- Bad Boss: It's (nearly) impossible to get anywhere without throwing a few deckhands to the wolves/panthers/crabs. Even if you are cautious and well-prepared, the game is set in the late 19th century. The Terror meter represents your crew's happiness as much as your own sanity, with a cannibalistic gibbering wreck quickly inviting mutiny.
- Benevolent Boss: Most of the actions to lower terror involve taking your crew seriously. Paying for shore leave out of your own pocket, staying in London for several days, and humoring superstition add up to a happy crew. It's not as easy as it sounds.
- Dark and Troubled Past: Three of the possible origin stories: a bitter veteran of the Invasion of Hell, a disgraced preacher, and an orphan pickpocket ex-Child Soldier.
- Defeating the Undefeatable: A considerable number of sidequests and win conditions require your captain to do things considered to be impossible when they aren't outright literally impossible.
- From Nobody to Nightmare: You start a new legacy with a beat-up tramp steamer, rusted engines and a deck gun that might as well shoot peanuts. Before you're even halfway done with your ambition, you'll likely have single-handedly determined the major nation in the Neath and begun hunting monsters that, by all rights, should be able to just snap your ship in half.
- Half-Human Hybrid / Human Mom Nonhuman Dad: It's possible, with certain criteria. If you choose the "Your Father's Bones" ambition and the "Street Urchin" past. The game will take you to the Chelonate (see "Locations" for tropes regarding that place), where it will be revealed that your mother was human, but your father was a zee-beast.
- Immortality Seeker: You can search for immortality by choosing the Immortality ambition.
- Rags to Riches: Downplayed. Your steamer is still worth twice the price of a good townhouse and you're in command of a small private army, but among zee-captains you're dirt poor with nowhere to go but up.
- Riches to Rags: It's just as easy to lose all your cash: having to restock in the Khanate copper quarter, drinking yourself into the flophouse after a hard voyage, or just dying without a will and leaving your kids penniless.
The Longshanks Gunner
- Childhood Friend Romance: She is the starting officer for a captain with an Urchin background, and the dialog option for romancing her suggest that they have known each other since they were still children running the rooftops.
- Child Soldiers: A former member of the Regiment, the militant dockside urchin-gang, where she learned how to operate a cannon.
- I Just Want to Be Free: If asked about what she wants from life, this will be her answer, and she believes that Khan's Shadow will be the place where she can do so.
- Starter Equipment: The beginning Gunnery Officer for Urchin captains.
The Sly Navigator
- Never Found the Body: He wants to visit the mysterious ice-castle of Frostfound. Take him there, and he'll disappear completely, leaving only his coat behind and having apparently walked through a sheer wall.
- Starter Equipment: The beginning First Officer for Poet captains.
The Gall-Eyed Engineer
- Eye Scream: Her eyes are infested with gallblighter wasp larvae, and they will apparently hatch soon.
- Go Out with a Smile: When the Gallblighter wasps finally hatch, for her last moments she sees the world through a lens of impossible beauty, and when your Zailors retrieve her corpse there is a smile on (what remains of) her face.
- Starter Equipment: The beginning Chief Engineer for Priest characters.
The Shady Cook
- Lethal Chef: What he does to food technically counts as "cooking", in that afterwards, you can, in the absence of any other options, eat it. He's described as more "enthusiastic" than "competent".
- Starter Equipment: The beginning Cook for Veteran characters.
- To Serve Man: The reason he wants to go to Wisdom is to be a cook for the Knot-Oracles. The Knot-Oracles are giant eye-encrusted toads that eat people, and apparently have delicate tastes in that regard.
- The Unintelligible: He speaks in some sort of lisping, grunting, gurgling vernacular.
The Plausible Surgeon
- Blood Lust: A man so obsessed with wounds, he actually wants to go to the Chelonate.
- Meatgrinder Surgery: As his tooltip says, he probably won't saw off the wrong limb. It's possible that he just likes blood and gore.
- Starter Equipment: The beginning Surgeon for Natural Philosopher characters.
The Cladery Heir
A brilliant surgeon who specializes in amputations, particularly those concerning the removal of longings and desires.
- Half-Human Hybrid: She believes herself to be the child of a human woman and Mr. Irons, one of the masters of the Bazaar. In this, she's quite wrong; her father is an entirely human tomb-colonist.
- Nice Hat: She wears a stylish green top-hat, and when annoyed, she takes it off to glare at you.
- Peek-a-Bangs: Her portrait shows her hair falling over and hiding her left eye.
- Self-Surgery: In one of her storyline's endings, she resolves her frustrated yearning by amputating it and one toe containing it herself.
The Carnelian Exile
- Ambiguously Human: She uses an image that is often (but not always) used to depict Devils in Fallen London, but there's nothing concrete about whether she is one or not. The usual giveaway that someone is demonic, glowing eyes, can't be counted on since the Dawn Machine is involved.
- Cute Little Fangs: She has one, another indication of her non-human nature.
- Earn Your Happy Ending: If you manage to survive all the way to the end of her quest, you meet Salt in the East.
- The Exile: She was exiled from Carnelia for becoming part of the New Sequence. When you come across her, she has just been exiled from the New Sequence as well, having apparently rejected the Dawn Machine.
- The Fatalist: A firm believer in the inevitability of predestined events. This can lead to a hilarious Not So Stoic moment if you choose to kick her out of your cabin when she starts expounding on her philosophy.She probably wasn't expecting this path. You thrust her out of the cabin and close the door.
There is a tentative knock on the door. "Er... sorry," the Exile calls out. "Can I have my glasses back? I promise not to talk about choice any more."
- Opaque Lenses: Concealing her rather unusual eyes.
- Poisonous Friend: The starting point of what is easily the most self-destructive quest in the game. While it is possible to persevere, most captains will not survive knowing her for long enough to gain any kind of reward from the pain they endure.
The Sigil-Ridden Navigator
- Big Eater: He'll happily get through three meals in one sitting.
- Facial Markings: It looks a little like a seahorse, and a little like a pound, and a lot like something you don't want burned into your temple.
- Horror Hunger: He somehow became involved in cannibalism before gaining his first sigil. If you sacrifice his humanity, he once more becomes Unaccountably Peckish.
- Humanoid Abomination: Not the Sigil-Ridden Navigator himself, of course not! Not at first. When you "promote" him, however, the human dies, and what rises is... a thing missing most of its insides with seven sigils carved into it, only one visible and the rest inside his hollow body. A thing inherently connected to the zee that can tell its currents by spilling its own blood. This thing is not human. The Sigil-Eaten Navigator may look like your previous navigator, but it's nothing but a sigil-animated husk.
- Mind Virus: The sigil is steadily eating his memories. The larger it gets, the less he remembers. If you like, you can have it consume his mind entirely and leave him an inhuman husk.
- Power Tattoo: A symbol of the Correspondence — an ancient, vicious quasi-magical language that literally burns you if you read it for too long — adorns his forehead. It may or may not be alive.
The Tireless Mechanic
- Human Resources: To construct the Fulgent Impeller, the Mechanic needs a heart, which is provided by the Unsettling Sage, whom you should have rescued earlier from Wisdom as part of the quest.
- Infinity +1 Sword: His sidequest is to build the Fulgent Impeller. What is it? A Steampunk interstellar rocket, based on the Stone Pigs used by the Bazaar. Yes, that Bazaar.
- The Sleepless: If he ever sleeps, it's certainly not when the Player Character can witness it. As it turns out, he's using a draught to keep himself awake, lest he fall prey to the Fingerkings whom he betrayed. An early part of his quest is to make him be able to sleep properly by trapping the dream-snakes who were targeting him.
- This Is Gonna Suck: He apologizes to the player for the lengths they'll have to go to to get the parts for his engine. Specifically, you need to carry a metric crapton of zee-monster bones, almost go mad in a creepy Eldritch Location, break/ransom someone out of The Alcatraz, and obtain a piece of the Dawn Machine.
The Genial Magician
- Animal Nemesis: He lost his hand to a mirror-serpent, and is determined to have his revenge or die trying.
- Demonic Possession: The Urbane Magician is not your friend. It is a dream-serpent wearing his body.
- Interspecies Romance: You can proposition the Urbane Magician, if you want to.
- Hook Hand: His loss of a hand ruined his career as an illusionist, so he went to zee.
- Luck-Based Mission: The final part of the Magician's personal quest is purely luck-based and always has a flat 70% success chance, which can only be raised to 90% if you have the Parabolan Panther (which is exclusive to Kickstarter backers). It can also be attempted only once, so if you're unlucky, you won't be able to promote the Genial Magician into the Satisfied Magician or build the Serpentine engine.
- Magicians Are Wizards: Like many of Fallen London's stage magicians, he's learned some genuinely supernatural tricks involving light, darkness and mirrors.
- Multiple Endings: To his personal quest for revenge. In the final stage of preparation for his revenge against his enemy, he disappears into Parabola. This can play out in a few ways:
- The Player Character can attempt to talk him out of his endeavour. If they succeed, he gives up his quest and becomes the Prudent Magician.
- He disappears into Parabola, but apparently loses to the Fingerking. The magician wakes up and expresses his desire to go to zee... he means, return to zee. The Player Character can fulfil the Magician's last request before he left that they'd drown this creature if it took over his body or else welcome aboard the Urbane Magician.
- He disappears into Parabola, and returns victorious, wearing a smile which is smaller but certainly more sincere than before. He is henceforth known as the Satisfied Magician.
- Revenge Before Reason: Zigzagged. It's possible for the Fingerking to come out on top during their showdown and take over his body. However, he was well aware of the possibility of this happening, and told the player character to drown his body should that happen. Considering that the player character can easily ignore this, the degree of reason in his desire for revenge ultimately comes down to the player.
- Vengeance Feels Empty: Averted. He considers getting revenge on the Fingerking very satisfying.
- Facial Markings: She has a swarm of butterflies tattooed on her face.
- Human Mom Nonhuman Dad: Her mother is a mysterious international agent (namely the Lady in Lilac). Her father is a tiger-count of Parabola.
- Not So Above It All: For the most part, her demeanor is chipper and easygoing, but she does not enjoy searching for her mother in Whither, because every time she asks a QUESTION they respond with a QUESTION and HONESTLY SHE JUST MIGHT...
- Odd Name Out: While she is never actually named, her title is in a different style from most of the other characters.
- Sticky Fingers: Seeing out her quest involves going to a large number of ports, working out where her mother is by elimination. It's actually more profitable to you to be "unlucky", because in every port you visit, she... appropriates something valuable from the locals.
- Wrench Wench: Engines, cannons, explosives... she knows how to keep a ship's systems working at their peak.
The Presbyterate Adventuress
- Adventurer Archaeologist: She's spent her life exploring the lost corners of the Neath. She's even published a series of how-to guides on the subject.
- Bifauxnen: She is a handsome sailor, most recently attached to (and wearing the uniform of) the Royal Navy.
- Cultured Badass: A highly capable gunnery officer, whose first appearance in the story was a discussion of optics, language, and the nature of prophecy.
- Death Seeker: She knows she has to die eventually. She just wants to make sure it's something memorable.
- Defeat Means Friendship: Has a tendency towards this. When first joining, a Zailor makes a rude comment about having to work with foreigners. She gives them a black eye, and apparently an offer of friendship (which they accept).
- Do Not Go Gentle: Her last wish is to fight a legendary battle. The Nuns' proposal: the Vake, a creature fundamentally more powerful than humanity. No human can ever kill the beast, but by God does the Adventuress leave a nasty scar.
- Older Than They Look: She looks thirty or so, but Elder Continent inhabitants are always far older than they look. She's a hundred.
- Optional Sexual Encounter: During the penultimate stage of her story line, the player character can invite her to share a bed that night. She might take the player up on it, unless the The Brisk Campaigner is onboard, who has already made her a more tempting offer...
- Sins of Our Fathers: Her father broke the Presbyterate rule "no man shall live past a thousand" by living to a thousand and twelve. As a result, the Presbyter decreed that his children shan't live past a hundred, hence they're coming for her.
- Trademark Favorite Food: She would be quite happy to have coffee sorbet for dessert every day.
The Irrepressible Cannoneer
- Ambiguous Gender: The Cannoneer's design is rather gender neutral, and a gendered pronoun is never used for the Cannoneer.
- Genki Girl: They're enthusiastic, to say the least. Multiple exclamation marks are involved.
- Infinity +1 Sword: Their magnum opus is the Memento Mori, a bona fide death ray the size of a deck gun, powered by The Correspondence. It's so powerful that if you sell it to the Admiral, it will single-handedly raise London's supremacy by one. It's implied that its Flawed Prototype is what caused the hole in the roof above Aestival.
- Mad Bomber: Acts fairly unhinged, and the one thing we know about their past is that they made a lot of bombs.
- Motor Mouth: Upon introduction, you're introduced to the cannoneer, their references, their best friend, their idea for a whistling shell, and their hand, in very quick succession.
- Mysterious Past: They seem to know every exiled engineer and rogue weaponsmith on the Unterzee. None of them are keen to elucidate their shared path, but it seemed to involve building a lot of bombs.
- Obsessed Are the Listmakers: It's a busy life, inventing weapons of unnecessary destruction. They keep lists of all the new kinds of explosion they hope to produce.
- Sacrificial Lion: If you are that kind of captain, you can give them up to Isery/Zaira, who are absolutely delighted with the contents of their head.
- So What Do We Do Now?: Once the Memento Mori is finished, and they introduce it in their usual manner, their grin falls as they realize they don't really have an idea of what to do afterwards."It's... finished. I'm not sure what to do now."
- Stuff Blowing Up: Expending Secrets to raise one's Iron stat via the Cannoneer has a chance to cause slight damage to the Hull of your ship. When this happens, one gains two points of Iron to the Secret instead of just one, making them the best possible Officer for raising Iron.
