The Fifth City: Fallen London's Lore Wikia

"In simpler times, Hell would take a soul on the death of the body. Death is more complicated in Fallen London, though not unknown. So it's not terribly uncommon to meet someone who's short a soul. Some of them become mumbling, dead-eyed husks: some of them simply turn to occupations where soullessness is a professional advantage."[1]

Three bottles containing strange swirling faces within.

A Jumble of Undistinguished Souls.

Souls are an inexplicable, metaphysical, and sometimes valuable facet of almost every living thing.


"Souls, they say, exalt the body upwards, but there are other buoyant substances, also. Swamp gas, for instance. The breath of the Wax-Wind. When we see the soul in its proper company, is it so very enviable?"[2]

Souls are a very important component of life, present in almost every living creature - even plants, animals, and many otherworldly beings.[3] They can affect one's mentality and livelihood,[1] and when exposed to certain experiences or emotions, a soul can become more valuable in the eyes of certain patrons.[4] No one's quite sure where souls come from, but in the Neath, souls are ferried to parts unknown by the Boatman after death if the deceased still possessed one,[5] and in the High Wilderness, they go to the Blue Kingdom to be judged by the vast celestial bureaucracies there.[3]

A bottle with a mystical swirling face.

An unremarkable soul.

Such a crucial part of one's identity can be removed with surprising ease,[6] and stored in a bottle for easy transport and sale.[7] Devils from Hell, as part of a partnership of sorts with the Echo Bazaar,[8] run the soul trade, and are responsible for the vast majority of incidents related to soul loss in Fallen London.[9] It's indeed possible to live without one's soul, but the consequences may be dire, such as losing aspects of one's old personality,[1] or the side effects may be barely noticeable at all, except for a feeling that something is missing.[10] In fact, certain professions are even said to benefit from soul loss, strange as that may seem.[1]

It is also possible, through the right means and a little ingenuity, to get one's soul back.[11]

Losing a Soul[]

"There are some things we were not meant to know, they say. But you wouldn't be down here if you took that seriously."

Beyond this point lie spoilers for Fallen London, Sunless Sea, or Sunless Skies. This may include midgame content. Proceed with caution.

You can find out more about our spoiler policy here.

"An otherwise tedious anarchist pamphlet gained some notoriety when it claimed that eleven per cent of the citizens of Fallen London had traded, lost or otherwise mislaid their souls. An exaggeration, certainly. But the Bazaar does not permit the publication of the real number. Look around you when you next take a seat on a crowded omnibus. The girl sitting next to you could quite easily be one of the soulless."[12]

The Neath, unsurprisingly, is home to many strange ways to lose one's soul. Spirifers are soul-thieves who use strange, fork-like tools to wind a soul out of a person's body, often while the victim is incapacitated.[13] The Pentecost apes of the Empire of Hands, home to monkeys that seek to absorb souls into themselves, strap donors to machines that prick people in the back with unseen metal instruments, while sedative-soaked rags are stuffed into their mouths. Once the process is complete, the hosts might awaken with a headache, a bruised body, and an unmistakable, inexplicable feeling of loss.[14]

An infernal contract.

But above all of these cases, devils are responsible for the vast majority of legal instances of losing one's soul in Fallen London. They refer to the process as Abstraction, which is sold as an enviable, sometimes beautiful thing;[15] they hold seminars and presentations about why souls aren't strictly necessary or valuable to their human hosts.[2] The devils may also form personal relationships with certain exceptional Londoners, and may monitor them through "dates" to gauge their personality type and traits.[16]

Devils appear to use a metallic handheld tool to extract a person's soul,[17] and the process of Abstraction may leave a scar or mark on the person's wrist after it's conducted.[18] They also use Infernal Contracts as a form of verification that a soul was extracted legally, and these documents mysteriously disintegrate should a signer obtain their soul once again.[19]

Soul Properties[]

"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.

You can find out more about our spoiler policy here.

"The soul pops and flares. What cheery blue sparks! Wait a minute - blue? You snatch up a toasting-fork and fish the soul from the fireplace. It was more valuable than the label had indicated. Back into the bottle with you, soul."[20]

A mystical bottle with a strange face floating within.

A valuable Brilliant Soul.

Souls are an extremely esoteric and mysterious substance, even by the Neath's standards. They're often held in transparent containers,[21] even non-specialized ones like milk bottles;[22] depending on the value of the soul, the receptacle and presentation may be improved to match its price.[23] Souls also tend to glow faintly within their bottles,[24] valuable souls much more so,[25] and a soul of a particular flavor may emit a certain color, such as blue[20] - or several colors.[26]

Should a soul be removed from its body, it can be reinserted into its host with relative ease,[27] and a person can theoretically live with a different soul than the one they were born with,[28] though this is considered highly risky.[29] Inserting a soul into a dead body, however, is extremely taboo, even for the rogues of the soul trade.[27]

Physically, souls seem to resemble an extremely cohesive, viscous fluid; this is primarily concluded from the fact that souls can be manipulated by and lifted with forks, and seem to be affected by gravity when released from their bottles.[20] According to certain academics, souls also resemble a thin gas.[30] Each soul has a unique weight,[31] with valuable souls apparently lighter than others.[32] Souls also have certain optical properties, and diamond lenses can be used to study and distinguish them individually.[33]

Three mysterious bottles, each with a unique cloudy being trapped within.

