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What brings you to the neath? (backstory & goals) Messages in this topic - RSS

Penguin Zero
Penguin Zero
Posts: 9

My name is Sara Rivers, and there hasn't been a time I ever knew when London weren't Fallen.

I was born in Bristol, not even twenty years ago yet, in one of the rookeries -- not quite as bad as down here, nothing like Flowerdene, but there were still too many of us packed into a space never meant to even be lived in. I never knew my father, and my mother died when I was young, but I was never alone. My set was crooks, no-accounts, and urchins, making a living however we could, because there was no way to better ourselves. I did some begging when I was little, sitting on theatre steps and touching up the toffs with sob stories asking for a shilling for a ride home, and also dipping into their purses when they wasn't looking. Later I helped my aunt out picking the monograms out of handkerchiefs, filing the makers-marks off of watches, and melting down old candlesticks. It wasn't an honest living, but I'd take a dishonest crust of bread over pious starving any day.

My big mistake came when I met a rich girl my age. I was doing the old lost-at-the-theatre dodge again, this time with one of the little boys from my neighborhood in tow as my 'poor little brother.' She was finely dressed, but not proud or pretentious at all, and she invited me to take her carriage back to my neighborhood. I had to lie to her about where we lived, and lie more about who I was and who my parents were and all that, but I was used to lying, and soon she thought me a poor but honest working girl, a maid to some tradesman. She was a sheltered girl who'd dared to come out to the theatre on her own against her parents' wishes, with just a few servants in tow to keep her safe, and she was wanting for friends.

I thought I'd pretend to become friends with her. There's money in knowing a rich girl -- gifts, secrets, and the little things you can filch when she's not looking. And then a big play at the end, touching her up for a big loan or making off with her inheritance or things like that. I'd known people who'd done quite well off it, and I'd always thought I could manage it if the time came. This was the perfect chance -- she was wealthy, she was trusting, and her parents paid her little attention.

But something happened. I found myself growing too fond of her. I'd thought myself hard-hearted, and thought there was no way a little rich girl could be anyone I could care about. What problems had she faced? What virtue could she have that wouldn't wilt like a flower from a greenhouse brought out to the streets? But she was more than I expected, so much more, clever and funny and daring in a way my set never were. Dedicated to doing the right thing, even if it was hard. And she grew fond of me, though I'll never know what she saw in me. I couldn't steal from her any more. I even confessed what I'd done... and she forgave me. Foolish though it might have been, she saw something good in me and wanted me to stay with her. I took her out to see the city -- the rookeries, the rooftops, the docks by night. It was beautiful, seeing them through her eyes.

Her parents finally caught on to me. And they weren't nearly so kind-hearted as their daughter. I don't know what was worse in their eyes -- that I was a girl from a rookery, that I was a thief, or that I was exposing their precious girl to things they didn't want her seeing. It didn't matter. They moved her to their country estates, scores of miles from anywhere, and called the constables down to clean out the rookery I'd always called home. Half the people I'd ever known were arrested, and the other half learned it was me who'd brought the coppers down on us. I didn't have any friends left, rich or poor.

That's when I got a letter from a childhood friend of mine. She'd left Bristol to seek her fortune, and ended up in London. She talked about how easy it was to get rich down here, and I realized that there was nothing left for me up there. So I stowed away on a ship bound for Naples, and then another from there down to the Neath. I made it almost to London before getting caught.

Since then... things haven't been as easy as she said, but it's a sure thing I've found more than I could've imagined up there. I've seen some terrifying things, and had people try to rook me as hard as I've rooked other people. I'm trying to keep my head above water, but when you come to the attention of the great, it's kind of terrifying even when they ain't hooded mysteries or monsters in human skin. But I ain't got anything left but here, so I'd best make what I can out of it.

( http://fallenlondon.storynexus.com/Profile/Sara~Rivers ; always open for new acquaintances and perhaps a Patron.)
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Andrew Astherson
Andrew Astherson
Posts: 118

Excerpt from Astherson’s diary
10 June, 1893
Today I have had a misfortune to observe another rare, yet “typical” dream of mine. Like it was not enough exterior pressure and unsupportive circumstances to break my will, I am starting to face the grim void, which appears to be my consciousness.
It is clear to me that I will have no aid from aside in matters of keeping my cognitive balance. That is why I should recognize my current state in the way ancient stoics used to.
Who am I and what is my nature?
I am a product of love between opportunism and abdication embodied. My father is (or was) an officer of Russian empire’s army. He came from a humble Ukrainian family, but his origin failed to avert him from pursuing through imperial military and diplomatic hierarchy, and becoming a tool of oppression to own lesser Homeland and kin. It still remains a miracle to me of why his parents never rejected him and his spawn.
My mother came from a noble tatarian family, which was oppressed by the Empire equally or even more than my Ukrainian bloodline. And it is even greater enigma of how could she fall in love with him. When she was up to decide whenever to follow her heart or her identity, she preferred the first option. Her family responded accordingly.
While being a child of an up-and-coming imperial officer, I received proper education and was destined to continue my father’s hierarchal crusade as an occupation regiment officer in Poland. But I betrayed his ambitions and ruined carefully-planned schemes by deserting from imperial army. Was it the influence of my ukrainian grandparents or was it my own nature, but I could not commit violence based on political and ethnical reasons. I guess I just knew the bloody story of my predecessors far too well to continue my father’s purpose. Yet, I am a traitor no better than he and my mother.
My personal plan and purpose is to deliver my bloodline from traditional battleground and terminal mayhem that lies between the sea of Azov and Baltic sea. I only wish for a better, happier and fair life for my possible children.
Where am I?
After a few years as a deserter running at large and laboring at Odessa’s legal and semi-legal ports for a ticket to the West, I managed to move to Napoli, Italy. However, the situation was hardly an improvement: huge numbers of locals were and are leaving their Homeland due to the lack of jobs, social tensions and a fantom of future war between five great Empires. They are all moving to the New World, and it seems like I should also try my luck in America as well.
But the problem is that I need funds - a solid capital to move, settle and accommodate at the point of final destination.
I was aware of the Neath that lies deep under Avernus lake, I knew that it might be a perfect place for a social ladder, just like any frontier appears to be (though, I never imagined how exotic this frontier is). The narrowness of options forced me to pick a new name, take the risk and descend underground. And that is how I ended up here, hunting for rats, beast, bestial rats, aquatic menaces, ethereal threats (not my favorite), infernal fiends, troglodytry of different nastiness and, occasionally, things that cannot be categorized easily. I also possess somewhat proper lodgings, the half-empty salon with gymnasium and fire range, which I want to turn into a club for hunters, sailors, entrepreneurs and other industrious folks.
Where am I heading?
My plan is as simple as a brick: to raise a capital, to develop and then sell few facilities, to make contacts, to establish reputation and to move to the New World (I really hope it to become my final stop) before upcoming surface storm will trap us in this gargantuan dungeon. And even more – this social ascent is not that easy: I may even meet the fate of Ikarus, who had chased his dream carefree and was killed by it. The realy important fact is that I still have will, health and reasons to continue this flight … I just wish if it was not so lonely.


