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28th of April 1897


There are stances to be taken. Even with leadership structures in place, the world is a wild place – and the Neath double so – though that, of course, does not mean the higher powers go out of their way to protect. Survival of the fittest, perhaps, the most adaptable, yes, the most willing to carry out justice, certainly. We are social animals, and our society hinges on the few capable. Do not sleep on the injustices of the world! Take up your arms, London. There are villains to dethrone. They will not go easily, but they will go. When the arms of Law are too short, we need to take it into our own hands.

Art of London

Letters from the Surface: Part XI
An Escape Attempt
By Sir Wensleydale of Hardwick

Now, what happened? Who locked me in my room? More importantly, who knew my address?
I had a key in my dancing slippers. I took them off, and found no key.
Now I was ticked. I couldn’t just stay here, below the Fourth City. If I could… Nope.

I lit a cigar. The room gained it’s scent. If I couldn’t leave, I could smoke the intruder out!

I failed to get out. A letter slid under the door. I opened it.

“You had your chance. Never again.”

My mind raced. Why was this happening?

…That bleeding bastard.

I took my bejeweled cane, a gift from a lapidary, and swung at the door-knob.

Success! Now to catch the ______!

Watchful has increased to 160-A Focused Brilliance!
Shadowy is decreasing…
Dangerous has increased to 155- A Terrible Power!
An occurrence! Your “At War With a Single Person” quality is now 2!
Wounds is increasing…
Subtle is increasing…
Heartless is increasing…
Melancholy is increasing…
Daring is increasing…
You now have 1*Cane-Shank

News of Art, Art of News

Rise of Photography – Painters Demise or a Rising Artform?

Photography, the for-years up-and-rising technology, has been a subject of controversy in the artistic circles since its conception. Though it lacks the vibrant colours and subjectivity of the painted work, it gives a new (if grainy) perspective on the world. Gone are the days of the painted portrait, people instead opting for the quick fix of a photograph. Gone are the still lifes, the planars, the starry skies.
Do not fear, however! This simply means new opportunities arise for art, for expression. New mediums, new media. A new set of skills, to be sure, is always useful. One needs simply to adapt to circumstances, and new paths shall open up before them. Why not try to combine the art of photography with the art of painting?

So take up your lenses, London!

Ask Mother Goose

Dear Mother Goose,
Have I lost my mind?

Dear, Drunk
There are many more ways to do such a thing.


21st of April 1897


I had a dream.
I was bound by many chains, in a dark room of an unbefitting size. My clothes were in tatters. Many mice, hundreds, nay, thousands of them, perused around me, gaping, chittering, looking at my bound form. I could barely move. The mice brought me food and drink, thrice a day, and ate with disgusted fervor. I spent my days swaying from side to side. Leg to leg. Right to left. Endless loop of mindless entertainment.

One mouse stood out. Watching. It started to sway. Side to side. Right to left. In rythm. I stopped. It stopped. We began again. Slow, swaying, from leg to leg, together we shared this moment of strange connection. I felt it understood.

I woke up.

Art of London

Letters from the Surface: Part X
A Particularly Ruthless Spy
By Sir Wensleydale of Hardwick

Another letter, among the junk. This one was addressed to “the Professor of Spycraft”. I was shocked. I am not a high-ranking piece in any of the Game’s machinations, nor do I consider myself a careful observer. Take my work on the Correspondence.

The letter exploded like a Molotov Cocktail. It read,

“I have heard of your work. I am a fairly new piece to the Game, so I figured I might ask you: what is the purpose of it? Also, might you train me in the art of espionage?”

I shuddered. I barely knew that myself. As for my skill… One might scoff at me for attempting to teach that.

I receded into my study. I continued to read. I began to pen a reply, but that haunting image did what it does. Seven is the number in many things. Even scars, memories, and stains.

After a night of increasingly haunted sleep, I awoke, somehow refreshed. But I was locked in from the outside.

Watchful is increasing…
Shadowy is increasing…
Dangerous is increasing…
Persuasive is increasing…
Nightmares is increasing…
Suspicion is increasing…
Melancholy is increasing…
Subtle is increasing…
A twist in your tale! You are now At war with a single person!
An occurrence! Your “Letters from the Surface” quality is now 10-Known to the Shadows!
You now have 1*Surface Letter
You’ve gained 1*Whispered Hint
You have moved to a new area: your study

News of Art, Art of News

The (Un)Forgotten Artist’s Final(?) Work Comes To Light

The publishing of this work is controversial. Its content even moreso. Was it a truly bold move, a stroke of genius so viscerally real that we are afraid to even consider the possibility of a genuine motive? Or was it a mad rambling of a mad man, bent on destroying even the last semblance of peace with this epos?

