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

"A book for children. One page is devoted to each of the colours of the Neath, which are not found on the Surface."[1]

The Neathbow, arranged based on additive color mixing. Art by Midnight Voyager.

The Neathbow is the collective term for seven colors which cannot be seen on the Surface. They are most commonly observed in the Neath (hence the name), but they also turn up in places like Parabola[2] and the High Wilderness.[3] The seven colors of the Neathbow are irrigo, violant, cosmogone, peligin, apocyan, viric, and gant.


"I is for IRRIGO. No one remembers why. Irrigo colours the forgotten corners of home."[4]


The most prominent color of the Neathbow, irrigo is the unremembered color, the light of absence.[5] Exposure to it causes severe memory loss, overexposure to it can result in total ego death, and it can cause thick, bony plates to grow over one's eyes, creating disgusting eyeless skulls.[6] The Cave of the Nadir is filled with dangerous irrigo radiation,[7] so explorers use tea brewed from Ray-Drenched Cinders to protect themselves.[8]

Irrigo can be infused into objects,[9] and Midnighters use shrines and robes that are draped in this color to perform their rites.[10] The Irrepressible notably uses powerful irrigo weaponry.[11] Irrigo seems to internally retain the memories it steals, so Fluke-Cores often have years worth of histories and experiences stored within them.[12]

Irrigo's name comes from the Latin irrigo, meaning to flood or overwhelm, or, even more suitably, to diffuse or shed.


"V marks VIOLANT when blood is shed in a spired place. Violant ink is employed for the most desperate treaties..."[13]


Violant is irrigo's counterpart, the color of troublesome but necessary connections; it indelibly lingers in one's memory and is often unnerving to stare at for too long. It's very hard to forget anything written in violant ink.[14] Correspondents use this ink extensively in their esoteric publications, which often shake up the status quo quite well.[15]

The name "violant" could stem from "violent," or "violet," or both.

Violant is usually a shade of burgundy,[16] but sometimes it is approximated as a shade of purple,[17] or even as a light blue.[18]


"C lights COSMOGONE, the colour of remembered suns. The fecund, the foetid, the fungal: these flourish in the glow of cosmogone."[19]


A shade heavily associated with Parabola, cosmogone is the color of remembered sunlight. Under its light, fungus and other flora flourishes. It's the most prominent color in Ray-Drenched Cinders,[20] which also contain the radiances of other Neathbow colors like irrigo and violant,[21] and it's the tint of a Silverer's spectacles. Cosmogone is irresistible to the denizens of the mirrors.[22] It is also the color of the Parabolan sun, the Skin of the Sun.

The name "cosmogone" probably comes from the word "cosmogony", the study of the origin of the solar system, or of the universe, and "gone".


"P drowns in PELIGIN, the colour of the deepest zee."[23]


Peligin is the hue of the waters of the Unterzee and those of the land of the dead.[24] It's the color of the eyes of Monster-Hunters,[25] as they have consumed the peligin flesh of zee-monsters.[26] Peligin is a dark, dark, black, beyond the reach of any light.[27]

The term "peligin" is seemingly a portmanteau of the Latin pelagus, meaning "sea," and the color fuligin, which is darker than black and derived from Gene Wolfe's science fiction novel The Shadow of the Torturer, itself derived from the English word "fuliginous" meaning soot-like.


"A wakes APOCYAN, the blue of memory and brightest coral."[28]


Apocyan is the color of coral, of memory,[29] and of the Zee's waves.[30] Chess pieces of this color can be harvested from Port Cecil.[31] Crooked-Crosses often lacquer their crosses in this color.[32] Blue Scintillack is extremely valuable and blazes with apocyanic radiance.[33] And an apocyanic piece of amber may be what brings down the Bazaar...[34]

Apocyan can also be used to create "daguerrotypes" of dreams and certain memories, often by blinking in these dreams to produce flashes of apocyanic light.[35]

The name "apocyan" presumably derives from the color cyan, which has a similar hue, and the Greek prefix apo-, meaning something between "off, away" and "descended from"[36], like in words "apostate" (gone-away from-a-cause) or "apocalypse" (un-covering).


"Behind your mirror, V names VIRIC, the colour of shallow sleep."[37]


Viric is the green of shallow sleep. It's heavily associated with the Fingerkings[38] — Fingerking-possessed Clay Men's[39] (and the Somnolent Hyena's)[40] eyes burn with viric fire, and a box of dream-snakes will also glow viric.[41] The priests of Varchas use viric Mirror-Charms to ward off Fingerkings from their dreams.[42]

When viric light comes into contact with vegetation, it causes it to flourish and grow at an exponential rate.[43]

The word "viric" probably comes from the Latin viridis, meaning "green, blooming, vigorous," a word that also spawned the name of the similar color viridian.


