- The Alcoholic: One possible way of reducing your Terror is to take to the bottle when given the option; do it too many times, however, and your coping strategy can result in your Nightmares going up as your addiction takes its toll on you.
- And the Adventure Continues: Most ambitions end with your captain retiring to a life of wealth and fame. However, there are a few exceptions...
- The Martyr-King's Cup ambition. You can pledge your allegiance to the Unseen Queen and become a soldier in her war to destroy death; you can accept the Queen's gift and adventure forever in the Golden Day; or you can kill the Queen, drink the cup, and blaze a trail across the heavens as an immortal skyfarer.
- The Truth ambition. In one variation of the story, you can escape from the consequences of discovering the truth by fleeing back through the Avid Horizon, leaving you to spend the rest of your days having adventures in the Neath.
- Badass Bookworm: A distinct possibility for captains who took the "Academic" or "Poet" background, especially if you took the "Fame" ambition, which requires your captain to pour all their experiences into a bestselling novel.
- Badass Bureaucrat: The "Auditor" origin, in which you started out as a functionary within one of London's ministries.
- Benevolent Boss: Maintaining control of the ship doesn't require quite so much of the whip this time around, and it's possible to reduce fear by performing kind acts for your crew. Among other things, this can involve giving an extra ration of rum to your crew, presiding over the funeral of a dead shipmate, or sharing A Spot Of Tea with another crewmember roused by nightmares.
- Can't Stop the Signal: At the end of the "Fame" ambition, the Ministry of Public Decency deems the Sixth Canto of your memoirs to be subversive literature and has the publishing house behind the Cantos so far closed down. One possible means of getting around this is to set up an underground printing press and produce the now-bestselling novel in such quantities that the Ministry is forced to permit its existence - if only to spare themselves the embarrassment of being outwitted.
- Famed in Story:
- Participating in the war between the Stovepipes and the Tacketies will gradually net you a great deal of attention, to the point that you can end up declared the pride of London or the poster-child for the revolution... though this does mean that the enemy faction will soon begin attacking you on sight.
- The goal of the "Fame" ambition is to become this by publishing your memoirs, to the point that successive captains can consider their copy of the book their inspiration.
- In the aftermath of "The Martyr King's Cup" quest, if you killed the Unseen Queen and seized immortality for yourself, your heir can hear some extraordinary rumors about an invincible sky-pirate...
- Friend or Idol Decision: "The Truth" ambition is set up by the captain researching the loss of an old friend from before they crossed through the horizon. Near the end of the story you're given the option by The Halved to sacrifice your friend's soul to the Fire That Follows in order to be shielded by The Courtesy, allowing you to murder a sun. If you choose not to, the story instead turns to you and your friend's attempt to escape the Fire That Follows together.
- From Nobody to Nightmare: You start out as the hastily-promoted captain of a tiny, badly-damaged locomotive slowly limping home after a spectacularly failed mission. By the end of one captain's tenure, you may have become one of the richest citizens of the High Wilderness, a famous explorer and author, an immortal adventurer, or maybe even the guy who killed a Sun. And that's barely covering the stuff you can do before you end your current game.
- Horrible Judge of Character: It's possible to make some astonishingly poor decisions concerning trust. This being the High Wilderness, this can and probably will end in your untimely death: barring exceptional circumstances, the Amiable Vagabond is not your friend and will gladly use your naivete to screw you over.
- Immortality Seeker: The "Martyr-King's Cup" ambition sends you on the trail of a mysterious artifact that can supposedly imbue the drinker with immortality. In the endings to this quest, you can choose to live forever within the Lotus-Eater Machine of the cup, serve the Unseen Queen in her quest to make all humanity immortal, or betray the Queen and claim her immortality as your own.
- Lotus-Eater Machine: If you choose to accept the Unseen Queen's offer in the finale of the "Martyr-King's Cup" ambition, you descend into the cup itself and spend the rest of eternity as a heroic knight in the idyllic Golden Day, rescuing damsels in distress and slaying monsters with imaginary versions of your crew by your side.
- Mad Scientist: If you chose the "Academic" background, you can be a half-crazed scholar of Correspondence pursuing "knowledge for its sake alone," or one of the many practical scientists employed by the Crown to open the Avid Horizon in the hopes of accessing the wealth of new discoveries that lay beyond it.
- Mysterious Backer: You can become this to your heir after completing the Martyr-King's Cup ambition; if you chose to claim immortality for yourself, then as a new captain opted to take "your immortal predecessor" in the "A Quester In Your Lineage" facet, then the now-immortal skyfarer will be keeping a friendly eye on the new captain - providing a handy Cryptic Benefactor.
- Rags to Riches: As with the previous game, it's possible to go from the dirt-poor captain of a battered low-end locomotive to the fabulously wealthy master of a Moloch-class liner. However, this is the specific goal of the "Wealth" ambition: you don't just have to retire rich, but acquire a Big Fancy House, personalize it, and introduce yourself to society via a spectacular party.
- Screw the Rules, I Have Connections!: Accumulating favors with the Parsimonious Chairman or the Ministry of Public Decency can allow you to wriggle out of tricky situations. In the "Fame" ambition, you can acquire a Royal Dispensation that forces the Minister himself to permit the publication of the previously-banned Song of the Sky.
- Shrouded in Myth: Captains who have finished the "Martyr-King's Cup" ambition are soon surrounded by tall tales, some of them claiming that the immortal captain is the victim of a curse, a divine savior, or even the vengeful spirit of Prince Albert.
- Street Urchin: The origin "Urchin" naturally involves this, with the captain having grown up as a member of the Knotted Sock, the Regiment, or the Fisher Kings.
- Through the Eyes of Madness: Captains pursuing the Martyr-King's Cup begin to experience dislocation from reality, slipping into visions of a medieval fantasy world in which they are heroic knights on a quest. Of course, the crew is not subjected to these visions, and react with understandable confusion to your antics.
- Venturous Smuggler: As with the previous game, a lucrative-but-risky way to make your way is by transporting contraband goods across the High Wilderness. For added fun, it's possible to acquire a rather unique form of hidden compartment in the form of the Portsmouth Arsenal's Mechanical Turk.
The Incautious DriverThe youngest child of the prestigious Stainrod family, the Driver was caught in a train wreck at the Leadbeater and Stainrod's Nature Reserve. This incident gave them a taste for speed, thrills and danger, which they channel into their work as a Chief Engineer.
- Ambiguous Disorder: Zigzagged. On one hand, it's averted in that their condition isn't at all ambiguous in that it's diagnosed early on in their personal storyline. On the other hand, it's played straight in that the symptoms of this fictional condition — trouble staying still, fearlessness, gambling all their money away, and, in one possible option, sleeping with someone spontaneously (and therefore presumably without protection) — are very similar to the real conditions of ADHD and mania.
- Ambiguous Gender: They are always referred to with they/them pronouns. When required to fill out a medical form, they resolve the ambiguity by neatly crossing out the relevant field as not applicable. A portrait is later identified as one of a young boy and his "younger sibling", again omitting any gender identifiers.
- Black Sheep: Explicitly referred to as the prodigal of the family, for gadding about driving steam-trains instead of pursuing a respectable career. This is reflected in gameplay by them increasing your Establishment connections.
- But for Me, It Was Tuesday: Upon approaching a settlement, the Driver may occasionally wonder if they crashed into this farm as well.
- Captain Crash: If left at Portsmouth House, they'll inevitably crash their locomotive in some far-off location and require you to go pick them up, alongside some things they picked up from the impact site.
- Drives Like Crazy: They live for speed, and don't terribly mind if that involves driving a locomotive clear through a farmhouse, terrorizing the crew all the while. Conclude their story properly and they'll become The Judicious Driver, who apparently possesses a better sense of judgement while at the helm. They really still like the occasional daredevil maneuver like tokyo drifting past asteroids just for the fun of it.
- Heroes Love Dogs: Recklessness aside, they're one of the more good-hearted types you can recruit, and they get along really well with the Inadvisably Big Dog, even giving him goggles when he hangs out in the engine room.
- Parasite Zombie: Implied to happen if you make the wrong choices during their personal quest.
- Puppeteer Parasite: Downplayed; they have a fungal infection in their brain which is said to be mostly benign but causes restlessness and irritation until it sees whatever it is it wants to see (so travel is the best medicine). It is ambiguous at first if this is why the Driver is so reckless. Played straight if you try to get them to set the fungus free; it takes over their mind more and more until the Driver all but goes mad, and runs into the Reserve never to be seen again.
- Timed Mission: If left alone for too long after the Driver's father's funeral, the Puppeteer Parasite will take over the Incautious Driver's mind and turn them into the Reckless Driver. Though statistically identical to the Judicious Driver, they will be permanently lost if you return them to the Reserve.
The Incognito PrincessOne of the daughters of the Queen Empress, this delightful, entirely innocent creature desires to see as much of the wide firmament as possible.
- Brown Note Being: From time to time, people react badly to the sight of her beauty, spooning their eyes out or bursting into flames. Watching her transformation into the Queen of Bees results in your Terror spiking dramatically.
- Canon Character All Along: After revealing her identity, it's deduced that she must be the Captivating Princess.
- Compelling Voice: When she asks people to do things, they do them, even if it's impossible. Among a crowd of poets, she suggests they could try describing her in a language with capacities beyond English. All their tongues spontaneously combust and burn the building down. Naturally this terrifies the player and gives them a Searing Insight.
- Did You Just Romance Cthulhu?: Marries a Devil at the end of her quest. Not garden-variety humanoid Devil, but one of the most diabolical Princes trapped inside a "well".
- The Dog Bites Back: Given what she puts the Player Character through, the captain is allowed to become this by either locking the Princess in Piranesi or throwing her into the Well of the Wolf, permanently removing her from all future playthroughs.
- Humanoid Abomination: It's known certain things happened to all the royal family after the Fall, and many of them didn't really retain their form or station within reality's chain. This princess is included, but on the surface she looks entirely human and impossibly beautiful.
- Flaying Alive: Her marriage to the King of Choirs ends with her skin splitting open as she transcends her current state of being to become a divine abomination. All that remains of the woman she once was is her skin... which is still alive after a fashion and can actually assimilate one of the Princess's suitors, creating the promoted officer in the process.
- Friend to All Living Things: Well, all living things are friends to her, anyway. She seems to naturally attract small songbirds wherever she goes. Many of them end up dying of starvation.
- Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Of a very unusual kind; haughty and sociopathic though she may be, the Princess eventually regards you with a twisted degree of affection, even considering you a friend. It's for this reason that she has you give her away at her wedding. And no, she doesn't ask you to give her away.
- Lots of Luggage: Introduced sitting on a mountain of the stuff. Travelling around Old Tom's Well can result in some of it becoming unsecured and concussing your quartermaster.
- Nightmare Fuel Station Attendant: Interacting with the Princess frequently causes Terror increases, though nothing in her behaviour suggests she has any idea why anyone else would find her effects on the world horrifying. If allowed to set up a Salon in London, the stuff that goes on there becomes the stuff of nightmares.
- Paper-Thin Disguise: Her idea of going incognito is to simply swap out her tiara for one slightly less expensive and grandiose.
- Princess Classic: Subverted. She's the daughter of Queen Victoria, and innocence incarnate. It's just that it's the kind of innocence you get when someone doesn't know the difference between right and wrong.
- Rebellious Princess: Seems to be this at first based on her statement that every princess' highest aspiration should be not to remain so. It turns out that her plan is to become a queen.
- Taking Up the Mantle: One of two of her retainers/admirers/prisoners will do this in an extremely literal way, should you complete her quest in the way that she wishes.
