The Fifth City: Fallen London's Lore Wikia
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"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.


"Why do they call it the Elder Continent?"

"That vast continent to the South with a glowing mountain at its heart - where the Presbyter has ruled for a thousand years - is older by far than any of London's civilisations. Which is embarrassing."[1]

The Elder Continent is a vast, warm, and humid landmass, bathed in the soft glow of the Mountain of Light, that forms the southern edge of the Unterzee. More ancient than any of the Fallen Cities, the Continent is home to wildlife, demographics, and kingdoms the likes of which London has only just begun to dream of.

The coast of the Elder Continent is home to Port Carnelian, London's sole imperial possession, and the mirrored city of Varchas. The hidden city of Arbor also has strong ties to this place.

Adam's Way[]

"To the south: the Elder Continent, and the seventy-two cornucopian kingdoms of the Presbyterate. Are the stories true - rivers of honey; castles of ivory?

Who can say? Foreigners (that's you) are forbidden from the interior. The closest most get is Adam's Way: a shouting, feasting, thieving riot of a port."[2]

Adam’s Way, the estuary of the blood-tinged Nameless River, is the gateway to the Elder Continent, flanked by two massive statues of stone bees. Only living ships may pass through it with some semblance of safety; the red blood of Stone corrodes and destroys any other ships that try to venture SOUTH.[3]

Apis Meet[]

"All ships that approach Adam's Way are intercepted by the Gracious - the Presbyterate's splendidly head-dressed coastguards. A quaint but inviolable tradition governs entry: you must tell them one of three stories. In return you will be permitted to spend a single day in the port."[4]

A Tree of a Single Day.

The port of Adam's Way, Apis Meet, is always well-populated and busy. In order to enter, a visitor must tell a story of intrigue to the Gracious, the Continent's coastal guard. According to the Gracious, prolonged exposure to the soil of the Elder Continent may cause "hysteria, rapture, [and] animescence", so foreigners may only stay in Apis Meet for one day per visit, and cannot venture further South without permission. The duration of their stay is measured using the aptly-named Tree of a Single Day, which grows, buds, and withers over the course of twenty-four hours. Visitors must leave before the tree bends over and breaks.[4]

Apis Meet is home to numerous attractions enjoyed by visitors and locals of all stripes (some rather literal). It is a thriving business hub; Londoners with a fascination for the grotesque can observe the strange exhibits of the Sober Showman, who showcases Snuffers, Starved Men, and more.[5] It is also home to the Temple of the Mountain's Mother, which is dedicated to the Echo Bazaar and accepts deliveries of the mysterious sphinxstones.[6] Soldiers of the Elder Continent known as the Replete occasionally host Funeral Feasts in Apis Meet; unfortunately, the central dishes of these feasts are the Replete's recently deceased.[7]

The Presbyterate[]

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"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 Presbyterate is not the Continent, but it dominates it. The Presbyterate's genius is its extraordinary heterogeneity. Seventy-seven kingdoms – men, Beasts, stones, flowers – a hundred schools of war and a thousand schools of thought – but all united under the Presbyter's word. And behind the Presbyter, the College of Mortality."[8]

The Presbyterate is a major power in the Elder Continent, ruling over its territory of the same name. Seventy-seven kingdoms answer to its banners, and it has a strong connection to the Mountain of Light.[8] Notoriously secretive and oftentimes snobbish, there is far, far more to the Presbyterate than meets the eye.

One of the Presbyterate's kingdoms, Grandinia, has been consumed entirely by a kind of fungus known as the Homesick Deceiver. Yet it lives on...[9]

Culture[]

The Presbyterate Diplomat

The Presbyterate is known for its less-than-mortal populace; they're far beyond the normal Neathy immortality seen in, say, London. People from this place can be killed several times over,[10] live to a hundred,[11] or be sliced into mincemeat,[10] and still recover with barely a headache. That being said, even they have a limit before they succumb to death like everyone else.[12] The Presbyterate's language, referred to as "the language of Adam,"[13] is described as one that "jangles like bells of bronze."[8] In addition to this biblical tongue, certain Presbyterate Passphrases are composed of bits of English, Latin, and the Correspondence.[14] In spite of, or perhaps because of, the prevalence of immortality in the Presbyterate, belief in the afterlife is rare.[15]

The Order Vespertine, a powerful group of Knife-and-Candle players, based their traditions and fighting techniques on the Presbyterate's traditions and rites.[16]

The Mithridate Office is a branch of the Presbyterate, based in Apis Meet's Surcease Street, that fabricates false stories of the Elder Continent to confound and mystify foreigners; hilariously, they often employ foreigners themselves for this very purpose. Their workers, Mithridites, pay foreigners with Formulums, which probably don't exist anyway.[17]

A former director of the Mithridate Office apparently chose to retire to the faraway Shepherd Isles, and may be responsible for the inhabitants' fondness for telling tall tales.[18]

Leadership[]

""...each Presbyter is different, but each takes the identity of the last. Presbyters never truly die, even after a thousand years. At their 'deaths' they give up their names to join the College, who live nameless. The rebels who serve the Thief-of-Faces - they live faceless. I'm no friend to the College, you know that, but they have served our realm well - they are just...""[19]

