| "Are you sure you want to know this?"
Beyond this point lie major spoilers for Fallen London, Sunless Sea, or Sunless Skies. This may include endgame or Fate-locked content. Proceed at your own risk.
"Look ahead, to the light of the Judgement. All shall be well, and all manner of thing shall be well."
Judgements are the ultimate power (or so they claim) in the universe.
Look to the StarsEdit
As powerful celestial entities, the Judgements oversee the lesser beings that exist beneath them. They are the ultimate lawmakers of the universe, and all under their eternal light adhere to their rules. Every star in the night sky, even our own Sun, is a god to their respective planets and subjects. Only a few exist outside their influence, such as those who reside in Parabola, and those who do resent their complete dominance of the universe. For those who live outside of a Judgement's gaze (as is the case for most Neath denizens) the laws become... er, strong recommendations rather than mandatory rules.Like all beings, Judgements have souls. These souls, also known as Judgement's Eggs, are the spores of the gods. One day these souls will become stars of their own, or be used in dark rituals and other quests for power.
Judgements communicate via the Correspondence, a particularly incendiary form of language. They often use Couriers such as the Echo Bazaar and the House of Rods and Chains to send messages to each other. Furthermore, Judgements adhere to an immensely strict hierarchy, called the Great Chain of Being, which is similar to a caste system. All entities are set to a certain rank, and contact is strictly professional (in most cases). The Judgements do not take kindly to the breaking of this rule, and it is part of the reason why the Bazaar is here in the first place (and to a lesser extent, us).
To those of a more... revolutionary bent, the Judgements are not unstoppable; quite the opposite in fact. Through arcane research and dedication bordering (and often well past) the bounds of insanity, the anarchists are slowly devising methods to make the lights go out, as part of their quest to achieve the Liberation of Night.
By 1906 in the Sunless Skies timeline, it became apparent the the Judgements were dying off, with someone or something killing them one by one. The British Empire has taken advantage of their deaths, abandoning London and colonizing the Judgements' empty domains. There are still a couple alive, like the Sapphir'd King, who lives in the Blue Kingdom and rules it with impunity.
The Sun is the Judgement of the Earth and of Mankind, at least for those dwelling on the Surface. For many, it is a benevolent force, even one worthy of worship, but for more... informed individuals, the Sun's virtue is questionable at best. It is brutally effective at enforcing its laws; denizens of the Neath who have simply lived too long often drop dead or even disintegrate upon reaching the Surface, and most of the Neath's fantastic delights are simply reduced to their normal variety under sunlight. Parabolan entities are cooked almost immediately, as they too Are-Not. And stories about the Neath are simply not believed because of all this.
The Sun does have a view of the Neath, in Aestival, where there's a gap in the roof. Despite its deadly effects, sunlight is highly addictive to denizens of the Neath (who doesn't love a warm summer day?) and many of them go out with a smile. Denizens of the Neath who are severely starved of sunlight may enter a trance of sorts when exposed to sunlight in small quantities, such as through a Sunlight-Filled Mirrorcatch Box, causing them to chant an infamous mantra: "THE SUN! THE SUN!"
The Sun's story is that of fleeting desires and the horrors of love. Before even the First City, the Sun fostered the Mountain of Light with the Bazaar. Naturally, such a union was scandalous even for the stars, so the Sun stored Stone in the Neath to avoid execution. Then the Sun, being the cad that he is, fell in love with a different star, and had the Bazaar deliver a love letter to her. The Bazaar delivered it, and the other star rejected the Sun, so the Bazaar now bides its time to prevent the Sun from drowning in its own tears.
It's not clear what became of it by the 1900s; contrary to popular belief, Albion's star is not the Sun.
"It's very far away; but perhaps it's watching you."
The Mountain of Light is the daughter of the Sun and the Bazaar, making her a half-Judgement. Zailors know her as Stone. Her daughter, a quarter-Judgement, is Mt. Nomad.
"-UN. THE SUN. THE SUN. THE SUN. THE S-"
The Dawn Machine is an ambitious and dangerous artificial Judgement built by the Admiralty.
"The light of the Clockwork Sun oozes into your cabin like rancid honey."
The Clockwork Sun is the second, more successful artificial Judgement that lords over Albion.
"Old soul. Where are you going, old soul?"
Salt is a quasi-Judgement of sorts, also called the Sun-Beneath-the-Sea. He lurks to the East, where new winds blow.
"The White comes to fulfil the frozen law."
The White is the spymaster of the heavens. It was the entity responsible for sending Salt to the Neath, but unfortunately Salt got distracted and things got complicated. The White's grand plan is mysterious, but it may have something to do with holding back the Liberation of Night.
The following information on the White is taken from Alexis Kennedy, who no longer works at Failbetter Games. Kennedy has clarified that the below explanation is 'apocryphal', i.e. not canon anymore, but still valuable.