Yes - I can see it in your eyes - you want to add this dude and RP with him 'til he drops dead, 'cause he is cute, modest and knows how to cook !
edited by Andrew Astherson on 8/19/2015

> Currently open for RP:
Andrew Astherson - heavy-tempered, rapacious but reliable menace of slavonic-tatar origin.
Clement "don't you call me Clem!" Mustela - merry and licentious to a stupid degree Irishman-detective
> My lads appearances ; Astherson's short backstory

> Seeking for RP partner(s), are you ? This thread might be the right place.
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The Beginning of Midnight

The Great Game.

Some say it has been played since 1813. Others claim its secretive moves were done much earlier in many different forms.

No matter how old its origins, one thing is agreed on by those enmeshed by its moves: The Game never ends....

10th October, 1892.
Was it really only that brief since I first arrived here, seven months...or should I note how so very long events linger on the soul when in the Neath?
No, that beginning time flew by as smoothly as my first honeyed dream. Even when without lodgings, I quickly curried favor for garments and provisions, even an acceptable place to live within only a day. Even with what horror drew me here, those times were pleasant.

It was the 6th of December I could not ever forget. If only I could undo that foolish choice thinking I understood as a "successful" Watcher and Person of "Some Importance":

You are an Agent now.
A street awash with moonish light: black doorways like block letters on a page. Who is watching? Who has kept an account of this moment? How many true Players are there in the Game?

How many Players are in the Game?
You might as ask how many pieces of Glim fall from the false-sky?
How many truly think they can manipulate the Game?
Almost all of them.
How many can?
Truly none, as they all are trapped in the Game they play, losing as they try to win by simply playing.

God, Cynthia, I promised I'd never forget you when you were taken from me, and avenge your death. Now look where that has brought me....

Tears ran down "the truthseeker"'s face quite liberally looking in the hole, as he "reflected" on those thoughts.
Actually, those thoughts never stopped, even in sleep-his Nightmares almost unendingly continuing.

He promised back then after her murder-no matter what the cost-he would avenge her.

And faithfully, he had been keeping that promise: Finding out the path of her killer, following the suspect's trail traveling down to the 'Neath, even becoming jailed in New Newgate Prison briefly for his "unorthodox questioning methods" (which send a few shady residents shipped off to what he would learn later was called the exiled land of the Tomb Colonies.)

His decided turnabout on working with Law and the Powers-That-Be was almost as foolish if not more so.
Becoming first a Lackey of the Constables, then the new storied interest of the Masters--eventually situated in the Highest Spheres of the Emporium for his "Loyalty," he was now more trapped than his time in the Roof's Prison.

But all that done by the Bazaar is for love.
A d**nable Impossible love between the Heaven Sun's Corresponding light and the Bazaar's....whatever Crustacean-like-thing it is outside every natural order chaining Law's existence by the rest of the Stars themselves. For love, I can understand and forgive everything they have done. But never will I forgive the key players of the Game! Lying to me, manufacturing just enough proof to make it look like....

the truthseeker grabbed his head as the memory of that event was freshly recalled as if it had just happened today, not months ago.
He downed yet another three bottles of laudanum, not even passing out from that as he once did, but the vividness of the agonizing memory dulling somewhat.

Since then, drinking countless bottles of Oblivion had even made him forget his original name (but not his truthseeker pseudonym he used since he began to track Scathewick; abandoning his name as not to be backtracked by him.) Yet never a minute of the remembered tormented day diminished with any attempt of that Irrigo-infused substance, even as he lost ability in almost every other skill and thought to what he considered back then "a dulled meshed blur of former memories and aptitudes." Even the Cave failed to pull that specific memory, after too many weeks of trying (as if he would remember the specifics of that place besides a few echoes here and there anyway.)

Only this opioid provided relief from that memory; however, its effects lessened the more he used it.
At least the Nightmares sometimes dulled.

And that relief was never enough. How many times did he end up believing the Nightmares up to as if he was ripped physically onto Parabola's Marches or in the Royal Bethlehem Hotel? Even the Scandalous Hedonist acts reported in the Courts that got him sent "around the ways of Venderbight" lasted all too shortly and never counterbalanced as distractions he prayed they would be.

No, there is only one option left. I must remember it. All of it. And accept what I have done. Only then will my mind let go. It's my job now....

Saturday, after 10 morning glow, 10:34 precisely according to a "briefly borrowed" Ratwork watch.
(After removing Alice to "a new brass residence" and situating her daughter a month ago, the Agency noted only one task would remain before he would receive full credentials. That meeting was dead-dropped today.)

He was a portly fellow called Odelle. Places are unimportant as was the garden location in Wilmot's End. Names-which are Legends at best-also mean nothing in this Game. But the moves they make define who you truly are.
And what was asked was shocking--even for the rules of the Game; something he refused a month ago as crossing the line with the Cheesemonger.

"Could you confirm game strategy please Kingmaster? Are you sure you said Knight to E5, remove White Bishop?"
"That is the Rouge King's Gambit truthseeker. You memorized the documents before consumption stating the reasons for this synchronization. The family is gone. Such actions must have countermoves. You know the price at this level for refusal."
"No refusal to play, just making sure before the piece is removed Kingmaster. Where should I remove the piece?"
"Relocation is left to your accords. Confirmation of completion should be communicated 'I'm just here to borrow a heart-knot shovel' on the Spending cycle."

And "synchronize" he did.