- Unusually Uninteresting Sight: Time warps only annoy her because she'd rather you'd turn off the alarm bells. Rotting elder gods are a mere curiosity. Either she's supernatural as hell, has Seen It All, or both.
- World's Most Beautiful Woman: Upon her recruitment, a random passerby took one look at her and casually gouged out his eyes, for those eyes will never see anything so radiant again. No, really. Other people go even further, such as their tongues lighting on fire when trying to describe how beautiful she is, then burning to ash.
The Repentant DevilA Devil you may pick up in your travels who offers to be an Officer and also to take care of any problems you may have involving your soul. He dresses like a minister, but he's much more abrasive than most devils, because he doesn't believe in their pretenses. One of the first things he does on board your ship is murder a stowaway, "most unrepentantly."
- Affably Evil: In a different flip than most Devils; he's far ruder, but also far more genuine and honest, and he genuinely feels that improving the soul is good for the owner as well as his people.
- Deliberate Values Dissonance: He's fond of Victorian-style industrial cruelty, saying that devils could learn a thing or two from man-made hellholes like the Workworlds.
- Humanoid Abomination: Like all Devils, he's really only human-shaped, though his demonic eyes give it away.
- Noble Demon: It's right there in his name. He's still a devil, though; his primary business is souls.
- Retired Monster: He used to serve Judgements with improving the souls they were feeding on. He currently feels this was unwise (hence why he's "repentant"). Depending on your choices he may return to his old job by taking one with The Sapphir'd King.
- Stern Chase: He is being hunted by an old friend. Or enemy. For a devil, there is little difference. His sidequest sees him and the player character narrowing down his suspect list. It turns out The Sapphir'd King has put out a bounty on his capture.
- Time Abyss: Though all Devils are of ambiguous age, the Repentant Devil is noted to be much older than he looks. He can provide first-hand accounts of a lot of the devils' history and remembers when the devils used to serve the Judgements.
- Warm Bloodbags Are Everywhere: He can see the condition of your soul or anyone else's by looking at them, and since devils consume souls it stands to reason he's seeing fresh mortal essence all over.
The Fatalistic SignalmanOne of the High Wilderness's foremost experts on railway signals, who came to the Reach to work on the Isambard Line. Its subsequent failure has given him a rather dour outlook on life.
- All for Nothing: He thinks he's wasted his life working on the Isambard Line. Tracking down the actual creator of the Isambard Line just proves it to him, fairly brutally.
- Berserk Button: Incorrect details in official signaling materials, which you use to motivate him into getting back to work following his descent into depression.
- Cigarette of Anxiety: Already a smoker, learning the sad fate of the Isambard Line's creator leaves him chain-smoking out of sheer depression.
- Dead All Along: It's implied by the ending of his story that he's been dead for many years, his corpse being too decrepit for a recent death.
- Festering Fungus: After he vanishes at the end of his quest, he mysteriously vanishes from your ship, leaving behind a clue that leads you to an unexplored signal box near Hybras... where you find what appears to be the Signalman's corpse, layered with local fungus and apparently undisturbed for years.
- Heroic BSoD: After learning the depressing truth behind the Isambard Line, the Signalman is left in an even gloomier state than usual, firmly believing that his life was wasted on a failure. He's so miserable that he's unable to work on his book, barely able to perform his duties and chain smokes near endlessly. In the end, you dislodge him from this state by providing him with an example of the sloppy work evident in official signalling material, which gets him so annoyed that he resolves to write something better.
- He's Back: Used word for word when you awaken him from his depression:
- Knight In Sour Armor: He still believes in the railway system and the benefits it could bring to the High Wilderness, but fate and human frailty keep throwing impediments in the way.
- Locked Room Mystery: Once you finish his quest, he inexplicably vanishes off the ship without leaving his room, opening a door or being seen at all. He turns up at a heretofore-unseen signal box, having died many years ago.
- Magnum Opus: If you complete his quest he will create his In-Universe one, a long and comprehensive guide to the High Wilderness, including signals and routes. It replaces him as an officer.
- Nice Hat: Wears a bowler hat.
- Personal Effects Reveal: The only confirmation that the fungus-covered body you find in the abandoned signal box is really his are his old bowler hat and his pack of cigarettes.
- Refused by the Call: He wanted to serve London's navy, but failed his medical examination — he had a previously-undiagnosed heart condition.
- Screw the Rules, I Have Connections!: If left behind in London, he can generate Ministry favours for you or gain you Cryptic Benefactors due to his experience and connections in the bureaucracy.
The Inconvenient AuntThe captain's aunt (possibly), who has lived a varied and interesting life since Fallen London ascended from the Neath, and is prepared to offer the benefits of her experience as a quartermaster — whether the captain wants her to or not.
- Awful Truth: Her sidequest involves discovering that London never used the Unclear Bomb supposedly used to slay Albion's sun — the sun was long dead already, and Albion is more like a squatter on its old domain than a conquering invader. This puts into doubt the idea that humans can slay the Judgements.
- Cool Old Lady: Despite her hideous crockery, fussy behavior, and obsession with primness, the fact that she's lived an experienced life in both the Neath and the High Wilderness mean that she's remarkable for getting so far. She also provides tea parties and the like for any crew member suffering from bad dreams.
- Double Reverse Quadruple Agent: She has been spying on and for London and the Anarchists for so long she's not entirely sure which side, if any, she is on anymore.
- The Dreaded: Just for the captain, but they are always a little terrified whenever interacting with her, for various reasons including the fact they simply cannot command her. Rebuffing her when she wants to come aboard actually raises your Terror, which usually takes ominous or traumatizing incidents to achieve. The fact she is a genuinely dangerous woman in terms of influence accrued, having huge ties to both Albion and the Revolutionaries, only makes things worse.
- Hazy Feel Turn: Depending on the player character she will either realign with London, or with the Calendar Council by replacing February. Given that she wasn't really on either side to begin with, it approaches this.
- Never Mess with Granny: She used to be a spy, though mostly retired nowadays. She still keeps in touch with some of her old friends, and will poison February during her quest.
- Screw the Rules, I Have Connections!: Can be interred in the Mausoleum to garner you favour with the Deathless (or nick their supply of Hours).
- Supreme Chef: A point in favor of recruiting her is that her scones are pretty damn good.
- This Is Gonna Suck: Your captain is most unhappy noticing her in St. Dominic's station, and realizing she has noticed them.Dear God.
The Rat Brigade
A trio of rats — Cinders, Patronella and Albrecht — wearing little outfits and armed with tiny derringers. While they make a mess in the galley, they're also on a quest to find a treasure left by their late Sergeant whose code was split amongst the rest of their deceased squad.
- Apology Gift: Sarge's vault contains one of these to each member of the Rat Brigade. Cinders and Patronella see this as a blatant attempt to Buy Them Off and refuse to take theirs.
- Badass Adorable: You likely knew this from Fallen London (what with the trouble Rattus Faber gangs could stir), but this bunch of dressed-up rats are bloody dangerous. With their assistance you can easily storm the Windward Company offices at Lustrum and incapacitate every guard inside.Scarper, lads. They've got guns.
- Badass Gay: Cinders used to be an item with Wilma, though they broke up after the Brigade was shattered. The vault reveals that Albrecht was partnered with a now-dead member called Sebastian: Albrecht's gift is an invitation to a house in Pan for 'rats of his persuasion'. Sebastian's was a pair of wedding bands, a set of expensive dishes and a set of recipe books. Patronella asks you not to show Albrecht that.
- Broken Pedestal: It turns out their Sergeant was the one who sold out the Brigade to the Windward Company, but he died during the backstab: The Company, believing the lieutenant was in on it, simply gave him Sarge's reward afterwards. Cinders is incensed when she finds out and refuses to even see her share of the treasure.
- The Caper: What their quest boils down to, trying to find the combination to a vault their leader filled with treasure.
- Face Death with Dignity: The lieutenant faces down Cinders and her gun with calm resignation while adding sugars to his tea and gives up his numbers whether she shoots him or no.
- Gratuitous German: Albrecht.
- Hired Guns: Fought as mercenaries during the Blockade of New Winchester. The moment they struck it big, their lieutenant backstabbed them and had half of them killed in an ambush.
- Mutually Exclusive Party Members: Vivian and Angel, the Brigade's medic and explosives expert respectively, hate each other and you can only recruit one of them (this has no mechanical difference, they just have different recruitment requirements).
- Putting the Band Back Together: Most of their story involves finding the living members of their old crew.
- Ragtag Bunch of Misfits: A ragtag bunch of misfits within your captain's larger one.
- The Remnant: They used to be a much bigger group, but their lieutenant betrayed and killed half of them to steal their combination code to a treasure meant to be split up between all of them.
The Clay ConductorClay men are made/born in Polythreme, where everything lives. This one carries the ashes of his friend, who sang with him in a way no-one can apparently match.
- The Eeyore: He's as grey and morose as he appears, struggles with fitting in with humans, and would rather be left alone. Indeed, the captain always has the option of booting him because he's just that much of a drag. Put enough effort into him and you can occasionally cheer him up, though.
- Golem: Being a clay man, he is made from living clay.
- Implacable Man: The Conductor accepts zero substitutes in his quest, no matter how remarkable and obscure they are.
- It Was with You All Along: If the captain takes every option to befriend the Conductor, he will realize in the end that he can make new companions the old-fashioned way and become the Caring Conductor.
- Satellite Character: The Companion forged from the Forge of Souls as their development is entirely dependent on the Captain's choices with the Conductor. Their impact is primarily to determine how the Conductor develops in his personal quest.
- Still Wearing the Old Colors: He continues to wear his very natty conductor uniform.
The Fortunate NavigatorA popular young first officer who hails from the Khanate. He quests to give his deceased best friend a proper send off.
- Bold Explorer: His lifelong ambition was to explore the stars alongside his friend Altan.
- Dead Sidekick: The Navigator and Altan always intended to have adventures across the sky together. One of them died before that could happen.
- Due to the Dead: Ropes the player into springing his friend's corpse from a Khanate graveyard and giving his corpse the adventures they intended to have, before giving him a worthy burial.
- Fun Personified: According to his descriptor, "card games and drinking sessions occur spontaneously in his presence".
- Transgender: He mentions his friend Altan helped him bind his chest growing up, which is an implicit hint at his gender identity. A more concrete hint presents itself should you grant the Navigator and the Grieving Matriarch privacy during their first conversation and peruse the pictures in the hallway; one of the pictures shows the Navigator as a young, scowling girl, while later photos shows him as a male, but much happier. Further brought up at Death's Door, where a devil congratulates him on changing his physical form to match his soul.
The Felined EccentricA mild-mannered engineer you find in Pan, who comes with three cats attached.
- Animalistic Abomination: The Eccentric's cats aren't cats at all, but vestiges of her old identity that still cling to her. They just happen to look like cats.
- Bond Creatures: Three of them. Unusually, they're malevolent examples. Her story involves getting rid of them.
- Cats Are Magic: She'd wish they weren't. They habitually terrorise your crew, too.
- Cats Are Mean: She did name them after devils.
- Crazy Cat Lady: Downplayed. While she doesn't travel without her cats, she's neither crazy, nor a hermit. It soon becomes clear that this trope is subverted. It's the cats who are crazy and they just plain refuse to leave.
- The Engineer: Her work is emphasised more so than the other chief engineers you can recruit. She gets cranky if you have suffered damages to your hull, you can't speak to her if your ship is too damaged due to her needing to work on keeping it running, her secondment at the Royal Society has her hanging out at Portsmouth House, and her and her cats regularly hang out in the engine room.
- The Perfectionist: She doesn't even talk to you unless your locomotive is in top shape.