The Mountain of Light

The Presbyter, or Prester, is the leader of the Presbyterate, elected and dismissed through a ceremony that would be very fatal on the Surface.[20] After a Presbyter's term expires, they are sent to live nameless within the College of Mortality, the Presbyterate's backbone and authority on life and death, and their successor inherits their identity.[19]

The College of Mortality is particularly infamous for a certain decree: None shall live a thousand years. Not even the Presters themselves are exempt from this rule, but, as stated above, they do not truly die when their time is up. The Presbyterate Adventuress's father lived for twelve extra years, so the Presbyterate punished his transgression by forcing his children to live up to only a hundred. Anyone who lives longer than they should is ruthlessly hounded and arrested by the Presbyterate's powerful assassins,[19] and in the words of the Bishop of St. Fiacre's: "Death is the fist of the Presbyterate. One may not oppose death".[8]

Nidah[]

Nidah is the capital of the Presbyterate, located in the deepest regions within the Elder Continent. According to rumors, this city is the source of the Presbyterate's immortality.[21] Nidah is surrounded by massive basalt walls, and only its Persimmon Gate can serve as a point of entry. While the city is described as a paradise, gorgeously paved with gemstone roads, it is also located dangerously close to the Mountain of Light, and eye protection is required to avoid certain doom.[22]

To reach Nidah by land, one must brave the following challenges, according to Isery of the Isle of Cats:[23]

  • The Desert of Eyes, "where eyes bloom in the sands. Their regard strips all pretence, reducing the traveller to a state of foetal self-loathing."
  • The Listening Desert, "where earthquakes pursue the unwary."
  • The Desert of Delights, "the touch of its sands is indescribably engrossing."

Within Nidah lies the College of Mortality: grim and grey on the outside, and heaven itself on the inside. Within the College lies a door to the Garden, where true immortality can be found.[24]

THE PRESTER SAITH[]

  • No Man Shall Live a Thousand Years[25]
  • She Who Commands The Principle Of Victory May Feast On Its Spoil (The Privilege of Victory)[26]
  • She Who Hath Become A Tyrant May Be Toppled To Dine Upon The Ashes (The Edict of Policraticus)[27]
  • She Who Rules in Deed, Rules in Law (The Doctrine of Eminence)[28]
  • You shall harm no thing that flies, for they carry with them the airs of the Garden. No bee, no bird, no bat. Only to my servants is it given to hunt them, and that only for my table. Yet I am generous: all shall feast.[29]
  • The Thief-of-Faces shall not be suffered to return to the Garden, nor its chattels, nor its children. It has taken from us that which is precious and returned only lies and empty fires. It shall be locked in a prison of flint, and it shall know no light.[30]
  • When I die, yet shall I not die. The hour of my death shall be chosen, yet no man shall choose it. I am eternal, and yet my reign in circumscrib'd by law and Fate. I will feast at my funeral, and my child shall be my cup-bearer.[31]
  • In the Garden is the Design; in the Garden occurred the Ascents; in the Garden were selected the Shames. Therefore none shall enter it without that they be blinded with thorns and bound with the Three Oaths. And should any seek to alter the Design or repeat the Ascent or uncover the Shames, they shall be given to the Wax-Wind.[32]
  • None shall set foot in Nidah save he that was born there. He who violates this law shall be cast into the deepest deep, and always forsaken.[33]

One of the Three Oaths[]

"...that my word shall bind me. My promise shall outlast my flesh, and the very flesh of the world. Even when I am dust it will bind me, with red gold and a wind of wounds. If I break it, let my crown burn. Let my flesh run like wax. Let me hunger, and let nothing sate my hunger except my own skin and the marrow of my bones..."[34]

The Garden[]

"There are a thousand speculations on why Death is strange in the Neath. Perhaps one is true."[35]

"THIS COUNTRY - MOUTH-OF-THE-RIVER - THIS WAS THE PLACE OF HER OVERTHROW"[36]

The taste still lingers. The smell of earth and grass when you sleep. What will it bring?

The Garden, hidden deep within the Mountain of Light, predates the Bazaar's presence in the Neath by a wide margin. Its precise location is unknown, and it may not even be a true garden, but it is heavily sought after by those who know of its power, as they see it as the ultimate source of Neathy immortality. Unfortunately for them, only the birds and the bees (hah) can enter it freely at the moment.[37]

The Mountain of Light, daughter of the Sun and the Echo Bazaar, provides a strange vitality to the Elder Continent. Fruit can grow from rocks, bones can sprout from the soil, and in some cases, inanimate objects have minds of their own.[38] An area's "liveliness" depends on its proximity to Stone, so people who die in faraway places across the Unterzee often die permanently, while those who live on the mainland (such as Londoners) can often recover from death with nothing but a bad headache, and people of the Elder Continent itself can live a century and still look good.[11]

The Garden is actually one of Stone's many, many wombs, where she fosters life that would not be allowed on the Surface. The waxen beings now known as Snuffers once roamed the Garden freely;[39] unfortunately, they were cast out of it when the Thief-of-Faces stole jewels from Stone's wombs.[40] To this day, the Snuffers still hope to return to the Garden, but their aspirations seem all but impossible.[41]

WHOSO THIRSTETH AND DRINKETH OF THIS, SO SHALL HE NEVER DIE.

