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Rob the Bazaar
Now, that is just the height of foolishness. Everyone knows that it is impossible to steal from the glittering black spires of the Bazaar.
They know nothing.
The vigilant Constables and numberless neddy men. The endless flocks of wheeling bats. The smooth towers carved with symbols that make your eyes bleed and hair smoulder. Do these things mean nothing to you?
Mrs Plenty's Most Distracting Carnival
"Pay for tickets to the carnival? Oh ho! How droll you are. The very idea!"
A candid discussion with a devil?
'The effects [of losing one's soul]? Well, nothing one would really notice. A little depression of mood. A pleasing melancholy here and there. Perhaps a lessening in appreciation of beauty. But does not beauty cause so much of the world's difficulties? Look at these things - the contents of pockets and such. The detritus of spirifage. Are they beautiful? No. But they have value nonetheless.'
Places of Menace
A slow boat passing a dark beach on a silent river
[Dying feels] like going to sleep. If going to sleep really hurt.
A moment of pettiness
The Boatman hisses as he topples his king with a bony knuckle. "Enjoy it while it lasts," he growls. "You're all of you mine in the end."
A state of some confusion
You have lost your mind!
Don't panic. You may be able to get it back. In the meantime, everything is gold and red and marvellous.
What were you looking for?
D—ned if you can remember. Were you even meant to be looking for something? Unlikely. It's teatime and there are three kinds of jam today.
You are yourself again.
You would no longer be considered insane by most citizens of Fallen London. A dubious comfort.
"In the deepest matters of the Bazaar, always look to love. Always."
The Shivering Relicker: Don't let [the Night-Whisper] near the Co... the language of Xanadu. Keep it away from the Bazaar spires, and the ruins of previous cities. Altogether too dangerous to take it there. It will talk back. You understand? It will talk back.
Recalling A Dream of Other Places
A dream of a vineyard
"There was kind of a sun...and the light that flooded the vineyard was thick as honey and red as port wine. We waited for the sun to speak, but it only watched us in sorrow. I knew then that it was waiting for us. As I woke, I thought that its light lingered somehow in my eyes..."
On the Velocipede Squad
Someone has been robbing drunks. Actually, someone is always robbing drunks. But the last drunk was the Chief Constable's aunt.
Experiencing Strange Times: Twelve Days of Mr. Sacks
An Unusual Pail of So-Called Snow
Recurring Dreams: The Fire Sermon
You dream that you're flinging books happily on to the Stolen River, the one they used to call the Thames. The river is on fire! Flames leap higher than the houses on either side. Every time you throw another book on, there is a flare of coloured light, like a firework, and a puff of sweet-scented smoke. You look down and realise with horror that you've run out of books: you are flinging your clothes on to the fire. When your clothes are gone, you begin peeling off skin and throwing that. You wake before it goes very much further.
Recurring Dreams: Death By Water
A dream about your home
Back on the surface! How charming! The moon is rising outside your window! And all your dear familiar things around you. Warm firelight. Birdsong outside. It's been so long since you've heard birdsong.
But the view outside your window isn't right
The moon shines on a flooded desert. The waters lap around the wreck of a dirigible. The night breeze that flows through the open window is cold and salt and sad. Your stomach growls.
You begin to gather your things
It'll be a long journey, but someone has to do it. If you don't get up there, who else will arrange matters properly? You heft your luggage and leave a note on the table: GONE NORTH.
Recurring Dreams: What the Thunder Said
The eye of the storm
Your mind's eye turns northeast, away from the sun. Dark clouds begin to mass on the horizon. They gather around you, blotting out the sunlight and the sea. All you can see now is soft, heavy grey mist. It enfolds you and envelops your consciousness. Thunder rolls. 'You wish to see through my eyes?' it says. 'So be it.'
You blink. You're back on the cliff. The storm clouds are gone, but your vision is... altered. The trees have a cast to them, as if their light is being refracted through a new prism in your eye. The air is heavy with the sickly foreboding that comes before a rainstorm.
I will dive into the water!
I will swim in the eye of the storm and reach the heart of the sea!
I leap! I fly!
I plunge into the black water. I slice through the onyx depths, describing a parabola. As I swim, the dark fills my eyes and I see through it, into the heart of the storm.
I have reached the thunder!
I am one with it. I rejoice.
The thunder loves me
I love the thunder. The thunder tells stories to those it loves. The thunder tells me of the correspondence between lover and loved and invites me into its heart. I see with the thunder's eyes. I demand to be loved!