- The Thing That Would Not Leave: The three cats. She mentions she has tried physically to get rid of them (even literally throwing them away), but it never, ever works... the only way is to either quell them enough and give them a better place to stay, or embarrass/disgust them enough with something they hate that they leave your locomotive and never, ever return.
- Was Once a Man: Inverted: She is currently human, but is implied to have been something completely different prior to entering Piranesi.
The Amiable VagabondA jolly old well-travelled fellow with plenty of stories and songs to regale the crew, eager to know them like the back of his hand.
- Agony of the Feet: Mentions that he lost several toes to frostbite while mining in Lustrum.
- And I Must Scream: If you sabotage his ritual, he is condemned to live out the miserable half-life he sacrificed so many other Skylarks to, spending eternity as a tree at the bottom of the Well.
- Big Fancy House: He turns out to own a big one in Lustrum, and claims to have made his fortune mining hours in a former life.
- Bitch in Sheep's Clothing: He seems like a friendly, knowledgeable adviser of the skies. But he's also a man who would absolutely sacrifice a person he's deeply bonded with just to hold off on a Deal with the Devil for another year.
- The Charmer: Is very good at making friends.
- Chekhov M.I.A.: Old Tom is mentioned in passing as the first to get rich off of Lustrum, only to mysteriously disappear after making his fortune.
- Deal with the Devil: Made one to whatever's in Old Tom's Well, for riches beyond measure. However, to hold off on it collecting him, he now has to spend the rest of his life bonding and giving them to it instead. You can choose whether to nullify the ritual (which ends with him sicked into the well, or, if saved by you, partially turned into a tree), complete the ritual with him as the victim, or allow him to use you as a sacrifice, even if you know what it will entail.
- Evil Old Folks: A scummy old bastard from beginning to end, he's been using the Skylarks he pretends to care for as a source of victims to feed to the Well, and is now focused on doing the same to you. Plus, if you choose to make an alliance with him and renege on the deal, he will throttle you to death.
- Fate Worse than Death: If you choose to nullify his ritual but don't let whatever's in the Well take him, he still gets what's coming to him: he's forced to "put down roots", by... well, literally putting down roots. He's forever stuck in an immobile form, no longer having the spirit and ability to captivate his audiences with his music or stories. Not that he has an audience anymore, anyway: the crew avoids him due to learning exactly what got him into this state in the first place. Whenever you visit him, he basically begs you to stay a while longer.
- Fingore: If he fails to sacrifice you and isn't rescued, the Vagabond's fingers will snap off in his attempts to cling to the edge of the Well; all that's left of him are his fingertips.
- Hoist by His Own Petard: The player can switch mugs with him during the ritual, making him his own scapegoat and fulfilling his pact as intended.
- Given Name Reveal: He is Old Tom, who bound his soul to the thing lurking in his eponymous Well and subsequently spent several years luring others to be sacrificed in his place.
- Karma Houdini: If the player character fools Ratbite into becoming their scapegoat in their stead, the Vagabond will become the Incorrigble Vagabond and form an alliance with the player, preying on your crewmembers instead.
- King of the Homeless: Calls himself the king of the Skylarks, essentially the setting's equivalent to hobos. They provide him a steady stream of victims.
- Literal Transformative Experience: If you pull a fast one on the Amiable Vagabond before he can sacrifice you to Old Tom's Well, he will end up being taken instead and transformed into a tree at the bottom of the Well. However, saving him at the last minute allows him to live on as an officer... but still partially transformed, living out his days in a planter aboard your locomotive. Unable to travel on his own or play the fiddle, the now-Dendrified Vagabond's charm and lust for life is completely lost, reducing him to a chronically-depressed shell of his former self, stranded alone in his cabin by crewmembers who now despise him for his crimes. As a result, he's pathetically grateful for any attention you pay him.
- Transflormation: The fate of anyone used as his scapegoat, transformed into a tree to mindlessly worship the light at the bottom of the Well for the rest of eternity. Also, if you sabotage his ritual, he can be subjected to the same metamorphosis; however, he can be rescued a the last minute and allowed to live on as the Dendrified Vagabond.
- Villainous Breakdown: Horror-stricken by his approaching fate, the Vagabond loses all his charm if you sabotage his ritual, reducing him to pleading for his life and then sobbing wordlessly as he's whisked away to his doom.
The Chiropterous HoarderOne of the Masters of Old London, fallen on hard times. The Hoarder seeks a new method of prolonging life.
- Alien Space Bats: As a Curator, it quite literally is one.
- Ambiguous Gender: Referred to as "Mr" like the other named Curators, has "it" pronouns, and gives birth in the Multiplicitous Hoarder ending.
- Apology Gift: Leaves a cask of red honey outside the Captain's cabin after the rather unpleasant experiments on them are unsuccessful.
- Be Careful What You Wish For: If it achieves immortality, the now Immutable Hoarder will become quiet and melancholy. It is unsure how to handle the new abundance of time on its hands, and considers itself to have lost something.
- The Bus Came Back: The Hoarder is Mr Apples, last encountered in Fallen London.
- Immortality Seeker: Like many of its kind. It can achieve this and become The Immutable Hoarder.
- Interspecies Romance: The Captain can "indulge in an assignation" with the Hoarder.
- Supreme Chef: Revealed when it throws a stunning banquet for the Captain after helping with its quest.
- Tsundere: Will react with confusion and disdain towards things like gifts and concern over its welfare, though the game will note that the Hoarder is "warming to you".
The Inadvisably Big DogA gigantic canine found tearing down the streets in a port town that you may hire on as a Mascot. He gets in the way more than he helps, but he wants to help very badly.
- Big Friendly Dog: Extra-huge, and extra-friendly. Running happily through the streets causes as much chaos as a rampaging bull because of its sheer size, but it's all out of sheer, honest excitement.
- Cute Approaches Camera: Its picture looks like this.
The Useless CatA grumpy, lazy cat that gets caught in vents, yowls at the back hatch to be let out (into space), shows little affection and is generally a nuisance. Somehow your captain decides it would make a decent mascot, though.
- Cats Are Mean: The only time it expends any energy is when it claws into your hand for disturbing it.
- Non-Indicative Name: It adds to the captain's Iron (though just barely) and can be used in a companion quest to skip a stat check; hence being not completely useless.
The Blemmigan VoyagerAn exhausted traveller met washed up after many adventures, but paying for its tab at the pub means it perhaps has found a new captain and goal to pursue.
- Hero of Another Story: It led many adventures and quests of its own before joining your crew, and over its life was a warrior, a poet and a king.
- Put on a Bus: If taken to the Forge of Souls the Blemmigan will forge itself a companion and retire into the Lyceum, becoming permanently unavailable.
- Seen It All: Its attitude is of someone who has seen everything there is to see, and grown weary of it. Now it just gazes at the stars, day in and day out, through your window.
The Perfect PangolinA pangolin, perfect in every way.
- The Ace: The greatest ever Pangolin to exist, past, present or future.
- Cuteness Proximity: Induces it in all that see it, except for the two nobles playing catch with it and your quartermaster (who is rightly pissed for you bringing boxes of ants aboard for it to eat).
DillyA strange, arachnoid creature that can hatch from a Curator's Egg. She lives in the engine's vents, and plays tricks on the crew's limbs.
- Fingore: When it plays with your fingers, it does some frankly strange things, like shuffling your knuckles around them without spilling blood and somehow being able to put it back just how it was, no damage done.
- Guide Dang It!: Getting this one is a long, luck-based process, with few hints of where to even get started.
Obviously Delicious RabbitAn extremely tender and delicious-looking rabbit. Exclusive to kickstarter backers.
In GeneralThe Reach's sun died long ago, and in the absence of its laws it has become overgrown with lush, verdant growth. It is now the frontier of the New British Empire, still being settled by colonists from Albion.
- Asteroid Thicket: Applies to the whole game, but particularly the Reach, as it has a lot of cramped spaces compared to Albion.
- Bioluminescence Is Cool: Despite having no sun, the Reach is still relatively well-lit as it has plenty of starlight coming in from the cracks as well as giant glowing fungi in certain biomes.
- Green Hill Zone: Both the game's first region and its greenest.
- Hub World: That doubles as a world in itself. Transit relays for every other world are found here only, while the rest only have them back to the Reach.
- Space Western: The general theme of the area, see Weird West.
- Weird West: Prospectors, boom towns, mines, bandits, (space) trains, civilization coming into conflict with frontier towns, and very twangy guitar in the backing music. The one major difference is the scenery, as The Reach is extremely verdant versus the usual arid settings expected of Westerns.
- World of Chaos: A very mild one, but since the Reach doesn't have a sun anymore (the Garden-King died a long time ago), technically there's little more than far-off glimmers and reflections to keep order; as a result, most of the chaos is comparable to an overgrown garden that hasn't been tended for decades.
New WinchesterThe central colony of the frontiers of the Reach, and the site of the Winchester War — the continuing conflict between the free colonists of the Tacketies and the London loyalists of the Stovepipes. This is also effectively the center of the game universe, being the major port in the realm connected to the other hub worlds; there's a reason you start writing your "Fame" ambition here and incidental pop-up dialogue when you approach it calls it your "home."
- Floating Continent: As far as cities go, it's unusually divided, with its many chunks spread all over a massive Asteroid Thicket. How the locals move between different chunks isn't really elaborated on, but presumably it's part of the reason why there's locomotives absolutely everywhere.
- Space Cold War: As the main hub of the Reach, it is also naturally the main hub of its conflict. It's not unusual to hear the skirmishes between Tackety Scouts and Enduring Dreadnoughts while you're docked, and while there are no actual battles or riots in-person within the actual city the situation is still extremely tense, to the point the local newspaper has thinly-disguised bounties for both sides of the conflict in its pages.
Port AvonAn idyllic town built across an old, floating ruin. They make their living mining the souls found beneath the old structure. The locals are kind enough, but make no mistake; you are an outsider.
- Arcadia: A gentle send-up of the English countryside. Cricket is played. Tea is poured. Fresh gossip from New Winchester is appreciated.
- Close-Knit Community: Seems to be this. They tend to turn away outsiders unless plied with tea and news from London.
- Gargle Blaster: The local cider, of the Unsuspectingly Soused variant; because it tastes so wonderful, you don't notice how strong it is and you're inclined to keep drinking - and you don't realize just how drunk you're getting until it's too late. Here, you have to pass an Iron test to stop at just two mugs, or else you'll end up making an ass of yourself in public.
- Scenery Porn: Avon is gorgeous.
Polmear & Plenty's Inconceivable CircusA circus of dubious quality, built right near an ancient obelisk. You can help them improve however.
- Call-Back: Yes, the Plenty in the title is that Mrs. Plenty, of Most Distracting Carnival fame. Her practices were known to be mildly shoddy back in the Neath, but clearly the move to the skies didn't help any.
- Crappy Carnival: The storyline here revolves around fixing the acts to make them better.
Magdalene'sA church that offers solace through memory. This means it's your number one spot to reduce Terror or the ensuing Nightmares from getting your Terror too high. The hosts do this mainly by re-enacting specific, comforting memories and impersonating loved ones so well you can't be sure they're not real.
- Bedlam House: Notably averted despite the Lovecraftian overtones and Victorian settings. Magdalene's seeks to cure the mental illnesses and traumas that skyfarers develop through very gentle methods.
- Corrupt Church: The Amenable Host has a slight flavor of this. He's living a very cushy lifestyle whilst making sure none of the visitors are taking the church too much for granted.
- Hope Spot: This is a great place to alleviate terror and remove your nightmares. Almost all the crew mention that it's a relief to come here. Except the Incautious Driver, whose condition means all this relaxation is just irritating.
