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!


The Masque of All Souls

As you approach the grand old manorhouse that is Cl0ckw0rkings it is immediately apparent that it has undergone a rather distressing… change. The well-kept wrought iron fence which fronts the house is now rusted and festooned with cobwebs, the open gate itself hanging precariously askew upon its hinges. A coffin stands upright against the low fountain wall, not quite sealed. From within emerges a ghastly glowing radiance and sounds which surely could not come from a human throat. Cats and rats and bats can be seen skittering, fluttering, slinking about the grounds, the shadows seem alive with them.

From the house itself, sickly green and blue illumination can be seen from most of the windows on the upper floors, whilst the lower emit diabolic reds and oranges. The whole facade seems thick with spider webs, mosses, and fungi, with an overall air of disuse and decay which is quite unlike its usual state. There is however a small orchestra playing within, some macabre jig or other, music to which the dead might dance. Also within might be heard voices, human voices, raised in conversation, laughter and song as the living celebrate Life and honour the Dead.

Welcome to the Masque of All Souls. You’ve arrived just in time.

The housekeeper takes whatever outerwear you care to surrender. She’s in what must be her usual livery, but her face, hands, and hair are made up to look as if she’s spent a few weeks in a grave before returning to her duties. The foyer and staircases to the upper levels are entwined in black vines and draped in grey mosses; the only illumination is fitful, and provided by foxfire candles. Just within and to the right is the spacious parlour. Cobwebs, low-lying smoke. Bats rustling eerily in the corners. A full skeleton sits in one chair, head resting in a bony hand, teacup in the other ; several skulls bedeck the walls, shelves and mantel. The music is muted here, it’s a perfect place to sit and talk with friends. Two servants in a black robes, wearing two plain white-face masks (one over the face, one over the back of the head) stand by to refresh drinks and offer small finger foods for the guests who choose to spend time there.

The conservatory and garden at the rear of the house are the heart and center of the night’s celebrations. A small orchestra is on stage at one end of the room, in formal attire, faces painted as skulls. Servants garbed much as the ones in the parlour move about with trays of drinks for the guests. Along one wall is a long buffet table with hot and cold foods and features both Neath cuisine and surface fare. A half-dozen or so performers are also here: A tall “mortician” walking about on stilts, two dancers twirling ribbon-wands, a juggler in full harlequin regalia who juggles skulls and jewels with equal facility, lastly a slender contortionist who is doing things with his/her body that no mortal human being should ever countenance.

Come in, introduce yourself to your host (Gabriel Morgan) and hostess (Merriwether Fawkes) for the evening and your fellow guests. Let the revels begin!

Upon a Quiet Afternoon

For this particular day, Lady Merriwether Fawkes sits in her conservatory, the great room where most of the festivities of The Masque of All Souls will be centered. A writing desk has been brought in for her and a tea service sits on a tray at her elbow, a cup of golden green tea steaming fragrantly in its saucer. An intermittent stream of young persons passes into and out of the room, which is open to the softly lit patio and garden just without. They are carrying invoices, calling cards, room decor, cleaning utensils and supplies, personal letters, business communiqués, the inevitable bouquets of fresh flowers from any of a dozen or so devils at the Brass Embassy, as well as other errata that go toward the production of the Monday’s Masque and, less happily perhaps, to the eventual closing of this house.

The bustle is contained and orderly, with quite a bit of good humour and japing among Esther’s young nieces and nephews, and even a few laughing sallies from the lady herself. It’s a good day to be quietly preoccupied with such matters, as they are mostly to do with celebration and shared joy. The only thing which might make it better is shared company — and for that, Scarlet has said she would come.

“Esther dear, do remember to bring in fresh tea when Scarlet arrives, please. I’m afraid I’ve drunk most of this pot already.”

“Of course, milady,” the housekeeper replies, a faint note of reproval in her tone — as if she could forget such a detail, even with all the uproar the house is in….

Merri hides a grin and, with a swift glance at the pocket watch open upon her desk, returns to her invoices, humming a sprightly tune.

[Cue Scarlet!]

It’s Official.

The offer from the agent came through this afternoon. It will take some time to do the renovations and remodeling, but I’ve the lease for the premises in my hot little hands at last.

Cl0ckw0rkings, Uptown

The Masque of All Souls on November 1st will be the last salon held here at the original Cl0ckw0rkings, my friends. It’s the end of one era, but the start of a newer, and much happier one.

Do please come celebrate with us, won’t you?

The Masque of All Souls, an Open Salon

Merriwether Fawkes (@cl0ckw0rks) and Gabriel Morgan (@GabrielMorgan) are pleased to announce The Masque of All Souls, an open salon to be held here at Cl0ckw0rkings on the evening of Monday, November 1st. It will be an evening of music and dancing, poetry and parlour games. In addition, a fine buffet will be provided for the sustenance of the guests.

During the event we will be pleased to honour the safe return of Lamont (@curious_fellow) to our fallen city and our fellowship.

As always, the salon is open to all, new friends and old. The only general requirement is polite, friendly behaviour to all in attendance — and if one can’t, a willingness to be a good sport about getting tossed out my front door by the other guests.

For this event only, a costume (or at least a mask) is required. Those who do not have one will be furnished one at the door.

Doors will open at 5:00pm [PST, for Surface reference] and close whenever the last guests leaves.