I bid the wind speak
I laugh with delight to find it gusting here! I open my arms, and I welcome the wind! I ask it what news and it screams in my face! I roar back, my voice blending with the wind's, exultant!
Ask a question
Why are you here? You turn to one of the hooded figures and ask your question. You cannot see the face under the hood. Something red gleams in the shadow. 'It's just a dream,' says a voice. 'You made me up.'
Dreaming Strange Dreams: A Game Of Chess
You can go anywhere. You use secret passages to enter the rooms of your enemies, vulnerable in their sleep. You climb dark staircases and cross vast, silent halls. [...] You can do anything. Anything except scrub this gore from your hands.
Seeking Mr Eaten's Name
Accept the Name!
Though you will forget it when you wake. Even the memory of the visit will be erased. Lacre cannot bury the law.
A trace of sadness, like the frost which silvers the night
The light on the edge of sleep was mine. I was Mr Candles. I will not be again.
Your flesh rips as you fall. Both your arms and one thigh are ragged tatters. You scream with pain and fury into the water. Too much blood! You won't have time to drown. You won't have time to drown.
You arranged your own betrayal. You made yourself a target. The venal and the vicious could not resist it. But they didn't chain you. They beat you and robbed you. Why can they not understand?
A voice heard in a dream
"No, you damnable beast, I will not! A man's got to draw the line somewhere, and I won't, you hear me? I won't!" Then there is a scream and a silence broken only by the laughter of a hat.
So few of them know what you are. You speak and eat and smile like any other. Even your friends may not suspect. But sometimes it all gets too much. You are hungry.
Eat. Just eat.
You need something rare. Something rich and red. If it were still moving, perhaps? Oh God yes.
Police-whistles, and the smell of smoke
"For I was hungry, and I ate you. I was thirsty, and I drank you." What happened in there? Your memory is patchy. The cutlery. The difficulty with the tablecloth. That business with the mouse. If only it had moved faster. If only the sous-chef had been more co-operative.
"Have you ever been to the Iron Republic?"
Things are different there.
A long silence
Then a sound. Is she... is she weeping? "Yes," she says very quietly. "Just once."
[Another player] has set St Destinís Candle in your window. Or so they claim. Itís not even real. Itís something imagined in an empty space. But it has hollowed you out like a rotted nut.
Now. It will hurt, we must render ourselves a little, there will be scars, but one more scar, what is that?
"Tonight. Snuff the lights. All the laudanum you can drink and more. Then you'll learn a thing about souls."
Clay Man Stories
"IN POLYTHREME THE BED I SLEPT ON WAS A SLAVE. THE ROOM WHERE I SLEPT WAS HACKED FROM SCREAMING STONE. THE WATER I DRANK BEGGED ME TO STOP. THEY PAID ME IN COIN THAT PLOTTED MY DOWNFALL. THE MEMORIES ARE TROUBLING. THIS PLACE IS BETTER."
"I TIRE OF CARRYING BOXES."
Enough of these, and you'll know the secrets of earth and sea.
Mysteries are fire. Truth burns.
Whose soul was this? A queen? A genius? A prophet? It's like looking into the face of the sun.
This is so. This is not so.
A really good look at that which men should never learn.
Even you have a hard time taking yourself seriously in this extraordinary creation.
You can't go wrong with an iron hat. Except that you look ridiculous. That's a problem, certainly.
Like wearing a live wolf.
What were you doing again?
"We shall complete you! You will delight in wearing us!"
—Moderately Co-operative Clothes Colony
"...what I had to go through to create this..."
—Iron Republic Journal
You never, ever want to put this hat on your head.
What could mark a soul?
—Stain on your soul
Were your eyes always such a dark grey? Did you hear what the Thunder said?
You have observed, stolen, followed, decrypted and occasionally murdered.
—a fine piece in the Game
You stole that which cannot be stolen.
Why? In God's name, why? Stop now. Before it's too late.
—Seeking Mr Eaten's Name
What...what did that place do to you?
—Changed By the Iron Republic
The Starveling Cat has moved into your lodgings. May God have mercy on our souls.
—Message displayed when obtaining the Starveling Cat from another player
Something terrible has happened. Perhaps a server has caught fire, or a database flared and guttered like a dying star.
—Standard Error Message
If this doesn't knock their socks off, what will? Shakespeare rising from the grave to rip the spires off the Bazaar?
—Message displayed at the option of selling your short story as a classic