"The Liberation of Night stained the Deep Wilderness long, long before it touched the Earth, and the White feared - reasonably that its metastasising rapture would darken the hearts of too many stars for it ever to be contained. [This is lore I'd have explored more in Sunless Skies as it was originally conceived, but Failbetter have gone, I believe, in a completely different direction, and this is no longer continuity.] He resorted to the Neath, that notorious half-secret laboratory of stellar secrets. The Bazaar is developing its own Counsel to soothe and cheer the Sun; the White hoped to find or foment a final argument of despair which would quell the rebellious hearts of any Liberated star it touched. It would also quell the hearts of any loyalist Judgements, but the White would rather see an empty universe than a disordered one. Of course the White couldn't know that the Counsel of Peace might threaten Histories beyond its own, but the White is the White, and it's unlikely that this would have dissuaded it."
"They rage against the sun's death at the hands of a half-sun, a midnight murderer. The killer sent false messengers bearing a well-seed. They planted the seed in the sun's heart, and it bloomed! Bloomed and ravened. A lawless killing! A shameful death, enacted without due ceremony!"
The Garden-King was the Regent of the Reach; by the 1900s, in the Skies timeline, he has long since died. Without his regulating influence, the Reach overgrew and became the wild and chaotic realm that it is now known as today. Luckily, however, the Garden-King prepared light-emitting plants that keep the region somewhat well-lit, so the Reach isn't completely dark by any means. The Garden-King is responsible for the conception of the Scrive-Spinsters at the Forge of Souls
The Garden-King was murdered when false messengers, who were likely sent by the Halved, planted a well-seed in its heart. This created Old Tom's Well, and the corpse of the Regent now lies deep within. It is said that you can still hear the Garden-King's spirit throughout the Reach, manifesting as the Peacock Wind, as he rages at his own unlawful murder.
The King of HoursEdit
"The body of the sun is still cooling. A few embers continue to glow at its core, a low and sullen red."
The King of Hours, also known as the Martyr-King, was the Regent of Albion, or at least the space that would become it. During his reign, he used his power as the king of all time to hold his realm in a state of eternal daylight, a Golden Day. The Sapphir'd King, a Judgement who adhered to the Amaranthine Conjunction (the resolution that everything must end), didn't like that very much, so he had the King of Hours murdered using poisoned words. After his death, the Clockwork Sun took over his domain, and Albion took the credit for his death.
The King had a daughter, a being by the name of the Unseen Queen, who resides in the underworld of New London. The Queen is a flirtatious spirit who manifests as a painting of a noblewoman with her face scratched out. In his last moments, the King used his last remnants of the Golden Day to create the Martyr-King's Cup, an artifact that can grant the imbiber immortality. Using it, he stole the moment of his daughter's birth to evade death and transform into the Storm that Speaks. The Unseen Queen heavily resents her father for creating the endless day where she never shone, as well as for using her as a contingency to escape his death. One day, she may take her revenge.
"The Halved! The sun turned to night!"
The Halved is the Sable-Sun of Eleutheria, formerly known as the King who Wars.
The King who SpeaksEdit
"INT: An ancient throne room, built and bathed in the light of Law. On a throne of fire sits the KING WHO SPEAKS. On a throne of obsidian sits the KING WHO WARS. They are the TWIN KINGS OF ELEUTHERIA, united in ruling."
The King who Speaks was the Halved's other half, the brother of the King who Wars. In a time when Eleutheria was still bright, the King who Speaks ruled alongside the King who Wars as a duumvirate, and were known collectively as the Binary. The Binary was petitioned by the nascent Solonacean Conjunction to adopt an ideology similar to the Liberation of Night; the King who Speaks expressed interest, but his brother shot it down. Later on, the King who Speaks lowered his guard and submitted to the Conjunction as their disciple, but he was brutally assassinated by the vengeful members. The betrayal and death of the King who Speaks led his brother to slaughter the Solonacean Conjunction, and their leader was condemned to the Well of Wonders.
Based on information from the Prophet Exile's play, the King who Speaks can be characterized as a ruler who valued change, as opposed to his brother, who preferred stagnation and preservation. He also claimed that he and his brother were growing dim, so he resolved to "let the old Order fall" to allow the Binary to become greater than what they already were.
"The Sapphir'd King suffuses the entirety of the Blue Kingdom, but he emanates from its heart"
The Azure has a daughter, known by the name of the Arbiter of Fates.
Other Judgements, such as the Red and the Gold, are known to exist.
"All st-study of the suns is difficult. The Judgements are vast. Ancient. Beings of incomprehensible complexity. Any investigation is also an act of t-translation, rendering their concerns and structures into analogies we can comprehend."
Thanks to the Royal Society's magnificent telescope, the behavior of Judgements among themselves has finally come to light (ha!).