A Selection of Immaculate Souls.

Souls are flammable,[34] and are said to burn rather slowly.[35] Should a soul catch on fire when it is still within the body, it may result in a dangerous disease called animescence, which is endemic to the Elder Continent and can be highly contagious should the patient die without receiving proper care.[36][37] Souls are highly reactive to low temperatures as well: when exposed to the Neath's best impression of snow, they explode violently like a block of sodium in a bucket of water;[38] apparently, this is because "sufficient grief destroys a soul".[39] Furthermore, souls that belonged to hosts exposed to the Discordance may become extremely cold to the touch; these unique specimens are called Discordant Souls.[40][41]

Soul Stories[]

"A relic. I parted with that soul before my first death. It hasn't been with me through anything that matters."[42]

"Mmmm, yes. Quite acceptable. Overtones of forbidden lusts, and a long, desperate finish. I know just the patron for these. I think a tiny bonus is in order."[43]

A wizened old man.

The Infernal Sommelier

Perhaps the most interesting property of souls is the unique way they tend to age, like a fine wine or an old journal. Souls appear to retain certain aspects of their host's mental and emotional state at the time that they were removed; for example, souls may give off airs of resentment, unauthorized lust, depression,[43] or even unsubstantiated hope.[44] The Infernal Sommelier, apparently hailing from the Fourth City, is a man capable of reading into these auras,[43] to the extent that he can even deduce the possible identity of a soul's original owner just by studying it.[45] He manages the Brass Embassy's cellars,[46] and trades in souls and infernal wines with others for his many mysterious patrons.[43]

Certain powerful souls may also exhibit a degree of sentience despite lacking a body, with a tendency to peer from and rattle in their bottles as if trying to escape.[47][48] For example, a soul originating from an agent of the Great Game still retained knowledge of the host's codes and ciphers, and tapped those codes against the bottle it was imprisoned in;[45] furthermore, exceptional souls may share their stories and secrets when they're released from their bottles, though where they go when released remains unknown.[49]

Symptoms of Soullessness[]

"Specialist surgical trusses for the soulless are sold in Fallen London. Do they work? Well, they don't return your soul. But the soulless are martyrs to bad posture. They might help with that."[50]

Upon losing a soul, a person's demeanor may change significantly. According to rumor, they may become "mumbling, dead-eyed husks",[1] who are "dispirited, callous, dead to pleasures and prone to viciousness".[51] Or, they may find no warmth in art or company, and suffer a feeling of low spirits.[52] Or, they may not be affected very much at all,[1] except with an inexplicable feeling of personal loss.[10] The soulless are infamous for their poor posture, however, and trusses for back support are specially designed and sold to assist with this issue.[50] The soulless are also unfortunately banned from Summerset College; conversely, the soulless, and the soul trade, thrive at Benthic College.[53][54]

According to the Bishop of St Fiacre's, Snuffers also universally lack souls, resulting in envy of their human counterparts.[55]

Soul Flaws[]

"It is not worth much, in its present condition. Too flawed. I could cure you of all that, if I had time, and if I cared, and if it were not just as easy to take any of a dozen other innocent souls in a better state of repair. If you want it improved, you might, I suppose, try your luck at Carillon."[56]

"I have rarely seen such a combination of stains, flaws, and disappointing features. You are to be congratulated: I assume this was intentional. You could hardly have done it by accident."[57]

There are many ways to apparently "damage" a soul without losing it; these are known as soul flaws.[58] The devils at Carillon are self-proclaimed experts in gauging and curing soul flaws,[59] and have as such devised unique ways to heal them, many of which involve torture.[60]

While the negativity surrounding soul flaws may seem (and for the most part is) arbitrary, certain groups or individuals despise or reject visitors with an unacceptable amount of soul flaws; for example, the Rose-Binders at Caduceus shun any visitors with a soul they deem "aesthetically displeasing",[61] and the courts at the White Well refuse to grant Testaments of Roses to those with souls that lack a requisite quality.[62]

The Carillon Compendium, written by the Presiding Deviless, separates these flaws into seven different categories:[63]

Iron square.png Clear[]

"Soul is fully transparent. No swirls, no clouding, no personality."[64]

"Disregard of death is a serious flaw. It displeases the Blue Kingdom; it makes the Devils tut."[65]

Hosts with Clear souls are known for their disregard for the cycle of life and death.[66] Individuals who refuse to join the military, decline to eat meat, tamper with mortality, or keep library books past their due date may find their souls more transparent than usual.[67]

Individuals with Clear souls are treated unfavorably in the Blue Kingdom, and are not eligible for certain favors there;[68] after all, disrespecting death means disrespecting the Kingdom.[66]

To cure a Clear soul, the patient must relearn the inevitability of their mortality.[69] Therefore, the treatments they undergo involve being buried alive, copying death reports, studying dead bodies, or other morbid activities.[70]

Bloody square.png Cold[]

"The soul is icy to the touch. Dispassionate, clinical, removed."[71]

"Indifference to love can be corrected. But not easily."[72]