Considering he was one of the top-level Midnighters only known as "Mr. White," the act seemed surprisingly simple when the truthseeker did it.
A Dagger dipped once in Cantigaster Venom thrust just to the left of the sternum between the fourth and fifth ribs but not puncturing the heart allowing him enough time to suffer and truly End painfully, but not enough vitality to alert others to the Murder.

His reaction then completely stunned truthseeker, and the end is what haunts him.
White didn't look angry, or sad, or even surprised. He simply looked into the eyes (covered by that revolting disguise of a mask) of his killer and smiled, (Smiled!) He then poignantly spoke-almost whispered- his final words,
"They had to forget. All of them. This way."

Such a thing is what caused the truthseeker's schism.
How could a master Spy-who toppled regimes and just killed a Husband, wife and all their children of the Dutchess' closest friend-be so, so...flippant on their death and his own?

And now he knows the truth. From the investigation of another murder less permanently so.

Lights appear from behind you. You duck behind a firkin of madeira and observe. A woman passes you. She is dressed in a simple white linen shift and about twenty pounds of gold jewellery. She is dark-skinned: African, perhaps. There's something familiar about her, though. Good God! It's the Duchess! Freed from her paints and powders, she is much darker. And younger! She looks barely thirty. It's definitely her, though, strange eyes, cat-earrings and all.
The Duchess uses a great bronze key to open the door that defeated you. She slips inside. You peer past the hinges. The room beyond contains the Cantigaster.
A screech, almost too high to hear. The beating of a great drum. A long, lonely wail. What is happening down there? You slip past the guards and... d__n it! This door is locked fast.
You can see immediately that the Cantigaster was once a man. Now he is a living, shuddering sac of poison. His flesh swells green and soft like rotting fruit. Foul venoms ooze beneath his skin. The Duchess kisses him fondly and they embrace. You watch as the Duchess... as she milks the poison from his skin. The Cantigaster sighs with relief as his venoms trickle into a stone bucket. The Duchess looks up. Has she seen you? You flee the cellar

It all became clear. The final identity uncovered was she was the one from the Second City. And her best friend found this out she was not simply the "Duchess" and was attempting to blackmail her--boasting this scheme to her immediate family.

If such a thing were to ever become public, the promise of the City granted and her Immortality, it would cause London to immediately become...unusable, and the Sixth city would be found as it crashed upon the fifth.

What White did was truly save everybody, but such an act of Final Murder never goes "unrewarded."

"Just Borrowing a Shovel" the truthseeker said to the Agency's Quartermaster for what they didn't know was his last day as an Agent.

Now here he was, on some part of the Nadir path where if you stay too long the cave's irrigo actually seeps and makes you forget the day's activity on that spot unless you literally keep the one task at hand in mind. The tears flowing down his face and that agonizing day he never could forget-for once-aided him so.

The truthseeker finished digging up the unmarked grave, removing the corpse of White. Speaking to him as one would a long-lost friend, he acted as if he were continuing a scholastic debate,

"You were right White. They had to forget. We all needed to never remember. And I was the last piece in your grand moves by Them, by Her. Like Mother like Daughter. How to clear the board of a bad setup.

No words will do justice if I mourn you or apologize now, so let me say thank you.
Thank you for your service. I'm continuing what you did now. I understand this is the only way it ends. We can't stop ever playing the Game, but I'll stop playing theirs.
Now any person may speak, and I'll unburden them.

...Finding the rites was surprisingly simple. I...just needed your Robes.
The Detective will take over my duties even if she doesn't know it today. She still thinks of herself as "A New Piece in the Game" at Wilmont. She will soon see that has changed.

Your robes seemed fitting. it should be the last thing I retain...that they came from you. And that you're gone. The rest will be...forgiven, and follow the affected rites of Saint Joshua. The first client after all, is myself."

The lady with the white scarf keeps her name in a box on the mantelpiece. She has played the Great Game since she left the orphanage, the secret centre of a network that reaches across the Unterzee. She has no enemies. Her system is perfect. She has beaten the Game, and she is bored.

A dangerous mood. She crosses the room where she works, eats, and sleeps, the cleverly-made boards of its floor piping beneath her. She takes down the box. The hair fixed across the lid's join is unbroken. It has kept her safe, this box. Inside is a memento of the orphanage. When tedium threatens she looks upon it, remembers how close she came to losing everything, and returns to her safe, sensible habits. Why does the box feel so light?

On Simple Street, a detective fishes a file from a drawer: 'Blackwood Orphanage', the cover reads. She reads it every month, hoping to find something she's missed. The orphanage was her first day on the job. Ten minutes a copper and pulling corpses from the smoke, their skin crackling like well-fried bacon. She opens the file, and sees a piece of paper she has never seen before. It is a transfer of guardianship: a young lady was transferred from the orphanage's care, to that of a notable couple. Very notable indeed.

Your shrine to St. Joshua is draped in irrigo. Once you've finished the rites, you barely remember them. You pull your old chess-piece from your pocket and consign it - and the memories it sustains - to the altar-fire.

the truthseeker sits at the often-moved Shrine. His first client will arrive shortly. He can't say where the trunk came from, but the instructions on how to use the information was absolutely clear.
Every week he will get the Favours in High Places for his "service to the community." D**ned if he can remember why, but he's the Guardian now, after White.
His first client approaches. A Sneer briefly crosses his face, but is rapidly masqued as The Cheery Man sees the one who back then sided with his Daughter, the Last Constable. He kneels and confesses to the Game's ever shifting moves of allies or enemies,

"Bless me Father truthseeker, for I have sinned....."
edited by the truthseeker on 6/14/2015
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Posts: 33

((Ooo, I like this. As soon as I started thinking about it I wandered off in an odd direction, though...))


In the first generation, there were eleven. The first generation failed. They were destroyed.

In the second generation, a fatal flaw culled all but five. Successes were had, though, and mistakes learned from.

In the third generation, there were nine. The greatest moves forward were made in the third generation.

There was no fourth generation. Problems arose. It became expedient to scrub all evidence of the project from existence. Those who knew its purpose disappeared. The results were destroyed.

A few, however, escaped. Impassioned 23. Broken 13. Perhaps others.

They had no names. Only numbers: designations of their place in the defunct Cryptics project. They had no identities, no place, no way to get by on the surface -- and they were hunted. Slowly, but surely, they funneled into the Neath.

Here, they would make their own names.

