A Note of Thanks and Congratulations!

If you attended the Masque of All Souls last night and participated in any way, I want to congratulate you for helping to make the event such a smashing success and so thoroughly delightful for everyone involved.

I also want to thank you, of course. These things are difficult to orchestrate even when one has thought them through completely, and I had not. There’s always something, isn’t there?

[This time it was me deciding OOC to blip music during the busiest early hours without having thought ahead to what should be played, silly me. Fortunately, Merri thought to employ an orchestra…]

In any case, yes: Thank you all, you’re wonderful, exciting people to know and if you think of it sometime in the next few days, take a moment to thank and congratulate the others who attended and made it so highly enjoyable. Smashingly clever lot, we are!

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Love is Why I Came Down, poetry by Israel Salvador

Love is why I came Down!
Love shows what Light can’t

is true like Words aren’t
Stays like skin doesn’t
teaches what time won’t!

It’s what the Devils try not to be made of
and what the Masters want to be!

I, ah, can’t really say it much more clearly!
Love is Love
and it’s what’s left
and what is Right!

I still remember that!

by Israel Salvador (@izzysalvador) and posted with his permission

Hunger is an Annoyance

  • The Unaccountaby Peckish kind has mostly been a minor annoyance, one that lessened considerably when I enjoyed the last of the fresh food I smuggled in from the surface earlier in the week. I can find no real use for the hunger except to cause me to experience cravings that revulse me and so I’ll be glad when it’s gone.
  • On a related note, I believe I’ve found no fewer than five counterfeit heads of St. John the Baptist since this silly season started.
  • Loneliness is an underhanded, pernicious kind of hunger. It’s a more serious annoyance than the peckishness, if only because its remedy seems far to seek, indeed.
  • In dealing with such unwelcome solitudes I’ve made the acquaintances of the exquisite Rhian Jenkins and a lady who goes by the unlikely psuedonym of “woogawoman,” a moniker I find delightfully intriguing. What is its origin? Why does she use it? Perhaps she’ll trust me enough to confide the truth of it, one day.
  • Also, the formidable Madam Ella Kremper bade me come share a bottle of that wretched (wonderful), evil (liberating) Black Wings Absinthe with her. Even after consulting our dear Commodore about the contents, I was out of sorts enough to accept the invitation and drink the inky black stuff. “Blacker than an idiot’s shadow” indeed — and I think I had to be completely idiotic to drink as much of it as I did. Still… it did ease some of the restlessness, though I’m not sure I care for what I remember of the rest of the night. The Scandal, in the aftermath, was fairly entertaining….
  • Oh, the poem! Thank you, those of you who’ve shared your feelings about it, your feedback (and even critique, in one case) was much appreciated. No, I haven’t heard from Huffam as yet — I rather doubt I shall, as I doubt it’s the kind of poem he generally cares to publish.
  • Rather than continue to ask me the identity of the mysterious “you” in the verses, perhaps you’ll all consent to consider it simply an abstract, or a generality and leave to good breeding any other speculations you might have? Thank you ever so….
  • Ambition is a kind of hunger; this one is not an annoyance though what I must do to achieve it is. I am so sick of the Forgotten Quarter I do wish I could forget it, but until this thing with the relics is over I am doomed to return there, it seems. Quite candidly, if I didn’t need the echoes for a rather stunningly expensive purchase, I wouldn’t return at all!
  • I did remove myself to the Shuttered Palace after a time as it turns out my cures for certain illnesses are rather well-received. Those luridly bright green tongues! I have seldom laughed so hard…! Almost payment enough! Almost.

Outside of hunger, I again contemplate throwing my doors open to all of Fallen London for an Open Salon. Again, I solicit you, my dearest delicious friends, for advice as to dates and times, if you have any. As for purely physical hungers, I have dinner invitations to keep me… sated. Or as close as I ever get to it, these days.

I have had the great pleasure of making the acquaintance of a delightful new friend, Mme. Ella Kremper, who is quite a formidable lady in addition to her other talents. We took a stroll under the moonish light, lingering in dark corners here and there, gathering a few poorly written cautions before retiring to her rooms for a late supper. It was a lovely interlude and I do hope we’ll be able to enjoy another soon.