Cold souls are borne from dispassion, lack of empathy, and heartlessness. Owners of such chilly souls are the puppy-kickers, the truly pitiless, those who murder their loved ones for money - the kind who let out a dark, villainous laugh when given a compliment.[73]

Individuals with Cold souls are not permitted to partake in the higher mysteries of Caduceus, as they are considered unworthy by the Grand Devil that holds power there.[74][75]

Curing Cold souls involves coercing the penitent into feeling empathy and emotion, through suffering.[76][77] Patients are often prodded by pitchforks, strapped to ice cubes, menaced by kittens, and undergo other forms of torture.[78]

Fire square.png Curdled[]

"Overly willing to please, envious, obsequious... are those chunks? the soul."[79]

"Envy. Frustration. A tendency to begrudge honours given to others."[80]

A person's soul can become Curdled by not knowing one's place, especially by ignoring or violating the "natural" hierarchies of the universe. Owners of Curdled souls may have regarded their superiors with too much familiarity, pretended to be someone greater than they are, or even denied the superiority of any non-human creature. Or, perhaps, they pried into matters of biology not meant for the human mind.[81]

Notably, the Blue Kingdom is apparently incapable of effectively processing the events or memories that may Curdle one's soul.[82]

Curing a Curdled soul means reminding a patient of their proper place,[83] so the process involves many unflattering activities and reminders of the patient's low status, such as vigorous exercises and being told of exclusive parties that the patient may never attend.[84]

Hunger square.png Fermented[]

"Soul appears faintly bubbling in its bottle. It is pungent of odour and indifferent to taboo."[85]

"Perhaps you have eaten that which you should not. Perhaps you've come in contact with something unclean. At any rate, your soul has gone a bit off."[86]

Partaking in dirty deeds, shadowy affairs, and repugnant behaviors may cause one's soul to become Fermented. These are the individuals who ignore other people's plans and schedules, suffer from unaccountable peckishness, associate with tomb colonists and Snuffers, wear unwashed clothes, and generally commit disgusting acts... like swimming in the Thames.[87]

Curing a Fermented soul means imposing self-restraint and cleanliness on the patient;[88] hence, the penitents often have to suffer strict eating schedules, deprivation from beverages, extremely thorough washings, and other punishments and restrictions.[89]

Pastscandal square.png Flickering[]

"Soul-light is unpersistent, incurious, lacking."[90]

"Maybe you've found yourself lying as a matter of course. Maybe you've forgotten a few inconvenient aspects of yourself."[91]

The Flickering soul flaw relates to disassociation, the loss of identity, and self-delusion. Those with Flickering souls may have been compulsive liars to themselves or others, have forgotten important aspects of their lives, memories, or achievements, or may have published a masterwork of literature but forgot to read the reviews.[92]

More chillingly, those with Flickering souls may also see someone else in their reflection - perhaps because they passed through a mirror and came back changed, losing a part of themselves the process. Spores of the Uttershroom, mysteriously, can also damage a soul in this manner.[93]

Flickering souls are generally considered extremely hard to cure, and the process mainly revolves around reminding patients of the truth and discouraging them from engaging in falsehoods.[94] Punishments include being depicted in a portrait with unwavering accuracy, copying informational articles, and eating past untruths written on scraps of paper.[95]

Mirrors square.png Lightless[]

"Slothful, viceful, willful abandonment of talent and interest."[96]

"Perhaps you have fallen into habits. Perhaps you haven't stretched your imagination lately."[97]

The Lightless soul flaw can be caused by poor habits, playing things overly safe, or leaving things "just good enough". Those with Lightless souls may have abandoned their natural talents or overwhelmed themselves with sloth... or they may have eaten too many carob candies.[98]

Lightless souls are not allowed to partake in the mysteries of Caduceus, as the devils there consider them dull,[99] and they're not permitted to move beyond the Catafalque within Death's Door as they will fail the administered soul-quality tests.[100]

Curing Lightless souls involves livening things up for patients by imparting within them a sense of self-worth and ambition.[101] Hence, Lightless patients are forced to "put themselves out there" by undertaking arduous public musical performances, as well as learning strange new skills and gaining new experiences they may have avoided otherwise.[102]

Scrawl1small.png Stained[]

"Soul appears damaged, scorched. Reckless, dangerous and fatally curious."[103]

"Perhaps you've looked into topics you should not have. Perhaps your soul has been consumed and spat out again by an unspeakable beast."[104]

As arguably the most dangerous of the seven soul flaws, Stained souls are the mark of the overly curious: those who seek forbidden knowledge or the world's deepest secrets. Those who bypass censors, study the facets of star-killing, learn dangerous Correspondence sigils, or look too closely into the nature of wells may gain a Stain on their soul.[105]

The method of curing Stained souls involves imparting within the patient one lesson and one lesson only: that there is a such thing as too much.[106] Thus, penitents are forced to gorge themselves on excesses of food, drink, and most importantly, secrets.[107] Strange essences sourced from the Prison of Flint may also cure a Stained soul, but obtaining such substances is easier said than done.[108]

The Soul Trade[]

A (non-canonical) ticker board of the soul trade. By Observator42.