One of the most coveted treasures in the Neath is Hesperidean Cider, brewed from the golden, robust Hesperidean Apples of the Garden. When drunk, Hesperidean Cider immediately restores its imbiber to their physical prime,[42] grants them a free escape from the slow boat,[43] and plagues them with mysterious visions of the Garden and the Mountain.[44] Following these visions may grant an imbiber a more permanent form of immortality.[45] The Masters of the Bazaar have stores of this precious drink,[46] and the Capering Relicker managed to brew a batch.[45]

In ages past, birds stole seeds from the Garden. One of these seeds, now a tree, resides deep within the Mirror-Marches of Parabola.[47] Birds, and other flying creatures, carry the airs of the Garden; hence, hunting them is strictly forbidden. Apparently, this is because the Mountain dreams of flight.[19]

Strange Dangers[]

"On rare days, an impossible tempest sweeps out of the Elder Continent: a wild wind carrying the scent of boiling honey and a storm of molten wax. Ships that fall prey to the Wax-Wind float like filthy icebergs in the Unterzee, their crews confined in wax, mouths fixed in endless screams."[1]

It should go without saying that the Elder Continent is not a very safe place. People who harvest the massive mushrooms that grow here often suffer from Lung-Bloom, especially in places like Varchas where fungal blooms are common. A chronic condition, Lung-Bloom begins as a bad cough, but soon progresses into growths of fungus on one's extremities, before sprouting out of other orifices. Yikes.[48]

The Wax-Wind is a flood of molten wax that engulfs ships zailing near the Elder Continent.[1] Contact with the Wind is invariably fatal, as it can melt the very skin off one's bones.[49] The Presbyterate is capable of invoking the Wax-Wind against its enemies, whether as a form of warfare,[50] or as a means of execution.[51] Strangely, this wind may manifest in far-off places like Polythreme; this may have something to do with the unnatural vitality there.[52] According to certain stories, the Wax-Wind is actually the weeping of Stone.[53]

Falling asleep in the deeper regions of the Elder Continent can be dangerous, as one might encounter the Conjunction of Fancies, where the dream-realm of Parabola presses against the skin of the world.[54]

Wildlife[]

"What can you find on the Elder Continent?"

"Travellers tell of strange tribes and incomprehensible religions, carnivorous flora, pygmy elephants and giant mice. But no-one believes travellers' tales, do they?"[1]

A Blue Prophet's royal blue feather.

Tigers are a powerful and influential faction here; it is advised that one does not press their luck with them. Currently, they are vying for control of the Carnelian Coast against London and the Khanate.[55]

Heart-Takers are also native to the Elder Continent.[8]

A species of bird called the Blue Prophet flocks near the Elder Continent; these birds are known for their sky-blue feathers and the superstition that they can prophesize the deaths of certain individuals by crying out their names.[56]

An Epicurean War-Helm.

A group of renowned hunters known as the Epicurean League hails from the faraway kingdom of Skite. These connoisseurs stalk the most dangerous, and delectable, animals of the Elder Continent; using the skin of their first kills, they fashion war-helms which are worn during subsequent feasts. As a result, these helms are often covered in blood, juices, and condiments.[57]

An intriguing fruit that grows in the Elder Continent is the chertapple, known to be nourishing "to the bone." They taste like earth, induce dreams of the South,[58] and can apparently be used for navigation. Chertapple trees are often plagued by creatures known as bloatfingers, snakelike things so enraged by their own ugliness that they unleash their rage upon all who look at them.[59]

Animescence[]

"Animescence is a rare disease of the Elder Continent. A slow combustion of the soul, gradually baking the vital organs. Poets suffer worse than most; lovers worst of all. The blistered monks who run the hospital will accept any assistance."[60]

Taking heartburn a bit too literally.

Animescence is a disease endemic to the Elder Continent that sets souls aflame. Even for people raised on the Continent, this can be permanently fatal. Symptoms generally include a cripplingly high fever,[61] injury to vital organs, severely dry skin, and wayward passions,[60] culminating in spontaneous metaphysical combustion. The disease can be highly contagious if another person is caught in the explosion; in fact, the Presbyterate occasionally uses ailing animescence patients as bioweapons during times of warfare.[62]

Animescence itself can be highly dependent on one's emotional state; being emotionally vulnerable or overly optimistic can make one more susceptible to the disease.[63] Passion, in any form, can speed up the disease's progress, so patients often have to make an effort to remain as apathetic as possible.[64] Of course, for individuals such as poets and the lovestruck, being passionless is easier said than done.[65]

Treating animescence is a daunting task. Traditional medicines such as ointments, posturing, and poems only slow down the disease; they do not cure it. Rosina of the Seven Against Nidah managed to sharpen her spleen in Anthe to repress her anger, but she is still vulnerable to other passions and was once forced to immobilize herself in an ice bath to prevent her own demise.[64]

Beyond the Way[]

"Your road runs beside the nameless river that flows from the Mountain to the zee. The waters are thick with blood – thicker still as you travel South. Scabs float on the water like foam. The coppery scent of it rises about you."[8]

What lies beyond the Way?

Those who venture beyond Adam's Way into the heart of the Continent will encounter wonders and dangers beyond anything they could ever imagine...