Twenty-three was one of the last, one of the most successful results of the project. Passionate and ambitious, a voracious reader and seeker of knowledge, with a twist of empathy that would not bear injustice. Though she struggled awhile to get by on the Surface, limited resources frustrated her efforts -- and she had heard so many fascinating and terrible stories of the Fallen City. Granted, a spell in New Newgate wasn't exactly how she envisioned her entrance to the Neath, but as long as she was here already...

Then there was Thirteen. A survivor of the second generation -- for some quantity of 'survival'. Thirteen slipped away into the Neath the moment the project shut down. Down there, muffled and bandaged, Thirteen found himself not so out of place -- just a step away from a tomb-colonist. Lightly built but scrappy, quick on his feet, and possessed of a powerful aquiline profile beneath his bandaging, Thirteen styled himself the Aluminum Eagle, and found a welcome home in the fighting rings of Watchmakers' Hill and the rooftops of Spite.

It was a chance rumor that unexpectedly reunited the estranged siblings: one of the agents responsible for scrubbing the Cryptics project had slipped into Fallen London. Twenty-three found that she was not above vengeance. Thirteen had no such scruples to hurdle.

There were rights to be wronged and faces to be bloodied in the Neath, and two numbers ready to make their names known.
edited by Cryptix23 on 6/29/2015

Prone to occasionally disappear for weeks at a time.

Lady 23; the Magnanimous Midnighter, self-styled detective vigilante. Extraordinary Mind. Loves boxed cats.
The Aluminum Eagle; grumpy bandaged hobgoblin with entirely too many dogs. Shattering Force.
Threnody Lament; charmingly ruthless socialite.
Carrion Crow; Seeker of the Name. Cares little for safety or sanity.

All characters accepting calling cards and social actions. Follow their adventures here
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Posts: 43

„Me people callings Robert Claxton.
And me been very silly man when commings down here to London.
Me've been hearings of devils and their shiny brass and they all have be so very nice to Robert so Robert get them many little soulsies and even got them me own soulsie. And nice devils tell Robert all kinds of thingies about people and London and...“

Only for a second, the manic smile on Robert's face disappears.

„...the Master's thingies...
And then very bad thing happen. Robert saw very horrible devil thing.“

The man shudders, visibly scared.

„Don't wanna talking about it. Very bad thing Robert saw. Very bad. Made me mind go snap they says. So me runs away. To church. Devils don't like church, see? So Robert hide. And Robert now talk to people to make them not help devils too. Only collecting thingies for fun now, promise! Me changed. And me is goings to make London better place!“

Again the man's face darkens as he mutters something to himself.

„D__n good job the Masters did at that, didn't they? Oh, someday it'll be time...they'll see. And it'll be the last thing they...“

His eyes widen in shock as he notices you listened.

„Oh! I...you...I'm not...forget what I sai-...I mean...me good peoples be! No revolutionary thoughts here, nosiree! Me leavings now! Me forgots me...uh...me oven! But me suggestings you is meetings me again some day. Maybe for walkings through London at night? Robert thinks „Night“ in London very „liberating“.“

With these words, the man turns around and runs away into some sidestreet.

(For those who couldn't make that out a summary: Robert Claxton came to the Neath upon hearing stories of the devils, wanting to become rich through them. So he collected souls for them and even sold them his own. While working, he learned a great many things about London and especially the Masters, towards whom he developed an antipathy. But one day he had to witness some devils doing something so horrible, that he went insane, fled to a church and now works as a campaigner for it to warn others while collecting things of interest to him.
However his insanity is only an act and his work at the church only a facade for his revolutionary work. Robert seeks to bring forth the Liberation of the Night, supplying the revolutionaries with materials from his collection and using his job with the church to recruit new revolutionaries.)

Feel free to send me anything other than Photographers.
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Posts: 34

My name is Zecjalacide Natalie D. Cassia but, I normally go by Zecjala or just Jala. My story is... different. I came to the Neath for one thing : to make a profit , I had no good reason to come here, I have no Ambition and I fail to see the point of getting one. I am amoral at best so I don't much care who I steal from. Everybody else is simply in my way and will be dealt with accordingly. I do enjoy collecting secrets however, the Neath is much more amusing then my old world. Oh, I should probably mention I'm something of a dimension hopper, I simply came here because I found it... Amusing, got immortality covered too. That's all I have to say. Ja ne

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Posts: 77

So you wanna know me eh? Fine I'll tell ya, not like my life could get worst.

Call me Seno (say-no) it's what I remember as my name. I actually came from America, Michigan to be specific. Used to be a musician out around Detroit. Not much money made but a good life. However things got sour a bit after I... made a deal so I ran to the Neath via the Cumean Canal and arrived in London shortly afterwards.

I got into New Newgate soon enough though. Apparently at that time I had no clue about the Masters' hate against Egypt and was thrown in jail, luckily due to my newness thrown in a relatively low security cell. After a little while however I charmed one of the... Gaolers I believe and managed to escape, luckily unknown due to the mask they put on me and that I tell no one down here my gender.

After a while down in the Neath I began to see my goals and pick sides. I often am considered one of the Agents of the Game and side the most with them. Bohemians and Society I also see myself apart of. Many of the more radical factions I like and join sides with. However I do have a particular loathing for Summerset and the Church.

One of my main goals currently is too become quite famed in Court and learn about the Correspondence. Also a minor one of mine is to become an Author but my first attempt was just a failure due to those imbecile reviewers.

That's about it currently so please leave.


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Posts: 38

From the journal of Eddy Gale:

I have been considering, this gloomy London day(?), my original motivations (if they can be called such)for making my way down the canal locks and into the Neath. Why it is I shunned the surface life in the first place. I assume now is as good a time as any to put such to the page, lest I forget it.

My memory is occasionally spotty for some reason; perhaps a side effect of the Honey dens? Who knows. The point is, I can recall today, so I will write.

I left the cities above on a cold day in September. I had been dodging the various constabularies of England for some months at that point; several misunderstandings involving shoddy forgeries and a person of my generalized appearance and dress habits being in the vicinity of major burglaries. That sort of a thing. All wash, of course - I was never present when they attempted to pin crimes to my name, but they still believed it all true.

