“A colloquial term for the tribe of face-thieves that prowls the back-rooms, parlours and sculleries in Fallen London. They are named for their appetite for candles, which they devour – though none knows whether they crave the wax, or the flame. They are searching for something, or perhaps somewhere. Facts are elusive, for they change faces as often as a gentleman changes his waistcoat.”

-Baedeker’s Guide to Subterranean Elements of the British Empire


What even is that thing? (art from Fallen London)

One of the more unsavory species from the Elder Continent, snuffers are a type of disturbing infiltrator-creature that has settled in possibly every major community in the Neath. Snuffers not only can disguise themselves as any human, ripping off their faces to use for their own goals, but are a immense danger to anyone around them. Snuffers are surprisingly fast and strong for their size, and a single Snuffer can easily overtake their opponent in a one-on-one fight, even if caught off guard. However, unlike humans, they do not return from death. Fallen London's Department of Menace Eradication and the Presbyterate spend a great deal of time and effort into rooting out Snuffers, but despite this it is impossible to tell how many citizens of the empire are secretly monsters in disguise.

While the Snuffers have no real organization, at least one apparent to the common man, it is widely recognized that the legendary Thief-of-Faces, the original Snuffer, holds sway over many of them. What the Thief-of-Faces and his followers want is not clear, although it may have to do with his lover Stone and perhaps the Judgements themselves. Despite rampant prejudice against them, several elements in Fallen London, from criminal organizations to members of London's elite, also use Snuffers as their ideal spies and informants.

Their diet consists primarily of candles, for not entirely clear reasons: the nutrition appears to be derived from the candlewax itself, either because they are sustained by the memory of wax or because they are themselves composed of wax.

Mountainglow Notable Snuffers (Heart's Desire, Bag A Legend) [Fate Spoilers]
  • The Bishop of St. Fiacre's is a Snuffer, although he is not particularly pleased with this fact about himself. He has cut ties with most of his family and wants to use essences to become something, anything other than a Snuffer. Until then, he takes faces from corpses and the willing.
  • The Big Rat is a notorious criminal who commands an army of rattus faber and uses them for his bidding. He rarely makes appearances in person, but when he does, he wears a mask made out of rat faces. Despite being at odds with the Bishop of St. Fiacre's, he appears to hold respect for him and makes sure not to target the Cathedral of St. Fiacre's in his heists. He seems to be fond of wine.
  • The Scarred Naturalist  lives deep in Bugsby's Marshes. He is said to be the last man alive to have seen the Vake and live to tell the tale. He appears to know a lot about the mysterious beast. That is because he is its servant.
  • FOREIGN OFFICE SPOILERS: The Teeth of the Foreign Office is composed entirely of Snuffers.
The Thief-of-Faces (Flint) [Fate Spoilers]
"The Thief-of-Faces. It is old almost as the Axiles, the things you call Flukes. It is their child. It engendered us when it came to the Garden, but it is so much greater. It changes both its shape and its self. Whatever it is, it hates, and whatever it has been, it hates and will work to destroy: it will change endlessly and never be satisfied. And it hates the Bazaar. It hates the Flukes, and the Mountain. There is not enough water in the world to drown its hatred."

"The Mountain cast us all out of the Garden, when it found that our progenitor had taken jewels from its wombs, to make a weapon to serve its hatred. I will tell you of the weapon it made."

He leans forward and whispers to you, gazing into your eyes. And you see the black glass shadow on the green glass of the zee. You hear its groaning hunger, and the death of the ships it breaks. You see its father the Thief-of-Faces, coming and going, dwelling in it for a time like a maggot in a peach. You cannot see the Thief's shape clearly: but you can see his old shapes slough from him, like flakes of flint.