Caution[]

"Caution, the City of Beasts, the City of a Hundred Tongues. Its spires rise through the forest canopy; a hundred, one for every tongue – scarlet, dusky green, royal blue. This close, the spires are less like coloured glass, more like glossy crabshell."[8]

"Turn back, turn back. You have not lived enough. Learn Caution."[8]

The Word of Caution

Caution, the City of Beasts, is a city in the Presbyterate, home to a hundred different tongues.[66] As a part of the Presbyterate, Caution is inaccessible to outside visitors, unless one can procure a special invitation or pass.[67] Reaching Caution is quite the challenge, but a mysterious, powerful passphrase known as the Word of Caution can be used to gain entry into the city itself.[68]

Wombwell and Stark's Travelling Menagerie is a traveling troupe of animals and exhibits that frequently visits Caution, showcasing wildlife from throughout the Elder Continent. The two proprietors of the Menagerie are Mr Wombwell[69] and Professor Stark, the latter of whom is... er, deathly poisonous. Best not to shake her hand.[1]

The Knapt, made of banded flint, a popular ornamentation in Caution.

Within Caution lie spires for each of the hundred tongues. They look less like glass and more like crabshell, and each is its own color: scarlet, green, blue, and so on.[70] In order to enter through the Pilgrim Gate of Caution, one must first deal with the Pilgrim-Wakers, bird-like beings who demand to know if a visitor has lived long enough to enter.[71] To get past them, one must either share their deepest regrets,[72] or utilize the aforementioned Word of Caution.

The Beasts of Caution make up the vast majority of its population, and can take on many animalistic forms. However, they all have human eyes. There is a reason for this...[73]

The Beasts of Caution include:

  • Lions, which boast of their skills and deeds in the aptly-named Boasting Ring. The strongest Lion in the Ring wins the weakest Lion's Name.[74]
  • Parakeets, the journalists and gossipers.[75]
  • Apes, the scouts, watchmen, and poets.[76]
  • Wolves, who provide guidance and comfort.[77]
  • Panthers, who are not permitted to enter water.[78]
  • Striped Horses, who build the spires (and tongues) of Caution.[79]
  • Tortoises, who claim to be from none other than London![80]
  • Salamanders, Caution's soldiers.[81]
  • Boars, who write the histories of Caution in blood.[82]
  • Leopards, who drink blood.[83]
  • Serpents, not expanded upon.[84]
  • Mice. No one really knows what they do, but they like scary stories.[85]

In the center of Caution lies the Temple of Meetings, where one can interact with Caution's various factions and citizens. This location is also where Beasts are born from Men, in a process that remains unseen.[86]

Once, when there were Kings in Caution, a King would stand vigil in the Temple of Meetings, with a mirror, a crown, and a dagger of flint.[87]

The Bleeding Forest[]

"The Wakers speak of the Bleeding Forest's temptations and dangers. They name the chert, the flinty principle which stifles the heart; the Huz whose stings bring weeping death; the Accidental Men; the Road-of-Seven. They name other things besides, but their words sink beneath your memory like stones into water. They cackle as they name them. 'You may end in the Forest,' one advises you, 'but now it will not be our fault.'"[8]

The Bleeding Forest

Watch for chertyness.

The Bleeding Forest is an extremely dangerous forest that lies beyond the safety of Caution, filled to the brim with flora made of organs, flesh, and gore.[88] As it is deep within the Elder Continent, the Bleeding Forest is often plagued by strange sights and dangers that blur the line between reality and imagination: Londonesque mirages made of plants and refuse,[89] the Conjunction of Fancies, cliff-faces... with faces.[90] 

The Road-of-Seven leads through this forest, paved with seven-sided tiles, which do not tessellate in real life.[91] Since it's made of impossible stones, the Road-of-Seven often warps and twists when one is not attentive, and may even disappear entirely.[92] Beneath this road, counsel-trees keep their stories, such as tales of the old Kings and Queens of the Elder Continent.[93]

In a cliff to your left, faces writhe into view.

Further along the road is a vale where the trees are made of flesh and stone, blurring the line between animate and inanimate. Like the cliffs, these trees also have faces, sometimes those of the travelers they see.[94] As if it couldn't get stranger, someone's left painted markings on the trees; that someone appears to be a young and fantastically beautiful human, but they might not be what they seem. They might ask a traveller to weep into a chalice, in exchange for their protection.[95][96] Refusing them will cause them to age rapidly... assuming they're even real at all.[97]

Further on lies the Horned Maze, a labyrinthine plant which lures trespassers into its gaping maw.[98] And beware the Tigers of War; these feral cousins of the more civilized tigers live within a large flooding pool in the Bleeding Forest, and often engage in destructive battles with their salamander foes.[99]

Civilization in the Bleeding Forest is rare, as one would expect considering all of the above. The Village-Fruit is an enormous fruit that, well, houses a village,[100] inhabited by the, you guessed it, Fruit-Dwellers.[101] These individuals notably do not speak Presbyterian; rather, they communicate in a mixture of English, Latin, and the Presbyterate languages.[102] Another settlement is the House of the Map, a run-down shack near a stream filled to the brim with paintings of the Elder Continent. The airs of this place provide a comfortable, homely feeling. Best not to stay too long, though, else one will end up like the painter of these maps: a shriveled coal of a man.[103]

The Prison of Flint[]

"Here the colours are grey and green. A narrow portal pierces a high and flint-thorned hedge. A crowd of lumpen figures muffled in grey wool guard the portal with weapons of fanged wood."[8]

"If the Surface sunset was the blood of the Sun; if it pumped out its heart's last dregs into the mild sea; if the waters stank of copper and the sky was a shroud; then this water would be the colour of a sunset. It is red, red, red."[8]

A vineyard?