The Haunted Doctor
- Chronic Backstabbing Disorder: He can't help it; he just wants to do good. Unfortunately, he believes anyone's definition of good, as long as it's against the establishment and said forcefully enough.
- Deadly Doctor: Working as both a doctor and a revolutionary gave him grand opportunities to "cure" those he perceived as contributing to social ills.
- Desperately Looking for a Purpose in Life: When you get down for it, he constantly jumps from cause to cause, becoming obsessed with each one right off the bat because he's desperate for a cause to believe in.
- Eyepatch of Power: He lost his right eye during his time with a blind spider-cult one of many experiences that contributed to his considerable knowledge of the Neath's odder sciences.
- Gone Horribly Right: You can coax him out of his depression and turn him into the Determined Doctor. You will probably regret it.
- Rebellious Rebel: He used to be involved with the revolutionary Calendar Council. It didn't work out for him, but all he wants is another cause to return to his firebrand ways.
The Brisk Campaigner
- Badass Boast: After you help cure her illness."Death, where is thy sting? Where indeed. Don't mess with the Campaigner, Death."
- Combat Medic: She's a fully-qualified physician with battlefield experience most certainly an asset in a fight.
- Find the Cure!: Her reason for coming to zee; she's suffering a life-threatening illness, and is searching for ever-more exotic and bizarre ingredients to use for a cure.
- Glad-to-Be-Alive Sex: Most officers require a stat they find attractive to be 20 points higher than a stat they dislike. She will happily lay with you regardless of your stats after she is cured. The narration even mentions that the brush with death had made her "giddy".
- Ill Girl: A rare adult example. Her disease begins with fainting spells, and while she is still capable of serving as a doctor, her health is declining steadily.
- The Quiet One: Like other officers with personal stories, you start hers off by inviting her to dine with you. In addition to a point of supplies (for the meal), dining with her requires Mutersalt: a substance which temporarily paralyses the vocal cords. The reason given is that it ensures that talking only takes place once you've finished eating. She's...quite brisk.
- Timed Mission: Once you've dined with her at least once and "Time the Healer" reaches a certain threshold, her health will gradually deteriorate as "Time the Healer" increases until you either complete her questline or her disease finally kills her. However, because "Time the Healer" only increases if you dock in London while Something Awaits You (represented by a lamp icon near your message log), its possible to "add" time to the timer if you have a fast enough ship or spend your Something Awaits you quality elsewhere. Stalling the Hunter's Keep questline can help tremendously with this.
- Undying Loyalty: She's been the personal doctor to nearly everyone important.note She only signs on with you because you're adventurous enough to reliably find the research materials she needs. After she's cured, she sticks by you and readily comes ashore.
The Bandaged Poissonnier
- Badass Moustache: Sports an impressive one, which manages to stick out from his bandages.
- Bad Liar: Your captain quickly notices, during one part of his quest, that he may be an excellent chef, but he's a terrible liar. He stumbles on his words whenever he tries, and the tell-tale twiddling of his bandages quickly gives him away every time he tries.
- Contemplate Our Navels: Spending Secrets to raise your Hearts skill via the Poissonnier involves him talking about the nature of edibility. According to him, if one is able to eat while alive, it must be possible for one to be eaten when not alive...
- Cordon Bleugh Chef: While good, he likes to experiment so much with ingredients that he gets through several frankly scary plates that could kill, numb, or at least really upset whomever eats them. His kitchen looks more like an alchemical laboratory for a reason: Some of the ingredients he enjoys using really need that much effort to be edible, let alone palatable.
- Cow Tools: Impressively, his various oddly-named cooking contraptions, all of them his own invention, are a text-based version of these. All you properly find out is that they combine various methods of cooking and alchemy, they let him work his magic on zee-monster flesh, and they're really, really expensive.
- Disappeared Dad: He left a wife and son in the Khanate when he dramatically quit his job there.
- Double Meaning: When the Poissonnier finally organises the denouement of his long exploration into zee culinary a feast for the Fathomking's court the drownies assume from such course titles as "Lost Breath" and "The Surface Far Above" that the whole thing is an exquisitely tasty metaphor for drowning. The Fathomking himself discerns it's actually for love.
- Supreme Chef: He doesn't always hit his mark (mostly because he can't do miracles, which would be needed for some of his peculiar ingredients), but there's no-one with a better understanding of preparing the fish of the Neath.
- The Undead: He's a tomb-colonist, ergo undead in most of the ways that matter.
The Nacreous Outcast
- Aliens Speaking English: Rubberies generally lack the physiology to speak intelligibly; the Outcast is a curious exception in that it speaks coherent (albeit lisped) English.
- All of the Other Reindeer: Rubbery Men are ostracized to no end by the people of London, but this one has been shunned by its own kind for crimes it does not wish to talk about.
- Came Back Strong: If it is killed by the Principles and revived by the Fathom King, he reveals that he has given it the soul and powers of a Lorn Fluke.
- Cthulhumanoid: It's a Rubbery Man, though a rather unconventional one. For a start, it can speak English, and instead of the posh suits most wear, it is dressed in a rather practical sweater and suspenders.
- Did You Just Romance A Cthulhumanoid?: You can have an affair with him while at Zee, though it does not do wonders for your mental state.
- Interspecies Romance: It is possible to romance the Outcast. However, unlike every other romantic option in the game, you gain terror as a result of your trysts, rather than lose it.
- Star-Crossed Lovers: It 'used to love' something; most likely the Lorn-Fluke that is now the Principles of Coral. Rubbery Men are not allowed to love.
The Merciless Modiste
- Action Fashionista: She's one of the Neath's most advanced fashion designers, and one of its most bloodthirsty pirates.
- And Your Reward Is Clothes: Most officers trade practical experience for secrets. The Modiste accepts commissions for clothes. Clothes fabulous enough that they contribute to your stats.
- Bling of War: She'll happily design battle armour for her captain. The result is noted to be extremely stylish and only moderately practical.
- Deadly Game: You can play her favourite game with her, Knife and Candle, which involves using subterfuge to get your knife to the other player's throat first. If you lose, she gives you a flesh wound, just for fun. If you win, you can increase your veils. Or you can tear her heart out, as you choose.
- Friendly Enemy: She used to be a crew member of The Irrepressible, a particularly nasty submarine you can encounter.
- Wicked Cultured: A vicious sociopath that cannot stand seeing you in last season's colours.
The Monkey Foundling
- Gone Swimming, Clothes Stolen: How she introduces herself to the player. Cheeky little monkey.
- Kids Are Cruel: She's introduced by stealing your clothes and making you chase her naked through a jungle filled with various unpleasant obstacles, taunting you all the way. If you anger her, she ups her game enough to earn you a Wound and a Tale of Terror. And even if the encounter ends with you saving her life from a Pentecost Ape, she still doesn't return your clothes and you have to return to the ship naked, where your crew awaits with mockery.
- Nice Hat: A bicorn bigger than her head, adorned with a floral skull.
- Orphan's Plot Trinket: Not in possession of it herself, but she's connected to a locket you can find on the beach in Port Stanton.
- Raised by Wolves: She was raised by the monkeys of the Empire of Hands.
- Video Game Cruelty Punishment: If you choose to throw a rock at her and succeed instead of going along with her little game, she shows you just how sadistic she can be when defending her island from intruders.
The Scarred Sister
- Bandaged Face: Given what happens to her, her family, and her home when you recruit her, it makes sense why she's like this. Namely, she is Phoebe, who set the house on fire after some... incident at Hunter's Keep.
- The Quiet One: Says little, emotes little. After what she's been through, can you blame her?
The Scrimshaw Chronicler
- The Eeyore: Cooks normally improve crew morale with their preparations. The Chronicler's food is fine, but his attitude is so downcast that he actually damages morale.
- Optional Party Member: He'll only join your crew if you convince him of the hollowness of his life in the Chelonate.
The Lady in Lilac
- "Now where exactly did you meet, again? Did Clathermont the tattooist introduce you?"
- Imaginary Friend: While the Lady is a real person in London, it's hard to say whether the one you can recruit is actually her or not, given that you can only recruit her if you have >75 terror, and she disappears if your terror is <26. That she is positively steeped in irrigo, the colour of forgetfulness, confuses the issue even further.
- Poisonous Friend: All your interactions with her raise your wounds by startling amounts. She is not a safe person to know.
The Wretched Mog
A mascot, and one of the few in that category that provides more than a minor stat boost.
- Big Eater: As above, it costs several crates of supplies to get this ordinary housecat aboard. Its hunger is boundless.
- Killer Rabbit: It can be picked up right after leaving London if you head south for several crates of supplies (precious in the early game when you're likely to first meet). It hates rats, terrorizes the crew, and prevents you from using rattus faber repair services in London. There are also at least two land battles that the Wretched Mog can single-handedly win; depending on your Iron, your crew might otherwise not stand a chance. note
- Red Herring: An impossibly hungry, rather unattractive cat.. wait, is that... THE STARVELING CAT? Nope. Just a cat. A really hungry, really shaggy housecat.
- Team Pet: As are all Mascots.
The Comatose Ferret
Your starting mascot. It raises your Hearts by a single point and, by and large, point blank refuses to do anything else.
- Cruella to Animals: If you have the Merciless Modiste, of course, eating it isn't the only way of ending its miserable existence...
- Eat the Dog: Once you hit Hunger 75 or more, it starts to resemble nothing so much as a long, plump, furry sausage.
- Snarky Non-Human Sidekick: It can demonstrate exactly how much it enjoys being on your ship with a single weary roll of the eyes.
- Starter Equipment: The starting mascot for all captains.
The Alarming Scholar
The University's Head of Maritime Acquisitions. She (he?) is interested in your wilder, more esoteric discoveries.
- Ambiguous Gender: He (she?) is so ambiguous, even the narrator doesn't know which pronouns to use for her (him?).
- Bunny-Ears Lawyer: They collect a great deal of information and artifacts from the Unterzee; they also plant flowers in their skull collection, and do business with the Isle of Cats.
- Collector of the Strange: This is basically what the University pays them to do — they also apparently have a personal collection of human skulls (in which they plant flowers).
- For Science!: His (her?) primary motivation. The Scholar pays exceptionally well for Searing Enigmas, and in the Isle of Cats storyline you deliver them a sample of extremely illegal and unethical Gaoler's Honey.
- Go Mad from the Revelation: If you give him (or her) seven Searing Enigmas at once, whatever it is that she (he?) was working towards will drive them mad, and they'll dragged away ranting and screaming by university workers.
- Pronoun Trouble: The narrator can't figure out whether to use 'he' or 'she' to refer to the Alarming Scholar.
The Blind Bruiser
A representative of entirely legitimate business concerns, interested in matters of mutual financial benefit. If you choose to deal with him, you'd be wise to do exactly as he says.
- Evil Mentor: In Sunless Skies, picking the "mentor" option during a level up has him as one of the choices. He mentions stories of the accidents various Zee captains suffered when they didn't fulfill his requests.
- Honest John's Dealership: Not a trader, per se, but he'll offer useful goods in exchange for favours. The goods are fine; the favours are morally, legally and practically questionable.
- Pet the Dog: If you continue doing his "little favours" throughout the game and are pursuing the "My Father's Bones" Ambition as a Natural Philosopher, he will turn up when you pay off the Widow at the very end and straight-up halve the amount you have to pay.
- Resignations Not Accepted: Actually averted! After completing a mission or two, you can tell him that you don't want to do any more and he will accept in a relatively graceful fashion. You only start having problems if you accept the mission and then blow it off.
- Shame If Something Happened: He makes it fairly clear what will happen to captains who don't hold up their end of the deal. Ships catching fire in the harbour is the least of it.
- Sophisticated as Hell: The effect borders on Delusions of Eloquence with the way he combines Sesquipedalian Loquaciousness (including some rather obscure but correctly applied words) and an excessively roundabout, overly polite manner of speech with odd constructions like "honest conveyage" and "bomb vwoyi-arge", informal grammar, Department of Redundancy Department turns of phrase, and the occasional Weird Aside.
The Dark-Spectacled Admiral
The local representative of the Great Game, the constant give and take of intelligence agencies, in the Docks. He pays well for any workable intelligence you might find, and will even send you on special reconnaissance tasks for the empire. An affable chap, through and through.
- Bald of Awesome: He's an intelligent, affable bald guy in a position of power.
- Bald, Black Leader Guy: He's black, bald, and your boss for most of the game.
- Berserk Button:
- The man is quite annoyed when asked about the Voracious Diplomat, and makes no effort to hide his disdain for that "unprincipled scoundrel".
- The Dawn Machine in general is this, although he hides his anger about it as even he no longer knows who among the admirality has forsaken H.E.M. in favor of the False-Star.
- By-the-Book Cop: Intelligence operative he may be, but he believes in British values, and has no time for schemers like the Voracious Diplomat.
- Mysterious Employer: He recruits captains to make observations about ship movements and other events abroad, which he then passes on to the powers that be. Once the Voracious Diplomat is unlocked, however, he's presented as your significantly less sinister employer.
- Scary Shiny Glasses: Which the narrator notes create a Glowing Eyes of Doom effect. Sell the Memento-Mori to him and he'll weep Manly Tears as he takes off his glasses. His eyes are clear-as-day blue. The glasses are to present an illusion to his compromised colleagues.
The Voracious Diplomat
- Ambiguous Gender: Is almost never, if ever, referred to by pronouns at all. Word of God from the backer says that the Diplomat is genderqueer and uses they/them.
- The Spymaster: They only deal with captains who have made substantial steps in the world of espionage. If you want to be put in touch with an agent to be installed in a foreign potentate's palace, they're your... individual.