- Kick the Dog: They only want patients who they can reasonably cure. Those who are considered lost causes are liable to get kicked out. Somewhat justified in that apparently, trying to cure such people places a very great mental strain on the staff assigned to them.
- Loss of Identity: Those completely, supernaturally accurate impersonations come at a price for those who do them. Even the Amenable Host has no idea who he is anymore, his memories being almost completely replaced by a collage of those of the people he has immitated
- Tick Tock Tune: You can hear Magdalene's clock from some distance around.
Port ProsperLondon's stronghold in the Reach. Split between a salubrious West End and a down-at-heel East. Captains who favor London can turn in their souveneirs of destroyed Tackety locomotives for various boons. Port Prosper is also just around the corner from the gateway to Albion, though you may have to trade quite a few favors to get the paperwork to travel there...
- Company Town: The Windward Company has its headquarters here, and it dominates both sides of the town in one way or the other. There is some resentment against them in the East side, however.
- Man of Wealth and Taste: The Parsimonious Chairman tries to be, modeling his office and attire after the finest the London nobility would have. The missing tooth doesn't help much at all, however. He does have most of the lack of morals needed to qualify, however, like any Victorian-era boss would (with the added bonus of being the one to pay you for every Tackety nameplate you find, essentially paying you for every Tackety vessel you wreck).
- Necromantic: The Bleak Industrialist hires you to retrieve his lost love from the Blue Kingdom.
- Slobs vs. Snobs: Twofold! The city itself is the Snob, with Lustrum representing the Slobs. Then within the city itself you have the poor Eastenders and the high society Westenders.
Leadbeater & Stainrod's Nature ReserveThe exuberant greenery of the Reach moved London to turn part of it into a national park. Obviously, though, it runners have a very Victorian attitude towards it.
- Great White Hunter: You can go hunting deep in the Reserve. Captains without very high Irons are advised to have a relaxing picnic in the outskirts instead.
- For Science!: The Phlegmatic Reseacher's motivation.
- Nature Hero: The Romantic Ornithologist's remit.
LustrumDiscovery of a rich seam of untapped hours on the frozen slopes of the Mother of Mountains boomed this mining town. It didn't last. Far from where the dreadnoughts dare to tread, this is the Tacketies' stronghold.
- Boom Town: Still just about, but on its way to being a Dying Town as the claims slowly run dry.
- Floating Continent: When your location is called "The Mother of Mountains" it's as close as it gets to a full-sized continent.
- Gold Rush!: Except what's gotten everyone here is crystallised time, which is far, far more precious than gold.
- Grim Up North: Although not necessarily to the north, this is a profoundly cold and bitter place. The cold comes not from any atmospheric effect, but because Hours tend to suck the heat out of things (in addition to their time-warping properties).
- Ironic Nickname: Sweet Jane makes her dwelling and base of operations here. She is very much less-than-sweet if you are allied to the Stovepipes, paying for every nameplate brought to her and putting bounties on known Stovepipe sympathizers.
- Slobs vs. Snobs: Like everything involving the Tacketies, they represent the Slobs side, with their rivals at Port Prosper representing the Snobs.
- Twilight of the Old West: Very much the theme.
Old Tom's WellOne of four vortex-like "wells", one for each different realm. The Reach's variant is bitterly cold. A small cult clutches on to existence in its depths, the most desperate of the desperate.
- And I Must Scream: Anyone sacrificed as a scapegoat by Old Tom will be transformed into a tree and condemned to spend eternity planted at the bottom of the Well.
- All That Glitters: A cultist will excitedly tell you that she caught a glimpse of gold right at the bottom of the well. She's right, there is something gold down there, but it probably won't come as a surprise that it's not actually gold. And the corpse of the Garden-King is the opposite of valuable where humans are concerned.
- Be Careful What You Wish For: Old Tom disappeared without a trace shortly after becoming fabulously wealthy by discovering Lustrum, as according to his wish. The likely moral of this story is lost on those who come here.
- Go Mad from the Revelation: During "The Truth" ambition, you can link your mind to the dead corpse of the Garden-King, which will instantly increase your Nightmare level by one.
- Sealed Evil in a Can: Oddly subverted. The Garden-King apparently didn't have wells or anything to throw in them, which you find out as you crawl inside. As it turns out, a half-Judgement, strongly implied to have been the Halved itself, sent in a star-crab messenger bearing a Well-seed and had it planted into the Garden-King itself, which sprung this well out and killed it. The bottom of the well imprisons only the corpse of a sun, which is pretty horrible by itself, admittedly.
- Wishing Well: What this is. Old Tom's wish was granted, so many others have come here hoping to follow in his footsteps.
Traitor's WoodA tiny settlement of scholars crouched before a deep, unsettling forest. There are competing theories as to what can be found deep in the woods, and the scholars spend more time arguing their theories than actually trying to prove them. Not that it's hard to blame them
- Don't Go in the Woods: Expeditions can easily end with the loss of your entire crew. Even weathering a simple rainstorm requires a very high skill check for the point in the game you're likely to first find the place.
- The Lost Woods: You'll certainly lose people in them. Finding the actual dock within the Woods is an ordeal in itself, as it may not be anywhere near where you come across the massive biome.
TitaniaA city of artists built upon the petals of a gigantic orchid. It's beautiful and idyllic... but has a rather serious drawback. Do you hear buzzing?
- Bee Afraid: The problem with living in a really huge flower is that it's bound to get visited by really huge bees. Chorister Bees, to be exact, which come en masse every now and then and absolutely wreck the city whenever they come to harvest.
- Crystal Spires and Togas: Titania is notably more futuristic-looking than its grittier sister cities in the Reach, and is populated by peaceful philosophers and artists. The (toga-wearing) mayor will even lampshade this trope when you talk to her, and mention they found the settlement like this when they came here. Wonder why it was abandoned.
- Towering Flower: One vast enough for an entire town to be built inside its blossom. From above it is approximately two dozen of times the size of the player's ship.
- Town with a Dark Secret: Titania is home to a criminal group called the Midnight Rose, who produce red honey — a Fantastic Drug that allows the imbiber to enter someone else's dreams, with horrible consequences for the dreamer. Unlike most red honey dens, however, the Midnight Rose's dreamers are all entirely willing participants who can leave at any time.
- True Art Is Angsty: This is why the Midnight Rose's victims allow themselves to be tortured — they want to use their suffering as a source of artistic inspiration.
HybrasA colony of geriatrics who have set up in the bucolic splendor of a decaying, suppurating swamp of giant fungus.
- Festering Fungus: Hybras will literally start growing on you after a while.
- Fungus Humongous: There are giant mushrooms growing out of the corpses of other giant mushrooms.
- Place Worse Than Death: Its distance from New Winchester, its unpleasant and hostile surroundings, the deeply sinister effect of its fungus, and the fact it stops being a place you can resupply at after a while makes Hybras probably the place you least want to visit in the Reach.
- Ghost Town: The inhabitants mysteriously disappear after a while.
- Teenage Wasteland: Inverted. This is a retirement community of people who came out of Albion's workworlds with most of their lives taken away from them, making their eventual fates all the more horrible.
CarillonA large, sanitorium-esque estate where penances are used to 'cure' your soul and reform you as a person. It's run by devils, who have taken to the job with uncharecteristic sincerity.
- Bewildering Punishment: There are an awful lot of these here.
- Ironic Hell: Most of the punishments on Carillon are designed to suit the sin for which the guest is seeking treatment. Examples include forcing a habitual liar to write out an entire encyclopedia, word for word, and begin again from the start whenever they make a mistake, and having someone overly curious walk around wearing magnifying glasses.
- Misery Builds Character: The basic operating principle.
- Mountaintop Healthcare: Given that it's situated in a snowy region of the map not far from Lustrum and perched atop series of floating crags - and it's actually described as a sanatorium by the guidebooks.
- Noble Demon: As ever with Sunless's devils, it's zig-zagged. They are running a genuine service for free at Carillon, but ultimately what's happening here is being metaphorically poked with a fork so that your soul is nice and tasty.
- Pleasure Planet: An inversion — Carillon is portrayed as resembling a day spa, but instead of rest and relaxation, you go there to be punished for your sins in the hopes of improving your character.
In GeneralThe heart of the New British Empire, and the new location of London. Albion was once ruled by a sun, but it was murdered by an alliance between London, the Khanate and the Calendar Council, and now it is lit by London's own Clockwork Sun.
- Culture Police: The Ministry of Public Decency views its primary duty as promoting "Britishness". That means, among other things, censoring anything that doesn't align with its view of what qualifies as "British", such as the Welsh language and the works of left-wing poets and philosphers.
- Darker and Edgier: Players of Sunless Sea will remember London, whilst not exactly a place of unicorns and rainbows, as a comforting, understated place of return. Albion by contrast is a huge, stressful place, filled with terrifying, inhuman sights and merciless exploitation, overseen by an absolute tyrant who wishes to freeze the British Empire at its height in place forever.
- Dungeon Town: Albion, as a whole, is London, along with its suburbs. If you're on good terms with the Empire, then most of the central ports and a few of the outlying ones are among the safest places in the game, as the only mobs you'll encounter belong to the Royal Navy. There are, however, still dangerous parts of the region that are home to sky-beasts, marauders, and worse.
- The Empire: The New British Empire is active in the Reach as well, but it's at its most powerful here.
- State Sec: The Ministry of Public Decency borders on this at times.
- Space Navy: Most of the locomotives you run into here are in service to the Royal Navy or Ministry of Public Decency. It's either a very safe region, if you're in favor with The Empire, or a very dangerous one, if you're not.
- Time Police: The Horological Office.
- Underground Railroad: The New Street Line.
- Vast Bureaucracy: It's not quite as bad as the Blue Kingdom, but the New British Empire has a vast and sprawling civil service. The three main branches you interact with are the Ministry of Public Decency, the Horological Office, and the Office of Works.
LondonThe capital of the British Empire now sprawls across the sky. Its streets are, as ever, filled with paupers, ministers, gads, criminals, dissidents, devils and maiden aunts. This is the central hub of Albion, where you can pick up essential supplies and repair your engine.
- Cool Old Lady: The Fierce Philantropist, who Zubmariners from Sunless Sea may remember. She's back undercutting London's laws, this time by funding The New Street Line.
- A Foggy Day in London Town: Smog is ever-present thanks to the pollution put out by the Workworlds.
- Mega City: Even setting aside its various off-shoots in Albion, London is massive. You will see whole areas you'll never visit flying over and around it.
- Under City: Underlondon, the lowest of all the levels of the metropolis, where all the refuse from the upper levels accumulates in vast heaps. It's here that the Unseen Queen holds court.
- Victorian London: Taken up to eleven.
The Brabazon WorkworldTake a Victorian Workhouse, and increase it to impossible sizes, dwarfing even modern manufacturing complexes; then give the owners the power to ensure that a year passes within for every hour without, and you have the Workworlds; Brabazon is but the main one, where Hours are refined into usable form. Due to this process, the whole area is slowed in time, and years may pass inside with the outside world advancing a mere couple of hours.
- Crapsaccharine World: Little Nice, a residential neighborhood for the governor and overseers of Brabazon; it's an idyllic place to live, but it's also the headquarters of an extremely corrupt and oppressive corporate regime, where the biggest atrocities against the workers in Brabazon proper are engineered.
- Hive City: It's very hard to tell where one building ends and another starts.
- Full-Circle Revolution: Should you decide to help the workers fight for their rights in the end their leader becomes the new Governor but quickly cows down to the London elite, essentially running the Workworld the same as the man he deposed.
- Industrial Ghetto: Those who actually have to work at the factories live in filthy slums and shanty-towns plagued with disease, abuse, poor education and limited medical assistance.