"Souls are traded to Hell for brass, hydrogen, devilbone, earthly delights, rare coins and other things difficult to find in a department store. Trade without a license is punishable by - well, I don't want to upset you. Nothing you'll need to worry about. After all, you wouldn't be daft enough to engage in spirifage: the unlicensed trade in souls."[9]

The soul trade is the legal, healthy, and widespread trade of extracted human souls. Legally speaking, souls are actually classified as light sources,[109] and any imports of souls coming into Wolfstack Docks from around the Unterzee are taxed and must be appropriately stamped with an Imperial Customs seal.[110][111] Like all trade in Fallen London, commerce in souls must be conducted through the Bazaar,[112] and any business that is conducted in souls without an appropriate license is punished extremely harshly.[9]

Spirifers and Spirifage[]

"There's a healthy export trade in souls from Fallen London to Hell. But like all trade, it's licensed and overseen by the Bazaar. Spirifers are those rogues who bypass the Bazaar to sell directly to Hell. A soul may be a final desperate payment against a bad debt; it may be gambled unwisely; or it may be tricked from its first owner."[112]

A Spirifer's Fork.

Spirifers are soul-merchants who happen to lack permission or licensing from the Bazaar or London's authorities.[112] Most are human, and they usually try to trade souls directly to Hell instead, bypassing London's tariffs and strict regulations.[112] Their trade is called spirifage; it can be lucrative, but spirifers are prosecuted severely if caught.[9]

Spirifers are infamous for their preferred means of obtaining souls: stealing them from invalids and other incapacitated parties.[113] To do this efficiently, they use spirifer's forks, brass-colored metallic instruments that can wind out a person's soul from their mouth or some other orifice. Unfortunately, victims tend to die of shock from the extraction process.[114][115] Apparently, spirifer's forks work because they're specialized in removing souls that are considered "loosely tethered".[116]

To be established as a spirifer, an aspirant needs a patron, such as a devil from the fringes of the Brass Embassy.[117] They may be forced to pass a grueling test before the patron will accept them and provide them with a spirifer's fork,[118] but after paying for it, the newly-minted spirifer can sell souls to their patron for a better rate than at the Echo Bazaar.[119]

A grinning monkey.

A Pentecost ape.

The Empire of Hands, in the far eastern Unterzee, is a colony of intelligent monkeys who have managed to acquire and absorb many human souls within themselves - several in one body, in some cases. Being monkeys, they often go overboard and conclude that more is better; social status in the Empire is in fact based on how many souls a monkey possesses,[120] and they actively try to acquire souls from donors as well as from careless zailors.[121][122] Apparently, they "absorb" human souls with the intention of inheriting the soul's traits and becoming more human-like,[123] due to a burning envy for their less fur-covered counterparts.[124] Much to their anger, the Admiralty considers their activities a form of spirifage, and has cut them off from any business with London as a result.[125][124]

A strangely decorated flying train engine.

A Spirifer Engine.

Given the abundance of souls within the Blue Kingdom, it's not surprising that illegal spirifage would be an issue even there. Spirifers in the High Wilderness travel in Spirifer Engines, strange locomotives that often disguise themselves as funerary locomotives, decorated in a crude imitation of the Blue Kingdom's burial customs and rites.[126][127] They may also appear to be merchant ships, or take on other disguises are that less well-known;[128] unfortunately for them, the Logoi that patrol the Blue Kingdom are rarely fooled by this ruse, and as such attack them on sight.[127]

Spirifers in the High Wilderness may also possess strange artifacts that can open the various Vaults that pepper the Blue Kingdom;[128] these treasure troves are filled with souls, but are frequent targets for raiders and ambushers due to their lucrative contents.[129]

Shepherds and the C.V.R.[]

"You know it at once. Your soul, which was taken from you! A note simply reads: BE MORE CAREFUL NEXT TIME. Beneath it, a crudely drawn shepherd's crook."[130]

A Shepherd's Timepiece.

Given the moral dubiousness of the soul trade, it only makes sense that certain groups and individuals would try to campaign against it.[131] One of these groups is the Committee for Vital Restitution, or C.V.R., who seek to return souls to their rightful owners regardless of the costs or risks.[132] Unfortunately for them, interfering in the soul trade in this manner is illegal and is prosecuted by the Constables and the Masters, and the Church does not publicly approve of such activities either;[133] hence, the C.V.R. often has to meet in secret, wearing masks and hoods, in a different location every time.[134] As part of their work, the C.V.R. collects both souls and infernal contracts, in an effort to ensure that the souls are matched correctly with their original owners,[135] and interestingly, some members of the C.V.R. may be reformed spirifers themselves.[136]

New recruits of the C.V.R. must prove themselves to verify their qualifications and dedication to the cause.[137] Upon their induction into the group, they'll receive a unique pocket watch called a Shepherd's Timepiece that serves as a symbol of membership,[138] and will engage in regular contact with the C.V.R.'s Soulless Messenger, an individual who unfortunately lost their soul in a foolhardy wager in their younger days.[139] Despite the C.V.R.'s lack of public support, many powerful individuals in certain circles support the C.V.R., and often reward them handsomely for their good deeds.[140] Apparently, a Shepherd's Timepiece can also be a useful tool in the process of soul restoration itself, but its exact capabilities are unknown.[141]

Devils and Souls[]

"Do you happen to have a case of souls for me? No I'm not going to eat them! We don't eat souls, usually. I'm not clear how that story got around. I just - I told you that I miss London. I miss Hell. I'd like a keepsake. And all souls are ours, you know, by right."[142]

A man with fangs, a mustache, and a nice fedora.