Either way, it thoroughly shook the readers to their core. There was blood. There were riots. There was denial, and there were tears. It is a handful to swallow, dear readers. Like red meat sitting in your stomach for days on end, so painful to digest. Like the sweetest candy, rotting your teeth simply by its presence, too late does the pain come, too late do you realize the destruction you have brought upon yourself by opening this can.

We can only wonder at the meaning of this. We can only speculate on whether this was the last stroke, or only the first of many more to come. There is no telling whether the chaos will rail on, order will be established, or the fire die down, uneventfully.

What is left is only to wait and see.

Ask Mother Goose

Dear Mother Goose,
Is it all for naught? Is this the end?

Dear Stuck,
It is our hope that it is not.

14th of April 1897


The scarlet stockings. We all know the ones. Red like blood, sewn to invoke the deepest desire. Soaked in violant, they say. One can only agree, so hard it is to forget them.
Imagine your fingers running down their length. The silk so soft, the skin beneath so warm, the flesh so soft and tender. Heavy smell of perfume, intoxicating, playing with your senses, making your head spin. Your lips touching, red on red, your face flush with desire.
They are not to be removed; do you yearn to take them off? What are they worth without the wearer? Just one look is enough to send your imagination wild.
Poets have cried for them, zailors have drowned for them, the Masters may deny any attraction but still they must know.
Wrapped around the torso, a warm breath on your cheek. Sweet dreams, London.

Art of London

Letters from the Surface: Part IX
A Weeping Scar
By Sir Wensleydale of Hardwick

One night, I was up late, writing a short story. I was about to enter a plagued sleep, when…


I ran in the general direction of the noise. Mr Netae’s home. They were dead. Dead of slicing. Four scars, in the shape of Correspondence.

I poured salt on the corpse. Perhaps that would burn it.

But it did not burn. Not a candle.

I wondered what was next.

News of Art, Art of News

Lavish lascivious lifestyle liberates London’s leading

It is no surprise that London’s elite love to indulge, in matters artistic, culinary, sexual, even vicious. In a recent turn of events, a certain society has been gaining following from the high echelons of the purebred Society. The Cult of Dionysus, as they are known, has been a society of artists and those of lesser social standing. Not few of us here at the Gazette have been to these gatherings, and we can attest to the parties being rather, well, unfit for the Ministry.
In the past week, new members have been showing up to the gatherings. What do Mr. ______ and Mrs. _____ have in common? Where do the newlyweds ________ venture every evening? How many Londoners involve themselves with polyamory?
Dear London, how we wish we could talk more of this… Better yet, we shall invite you all! Be not afraid to show up, the directions are encoded in this very edition of the Gazette. You know what to look for, London, and we look forward to you.

Ask Mother Goose

Dear Mother Goose,
Where to find you?

Dear LuFul,
The zee eternal.

7th of April 1897


There is a certain hunger in all of us. It is human nature to be so curious, to the point of destruction of the self. Why is it that a person would torture oneself so? For what? To know? To relive? To keep alive a legacy, or continue one? To atone for a sin? Or, simply, for hunger. Oh, how many lives has it cost. So much pain, so much suffering, all self-inflicted and still the result of an outside force.
Who is to blame? The fool that trusted or the traitor who gave the order? Both of them, monsters in their own right. One more tragic than the other, certainly, but with no less blame. It may be folly to follow your heart. Follow the voice.

What do they find in the cold? Oh, how one would love to know. This hunger, this thirst for mystery uncovered.

It is human nature to be so curious, but it is not for humans to know all.

All shall be Well.

Art of London

A Hell to Pay
By Wolf Grim Rine

Wolf was a 26 year old man wearing a monocle on his left eye, a black top hat, white suit with a blue tie and carried a cane. Despite it being perpetually night it was a nice day in The Neath. Wolf had a modest house next to the observatory as well as a pet raven on his shoulders. “Hello good sir.” Said a Devil who walked up to Wolf. His eyes were a brilliant crimson and glowed in the dark cavern. “We at The Brass Embassy have need of your services Mr. Rine. With your tact at conversations we feel you may be able to handle a problem for us.” He took out a card from his breast pocket and handed it to me. “We expect it to be handled with due diligence.” The devil tipped his hat and vanished in a burst of flames with a haunting cackling echoing. The area he stood also had visible scorch marks. Wolf took little notice of the dramatic exit as he was quite familiar with The Brass Embassy. He then looked at the card it had an address “666 Asmodeus Boulevard” He nodded and tossed the card away as it quickly burst into flames. Secret messages from devils tend to destroy themselves stead of requiring the reader to it made things so much easier.