I had managed to acquire passage to Venice in the hopes that Italy would bear far more fruit than Merry Old England had, but word of my supposed misdeeds made it there before I even landed (and the list is far shorter when they recant it than it should be, I am not afraid to confess - they never did find the Jewel of Punjab, and the Rising Opera Star apparently does not miss her famed necklaces as of yet) - I was forced to hop from rigging to rigging, secreting myself and my meager belongings on a small steam tramp as the Italian police searched my arrival vessel to no avail.

My original plan had been to lay low on the tramp for a bit, then skip off onto the docks and disappear into mainland Europe proper. It would have worked had the little boat not taken off from port again with me aboard - I was unable to vacate my hiding-place amongst the cargo crates for fear of being thrown overboard. I was never a strong swimmer, after all. So I waited and hoped we would get to another European port soon.

Unbeknownst to me, that would be the last I saw of the sun. The little boat headed down the famed canal-locks to the Neath with me stuffed between two supply crates. I was found by a large, angry stevedor when the steamer docked at Wolfstack; I had no idea where I was and had no money with which to pay for my fares, so naturally I wound up in a dirigible bound for New Newgate with no small amount of haste.

There is an escape tale to be told eventually; I am, after all, a free person in London now. It will have to wait for another time though. I am due for drinks with the young lads down at Veilgarden, and Lord knows that without me to help them, they’ll never lighten their purses fast enough.

Eddy Gale, The Unburdened Cracksman - Available for all your burglary-related needs.
Brought to you by Three Squirrels Who Game.
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Posts: 4

*the masked figure gives you a small smile and the tiniest of nods*

You want to know my story? I'm Mellos. Or, well, that's what I'm called here in the Neath, anyway. My real name, my old name, isn't important.

I came to the 'Neath from America. My family is moderately well-off, but when I found out that my father intended for me to take over the family business and take a pre-selected bride, I fled. I'm not the sort who wants to be tied down like that, you understand. It didn't help that my one true love was of the wrong gender, per society's standards.

I fled across the sea to Europe, where I wandered about for a bit before finding myself in Paris. The city fascinated me, and I fully intended to stay there. Then, I heard rumors. Oh, I'd heard a few whispers even back in America, but those seemed like simple tall tales. But the Parisian stories were much more elaborate. The people spoke in low murmurs of London, great London, that had vanished in the night some years back. The more I heard, the more fascinated I became. A place where one could (almost) never really die? A city where the strange and unimaginable existed alongside the mundane, and no one batted an eye? A place where someone like me could love who I wanted without fear of too much reprisal? Sign me up.

I...might have snuck my way onto a ship bound for the 'Neath. I didn't plan on being caught, but I was. I found myself tossed into New Newgate, and I spent several days staring out at the lights of London, planning my grand escape.

It worked.

Since then, I've been hiding in the shadows, building connections and learning my way around. Spite is my dwelling of choice, but I often find my way to certain taverns and such in Veilgarden. I've heard tell of a giant diamond here in the Neath, and I'm on the trail of that. It would certainly help me cement my place down here.

I'm always open to forging new connections, so seek me out in the shadows of Spite if you wish.

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Posts: 24

What's that now? Who am I? Hmmm... I suppose I have some time, a lot of time actually... What do you want to know? Why come to the neath? Well there are so many more pleasures down here, at least that's why I think I came here. You see I can't really remember much of my time before I came down here, it all just sort of... faded, over time. Simply lovely down here though, can't think of why I'd want to go back.
Now what else did you want to ask me? Gent or Lady? Do you mean to ask my preference? Which am... Oh because of the mask, well funny story that. You see I was with a zailor friend of mine, sailing back from the tomb-colonies (again, I really don't see why people take scandal so seriously here) when something floated by in the water. I plucked it out and examined this exquisite mask. I thought to myself, “I could wear this mask, and none would know who I was. I'd be free from all this scandal and ridicule.” So just before getting into Wolfstack I put the mask on and all those people who had come out to “greet” me back to dear old London just looked past me as I came off the boat. Smiling broadly under the mask I went to take it off, but the horrid thing must be cursed as to this day it's stuck to my face, that or the Zee has invented some manner of adhesive far better than one we have on shore. So now my gender is rather a fun little secret I keep to myself. If you work hard enough you might be able to learn, though looking at my company won't aid you.
Since then I've really kept to myself, I've much to do in London. Writing, speaking, sneaking. I'm really up for anything, but I take to Zee a lot, so I'm not always around.

Come find me if you care enough to: http://fallenlondon.storynexus.com/Profile/DecroMcQuin
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Ruby Correspondent
Ruby Correspondent
Posts: 3

How I came to the Neath? Well, first of all, the name I go by is Roobz (It's just a silly little monicker I picked up somewhere. True name? For my family's and my own safety, I will not say.) and I came to the Neath on the whim of dreams. There are secrets down here. Fun and secrets and pleasure. Prisoner's honey alone is a good enough reason to visit, and the potential immortality is a good enough reason to stay. I never cared all that much for sunlight anyways.

I come from a fairly well-off family, they're nice enough, but I grew bored of surface life. The thought of carrying on the way I had all my life for all the rest of it filled me with a sense of jaded despair. When I heard of the Neath from a serpent in my dreams, I simply had to verify if such a wondrous thing could exist, and to my incredible surprise, it does! To think, there could be a place that could truly break away from the everyday, truly turn the fundamental laws of reality on their head and grant true freedom to all who will have it, it's something I couldn't have imagined just a few years ago. I took my part of the inheritance and said goodbye to my sister and father.

I admit, on my arrival in the Neath I got a LITTLE carried away in the honey dens, made a few intimate connections with devils, may have accidentally dabbled in illegal spirification (no, really, I didn't know what that needle would do! That devil just took the soul and ran!), but surely it wasn't bad enough to put me into Newgate, and confiscate all of my money? my entire inheritance? Either way, I wasn't having any of it and took advantage of their rather poor maintenance of the place and made it back to Fallen London proper. Afterwards, I had a little...conflict with the constables who dared to try to rob me of my inheritance. Needless to say there are no loose ends from that incident.

I have come a very long way since then, taken more than a leap and a bound up the social ladder, and made a reputation as one of the best authors in Fallen London, If I do say so myself. Considering the Bazaar has taken an interest in more than one of my love stories, I believe I have room to talk. Nowadays, I like to take it easy in my Townhouse, attend the occasional soiree or ball, and host the odd salon (and maybe honey dream expedition) here and there.