If wine were falling rain.

Where the Bleeding Forest ends, where the colors are green and grey, where the Mountain's light shines once again: the Prison of Flint was built to hold a pretender-god, the Thief-of-Faces.[104] Said god is long gone, of course; the Prison is currently inhabited by a group of beings called Vignerons (winemakers), who wear masks evocative of grapes and are covered head to toe in wool.[105] Heed their words, communicated through drink. For instance: don't touch the fruit.[106]

Mysterious statues holding cups to their lips pepper the Prison's vineyard. These were once people, who drank grey-colored griswine that turned their bodies into flint; they are sentenced to stay within the Prison until they are freed by a taste of any other wine.

Take the back door, this is a prison, after all.

Within the central knoll, where the Vignerons daren't approach, lies the Lesser Wound, a red spring that flows a much deeper crimson than the Nameless River.[107] Terrifying creatures known as Shames, the children of the Mountain, inhabit these waters; they are powerful beings of stone that protect the Lesser Wound.[108] Within the Lesser Wound are Essences that can change a being rather drastically; the red waters taste of blood and can warp a drinker's face,[109] as the Lesser Wound leaks life.[110]

The only exit to the prison is the Violant Gate, the color of troublesome but necessary connections. Heptagonal tiles, impossibly tessellated, make up the inside of the tunnel, and various mottoes and graffiti cover the walls within.[111]

Vesture[]

"The tapestries are luxurious. Patterned backdrops enrich foregrounds in lustrous carmine, lush verdure and luminous cerulean. Unicorns vie with spiders for dominance of web-haunted forests, while weavers enter spider-shrouded palaces with torches to draw out new silk. A coat of arms of three spiders on a burning field appears on each tapestry."

"The same coat is emblazoned on the woman's mail. Seeing your interest, the Injurious Princess introduces herself. She is the exiled heir to the throne of Vesture, the kingdom represented in the tapestries. She's in London to raise the capital and information required for a successful invasion of her homeland."[112]

The Injurious Princess

Vesture is a kingdom in the Elder Continent that provides silkweavers for the Presbyterate, as the name might imply. Its capital is called Vestment, and its coat-of-arms is three spiders on a burning field.[113]

Recently, Vesture fell victim to a coup, and the rightful heir to its throne, the Injurious Princess, was deposed and exiled.[114] A skilled player of chess and a force to be reckoned with,[115] she now seeks to regain her lost seat, either by force or by sheer cunning.[116]

Before the coup, the queen of Vesture, the Injurious Princess's mother, loved indulging in royal luxuries, leading to a populist uprising known as the Bakery Riots.[117] Meanwhile, the Princess's cousin, her former regent, was able to exploit a disagreement amongst the weavers to plunge the city into civil war and claim the throne for herself.[118]

Weaving is a prominent facet of Vesture's society; each palace in Vesture specializes in a very specific form of weaving, and duplicates are not allowed. If a palace's weavings are not up to code, that palace is torn down unless it can improve in time.[119] As might be expected of a kingdom centered upon silkweaving, enormous spiders play a huge role in Vesture's textile industry. These spiders are brought to Vesture as larvae by the royal family, and each palace in Vesture has its own arachnid matriarch, with the exception of the royal palace.[120][121] That's not to say the spiders appreciate having their larvae stolen; venturing into the forests can be quite dangerous, as the spiders are distrustful of humans for obvious reasons.[122]

The House of the Loom is the oldest building in Vesture; it serves both as a burial ground and the place where new weavers create their first looms.[123] Every year, the palaces gather together to offer their silks for the Presbyterate and royal house to judge and take as tribute. Notably, tapestries depicting flattery or human forms are forbidden.[124]

Investiture was an ancient city that was devoured by spiders. Its relationship with the modern-day Vesture is currently unknown.[125]

Huz[]

"You cross the clearing slowly, resisting the urge to swat away bees. "Excuse me," you say. "Pardon me." "May I—"

The bees swirl curiously around you. They crawl through your hair. They infiltrate your outer garments. "Huz," they say. "Huz." But they do not harm you."[8]

You recognise a diplomatic overture when you see it.

Huz is an infamously noisy queendom located deep in the Elder Continent.[126] Its soldiers - sapient bees - can be found in the Bleeding Forest. Upon drinking a traveler's tears, they gain the ability to speak, and offer their services against the Bleeding Forest's many dangers.[127] In order to do so, however, they must first build their hives on the traveller's body. Being covered in beeswax and honeycombs after a Huz infestation is not uncommon.[128] Angering these bees can be dangerous, however, as their stings can cause intense melancholy and even death.[129]

Huz bees can also be found in Arbor, where they assist in extracting that city's currency, attar, from people's eyes.[130] Human soldiers of Huz known as the Huzzite Guard also can be found in Arbor.[131]

Skite[]

"No. I am Skite. We do not heal. We are not reborn. I won myself these years. Now it's over."[8]

A statue-prisoner from Skite.

