Everybody knows the real problem isn't getting the cats to give up their secrets, it's catching them in the first place. You share some of your more esoteric knowledge with Lyme. He props one side of a basket up on a stick tied to a piece of string, baits it with a rubbery lump, and waits. He manages to trap a ginger tabby on his first try. His huge hands are so gentle with her that she starts following him around and telling you both all sorts of things.
There's a quality called Adrift on a Sea of Misery. "Step outside the lamp-light and London is an abyss of disease, poverty, despair..." Do something Magnanimous and sometimes it increases, with a message like "Nothing seems to have changed. But perhaps one day it will."
The ending of the Persuasive and Shadowy paths of the Mysterious Benefactor storyline.
The third option of the "reminisce about the Comtessa" card — "The Comtessa. It's what she wanted." Of course, YMMV depending on how you resolved the story the card references. For example, if you believed that she was begging you to end her and smashed her to bits the card remains true, but isn't exactly heartwarming.
The first option of the "one of your minions has been captured by the Constables" card — "Send your lawyer after the chap. Provide sureties and whatnot. You owe these people, even though you wouldn't admit it to them."
You'll save who you can, but there's one who must come first. Together in the dark [...] Without someone you could trust absolutely, you'd never have made it through. You pass through the fungus-choked corridors, the pits where the Inhabiters walk, the broken gates. You ascend through the galleries of fossil and memory. You cling together in the dark. You breach the surface, at last, in an apple orchard just outside Shepton Mallet, through a Neolithic tomb of unlikely age. It's night, but the air is warm, and scented with summer.
Saving "whoever you can":
There are so many in need of help. Start with the closest, and the most helpless. The old, the young, the desperate [...] Weeks pass. The Observatory becomes a refuge. You arrange rationing, supplies, healing. You sleep when you can. Occasionally you make forays into the city to seek survivors, but it's horribly dangerous. You lose almost as many, to spiders and anarchists and human wolves, as you save. But your crowd of innocents and protectors grows day by day. Months pass. The Bazaar is long since extinguished. Candles are still useless, fire still sheds no light. Your people - they are your people, now - experiment with clicking like bats to navigate, with tricks of memory and insight, and with the variant spectrum of night: the colours called irrigo, cosmogone, violant, apocyan. Over time, strange lights bloom in the vaults. You hardly dare take those lights out into the darkened world, but in the refuge beneath the Observatory they permit you to read and write again, to memorialise your world in art, to recall what it is to be human. It is not a good life. But it is a life, and you have given it to them.
On the topic of Hallowmas destinies: In A Pricked Finger, you are given a number of options, all of which will grant you immense power; you can be a god or a conqueror. You can turn down all of this to free an old friend.
"He's frightened. He weeps in his briar-cage. He betrayed the Fingerkings for the sake of compassion, and he knows what awaits me. But I know him. Somehow. We met in a dream, before we lived in one." Mercy "He went weeping into the world. I see him there now. He'll work his passage on an explorer-steamship. (Or he already has.) He'll solve the riddle of the East of Everything. (Or he did, and he fled here.) He'll visit a stranger's house and offer him a hint of things to come, and the stranger will save him in turn. Or he saved him long ago." "Time. I used to think it was a wheel. The Fingerkings say it's a flame. Coolest at its heart. But wildest at its edges." "I'll see him again. It's his turn to be there when I need him most."
The Noman is this and Tear Jerker mixed into one emotionally-charged package. Though your time together is short, you can offer it happiness, raising it as if it is your own child.
A Newborn It is pale, and its eyes are shadowed pits. When first it clambers from the lacre, it is as barely-formed and inviting to the touch as snow new-fallen on the corner of a wall. But second by second, it looks more and more like you. When it looks up and smiles, its face is your own, albeit snow-coloured and fragile. "I'm me," it says in delight. "I'm me!" It reaches out to touch your face.
The "A Deviless' Serenade" card: Apparently the one deviless who isn't a master seducer has fallen in love with a rubbery man. Two ostracized groups finding love with each other, or the former intends to take the soul of the other. Still, the card reads it as rather sweet.
Choosing to send Alice to the Church at the end of the Cheesemonger arc. For the first time since her family was massacred, Alice finally seems to be at peace with herself.