A Devil.

Devils have an interesting relationship with souls; contrary to popular belief, they do not eat the souls they receive from the soul trade. What they actually do with the souls they obtain, however, is currently unclear. That said, devils seem to have an emotional response when receiving souls after being deprived of them for an extended period of time,[142][143] and they also possess the ability to appraise and identify souls just from their bottles,[144] identifying a soul's "flavor" with relative ease.[145] In fact, certain devils use designations that are very similar to real-life brandy designations to grade souls; for example: the designation of "V.S.A.H." apparently indicates a valuable soul.[146] Devils also do not seem keen on obtaining souls tinged with Rubbery Essences, which may occur if the host obtained a... peculiar personal enchantment .[147]

Devils actually have souls of their own, which are known to be quite different from human ones. According to the Presiding Deviless at Carillon, devil souls change "on their own", meaning their properties can warp significantly without being part of a host, unlike human souls.[148] Furthermore, devil souls are apparently "changeable" and can alter the behavior and personality of their hosts in an erratic manner; for example, a devil-turned-spirifer once had a very different soul when he still worked at Carillon, as the Presiding Deviless's mentor, no less.[149][150]

A fireplace and stoker.

A Law Furnace.

Being as technologically advanced as they are, devils possess many forms of technology involving souls that may seem completely alien to the average Londoner. In the Iron Republic, beyond a strange brass gate, is a "place not of tormenting, but fermenting" there exists an Infernal Vinification Apparatus:[151][152] a strange mixing apparatus and selection of flasks apparently used to improve and refine souls.[153] Devils also possess machines called Law Furnaces, which can be used to both create and destroy surrounding Law;[154][155] these furnaces seem to use souls as part of their operation for an unknown purpose, possibly to act as a quickening agent, and can be found in both Hell and in the Iron Republic.[156][157][158] Other infernal machines that use souls include deadly clockwork beetles called malebolgic scarabs; the souls within them are also apparently used to "quicken" the contraptions.[159]

Certain infernal engineers have also created the Moloch-Class Liner,[160] a powerful sky-locomotive with the functionality to burn souls of a high caliber as a fuel source in a pinch,[161][162] and devils are also capable of forging souls into valuable trinkets, such as rings, but such transactions come with interest.[163]

The Truth?[]

"Finally, a soul returns to the sky, for the Judgements to absorb and savour and add to their nature. I do not regard this as ascension. I regard it as digestion. But I fear it comes to us all."[164]

"Whose soul was this? A queen? A genius? A prophet? It's like looking into the face of the sun."[25]

A sun behind clouds.

The Sapphir'd King

Souls are the food of the gods, and no god is higher on the food chain than the Judgements. Stars seem to need souls, and lots of them; not much is known about their table habits exactly, but it is known that they "eat" souls.[165] The Blue Kingdom is actually a massive, sprawling industrial complex specifically designed to weed out souls that the Sapphir'd King would not prefer; it uses Logoi as well as its Yoked spirits to ensure that the process moves smoothly,[166][167] and the facilities of Death's Door administer strict tests on the various spirits that pass through to their eternal reward.[168] What lies beyond Death's Door is a titanic, star-sized machine, where spirits are dissected and fed into the Blue Kingdom's deeper regions, presumably to provide the Azure with his next meal.[169] Another Judgement, the Garden-King, when he was still alive, used Port Avon as a dinner table of sorts to consume the souls delivered from his various servants including several Curators.[170]

The Forge of Souls actually has a means to create souls from scratch: several spirits in the Forge operate on the soul and use sigils of the Correspondence to "quicken" it, resulting in a soul that is often rather valuable.[165] All souls, in fact, may have the potential to become Judgements,[5] though this outcome may have progressed further for certain souls than others.[25][171]

The Repentant Devil

In ages past, certain Grand Devils once served the Judgements as "sommeliers", or presumably, soul-tasters,[172] and some Grand Devils still serve beyond Death's Door to this day.[173] One devil, the Repentant Devil, would develop various techniques to improve souls, under the philosophy of "matching the soul to its Judgement",[174][175] and his skills are still in demand in the modern day, especially in the Blue Kingdom, much to his annoyance.[176] Despite their effectiveness, he also considers the devils of Carillon rather incompetent.[175]

There's a strange bell located within Low Barnet that steals the souls of those who ring it. Apparently, it was installed by the Admiralty to feed souls to the Dawn Machine.[177]

As an aside, death by drowning can change a soul slightly, and interestingly, some stars seem to find such a change incompatible with their palates.[178]

Real-Life Inspirations[]

The question of the existence and the importance of souls has been pondered arguably since the beginning of philosophy as a discipline. People in real life might not have had the laws of nature work in their favor and likely haven't seen a devil, but the idea of a life-giving essence inherent to all things has been plaguing the minds of humanity for millennia - as has the concept of monstrous, evil creatures living deep underground. So many societies across history have told stories about souls: a divine quantum inside every human, a source of inner strength, a person's real self.