We look forward to celebrating with you!

An Occasion to Celebrate!

What occasion, you may ask? Why, any and all! As I’ve said publicly, any excuse to celebrate is a good one!

Personally, I shall be celebrating the good news about the Marvellous, primarily. As a distant second, my victory over Feducci in the Black Ribbon Society! If you’re stopping by, tell us why you are celebrating — and if you have no reason of your own, feel free to borrow one of mine!

All are welcome at these salons, regardless of your sex, race, creed, or station in life. All I ask is that you behave civilly — and if you cannot or will not, don’t begrudge us the fun of throwing you out the front door! If you are new to our revels here, it may be a few moments until you appear here. Be patient, all will be well and all manner of thing shall be well, as our Masters are wont to say.

Let the revels begin!

Open Salon

Merriwether Fawkes moves about the rooms and small garden of her townhouse that shall be open for guests shortly, double-checking decor and refreshments with a critical eye. Foxfire candles are lit and set about in elegant wrought-iron candleabra, twined about with wickerworks of dried reeds (alas, there is little else easily available here). Mushroom cakes laid out amid drops of Prisoner’s Honey and Greyfields 1882 and bottles of Madam Gebrandt’s Superior Laudanum. For the more temperate of her friends there are full coffee and tea services, of course, with frozen puffball creams and toadstool sorbet (bless the urchins for their enterprise and generosity!).

Esther and 6 of her numerous nieces and nephews are liveried for service, looking entirely too serious and formal but they’ll relax once the guests arrive and the real work begins, she’s sure of it.

Music… she cannot be sure whether the Commodore will return in time for his show, which in all cases is most preferable; but, if he is not returned, then it seems best to have something to fill in the odd moments of silence that will happen even in the most successful of events.

She catches her reflection in the glass of an interior doorway — not a mirror, too many Fallen Londoners have nightmarish associations with them — and studies it as closely as she has done the setting about her. A midnight blue gown, perhaps the loveliest she’s ever owned, tinting her eyes with blue like… topaz, she supposes, just a touch… moon-pearls in her hair, an elegant coiffure… and a new moon-pearl and diamond necklace, tastefully understated, adorns her throat and décolletage. That is what is what can be seen. What cannot makes her smile mischievously — it is her party, after all. She’ll play if she so wishes!


Be welcome, gentle guests and dear friends. Leave your cares at the door, enter, and be merry!

As opposed to being Merri, of course. I am she, and that’s likely quite enough for the city to be going on with, at the moment.

If you have not been here before, it may take me a moment or two to make your presence known, but fear not! You may be a new friend here, but rest assured you are a dear, delicious friend — we adore you already!

July 31 2010 Open Salon

With the invaluable help of Narciso, Veilgarden’s pride and joy, I’ve set the date for the next Open Salon here at Cl0ckw0rkings. Mark your calendars for July 31st 2010, the Pagan Feast of Bread, also known as Lugnassadh or Lammas, or August Eve. The doors will open at 12pm PDT and will close whenever the last of the guests are finally passed out over the balcony railing.

As you may have guessed, not all of us keep the same hours here in Fallen London. By setting the time so (UTC 8:00pm, check your zones) I’m hoping to see more of our delicious friends in attendance throughout the day and evening. The lovely thing about the format is that anyone can join in on any conversation at any point, and see it answered at any point — much fun, really.

I hope to see you here then!

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.

The Mornings After

The first salon was a qualified success, I do believe. Considering its spontaneous occurrence and that I was more than a little manic to be back in the Neath, it was well attended and quite diverting. I credit much of this to the guests, and the “Shroomgria,” (ETA: this term was coined by the linguistically adroit Dr. Mason) which was a hit. By the time I closed my doors behind the last of the guests I was exhausted and slept dreamlessly, for the first time since shortly after I arrived here months ago.

Yesterday, inspired by the artistic landscaping I’d done for the Duchess, I planted a tiny mushroom garden on my balcony. Strictly ornamental, of course, nothing medicinal or mind-altering at all (well, I think not, anyway). It’s simply a way to have something lovely to enjoy close at hand, reminiscent of the lovely wildflowers I enjoyed during my recent expedition to the surface.

In other news, I took dear Theodor’s instructions to heart about that silly counterfeit head of St. John the Baptist and placed it by my bed as I slept. I awoke with the knowledge of yet one more thing I probably did not wish to know as well as that ravenous hunger that one only gets from nightmares in this place. The last two times I have come away with this voracious appetite I’ve sought the remedy right away. This time I believe I shall live with it awhile and see where it goes. If any of my, erm, delicious friends would care to share their experiences with me, I would appreciate it greatly.

In the meantime my adventures in learning about the Correspondence Stones continue. After the blood running from my eyes ruined three good blouses, I decided to seek out some expert help. The first antiquarian who thought to decipher them exploded in flames right before my eyes — whyever he thought sleeping with them on his chest qualified as a “good idea” I cannot begin to say — but I have found another who also seems quite enthusiastic about the process. It is an intellectually fatiguing study, one that is assisted by the smooth, ordered, crystalline beauty of a good chess game and the liberal application of laudanum before bed. I hope to have some kind of breakthrough with the Stones before my “day” here is done.

Many thanks to all of you who’ve indulged my most recent chess-playing spree. The insights I’ve obtained have been well-employed, I assure you!

« Older entries