It turns out that Judgements can form groups. Minor ones, called constellations, consist of three to four stars, and are often formed by neighboring stars, resembling clans. Conjunctions, on the other hand, are much, much bigger, and are founded on the principles of an ideology or philosophy. So far, three conjunctions are known to exist:
- The Chrysanthemum Conjunction is concerned with new beginnings.
- The Amaranthine Conjunction believes in endings and conclusions.
- The Nepenthine Conjunction advocates separation and isolation.
A group led by the Prophet Exile tried to form the Solonacean Conjunction by petitioning the Binary to join them; it would have followed an ideology not unlike the modern Liberation of Night. Following the assassination of the King who Speaks, however, the other half of the Binary slaughtered the proto-Conjunction and condemned the Fingerking to the Well of Wonders.
"Once, the stars went to war with themselves. The Courtesy was the agreement that ended it: thereafter, the stars were permitted to kill each other so long as they adhered to the formalities and procedures set out in the Courtesy."
What is killing the stars? Well, they're killing each other. Some massive insult has provoked a cosmic war among them, with the Courtesy, the Judgemental "rules of war," being constantly invoked. That the suns are prone to just as much lethal politics as mortals is something they do not want anyone lower on the Great Chain to know, so they specifically assigned a Logos to hunt down anyone who learns of it, called the Fire that Follows,, which manifests as an electric-blue flame that relentlessly pursues and punishes the intended target until they draw their very last breath.
- ↑ Prevaricate 2, Fallen London
- ↑ Further the Didact's research into the politics of suns, Sunless Skies
- ↑ The revolutionaries made camp, Sunless Skies
- ↑ Judgements%27 Egg, Fallen London
- ↑ Judgement's Egg, Sunless Sea
- ↑ Breath of the Void, Fallen London
- ↑ 7.0 7.1 The Seventh Letter
- ↑ Mr Sacks! Take this dream of skies untainted!, Fallen London
- ↑ You have rejected wine and song, Fallen London "To ascend is not possible, save by the Science (and the Science does not exist). "
- ↑ The lights are out, Fallen London
- ↑ Overview, Sunless Skies
- ↑ The Blue Kingdom, Sunless Skies
- ↑ 13.0 13.1 Buy a train ticket to Vienna, Sunless Sea
- ↑ Gather supplies, Sunless Sea
- ↑ The light's delights, Sunless Sea
- ↑ The Seventh Letter
- ↑ The Gods of the Zee: Stone's Attention, Sunless Sea
- ↑ Dawn Machine, Sunless Sea
- ↑ Log Entries, Sunless Skies
- ↑ The Sun beneath the Sea?, Fallen London
- ↑ Attend a service at the Chapel (no. 6), Fallen London
- ↑ The fifth letter: the White, Sunless Sea
- ↑ https://www.reddit.com/r/fallenlondon/comments/806h9p/re_an_answer/
- ↑ 24.0 24.1 Strive to hear the death-cry of a fallen sun, Sunless Skies
- ↑ Craft a Scrive-Spinster, Sunless Skies ""As was taught by the Regent of the Reach to the Binary," says the Venturer reverently."
- ↑ Investigate a mysterious noise from the back of the laboratory, Sunless Skies
- ↑ Contemplate the dead sun, Sunless Skies
- ↑ 28.0 28.1 Investigate what killed the sun of Albion, Sunless Skies
- ↑ 29.0 29.1 Ask about the Golden Day, Sunless Skies
- ↑ Hand over the Dignity of Albion Bill, Sunless Skies
- ↑ Contemplate the dead sun, Sunless Skies
- ↑ The Queen joins your crew, Sunless Skies
- ↑ Description, Sunless Skies
- ↑ Ask her about the Cup, Sunless Skies
- ↑ Ask about the King of Hours, Sunless Skies
- ↑ Domain of the Halved, Sunless Skies
- ↑ 37.0 37.1 III. Palace of the Twin Kings, Sunless Skies
- ↑ The Messenger returned!, Sunless Skies
- ↑ 39.0 39.1 39.2 The Prophet began to speak, Sunless Skies
- ↑ V. A Night Of Transfiguration, Sunless Skies
- ↑ 41.0 41.1 VI. The King In Mourning, Sunless Skies
- ↑ Enter the King Who Speaks, Sunless Skies
- ↑ The Sapphir'd King, Sunless Skies
- ↑ You have given up your intrigues, Fallen London
- ↑ 45.0 45.1 Deliver your findings to the Bedevilled Didact, Sunless Skies
- ↑ Further the Didact's research into the politics of suns, Sunless Skies
- ↑ 47.0 47.1 Ambition: Ask "What is the Courtesy?", Sunless Skies
- ↑ Pursuit, Sunless Skies
- ↑ Snuff out the lanterns and fly in the dark, Sunless Skies