As an example, the philosopher Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz, one of the inventors of calculus, thought that every single object, no matter how big or small, has a soul, and the soul's strength defines this object and brings it existence. Small particles combine into more complex systems, which then also combine, and so on, and sentient souls may develop even further, not by outside influence, but rather by revealing their true potential. And every soul is a reflection of God, as well as a potential divine being in itself, able to create its own universe.[179]

These concepts are reflected in the world of Fallen London, where even tiny human souls are said to possess the potential to become Judgements and slowly grow and change as they gain experience, inanimate objects can become animate given the right push, such as in places like Polythreme, and said ideas are directly referenced in the following passage from the game itself:

"You're writing some notes on the possibility that every thing here has a soul, or a spirit, when your quill twists in your hand and starts scrawling gibberish across the paper. The paper resists the ink, crumpling and creasing, but you salvage what you can."[180]


Special thanks to Observator42 for developing this page and providing the amazing soul stock ticker GIF.

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 How do you know when your soul's gone?, Fallen London
  2. 2.0 2.1 Attend a lecture at the Brass Embassy, Fallen London
  3. 3.0 3.1 The Grand Entrance, Sunless Skies
  4. Get a price in Brilliant Souls, Fallen London
  5. 5.0 5.1 Your move..., Fallen London
  6. Eleven per cent?, Fallen London
  7. Soul, Fallen London
  8. Merrigans Exchange, Fallen London
  9. 9.0 9.1 9.2 9.3 A trade in souls?, Fallen London
  10. 10.0 10.1 "Let's get down to business.", Fallen London
  11. Where's my soul?, Fallen London
  12. Eleven per cent?, Fallen London
  13. Watch from the rooftops, Fallen London "[...] a spirifer comes [...] with a device like a brass tuning fork, gently winds the soul from an invalid's mouth."
  14. Sell to the Mayor of Port Stanton, Sunless Sea
  15. Risk letting her try to convince you, Fallen London "She murmurs quietly, and you catch words here and there: "the marvellous freedom of Abstraction", "the sublime unencumbered life", "the dream of every thinking citizen"."
  16. Attend alone, Fallen London
  17. Risk letting her try to convince you, Fallen London "The Quiet Deviless steps back and reaches for her embroidery, but not before you see something in her hand. Something metallic, with a soft sheen."
  18. Your very own Infernal Contract, Fallen London
  19. Keep looking, Fallen London
  20. 20.0 20.1 20.2 Throw another soul on the fire, Fallen London
  21. Description, Sunless Skies
  22. Trade petrichor for souls, Sunless Skies
  23. Description, Sunless Skies
  24. A hesitant request, Sunless Sea
  25. 25.0 25.1 25.2 Coruscating Soul, Fallen London
  26. The Soul Trade (Story), Fallen London "These souls are more colourful than the others..."
  27. 27.0 27.1 The Nature of Souls, Fallen London
  28. "I have one more idea - ", Sunless Sea
  29. The Soul Trade (Story) , Fallen London "'Horrible things', it seems, occur when a soul is wrongly re-housed: but the messenger doesn't go into detail."
  30. The Professor, Sunless Sea
  31. Apply appropriate methodology, Fallen London "Each soul, you explain in your best lecture-room voice, has a unique weight."
  32. The Soul Trade (Story), Fallen London "These souls are are more colourful than the others [...] lighter? Somehow you'd expected them to be heavier."
  33. Apply appropriate methodology, Fallen London
  34. What is animescence?, Fallen London
  35. Ask after her health, Sunless Sea
  36. Assist at an Animescence Hospital, Sunless Sea
  37. Speak to her about her history, Sunless Sea
  38. Dip a soul in it, Fallen London
  39. A casket marked with a black ribbon, Fallen London
  40. Ask how she first learned about stones like the one you found, Fallen London
  41. Discordant Soul, Fallen London
  42. Offer him his soul back, Fallen London
  43. 43.0 43.1 43.2 43.3 Deal with the Infernal Sommelier, Fallen London
  44. Exchange your souls for brandy, Fallen London
  45. 45.0 45.1 Get a price in Brilliant Souls, Fallen London
  46. Trade it to the Infernal Sommelier, Fallen London
  47. Silent Soul, Fallen London
  48. Brilliant Soul, Fallen London
  49. Free the souls in exchange for secrets, Fallen London
  50. 50.0 50.1 An orthopaedic solution?, Fallen London
  51. The Soul Trade (Story) , Fallen London
  52. The Soul Trade (Story), Fallen London "[The Soulless Messenger] is in no pain, but he is listless and often despondent. He finds no beauty in art and little warmth in company."
  53. Academic Discrimination?, Fallen London
  54. What's it like at Benthic College?, Fallen London
  55. Flint, Fallen London "We envy humans, my Cousins [...] we lack your souls and your lives."