Wolf tapped his cane against the door and waited no one answered. He sighed and tapped again harder to make more noise. Still no answer. He checked to see if the door was locked it wasn’t he then entered the room. The address was that of a one floor townhouse. It had a bedroom a small kitchen, powder room and one very dead woman. Wolf rolled his eyes as he walked up to her. She’s been dead a day or so, she had no eyes he couldn’t decide if they were gouged out or if she in general really had no eyeballs. Given the city either option was totally plausible. He decided to poke her with his cane as he looked down in mild contempt as if her being dead was more an inconvenience to him then her being dead was to her. Artemius flew over to a wardrobe and started speaking in a high squeaky voice. “Clue!” Wolf walked over to it petted his pet bird and pulled open the drawer.

“Ah interesting.” There was a soul in the drawer and Wolf figured it was the woman’s soul. Only a moron would keep their soul on them so maybe it was somebody else’s. The soul was not fresh not one itty-bit and made him cough at the smell, he threw it across the room and the jar shattered as the soul wailed and dissolved into oblivion. Wolf then brushed himself off and let Artemius get back on his shoulder. “Well this was a waste of bloody effort.” He started to walk away when he heard a noise. “A zombie would be deeply inconvenienced.” He said turning around to see indeed the woman was standing upright. Wolf rolled his eyes and pinched the bridge of his nose this was so not what he needed right now. He splayed out a hand and streams of green energy burst from his palm as it hit the woman. “Speak you stupid creature.”

“Urgh… I…. Saw… A… D-D” And then she collapsed dead.. Again Wolf just shook his head and left.

Wolf tapped on the door to The Brass Embassy and out came a devil male who smiled. “Ah did we settle our affair we sent you after?”

Wolf glared at him he was used to Devils. “No and you shouldn’t take me for an idiot.”

The devil looked mockingly offended. “Me? Insult one our best associates?”

Wolf gestured behind the devil and a second more important looking male devil walked up to them. He wore a monocle that made his left eye shine brighter than normal, and held a glass with a wailing soul in it it also had a martini olive in it. “Yes gentlemen?” The second devil asked.

Wolf wasted no time. “Your friend here tried to get me to offend the noble Brass Embassy with returning a spoiled soul to him. Hell knows what he was intending to do with it.” Without missing a beat the more refined devil put his glass down on a table then pinned the other by the neck against the wall.

“Spoiled Soul?” He said with intense malice in his voice. The other choked as he struggled to get loose one think he could teleport but maybe devils can interrupt another’s teleporting.

Wolf took no emotion to this affair and took a rat to feed Artemius and then looked up with the refined devil alone. “We are terribly sorry to have a devil attempt such a poor excuse for a scandal. We shall mail you compensation.” He bowed took his glass back and closed the door. Wolf picked up a small piece of ember off the floor where the dead devil was and smiled.

“Well too bad they trust me here.” And walked away.

News of Art, Art of News

The Seventh Letter

It is a rare opportunity that we get to see such a play. At least once a year, on the request of Lilac. In the hidden-away theaters, the lost parlours, the backroom stages. The play is infamously known, not only for what and how it depicts, but also for what it achieves. Even those with little attunement to the going-ons of Fallen London, an observant viewer can figure dark secrets from this simple play. The origins of it are hard to be found. Just who would so willingly give up such secrets? We suppose there is vengeance to be found.

There is little to be said of this play that had not been said before. We may revisit it one day again. For now, dear readers, beware the Seventh Letter.

Ask Mother Goose

Dear Mother Goose,
Have I doomed myself?

Dear Seeking,
Oh, so easily and so willingly, and so long ago.

31st of March 1987


Freedom. It is what we all desire. Freedom from chains, freedom from responsibility, freedom from life. It is not easily attainable, as all will attest when asked. Those denying the pain of existence are simply lucky in their current situation. Not even the aristocracy is free from absurdity. Down here, in the Neath, now even the very final release escapes us. Light has made us apart with Death. Is it much to ask for? Would you rather live forever or ever after?

Enjoy life, dear readers. It is what we have, so full of wonders that never deplete. Even in a lifetime, even in ten, there are wonders to be re-discovered, re-experienced. Enjoy the wines, London. Do not let this freedom be taken away. Let not those who rule use you in a way they have for so long. Let not those who claim to want to free you condemn you to darkness. Revolt in your own way, London. Be free again.

The bed upon which I slept in Polythreme was a slave.

Art of London

Letters from the Surface: Part VIII
At Summerset
By Sir Wensleydale of Hardwick

I’d written my works. As I roamed London, I decided to visit Summerset College. Perhaps, eventually, I could be a Professor. Many thought I could become a Poet-Laureate. If so, London would be much better.

My opponent had provided materials to the University, including no less than 35 branded hearts.

I found a rose-petal among the supplies. Interesting.

