Which tier-3 profession is the most insane?

So, here’s a funny little lore question: which tier 3 profession has the least sane people in it? By which I mean, well, what neathy profession drives the most people insane, sooner or later-is it silverers, on account of their frequent work with parabola? Is it monster hunters, who arguably weren’t very sane in the first place-you have to be a little insane to eat an entire zee beast unseasoned and uncooked. By “insane”, of course, I mean the classic Lovecraft “I have seen things man was not meant to know” insane-please do not bring a discussion of actual mental health problems here, as this is supposed to be a rather nice, somewhat comical thread.

p.s see anything different in my profile? :upside_down_face:


My vote goes to the Correspondents, mainly because as anyone who has led a certain magician from Sunless Seas to a certain unfortunate end can attest the sigils can eat your bloody mind and turn you into a damn puppet

As for the others-I would actually argue Silverers are saner than average for Londoners because they actively engage with and accept the existence of a realm of existence most simply think of as the realm of dreams despite it’s tangible impact on reality. For Midnighters, Crooked-Crosses and Licentiates sanity is simply a demand of the job given in all cases it generally demands a certain amount of professionalism in murder. Or at least, sabotage. So, the next most insane ought to be Monster-Hunters. And really it’s debatable if the “incorporating part of a vast and terrible leviathan” part is making them insane rather than differently sane. I put that more down to just spending vast amounts of time at zee, which is bound to drive everyone barmy.


i aggree on that point, defintely, although i’d say that knowimg some aspiring-licentiae could come and murder me for my list would drive me crazy, but maybe that’s just me-i will admit my mental constitution isn’t very strurdy.

and yeah, correspondents are definitly insane, that’s clear.

so what you’re saying is that a monster-hunter that hunts mostly at land would only be, what was it, diffrently sane? of course no self respecting MH would do that, but in theory.

Sanity is outdated and misleading concept. Grant us eyes, grant us eyes on the inside!


Better yet, grant us no eyes at all! Make us no-eyed: not merely having holes where there should be eyes-having blank, pure skin where there should have been something.

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I think the best insight into the different professions is from the Professional Activities, and I encourage everyone to sample them all eventually.

Based on those, I think the Monster Hunters are furthest from a sane human mind. “Differently Sane” is one way to call it. But if you were to ask them about a Hunt over a pint, and they answered honestly, you would be balancing whether it’s more urgent to alert the Manager or escape through the lavatory window. They don’t live in the same reality every one else does, and I mean that in a different and more alien way than what Silverers do.


I’d have to disagree with you there; the point of being a Correspondent is that you can do the horrifying ancient sigils without going insane and dying. My vote would also have to go to Monster-Hunters, because their whole shtick just screams “mad but very very efficient.”

(Also it was the Navigator who was turned into a Correspondence puppet, not the Magician)


You put it into words


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Re: Correspondents, it’s hard to say how many Correspondents are deep into breaking reality via the Red Science. (You would think a fair amount given that Artisan of the Red Science is the esoteric skill associated with that profession, but many of the professional activities are relatively mundane despite the fact that you’re working with an eldritch law-language.) Even for those who are deep in the Red Science, though, the impression I get is that though they may appear “insane” to the layperson, they’re really more like hardcore Linux users in a world that runs on Windows.

Best example I can think of comes from Bag a Legend:


April wipes her hands with a chamois leather. Her smile is triumphant. Rooting around the chaotic workbenches for a pen and paper, she begins writing. Device completed according to specifications. Problem: it doesn’t work. Theory sound; practice inconvenient. Core syllable indivisible – absolute in its essence; perfect in its simplicity. Cannot be broken down. Therefore, no catalyst.

The Mother Superior is irate. “This is intolerable! I thought you were the best!” April shrugs modestly, and resumes writing. Service provided: bomb perfect. It is the world that is inadequate. Recommend you deploy the device somewhere less restrictive. Somewhere amenable to new things.

This is a set of statements that make no sense within the bounds of conventional reality, but Red Scientists specifically do not operate within the bounds of conventional reality. If you can meet them where they’re at, you’ll find that, to the contrary, they have a much better grasp on what *reality* is and isn’t than most people do.

(And indeed, once you take the Chorister’s Bomb to Parabola, it works!)

(This is a perfect example of how sanity is a social construct, especially in the Neath, but I digress!)


Indeed. I would assert that Correspondents/Red Scientists are, in fact, more sane than everyone else.


As a recently inducted Hierarch of the Hunt, I take offence to that last one. The reality we live in is just as valid as the one inhabited by Correspondents and Silverers. There actually WAS a predatory idea living under that church, you must understand. Lunging in screaming with my bone-harpoon in a careful ritual of violence was the ONLY reasonable solution. And the books ARE trembling in fear on my way out, that is absolutely not a laudanum-induced hallucination.


smokes a pipe fellow hierarch, huh? roughly pats you on the shoulder good luck, hunter.

exactly-i too saw it with my own two eyes!

pfft, “careful”-don’t know ‘bout you but i lunged in laughing and smiling like on the 12 days o’ mr sacks.

as they should!

As a Teratomancer, I take exception to this! We are simply working professionals taking commissions to assist research, provide medical interventions, and perform necessary ecological services. And that hunting beast unleashed to roam on London isn’t THAT weird. The real crazy ones are those Epistolants - not only getting into the Correspondence, but the theoretical academic side? Normal academia already drives one to madness…


Notary. Easily.

Given every option, including the periodically Red Science-esque perks you get for being a Doctor?

You have to be mildly insane to choose contract law as a profession in the Neath.

And within the constraints of the professions actually intended in the question Mr hipster?

It seems to me that under a traditional definition - the way you perceive the world is wrong enough to make it difficult or impossible to function in it - Silverers are the most likely to lose track of difference between Is and Is-Not. Breaking with reality because they can’t tell if they are still in it.
But that wasn’t the question.
Lovecraftian, or perhaps more appropriately Alexis Kennedy’s esoteric/occultist insanity, where you have learned something that drives you mad through shock or obsession, seems to be a risk Correspondents would face on a routine basis.

Maybe a better way to put the question would be which profession is most likely to drive people to seek the name. A fun consequence would be that FB could probably run a quick query and tell us the answer.


Dang, I haven’t heard the word “hipster” used at all in like 6~ years.

(Much less in error.)