From here, I know not where I will go, but I have one thing in mind: To thoroughly enjoy myself in this impossible paradise, in this eternal night under the world.
edited by Ruby Correspondent on 9/1/2015

Roobz (aka Addis Rook) Author, silvertongue, perpetual insomniac.
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The Black-Shirted Radical
The Black-Shirted Radical
Posts: 188

The Black-Shirted Radical surrendered his name long since. Born to a family both economically wealthy and morally bankrupt, he found his escape in radical, imperial politics. Fell in love, then out. Founded a new political party. Lost that too. After a grave disgrace which coincided with the day London fell, his fortunes collapsed and he tried to drown himself in a river. Somehow he woke up in a prison cell in New Newgate.

That was a year ago. He found his calling in Veilgarden, giving the old speeches and poetry that founded his career. Now, with people scared and looking for answers, people grew to like his brand of politics. He spent a brief time in the Shuttered Palace until a resurfaced political scandal had him driven out. However, the Black-Shirted Radical has managed to land on his feet, amassing a very respectable number of followers in the form of his large street-based party, the New London League of National Populists. Managing to carve out a niche in his old stomping ground of East London, his position is secure as a rabble-rousing politician and wealthy philanthropist. Boredom, and political responsibility drive him most days, his party having gained significant control over Port Carnelian and his own interest in law and order taking up much of his time.

The League are a rather strange collection, ranging from Veilgarden bohemian types of a more violent nature to militant churchmen and veteran soldiers of the old British Army. He maintains a small cadre of bodyguards at all times, whose ferocity rival that of the most inebriated of Neddy Men. Fresh from a rather violent expedition to an unknown location, he has been seen only the other day departing from Wolfstack aboard his tall, handsome yacht, The Rod And Axe, bound for parts unknown.
edited by The Black-Shirted Radical on 9/1/2015

Poet of once distinguished acclaim.Apprentice alcoholic. Somewhere to the right of Attila the Hun. Radical politician, playwright, duelist, archaeologist,Correspondence professor,criminal mastermind, Commander of the Auxiliary Constabulary, Leader of the League of National Populists, former Governor of Port Carnelion . Rude, crude and scandalous to know.

Plot his lynching at http://fallenlondon.storynexus.com/Profile/The~Black-Shirted~Radical
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Posts: 2

Right, so you're not here for... okay. I guess. Suppose the devils aren't taking me away just yet.

Me? I'm like a roach. Like, a red roach. Bet you've never seen one of them, right? That's why I'm called that. Heh, funny. I always imagined it'd be different. What, my real name? Get off, I'm not telling. That's a part of me I'm keeping safe.

Why I'm here? That's... well. I used to live up on the Surface, a tad bit before London fell. No, I didn't go down to the Neath, I was just a teenager at the time. Anyway, important thing was I had a woman I liked up there, someone I knew for a while. A good friend from my childhood, she liked to sing, dance, and run. Ah, she liked to run, always challenging me to run up and down the countryside... you know what happened to her? One night, while she slept, her soul was taken by a Sprifer, one of those illegal traders for that damned soul trade. Heh, well I suppose it literally is "damned".

You know how love is. Once you feel like you've had it set, you don't deal with it being gone well. Now that she'd become one of the soulless, she'd... not quite been all there. Sure, she'd flash a smile and sip a cup with you, but that brilliant light behind the eyes is just gone. Not the same, right? I'm sure you've seen plenty of those lost people down here in the Fifth city, so close to Hell. I just couldn't take it. Someone stole her from me, and I didn't know anything as to why or how. I'd heard rumors, the devils themselves walking amongst the Neath buying souls, and in my naive little mind I thought maybe, just maybe, if I raced fast enough I'd be able to catch her soul before it disappeared into the pockets of a devil. Maybe, if the ships sailed fast enough, I'd be able to grab the person who stole her.

Now? Now, I'm more certain than ever I'll never find her brilliant soul amongst all the din and dark here. If I haven't found it in the years I've been here, I'll never be able to find the damned thing. Maybe one day, it'll appear in the cache of some spry Londoner who's trying to sell it off at the Bazaar, but that day isn't today. I've tolerated the devils, souls do have to go to Hell I suppose, but something tells me they don't tolerate me. Either way, this is the life I've been stuck with, running around doing errands for suspiciously interesting individuals and visiting the place with beautiful carpets and fountains but terrible service. Those street gangs of urchins are the ones who remind me of her the most, climbing and running, trying to get the best of what they can off the streets, so naturally those are the ones I've stuck to the closest.

Why do I stay? Look around you. Look how dark and dreary it is outside. The candles? That's nothing to the sun. Believe me, I tried to forget it all but ignoring that with honey, fights, and broken romances won't work. The church may preach about gods and angels, but you see any angels walking around outside? No, yet devils wander around freely. What I'm trying to say is that it's a bit bleak out there, someone's got to try and make it brighter.

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Dr Hemsworth
Dr Hemsworth
Posts: 9

Ah, yes, my little story, eh? Well, I'm from the surface. Yes, yes, that must be right. Sorry, irrigo exposure swaddles the mind.

Ah, anyway, I came down here to make a bit of money. Didn't have many prospects, being a royal bastard up there. What bloodline? Don't know, Don't care. My name is Dr. Hemsworth. First names seem redundant, when you have no family. My mother taught me to take delight in natural philosophy. So I did. No way to make a proper living up there, not like that. So deception was a logical step. Less opportunities up there, though. So drab, imprisoned by all that sunlight. So yes, I descended for money. And, I suppose, to flee. To escape the rules of the surface. The rules that make you inferior to those around you. The rules that strip you of your degrees. The rules that take away your daughter. To flee them, yes, and to learn how to break them.

I started as a pickpocket and a con artist. Fortunately, I received excellent instruction in eloquence from my dear teacher, Estelle Knoht. With her instruction, and my improving skills in the art of deception, I began cultivating a connection with. Ah, wait, you won't like this. Well, I became a bit involved with Hell. Ahem. Then the, er, soul trade. Which lead to my current ongoing study of souls. For the good of all, I assure you. Surely, though, you must admit my little sanctum is delightfully warm. Make no mistake, I am not their puppet. We both profit from each other, and we both consider not betraying the other. But honestly I find the urchins far more agreeable.
edited by Dr Hemsworth on 9/26/2015
edited by Dr Hemsworth on 9/26/2015

Dr. Hemsworth , natural philosopher and would-be god.