Watchful has increased to 150- A Focused Brilliance!
Letters from the Surface has increased to 8!
Suspicion is increasing…
You’ve gained 1*Surface-Rose Petal (new total 2)

News of Art, Art of News

Art of Polythreme; Scream it Out Loud

The talking lands of Polythreme are a sight to behold. Shores of a thousand stones, stones of a thousand voices, people of a thousand hearts now only one. It is a harsh landscape, yet one full of soul, of yearning for softness, whose people are born into life sentient and with an inherent insanity of existence. The Clay Men of Polythreme are mournful by nature, and despite many religious types doubting their ownership of a single soul, we at the Gazette are sure they have. This suspicion is based solely and faithfully on the art of Polythreme. Yes, dear readers, we, as many others, have had the opportunity to see the art – hear the poems of the Pirate Poet, observe the statues and statuettes of the Clay sculptors, so dynamic you would swear they are alive, behold the screaming stanzas of zee-faring epics written upon equally screaming parchment.

The art of Polythreme is every bit searching for meaning. It is the pinnacle of existentialism. The search for meaning is never ending, in any living being. We wholeheartedly love and recommend this art. Make sure you prepare enough napkins for the tears.

Ask Mother Goose

Dear Mother Goose,
Where to help those in need without feeling a sinner while not helping the random stranger?

Dear Concerned,
To help is ennobling. Charity work is the way for the gentler folk in privilege. Do not look for how – simply look at the act itself. Help whenever possible.

24th of March 1897


The boy who fell in love with a Goddess
By R. J. Frogvarian

The next morning, the boy opened his eyes to the branches and the skies and the chirping of birds. His bag was under his head like a pillow and his cloak placed gently on his body. He looked around; he could not find the crow.
“Dear crow?” he cried out, “Have you shrunk so much I cannot see you any more?” His voice grew quiet, “Or have you finally flown away from me…”
Slowly he gathered his belongings. As he fastened his cloak, he heard singing, a gentle tune and a soft voice.
The boy followed the song. It lead him to a stream near the clearing. At the stream there was a girl, around the boy’s age, singing a song, bathing. Her hair, black as the night, reached down under her waist. Her head was topped with a crown of flowers. The boy was barely able to breath. He smiled, so filled with happiness, and sat onto the grass. “So, I have healed you after all,” he whispered and hummed along.
After a few glorious minutes the girl spotted him. She smiled warmly, grabbed a blanket of leaves and wrapped it around herself like a dress. With bare feet she walked on the grass towards the boy. Her right arm was held within a perfectly fitted support. Bright eyes looked at the boy.
The girl stopped two steps short of him. The boy stood up.
“I must thank you so,” she spoke. Her voice was like the ringing of a bell, like the gentle caress of a summer wind. “For your kindness, for your care. For your understanding.” She stepped forward and placed a kiss upon the boy’s cheek. Again, she smiled.
The boy’s face flushed.
“I only did what was right,” he murmured, “Nothing more.”
“You did much more,” the girl said, “If not now, then before. You are as much a part of this forest as any blade of grass. You never take what you do not need, and give back to the land whenever possible.
“My name is Val,” she continued, “And I would be delighted if you were the protector of this forest.”
Tears appeared in the boy’s eyes. He wiped them away. “I- I am not sure if I could-” the boy stammered.
“I believe you could. It is what you have done for so long. You love the forest… “ the girl’s face became flush as well, “You-”
“I love you,” the boy said. And it was true.

Art of London

Letters From The Surface, Part VII
Welcome Back
By Sir Wensleydale of Hardwick

I had just arrived back in London. On the islands, I had received letters of praise and belittling. One such letter was from a fellow at court:

“I have heard of your work overzee. I am sure that when you return, you will receive a warm welcome from the noticeably powerful.”

When I returned, I began hallucinating. A jungle. But I could return to London, no nightmares remaining.

When I entered the Shuttered Palace, I knocked three times. I came to write another opera. After that, all shall be well between us. I was greeted fondly, but cautiously. I then found my rival, writing a film of slanderous material.

Well. This would be interesting.

News of Art, Art of News

Public decency rampant in decadence; Art strikes back in irony

In the latest display of the Ministry – yet another public burning of books – the men of the aforementioned organization have gotten their comeuppance. Just earlier this week, as the men were burning volumes of (what they deemed to be) scandalous poetry, a certain zee-fairing epic written on the back of bandages was included. This epic, rather long and written on bandages of a length to match the work, welcomed the flames with a gusto, as if aware of what was to transpire. Slowly, the flames crept up, inching ever so farther away from the flames – and directly to the cart of the Ministry. Oh what a display! Not even fireworks bring us such pleasure! While lacking in coloured flare, it was brilliant. The men nigh trampled over each other in an attempt to douse out the flames, one’s jacket even catching from the effort. In the meantime, busy hands of bohemians, artists, and even one brave Rubbery worked together in an effort to save what could be saved. In total, nearly a fourth of the works to be burned had been recollected! (Even including one of our own Gazette’s editions)

All of London shall rejoice today, dear readers. The works have been, naturally, brought to a safe place for archiving and occasional midnight readings.