Advising an urchin girl to return to the Gracious Widow who wants to raise her like her own daughter on the Urchins/Widow conflict card:
As you walk her back to the Gracious Widow's territory in Spite you fill her in on the recent antics of the Knotted Sock. She laughs a little and cries a little. Not all the memories are good. You remind her how lucky she is. A day later a gift of jade is delivered to your home. The accompanying letter is written in an exact hand. It smells of age and the dark. "Thank you," it reads. You still see the girl some days, walking back from her school with her books under her arm. She seems well.
Deciding to not betray the Tattooed Courier's trust and returning her secrets to her instead:
You know you're spending longer than you need at this. It's her fault. Must she be so charming? So animated? Must she frown ever-so-slightly when she's thinking, and push that lock of hair so prettily back behind her ear each time it slips loose? In the end it is she that reminds you of your offer to draw her, and suggests doing so at her lodgings...
Wordlessly you hand them over, and with two quick paces she places them in the fire. When she returns to sit opposite you her hands are shaking. The two of you talk, honestly. It goes no further than that. There are no confessions of feeling. You are never less than a room apart. But something else connects you: a moment of vulnerability - the firmest currency of the Game - that you cast away.
If you're a good governor during your term over Port Carnelian, you'll be sent off back to London with a rifle salute, cheers, the assumedly cheerful roaring of tigers, and the assurance by your secretary that if you ever come back you'll be treated the exact same.
When dying, certain opportunity cards allow you to reminisce about different areas of Fallen London. These encourage you to recover quicker so that you can make it back. Even the sketchier or plainer parts of Fallen London receive fond thoughts from you.
It's not much, but it's home.
The Fate-locked option of Dance with a Devil.
You dress for the occasion in scarlet and gold. You present the lady with a deep red rose so perfect that it glows even in the red light of the Embassy ballroom. Do not even think about what it cost. It has the desired effect. The Deviless is charmed, and dances only with you. She guides you to the least dangerous parts of the dance floor. Later in the evening, when the room has grown insufferably hot, she leads you by the hand to a cool, quiet garden, lit by cages of luminescent beetles and dancing fireflies. You dance again, alone, her head resting on your shoulder. Days later, you find her earrings in your pocket. They are still warm.
Many of the cards that get you to align yourself as closest to a faction are of the sort. Particular mention goes to giving a Shell-Shocked Veteran tomb-colonist the chance to finally wear the kind of proper, dapper clothes he wore in his youth, giving the urchins a treasure they had lost long ago and listening to their whole story afterwards, and spitting in the face of superstition to attend a vigil for someone who died permanently, giving the departed the proper last rites they deserve.
Ending the Jack-of-Smiles case by choosing to ensure that Jack never returns. The people of London all hail you as a hero and even erect a statue in your honor.
During Hallowmas 1894, new options to "enhance" select Companions with a combination of notable Fallen Londoners' confessions were added. Some of these enhancements involve traumatizing your Companions or encouraging them to become more ruthless/depraved, but others turn out to be surprisingly heartwarming ones:
If you try to make the Grubby Urchin more moral by telling him about the Kashmiri Princess and Soft-Hearted Widow's confessions, he interprets these confessions in a different way than you intended and says that they prove that people who do good deeds get hurt by others. But he concludes that this means he has to protect you — the one who gave him a home — from being similarly taken advantage of by others and is even willing to clean himself up to be able to stick by your side in common society.
"'ere - you done me a good deed when you took me in!" he interrupts. "I'd better stick close to you. Make sure no one takes advantage, like. Although that'll be difficult seein' as I keep gettin' thrown out of places on account of my smellin' like a cat what died in a chimney. Hm." That evening, he submits - for the first time ever - to a bath.
If you share Jenny and the Soft-Hearted Widow's confessions with the Devious Henchman, he becomes so moved by the Soft-Hearted Widow's tenderheartedness that he resolves to work hard to make the world a better place, reflecting her example.
He has a healthy respect for Jenny, but a fierce fondness for the Soft-Hearted Widow. When he hears her confession, he sniffles and blows his nose loudly into his sleeve. "There's no shame in it!" He snaps, defensively. "That lady took me in when I got out of New Newgate. She's an example. This world don't deserve her. Well, it's about time someone set about improvin' it!"
One of the items in the 1895 Advent calendar involves a group of ex-convicts singing Christmas carols outside your door.
They're rougher than a proper chamber choir, but they make up for it by being even more lively than the drunks of Veilgarden. And they don't even threaten to rob you of figgy pudding! "We just want to spread a little joy for once," says their leader, shaking your hand vigorously. "Merry Christmas!"