Perhaps she — and dear Henrik and Theodor and Tobias, too — will permit me to add their names to my guest list here. Dear, delicious friends — where would I be without you?

I have a few moments before I must return to the Forgotten Quarter (and the soon-to-be-forgotten archaeological expedition, I hope!) and I find in perusing my mail that I have a report here from the team leader on this weekend’s expedition. It seems preparations are going well and the team shall be departing from the coast this Thursday. I do believe my airship can make it there in time, providing the double valves in the reciprocating pressure chamber do not fail. Anyway, this man, Madison by name, relates that he and his wife have the provisioning in hand and will be hiring on some of the aboriginal peoples to care for our mounts and equipment. He also reports that the rivers are running abnormally high due to the late snowfalls this past spring, but that he anticipates little trouble so long as we all use just the barest modicum of common sense about being near the rapids.

Well, he put it much more bluntly, some reference to God and a goose, but I’m sure you get the point.

We shall make our way inland, through the pass over Berry Summit, and then the next over Oregon Mountain and resupply at a small town there before continuing onward. There is a small gold field at Steiner Flat on the Trinity River (are not these names delightful?) where we shall make camp in order to catalog the strange flora and fauna of the place. I am told to be alert for black bear, mountain lions, poison oak, the western timbler rattler, several species of scorpion, and wildfires.

It should be a lovely trip.

The invitation was extended by an old family friend, Dr. Colin James who now holds a respected and tenured position at San Francisco Polytechnic and who insists upon keeping in touch with me even after I have become a true resident of the Neath. He’s a dear old fellow and I enjoy his letters almost as much as his company.

The open air of the Pacific Northwest shall do me good, I hope. If not, I’ll have laudanum along, just in case.

Ah well. If I wish to return in time to listen in on our dear Commodore’s broadcast tonight — and I do — I must be about my other business. One last thought to consider: If I wish to hold an Open Salon here, what dates and times would work best, do you think? Not that it couldn’t span multiple days, I suppose, but I am curious and desirous of input from you all…

A Little Laudanum Never Hurts

I was quite correct. It all does look so much better this morning.

Narciso, charming man that he is, has forgiven me my clumsiness and failure and given me the opportunity to try another unauthorized entry into the Museum of Mistakes on his behalf. It is so far a much simpler process than it was before, as my previous experiences have indeed stood me in good stead. I have laid a good ground work this morning and should have good news for the dear fellow before the week is out.

Indeed I must have it before the week is out, for news has reached me of a most uncommon expedition, on the surface, to the wild American northwest. I am to go and am somewhat excited for it, though it will restrict my activities here in the Neath somewhat. Fortunately, I have skills in that other world which are not prized and do not seem to apply here in the world of the Masters. With them I shall construct an Aetheric Two-Way Communicator that should allow me to stay in touch with my delicious friends here in some small way.

Last night, I also renewed a friendship with the handsome and knowledgeable Mr. W. and could not be more thrilled. I had not seen much of him since he relocated to premises at the Bazaar itself, which saddened me greatly. It seems I am to help him with a small matter, since he has fallen into upstanding and reputable times — I know those rumors to be misleading. He is a complicated man, as much a rake and a dissolute as any I have known, one who understands the need for stimulus, any stimulus, to fight off the hellish ennuí of boredom.

I do hope he will be a more regular visitor here for I greatly prize his company.

In a spate of more good news I have greatly reduced the threats to my archaeological expedition that Dr. Orthos and Virginia posed — at least for now. I do not delude myself that either has been completely eliminated as a threat, but I do have it on impeccable authority that I’m further along in my preparations than either of them, and intend to keep the situation just so. Best of all, just before I retired for the night I took a walk to clear my head and found that rare moment’s peace that was simultaneously inspiring and restful. I barely needed any laudanum at all to sleep the night through.

Two new acquaintances whom I hope shall be visitors here and delicious friends… and a plan to attract more ladies here, for though I adore my gentlemen friends thoroughly there are times when only the sparkling company of a lovely lady will do. Scandalous, I know… but then, what else did you expect? I cannot spend all my time in church (though one must confess that the curate and his sister made such attendances extraordinarily worthwhile…).