"G is lost in GANT, which remains when all other colours are eaten. Gant can be found where shadows are myriad."[44]


The color one sees in the dark, gant is more beige than one might expect.[45] It is the color of the Eater of Names' boat,[46] and zee-beasts go to a place called the Gant Pole to die.[47] Perhaps most notoriously, it is also the color of the Avid Horizon's gate.[48] Gant ink is used to remove false tattoos;[49] it also can be used as an invisible ink, meant for writing Licentiates' aliases.[50] While still visible, gant ink might remind one of tarnished silver.[51]


"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.

A Selection of Garish Fireworks

Fireworks featuring the Neathbow are occasionally lit during the Feast of the Exceptional Rose to celebrate the occasion.[52]

  • Irrigo fireworks can help dull memories of hard times.
  • Violant fireworks are hard to forget.
  • Viric fireworks induce lassitude.
  • Gant fireworks show depth of feeling - grandiose but a bit arrogant.


  1. THE NEATHBOW, Sunless Sea
  2. Parabola tattoo, Fallen London
  3. The Stair to the Sea, Sunless Skies
  4. A Page from 'The Neathbow': Irrigo, Sunless Sea
  5. Irrigo, Fallen London
  6. Struggle for the exit, Fallen London
  7. The Catafalquerie, Fallen London
  8. Enter the Cave of the Nadir, Fallen London
  9. Pair of Irrigo Goggles, Fallen London
  10. Shrine to Saint Joshua, Fallen London
  11. Attempt to detach the Irrigo-cannon, Sunless Sea
  12. Fluke-Core, Fallen London
  13. A Page from 'The Neathbow': Violant, Sunless Sea
  14. A Pot of Violant Ink, Sunless Sea
  15. Become a Correspondent, Fallen London
  16. "The closest approximation of violant is a sort of stark burgundy. For the most in-universe explanation - it is difficult to represent colours that do not exist on the Surface, on the Surface. So, follow the descriptions rather than the colours you see. "Violant: the colour of necessary, but troublesome connections. According to other traditions, the colour of blood shed in a spired place." And... if the descriptions don't seem to match – well, there's always the fall back that in real life, people can see colours differently too. It's definitely the same in the Neath. :) " - Olivia Wood, Failbetter Games
  17. Shades of Yesterday, Fallen London "You look at the colours. [...] violant, the invasive purple of necessary but unwanted connections..."
  18. Look into the skull's eye socket, Sunless Sea
  19. A Page from 'The Neathbow': Cosmogone, Sunless Sea
  20. Ray-Drenched Cinder, Sunless Sea
  21. Ray-Drenched Cinder, Fallen London
  22. Set of Cosmogone Spectacles, Fallen London
  23. A Page from 'The Neathbow': Peligin, Sunless Sea
  24. A Chess-Piece tattoo, Fallen London
  25. Give it your Hunter's Eye, Sunless Sea
  26. Hunter's Eye, Sunless Sea
  27. Commission a set of fine clothes, Sunless Sea
  28. A Page from 'The Neathbow': Apocyan, Sunless Sea
  29. A Page from 'The Neathbow': Apocyan, Sunless Sea
  30. Sunless tattoo, Fallen London
  31. Apocyan Chess-Piece, Sunless Sea
  32. A Crooked Cross, Fallen London
  33. A Lump of Blue Scintillack, Sunless Sea
  34. "I bring the Bazaar.", Fallen London "You paid dearly to get this apocyanic lump into the spire, and more dearly still to get it out, once it had absorbed the imprint you needed. "
  35. Cast a flare into the shadows., Fallen London
  36. Origin and meaning of the prefix apo-, Online Etymology Dictionary
  37. A Page from 'The Neathbow': Viric, Sunless Sea
  38. Give it your enigmatic painting, Sunless Sea
  39. Allow the Mechanic to enjoy his sleep, Sunless Sea
  40. Gawp, Fallen London
  41. A Mirrorcatch Box Full of Very Angry Dream-Snakes, Sunless Sea
  42. Dreams of Smoke, Sunless Sea
  43. Discoveries, Sunless Sea "A burst of viric radiance! Over the next hour, the vegetables in your galley sprout leafy, frondular growths."
  44. A Page from 'The Neathbow': Gant, Sunless Sea
  45. Show it your Weeping Scar, Sunless Sea
  46. Show it a sketch of the Figurehead of the Eater of Names, Sunless Sea
  47. Gant Pole, Sunless Sea
  48. Avid Horizon, Sunless Sea
  49. Offer to sponsor the ganting of the tattoo (5 FATE), Fallen London
  50. A List of Aliases, Writ in Gant, Fallen London
  51. "The vial's contents gleam, suddenly, like old silver. "Gant ink ..."", Fallen London {{{4}}}
  52. Arrange a Explosion of Neath-Colours on the Stroke of Midnight (40 FATE), Fallen London "...violant [...] to ensure they'll think of you. Irrigo, to dull their memory of harder times. [...] viric, for lassitude. Finally [...] gant to show the depth of your feeling."