- Nightmarish Factory: Victorian industry is dangerous and despair-inducing as is even before the time dissonances come into play. Every last worker you find within the Workworlds is absolutely miserable.
- Time Dissonance: People closer to the mines age faster due to the flow of time being faster near the concentrated hours. Their entire lives can pass as the world outside barely moves, leading to the very real chance of grandchildren dying of old age before their not-on-Brabazon grandparents do and other such horrible possibilities.
- Year Inside, Hour Outside: More or less literally, too. Hour refinement does that, and the factory bosses exploit the hell out of it, too, to keep London supplied with everything it needs.
Worlebury-juxta-MareAlbion's finest resort town. Just don't look too closely.
- Body Horror: Anything to do with the 'donkeys' is just vile beyond belief.
- Crapsaccharine World: On the face of things, it's a luxurious beachside resort town where you can easily bring your Terror down by attending tea rooms and strolling down shop-lined promenades. However, look closer, and it'll start to seem ever-so-slightly off - until you pierce the illusions and find yourself in the cultist-infested nightmare world of "Off Season."
- Dark World: The "Off Season" seems to occupy the same space as the normal resort and the staff can do maintenance here that effects things in the normal resort without being seen there.
- Meat Moss: However the Off Season side of the town works, it's nightmarishly organic.
- Mysterious Mist: Worlebury is surrounded for miles by thick banks of cloud. You might be able to convince yourself it's sea fog, what with the creak of boats and seagulls on the wind. Anything which might suddenly appear and glare at you is probably just your imagination.
- The Nudifier: The corrosive mist around this "beach resort" is bad for your garments, so you need to buy something every time you go (which limits your stay time). Thankfully it only affects garments and doesn't melt your flesh.
The Most Serene MausoleumThe Queen Empress slew a Sun. It's right there. It's dead. She then had a tomb built on top of it, and housed her husband inside. You can visit it.
- And I Must Scream: The Prince-Consort is interred here... and yet he's technically not dead. Of course, it's quickly observed that being trapped in a state of comatose semi-consciousness on the brink of death is no substitute for life, but the Empress considers it a small price to pay to preserve her beloved husband.
- Chekhov M.I.A.: The Dismal Chamberlain has gone missing, and though your attempts to find the man himself fail, his journal can put successive captains on the trail of the Martyr-King's Cup - and into conflict with him.
- Creepy Cemetery: Aside from being a giant tomb, the place is surrounded for miles and miles by the graves of London's dead. The mausoleum's less-than-dead can also be eerie to find; if you're not careful, you'll take some hits to your Terror meter.
- Legally Dead: The Deathless are favored courtiers of the Empress who are required to be dead for legal reasons. They live pampered lives in the Mausoleum — and ironically receive enough powdered Hours to be very long-lived — but can't ever leave the tomb.
- Immortality Seeker: The Dismal Chamberlain, one of the Deathless, has grown dissatisfied with owing his eternal life to the Empress and has left to quest for the independent immortality that the Martyr-King's Cup offers. Instead, he's consumed by the Silver Dreams of the Golden Day and makes such an idiot of himself that the Empress revokes his status as one of the Deathless - condemning him to a year of remaining life.
- Primal Fear: Try and not be nervous, flying over the vast, black disc that was once a sun, blotted out forever. Certainly your crew can't. It seems to gaze back.
The Floating ParliamentWhen Her Renewed Majesty saw fit to ignore Parliamentary sovereignty, she decided to cut the parliament loose. Now, the remains of the Palace of Westminster floats on the outer edges of Albion, still hosting the House of Commons, without power.
- Authority in Name Only: Her Renewed Majesty hasn't given royal assent to a bill in years. If you take an act of parliament to the Throne of Hours, she doesn't even give it a passing glance — a page immediately shreds and burns it on her behalf.
- Beleaguered Bureaucrat: The First Secretary, who winds up essentially drafting you into Parliament simply on the hopes that you'll actually be able to get something done.
- Clock Tower: Big Ben is here, and you'll be hearing it a lot in the area around Parliament. Funnily enough this isn't a case of For Doom the Bell Tolls — the tower is one of the very few landmarks in Albion that alleviates Terror rather than raise it.
- Government Procedural: Should you get elected to Parliament.
- Reassigned to Antarctica: Fail to pass a law twice in a row and you get put in charge of the Department of Well Exploration.
- Sesquipedalian Loquaciousness: The Loquacious Civil Servant, who true to his name would make Sir Humphrey proud.
- Vast Bureaucracy: Albion's is on full display here. You get assigned to a new branch of the civil service after every Parliamentary session. They include (but are not limited to) the Department of Albion Affairs, the Ministry of Fish, Agriculture, and the Great Exodus, the Office of Qualification Qualifications, and the Department of Well Exploration.
PerduranceWhere the children of Her Majesty's favourites are able to live and experience a perfect day. Forever.
- Gilded Cage: Perdurance is supposedly a paradise, where the children of the Empress's favourites enjoy eternal youth and never-ending revels — but none of them are permitted to leave.
- Not on the List: No outsider can get in without an exclusive invitation, this rule being strictly enforced. Fortunately, the president of the Royal Society has a whole bunch of them (for some reason he won't reveal) and will trade them for Sky Stories.
- Snobs Vs Slobs: You have to choose whether to ingratiate yourself with the servants, the debutantes, or split the difference with the chaperones. Success with each opens up different rewards.
Avid HorizonWhere the sunless sea meets the sunless skies.
- Call-Back: if you played the previous games chances are you've been here before. There's even an interesting inversion of what was observed before; whereas in Sunless Sea you would start seeing stars in the ceiling above, reflected on the water, approaching here from the other side lets you see oceans down below, as if the gate has a surrounding overlap between both.
- Cool Gate: Still a gigantic gate flanked by two alien figures. Still firmly locked. Still uncomfortable to be around.
- Derelict Graveyard: Visible in the sea below are hundreds of abandoned ships, presumably left behind following the last big attempt to open the gates.
- Reassigned to Antarctica: Its staff is mostly composed of those who have been subjected to this trope.
- Space Is an Ocean: It literally is, near the Horizon. Some of the seawater came through when the gate was opened, and stuck around in a rather eerie way.
The Royal SocietyIn a laboratory-workshop-university within wild, sprawling grounds, the brightest of Albion's upper class strive to produce new wonders for the Empire.
- Item Crafting: You can "purchase" experimental modifications, a sort of "currency" representing the research you have assisted with, which can be traded for experimental equipment that is better than anything else you can find (barring weapons obtained by killing certain enemies).
- Mad Scientist: There are a few. Studying the unusual physics of the High Wilderness requires a certain unique mindset.
- Pretentious Latin Motto: Nullius in Verba, just like the real institution. Which means "on the word of no one", or "don't take our words for it" if you are to believe the Rat Brigade.
The Well of the WolfAlbion's local well, with its expected hurricane-like winds attempting to swallow the skies themselves. This one has a colony of devils living on the lands along the rim.
- The Devil Is a Loser: The devils here are not having a good time at all, and are too worn down by living in the hellhole that is the well's rim to do much of anything evil; they're actually unnervingly altruistic.
- Eldritch Abomination: Like any well, it has something inside it, locked up. In this case, it's a devil of the worst sort known as the King of Choirs, one that's full-on abominable rather than simply looking like a man. It's likely that this is exiled/banished royalty of the sort that had to flee Hell after the revolution.
- Horrifying the Horror: There's something terrible living on the colony that has all the devils frightened beyond measure, and they want you to get rid of it at all costs. As it turns out, this terrible thing is the Useless Cat.
- Sealed Evil in a Can: Like most wells, it keeps something tightly imprisoned. In this case, something that could genuinely be called evil, which is one of the Princes of Hell.
- Unholy Matrimony: The Incognito Princess is seeking the King of Choirs' hand in marriage, and provided you don't screw her over during the ceremony, the wedding is a success.
The Clockwork SunWhat passes for a Judgement in Albion, the Clockwork Sun is a gigantic, sentient contraption meant to emulate their reality-defining functions in London's favor.
- Abandoned Playground: A kind of resort was built here, where people could bathe in the Clockwork Sun's glory. That got abandoned quickly.
- Affably Evil: The High Sequencer may be the high priest of a cruel and angry god, but he's nevertheless a cheerful and generous fellow who's one of the few elites in Albion actually trying to do something for the lower classes.
- Deus Est Machina: The New Sequence worships the Clockwork Sun as their god.
- Good Shepherd: The High Sequencer is a kindly priest who just happens to worship an Eldritch Abomination.
- Horrible Judge of Character: The High Sequencer is incredibly naive. With a modest Hearts check you can trick him into hiring you to deliver "charitable donations" consisting exclusively of unmarked and untraceable gold ingots.
- Light Is Not Good: You see its radiance, and what it's done to vessels and buildings that got too close, well before you near it. The fear starts about the same time.
- Madness Mantra: THE SUN THE SUN THE SUN THE SUN. Players of Sunless Sea should recognize this one.
- Mechanical Abomination: Trying to emulate what's essentially a deity through purely mechanical means can have some terrible effects indeed. The Clockwork Sun is unnatural and horrible even by Judgement standards. It causes Terror to your crew for miles around.
- Place Worse Than Death: No one wants to come here for any reason, to the point the docking areas are decayed and rusty. The Royal Society even pays really well for port reports of the place because it's so seldom-visited they rarely have an idea what's going on there.
- Sheltered Aristocrat: The High Sequencer is well-intentioned, but so breathtakingly out-of-touch that he actually thinks pistols are an appropriate charitable donation for an orphanage.
- Star Killing: Work against the Sun and you will take its radiance away, to the point where it doesn't cause Terror at all. Go the other way, on the other hand...
- Villainous Breakdown: A big part of the reason it's even worse of a deity than before crystallizing everything in range is The Clockwork Sun is dying and doesn't know how to handle that. Having brainwashed all its engineers into mindless servants fawning over it, forced to believe it was utterly perfect, they weren't able to recognize any of the various breakdowns occurring. By the time the sun noticed the damage was so great that even working its engineers to death it can't be fixed. Going from immortal to not long for this world has not done its temperament any favors.
Queen VictoriaHer Renewed Majesty Queen Victoria is the absolute monarch of the New British Empire, and the architect behind its conquest of the stars. Residing in London, she is one of the most powerful figures in the High Wilderness.
- The Empress: Ruler of the New British Empire.
- Galactic Conqueror: She's working on it, at least. Her official title even declares herself empress of "the Soon-to-be-Conquered Territories".
- God-Empress: While she's rarely actually worshipped, as such, her command over the Clockwork Sun and the hours trade give her power over life and death, and the New Sequence, at least, seems to venerate her.
- Historical Domain Character: Although by this point her life as significantly deviated from that of her historical counterpart.
- Queen Victoria: Naturally.
- Try to Fit THAT on a Business Card!: Her Renewed Majesty, Empress of Albion, the Reach, London, and the Soon-to-be-Conquered Territories, Victoria, Queen of Britannia.
- The Unfought: Despite being one of the game's most prominent antagonists if you choose to fight against The Empire, she survives through the game basically no matter what you do. The best you can do is blackmail her into surrendering power to Parliament.
In GeneralA shadowy, lawless realm that attracts rebels and outcasts of all stripes to it. Lawless here is meant quite literally — without the light of a sun, laws of physics and time have broken down in numerous, alarming ways. The Khanate, nominal allies of London, holds onto a corner of Eleutheria — what happens in its other, darker areas is barely known, and may in fact be unknowable.
- Difficulty Spike: This is a significantly tougher place to survive than the Reach or Albion, filled with lethal enemies, sharp terror spikes, and places almost designed to cut you down to size. Not only that, getting back from it the first time is not easy. Come well prepared.