Ask Mother Goose

Dear Mother Goose,
Where to go in life when things seem so stagnant?Reph

Dear Reph,
The zee is the best place to think about the future. There is freshness all around. Try the honey, dear.

16th of March 1897


Remember the past. Learn from it and grow from your mistakes as well as successes.
It is often difficult to face your past. Like meeting a long estranged lover, now merely a probable acquaintance. You recall the times together and try not to talk about the end. You may end up as friends once again. The past is just that. Now is now, times constantly a-changing. Do not be afraid of the past. We all have to deal with our demons, one way or another. Embrace the past. Grow from it. You are better now than you were.

Art of London

The boy who fell in love with a Goddess
By R. J. Frogvarian

The next day the boy awoke, packed his book of stories, and ventured back to the clearing. In front of the crow he placed his latest catch, a salmon from the forest river. The crow seemed so small now, its beak was in the height of the boy’s nose.
“I hope you’re not getting weaker because of me,” the boy murmured. He checked the support on the crow’s wing. “It’s healing well,” he said.
The crow ate. The boy sat besides her. He opened his book. The crow’s eyes sparkled at the sight of colourful pictures and beautiful cursive. The boy started to read. He read the crow fables, faerietales, legends and myths of their world. He read of mighty kings and cunning jesters, of humble farmers and brilliant inventors. He read of magic and of the mundane. He read into the evening. As the sun set, he and the crow were huddled together. He read into the night.
As it was time to sleep, the boy turned to the crow.
“I shall stay here. I promise,” the boy said. And it was true.

News of Art, Art of News

A rather special interview – Canon

Dear readers, we are proud to present to you a rather special news piece. A certain midnighter, who shall remain anonymous, has offered to answer some questions for us. It is a thrilling time for the Gazette. Without further ado, you are welcome to read – you can find the full interview below.

See the interview on the centre-page spread.

Ask Mother Goose

Dear Mother Goose,
I have made unwise decisions. How does one survive from nothing? I fear I owe far too much.

Dear Indebted,
Such is the nature of business. When you owe to dangerous people, the solution is to be more dangerous than them. It is but a minor setback. Do not be afraid to speak their names. Arrangements can be made.


A Rather Special Interview

Let us start from the humble beginnings. Canon – what let you to the Neath?

The finer details of my past are a mystery, even to me, but when I take off my irrigo robes off and take the time to dream of sunlight, I can only picture a self-imposed exile born of shame. When you are young, you believe that there are endless possibilities and that all one needed was the willingness to speak their mind and the courage to face the limitless unknown.
Soon, you would find many who share the same beliefs and attitudes, and together would find strength in each other to create a better tomorrow, a tomorrow where the light of reason and freedom never sets. However, as the years went on, you realize that the hierarchy of power never changes, only that the people who compose it do, and that what was once light only lies in darkness.
While there are some on the surface who still see me as a hero, my past actions only bring me grief for all those sacrificed for the empty lie called “liberty” that still haunts the commoners of the Neath to this very day.

Furthermore, what kept you in the Neath?

Originally, to forget, to constantly chase after frivolous pleasures so that one never has to reminiscence about the past. However, as time here is particularly treacherous in the Neath, the past will always catch up to you, so to speak. The same can be said for the Bazaar and the Masters who seek to postpone a reckoning, but I instead have chosen to accept and learn from my mistakes so as to never repeat them again. And unlike before, I plan to win on my terms.

Who do you favour most in ruling the Neath?

No one deserves to rule the Neath, as the Neath has existed far longer than any being here and shall outlast all of us until the day of our respective judgments. Do not take this as support for the Liberation crowd, however, as our current state of tyranny is still leagues better than the madness the Calendar Council wishes to enact upon the universe.

That being said, I favor those who deal in honesty rather than in falsehoods, absolutes, or unkept promises. The Fingerkings can only offer imaginary trinkets, but always demand everything that one possesses (which includes your bodily autonomy); the Masters and the Bazaar promise the world but can never fulfill those bargains well; and the Liberation as a movement do not create, but only destroy.
On the other hand, the determination of Seekers is admirable (if ultimately misguided), the sorrow spiders desire eyes and knowledge (but nothing further), and the Masters are honest about their intentions of running London like a business, whether for good or ill. Every group wants what’s best, but what constitutes as “best” and “for who” can differ even among those with the same loyalties. I suggest you choose carefully.

As a Midnighter, you are a rather important part of the Great Game. What do you think of the game itself?

