Ah. Nightmares, is it…

Dear God. The nightmares about the burning children are the worst. I need a river of laudanum afterward.

Let me say here, before begin — well, before I continue, at least — that my last foray into the Museum of Mistakes was an unmitigated success. I treated myself to an evening spent in the Parlour of Virtue to celebrate. I must be something of a favorite there, for they did not charge me the full fare and then let me out a side door to escape scandal. How extraordinarily kind of them.

.-*-._.-*-._.-*-.

I understand that the most serious nightmares here are all of the same order. Death by water, the reflections in the mirrors, the game of chess — and the fire sermon. The first three I can usually shrug off with the usual devices — laudanum, intimate companionship, a bit of peace and quiet in a park someplace. The last one… that is the one that will send me running for any stimulation, any diversion, anything so that I will not have to risk reliving a personal horror in my sleep.

I thought I might be able to write about it now, but I cannot force myself to sit still long enough to keep my pen moving across the paper. I’ve sent notes to some of you, asking for your help in allaying these horrid night terrors. I’ve sent for several bottles of laudanum too, for I dare not leave these rooms until the terror has abated.

Would that it could be enough, this time.

A Night at the Museum, Reloaded

  • I have a route across the rooftops planned.
  • I have the location of a chimney-stack that seems to serve as a disguised entrance for senior Museum functionaries… if the stalking black-cloaked things I’ve seen are in fact Museum functionaries.
  • I have the new locations of the major exhibits memorised.
  • I’m ready.

Wish me luck.

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…).

Another day, another scandal

I awoke this morning to discover I’d made the silliest of mistakes. I’d gifted a friend and fellow collector of First City coins with some of what I’d acquired, thinking it was “extra,” only to discover that I had not yet parted out my stake in the Marvellous. I don’t know how I made such an obvious and short-sighted error, but at least it was rather easily correctable. It did mean another rather odious visit to the Numismatrix, of course. I resumed my planning of an informal entry into the Museum of Mistakes shortly afterward and was well satisfied that I’d concocted a plan that would get me in, the coins acquired, and get me out again with no one the wiser.

To my utter astonishment and shame, I failed.

The details are a blur now. I know I took a spill off a slippery rooftop. There was something about a reflection in a glass, and snakes. Worse yet, I was sighted — oh the burning shame of it — and now I am on the “persons of interest” list the constabulary keeps.

Nightmares. Suspicion. Scandal. How I missed adding Wounds to that I’ll never know.

I’ve only ever felt worse than this once. The consequences of that incident drove me to Fallen London and the arms of the Bazaar. I have nowhere else to go now, except into laudanum’s embrace, perhaps. A night of sleep, or what passes for it. This will look better in the morning, I’m sure.

.-*-._.-*-._.-*-.

I’m scarcely faring any better in that silly archaeological dig in the Forgotten Quarter. I still don’t know how I ended up agreeing to that. One too many glasses of Greyfields 1882, no doubt. In any event, Dr. Orthos is hiring all my best assistants away from me and Virgina, that deviless with whom our dearĀ  Commodore Creazil is so enamoured, has had her minions spying on me almost ceaselessly. I’d been treating this whole expedition in a rather light-hearted vein, but after my abysmal performance at the Museum of Mistakes I do believe I’m about to get serious, very serious, about digging for relics in the remnants of the Fourth Stolen City.

Ah well. The night beckons, and another round of chances and opportunities. Good night, Fallen London. Sleep tight. Don’t let the sorrow spiders bite.

First Things

I have often cursed myself for lack of proper foresight and never moreso than now as I realize this journal should have been started months ago, when I first arrived in Fallen London. Of course I ended up in New Newgate, just like everyone else, penniless, clueless, friendless, frightened out of my wits yet so determined not to fail. One is not permitted the niceties of pen, paper and ink in prison, nor is a properly bound journal at the top of the priority list when the struggle for survival is one’s entire world. But oh, the adventures I had! Such excitement, which now can only be recorded through the veil of memory — the unexpected kindnesses, the successes and the setbacks — unfortunately, with all the internal editing that must occur in a memoir.

That’s what this is, as much memoir as journal, a place to record those things for which Fallen London has no space. It’s my history, my narrative, mine and mine alone, as we are all inevitably alone here. Though I have betimes attempted to bridge these lonely gaps, to reach out to others in hopes of creating shared narratives, I’ve found little interest in it so far among my friends and comrades in the Neath. Perhaps they don’t feel the loneliness as I do — I could envy them that, if it’s true.

I only hope it shan’t be boring. Of all the things that sometimes plague me here, I find I fear boredom the most.

Tomorrow I go back to work, having been sucked into an archaeological expedition in the Forgotten Quarter and investigating the security around the Museum of Mistakes. My friend @narcissus_echo has asked me to look into the acquisition of a few rare coins for him and I find that the challenge keeps me occupied and content — thus out of the Singing Mandrake and The Parlour of Virtue.

At least, for now.

If you are a resident of Fallen London and would like a mention over in that column to the left, leave me a note in the comments saying so — I’m delighted to make your acquaintance, or further the one we already have.