- Orientalism: Sultry, dark, mysterious, lethal, filled with tea, spices, enigmatic authorities and strange cultural practices: Eleutheria does everything a Victorian notion of the East should. The only reliable light source is a moon, for goodness sake.
- Reality Is Out to Lunch: Reality as Londoners understand it is... loose, in Eleutheria. You'll encounter light warps, invisible enemies and Alien Geometries as a matter of course.
PanWhere there was once a cathedral to the heavens themselves, there now lies Pan, an unruly, heavily divided settlement sprawled around the ruins. There is little that can be called an authority around these parts, which is perhaps the only thing the various unrelated groups that make this their abode can agree on.
- Anarchy Is Chaos: Somewhat. Where it's not entirely played straight with turf wars and everything, it's still present in the form of being a city-sized Ragtag Bunch of Misfits that cannot agree or settle on anything, barely even counting as civilized. Even engine repairs are a hassle because there are no real standards anyone is interested in enforcing.
- Authority in Name Only: There is technically a king, but the only thing they do is act as a mediator when an argument simply cannot be settled at the forum, otherwise doing absolutely nothing. He or she also does something like security duty by "bribing" you with money and mysteries in exchange for taking your port reports off your hands (storytelling is forbidden in Pan).
- Meaningful Name: Named after Pan, the satyr-esque Greek god of the wild who was as freedom-loving and lawless as it got among the other Greek gods. Also a terrific pipe player, which is fitting enough since you will start hearing pipes as soon as you come close to the city.
- She Is the King: The Cypress King is called that regardless of gender; in fact, the first one you meet is the very female February.
- Truce Zone: The center of Pan acts as one, with entirely opposed factions at least trying to be civil within, fighting their battles on the rim instead.
- Wretched Hive: Many of the factions around here are less-than-reputable, fighting for their slice of Pan's territory. Outlaws of all kinds, from those merely breaking human laws to those that are seen as criminals in the eyes of heaven itself, take refuge here.
AchlysAn illicit haven of tea and spices, glowing gently in the darkness of a poisonous marsh. The people here are obsessed with tea of all kinds, especially the rare Midnight's Favour, grown only here, and the peace is kept by an unruly gang of children.
- Bazaar of the Bizarre: It's a sprawling market of tea, hookahs and silk.
- Plant Person: Midnight's Favour is a sapient tea. Although it's difficult to entirely understand it, it seems to absorb the regrets of those who drink it, ultimately leafing into the most refined bitterness imaginable.
CaduceusA rose-cult practices its mysteries beneath this crumbled temple.
Langley HallA sprawling manor house founded by the mysterious Lord Langley. The house is so utterly gigantic that expeditions must be conducted to discover new and distant rooms. But the Hall is so welcoming and the company so enjoyable, and the longer you stay, the more you want to return.
- Big Fancy House: While more public than most, this was definitely the intent, if scaled up from merely "big" to "absolutely titanic". It's so gigantic the entrance hall needs seven hearths burning at once to keep it warm, and even the coat rack is so huge it doubles as a textile shop.
- Big Labyrinthine Building: Large enough that you need to conduct expeditions to find specific rooms.
- Meaningful Name: Langley used to mean "long glade" in Old English. Langley Hall certainly is long, and could be called a manner of glade in comparison to the wilderness outside...
- Possessive Paradise: In a way, it won't directly stop you from leaving but doing so causes you and your crew to suffer withdrawal symptoms which will make your terror skyrocket if ignored, staying in Langley Hall for an extended period of time negates the effect.
PiranesiPiranesi is an impossible, reality-defying prison named after an Italian abstract artist. In order to be allowed to leave, the interred have to change themselves in some way. There are only three laws in Piranesi, but attempting to find out what they are is illegal, and will get you imprisoned.
- The Alcatraz: Prisoners trying to leave find the place looping back to where they started.
- Alien Geometries: The place looks like it was designed jointly by Escher and the titular man himself.
- The Atoner: The Gallant Reformer was the prisoner for which Piranesi was built, having been responsible for the perversion of whole worlds, several extinctions, and even "theft of hope." Ultimately, the Reformer changed for the better, now extolling the virtues of achieving redemption through Piranesi.
- Body Horror: The Glistening Deformer, having transformed beyond all hope of recognition, now presides over prisoners who will have to physically change in order to leave the prison. Expect to see the human body developing in extremely disturbing ways.
- Dark Is Not Evil: The Chaplains might be disturbing by nature and in appearance, but three of the four are genuinely trying their best to help their prisoners free themselves.
- Eldritch Location: For the prisoners at least; when sentenced, space bends so that you cannot actually move without moving on from your original self.
- Fallen Hero: It's heavily implied the Glib Performer, Token Evil Teammate of the Chaplains, used to be the Dark-Spectacled Admiral, but a combination of the New Sequence winning and having to hide in Piranesi caused him to hit the Despair Event Horizon and become the ruthless warden he is now.
- Immortality Seeker: The Grey Conformer used to be one of the many Questers for the Martyr-King's Cup, but abandoned her quest - and presumably her desire for immortality - when she came to Piranesi.
- Prison Changes People: This is actually a requirement of inmates at Piranesi. People who've been sentenced only stay for as long as they remain the same: only by undergoing a serious change can you ever be allowed to leave. This can mean permanently dinging your stats... or it can mean undergoing a hideous physical mutation, or even having amputated personality traits manifest as physical entities. It's a strange place to say the least.
- Retired Badass: The Grey Conformer, once a legendary sky-pirate and a Quester, now extinguished by a stay in Piranesi.
- Wardens Are Evil: Averted for three of the Chaplains, who are actively trying to stop the only straight example from breaking the prisoners.
Eagle's EmpyreanThe seat of the New Khanate and the Eagle Khan, at once an ally and rival of distant London. Lit by electricity, neon, and the artificial Xanthous Moon, the Empyrean stands as a bright and shining beacon of reason and order in the chaotic darkness of Eleutheria. London maintains an embassy here, and it contains the only Transit Relay back to the Reach.
- Ghost Town: The Khanate tried expanding further into Eleutheria at one time. You can explore the darkened ruins of the expansion yourself, taken over by Curators.
- Repressive, but Efficient: Similarly to the old Khanate, the movements of foreigners is tightly watched and controlled here. But given the Liberation of Night would dearly like to see an end to the city...
- Scenery Porn: The luminous beauty of the narrow streets and tiered palaces of the Empyrean is made all the more striking by the wild darkness that surrounds it on every side.
The House of Rods and ChainsCaptains brave enough to strike out beyond Eleutheria's un-Judgment will find the gigantic, hollowed out, crab-like carcass of a cataclysmic sky beast. Buried within the House are many unpalatable truths and beings. And a colony of everyone's favorite beings, Rubbery Men.
- Call-Back: Remember when you dove into the eye in the last game? This is where you ended up. You can go back the other way and almost drown in the zee-floor if you're really that curious.
- Cthulhumanoid: The Rubbery Men are here in force, being their own inimitable selves. You can trade the amber you find dotted around Eleutheria with them, or try and work it yourself in their vats.
- Eldritch Location: This is one of the most alien places in the game, the corpse of a demi-god bathed in the black radiance of an inverted sun. Much of the descriptions could've been penned by the man himself.
- Giant Corpse World: It's built inside a creature similar to the Bazaar.
- You Have Outlived Your Usefulness: An unusual example brought about because its superior, the Halved, did an about-face as to its goals. It likely recognized that, when taking an agenda against the other Judgements, having a courier to communicate with them that might tell them things was not the best idea.
The Well of WondersThe captain finds a Swirly Energy Thingy. Alarming as it may be, they have likely seen such things before. Still, something about this one strikes the captain as different. They approach, to perhaps find out why.
- And I Must Scream: The performers of its play have been trying for the better part of a century to pull it off, but since they've never completed it, they've never aged or been able to leave. Thankfully subverted when you do help them, as No Ontological Inertia hits.
- Genius Loci: It's a sentient wormhole that used to be a Fingerking that quickly starts using your logbook to communicate.
- Hostile Show Takeover: While you're in it, your logbook becomes its own journal.
- Kick the Dog: While the other Judgements gave the Fingerking plenty of good reasons to rebel against their tyranny, the "King who Speaks" was among the more reasonable Judgements portrayed, being not only willing to hear it out but also give up all its authority and power for the cause. Once it had willingly let go of its protection, it is immediately killed and consumed to presumably strengthen its killers.
- Mad Artist: It is insanely determined to finally finish the play taking place within it, to the point of warping reality and abducting your Captain to play the protagonist.
- Sealed Evil in a Can: How evil is debatable, but the intelligence in the Well is a Fingerking from Parabola who has undergone Abstract Apotheosis and become a living story; the first time its play is completed is its sole criteria for escape, making it just entering means that it'll likely be free as soon as you leave.
- Well-Intentioned Extremist: The play is ultimately a paean to the necessity of the Liberation of Night and exposing how unjust the Judgements are — and that they can be killed.
The HalvedThe Judgement of Distances and Measures, and the one that decides what Is and what Is Not within the realm of Eleutheria. Or at least, it should be deciding it, as Eleutheria has gone almost completely dark and lawless.
- Berserk Button: Several.
- Storytelling. Because a story killed its other half, The Halved has banned storytelling in Eleutheria.
- The other Judgements, to the point where showing it physical proof you are an ally of The Sapphir'd King or claiming you have aided The Clockwork Sun is enough to send you to Piranesi's core, the place it takes a century to get out of.
- Speaking its true name as The King who Wars will condemn you to Piranesi as well.
- Curb-Stomp Battle: In its backstory. The King who Wars inflicted this upon the revolution that killed its other half and condemned the survivor to a Fate Worse than Death.
- Dark Is Not Evil: To the extent that 'evil' is even a concept applicable to Judgements, The Halved is one of the least objectionable Judgements. The fact that it's still a massive jerkass and aims to kill every other Judgement in existence should tell you just how low a bar that is to clear.
- Deal with the Devil: The Halved is involved heavily in "The Truth" ambition, where you must offer it something for information. It ultimately offers you the ability to join The Courtesy and be saved from The Fire That Follows if you will sacrifice your Old Friend to it.
- Defector from Decadence: There are many, many reasons to hate the Judgements, and the Halved clearly has some of its own to hate them despite being one itself.
- Fallen Angel: More of a Fallen God. The Halved has completely revolted against its brethren, to the point of outright emitting what can only be called Anti-Light that erodes away all law and sanity, to turn Eleutheria into a haven for all that rebel against the Judgements. If the implications are correct it's even killed a Judgement before, murdering the Reach's sun with one of the seeds that create Wells.
- Hypocrite: Possibly. Despite spearheading the Liberation of Night and apparently aiming to free all beings of the tyranny of the Judgements and their laws, it seems to see no issue with imposing its own laws and will punish those who disobey. The ban on storytelling imposed when the Halved was still a Judgement remains in place. It will send you straight into Piranesi (which requires you to forcibly change yourself beyond recognition, taking centuries before you reemerge as an entirely new person) just for speaking its name when it was a Judgement. Tellingly, one of its former servant claims that the Halved has not changed as much as it thinks it had.
- Kill the God: As you learn during "The Truth" ambition, The Halved slew The Garden-King, and is responsible for offering you the chance to kill The Sapphir'd King.
- Roaring Rampage of Revenge: Before it became the Halved. After the Fingerking and its follower killed the "King who Speaks", the Halved's other half, the "King who Wars" lived up to its name and promptly killed all the ones responsible before throwing the Fingerking down a "well", imprisoning it there until you accidentally release it.
- Space Master: Unsurprisingly given its field of influence, it has the ability to change how spatial relationships work.