- Stealth Insult: Quite a master of it, as one can see when asking their opinion of the Dark-Spectacled Admiral. In a paragraph of seeming praise, they call him a drunkard and an uptight moron who won't realize the Admiralty is going to need outside help if it wants to be great again.
The Merchant Venturer
- Beyond the Impossible: He goes NORTH while both holding onto his sanity and avoiding the wrath of the Judgements (despite acting in a way above his position on the Great Chain) which by all accounts should be literally impossible. When he crosses over, the Mountain Of Light is actually jealous that he did what it wants to do.
- Intrepid Merchant: At first, he requires the player to be intrepid for him but only because he's getting ready for the biggest expedition of all. There is a Sea More Sunless...
- Sequel Hook: Sunless Skies assumes the Merchant Venturer was successful enough for all of London to follow in his wake.
- Bad Santa: The Crimson Beast of Winter is not your friend.
- Best Served Cold: His deliveries are essentially deeply unpleasant revenges upon people who in some way did not give generously enough.
- The Faceless: This creature's face is not visible under its hood.
- Percent Damage Attack: If you keep Mr Sacks waiting for too long, he'll leave with the poorest grace and you'll lose half of your Hull.
- Timed Mission: Do not keep him waiting.
The Delightful Adventuress
- Adventurer Archaeologist: She is an archaeologist by profession and is unafraid to venture into danger.
- Adventurer Outfit: Complete with pith helmet.
- Chronic Backstabbing Disorder: She is a sufferer. One of the first clues to her true nature is her quite offhandedly selling her soul to the Pentecost Apes for some labour and supplies. The symptoms worsen from there.
- Ironic Name: Although most of the titled characters in Sunless Sea have a fairly truthful adjective attached to them, it doesn't take long in the Adventuress's company for it to become obvious she is anything but delightful. This also applies to her given name, Agatha, which means "virtuous".
- Lady of Adventure: Well, that's how she likes to present herself.
- Here the grim sisters lair.
- Amazon Brigade: An entire company of elite combat nuns.
- Church Militant: The nuns of the Sisterhood are just about the most well-trained and well-disciplined fighting force in the Neath. Officially, the convent is a military installation.
- Thou Shall Not Kill: Or at the very least when the Presbyterate Adventuress comes to them looking for a glorious death, they refuse to fight her, saying that it isn't their way.
- On a bed of monumental ruins, warehouses and waystations of shroom-timber rise.
- Fertile Blood: The Blood of the Mountain of Light flows through Adam's Way. The earth here is so fertile, you can grow a seed into a full-sized tree in a matter of hours. This is not necessarily beneficial said tree will then just as rapidly wither and die.
- The Freakshow: Some entrepreneurs have set up displays of the oddities of the Elder Continent, to attract curious tourists and serve as "moral lessons" for the locals.
- Gameplay and Story Segregation: Zailing South into the Elder Continent through Adam's Way. The Mountain of Light's blood, which flows in the river, is supposed to be corrosive only to metal ships, but in the game, don't expect the Cladery Heart to be immune to this.
- HP to 1: Zailing South through Adam's Way, you'll find the Mountain of Light bleeding its horribly corrosive blood into the river, and you have to make a Veils check. Failing kills you, succeeding reduces your HP and crew to one in exchange for a few goodies and the Touch of the South.
- Propaganda Machine: The Mithridate Office, whose role it is to baffle the rest of the Neath as to the Presbyterate's activities.
- Deserted Island: Yep. The place is actually a lot like your traditional deserted island.
- Go Out with a Smile: The prior inhabitants seems to have died like this, and your own crewmates will also die in joy if you spend too much time on the island, falling over and letting themselves roast to death with a grin.
- Please Select New City Name: Founding a colony on Aestival gives the option to rename it.
- Start My Own: You can build your own kingdom here.
- Weakened by the Light: Life in the Neath renders humans vulnerable to the light of the sun. If you're unlucky while scavenging the place, some crew may die to sunlight. When you found your own kingdom here, the first, most important step is to mitigate the effect.
- Ambiguous Gender: The First Mate is an individual of ambiguous and indistinct gender.
- Buy Them Off: The crew will bribe you with Fortas Needles to not disclose to London what's really going on there.
- Fantastic Drug: The residents have discovered that piercing yourself on the needles allows you to experience other's memories, not unlike red honey. And like red honey, it's evidently extremely addictive.
- Interface Screw: During the deeper investigations, Aigul itself will occasionally interject directly in the narration (Like so). Usually, it is helpful in explaining, but it will also indirectly threaten you at certain points and seems actively fond of arranging the current situation keeping the crew prisoners of their own making.
- Sea Hurtchin: An undersea port built in a giant Lorn-Fluke (basically a city-sized alien urchin). Everything within it is pierced with its spines, and navigating within it is rather hazardous if the flavour text is anything to go by.
- Starfish Alien: Aigul itself is a much bigger and stationary version of the Lorn-Flukes you find. It grows spines right through ship hulls, stores regrets in the form of spines and teaches others how to do so, and its purpose seems to be to just stockpile regrets. Friendlier than the usual Lorn-Fluke too, and can actually communicate with you through the narrator's words.
- Undying Loyalty: The entire crew adores their captain, especially the First Mate, and stay with him in his ever-wounded state. To get the proper ending, you have to exploit it and test it against the First Mate's addiction to Aigul and its spines, and see if it really is undying; Aigul is convinced it's not.
- Wound That Will Not Heal: Part of what keeps the crew grounded is a massive gash that keeps the otherwise cheerful captain incapacitated, and that just keeps reopening with no apparent rhyme or reason. It reopens every time the First Mate grows another regret, as part of a scheme on Aigul's part to keep everyone there. Part of what you need to do to convince the First Mate to leave is find this out, and leverage their love of the Captain against their addiction to spines; it can work, thankfully, leaving everyone happy and ready to leave. But if not, the First Mate will have a huge relapse and grow dozens of spines in one sitting, which kills the captain messily enough that they don't dare to show the corpse other than a big, bloody sheet.
- Body to Jewel: The locals call it "Sharpness".
- Cybernetics Eat Your Soul: Developing Sharpness in a given part of your body grants you deftness bordering on perfection, at the expense of your natural flaws and emotions pertaining to it. For instance, one with Sharpness of Tongue will be an excellent, witty and persuasive speaker, but will lose whatever their natural manner of speaking was. It can be cured, though.
- Exploited Immunity: Milder case, in that the Antheans don't actually go out and fight anyone, but love amusing themselves testing their sharpness against the various things they're immune to. Sharp-livered people love drinking horrible poison and watching it do nothing, sharp-skinned folks find wasps committing useless suicide against their skin to be endlessly amusing, the sharp-spleened enjoy hearing horrible tales of disgusting Karma Houdinis and having absolutely no reaction, the sharp-boned make bets on who can hold one collapsed ceiling the longest, and so on.
- Eye Scream: The Anthean guiding new people into developing capacity for sharpness has cubes of salt for eyes; cultivate enough sharpness and go for the right teacher and you can go down that route too.
- Gentle Giant: The Sharpest, who are gigantic crystalline once-humans fused to the walls that have given away just about everything they had of actual humanity. One'd be lead to believe they're amoral to creepy extremes, but they're actually quite helpful and even a little kind; if you even make it there, they'll find you worthy of a lesson in being a little more perfect, no more questions asked.
- Training from Hell: The Sharpest's lessons, of course, aren't quite as kind, but they need to be rough to really hone your capabilities to what you desire them. Even the intellectual training's harsh: You need to debate your instructor, a superintelligent being who's had centuries to hone their wits, for several days and nights without rest or end until your brain's sharp enough to keep up.
- Fantastic Caste System: Albeit without very much emphasis on ranking. People with a particular Sharpness tend to congregate in a specific area, and only allow others who share that Sharpness to enter and commingle with them, though they don't mind someone with multiple sharpnesses moving from group to group. Furthering stories in Anthe thus involves taking on Sharpnesses that will get you into certain cliques.
- Story and Gameplay Segregation: Outside of the lessons from the Sharpest, going sharp doesn't affect your stats at all, or have any effect outside of Anthe, except that you can go to Polythreme to lose sharpness. Sharp tongue and lungs might well mean speaking too precisely to boost Hearts, but you'd expect spinosity of bone and sharpness of skin to affect Irons.
- This is the end.
- Alien Geometries: All the north in the Zee contracts to the Avid Horizon. It doesn't matter how far you were from it horizontally: if you sail north enough, you will end up at the Horizon, even if you must suffer a certain amount of existential discomfort to arrive there.
- Cool Gate: A literally Cold Gate, and is flanked by two winged sculptures that represent something not totally known. Strange stars twinkle above despite being underground, and it exudes an unnatural cold and stillness. It remains closed for the moment, and perhaps that is a good thing... It apparently leads to the High Wilderness.
- Place Worse Than Death: Its port report description is "You have seen where the world ends." It's occasionally patrolled by the toughest creature in the game. You can refuse to transport the Venturer there on the grounds that absolutely nothing good can come of the place.
- Recurring Location: The only place so far (alongside London) to appear in all three main Failbetter games.
- Redemption Quest: The Admiralty has utilized just how fundamentally awful the place is as a sort of political tool. Criminals too vile even for the darkest reaches of New Newgate Prison are sent into exile, and they can only come here to Avid Horizon to beg for forgiveness. The act is not easy by any means. Of course, somebody from London also has to come here to collect their names. Guess which chump gets to do that.
- Fallen London's sole Imperial possession. Treasure it.
- City of Spies: All the empires of the Neath want a piece of Carnelian.
- Non-Indicative Name: The person who found this place, the Laconic General, named it the Carnelian Coast before discovering that the place is actually full of sapphires.
- We ARE Struggling Together: They might be Port Carnelian's rightful rulers, but organising a national liberation movement does not come naturally to a party of talking tigers. They can't march, they can't write leaflets and they all want to be the loudest.
Chapel of Lights
- Do you hear music?
- Abstract Eater: The dark well on the island has the ability to eat dreams, though some part of the body usually comes with it...
- Body Horror: The ritual to create St Gawain's Candle, which you can subject yourself to, consists of keeping a person alive via correspondence sigils as their head is cut off, their organs are scraped out, and the now hollow interior is pumped full of burning hot wax and the spine is replaced by a wick. It's non fatal: the sigils keep you alive afterwards
- Creepy Cathedral: The Chapel itself, lit only by millions of candles spread about the island. Congregants tend to stick to the shadows between the candles, often only half-seen by those who visit, the temple offers visitors the opportunity to eat from their red bounty, and there is a well there that eats dreams and wounds the soul...
- Eldritch Location: In addition to the horrifying things about the chapel itself, compiling a port report reveals that the waters around the chapel are just as bad. The ships you watch are far too small for sustained zee voyages but hail from ports all over the known Zee, including some ports that are weeks worth of travel away.... Sometimes they vanish or materialize when you aren't looking. Sometimes even while you are.
- I'm a Humanitarian: They eat people. So might you, if you take them up on their offer of food — not every time, but quite often. Once you have partaken, you can do so again much more easily, and if you're low on supplies, the Chapel offers a solution...
- Path of Inspiration: While from outside it looks like a Christian church, the inhabitants there are actually worshipping the Drowned Man... better known to players of Fallen London as a certain Mr Eaten.
- A shell as big as a wild dream?
- Adam Smith Hates Your Guts: It's one of the most profitable places to do regular business, both importing and exporting. Naturally it's also one of the most difficult and dangerous places to reach.
- Cool Ship: They have one in the Eater of Names, an enormous battleship built from the bones of dead sailors and monsters, carrying the most powerful gun in the game. And this being the Chelonate, they will try to kill you.
- Dan Browned: The locals claim that generations ago, their ancestors killed the giant turtle whose remains they live in. In reality, it died of old age and their ancestors squatted in the remains. The truth was eventually lost to the ages.
- Evil Smells Bad: It's really hard to get used to the smell.
- Giant Corpse World: The corpse of a giant turtle large enough to be an island in its own right, with an entire town built in its rotting shell.
- Meaningful Name: A city built within a dead Aspidochelone.
- Not-So-Safe Harbor: Well, they treat you as hunting quarry, for starters...
- Turtle Island: This island was originally built on the shell of a great turtle.
- Wretched Hive: The Chelonites don't have many interests beyond hunting and killing. They will often pick off your crew if you try to alleviate terror here.
- An isle of answers.
- Disproportionate Retribution: Apparently, the inhabitants of Codex are exiled from Whither and forbidden from speaking... because they answered questions instead of asking them. To this day, that's all they do, in their silent, impenetrable way.
- Here, the dark waters run down from the surface, from a brighter sea...
- Cool Gate: Several consecutive Cool Gates, being a ladder of ship locks that allow vessels to gradually ascend or descend between the surface and the Neath. It is the only known passage between the two realms, at least one with enough capacity to move large amounts of cargo through note . Thus it is of extreme strategic and economic importance to be kept safe by all parties.
- Nothing Exciting Ever Happens Here: One would think the primary gate between the surface and the neath would be an utter dogpile of Great Game shenanigans, corruption, and red tape. The truth is, however, that since the Great Game, the Bazaar, and the Surface Governments have it in their best interest to keep the place orderly and safe, that's exactly what they do. So well, in fact, that the Admiralty barely pays you for compiling port reports on the place.
- Glamour: The drownies here are working an Enthralling Siren kind of deal, and as long as you don't look too closely, Dahut and its natives appear beautiful and idyllic.
- Sanity Meter: An intricate one, just for this town. You have separate bars for Enthralment (how deeply you are under the spell of Dahut) and Clarity (how clearly you truly perceive it). Uncovering all of Dahut's secrets involves carefully manipulating both.
- Town with a Dark Secret: There is of course no way a village as uncanny as this doesn't have one. They've got human prisoners in the cathedral, holding them there until they agree to go drownie as well.