Know anything about the purpose or properties of souls? Do tell.
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Lamia Lawless
Lamia Lawless
Posts: 604

If Hell were still a monarchy, Lamia would be its courtier. In these enlightened times of the New Democracy, she is simply one of its many public relations specialists.

That doesn't seem to stop her from striving towards Castiglione's ideal: Versed in both martial arts and social graces, she leads a public life of balls, banquets, and charity events, using her influence to draw people closer to the Brass Embassy, and fostering relations between humans and devils. It's a bit of an open secret that the enigmatic 'Miss L' spends her free time as 'Miss Lawless,' a swordswoman, duelist, hunter, and amateur zee-captain, stalking through the most disreputable places in the company of her tiger.

Among high society she is reserved, soft-spoken, and polite. What she lacks in finely tuned etiquette, she makes up for in warmth and sincerity, and if she sometimes falls short of perfect nonchalance, it can easily be construed as a pleasing touch of modesty. She has a scholarly affection for endless minutiae, as well of a a love for the arts, and can speak with some amount of authority on those subjects closest to her heart. Though she has a kind word and warm wishes for everyone, she maintains a certain amount of distance: The sort of woman who might be called 'friend' by many, but keep very few in close counsel with herself. There are growing rumors among the nobility that she has access to strange powers, and can show one's fortune with mirrors. This is thus far unsubstantiated, but some of the younger and more liberal-minded nobility are waiting with baited breath for Lamia to announce her first secret salon.

Throughout Spite, Wolfstack, and Watchmaker's Hill, she is known for her easy laughter and sudden violence. Not excessive or gratuitous violence: Simply sudden. The blades of London all have their intimidation tactics, and some of the best can end a fight with a good, hard stare. Lamia dispenses with such posturing. She can transition from making polite conversation to holding a gun to someone's head without telegraphing her intentions. Accordingly, even some of the most formidable figures of the docks, marshes, and alleys have learned to leave her alone. Even if she does insist on bringing those abominable floral tea cups to the Medusa's Head.

But she was not always a figure of note. Much of her early beginnings has been effectively erased by the Brass Embassy, the better to polish their pawn for her new role. Nonetheless, there are still some who know a few fragments of her history. She came to the Neath with a group of anarchists, they say, and that- not her weekly participation in ring fights- accounts for the name 'Lawless.' She spent a brief stint in Veilgarden, composing impromptu poems, and at one point took singing lessons, though she never made it to the stage. They say, also, that she had a string of love affairs shortly after coming to London, the only remaining source of information about her life on the Surface. With sufficient coaxing, a certain priest can tell you that she once lived in India. Without much prompting, an indiscreet devil will tell you exaggerated tales about her days wrestling tigers in Bengal. There was also a spy, an Abstraction, and heartbreak at the tail end of her first Feast of the Exceptional Rose, which might account for her public denouncement of all future and would-be suitors.

If she once worked in the service of revolutionaries, she seems to have abandoned those endeavors. Now, by all appearances, she has no greater ambition than to spend frivolously, eat lavishly, and enjoy the luxuries of Hell, until Hell calls her home.
edited by Lamea Lawless on 10/3/2015
edited by Lamia Lawless on 6/12/2016
edited by Lamia Lawless on 6/12/2016
edited by Lamia Lawless on 9/22/2017

The Harmonic Hellfarer
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sebastian olmen
sebastian olmen
Posts: 27

  • Came to the Neath? Born here mores the pity. Sebastian's grandmother sailed the zee just after the fall and wrote about her travels. Sadly (as is often the case) the zee air drove her quite mad, her children as well. Over time all but her youngest son were lost at zee or simply disappeared. A generation on and things haven't improved, Sebastian's disreputable (and incompetent) actions landed him in New Newgate and his sibling (an academic obsessed with a certain number and related cardinal direction) has sealed themselves in their family home sponsering captains to travel and bring them back stories and relics.
    Extracting himself from his incarceration Sebastian has set himself up in the Veilgarden with a single goal in mind, to build a legacy equal to his grandmother's and to learn all he can of the Neath. His fear of the zee is a stumbling block, as is his colossal ego but as his name ascends to greater and greater infamy those that his aunt once wronged (and unfortunately that's rather a lot of 'people') have started to take interest.
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    Posts: 462

    Ignacious used to be a surface scholar of neathly mysteries and the Correspondence. His research field was difficult, given the properties of sunlight, but going through bits and pieces he persevered and unpicked secrets unknown even to most residents of the Neath itself. Unfortunately for him, certain parties were decidedly not interested in this happening. In the middle of the night, he was captured, beaten up and carted to the Neath, where he was immediately locked up in New Newgate prison, but not before being subjected to inordinate amounts of Irrigo radiation, enough to kill a man twice his size. He forgot his skills, his research, and even his name. Contented with this, his captors left him to die from the Irrigo in a dark cell. Miraculously, he survived, and days later, he escaped from the dark place. The people who made him forget soon realized this, of course, but decided to let him be, his research wasn't a threat anymore.

    Over time, fleeting recollections came to him of his previous knowledge. Visions of Judgments sitting in burning thrones, of devils closer to entomology than to theology, of the nature of not just the bazaar, but of its family too. He is a person of Importance now, and while he still doesn't know who brought him to the Neath, or why exactly. He knows he must be wary now. He feels he is close to remembering the wrong thing, and next time, he might not be so lucky.
    edited by NotaWalrus on 10/3/2015

    Ignacious, the Fluid Professor, he will accept most social invitations, including boxed cats and affluent photographers (but only betrayals), though he is absent-minded and might take more time than entirely necessary. He apologizes.
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    Sestina Valdis
    Sestina Valdis
    Posts: 210

    An extract from A True Relation of my Birth, Breeding and Life (Especially my Breeding) by Sestina Valdis.

    Well, this is all painfully embarrassing to discuss. How shameful, for an Author to be seen dealing in sour little cliches! But I must begin with a cliche, because it is The Truth, and The Truth is valuable down here-- quite literally, dear reader, as you know.

    Yes, I remember. I was a silly young thing dithering about on the Surface: wine, soirees, men... and women... and other things... We will not speak or write of those. In any case, my parents were simply too restrictive and failed to appreciate the merits of a pleasurable lifestyle. "Too expensive," Papa said. "Too scandalous," added Mama. My parents were extremely backward:

    "Young lady, you are not going out without a dress on!"
    "Young lady, sit straight and put the puppy and the wine down immediately!"
    "Young lady, have you seen where Mummy's laudanum has gone?"