In GeneralThe land of the dead. All of them. Whether they're humans, animals, plants, stars or undefinable abominations, all must pass through the vast, monstrous bureaucracy overseen here by the Azure King, and be filed unto their fate.
- Difficulty Spike: The Blue Kingdom wants you dead. This is the hardest area in the game, requiring endless to-ing and fro-ing along avenues overrun by lethal, extremely persistent enemies. Collect the best gear available before coming here, and even then expect no mercy.
- Fantastic Caste System: It has a fairly strict one as part of its Vast Bureaucracy, although changing caste is mostly a matter of paperwork:
- The Antedeceased are people who are legally recognized as still being alive.
- The Ephemera are the souls of the dead attempting to make the pilgrimage to Death's Door.
- The Yoked are souls of the dead who have been employed as servants in the Celestial Bureaucracy.
- The Invisible are people with no standing in the caste system at all.
- Our Angels Are Different: The Logos, the Sapphir'd Kings servants, are its orders pronounced in the Correspondence, and resemble wheels of living fire.
- Protocol Peril: Everyone in the Blue Kingdom is subject of its Fantastic Caste System; being a member of a specific caste can open options in some of the ports, but it also pisses off certain locals into attacking you in the world map. The trick is to change castes to get what you want done. The caste system also includes people who just got there and didn't fill out the paperwork to get assigned to one of the different castes — that's the worst possible position, as you have no protection from ANY of the residents or access to caste-specific options in ports.
- Vast Bureaucracy: Beyond comprehension, and you'll be made to feel it. Whatever you're trying to do here you will need a particular status or favor, and to get that...
- The Underworld: Limbo, more or less. There's Only One Afterlife, and you can visit it to see what's waiting for you. You don't necessarily have to accept it.
Sky BarnetOnce controlled by devils, now controlled by bureaucracy. Sky Barnet serves as London's embassy within, and the player's introduction to, the Blue Kingdom.
- Brick Joke: Failbetter finally delivers on their promised joke that started with Low Barnet in Sunless Sea. For reference, the real life place is called High Barnet.
The House of Days
- Obstructive Bureaucrat: Everyone.
- Stubborn Mule: The Court of Mules is in charge of appeals.
- Vast Bureaucracy: The heart of the Blue Kingdom's. Getting anything done here is a complete pain in the ass. Even something as simple as getting a rental agreement renegotiated requires you to visit four separate courts and put your liver up as a deposit.
The Stone-Faced Court
- Government Conspiracy: The Graven are attempting to cover up the fact that the Watcher in the Well is dead, and has been for centuries.
- Judgement of the Dead: A variation - the Court's purpose is to verify that the dead are, in fact, dead.
The White WellThe Well of the Blue Kingdom, and definitely much busier than any of the other wells, as the Judgement in charge of it is both active and authoritative. Anyone who displeases the Sapphir'd King and the Blue Kingdom in general enough will be locked in here forever, with the rest of the rabble... and the abominations against nature that Judgements can't easily get rid of.
- And I Must Scream: The Spider-Senate describes the ultimate fate of the Failed Dead. It's not pretty.
- Evil vs. Evil: If you agree to bring the Psalmists here, they quickly get into a conflict with the Widows. Neither side of the conflict is even remotely sympathetic.
- Sealed Evil in a Can: Depending on the perspective on the matter, of course, but this is what wells are made for, keeping things that threaten the suns forever locked inside. And the thing inside this one is probably pretty damned malevolent, even if you can side with it.
- The Worm That Walks: Remember Sorrow Spiders? Those cat-sized, eye-robbing nightmares on eight legs? And do you remember that a few dozens of them could form great masses of fused spider-flesh with a single mind, called a Spider-Council? Down here, in the deepest parts of the White Well, there is a Spider-Senate. Billions upon billions of spiders forming a single, gestalt being that is a deadly threat even to the Suns themselves.
The Forge of SoulsA great forge formerly used to create new life by the Judgements, since closed down by an edict of The Sapphir'd King. Since the forge was shut down the building now houses The Lyceum, a great library of knowledge of the Judgements.
- The Cameo: The First Venturer, the unwilling Custodian of the forge, is The Merchant Venturer from Sunless Sea.
- Great Big Library of Everything: The Lyceum contains a humongous collection of knowledge of the Judgements' creations, their laws, and the Judgements killed by the Courtesy. It's so enormous that actually finding the Forge of Souls inside it requires you to mount a days-long expedition (or a suitable bribe through a Locutor).
- Item Crafting: If you can restart the Forge of Souls, you can use it to craft certain trade goods, and even a new companion.
- Previous Player-Character Cameo: The First Venturer mentions he crossed the Horizon with a single companion, which is exactly what the Player Character can do at the end of his quest in Sunless Sea. Said captain left the forge before the current player character arrived.
The Shadow of the SunA palace built specifically for the Daughter of the Sun.
- Affably Evil: The Daughter of the Sun is never hostile to you in any way unless you break a promise to her. In fact, she seems to rather like you. Nevertheless, she's still a devout follower of the ideology of the Judgements.
- The Dragon: The Daughter of the Sun, to her father.
- A Form You Are Comfortable With: Played with. To look upon the Daughter of the Sun safely, you have to take on a form more like hers.
- Knight Templar: The Daughter of the Sun is extremely loyal to the order-above-all-else philosophy of the Judgements.
Death's DoorThe final destination for those dead who have not been either denied by the Kingdom's courts or sent to the White Well.
The Sapphir'd KingThe Blue Kingdom's own Judgement, and fairly typical as Judgements go despite its strange realm, where the dead come to settle.
- Asshole Victim: Remember the promise that you could "Murder a Sun"? This is that Sun. And since it's such an archetypal example of why people are even considering siding with the Liberation of Night, it's very much deserved.
- Cruel and Unusual Death:
- This is the fate it offers to those who pass through Death's Door; their souls are skewered, dissected, and fed squirming and writhing into the King's yawning maw.
- Following the right ambition path, the King faces this himself. How does being Eaten Alive from the inside out by billions of spiders that feed on its flesh and from it spawn more spiders to eat it with sound?
- Hate Sink: The Garden-King is long-dead and knew his gardens, the Clockwork Sun is a furious abomination and the result of human hubris, and the Halved is at least hosting a rebellion and has the excuse of having its better half betrayed and murdered. The Sapphir'd King may be an abomination of its own in some regards, but it's mostly just unpleasant. It's a clear example of why the Judgements' rule is opposed by many, and it's very difficult to feel any measure of sympathy if/when you kill it.
- Jerkass Gods: Of all the Judgements present in the game, it's the most stereotypical. This means it's snobby, racist, cruel in its enforcement of the Great Chain of Being, and soul-devouring. You can kill it and take over with the help of the Sorrow Spiders, which may we remind you reproduce through eye robbery, and the people of the Blue Kingdom still like that more than the Azure's rule.
- Press X to Die: You are allowed to try and take it on using only your locomotive. This works about as well as can be expected.
- Spell My Name with an "S": Occasionally spelled as "The Sapphire'd King" in the game files, but the one lacking the 'e' is presumed to be canonical.
CantankeriSky-beasts that somewhat resemble a flying isopod. They use their drill-shaped horns to burrow into asteroids, and are none too pleased to be released from them.
- Elite Mook: Bull Cantankeri are bigger, tougher, even more irritable variants.
- Money Spider: You can potentially loot valuables worth money from their corpses, because of their habit of chewing on precious Hours or other rocks.
- The Goomba: Hands down the simplest enemy in the game — they're only capable of executing a simple charging attack, and have very little health.
- Irrational Hatred: As their name (and collective noun, A Disgruntlement) suggests, Cantankeri are apparently just permanently pissed off. They especially don't like heat, warmth and laughter, which is why they attack trains.
- The Power of Hate: Going by certain dissection notes, Bull Cantankeri get to be that way by dwelling on an old bitterness that congeals in the form of Hours, and ruminating upon it until it grew hardened and plates accreted around it. Not that regular Cantankeri are any less powered by pure hatred.
Colonised CantankeriA great fungal growth that's enveloped a herd of Cantankeri. They're extremely resilient, but slow and have a fairly short range.
- Bullet Hell: As they take damage, they switch from their initial homing attacks to simply firing as many projectiles as possible in all directions.
Chorister BeesSwarms of giant bees native to the Reach, whose wings produce a sound like music.
- Bee Afraid: Less aggressive than many sky-beasts, but they frequently come in large groups, and actively menace Titania.
- Big Creepy-Crawlies: Each individual bee is the size of a dog.
- Berserk Button: They may act passively towards you. If you're carrying their nectar, however, they are 100% hostile.
- Glass Cannon: They can't take many hits, but do a lot of damage to your hull if they manage to close on you.
- Hornet Hole: They have their own corner of the Reach, the Apoidean Gardens, heavy on honey and flowers.
- Organ Drops: Blowing up a swarm gives you a chance to risk your crew to raid some of their valuable honey.
- The Swarm: You don't fight the individual bees, you fight their swarms.
- Zerg Rush: There is never just one swarm of Choristers. If only one is obvious, you just can't see the rest yet. And once you attack, they will all make a bee-line for you.
Scrive-SpinstersCreatures made out of bronzewood and paper, who were once the caretakers of a great library before it was destroyed. They have three attacks - a short-range area of effect scream that increases your Terror, a burst of three small, fast moving projectiles, and a slower but much more powerful projectile.
- The Blank: They don't have faces. The hunting club that challenges you to bring the mounted head of one ultimately regret doing so, because it's just that creepy to look at.
- Elite Mook: Senior Scriveners are essentially their Chief Librarians, both in terms of knowledge kept and level of danger.
- Magic Librarian: What they were originally.
- Make Me Wanna Shout: In addition to their projectile attack, at close range they have a scream that increases your Terror.
- Organ Drops: Scrive-Spinsters are made of Bronzewood, one of the single most valuable common resources in the Reach. Taking pickaxes to one after you defeat it is usually one option.
- The Pen Is Mightier: They have pens that drip with ink eternally, though the pen goes dry when the Spinster dies. A frustrated scientist isn't sure why, but he knows that the spinster itself is not a living inkwell—he's dissected one to make sure.
CuratorsThe species that the Masters of the Bazaar belong to, now in their natural environment. While not easy, they are much more assailable than they once were back in the Neath, what with you having a Locomotive.
- Affably Evil: There's actually several Curator characters throughout the game who are mostly genial towards the player, including the scout-selling Mr. Menagerie.
- Alien Space Bats: Not only are they, in fact, literal alien space bats, but about a dozen of them are responsible for the Fallen London universe's rather significant divergences from our world's history.
- Bat Out of Hell: They look like giant bats.
- Collector of the Strange: Every Curator is obsessed with establishing a collection of some particular thing, and they guard these collections jealously. You can pilfer part of these collections off their corpses, which is profitable, and the rest (and weirdest) can be found cocooned in Curator's Eggs.
- "Get Back Here!" Boss: One of the few enemies that isn't either suicidally brave or brutally persistent, Curators will try to fly away from you after taking a certain amount of damage.
- Make Me Wanna Shout: Their main attack is a sonic burst of some kind, likely a form of weaponized sonar.
- Normal Fish in a Tiny Pond: They used to be, back when the only Curators London knew were the Masters of the Bazaar. Just leaving a scar on one of them was worthy of legend, because they were that far above humanity in the Great Chain of Being. And then, unfortunately, humanity caught up; it's almost saddening how quickly a Curator can be murdered when you're aboard a locomotive.
- Piñata Enemy: The pieces of their collection they carry with themselves are usually very valuable. They are fairly hardy though, so they'll make you work for it.