- Underwater City: The drownies are maintaining a kind of air bubble around it. The enchantment is powerful enough that some zailors have foolishly wandered away from the livable zone and drowned.
The Dawn Machine/The Grand Geode
- A distant song like a mirage.THE SUN THE SUN. THE SUN. THE SUN.
- Cargo Cult: At this point, the New Sequencers worship what they've created. Then again, the Judgements (of which the Dawn Machine is an artificial version) are basically gods in the Fallen London universe the highest on the Great Chain (which is similar to the Great chain of being), further above humanity than humanity is above insects.
- Deus Est Machina: The New Sequencers hope to create one. Help them enough, and they'll succeed.
- Gone Horribly Right: They wanted to make their own Judgement, and they got something pretty close to it. Complete with the "sentient" part, which became a problem when their lawmaking machine decided "everyone should obey me" is now a law and burned it into its followers' brains.
- Madness Mantra: If you sail too close to or under the Dawn Machine, your Terror will skyrocket while your crew screams HE SUN THE SUN THE SUN THE SUN THE SUN THE SUN T
- More Than Mind Control: The Machine works in subtle ways. Many of its subjects don't realize that their devotion to it is not fully of their own volition.
- Repressive, but Efficient: The slogan of the Dawn Machine's creators, the New Sequence, is "progress without change" — social structures and traditions reborn in a new, unified, efficient, form.
- Screw the Rules, I Make Them!: In the Fallen London universe, the laws in the universe are dictated by the Judgements — stars. They decide what Is and destroy what Is Not with their light. The reason why the Neath is so full of weirdness is that the Judgements can't detect or reach it with their light (except Aestival). This is important because the Dawn Machine is actually a customized version of a Judgement built by the New Sequence, which means that they can put whatever laws that they want into it, functionally rewriting the universe to their own designs. It'll only be enforced when the machine is fully active. You can get a glimpse of said rule-writing if you buy Dawn's Law from them and use it at Aestival.
- Utopia Justifies the Means: As far as a tyrannical Deus Est Machina can or would justify anything, at least. Unlike most Judgements, the Dawn Machine has some personal regard for its followers, giving them infinite happiness, purpose, and fulfilment. When it overtakes London in its supremacy ending, nearly every person in London has a new lease on life. Whether its worth losing your free will is up for debate, of course. Especially for those who fall outside the category of "nearly every person in London".
- A fervid forest of fungus.
- Corrupt Corporate Executive: Averted with the Station Master, who is just as abused and neglected by his bosses back in London as anyone who works on the island. Played straight with the islands true owner, Mr Iron.
- Festering Fungus: Cutting and harvesting mushrooms all day leads to spores getting into the workers' clothes, hair, lungs... until eventually, there's less person left than there is fungus.
- Fungus Humongous: A forest of fungus, harvested like lumber.
- No OSHA Compliance: The place kills workers at an alarming rate, to the point that The Admiralty has been asked by H.E.M. to keep an eye on the place and keep the horrors to a minimum.
Empire of Hands
- The apes watch you hungrily.
- Berserk Button: Never call them monkeys. They are apes.
- Dramatically Missing the Point: As explained in the writer's blogpost, the Apes don't have a real understanding of what they're building, due to the fact that the knowledge they've imbued from human souls is from multiple sources, and they are incapable of establishing any perspective on it. As said, sometimes this is played for comedy, but most of the time it's not.
- Forbidden Zone: London has a trade embargo on the place, for various reasons.
- Green-Eyed Monster: The Apes desperately want to be like humans, but they keep being rejected, with the Admiralty putting a blockade on the place. And in their attempts to be more like humans, they steal human souls and house those in themselves, which in the end only gives them enough knowledge to see what they'll never have. The result is a burning hatred for humanity, held especially by their Emperor. The fact London refuses to have anything with them, while being in perfectly good relations with devilsnote , is also particularly incensing for them.
- Gone Horribly Right: The Anarchists want to use the Monkey Emperor's thirst for revenge against London to further their own ends. If you help, his revenge plot goes really well. Really, really well. It goes so swimmingly that London barely qualifies as a city by the time it's over. Sure, Supremacy Anarchists reaches ten, but by that point the only thing left to liberate is a smouldering ruin.
- Gone Horribly Wrong: One of the prizes in the tomb of the First Emperor is a bowl of his memories, frozen in red honey. If you take one, you momentarily fuse with his identity as you look at each others' memories. The player is presented with a legitimately beautiful vision of a kingdom where great minds, muses and ideas are never truly lost in death. When they snap out of it, they will find the First Emperor has been weeping uncontrollably through them.
- Noodle Incident: Regarding the embargo on the Empire, the Admiralty simply says "They know what they did." They refuse to elaborate on that.
- Ruins for Ruins' Sake: Invoked. With their partial and haphazard understanding of humanity, the Pentecost Apes are aware that great rulers are often entombed in ancient ruins, but don't quite understand where ancient ruins come from. As a result, they've covered one of the Empire's islands in "ancient ruins", built specifically for the purpose of being ancient ruins.
- Uplifted Animal: The Pentecost Apes who inhabit the place (actually monkeys, they have tails) are uplifted monkeys. They do this by getting human souls (normally via stealing them) and infusing those into themselves. It's also possible to infuse more than one soul into a monkey's body.
- The eye! The eye! As vast and round and wild as the moon! Your crew shriek and cavort! You, of course, are calm. Utterly calm. Calm as the moon! Those noises must be coming from someone else!
- Eldritch Location: With a zubmarine you can now dive below the ocean and observe it more closely. Go ahead! What Could Possibly Go Wrong? Falling into it takes you to a thoroughly unpleasant alternative dimension where a thing applauds your bravery, and rewards you by turning you into a "message" to the Neath from the Liberation of Night, accomplished by causing you to painfully grow an extra eye.
- Eyes Do Not Belong There: An eye has no business being on the zee-floor. Nor do they on a "unobtrusive" part of your body.
- Giant Eye of Doom: It is an eye that causes you to gain Terror at an alarming rate in its presence.
- Like an iceberg, like a Bazaar-Master's scheme, like the Neath itself, most of the Hold is invisible.
- Astonishingly Appropriate Appearance: That quote at the top, describing how most of the hold is hidden and you can only see the tiniest part at the top? That describes the Fathomking, too.
- Deadly Decadent Court: When granted an audience, you most often walk in on the last moments of an execution or a blood sacrifice, or both at the same time.
- Decadent Court: The Fathomking has his whims. The Drownies, and those who wish to court their favour, must follow.
- Did You Just Romance Cthulhu?: The Fathomking gained his domain and powers by marrying a Lorn-Fluke. Which are giant, sentient alien sea urchins.
- Orphean Rescue: If one of your officers dies, it's possible to strike a deal with the Fathomking to rescue them, as he has providence over those who die at Zee. It, however, comes at a very high price. You can also do the same with nameless crewmen, for a much smaller price (though still more expensive than just recruiting more in London).
- Shout-Out: To the supposed fate of King Alonso of Naples in The Tempest:Full fathom five thy father lies;
Of his bones are coral made;
Those are pearls that were his eyes:
Nothing of him that doth fade
But doth suffer a sea-change
Into something rich and strange.
Sea-nymphs hourly ring his knell
- Was Once a Man: The Fathomking was once a human being, just like the Drownies who are his subjects.
- No spider ever wove so complex a web.
- Eldritch Abomination: In one of Frostfounds galleries, countless dead zee abominations are strung up on hooks and chains. Your captain realizes that their ship would only be the absolute tiniest speck in the tiniest pore on the skin of one of these rotting behemoths.
- Eldritch Location: Frostfound was built to confine a great number of dark secrets. You are warned by the squatters outside that (a) entering is an affront to the Gods of the Zee, and (b) the castles will strip you of your stories and self. Within, time and space become... warped... Even the outside is one, since it was crafted by a Judgement, so it's crawling with Correspondence sigils. Accidentally looking into the wrong crevice or at the wrong wall and reading a sigil could burn you alive, eat your memories, or worse.
- Ice Palace: Frostfound is a gigantic, towering and intricate ice castle built by a God.
- No-Sell: Advancing through the palace requires surrendering to its horrors. Captains who have nothing to wager will find they still have much to lose. On the other hand, fight back with stories of your own and you might continue unharmed. The Iron test, in the aforementioned gallery of corpses, has possibly the greatest example: "Yeah, I've killed worse."
- Refuge in Audacity: The final room of Frostfound — its pitch black core — absolutely, positively will send you mad if you didn't come prepared. One of said ways is to have defied the Gods and wrecked the temple in Whither. If you've done that then you can simply say to yourself "So what? It's just an imaginary castle built by an imaginary God" and leave with 0 terror.
- Sacred Hospitality: The squatters happily take tea with travellers, and keep spare supplies in case a ship gets lost. They end up at Frostfound more than one would think.
- Step carefully.
- Not-So-Safe Harbor: The center of piracy for the Corsair's Forest, which got its name for a reason. Exploring the town risks being attacked by roving thugs, and the nearby waters are the hunting ground of pirate ships.
- Wretched Hive: Rival pirate-gangs and privateers squabble over stolen treasures. Don't linger too long, or you'll be taken for a spy.
- Cool Boat: As with its sister city, the Gant Pole is patrolled by a unique vessel that is there to make your life a misery. In its case it is The Irrepressible, a large, strange-looking submarine that packs a hell of a punch.
- Elephant Graveyard: This place is composed of and surrounded by remains of zee-creatures that went there to die. After you discover it, you might decide to spare the lives of certain zee-monsters that you defeat so they can come here as well.
- Giant Corpse World: The submerged, petrified heart of something colossal, easily the size of most surface islands and hosting a settlement within itself.
- Mystery Meat: A merchant in the Chelonate will pay quite handsomely for barrels of rotten meat, providing they're from the Gant Pole.
- Real After All: The place is half fairytale and half hazing ritual back in London. Telling the folks back home that you've actually been to the place has predictable results.Here they come — the smirking requests from every Captain in the place, wanting to know if you've found their lost pocketwatches. By the time the clerk pays up, it's clear he's paying more for the amusement than the information.
- Waif Prophet: The Pole's noteworthy resident, the Fading Haruspex. She's a very old and frail diviner who works in animal entrails.
- Sometimes — just occasionally — bits of the roof fall off. Be glad you weren't here when this one did.
- Church Militant: The monks there are pirates. Though they get very vague when you ask how exactly an isolated group of monks, sworn to celibacy, have persisted for generations.
- Darkness = Death: You can explore the tunnels beneath the monastery, but you had better bring plenty of foxfire candles...
- Ghost Town: The monastery is only one of the many structures occupying the stalactite. The rest were apparently half-abandoned even before they fell into the zee, and are riddled with the warped skeletons of their former inhabitants.
- Stay in the Kitchen: They scoff at the Presbyterate Adventuress's wish to die in battle against them. Girls have no concept of the nobility of battle!Adventuress: What about the nuns?
Abbot: Go fight them, then!
- On the back of a gigantic beast live exiles from every corner of the Neath. Here gathers the traitors, heretics, artists, fools, and the too-honest. Despite possessing a range of radically different ideologies, these outcasts live together peacefully.
- Awful Truth: While Temtum is docile, he is still growing and no amount of love for his master will let him fight biology. He will destroy Hideaway at some point.
- Base on Wheels: Hideaway is built on the shell of possibly the largest crab in the Unterzee; said crab is tamed and being trained by the Sprightly Visionary. If the Visionary is favored during Hideaway's Side Quest, he can train Temtum to breach Nidah's walls for the Immortality Ambition.
- Big "WHAT?!": Despite being officially of the opinion that there is nothing of consequence beneath the waves, the Admiralty have a suspiciously broad knowledge of the underwater domains, and treat most of your reports from those places with nonchalance. You do, however, get a different reaction by turning in a report from Hideaway.A city on a WHAT?!
- Gentle Giant: Temtum itself is perfectly content carrying a city on its back, loves its trainer dearly, and has actually been fighting back against the urge to shed its shell to avoid destroying the city.
- Giant Enemy Crab: The only time Temtum is known to get violent is when Arik orders it to take down the walls of Nidah. Despite being enormous, thick and made of solid basalt, the walls collapse like meringue when this order's carried out.
- The Hedonist: Whenever a Hideaway citizen isn't working maintenance, odds are they're participating in the nightly completely and utterly bizarre festivals.
- Wretched Hive: Played with, as Hideaway is unambiguously a city full of exiles. However most denizens' crimes are political or scandalous in nature, and the work required to keep everyone from drowning ensures there's never enough time to spare for old rivalries.
- A quiet isle; a grand old house.
- The Hecate Sisters: Cheery, playful Lucy; creative, enigmatic Phoebe; dour, prophetic Cynthia. Unless they're the Three Graces. Or the Furies. It depends which one you ask.
- Humanoid Abomination: The sisters' maid is openly non-human, though she doesn't start actually climbing sheer walls and hissing until she's very stressed.
- Meaningful Name: Cynthia means "moon", Lucy means "light", and Phoebe means "shining". If you've played Fallen London, you'll know about what they keep in the well.
- Nothing Is Scarier: You never find out exactly what happened to the Keep or its inhabitants by the end of the arc. The only clues you get are the Maid shrieking about a group of Zailors who "didn't deserve this" and Phoebe ranting about how she can no longer stomach some sort of "deal" the sisters made.
- Old, Dark House: Though on an island instead of a hill.
- Really 700 Years Old: While their exact age is not given, Phoebe, after you deliver her to the surface, says that their grandmother was there on the surface, watching when the Bazaar first came from the High Wilderness to hide in the Neath, and moved into the Neath to follow the Bazaar.
- None have ever spoken truthfully of this place.
- Must Have Caffeine: Falling asleep in Irem can lead to longer and unwanted trips to Parabola, and thus they highly value Darkdrop Coffee that'll prevent this little problem.