The Great Game is Life itself, and just like how Life continues after one’s death, so too does the Game. The Game is eternal and encompasses all – the only differences between players are the roles they play and the moves they make. The loyalties they possess and the methods they practice matters little when alliances shift and information is at stake – what was once a bitter foe could be an irreplaceable partner the next day, while machinations planned for years could be overturned by one single betrayal.

Do you engage in more than just the role of rituals?

Those addressed as “Canon” take great care to follow the rituals outlined by St. Joshua by taking confessions, but I am more of an outlier in that I redistribute secrets rather than erase them. Many players of the Game have yet to understand the importance of their roles in the Bazaar’s schemes, and I simply wish to…enlighten them. While some of my colleagues may view this practice as heretical blasphemy, I merely see it as a way to keep the Game moving right on schedule, since games are meant to be played by people, not living tools without greater understanding.

How many have fell under your intrigues?

I do not care to keep count of those I’ve bested or entangled with even if I could remember through the irrigo, as I only look towards the future. All I am willing to say is that the city of London – and perhaps the entirety of the Neath – is my chessboard and all its inhabitants my pieces.

You are one of a few, a Paramount Presence. How does it feel, to sit atop the world?

First, your assumption that I am worthy of praise is incorrect, as I have only gotten as far as I have by following in the footsteps of true legends such as Mr. ____________, master of stories; Ms. _________, who sold her firkin of Hespiridean Cider to own the first Heptagoat in existence; ________, the first to have ventured NORTH.
Second, the world is but a small blip on the vast frontier known as the Far Wilderness, and it is only by conquering the four corners of the universe that one can claim to truly be at the center of things.

What do you see for your own future?

All shall be well, and all shall be well and all manner of thing shall be well.
B̨̻̰̤̬͎̘̹͈͘u̢҉̢̢̛̫̰̗̘̲̘͍̭̞̪̺̣̲͕̮͈͍t̸̛̲̰̝̘͇͈̼̼̹̻̬̕͡ ́͏̧̘̪̙̪̬̰̻͍̕͠ͅf̵̶̟̮͔̙͔̼̭̯͈͎͓̦̰o̷̢̪̳͔̣r̷̢͈̥̝̹̼̖͕̻̤̫̘̙̹̦͡ ͞͠͏͠͏̦̠̫̣͙̙̠̩̖̱̟̤̫͖͈͖͚w̷̡͙̜̫͕̬̘̮̘͖͓̳͇̱̹͕̜͞ḩ̵͙̭͔͓̗̬̩̬͔́̕͜o̴̲̺͕͉͚̹͢͢͝ ̶̹̥͙͔̗̩͈̞̦̕͝a͏̡̛̦̭͈̦̩̤̟̻̭̜̗̫̲ͅn̛͡͠҉̰̮͕͓d͝҉̛̣̦̰̞̠̰̞̗͔͙̭ ̸̫͍̮͚͕̰̯̕f̷͏̗͓̪̖͚̭͕̭͍̖̱͓͙̮͍̻̬̲́o̭̤̺̭̙͉̫͍͍͓̫̰̝̝͚̟̣͎͞ͅr̸̼͖̦̥̯̗͖͠ ̨͉̱̩̱̫͎͎̪̀͜w̰̥̪͖̰̲͚̳͍̙̺̙̫̦͘͝h̶͍̥͇̖̪̯̬͎̪̦̯̫̱͕͘͜͝a̵̡̛҉͚͕̜͔̺̱̮͇͉̫͉̰̱̘͎̰͍̦ͅt̶̵̡͕̭̤̭̟̫͍̱͉̠̤̣͇̪̞̬͜ ̘̻̯̲̘̘̯̦̖̘̥̺͖̖̠͞i̶̷̛̱̪͈̮͍̰̼̜̜͟͠ͅs̸̲̝̭̮̦̰̪̲̮̜͍͙̻̳̘̳̻͜͝ͅ ̺͉̙̙̪̠̯̼̲͚̹̦̻͢͜t̺͕̙̯̫̠̙̗̥̖̙̰͍͔̼̦͜͜h҉̟̼͚̼̘̪̝̝̣͇̯̝̜̞̟̹͝e̩͕̟͚̞̼̦͖̰̫͎͟͞ ̢̧̛͢͏̫͈͕̝͖̪̮̪̱͍̞̳̤͔͈̩t̡̛͙͎̺̬͙͈̻͙ͅŗ̸͓̞̭̪͓̮̣̝̭͙̖͘͡ų͏̰̜̟̖̦͎̥̩̟́e͞҉͓̥̟̰̝̘͈͔̼̬̫̜͝ ̛̯̰̙̙̫͚̝͓̠͚́͞͝q̴̧̨̟̺̯͖͎̤̳͕̲̜͡ͅu̸̢̦̠̪̘̺̹̬̩͔̮̙̥͞ͅe̡͉̙͈̙̫̜̻̦̗͘̕̕s̸̰̳̝̳̝͕͍͜͝t̴̶̡̧̖̺͈̫̬̼̯̟͔i̴̶͔̰̫̖̩̼̫͓͈̖͉͉̹͕̺o҉̸̢̻̟̙͖̥͜͟n̢͈̳̣̹̺͎̜͓̱̮̪͔̮͡ͅ.̴̶͕̦̦̬̙̹̘̠̭͙͢͜

A skilled player of the game yourself, you are used to use. How many of your acquaintances have you used for your own purposes?