Skite is a mysterious kingdom located deep in the Elder Continent. Not much is known of this place. People from Skite are often covered in deep scars, as they lack the ability to heal or rejuvenate themselves.[132]

In ages past, the Queen of Skite fell in love with the King of Statues. So she took a hammer and struck him seven times. From the first strike, she made an axe. The second, a sword. From the third, a knife-of-power known as the Knapt. The fourth strike, a stylus. The fifth strike produced an unforgeable seal. The sixth strike only produced a needle. And from the seventh, nothing.

"I love you," she said to the wind.[8]

References[]

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 Sidebar Snippets, Fallen London
  2. Adam's Way, Sunless Sea
  3. Way Upstream, Sunless Sea
  4. 4.0 4.1 Near Adam's Way, Sunless Sea
  5. The Sober Showman's Exhibition, Sunless Sea
  6. Deliver Sphinxstone for Penstock, Sunless Sea
  7. Attend a Funeral Feast, Sunless Sea
  8. 8.00 8.01 8.02 8.03 8.04 8.05 8.06 8.07 8.08 8.09 8.10 8.11 8.12 8.13 Flint, Fallen London
  9. The Thing That Came in the Fog, Fallen London
  10. 10.0 10.1 A duel to the death with Feducci 2, Fallen London
  11. 11.0 11.1 Ask the Adventuress why you've been ambushed by assassins from her homeland, Sunless Sea
  12. Democratise death, Sunless Sea
  13. Bitter Saker Falcon, Fallen London "It's written in the red ink of the Elder Continent. And in the language of Adam, their native tongue..."
  14. Presbyterate Passphrase, Fallen London
  15. Flint, Fallen London "I now believe in something beyond life – but that is a rare strange belief in the Bright Continent."
  16. Flint, Fallen London "...they draw their traditions from the traditions of the Presbyterate. [...] Knife-and-Candle is more than a game [...] it is a rite. Their rites are [...] a twisted shadow of the Presbyter's laws.""
  17. Flint, Fallen London "The Mithridate Office fabricates [...] stories about the Continent [...] to confuse foreigners. [...] they often employ foreigners. The Office maintains a proud building at the head of Surcease Street. [...] Mithridites [...] pay you with a Formulum..."
  18. Listen to a storyteller, Sunless Sea
  19. 19.0 19.1 19.2 19.3 The Last Night: Record her memoirs about her homeland, Sunless Sea
  20. Your Salon: invite a Presbyterate Diplomat as a guest of honour, Fallen London "The College of Mortality, which elects and dismisses the Presbyter in a manner which on the Surface would be very final."
  21. Immortality, Sunless Sea
  22. Offer a preposterous price, Sunless Sea
  23. Secure the route to Nidah: plot a course across three deserts, Sunless Sea
  24. Democratise death, Sunless Sea
  25. Defeat the Presbyter's armies: foster a popular uprising, Sunless Sea
  26. The Season of Sceptres, Fallen London
  27. The Season of Sceptres, Fallen London
  28. Defeat the Presbyter's armies: foster a popular uprising, Sunless Sea
  29. Order Vespertine, Perilous, Fallen London
  30. Order Vespertine, Merciless, Fallen London
  31. Order Vespertine, Monstrous, Fallen London
  32. Order Vespertine, Irresistible, Fallen London
  33. Welcome Batuk back to the Seven Against Nidah, Sunless Sea
  34. 'Swear by one of the Three Oaths!', Fallen London
  35. The Seekers of the Garden, Fallen London
  36. A jewelled future 1, Fallen London
  37. A word with His Amused Lordship, Fallen London
  38. The Mountain's Blood, Sunless Sea
  39. Flint, Fallen London "In her deep wombs, she fosters life that would not be permitted above. The Garden was one of those wombs. And we long to return to it, we Cousins. How we long for it."
  40. Flint, Fallen London ""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.""
  41. Flint, Fallen London ""And we long to return to it, we Cousins. How we long for it. I still hope to go there some day.""
  42. Take a mouthful, Fallen London
  43. Are you lost?, Fallen London
  44. Drink, and luxuriate in your bed, Fallen London
  45. 45.0 45.1 Hand over a multitude of scrap for... something secret, Fallen London
  46. Ask about the Hesperidean cider, Sunless Skies
  47. Rarest fruit, Sunless Sea
  48. The Fungal Infections Ward, Sunless Sea
  49. Accept the Wax-Wind, Fallen London
  50. What became of their endeavour?, Sunless Sea
  51. Order Vespertine, Irresistible, Fallen London
  52. The Wax Wind Comes, Fallen London
  53. Flint, Fallen London "Two things which are not Mysteries [...] the Wax-Wind is her weeping."
  54. Flint, Fallen London "This is the Conjunction of Fancies, when the dream-realm of Parabola presses against the membrane of the world."
  55. Visit Heartscross House, Sunless Sea
  56. Blue Prophets, Sunless Sea
  57. An Epicurean War-Helm (action), Fallen London "Renowned in the fabled kingdom of Skite [...] these connoisseurs [...] stalk only the most delectable (and deadly) animals [..]. The skin of the first kill is used to fashion these helms, which are then worn during the first meal of their flesh. They are coated in the blood, juices and culinary sauces that pair best with the meat."
  58. Flint, Fallen London ""Crunchy, but nourishing" [...] And now you'll dream of the south [...] They taste like stony earth..."
  59. Flint, Fallen London "Bloatfingers, so enraged by their own ugliness that they kill those who observe them. But these apples can show you the way..."
  60. 60.0 60.1 Assist at an Animescence Hospital, Sunless Sea
  61. Recruit her to the Seven, Sunless Sea