- Place Beyond Time: Irem doesn't yet exist in the strictest sense, bordering as it does Parabola, the land beyond mirrors. It only will exist. And you visit it at the time it exists, except that's yet to arrive, so once you leave you always will have visited it but have not yet done so. Confused? Imagine what it's like actually going there. The officer taking your Port Reports actually groans when he hears you bothered to write a report on Irem, and gets someone else to listen to your findings before briskly leaving the room, lest he get a headache.
- Scenery Porn: "She will rise from the zee and the ice like dawn. She will be garlanded with red and decked with gold." It's hewn out of an iceberg, inlaid with stone and strewn with the petals of red flowers; the whole effect is incredibly pretty.
- Time-Travel Tense Trouble: Irem was. Irem is. Irem will be. Visitors report difficulty keeping their tenses straight, particularly when they arrive to find themselves already struggling with them in the future. Trying to submit the port report to the Admiralty officer will cause him to freak out due to the tense problem."Oh God. Oh God. What tense is it written in? Oh God. Look, just read it to my colleague here. He'll give you your fee. I'll be over there when you're done."
The Iron Republic
- Hell's client-state. Be wary. Their laws are not the laws of Man or Nature.
- Brown Note: Writing a report on the Republic can damage your Hearts or Pages stats. It can also raise them, though.
- Dissimile: The factory-engines of the Iron Republic roar like "false-lions". What are false-lions? Well, who really knows.
- Eldritch Location: You can, with some effort, write a report about the place for the Admiralty. Unfortunately, when you submit it, it will either be completely blank or violently explosive.To record the Republic's events — it's like trying to sing wax or believe water. You do what you can. The third paragraph buds eyes. The date is fundamentally wrong. The full-stops bite. You do what you can.
- Reality Is Out to Lunch: In the Iron Republic, it rains constitutional reforms, vowels are at war with consonants, and parts of your mind keep escaping and walking off on their own.
- Timey-Wimey Ball: Deliver a passenger to the Republic, and they might meet themselves returning to your ship. Twice. At the same time.
Isle of Cats
- Where there are roses.
- Emotion Eater: Indirectly. Their bees harvest the memories of their prisoners, which are then experienced by the honey-eaters. Richly emotive memories are particularly prized. The experience is agonising for the victim harvested.
- Historical Domain Character: The island is based on colonial South-East Asia at the height of the opium trade. Fittingly, its ruler is Leopold Raffles, the son of Stamford Raffles, founder of Singapore.
- Wretched Hive: The Pirate-King keeps the different stripes of criminal more or less in line, but that just means they all subscribe to his particularly wretched brand of villainy.
- Echoes stalk you through the colonnades.
- Eldritch Location: If you give in to its influence, you will go mad, and likely devour your crew. No one knows who built it.
- Names to Run Away from Really Fast: Kingeater's Castle is bad enough, but the Admiral's nickname for it is Despair's Fastness.
- Nothing Is Scarier: The approach is full of colossal statues, each one seeming to reach out for your ship. The temple walls are decorated with massive hearts. There are two options that qualify as Press X to Die. Providing you don't do something profoundly foolish, however, Kingeater's Castle is a safe port and actually has a way to reduce terror. Knowing this will not make it any more pleasant.Everything is horrible.
It's not really an appropriate title for a formal report, is it? Let's find something a little more clinical.
- Press X to Die: You can choose to "Lose your mind" and "Eat your crew".
- Snicket Warning Label: Two of the three things you can usually do there are accompanied by flavor text saying "Do not do this".
- Title Drop: More like tagline drop, but you can choose to "Lose your mind" and "Eat your crew".
- Ascended Extra: It has long been visible underwater near London, though it only became visitable with the release of the Zubmariner expansion.
- Brick Joke: Is one itself, to the point even the developers make jokes about Low Barnet being accessible. In addition, the developers are going to add a Sky Barnet in Sunless Skies, saying "We've got this punchline waiting and we've got to build a game to justify that punchline."
- Istanbul (Not Constantinople): The place's name is a joke based upon High Barnet, a real-life northern connurbation of London that's on high ground.
- Soul Eating: The Bell has some sort of rudimentary intelligence, and will devour the souls of people who ring it. As far as players can tell, it's not possible to get your soul back from it, unlike if you lose it in the Empire Of Hands or at Mt. Palmerston.
New Khanate (Khan's Heart, Khan's Glory, Khan's Shadow)
- London's rival.
- City on the Water: All three Khanate islands are built on water, with the Heart and Glory being built as City of Canals, while Shadow being assemblage of ships.
- Civil War: Between the steely civility of the aristocratic houses and the restless power of the exiled traditionalist warriors.
- Decadent Court: London certainly sees the Khanate as a traditional example. In practice, it's more of an edifice of ritual and bureaucracy over a pragmatic political machine.
- Derelict Graveyard: Khan's Shadow is a city made up from countless decommissioned ships.
- Interchangeable Asian Cultures: It's hard to tell exactly what country or kingdom this city was originally part of — the name suggests Mongols but the architecture looks Japanese or Chinese. Then again, it's possible their culture has become very different than it initially was since their city fell — that, and you are a nineteenth-century English person, with all the cultural sensitivity that implies.
- Must Have Caffeine: The Khan, leader of the aristocratic Leopard clan, loves coffee, and gifts of it are the most straightforward method of currying favor to get a merchant's licence.
- Scenery Porn: Stately tiered palaces, floating gardens, strings of lanterns hanging over the water... the New Khanate is gorgeous.
- Sinister Surveillance: It's difficult to do anything in Khan's Heart without being closely watched. With enough investment, you can entirely justify the Khanate's suspicion of you by setting up your very own spy network.
- State Sec: The White-and-Golds, controlled by the Taimen house, oversee and regulate the activities of foreigners and suspected subversives in the new Khanate.
- Wrong Side of the Tracks: Khan's Shadow houses all those that don't fit into the Khanate's new order — nomadic privateers, revolutionaries, criminals and exiles, all crowded into a floating shanty town (a sea-shanty town, if you will).
- The wise and the wicked seek sanctuary here, where the fruits are plenty and the woods wild.
- Absent-Minded Professor: Despite the intellectual power amassed in the College, no-one's taken the time to construct anything beyond the flimsiest of crude huts — they're all too busy hosting salons and constructing theories that will never be published.
- Bubblegloop Swamp: The Wisp-Ways are somewhere between a toxic swamp and a haunted forest. Amphigators and man-eating ants abound, but you might stumble upon a wisp. They're lucky, except when they aren't.
- Nice Job Breaking It, Hero!: Do not leave a Blemmigan at the College, unless you want your swamp excursions to be even more excruciating.
- Brimstone. Always brimstone.
- Fantastic Racism: Actually subverted. The human dwellers of the island don't mind the exiles from Hell living there since they mainly keep to themselves.
- Government in Exile: It's home to the Brimstone Convention, which acts as this for the exiles from Hell.
- Volcano Lair: The devils live in the volcano. The local humans live at its base, and steer clear of the devils.
- Fires on the hillside...
- Campbell Country: A small English fishing town.... with strange skeletons in its closet.
- Ghost Town: After a certain amount of time has passed, the place becomes deserted, apparently overnight. Nobody seems to know what became of the inhabitants.
- Multiple Endings: Once Time the Healer reaches a certain threshold, Mutton Island will either be forcibly annexed into London/the Dawn Machine's control (which bars you from any action other than compiling a port report), conquered by the Khanate (which starts a small sidequest concerning smuggling refugees to the Shepherd Isles), completely abandoned after a Fruits of the Zee festival (though you can still make port reports), or permanently quarantined by the Admiralty after the inhabitants' cannibalism is discovered. Notably, unlike most of the other story arcs, you have no control over which fate befalls the island; its chosen entirely at random each playthrough.
- Mystery Meat: Rubbery Lumps are Lorn-Flukes. Eat the wrong batch and you end up a Drownie after death.
- Town with a Dark Secret: It's a charming little village, known for its seafood, its apple orchards, and its country festivals. And its worship of the Drowned Man, its wrecking of ships, and its ritual human sacrifices.
- The sun beats down like rain. Occasionally, the rain beats down like rain.
- Impossibly Delicious Food: Food grown or raised in sunlight is often noted to be much more vivid and enticing than most of what you find in the Neath. It's also cheaper than in most ports.Zailors lick their lips as the provisions come aboard. Warm rye bread, ripely blushing tomatoes, wheels of creamily irresistible cheese, cured hams that set the coxswain's nose twitching like a rabbit's. You'll eat well tonight.
- Reality Ensues: If you decide to try turning a profit hauling cargo across the Mediterranean you have to pass a luck challenge. Hit the 40% fail rate and your voyage involves an encounter with a storm — your ship is made for the windless waveless Zee, and is rated more for zee monsters than for weather.
- Weakened by the Light: Life in the Neath renders humans vulnerable to the light of the Sun. Your captain tries to stay inside in the day and only travels by night. The more you do on the Surface the more of your zailors vanish. Some are deserting. Some just die where they stand.
- BEYOND IS NOOK. BEYOND IS FREEDOM. BEYOND IS-
- The Hedonist: Nook's inhabitants just seem to do whatever the hell they want to, be it rob each other, sleep with each other, drug themselves into stupors, or all of the above. It's all about enjoying yourself down here.
- Lamprey Mouth: Significantly toothier than your average lamprey, and several orders of magnitude above one in size, but whatever this zee-monster actually is seems to take after lampreys in terms of maw.
- Liquid Courage: Nookwater is far more palatable when it's chasing a few bottles of wine.
- More Teeth than the Osmond Family: Try counting the sheer number of teeth of this zee-monster.
- Starfish Alien: It'd seem that the beast of Nook is yet another member of the stellar fauna of which the Bazaar is but another member. A particularly huge one that finds this planet to be a tiny prison and can do nothing but watch the stars and hunger, but one of them nonetheless. Its biology is very similar and very alien at the same time, having recognizable flesh and a digestive system as well as strange, glowing organs and a capacity to make water breathable without even thinking about it.
- Super Not-Drowning Skills: Nookwater is breathable after an adjustment period. Breathe it too long and you might forget air.
- Womb Level: A lawless city built in the mouth of a massive Zee-beast.
- DO NOT RETURN, SENDER
- Ascended Meme: The entire island is a reference to the strategy for those who Seek Mr. Eaten's Name in the Fallen London web game. The Seekers would often send each other parcels of rats, especially for Christmas (or as they referred to it, "Ratmas"). There is also a quest during the Mr. Eaten's name story that has the player maroon themselves on an island without supplies and meditate for days to weeks in real-life. The intended difficulty of this leg of the quest was supposed to be the scant resources that could result in death/restarting the quest. The fandom figured out an exploit — sending each other Christmas cards and other social interactions — which granted those in this part of the quest unlimited resources. The seeking groups envisioned an elite team of mailmen delivering rats and care packages to eldritch monks meditating on islands lost in the Unterzee — hence: Nuncio.
- Call to Adventure: The place calls on postmen, and it has been going on since the First City!
- Eldritch Location: Implied to be the result of a Judgement's law, regarding "messages", leaking into the Neath when the Bazaar arrived. Since the law is mostly alone in the lawless Neath, it festered without anything to balance it out, and the place became the concept of "messenger" turned into a physical location, hence the bizarre effect it has had on mail and mailmen.
- Unstoppable Mailman: Deconstructed. The postmen of Nuncio have been taxed badly by the massive repetition and scrupulosity demanded by their work; the Hairless Postwoman, for example, is hairless because she compulsively pulls her own hair out.
- Two houses, both alike in dignity.
- The Cassandra: It's clear from the way they treat your port reports that the Admiralty simply don't believe you about Pigmote Isle. Which is bizarre, given how many pieces of vital intelligence you've probably given them, and Pigmote being about 2 on the out-of-10 scale of Neath strangeness. Your character has a wry way of looking at it:Captain Whiskers, that's what they call you. At least they pay to laugh at you.
- Civilized Animal: The Republic are common Rattus Faber, often seen in London, looking for a land to practice their engineering arts in peace. The House are talking guinea pigs, escaped from a wealthy eccentric's collection, seeking to establish a glorious kingdom of their own.
- Snobs Vs Slobs: The Republic being the working class Slobs with the House being the upper class Snobs.
- HERE IS SCREAMING.
- Fisher King: The King with a Hundred Hearts — his very dreams shape his land and his people.
- Genius Loci: Both the island as a whole, and every object on it, live through the King's expansive life-force.
- Golem: The Clay Men are an entire society of them. Some will even voluntarily board your ship to be ferried as cargo to Fallen London (payment to you upon delivery). Others can be brought on as "crew" to tend the engine while requiring no sustenance of their own (though they still take up space).
Port Cecil / The Principles of Coral
- A sourceless silver glow. A haven for players of games.
- Death Seeker: The Principles enlists your aid in "dissolution", after one more game of chess.
- Genius Loci: It's a coral reef. It talks. And it likes chess.
- Pronoun Trouble: The Principles struggles with pronouns — to the extent of confusing itself, other people, material objects and abstract concepts.
- Smart People Play Chess: A sentient coral bed that enjoys chess. Everyone who lives on it seems to as well.
- What Is This Feeling?: During your quest to collect the various artifacts that act as chess pieces for the Principles' last game, it mentions to you that it's lived its entire life without any regret at all — it never regrets. This, of course, stops being so if you throw the final match against the Nacreous Outcast, which means it doesn't ever get to die like it asked."Now I regret," the Principles sighs. "Now at last I regret. I regret trusting you, stranger."
- Evil Pays Better: Generally, backing out of the worse options presented will result in lesser-quality cigars.
- Mood Whiplash: On the outside, a simple, quaint if ridiculously-placed cigar shop. Who would've expected within it you'd be committing some of the most disgusting acts in the game?