  56. Ask him about the state of your soul (Soul Flaws ≥ 1 and ≤ 4), Sunless Skies
  57. Ask him about the state of your soul (Soul Flaws ≥ 5), Sunless Skies
  58. reduction, Sunless Skies
  59. Interaction description, Sunless Skies
  60. reaction, Sunless Skies
  61. Try to speak with the Thorn Maiden, Sunless Skies
  62. Await the verdict (1), Sunless Skies
  63. Profile description, Sunless Skies
  64. Profile description, Sunless Skies
  65. Cure your clear soul, Sunless Skies
  66. 66.0 66.1 Consult the Repentant Devil about the Rental Dispute, Sunless Skies
  67. endurance crime (0), (30), (38), (99), Sunless Skies
  68. A Rental Dispute: Begin renegotiating the Embassy's lease, Sunless Skies
  69. reaction (4), Sunless Skies
  70. endurance punishment (10), (50), (90), Sunless Skies
  71. Profile description, Sunless Skies
  72. Cure your cold soul, Sunless Skies
  73. ordeal crime (0), (5), (38), (50), (55), (90), (95), Sunless Skies
  74. Drink deeply (Cold ≥ 1), Sunless Skies
  75. Drink deeply, Sunless Skies
  76. reaction (0), (2), Sunless Skies
  77. MajorLateral Description, Sunless Skies
  78. ordeal punishment (0), (30), (70), Sunless Skies
  79. Profile description, Sunless Skies
  80. Cure your curdled soul, Sunless Skies
  81. conversion crime (0), (10), (30), (35), (80), Sunless Skies
  82. Seek a removal of your Curdled Soul flaw, Sunless Skies
  83. reaction (3), (4), Sunless Skies
  84. conversion punishment (20), (80), Sunless Skies
  85. Profile description, Sunless Skies
  86. Cure your fermented soul, Sunless Skies
  87. deprivation crime (18), (50), (65), (70), (90), Sunless Skies
  88. reaction (1), (6), Sunless Skies
  89. deprivation punishment (5), (25), (75), Sunless Skies
  90. Profile description, Sunless Skies
  91. Cure your flickering soul, Sunless Skies
  92. inescapable truth crime (5), (10), (15), (55), Sunless Skies
  93. inescapable truth crime (30), (55), (80), (90), Sunless Skies
  94. reaction (3), (5), (7), Sunless Skies
  95. inescapable truth punishment (0), (45), (60), Sunless Skies
  96. Profile description, Sunless Skies
  97. Cure your lightless soul, Sunless Skies
  98. enlightenment crime (0), (20), (32), (40), (45), (70), Sunless Skies
  99. Drink thirstily, Sunless Skies
  100. Offer help to a Lightless spirit, Sunless Skies
  101. reaction (0), (1), (3), Sunless Skies
  102. enlightenment punishment (15), (17), (20), (22), (25), (28), (35), (44), Sunless Skies
  103. Profile description, Sunless Skies
  104. Cure your stained soul, Sunless Skies
  105. excess crime (0), (18), (20), (45), Sunless Skies
  106. reaction (0), Sunless Skies
  107. excess punishment (0), (10), (50), Sunless Skies
  108. Flint, Fallen London "I believe those essences remain in its Prison of Flint..." [...] Give him the Essences: "Do you have them?" [...] Unstain your soul: You wish you had not done what you have done."
  109. A hissing finale!, Fallen London
  110. Declare all controlled goods, Sunless Sea
  111. Item description, Sunless Sea
  112. 112.0 112.1 112.2 112.3 What is a spirifer? (2), Fallen London
  113. What is a spirifer? (1), Fallen London
  114. Watch from the rooftops, Fallen London "...a spirifer [...] leans over a bedside [...] device like a brass tuning fork..."
  115. The Soul Trade (Story), Fallen London "You roam around [...] extracting souls. The spirifer's fork works [...] winding the souls [...] from the mouth or eyes. A few [...] victims [...] killed by the shock..."
  116. Spirifer's Fork, Fallen London
  117. The Soul Trade (Story), Fallen London "The Brass Embassy pays well for souls. [...] A serious spirifer needs an infernal fence for the goods. [...] There are devils around the Brass Embassy [...] those that indulge in unlicensed soul commerce are circumspect."
  118. The Soul Trade (Story), Fallen London "Was this a test?. [...] A devil finds you at home. He congratulates you [...] offer you a commission. [...] You will be there [...] how is this [...] soul extraction device operated?"
  119. The Soul Trade (Story), Fallen London "[...] sack of bottled souls in tow [...] pass on some to the fence as payment for the spirifer's fork. [...] you are an established spirifer now: you will get a better deal on souls than the Bazaar offers..."
  120. An Audience with the Flea-Ridden Mayor, Sunless Sea
  121. Help your navigator sell his soul, Sunless Sea
  122. Shore leave (A walk in the woods), Sunless Sea
  123. Recover your soul, Sunless Sea
  124. 124.0 124.1 Her Master's Voice, Sunless Sea
  125. A Stern Reminder from the Admiralty, Sunless Sea
  126. A Spirifer Engine, Stopped, Sunless Skies
  127. 127.0 127.1 Scrap the engine, Sunless Skies
  128. 128.0 128.1 Retrieve an Otherworldy Artefact, Sunless Skies
  129. Vaults of Souls, Sunless Skies
  130. Something unexpected, Fallen London
  131. The Soul Trade (Story), Fallen London "He speaks at length on the evils of the soul trade..."