  62. Speak to her about her history, Sunless Sea
  63. Assist in the cloisters, Sunless Sea
  64. 64.0 64.1 Meet Rosina, Sunless Sea
  65. Root out a reckless poet, Sunless Sea
  66. Flint, Fallen London "...'hundred-tongued city of Caution'..."
  67. Flint, Fallen London "Caution? It's [...] Forbidden territory, my dear [...] manage to wangle a pass."
  68. Flint, Fallen London "It won't be easy to reach Caution. [...] And once you reach Caution, I have a potent pass-phrase you can use [...] Word of Caution..."
  69. Flint, Fallen London "Mr Wombwell himself is here [...] some are travelling home to Caution;"
  70. Flint, Fallen London "Its spires [...] a hundred, one for every tongue – scarlet, dusky green, royal blue. This close, the spires are less like coloured glass, more like glossy crabshell."
  71. Flint, Fallen London "This [...] is the Pilgrim Gate. [...] The Pilgrim-Wakers rear to greet you. "Have you lived enough?" they cry."
  72. Flint, Fallen London "Share your regrets, and enter."
  73. Flint, Fallen London "There are the Beasts – everywhere the Beasts, watching you with human eyes."
  74. Flint, Fallen London "The Lions have entered their Boasting Ring. The strongest will take the weakest's name."
  75. Flint, Fallen London "The Parakeets serve Caution as journalists, gossips, urchins and salonnières serve London."
  76. Flint, Fallen London "The Apes are the scouts, the watchmen, and the poets of Caution."
  77. Flint, Fallen London "The Wolves of Caution give guidance and comfort."
  78. Flint, Fallen London "Panthers are not permitted by the laws of Caution to swim."
  79. Flint, Fallen London "For when we build the next Tongue, and its spire."
  80. Flint, Fallen London "The Tortoises, in their pit, all claim they were men and women of London before they came here."
  81. Flint, Fallen London "The Salamanders are Caution's soldiers."
  82. Flint, Fallen London "The Boars write the histories of Caution on the roots of Caution’s glossy spires. They always use blood, to ensure the spires are healthily nourished."
  83. Flint, Fallen London ""We won't drink it," the Matriarch chuckles. "We're Boars, not Leopards! But we will always need ink.""
  84. Flint, Fallen London "...or the Serpents from the Wolves."
  85. Flint, Fallen London "It's not clear what the Mice are for [...] And they love scary stories."
  86. Flint, Fallen London "Attend a Ceremony at the Temple of Meetings: [...] A dark space waits at its roots. Here Men come, and Beasts are born. There is a pause; and a scream. [...] The newborn Foal emerges tottering from the tree-cave."
  87. Flint, Fallen London "Now in those days, when there were Kings in Caution, a new King would sit vigil in the Temple of Meetings, with his appointed regalia: a mirror, a crown, and a dagger of flint."
  88. Flint, Fallen London "Eyes swivel to watch you. Hand-fronds reach languorously to caress you."
  89. Flint, Fallen London "Dresser with cloisonné knick-knacks; bookshelves; dining table and chairs; armchair and sofa; a neatly made-up double bed. Not unexpected for a London townhouse, but unusual for a forest clearing. Leaves, flowers, droppings, blood festoon everything."
  90. Flint, Fallen London "In a cliff to your left, faces writhe into view."
  91. Flint, Fallen London "The seven-sided flagstones of the road, impossibly, fit together with nary a crack or gap, [...]"
  92. Flint, Fallen London "It runs straight, but its direction seems to change each time your attention wavers."
  93. Flint, Fallen London "The Road-of-Seven is the path the counsel-trees built to keep their stories."
  94. Flint, Fallen London "There are fewer hybrids of plant and flesh, and more that seem hybrids of stone, [...] faces writhe into view. One calls your name."
  95. Flint, Fallen London "The tree-trunks here bear complex patterns [...] all the patterns line up neatly, resolving into a clear scene. Men and women of luminous beauty beckon you down a dimly-lit space of columns and divans. [...] In her left hand is the chalice; in her right, a dulcimer. “Weep,” you distinctly hear her whisper."
  96. Flint, Fallen London "Your tears flow easily. [...] But you feel the strength of the sword."
  97. Flint, Fallen London "The youth and the maiden step back. Their faces look suddenly drawn and old. [...] the scene dissolves back into splotches of paint on the trunks of stony trees."
  98. Flint, Fallen London "The Maze is a single plant of vast extent. Its leafy convolutions form an elaborate labyrinth, adorned with sights and scents to draw foolish travellers into a core like the heart of a thorned cabbage."
  99. Flint, Fallen London "The surface of a mirror-dark pool trembles. [...] Salamanders slink hissing from the grass. Tiger-heads break the pool's surface. "War," a voice cries. "War!""
  100. Flint, Fallen London "The Village-Fruit: [...] Villagers in woven gall-fibre watch you warily from the fruit's hollows."
  101. Flint, Fallen London "It tells you what you need to know, [...] to turn aside the spears of the Fruit-Dwellers."
  102. Flint, Fallen London "She speaks to you courteously, though, in a peculiar melange of English, Latin, and the Presbyterate languages."
  103. Flint, Fallen London "You circle the room, considering the paintings, one by one. [...] You could stay here, you realise. [...] You find the painter slumped on a mattress in a corner. [...] He has become coal in the shape of a man... [...] "Time to go," says your Deputy, tugging at your arm. [...] 'light consumes'."