- There is a vast sorrow in their empty eyes.
- Build Like an Egyptian: The Salt Lions are monuments in the style of the Egyptian Sphinx, and you can even detect a hint of the desert while on the waters near them. Almost certainly built by inhabitants of the Second City.
- Fantastic Drug: A very unusual variation, but it explains why they're so valuable as cargo. They're drugs for the Bazaar itself. When it consumes the stone from the Salt Lions, it becomes lost in happier memories and weeps from nostalgia.
- Tears from a Stone: The stone quarried from the Salt Lions is imbued with an ancient sadness, and may, in fact, begin to weep during transit.
- The sound of their constant motion is like pebbles on a beach...
- All Webbed Up: The islands (and their human inhabitants) are visibly covered in web thanks to the workings of local sentient spiders.
- And I Must Scream: The victims that the spiders hang from the Tree of Seasons are kept alive, blind, and unable to move... more or less forever. Burning them to death is considered merciful.
- Ghost Ship: Among the web-covered ruins of the Rocks is the Nocturne — as in a dark reflection of the Mary Celeste, but with spiders.
- Kill It with Fire: A natural reaction to the place for many, and you can pursue it by burning down the spiders' most treasured monument. Doing so either kills or enslaves every single person in the settlement, closes the port, and ends the shaky accord between spider and man for good.
- Rope Bridge: All of the islands are connected by silk bridges the spiders have constructed.
- Servile Snarker: The spiders' Emissary describes his masters in terms that might sound flattering to an inattentive listener.
- Spiders Are Scary: Saviours' Rocks is one of the more unpleasant locations in the game, which is saying something. See I Must Scream, above.
- Berserk Button: Do not overstay your welcome in the archives. The scribes will come down on you like a ton of bricks if you do, and you will not be the same afterwards.
- Equivalent Exchange: You want information? This is the place to come. But the Scrimshanders consider all recorded history valuable, including the fact you visited. So be prepared to hand something significant over to prove that you did.
- Meaningful Name: Scrimshaw: etchings and engravings in bones, and Scrimshander's primary building material.
- Must Have Caffeine: Like any historian, Scrimshander's archivists need a lot of coffee for the more boring bits of their work, and can be bribed for extra time in the archives with sackfuls of coffee.
- Sheep, lichen, standing stones
- Non-Indicative Name: There's no shepherds on the island, since sheep are illegal.
- Tall Tale: The favorite pastime of the residents. The port reports you receive from there are mostly nonsense, and require a substantial Veils check to submit as fact. You can hear even more by asking about the local sights.
- We may infer a Station I and a Station II. We may conjecture a Station IV.
- Angsty Surviving Twin: The Austere Acolyte gave up on life and joined Station III after her sister died. Subverted as the twin was never a blood relative but a dream parasite that went native. You can choose to tell her the truth.
- Human Resources: The place's main operation is heartmetal production, for use in naval weapons. The metals can only be obtained in useful quantity from letting them grow in human hearts. This result in the Soothe & Cooper Tonics, which are pain tonics that have minute quantities of heartmetal in them. When people consume the Tonics, the heartmetal will start to grow and build up in their hearts. This will eventually kill the user, permanently. After that, their corpse will be locked into a longbox, then shipped to the Station for extraction.
- Insurmountable Waist-High Fence: By appearance, the walls around the station may be sturdy but the gate itself seems entirely normal. But this is then subverted, as whatever silvery metal (heartmetal, naturally) the gate's made of is so strong it breaks crowbars, and the captain considers using the ship's guns before giving up.
- Ascended Extra: Like Low Barnet, the Ragged Crow has been visible for quite a while, even more so considering it bears the sort of labeling reserved for city-like landmarks in your map, but until Zubmariner there was no way to interact with it at all, nor anything that made it notable beyond the light and the moths.
- Lighthouse Point: The Undercrow is right under the Ragged Crow Lighthouse, and the latter seems to be run from the Undercrow.
- Macabre Moth Motif: The underside, the overside and the keeper himself are infested with various different types. Because, y'know, it's a giant light in the dark.
- The queenly core of this spore-haunted sea.
- Genius Loci: The locals call it "Mother", and swing between resenting it and trying to please it.
- Fungus Humongous: The place is one humongous fungus, big enough for people to live on it and to have constructed a town on top of its cap.
- Festering Fungus: Surprisingly less prominent than on Demeaux Island, but after visiting on a day when there's a lot of spores in the air your captain finds a small purple mushroom growing on them. Curiously, the locals aren't mentioned to be afflicted by this at any point.
- My Beloved Smother: The locals opinion of the shroom itself. It provides everything but its protection is suffocating.
- Monster Progenitor: Blemmigans seem to originate from here. Interestingly, the locals are eager to give you Docile Blemmigans and reward you for spreading them all over the Unterzee...
- Nothing Exciting Ever Happens Here: The people on the Uttershroom will never know discomfort, but they will never know joy or excitement either.
- The Mirrored City, where Light was always the Law...
- Fantastic Racism: Towards anyone who has become "tainted" by the Neath's darkness.
- Festering Fungus: The intense light doesn't keep spores from infecting the city's fungus-harvesters.
- Glowing Flora: The city is permanently bathed in the glow of a myriad of luminescent fungi. Well, unless the main Mirror is broken.
- The Revolution Will Not Be Civilized: Helping the Neathers toppling the Mihir will result in the city falling prey to the Fingerkings, making things much worse for its people.
- Veganopia: The pious folk of Varchas practice nonviolence, and neither eat meat nor use it for sacrifice.
- Villain Has a Point: It's debatable whether they're villainous, but Mihir's warning of mirror breaking is ultimately correct, even if your character is sceptical about the argument presented, thinking that it might just be the Mihir trying to justify its power. Too bad you'll only realize this if you let the Neathers win...and things go to hell after that.
- Few die in Fallen London. They come here instead.
- Build Like an Egyptian: For some reason, there are multiple Mesoamerican pyramids inside the city and on nearby islands. It's probably relics of Third City settlers.
- Retcon: In Fallen London, it's heavily suggested that there are multiple tomb colonies, with Venderbight and Xibalba being the only named ones (you visit Venderbight in the Nemesis ambition and Xibalba is mentioned in various places. If your Scandal hits 8 you're moved to some unspecified tomb colony). Sunless Sea only has Venderbight; it's likely the others are too small or removed from events to bother with visiting.
- Thriving Ghost Town: An example that isn't because of programming limitations. Venderbight is an active enough settlement for zailors from London to be hoping to be making runs to it when they join a crew, yet approximately one third of the buildings are abandoned.
- Who Wants to Live Forever?: There aren't many options for the exceptionally old and ragged Tomb-Colonist. They can find something that will kill them once and for all. They can check into the Grand Sanatorium... but no-one wants to check into the Grand Sanatorium. Or they can undergo the mysterious Emergence.
- The capital of the Dual Monarchy has seen better days.
- Historical Domain Character: The Café Ferstel is the Café Central, hangout of intellectuals and revolutionaries of all stripes.
- Hide your face! Hide all your faces.
- Animal Stereotypes: Everyone on Visage, locals and visitors alike, wears an animal mask reflecting their social role.
- Becoming the Costume: Heavily implied this is what happens when you put on a mask, both in mind and body. Wearing the frog mask will change your voice into a croak, while wearing the moth mask there's a mention of fluttering your wings. Taking the mask off restores you to the person you were.
- Cargo Cult: Among the structures of Visage is an ancient Nilometer, together with recordings of the height of the water at different times of year. The present inhabitants dutifully pump water in and out to match these recordings.
- Sadistic Choice: You get to choose your own mask when you disembark. Your initial choices are the ignorant, oafish frog; the greedy and selfish locust; or the universally disliked bat. Not acting as your chosen role is punished.
- A chilly city beside a waste of salt.
- Be as Unhelpful as Possible: Ask a question, you'll get a question back. No exceptions for admiralty business, no matter how important. If they answered questions they'd just end up exiled to Codex.
- The prison walls are mercilessly steep.
- The Alcatraz: Feet-thick walls, crawling with guards, and if you make it past those, there's a long drop into the Unterzee and some very hungry giant toads.
- Derelict Graveyard: An underwater city made up of countless shipwrecks.
- Fantastic Drug: The kelp that grows on the wrecks and chains, called "tether", provides a spectacular contact high. If you choose to taste it, you will see visions of yourself and the Fair King interacting, either as lovers, friends or colleagues. The King has seen the very same things, and considers them visions of past lives.
- Lured into a Trap: The Fair King's subjects expend a lot of effort into luring ships to their innocuous blank stretch of water. Like paying you in seaweed crack to go to various ports to spin enthralling yarns to zee captains, for instance.
- Outlaw Town: Populated exclusively by the crews of the Wreckships which surround it. Their whole raison d'etre is to attract more unsuspecting ships to the area to sink and loot.
Albino MorayA particularly ugly zee-monster (according to the captain, at least) who frequents some of the coral reefs. Not too remarkable by zee-monster standards otherwise.
Angler CrabsAs their name suggests, these vast zee beasts combine the hulking clawed armor of the crab with the dangling, bioluminescent lures of the angler fish.
- Giant Enemy Crab: These crabs are comparable in size to the Dreadnought. The Elder variation is even bigger.
- Underground Monkey: Angler Crabs come in three variations (which are Palette Swaps of each other): Western, Eastern and Elder.
The smallest of the Gargantuan Zee-Crabs, they infest the waters near Fallen London. Despite their terrifying size relative to Surface crabs, they are one of the weakest horrors of the Zee, their only menacing trait being how they can soften you up for the bigger, meaner monsters.
- Giant Enemy Crab: Despite being the smallest of the Zee Crabs, they are still huge enough to consume an entire horse very quickly (and messily).
- The Goomba: The weakest enemies in the game, encountered in the home waters near London.
- Light Is Not Good: Its warm yellow glow and celestial eyes are described by Zailors as looking angelic, but it's a ravenous Zee beast all the same.
- Smash Mook: They only know how to rush into your hull, again and again.
- Bandit Mook: They have a chance of stealing an unit of Supplies from your ship when they attack.
- Bat Out of Hell: These bloodsucking creatures won't hesitate to attack you.
- The Goomba: They're most commonly found near Venderbight, which is likely to be one of the first locations to be visited by a new captain, and are some of the easiest enemies to defeat.
- The Swarm: A wheeling flock of bats that moves, fights and dies as one unit.
BehemoustacheA relatively normal zee-beast resembling a huge fish with large teeth and a magnificent moustache that seems to enchant everyone that sees it. Not supernaturally, thankfully; it's simply that great, it'd seem.
- Badass Moustache: Oh yes. You can dedicate special care to trimming it off, and your captain sees endless possibilities as to what to do with it. And if it gets burned off by a cannonball during the fight, you and your zailors will weep for its loss. Of course, the "badass" part comes from belonging to a huge oceanic beast that rams ships to sink them.
BelovedBig but slow flatfish that have a loud, annoying call. Easily the least menacing under-zee creature.
- Living Weapon: Like the bound-creatures, this thing was apparently artificially created. It's not obvious who keeps doing this.
- Loud of War: Killing it has your captain expressing relief mostly that you've finally shut it up.
- Piñata Enemy: These creatures react very slowly to your presence, you don't even need a particularly powerful weapon to kill them before they can retaliate, and the reward for killing them is disproportionately good compared to the difficulty (or lack thereof) of doing so.
- Circling Vultures: They don't wait until you're actually dead, though.
- Feathered Fiend: These birds are nasty.
- Killer Rabbit: It's a flock of parrots! What could they possibly do to... oh.
- Super-Persistent Predator: They will chase a ship for a very, very long time, and they're so fast it's very hard to evade them.
BoundlingPerhaps, once, these creatures were sharks, or tuna, or just a normal fish. Now, the agonizing cages they carry have warped their bodies far too much for them to be comparable to any other creature under the zee.
- Body Horror: You thought Bound-Sharks were bad? These things are that taken to the next level. It's hard to know what shape it started just because it's been warped that much.
Bound-SharksTortured sharks the size of a ship, filled with agony and rage. Fights like a caged beast, except it carries its cage with it.
- Bizarre Alien Biology: The metal cages that bind them have warped their internal anatomies. Their organs are unrecognizable to even an experienced anatomist... oh, and they can survive partial vivisection. These enhancements are implied to be man-made. A vision in Parabola implies that the followers of the Dawn Machine are the ones responsible.
- "Something has been following us. It is patient."
- Boss in Mook Clothing: Constant Companions only appear when your Terror is above 70, and they hit hard and are tough to kill. Despite being a regular non-unique enemy, they can give you nearly as much trouble as the Tree of Ages or Mt Nomad. However, actually killing one will reap you considerate rewards, such as two Judgement Eggs.
- Insect Queen: It carries its grubs around with it, which makes sense given how far it's willing to travel to feed.
- Nothing Is Scarier: Deconstruction. The Constant Companion hunts by smelling fear — indeed, its very name is an allusion to fear — and so only appears when you and your crew's Terror is high. So as long as you aren't scared there's nothing to be afraid of! But if you are...
- Spiders Are Scary: This thing resembles a spider with two extra limbs, and is one of the most (if not the most) dangerous non-boss zee-monster.
- Super-Persistent Predator: If you dive under the Unterzee with 70+ Terror, then expect to be stalked non-stop by this thing, and it will never stop following you until you resurface* . And even then, sometimes...
- Terms of Endangerment: In Fallen London, "Constant Companion" is a term sometimes used in-game to refer to a player character's spouse. This creature is less inherently comforting, though it certainly won't leave you alone.
Dawn FlukeLorn-Flukes are already bad, so what happens when they fall under the Dawn Machine's control? Apparently, they become Dawn Flukes.