    O, what was a stupid little girl to do? Complain, of course. Complain, and then run away from home many years later because her parents were chiding her for drinking five glasses of wine a day. When one of my delightful friends told me of an underground City with a sprawling Bazaar, my stupid little heart grew full with dreams and hopes and other stupid little things. Also, I could be certain that my parents would never follow. Mama hated dirt on the hem of her dress, Papa hated having to pay additional taxes on goods, and I was sure that he would never leave the family business behind. And I was right.

    I told them I would be enjoying dinner at a friend's estate, as usual. This naturally meant that I would be spending the night there; that much my parents surmised, based on my general habits. I packed all my belongings, all my finest dresses and jewellery; again, this was not out of the ordinary, for my parents and the servants knew I was fussy with my toilette. I paid hefty sums of money for directions-- not always to the right place, mind you. Like I said, I was a silly young thing dithering about on the Surface... That opened many doors for me, yes, but not inexpensively.

    Eventually, I found the right way, even if I had lost nearly all of my belongings by this point. Down I went, into the heart of darkness, and I was confident as all h__l. The guardsman would not let me past the gate, but a young lady has many means at her disposal for circumventing such arbitrary boundaries as national borders, even if the aforementioned borders pass underground. After a short trip to the discreet little bed located at the back of the guard-post, I was past the gate. My stupid young heart was thumping ceaselessly; I had made it! I was in London!

    Triumphantly, I breathed in the lovely London air, and immediately started coughing very loudly, because of all the smog and fungal spores, I should think. The air that day was most dreadful. A man appeared-- a Constable, asking why a young thing like me was roaming the streets so late at night. I lifted the hem of my skirt discreetly. Unfortunately, I had forgotten about a bottle of wine that I had borrowed from the guardpost prior, and stowed underneath my crinoline. That night, I was imprisoned for roaming the streets; can you imagine that, dear reader? I believe the judge also mentioned stealing wine and attempting to initiate carnal indiscretions with an upstanding gentleman from the Constabulary. They took the wine, much to my sorrow, which made what was to come much worse. Needless to say, I was locked up. We shall not speak or write of that, either.

    Immediately after I left prison, I gingerly removed a delicate piece of paper, a honey-stained stamp and some dubious-looking ink from the dustbin of a publishing house, and wrote a letter to my parents, assuring them that I was still alive and well and had found a respectable new home in London. I said I was living an austere, tawdry life with a convent of nuns who had gone underground to escape from Earthly Temptation. In truth, I was garbed in an unbecoming prisoner's outfit and roaming the streets-- an austere, tawdry life of quite another sort, one might say. The reply was warm and loving, but I think my mother's penmanship seemed livelier and more joyful than usual... She added that her health was much improved due to a pronounced lack of alcohol fumes and unbecoming stains around the house. She also informed me that I was as terrible a liar as before, and sent some surface coin, which I quickly exchanged at the Bazaar for an old and used, but not unbecoming, dress.

    My first work was a little free verse thing that I cobbled together immediately after I was done with the horrible matter of New Newgate. I was homeless and frustrated and this was my first poem so, naturally, I was the subject of it. I did nothing more than complain on stage, really, with some very arbitrary and thoughtless line-breaks. Today, I am completely ashamed of my early poetry, but at the time I was beyond myself with naive pride. Some laughed, some jeered, and someone threatened to set my not unbecoming dress on fire for "demolishing and despoiling the Foundational Principles of Pleasant and Fine Art"... but somebody else ended up buying me a glass of wine, which naturally led to certain... indiscretions... and I went back to Veilgarden the following evening. Yes, that was not my finest hour, by any means, but wine, silk, words and honey open many doors. Dear reader, I am happy to add that things have sorted themselves out now! Yes, things are going very well, indeed...
    edited by Sestina Valdis on 10/4/2015
    edited by Sestina Valdis on 10/4/2015
    edited by Sestina Valdis on 10/4/2015

    Sestina Valdis, the Saccharine Satirist.
    Appearance and Misc. Accoutrements
    A Past Scattered Across Discarded Stockings

    Fei Xue, the Artful Assassin.

    Edward de Riere, the Barebones Baron.

    Avatar by Daniel Ilinca.
    +1 link
    Posts: 72

    I came here to escape unsavory elements of a life comprised largely of what we politely call "practical theosophy." It worked. Of course, now I find that the surface's understanding of "practical theosophy" was a pale and insubstantial thing compared to what exists in the Neath. I could (and shall, perhaps) spend the rest of my days trying to answer the questions I came down with. If time permits. I'll try answering the questions that the Neath has subsequently faced me with. I suspect I will be quite busy for quite a while.

    It's not as if it's possible for me to leave, anyway.

    Amyntas. Zubmariner and aspiring romantic.
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    Psyche Labyrinth
    Psyche Labyrinth
    Posts: 159

    I arrived in the Neath probably about two years ago or so. I originally came for very hedonistic purposes. I wanted to indulge in the wonders of the Fallen Cities, to experience things I could experience no where else. I was driven mainly by two things: the prospect of winning my heart's desire and my yearning to be the closest human to hell, well loved by all those charming devils. As I stayed, however, I developed an interest in the deeper aspects of the Neath. I became much more familiar with the politics. Now I am unashamed to say that the revolutionaries have stolen my heart with their unique sense of persuasion. I wish to aid them in bringing about the Liberation of Night. Trust me when I say it is what is best for the world as a whole. I do still plan to milk whatever I can out of hell, but when the time is right I plan to sever my ties with them in favor of the revolutionaries.
    Okay... so it would be a great time to admit that I'm not heading in this direction for entirely unselfish reasons. The eternal night would bring about chaos, I know that much. But just listen, when society is collapsing in on itself it will be a chance for transformation. With me as your god... ahem... I mean guide, civilization can be improved greatly. I will deliver the best from the living nightmare that will be earth and take them with me into the skies. A new, stronger empire will be formed. It will be heaven for the living. It is my destiny! Now I kindly suggest that all of you appeal to the good side of your future dictator... no, leader.

    Neath citizen, zee captain, possible deranged serial killer...
    Always happy to meet new people and help out where I can!
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