  104. Flint, Fallen London "You stumble out into the Mountain's light – on to a sward of grey-green grass, as short and well-kept as the lawns of the Shuttered Palace."
  105. Flint, Fallen London "A crowd of lumpen figures muffled in grey wool [...] wears a wooden mask painted to resemble a bunch of grapes."
  106. Flint, Fallen London "It seems that to enter, one must drink. [...] The flavours unfold on your tongue. The taste of cherries, like a welcome. [...] A forbidding slatiness [...] not to touch the fruits of the Prison. [...] The dissipating berry aftertaste tells you helpfully that this is a vigneron - a wine-maker."
  107. Flint, Fallen London "The Vignerons will not approach the central knoll. A spring flows from its side into a deep pool – red like the waters of the Nameless River, but a deeper red."
  108. Flint, Fallen London "“Shames!” she shouts. “Mountain’s get!” She leaps forward, slashing the connective gristle between two lumps of wet and shining rock."
  109. Flint, Fallen London "Here must flow the Essences [...] You bend your head and touch your lips to the water. It is warm. It tastes precisely like blood [...] "Your face changed,""
  110. Flint, Fallen London "You see how a far-flung Mountain-limb underlies the Vineyard, and you understand that the Lesser Wound leaks life."
  111. Flint, Fallen London "A troublesome but necessary connection [...] Violant light swallows the before and the behind. The stones beneath your feet are heptagonal tiles, impossibly tesselated. The walls bear mottoes..."
  112. The Season of Sceptres: A Visitor to London, Fallen London
  113. The Season of Sceptres: A Visitor to London, Fallen London "A coat of arms of three spiders on a burning field appears on each tapestry. [...] infiltrate the capital of Vestment..."
  114. The Season of Sceptres: A Visitor to London, Fallen London "She is the heir to the Kingdom of Vesture, the silkweavers of the Prester. Her throne was lost in an uprising and a usurper sits in it now."
  115. The Season of Sceptres: A Visitor to London, Fallen London She produces a handsome chess set made from chert wood. [...] Her stratagems are sudden and without quarter. [...] "Please don't try to rob me. I'd hate to break a third arm before noon."
  116. The Season of Sceptres: A Visitor to London, Fallen London "The Princess is in London hoping to raise enough capital to bring the unpleasantness to a swift conclusion."
  117. Listen to stories of Vesture, Fallen London "My mother was queen before me. [...] Her reign ended in the Bakery Riots in the capital. The city starved while the provincials dined on marzipan and sponge."
  118. Listen to stories of Vesture, Fallen London "My cousin who was once my regent holds the throne now. She exploited a division amongst the weavers. [...] Vesture was soon in civil war. "
  119. Listen to stories of Vesture, Fallen London "Every palace specialises in one type of weaving or another. The royal house will not allow duplicates. Samples are brought to us to adjudicate. The losing palace must find a new methodology or else be torn down..."
  120. Listen to stories of Vesture, Fallen London "When a spider matriarch is ailing, it falls to the royal house to find a replacement. We hunt in the shrouded woods in the east, until we have found a larva of suitable size."
  121. Listen to stories of Vesture, Fallen London "The royal house of Vesture sits on the banks of a river as red as loathing. It is the only palace in Vesture with no matriarch to attend it."
  122. Listen to stories of Vesture, Fallen London "...where the spiders run wild. They do not trust us. [...] I had never stolen of their young so I was granted safe passage"
  123. Listen to stories of Vesture, Fallen London "The oldest place in Vesture is the House of the Loom. There, new weavers go to fashion their first looms. It is where we bury those few of us unlucky enough to die."
  124. Listen to stories of Vesture, Fallen London "Once a year, each of the great palaces brings its finest silks [...] the royal house, the College and the Prester stand in judgement. Flattery is forbidden, as are representation of human figures. A tithe of only the very best is claimed..."
  125. Convince the Manager of the Royal Bethlehem to train you, Fallen London "Of Arbor stolen by roses, and Investiture devoured by spiders."
  126. Listen to stories of Vesture, Fallen London "My father was from Huz. [...] It was awfully noisy."
  127. Flint, Fallen London "As soon as they have tasted your tears, they begin to speak. [...] We can even be of service to you. Do not crush us. You will regret it.""
  128. Flint, Fallen London "They do attempt, very desultorily, to build their hive in your hair. [...] Whenever you wake after resting, you find your eyes sealed with wax; you have to pick hive-fragments from your scalp."
  129. Flint, Fallen London "...the Huz whose stings bring weeping death..."
  130. Flint, Fallen London "Large, Huz bees emerge. The Priest-in-Scarlet sets them to work, nuzzling into your tear ducts. As they guzzle away, they dislodge the Attar in your eyes,"
  131. Flint, Fallen London "Guests to the city are invited to get to know the Huzzite Guard. It is generally considered advisable to remain on their good side."
  132. Flint, Fallen London "We do not heal. We are not reborn. [...] their bleeding scars mark them as children of Skite..."
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