathematics, physics, etc. This includes alteration to the geography of London on a somewhat regular basis, but may likewise be the cause of numerous other oddities of the Neath such as the extraordinary resistance to true death exhibited by its inhabitants - this in particular is known to cease affecting Neathy persons if they should migrate to the surface, away from the Bazaar’s influence.
One of the most distinctive features of the Bazaar is that its black spires are decorated with a significant amount of the Correspondence’s script.
The Bazaar’s arrival on Earth (and possibly its capacity to &quotsteal&quot the cities which have fallen through history) are at least in part facilitated by the &quotStone Pigs&quot, which are its engines, or steeds, or couriers, or possibly something not quite represented by any of those terms. These creatures are unambiguously physical presences, and have been encountered under London itself by those brave or foolish enough to descend even below a fallen city.

While the Bazaar is known to be a personality distinct from the Masters, it does not interact with those of Fallen London as directly as its Masters do. This introduces ambiguity to the ultimate source of many peculiar edicts of the Masters; some of their actions are clearly taken on their own behalf, such as Mr. Fires’ constant persecution of anything remotely unionized. However, the many odd taxes and prohibitions of the Bazaar’s economy are almost certainly a result of the Bazaar’s own directives, given their near universal enforcement by the Masters.
Rumor has it that the being known to zailors as Stone and to most others as the Mountain of Light is a child of the Bazaar. This poses some very interesting questions, but also suggests that many of the unusual phenomena of the region known as the Presbyterate - often attributed to the influence of the Mountain of Light - arise due to qualitatively similar forces to those exercised by the Bazaar itself.

Should anything of substance be found in addition to or contradiction of the above, those possessing information of interest are requested to provide whatever possible input they feel appropriate. Likewise, the author will provide further data when appropriate and possible.

The three echoes at the top of that page, in reverse chronological order, are a brief glimpse of a possible destiny for my character, as shown to me by the drownies at the last festival. They contain intriguing hints about the Masters, and their relationship to the Bazaar.

Unfortunately you can’t echo the text of the options you can choose, only the results. As I recall, one of the options had my character wondering whether he would be considered part of their group, when and if the Bazaar finally keeps its promise to the Masters. So, whether or not the original twelve were once human, such things are evidently possible.

A Space Crab and Space Bats. Dat’s it.

Well, if you put it this way, I might also add it’s really all just about a bunch of hairless monkeys with top hats…
Of course, there might be the slight possibility that this approach might be guilty of overly… simplifying the matter :D