How many souls do you think are traded daily in the Neath?

Have you ever fallen in love?

We should not talk of such matters here lest you draw the attention of certain meddlesome batty individuals and their crabby employer. Come, I know of a place deep inside the Forgotten Quarter that even they cannot venture…

To answer your question, yes, I am faithfully in love to my wife, for we are both share a mutual understanding to aid each other as equals in intellect, goals, and ability. Many in this city – and perhaps the universe as well – make the mistake of loving something that cannot be attainable, a love that cannot be reciprocated, and never have I ever witnessed it end well for either party.
On the other hand, love is a choice that we all must make in the end lest we lose it like the Rubberies, and I hope that I’ve made the right choice. It is fitting for a priest entrenched in secrets to form an everlasting union with an intriguing woman of faith, is it not? Should she betray me, then that is simply the results of my turn, and the Game continues on, but I love her all the same, keeps me in shape she does. Love is a part of the Game, and all games at some level must be challenging; therefore, there should be nothing more challenging yet adorable as my wife.

Does that answer your question?

Have you ever confessed to another midnighter?

I’d sooner grab the complete set of preserved internal organs on my mantelpiece (of which were ripped from my body personally by Mr Eaten) and hurl them from the highest rooftops of the Flit than ever consider visiting another Canon for confession.
The last time someone suggested I do that, I ripped off their mask and threatened to expose their folly for all of the Neath to see. If you forget your mistakes, you cannot learn; if you cannot learn, you cannot adapt; if you cannot adapt, then it is only a matter of time until you fall.
Midnighters are needed in the Great Game to help guilty agents absolve their sins with irrigo, but like what Mr Fires once told me, a truly strong person must own up to their mistakes and rise above them.

What have you found at the gate?

If you are expecting a cryptic or overly-convoluted tale of self-reflection, madness, and new horizons, I am sorry to disappoint you. I have only ventured to the Gate two times, and each time I have met with the same bleak scenery: the starry surface of the waters around the angels of Gant, the massive wreckage of ships, yachts, and zubs that have passed through, and the dark eyes of the exiled who still wait for the Empress’s pardon.

On my first visit, a shipmate of mine known as the Jaunty Cannoneer decided to stay at the Avid Horizon to await judgment for a crime she cannot undo, just like myself. Though I wanted to, I could not stay if it meant condemning the rest of my crew to the frost, as we had camped on an unforgiving lifeberg for a week and rations were non-existent, but I swore that I would come back. And I did, with another traveller returning, a folded knock times 7, and the knowledge that this is the beginning of something better.

10th of March 1897


Spring is in the air! It would be, now, were this the surface. The days would grow longer, nights shorter, sun would tickle our skin as a lover emerging from under the white sheets. As it is, there is only darkness. Yet it is not to be feared! As the lacre melts fully, the perfumes of the Feast dissipate, as we return to our common lives, intrigues, loves, and heartbreaks, do not be stuck in longing. The surface was then, and this is now. Embrace the Neath, dear readers. Let the Neath embrace you. For all the mess and the Bazaar, it is still our home, and our new home.

Do not let your home be taken away.

Art of London

The boy who fell in love with a Goddess
By R. J. Frogvarian

That night the boy gathered meats, vegetables, and water from a nearby stream. He set a small fire under his pot and started on a stew. In the morning, he grabbed the pot, a small wooden bowl, and some bread and ventured to the clearing once again. Once he arrived the crow’s head shot towards him, its eyes shining with expectancy. The boy set the pot in front of it and dipped his bowl in. He then sat in front of the crow again. Was it smaller again? But the support was still just the right size… Again he shook the thought away.
The crow waited and watched patiently. Once he was seated it dipped its beak into the pot and ate.
“Are you the queen of this forest?” the boy asked, “Or its protector?”
The crow said nothing.
“I hope you don’t mind me living here. I don’t take more than I need, I promise.”
The two ate together in silence, the boy dipping his bowl into the pot from time to time, until there was nothing left. Dusk had settled in, and it was time to go.
“I will be back again. I promise,” the boy said. And it was true.

