On the Piranesi Truth ending, when you choose to go separate ways with your friend, you receive this passage:
Perhaps one will become a notary, and the other a soldier in the War on the White.
What or who is the White it’s talking about? I believe, this is the White from Traveler’s Returning? The White from SMEN? The White-Judgement-mastermind, the White-Great-Game’s-chessplayer? Is there any other place in game where the White is mentioned? Or, perhaps, it’s about something completely different, and if so, what it is? I cannot recall any other reference in SSkies to something called the White.
At the same time, one of the Exaltation Endings from Sunless Sea has this line:
One came below, long ago, seeking what the Sun had hid. One will rise, one day, to face the White in its hall of poisoned crystal.
Both this and all endgame SMEN revelations heavily implied that the player character and Salt (at some point the same entity) are going back to High Wilderness to defeat the White. Since with Alexis leaving FBG these concepts were mainly abandoned, I thought we’ll never encounter the White and Salt again. But that passage seems just too in line with all other information about the White we know.
Could it be something in the future? Did I miss something in SSkies? Do we even have any comprehensive lore on White?
The White is a figure surrounded by a great deal of speculation, and it’s generally accepted that the White in the Truth ending is the same Judgement we’ve known. In one of the other paths in "The Truth", when you’re in your Gallery of Aeons, you receive news about wintery ambassadors from a distant white star, which is another reference to the White.
On the point of Salt, the Traveller is always returning.
My theory is that either the Halved and a Liberation coalition or Albion (not the nicest neighbor) may be trying to take down one of the most important stars defending the Chain or a potential invader/rival respectively. We have a distinct lack of White lore, though this makes sense given its role of spymaster, and the lack of an interstellar relay to where it is, or people’s in contact with it. There seems to be notes of coldness (both of temperature and ruthless), undeath and sacrifice regarding what we know of it. There is some lore about it and its agents in Sunless Sea, which I included below, among other things.
(What follows is spoilers about a certain Austrian City, and some dreams (of chess and in general.)
Austria’s imperial spymaster, the Old Man in Vienna (a current hotbed of revolution), is a fierce old man playing the Game against the Liberation. He sends human agents to learn perilous things and/or change in concord with the White’s Greater agents (ie. possibly the Waltzing Duke and Salt, both sent to find the Bazaar’s treasures/secrets, but abandoning it after the Nadir). The White sent two of the Gods of the Zee, Salt and possibly Storm to investigate and kill the Bazaar respectively, but both failed in or abandoned their duties. Both spymasters show a fondness for using the Woods in Winter, a place of metamorphosis for one’s identity which seems to reforge people into committed agents, and irrigo which causes forgetfulness and may lead to the Woods (as seen with drinking Bottled Oblivion, which is made of irrigo water)
The White is also described as a “fierce old thing in the dark”, in a palace “cold after its season of heat”. This implies two things- the first, that the White’s domain, like Vienna, is suffering from a covert or overt revolutionary uprising, and second, that the White’s light is much weaker, due to death, old age, or possibly injury.
It may have a representation in dreams, as the Beleaguered King (who is noted to be surrounded by enemies, much like the White and the Old Man, and represented by the color white). The King is in a war of assassins with the Red Handed Queen which constitutes the dreams of A Game of Chess, which may represent the Courtesy between the White and another star. The Game of Chess shows up again in Sunless Skies at St. Anthony’s Lighthouse, where a three way game of chess is played, between a white, red, and green side (possibly the Fingerkings, who in The Heretic of Hollow Street are noted to imprison the Red Queen, and in Skies to have helped sway (through an envoy or something else) the Halved to the Liberation.
The Game of Chess theory is somewhat unlikely, through a lot of things (too many to list here, as you can see by the length of the post above) make sense when using it as a base.