- Animalistic Abomination: Either it was particularly susceptible to the Dawn Machine's control, or it just interacted in a strange way with its light, but the radiance seems to have seeped into it in strange ways, and turned an already terrible beast into something worse. It even melts into light when it dies.
- Brainwashed and Crazy: They've fallen under the Dawn Machine's control, and are noticeably tougher than normal Flukes.
- Light Is Not Good: They glow like the sun. Unfortunately, that sun is the Dawn Machine, so...
- Unique Enemy: Despite being regular enemies, Dawn Flukes can only spawn at a single point near the Dawn Machine, so only one can exist at a time.
Lorn-FlukesEvery zailor knows of the Flukes, and every Zailor with a brain fears the Lorn-Flukes. Far more intelligent, and mobile, than their sea-urchin appearance would suggest, Flukes seem to have a society of sorts separate from that of man.
- Always a Bigger Fish: As the Dawn-Flukes prove, even these monsters aren't immune to the Dawn Machine's touch.
- Fantastic Racism: Lorn-Flukes are mad as hell that humans have had things work out okay for them and that the Bazaar is happily harvesting them for stories while the Flukes are all but ignored. They're too mad to even stay in Flute Street, so they roam the zee consumed with rage.
- Heart Drive: A Fluke's core, which is left behind when it dies and breaks apart, contains the essence of what it was, including its memories. These cores bring soaked in the Fictional Color Irrigo makes their examination and dissection a problematic procedure.
- Level Grinding: Wanna make three Secrets quickly, if not necessarily easily? Try killing a Lorn-Fluke and passing a Pages check when looting its corpse.
- Make Me Wanna Shout: They yell Correspondence loud enough to cause explosions. Not that it's hard to destroy things with Correspondence, but they're some of the few to actually weaponise it.
- Mystery Meat: A certain sect of Lorn Flukes are the meat in Rubbery Lumps. Bizarrely, it's voluntary, as it's part of how they make more Drownies.
- Piñata Enemy: If you can pass the Pages check when looting a Lorn-Fluke's corpse, it'll drop three Secrets and a Colossal Fluke-Core, which is worth 500 Echoes to the Alarming Scholar.
- Sea Hurtchin: They look like gigantic purple sea urchins and are therefore harmful to the touch. Although their spikes aren't their only weapon.
- Starfish Aliens: The Flukes are actually aliens similar to sea urchins that originally came from a planet called Axile.
Lornest-FlukeLorn-Flukes are already horrific alien monsters that can wipe out ships on their own. The Lornest-Fluke is, as its name says, even more so. Found only beneath the surface, something about their power seems to have changed them for the worse...
- Animalistic Abomination: Just watching one of them die is a dangerous ordeal for your sanity, and bringing its core aboard may cause some inexplicable incidents within your zub. The Lornest-Fluke has clearly moved beyond merely "alien", and into something worse.
- The Dreaded: The only way to make your sailors happy after killing it is to sail away at full steam. Just interacting with its corpse in any way will terrify them, and if you pass out watching its death you will wake up, your map on your chest, with London helpfully circled in red.
- Glass Cannon: Their health is much lower than the average Lorn-Fluke. This will not save you.
Glowing, and adorned with a ghastly visage of what appears to be a womans' screaming face, the Jillyfleurs are a common foe. Countless zee-ztories exist that give an explanation for why it looks the way it does, but they all contradict one another. Which one is true? Larger Jillyfleurs, known as Jillyfish, can be found near Adam's Way; they are much more durable.
- Item Farming: They're relatively modest and common foes that are a reliable source of zee-ztories, which are never not useful. If you have a ton of zee-ztories, you can instead harvest them for a 50/50 chance to get a Strange Catch, which are only reliably available in Irem (one of the furthest locations from London) and are the only reliable way to get Soothe and Cooper Long-Boxes (which are pretty important for the Station III, Snow Child and Principles' End arcs).
- Uncanny Valley: Invoked. Zailors are so bothered by them, despite the fleurs relative weakness compared to the other Zee-beasts, because of that very human looking face of theirs.
- Use Your Head: Do the giant jellyfish of the Unter hold true to the usual stereotypes concerning their kind in video games? No. Instead they furiously beat their metaphorical skulls against your hull.
LifebergsA common and unwelcome sight in Boreal Reach, animated by some strange core-like object, the Lifebergs add even more danger to what is already one of the least hospitable places in the whole Unterzee. Some Zailors theorize they are the offspring of the legendary Mt Nomad, but nothing concrete is truly known about their origins.
- Piñata Enemy: They're definitely much nastier than the usual Piñata Enemy, but they're positively brimming with loot, and worst case scenario you'll haul "only" several supply boxes out of one. Best case scenario they're carrying an ancient temple's worth of archaeological goodies, or a sizeable load of fuel and supplies.
- That's No Moon!: They look like icebergs at a casual glance, and sometimes pretend to be them. But they move. And they bite. And they're fast. And they're tough.
Mt NomadLurking in the freezing, inky waters of Void's Approach, there is... something. A mountain that moves, that speaks Correspondence to calamitous effect. Nobody likes going near the Avid Horizon for a whole list of reasons, but Mt Nomad is near the top of it.
- Bonus Boss: No ambition absolutely requires you take the toughest creature in the game on (even Your Father's Bones lets you go after the Tree of Ages instead). But it is a mountain. It is there.
- Brown Note: It shouts at you in Correspondence as a ranged attack, much like the Lorn-Flukes do. However, its attack does more damage, both in terms of hull and Terror.
- Giant Space Flea Out Of Nowhere: Expect no explanation for what this thing is, why it's so powerful, and why it's floating around the darkest stretch of the Zee. At least until you've defeated it. Even worse, according to text from Fallen London, it apparently makes its presence known in the Forgotten Quarter from time to time, usually with fatal results to the expedition teams it surprises. How it moves on land raises even more questions. Unsettling ones.
- Heinz Hybrid: Mt Nomad's father is the Thief-of-Faces, the original Snuffer. Its mother is Stone, the Mountain of Light, herself the offspring of the Sun (a Judgement) and the Echo Bazaar.
- No Good Deed Goes Unpunished: In one of the story paths, the Fathomking demands you bring him "the heart of a legend" for his help. Bringing him the heart of Mt Nomad satisfies this condition... but it turns out that the creature is his niece. The Fathomking meets his end of the bargain, but lays a bitter curse on you as a bonus.
- Resurrective Immortality: You cannot kill Mt Nomad, only make it submerge for a while. Even landing on it to claim a reward carries serious risk.
- That's No Moon!: You might think it's a small island. Then you might think it's a lifeberg. It's something much worse.
NeitherA deeply creepy sea slug/serpent/undulating absence of light.
- Eldritch Abomination: Watching it dissipate provides an insight that suggests they're some sort of emission from... another place.
- Shadow Walker: It can leap straight out of the darkness and into your light, having come from literally nowhere, with a loud hissing sound that isn't muffled at all underwater. A close look reveals it literally manifested out of nowhere, leaving this as the interpretation.
- Slippery as an Eel:
- Taking You with Me: Sending crew out to salvage its corpse will kill them, in a particularly nightmarish fashion.
A particularly disturbing deep zee-creature that, at first glance, looks like little more than a giant mouth that could swallow a frigate whole. One of the first zee-beasts revealed for the expansion, and certainly a fitting introduction to what you'll find below.
- Bizarre Alien Biology: Even by zee-monster standards, Thalatte anatomy is messed up. Dissecting it properly will require very high Pages scores to properly tell everything apart. Cooking it is even worse; if you mess up, one of your crew will have a taste, get up, and throw themselves into the ship's boiler without a word.The dissection and classification goes slowly. What manner of creature would need a beaked mouth, a hooked sucker-maw, and a double handful of maxillipedsNote ? And several organs once removed simply will not stay put in their designated piles — not until you start staking them to the deck, anyway.
- More Teeth than the Osmond Family: It may well have literal thousands of teeth, and no one's bothered to count.
- Organ Autonomy: If you choose to dissect the creature after killing it, its organs are described as not staying put until you stake them to the deck. You can actually sell them to the aquarium at the Labyrinth of Tigers as Live Specimens.
- Piñata Enemy: Quite tough for one of these, but more than profitable enough to make up for it. Even if you fail, you get stat boosts, and if you succeed at looting it you can either get crawling, lively organs you can sell to the Labyrinth of Tigers as Live Specimens or several tons of supplies.
- Super Spit: One has to wonder how exactly this thing can spit acid underwater, but it manages (though with rather faulty aim), and it will quickly corrode your hull.
Tree of Ages
The champion of Saviour's Rocks is as friendly, modest and non-nightmare inducing as such a place deserves. A spider council of impossible size put to zee, with all the intelligence and power that implies, they want nothing more than a pleasant chat and to be friends.
- Brown Note: Harder perhaps to deal with than the damage it can put out is the sheer terror the "ship" causes amongst your own crew. Because of the length of time it takes to destroy, getting hit by it more than a few times makes any eventual victory moot.
- Eldritch Abomination: Killing it/them provides an insight which suggests sorrow spiders originate from "between the stars".
- Hive Mind: As a spider council, it's essentially a collective embodiment of the countless Sorrow Spiders that compose it.
TriskelegantA bizarre, three-sided, three-mouthed predator that moves by acting as its own propeller.
- Mega Maelstrom: Upon death, it will spin itself to the bottom so fast it'll generate one of these. While it won't swallow your ship, trying to fetch it out of the water in this process may lead to some big, unsightly dents all over your hull.
- Too Many Mouths: Three of them, to be exact. They can all eat, and they can all scream like a thousand shrieking kettles.
Flapping around the moth-infested Ragged Crow is the biggest lepidopteran of all, with substantially more hitpoints than a frigate. Turn your light off.
- Moth Menace: Humongous moths with a wingspan broader than your ship's length from prow to stern, these monsters haunt the Zee near the Ragged Crow Lighthouse, attracted to its light. The also inflict up to a whopping 30 damage when ramming into the player's ship, which is about as hard as a Lorn-Fluke (which you shouldn't be fighting until midgame at best).
WreckshipsNot quite monsters, but definitely one of the memorable foes to find in the Unterzee, Wreckships are vicious combat zubs created by Wrack dwellers from sunken ships.
- Chest Monster: They resemble the mostly harmless, actually lootable kind of shipwreck until they refloat, and the guns turn to you.
- What a Piece of Junk: Partly invoked, as a suspiciously fine-looking shipwreck would not fool you quite as well, and partly just the fact Wrack's pirates really do like their derelicts, and driving them is no exception.
The Drowned ManA god... or not. He is only spoken of lightly in few places, and that he "came from the North, where it is too cold for gods, and to the North he will return". It seems he is connected with wells. Both the Chapel of Lights and, strangely enough, Mutton Island hold him in some reverence.
- Abstract Eater: He can eat your nightmares to free you from them... for a price.
- Black Sheep: Consider that one piece of information said that his brothers and sisters gave him to knife and lacre. This fits into snippets of information in Fallen London on how other Masters betrayed Mr Candles and turn it into Mr Eaten, namely: repeatedly stabbed, devoured by the God-Eaters of the Third City, then dunked headfirst into the Bazaar's lacre, drowning it.
- Colour-Coded for Your Convenience: The narration describing things as being deep, meaty shades of red is an indicator of his influence.
- Horror Hunger: Several of the Unaccountably Peckish-granting actions are ones that are related to him.
- I'm a Humanitarian: He is strongly associated with cannibalism.
The JudgementsMentioned mostly in passing, the Judgements are nonetheless extremely influential beings who have shaped the Fallen London universe in more ways than one.
- Blue-and-Orange Morality: It's hard to assign morality to such intensely powerful and alien beings.
- Eldritch Abomination: No other way to properly describe them. Save perhaps for Cosmic Entities.
- God Is Evil: Life exists, not because their laws made it so, but because their laws permit it for their own gain.
- Greater-Scope Villain: Hunted the Bazaar down into the Neath because it loved and reproduced with the Sun (a being above its station). The Bazaar employed the Masters, steals cities and accrues love stories in the hope it may yet save itself and its love by showing the stories to the Judgements.
- Light Is Not Good: Literally the stars themselves, so light in the universe comes from them. And they are not very nice.
- Lovecraft Lite: The Judgements are the highest gods, whose light forms the physical laws as they please. The premise of Sunless Skies involves them being murdered en masse.
- The Omnipotent: Wherever their light falls, their will is done. Their laws are reality's laws — or, as it's usually expressed in the game, they make what Is and destroy what Is-Not where they find it.
- Sentient Stars: The Judgements are the stars, Sun included, and they use their light to impose their law upon everything they shine upon.
- Starfish Language: They can communicate directly, but lesser beings can rarely withstand hearing them speak, let alone talk back. Usually they use messengers. Their language is the Correspondence. Why else would it glow or set you on fire when written down?
- The Stars Are Going Out: Sunless Skies involves the stars being murdered en masse.
- That's No Moon!: The Sun is a Judgement, but so is every star. That's why its light kills most long-time inhabitants of the Neath: because it reminds them of the laws of life and death. Most frequently the part about death.
- Ultimate Lifeform: It's as debatable how objectively "better" they are as it would be for any other self-declared supreme being. The debatable part comes from the fact that other beings may create or destroy them, even if only by dint of intense effort and expenditure of resources. But their laws, among which is the Great Chain, operate on the assumption that they are indeed better — and so wherever their light reaches, it becomes true. And rarely do said lesser beings manage to control them.
- Walking Spoiler: Their true nature is one of the deepest secrets of the Neath.
Salt, Stone and Storm
The three "nameless" gods of the zee, who appear to have names. They are worshipped by most zailors, who have a variety of superstitions surrounding them — none of which are as strange as the true nature of any one of the gods.