News of Art, Art of News

“Jack-of-Smiles” art exhibit shakes all Ladybones detectives to the core

While we can never be sure which Jack it was, we can be sure that the rather gruesome display yesterday at the centre of Ladybones road was very provocative and, yes, artistic. The Constabulary is busy with righteous rage and all the private eyes are turning towards uncovering this particular culprit – the case of Jack is hot now more than ever.

We at the Gazette, however, look at this display in a different light. Bloody and cruel, yes, it was still an exhibit of great artistic prowess, not to mention a rather profound understanding of the Correspondence. With the four bodies arranged as four symbols, there were clear spaces for other three letters. We dread not speculate on the implications. However, we are more than happy to point to the artistic importance of this Jack’s display.

Times are changing, London! A new wave of artists is coming – instead of pen and canvas, they use the world around them to shock and bewilder.

We are rather excited to see where this new artform leads the Neath.

Ask Mother Goose

Dear Mother Goose,
How does one enjoy life?

Dear Restless,
It pays to live fully. Maybe try zailing.

2nd of March 1897


We do not always succeed. We do not always get what we want. We do not always end at a place we expect, or would like. In situations like these, it is important to keep your goal in sight. Do not falter, not for even a second.

In times like these the world may seem hopeless, the end much to far away. It is as if you’re grasping at straws, drowning and unable to save yourself. It might be maddening. It might hurt. Preserve.

Do not be afraid to show emotions, dear readers. They are but fuel for your art – and, truly, what is a better fuel for art than feeling? Burn with rage, glow with joy, radiate disgust and let your sorrow kill light. There is no shame in expression. It is what makes us human and it is something none shall ever take from us.

As the Bard said,
We are all actors and the world is but a stage.

Art of London

Letters From the Surface, Part VI
A Foolish Mistake
by Sir Wensleydale of Hardwick

Eventually, Mr Netae returned to London. I went to their home, at the same time my opponent did.
I remembered a moment that they had deceived me, Mr Netae.
He had just arrived in London. I was badly wounded from a fight in the sparring rings of the hill. He offered help.
I accepted, only to be fatally poisoned.

Mr Netae walked out of their home, ready to go to the University. I stopped them. My opponent chuckled. It seemed that they knew each other, as they began arguing.
One of the Special Constables began to make the rounds. I had to end this.
I took my prison shiv, and shanked both of them. The Constable arrived. He accused me of treason against the Masters of the Bazaar, recognizing Mr Netae and associating us two.
I dismissed these claims, but remained on guard.

This is the intermission of the Letters storyline. This story will return later.

Shadowy is increasing…
Dangerous is increasing…
Heartless has increased to 2!
Steadfast is increasing…
Suspicion has increased to 7-A Desperate Fugitive!
An occurrence! Your “Letters from the Surface” quality is now 6!

The boy who fell in love with a Goddess
By R. J. Frogvarian

That night, the boy worked tirelessly. He took his bed apart, the wood and the sheets becoming a much greater support. The next day again he ventured into the clearing. The crow was there, watching the boy with shining eyes. Strangely, he noticed, the bird seemed smaller than the day before. Shaking the thought away, he got to work. He removed the makeshift supports and tended to the wound, applying various ointments and herbal remedies. He affixed the new supports – they fit quite well. Once again, he placed his prey in front of the bird – this time a fox.
He sat in front of the bird, watching it intently.
“Why were you stuck?” the boy asked. “What had happened to you?”
The bird only cawed and pecked at the fox, still watching the boy. As the crow ate, dusk began again, and it was time to leave.
“I will be back again. I promise,” he said. And it was true.

News of Art, Art of News

What can one learn from the art of the Tomb Colonies?

Shame, disgrace, death itself. There is much wonder to be found within (and on) the bandages of the Tomb Colonies. It is a place of sorrow, but also decadence. What could one learn from the art of such a place?

Well, dear readers, I am sure not few artists of the Neath have ventured into the Colonies before, thus you are no doubt familiar with some of its eccentricities.
The fashion, of course, incorporates bandages quite well, combining them with beige, grey, black, and the occasional white garments.
The poetry is full of melancholy never before seen – and, on the other side of that coin, of passion never forgotten.
From there, the variety diminishes. A few plays from those able of body, though they are rarely more than dry. Books, mostly memoirs.

Then, the Colonies prevail again, in the most early of art forms. The paintings of the Colonists are something beyond exquisite. A picture is worth a thousand words, and these paintings show thousand times more. Pain, sadness, yearning, and all with the simplest of paints – and, sometimes, a few droplets of blood.

Do not be afraid to show such emotion, London!

Ask Mother Goose

Dear Mother Goose,
Why does time seem to never pass in this wretched place?

Dear Desperate,
That is no way to talk of a home. Whether that home is wanted, or even chosen. A home it is. And its quirks it has. It is not up to us to pass Judgement, and it is not up to us to pass time. Time passes – we simply need to accommodate.