  132. The Soul Trade (Story), Fallen London "If you are to return souls to their rightful owners you will require allies. [...] They are looking for a group called the Committee for Vital Restitution. [...] a meeting of the 'C.V.R.' will take place [...] the savers of souls you are looking for?."
  133. The Soul Trade (Story), Fallen London "The Church will not publicly intervene: [...] The Masters of the Bazaar look harshly on interference with the soul trade. Those who would restore souls are persecuted by the Constables."
  134. The Soul Trade (Story), Fallen London "You have heard rumours of odd sects [...] around Watchmaker's Hill [...] a meeting of the 'C.V.R.' will take place in [...] Tyrant's Gardens [...] You observe the small meeting: masked, hooded and otherwise obscured figures [...]"
  135. The Soul Trade (Story), Fallen London "recovering souls is essential, returning them to their correct owners is actually the most difficult part of the C.V.R.'s work [...] Have you any souls for restoration or infernal contracts to help the process along?"
  136. The Soul Trade (Story), Fallen London "He speaks [...] with such detailed knowledge that you suspect him of once having been a spirifer himself."
  137. The Soul Trade (Story), Fallen London " members of the Committee must prove themselves both trustworthy and capable."
  138. The Soul Trade (Story), Fallen London "He hands you a beautiful little pocket watch. [...] the secret sign of members of the Committee of Vital Restitution...
  139. The Soul Trade (Story), Fallen London "[The Soulless Messenger] was tricked out of his soul in a foolish bet in his youth. [...] The Soulless Messenger from the Committee for Vital Restitution is making his rounds."
  140. The Soul Trade (Story), Fallen London "Both souls and contracts together! [...] The more influential members of the Committee will no doubt sing your praises in certain circles."
  141. Caught Up in a Soldier's Heartbreaking Tale, Fallen London "Your duty as a Shepherd of Souls is clear! [...] You do something complicated with your watch and a spare soul jar..."
  142. 142.0 142.1 A hesitant request, Sunless Sea
  143. Yes, you have zouls. Souls., Sunless Sea
  144. Show her the soul you took from the Discerning Deviless, Fallen London
  145. Sell a Crate of Human Souls to the Brass Embassy, Sunless Sea
  146. The front desk, Fallen London "Holding a soul V.S.A.H. or better in grade."
  147. The Soul Trade (Story), Fallen London "Let the devil know about your [...] addition [...] If you've gone and infused yourself with—" [...] "Essences, it's hardly worth my while to come here."
  148. Probe into the nature of Devil souls, Sunless Skies
  149. Turn in the Spirifer, Sunless Skies
  150. Offer to take the Spirifer on board your engine, Sunless Skies
  151. A Day Outside of Days, Fallen London
  152. Open the gate, Fallen London
  153. Infernal Vinification Apparatus, Fallen London
  154. Acquire a 'Pluto' Miniature Law-Furnace, Sunless Sea
  155. The Icarian Cup, Fallen London "Industrial run-off from the Law-Furnaces has resulted in a rolling bank of repealed, misbegotten and self-violating laws..."
  156. Trial and Error, Fallen London "Besides the paper, nothing else is fed into the machine, [...] You find a soul wedged between two gears. It looks damaged. [...] The law furnace was a poor imitation of the great factories that sit on the edges of Hell."
  157. Breed the Rubbery Hound 5, Fallen London "They snag a soul in each of these things. Somewhere in the gears. Helps quicken it, or something."
  158. The Icarian Cup, Fallen London "Industrial run-off from the Law-Furnaces [...] rolling out from the Iron Republic..."
  159. Breed the Rubbery Hound 5, Fallen London "[...] a cloud of clicking brass beetles. "Malebolgic scarabs!" [...] "They snag a soul in each of these things. Somewhere in the gears. Helps quicken it, or something. [...]"
  160. Description, Sunless Skies
  161. Burn unremarkable souls, Sunless Skies
  162. Burn fine souls, Sunless Skies
  163. Have the devils forge a ring for the princess, Sunless Skies
  164. Yearning, burning, Sunless Sea
  165. 165.0 165.1 Craft an Immaculate Soul, Sunless Skies
  166. Story description, Sunless Skies
  167. What is Yoked status?, Sunless Skies
  168. All that remains, Sunless Skies
  169. Discover what happens to spirits beyond Death's Door, Sunless Skies
  170. Listen to a story of things past, Sunless Skies
  171. Judgements' Egg, Fallen London
  172. Find the tomb of the Mantle-bearer, Sunless Skies
  173. Pledge your eternal service to the Sapphir'd King, Sunless Skies
  174. Ask the Repentant Devil about his former friend at Carillon, Sunless Skies
  175. 175.0 175.1 Debrief him on Carillon, Sunless Skies
  176. Assemble the Devil's Evidence, Sunless Skies
  177. Ring the bell, Sunless Sea
  178. Visit the Repentant Devil, Sunless Skies
  179. Wilhelm Leibniz: Monads, Wikipedia
  180. What can you learn of matters spiritual and supernatural?, Fallen London