- Abstract Apotheosis: Salt was either a Judgement or something really really close to one, but shifted forms when it gave up on its mission and decided to head East. It retains some qualities of a Judgement, such as producing sunlight, but has clearly changed into something more... conceptual
- Curse: Piss them off, and they'll put their curses on you. It's uncertain, however, as to what they actually do. Stone is yet uncertain, nobody's really observed what her curse does. Storm's curse will screw up weather wherever you're nearby, with frequent fogs much bigger than usual. Salt's curse is the worst: It will either kill your family or wipe your lineage.
- Defector from Decadence: Salt is a former Judgement (or quasi-Judgement, it's not clear) who once served the Judgements chasing the Bazaar. Instead of completing their mission, which would have hastened the end of the Neath, they abandoned their post and went East. They are also doubtlessly the closest thing to a friendly Judgement in the entire series, since they are willing to treat others like equals instead of rigidly following the Great Chain, and don't instantly enforce the law of death on Neathers who enter the range of their light like the Sun does.
- Earn Your Happy Ending: The Exaltation ambition, which ultimately ends in meeting Salt face-to-face, is unambiguously a happy ending. It's implied you meet him as a friend, or even as an equal.
- Establishing Character Moment: If you run out of fuel, and have their attention, you can pray to each God of the Zee individually, and their possible assistance will more or less establish exactly what kind of God each is:
- Stone: Is relatively benevolent once provided a sacrifice of your own blood, giving yourself a wound that emulates her own. She will provide coal no questions asked if you're lucky, and even if you're unlucky she'll provide a backhanded "gift" in the form of an expensive sliver of diamond you could sell if you could actually get back to port.
- Storm: He's furious even if you've pleased him, the sacrifice requires a crewman's death, and the response will be painful. He's likely to tell you to piss off through a big, bloody wave that smashes your hull to pieces, and even if he decides to be helpful he'll do it by dropping a huge stalactite full of coal on another unlucky crewman.
- Salt: Mysterious as always, he can only be called by whispering a secret into the dark. The answer is just as mysterious; displease it, and a giant moth will come for you. If it decides to help, it will teleport you to either Kingeater's Castle or Irem, which is varyingly helpful but doesn't really have much of a reason.
- Infernal Paradise: To meet Salt in the Far East, one must sacrifice everything they are and ever were; in seeking Salt, you become a facet of him. Then again, Salt is the Traveller Returning and the god of farewells: if you're willing to even consider the Price, you're already a lot like him.
- Mind Screw: Two of the three gods' identities are pretty simple: Stone is the living Mountain of Light and Storm is the dragon Fallen London players know from the What The Thunder Said dream. And then there's Salt. Salt is in a class of its own. The player character must go through an Abstract Apotheosis to even begin understanding what it is. The most concrete information is that Salt was an agent of a being named the White (speculated to be a Judgement, for both Salt and the White), and it came down to the Neath to search for something that doesn't exist in the realms of High Wilderness. It couldn't or wouldn't find what it needed in the known Zee, thus it went East. Other than that, not much is known.
- Nice Mean And In Between: Stone is relatively benevolent, associated with life, healing, and home; Storm is furious, associated with blood, Unstoppable Rage, and storms, and Salt is enigmatic, associated with secrets, travelling, and farewells.
- Walking the Earth: Salt, as befitting the god of farewells, is described as doing this. We think.
- Wound That Will Not Heal: Stone (a.k.a. the Mountain of Light (and the Bazaar's daughter)) has a wound that is constantly leaking. Said leak is Adam's Way, the waterway that will destroy all metal ships, and only living ships can go down the place safely. The fact that it's still leaking may indicate that it won't heal.
The Crotchety TobacconistAn old London expat, driven by his quest to create an underwater cigar.
- Despair Event Horizon: Ruin his underwater cigar project, and he will not recover.
- For Science!: His essential motivation, and excuse for doing some remarkably amoral things to perfect the flavours for his cigars.
- Mad Artist: With a touch of Mad Scientist considering the topic at hand, but the things that must be done to get his underwater cigar done are absolutely awful and wouldn't even be considered by anyone of right mind. His apprentice partly qualifies as well, as the only thing that makes him start backing out is finding out it needs Human Resources in the form of a chunk of his skin to roll it up.
- Sore Loser: He really doesn't like it if you beat him at cards.
The Fading Haruspex
- Fortune Teller: Haruspicy is essentially the art of seeing the future using the bones and guts of dead creatures. She uses the zee-beasts that come to die at the Gant Pole for this.
- Really 700 Years Old: Although age is catching up with her. Thus the name.
The Fair KingThe legless, flaxen-haired ruler of Wrack.
- Dream Walker: He's led an eventful life, parts of which you might sample if you partake of the contact high the kelp of Wrack provides.
- Handicapped Badass: Being paraplegic doesn't stop him commanding a legion of heavily armed ne'er-do-wells. He's had the skin of his lost legs tanned and made into wall-hangings.
- Honor Among Thieves: The man is a horrible pirate responsible for the deaths of probably hundreds of sailors, but on a personal level he does live up to his name. If you "find" him through the kelp, he will treat you as a friend, partner or lover.
- King of Thieves: Commands total loyalty over the freebooters of Wrack by maintaining total control on the kelp production and by, well, being fair, most notably by going hungry whenever his subjects do.
- Back from the Dead: At great cost he can resurrect crew members, including officers. He warns you that they aren't ''quite'' the same, though.
- Impossible Task: Asking where your father's bones ended up is a pretty small boon to ask, right? Yes, but he's going to give you several of these anyway, because that's the kind of king he is.
- Jerkass Gods: Very fond of executions and sacrifice, and his judgments are often completely arbitrary.
- Physical God: Lord of the Zee's dead, a significant political power in his own right, and the formerly-human husband to a Lorn-Fluke.
- Wild Card: Frankly, not even his own Drownies can rely on him to do something. No nation in the Neath can count on him to do anything. He will gladly and reasonably trade a story for a few packs of coal, or a living thing for ship repairs. He'll also feed one of his subjects to some unseen beast because he bought silk off spiders, or have a Chelonite Eaten Alive by hundreds of crabs for yelling at him while forcing you to take the tale to the surface so they don't cross him.
Isery and ZairaThe left and right hand claws of the Pirate King Leopold. Do enough on the Isle of Cats and they will take notice. Isery is Leopold's chief enforcer, while Zaira is the head of the Melifluous Sisters, an order of "nuns" who keep the bees and refine their Red Honey, which is one of the Pirate King's top money makers.
- Abstract Eater: Zaira's bees eat the memory's of their victims, but those are preserved in their honey. Eating the honey allows somebody else to relive those memories. Hence why the Red Honey is so illegal.
- Ambiguous Gender: The striking, bald Isery is an effeminate individual of mysterious and indistinct gender.
- Asian Airhead: Zaira is of East Asian descent, which is quite unusual in the Unterzee, where most folk are descended from Europeans or Mongols. She's also in a constant state of slight confusion, which is apparently a professional hazard of working with her bees.
- The Baroness: Technically, both are, since they are both very attractive individuals who work for a man who runs the pirate and drug businesses. Zaira is a beautiful woman, while Isery is effeminate, yet quite elegant and handsome, though of indeterminate gender.
- No Sympathy Between Mooks: They hate each other. You can choose one, and only one, as your sponsor; the other will hate your guts as well.
- Ambiguous Situation: Is she malicious? Or just lonely? What is her origin? Is she responsible for hundreds of drownings? Or was she just present? Or does she not realize that others, without the proper rights, can't survive underwater like she can? Is she some kind of divine figure? A grim reaper, of sorts? Or was she just an ordinary woman subjected to the zee's many, many strange mysteries? How is she able to survive the zee? And what was the origin of the abyssal cathedrals, and the underwater doppelganger of London?
- Arc Number: As in many other places, Seven is key with Lady Black. Specifically, the twenty-one minute limit on diving is because that's how long before she takes you.
- Ascend to a Higher Plane of Existence: She has, possibly. She's almost certainly not human anymore, if she ever has been. Perform her Abyssal Rites in the correct order, and you will as well, and survive her visiting you. She'll be absolutely delighted to have your company.
- Beyond the Impossible: On the other hand, your captain can pull back at the last minute, with the explicit reasoning that no-one has ever seen Her Ladyship and lived. Until now.
- Humanoid Abomination: What exactly she is is not made clear, only that she looks like a beautiful woman with dark hair and a dark dress. What is made clear is that she shares some connection to the the Boatman, and is related to many, many deaths at Zee.
- Nonstandard Game Over:
- If you manage to somehow stay submerged for 21 minutes, she'll come for you, and that'll mean you drown at zee.
- Another form, but a certain victory, is if you perform her Abyssal Rites to appease her. Which abysses you can perform each one in is randomized, but they're impossible to do in the wrong order. Do them, and she'll pay you a visit to appreciate your efforts. You can pull back at the last minute, but her ending ends with Eternal Love. You and her are alone together for eternity, in an abandoned copy of London somewhere in the Unter-Unterzee. But you didn't need anyone else anyway. It's equal parts creepy and heartwarming.
Lorenzo and the Incomparable AurelianThe Almost Dead Man has led a long and occasionally sordid life. He aims to end it on a graceful note, before the moon moth that infests him hatches.
- Face Full of Alien Wing-Wong: It's not entirely clear how the moth came to infest him, however it's so close to emerging from its chrysalis at this point that its movements are animating him.
- Incurable Cough of Death
- The Jeeves: The Aurelian is devoted to his master. The fact that he is obsessed with moths is entirely coincidental.
- Last Request: Lorenzo asks you to carry out a number. It's up to you how you approach them.
- Take Up My Sword: The Aurelian stays on at the Undercrow after Lorenzo dies. Somebody has to keep the lighthouse lit, after all.
- The Chessmaster: As their Schemer, she brought the others together and provided crucial knowledge privy to no-one else. Her charts and maps even remind your captain of a massive game board.
- Defector from Decadence: Mariam was once a Presbyteriate princess. While the others sought personal glory or some sense of idealistic rebellion, Mariam just hated the Prester.
- Immortality Seeker: The Seven Against Nidah's entire schtick. In Mariam's case, she already had an elfin lifespan and really just wanted to knock the Prester down a peg.
- Lost in a Crowd: Scrimshander shields Mariam from the Prester's oracles. It's not her body hiding among bodies, but her lost history hiding among lost histories.
- Mind Rape: Invoked by Mariam herself, as a defense mechanism. The Nidaheen want her most out of all the Seven, so she had her memory nearly destroyed on purpose.
- Putting the Band Back Together: Reassembling the Seven Against Nidah, and replacing those who cannot rejoin, forms the bulk of the Immortality ambition. Mariam is the one who knows who to call, and where and why they're hiding.
- Walking Spoiler: While Mariam isn't a huge character in the overarching mythos, she is a major character for seeking Immortality. Her mission, and its failure, are why many characters in Zubmariner are underwater in the first place.
The Sprightly Visionary
The Wistful Deviless
- Affably Evil: Like most devils you meet in Fallen London. She maintains a Proper Lady appearance and is quite polite to you regardless of the circumstances (occasional dismissive comments about humans aside), but she still has an interest in taking away your soul and takes delight in quite disturbing things.
- Conflicting Loyalty: Between the Brimstone Convention and the current order in Hell that the Brass Embassy represents. She initially serves the Convention, but misses Fallen London and spies on the Convention for the Embassy in hopes that she's allowed to return.
- Chronic Backstabbing Disorder: Her questline heavily involves resolving said Conflicting Loyalty. Once the Brass Embassy sends her the news that she can return in exchange for the important intelligence she sent to them, she eagerly sets off for London. However, there is a chance that the Brass Embassy finds out that she's been feeding them false information, and prepares a different kind of a warm welcome for her.
- Desperately Looking for a Purpose in Life: If the Embassy doesn't discover her treachery and she's allowed to return to London, she becomes absolutely miserable due to not having the same sense of purpose she had when serving the Brimstone Convention. You can lift her spirits or make her even more miserable, depending on your choice of words.
- Fantastic Racism: Like most devils, she occasionally shows a general sense of dismissal towards humans, using the terms "mortal" and "human" interchangeably and commenting on humans being "such an untidy race". And she thinks of your marriage proposal to her as the most hilarious thing she's heard in a while.
- Nightmare Fetishist: Along with a heaping helping of devil-flavoured Blue-and-Orange Morality. She misses London for the suffering of its sick and poor people (among other things), drinks beverages that would be deadly for humans, and at one point she keeps snakes as pets. Which she treats affectionately and then out of nowhere eats one alive when she thinks you're not looking.
- Your Soul Is Mine: Like all devils, the Wistful Deviless has an interest in claiming souls for reasons that she doesn't elaborate on. Near the beginning of her storyline, she politely asks you to give her some, as a "keepsake" to remember Fallen London by. You can choose to give your own.
The Pirate Poet
- Cool Ship: An Alcaeus-class Corvette laden with flares.
- Cultural Rebel: Clay Men are quiet, peaceful, obedient, and dutiful. The Pirate Poet is noted to be a rare if not unique example of a rebellious, but not unfinished, Clay Woman.
- Cultured Badass: Poetry is tattooed all over her body, and she can prove to be dangerous in battle.
- Friendly Enemy: To the point where you start to wonder if getting blown up and salvaged is just her attempting to hang out with you.
- Graceful Loser: She respects a captain who can best her in combat.
- Intimate Artistry: A captain who grows particularly close to her might have a chance to trade poetic tattoos with her. Or, they might get roaringly drunk, and wake up with an Embarrassing Tattoo.
- Offscreen Villain Dark Matter: Seems to have an unlimited supply of Alcaeus-class Corvettes, to the point where she can have four of them shot out from under her over the course of one of your trips out from London.
- Saving the World with Art: She believes that art can inspire the masses to free themselves from tyrants.
- Worthy Opponent: She is searching for one of these, which you can become.