GuestsOne of the more insidious dangers a Locomotive can face is a Guest infection; just one stray tentacle stuck in a fender can create a whole infestation crawling through the vents. The ones you face in the High Wilderness, entirely piloted by these wormy creatures and presumably with their crew devoured, are merely the terminal stage. Don't get too close.
- Bait-and-Switch Boss: They look just like Scouts or Dreadnoughts... up until you get close and they sprout entirely too many tentacles.
- Elite Mook: Not even Imperial Dreadnoughts are safe from the wiggly menace.
- It Can Think: They are strangely good pilots, and even know how to use the lateral vents of their locomotive.
- Organ Drops: You can gather individual Guests from the shattered, roasted husk of the locomotive, in order to eventually make a powerful weapon that uses their secretions as ammo.
- Tentacled Terror: They are disgusting masses of tentacles that invade space locomotives. Trains that have been taken over by them seem innocuous at first, but then they sprout tentacles and you'll realize it's time to get the hell away from there.
Scorn-FlukesIf you had hoped to escape the Flukes, those insidious alien menaces that look all too much like sea urchins, by taking to the skies, you should likely think again. The Scorn-Flukes are often tougher, smarter and angrier than any Axile native left behind in the Neath.
- Covered in Scars: Not that you can see them, but Scorn-Flukes in particular usually have ritual scars around their core.
- Organ Drops: It drops some kind of bizarre, tumorous organ that, to people who have an extremely rare secret and are already half-insane, can work to create the Wrath of Heaven.
- Sea Hurtchin: As usual. They ram you at high speeds with terribly sharp spines, they yell Correspondence at you to set your vessel on fire and madden your crew, they bring as much hurt as ever.
- Unstoppable Rage: The ship-destroying sort of Fluke is already pretty pissed off as-is. Scorn-Flukes are even angrier, due to being exiles from their kind on top of everything else, and they'll take it out on anything that comes in view. They even twitch in fury whenever they're attacking you.
- You Can't Go Home Again: Possibly the main source of their anger. Axile is gone. They will destroy any locomotive they come across to forcibly extract the memories and experiences of the crew in an apparently fruitless attempt to find any clue of the location of their home world.
Sleeping GrieversOdd creatures that can be found all over Eleutheria, trying to catch some sleep and remaining utterly still in the dark skies. Disturbing them is not recommended.
- Action Bomb: Their only attack is to charge your locomotive at high speed and blow itself up in your face, spewing corrosive acid absolutely everywhere.
- Alien Geometries: Its internal anatomy is strange, much bigger on the inside than it has any right to be. Further investigation reveals this was intentional, as the Grievers were made to find places where the laws of distances had been broken and correct the mistake by eating the excess distance.
- Berserk Button: They absolutely hate being woken up. Whether it's a light being shined on its face or a locomotive's engine noises, their somewhat fragile slumber will be disturbed, and they will immediately attempt a kamikaze dive on the one responsible.
- Expy: Once you know what they are, they might remind you of The Langoliers, except with space instead of time. And are also explosive.
The UndepartedWeird creatures found in Eleutheria that represent (and are) a violation of the laws of life and death made material.
- Humanoid Abomination: They appear vaguely humanoid at first glance, like a grim reaper's torso.
- Invisible Monsters: Being (un)living violations of the Judgements' laws regarding mortality, they don't really exist and as such can't normally be seen. Illuminating them with your engine's light makes them real enough to see them. Note that just because they don't exist doesn't mean they cannot harm you, so you can be ambushed easily.
- Kill It with Fire: While fire's effectiveness is unknown (it may be just disappearing back into nonexistence rather than getting Deader Than Dead), it's certainly very calming to burn their corpses up to make really, really sure, reducing Terror significantly.
- Not Quite Dead: Being what they are they can't really die, but they can be incapacitated long enough to loot them (though haste is recommended before they wake up again).
- Undead Abomination: As far as abominations go, it rarely gets as nasty as "literal mistakes of reality".
- Wolverine Claws: Packing big ones that can open a locomotive up like a can of sardines.
The LogoiMessengers of the Judgement running the Blue Kingdom, who are also its commandments made material. A parting shot from one of them is responsible for cursing Captain Whitlock to die from burning up inside-out at the beginning of the game.
- Did You Just Punch Out Cthulhu?: They recover, but the reason you can reduce Terror as one of the victory options; you still still rendered a demigod punch-drunk.
- Fantastic Caste System: They enforce one in the Blue Kingdom. They don't like folks that haven't done their paperwork and are thus outside it.
- Language of Magic: They're made out of Correspondence. Not with the Correspondence, from it; when you're as fluent with it as the stars themselves, you can do this sort of thing.
- Not Quite Dead: "Killing" one just causes it to enter a dormant state where it is purely Correspondence lettering to heal.
- Our Angels Are Different: Under certain definitions of angel, at least; they certainly serve a deity-like being, and are called princes of heaven at that. It helps that they usually look like wheels of flame, giving them a resemblance to Throne angels.
- Starfish Aliens: They're living proclamations made by a Judgement.
Eaters of the DeadGraveyards attract carrion eaters, and the Blue Kingdom is no different in that regard. These floating chimera prey on the living just as happily as they do the dead, though.
- Glass Cannon: One of the weakest predators of the Blue Kingdom, they nevertheless do truly horrific damage if they manages to get their plentiful teeth around your engine. And they usually come in groups.
- Our Monsters Are Weird: The head of a crocodile, attached to the body of a hippopotamus, with a peacock's tail. With a dozen eyes.
Reach MaraudersPirates endemic to the Reach, out to pillage and plunder vessels on the Frontier.
- The Goomba: With respect to other locomotives — Reach Marauders can only fire a single, slow-moving projectile at a slow rate of fire and have weak armor. They're also the first enemy you encounter in the game.
- Red and Black and Evil All Over: All of the standard hostile engines have black and red color schemes, readily identifying them as baddies.
- Space Pirates: The reason they're so interested in attacking you in the first place.
Albion MarauderSpace pirates and other ne'er'do'wells in Albion, who lurk in the less well-patrolled areas of the region and prey on unsuspecting vessels.
- Space Pirates: Much like their cousins in the Reach.
ResurrectionistsGraverobbers, prowling the cemeteries around the Most Serene Mausoleum and in the Blue Kingdom.
- Moral Dissonance: You, the hero, can do pretty much the exact same thing they're doing whenever you encounter floating paupers' graves. Perhaps the difference is that these guys are said to be interested in the actual body parts, for... interested parties back in London.
Star-Maddened ExplorerLocomotives whose crews have succumbed to the light of the heavens and gone stark raving mad. They can be found in the wilds of both the Reach and Albion.
- Ramming Always Works: It certainly does a ton of damage if they make contact with you, not to mention puts you in a very bad place to be when it comes to their blunderbusses. Notably, they're the only locomotive enemy that tries this tactic. Notable also that this can backfire and blow themselves up if they take too much ramming damage.
Deranged DreadnoughtEnduring and Glorious Dreadnoughts that have, perhaps, spent a bit too long guarding the Clockwork Sun. They're generally found in the most remote regions of Albion.
- Flechette Storm: Their guns shoot high-velocity glass flechettes rather than bullets. And with a good Mirrors score, you can safely unscrew them, install them on your ship and do the same; apparently, bullets come in, glassy death comes out.
- Still Wearing the Old Colors: While, as the name implies, their crews are no longer loyal to the Royal Navy, they're still painted in its colors and their nameplates can still be sold to Sweet Jane to collect her bounty on Stovepipes.
- Taken for Granite: Both their hulls and ammunition have glassed over, to say nothing of their crews.
Spirifer EnginesSpirifage is still big after the move to the stars. And in places like the Blue Kingdom, where the laws against it are harsh and the souls are valuable, even more so. They will take whatever souls they can find.
- Elites Are More Glamorous: In a manner of speaking, they are the shiniest and richest-looking of all the outlaw engines you find. Justified in that all the bling they carry is meant to fool officials by looking funerary, and that spirifage brings in a lot of cash.
- Your Soul Is Mine: Like any spirifer, if they find someone whose soul is valuable, they'll mug them for it.
Enduring DreadnoughtsEnormous engines of war that form the core of the Royal Navy. They're found in both Albion and the Reach, and will usually be friendly unless the player has made an enemy of the Stovepipes.
- Mighty Glacier: Like most Stovepipe ships, they're slow and have no lateral jets, but are heavily armored and have powerful weapons.
- Mooks: The most common ship in service to The Empire.
- Piñata Enemy: They're much tougher to take down than Tackety Scouts or Marauders, but they tend to have better loot on them, like barrels of gems or unlicensed maps. Notably, if you side with the Tacketies these guys are going to be your main source of vital Ministry Permits, either straight from the source or by delivering the charred remains to Sweet Jane.
- Space Navy: The Royal Navy, of course, has taken on this role.
Glorious DreadnoughtsGlowing, gold-plated dreadnoughts of the Royal Navy, found in Albion and, very rarely, the Reach.
- Elite Mooks: London's more powerful warships, most often found near the Throne of Hours.
- Load-Bearing Boss: Downplayed but each one you destroy and raid weakens the Clockwork Sun.
- Metal Slime: They have really good loot, just good luck shooting them.
- More Dakka: They're armed with what can only be described as a long-range automatic shotgun.
- Space Navy: Like the Enduring Dreadnoughts, they're under the command of the Royal Navy.
Ministry MonitorsLong, graceful cruisers built for the Ministry of Public Decency, for the purpose of hunting down smugglers. They are first deployed to Albion and the Reach after the player makes their first visit to London.
- Fixed Forward-Facing Weapon: They only mount a single weapon, and it's one of these. It's powerful enough to take out the starting ship in three shots, though.
- Glass Cannon: They have lighter armor than other Stovepipe ships, but they have one of the most devastating ranged attacks in the game.
- Space Police: Their primary mission is hunting for smugglers, and they'll automatically attack you regardless of your standing with the Stovepipes if you're carrying contraband.
- State Sec: With their introduction, the Ministry of Public Decency now toes the line between this and their old role as Moral Guardians.
- Wave-Motion Tuning Fork: Their bow is split down the middle to accomodate their main gun.
Tackety ScoutsSmall, light locomotives that fly under the flag of the Colonial Assembly, commonly found throughout the Reach. They're generally friendly, unless the player has made an enemy of the Tacketies.
- Drives Like Crazy: Apparently, they say hello by ramming into things and will swerve around like the Captain's been hitting the whiskey.
- Fragile Speedster: They're explicitly not made to last, but they are quick and evasive, making good use of their lateral jets.
Tackety LiberatorsA new class of battleship the Tacketies develop and deploy in the Reach in response to the Ministry Monitors. Compared to the scouts, they're enormous, heavily-armored warships with powerful broadsides.
- Mighty Glacier: Compared to the lighter Scouts, they're much slower and less maneuverable, but more powerful.
DousersLocomotives that are fully dedicated to the Liberation of Night to extreme degrees, they will hunt down and destroy any and all lights they spot within the realm of Eleutheria in order to keep it dark.
- Berserk Button: Light. Specifically and relevantly to your captain, locomotive lights. If they catch you with that thing on, they will immediately try to blow you up for daring to "poison the dark with its light".
Empyrean OutridersKhanate-affiliated vessels, Empyrean Outriders seek to bring a bit of light to the darkness of Eleutheria and keep the Liberation of Night away from the Eagle's Empyrean. They have a strict "lights on at all times" policy, and enforce it with extreme prejudice.
- Berserk Button: Don't let them catch you with the lights off, whether or not you are a Douser they will still try to destroy you just in case.
- Do Not Go Gentle: Some of the crew remain alive after battle, and if you try to pillage their locomotive they will put up a formidable defense. That said, they'll also surrender peacefully if you allow them.