Undone Vanity

I dreamt last night...

...that I was attending an oil painting class run by a rum bloke in a shabby suit and a with a grubby blonde ponytail. The building was similarly somewhat shabby and grubby round the edges, and yes, the class was held in a garret.

Returning the next day, as I walked down the road, I noticed a bloke in a black trenchcoat sitting on the roof of the building opposite. He had two neat little dark red horns by his hairline. Further down the road I noticed another - and another. There was quite the gaggle of devils all perched or lolling on the rooftops.

When I got to the painting class, the teacher said that on his way in he'd observed a huge army of devils meeting with the city guard near the palace. The city guard fired upon them, but although the bullets hit them they seemed to have little lasting effect, for the fellows soon got up again.

After decimating the guard the devils demanded that the city be handed over to them. Various people said this was preposterous and the devils couldn't have the city, it was ours. At this point the leader of the devils slyly inquired as to whether anyone had a deed of ownership or a receipt of purchase perhaps? A token of enslavement? Or some trinket to show the city had given itself over willingly....?

So I decided to forge a deed that showed the city belonged to us. Luckily the teacher had a last will and testament / deed from his great aunt, which I studied to get a feel for the style and the wording. Even better, the document still had the original 2 silver bells and 2 (lead? iron?) weights that were required to make it legally binding. I would use photoshop to design the document, print it on very fine linen parchment the teacher provided, and we'd steal the antique bells and weights from the antique deed.

We'd show this to the devils and they'd believe us because devils don't have photoshop. Obviously.


Other than the photoshop bit at the end, this was a very Undone trying to be London Below sort of dream. I especially liked the bells and weights on all legal documents bit. (They looked very shiny too, the bells were sort of Indian-ish - a bit like small jangly knuckledusters. The weights were plump and spherical and crimped like little christmas tree ornaments.)

Time in the South Wards

Time got a bit lost in the South Wards. Take Terris Ward for example. In the fine and longstanding history of the athames so stalwaltly seperating vice from virtue; at least in theory, Terris Ward is full of playhouses and stews and bawdy houses to the point of flooding the market and leaving the average punter more than spoilt for choice. However, since time doesn't quite do as it should you can find gents in silk top hats and white ties next to a stwehouse barmaid who would not look out of place at the court of the merry monarch and neither will consider the other to stand out.

On the downside, raptors still roam in certain wards which some are fine with while others respond in a less than positive way. Plague still rears its head every mow and then, normally when you least expect it, but dies out with little fanfare.

The Soldier

There is a man in Folly's Ditch, damaged by life and crippled by wars, who seems older than his years and is only betrayed by his hands. His hands may be scarred and twisted, but they are not an old man's hands. His eye though, his eyes are ancient.

The denizens of Folly's Ditch know him as The Solider. Many a man has seen battle in Albion or beyond, but this man is the only one to get the title. So long has he been known as such that his name has long since been lost to the tides. So long in fact that it is no matter to him any more. He is, simply, The Soldier.

He has no finger tips; all gone to frost they say. And children tell that there is a hole clean through his shoulder through which one can pass a ribbon if one is inclined to do so, but children like to tell such tales. He is most definately missing part of one ear, blown off by a Catalan musket ball, and he walks with a pronounced limp, dragging his left leg, especially when the wind turns cold.

Mostly, though, he sits in the corner of the Goose and Grate and nurses his drink. Not a drunkard or a sot, just an observer who likes a wall to his back and a mug in his hand. He always has tin to pay his way and will share his table without issue or comment. The Soldier is quiet but solid company.


Let me tell you about Figgs.

If you want to find a place that will take you in in the Southwards, ask no questions and let you happily part with your money for small beer, pies, boxing or cock fights, then you want to head for Figgs in Blue House. They don't judge. If they did, they'd have no customers. Equally, it's best not to ask too many questions. It's just easier that way in Blue House and Figgs.

On the outside it doesn't look like much. A boarded house with maybe three floors, black from soot and smoke like the rest of the alley. The windows are blackend from within as well as without but chinks of light shine through. To the stranger it says "turn back". To the local, it says "we're still here!".

The door is low, you have to duck, and once inside the smell of tobacco, coal fires, humans and alcohol mix into the intoxicating mix that screams "Inn!" at you, no matter where you come from. It's dark, lit with tallow candles and there is always a sense of evening, no matter what the time actually is. Time doesn't really exist in Figgs.

Space gets a bit lost in there too because once inside you find yourself in a labyrinth of rooms ranging from oddly large to clasutrophobic. Steps and passage ways link each room and the voice carry giving you the hint of conversations, arguments, songs and howls of pain or laughter. It feels like you've stepped into a Hogarth print.

Figgs is where I met South. Edward Southley, but South to anyone that asks, is a ridiculously tall individual who has to stoop when standing in most of the rooms. Clay pipe or roll up hanging half forgotten from his lips, South always appears to be half cut and short of tin. It's an act. South doesn't drink and the Southley's own most of Nonsuch Ward. South just knows how to fit in.

One of the locals, a blue haired man by the name of Deseon, says that South will "Cut yer throat soon as look at yer", but South says that it was only once and with exceedinly just cause. Like I said, in Figgs, you don't ask.
Undone Old

Clarification and stories welcome:

There is a unit? regiment? force? in Undone.
No, not the city Guards. Very different.
This lot is either more informal or more nation-wide, I'm not sure which. Likely a more nationwide military force as they carry arquebuses and appear to engage in full scale international battles when required.

They wear military tunics of midnight blue (a little darker than navy but not black) edged in forest green. The buttons are silver/pewter, the decoration and insignia is a mix of antique gold, black and forest green. The collars and cuffs may or may not be edged in black velvet, depending upon rank....

They had a grand battle recently best described as a 'possible prelude to a huge war'. This force went onto the field and worse than decimated the opposing soldiers.

This made politicians and diplomats of the opposing forces concede that War was Not a Good Plan (TM).

However the victory, although decisive, cost Albion dear.

There are conflicting reports that reach the home shores. Reports of prisoners and ne'er-do-wells being given the Ictarine infection on purpose and loosed to the enemy. Reports of an officer with Affinity on a grand scale who turned the tide of battle. Reports too of the more mundane sort: the Albion forces were better provisioned, better rested, higher in number...

It is too soon for the truth of the matter to be untangled from fiction, the battle was scant days ago.
Reports have been sent in the heat of the moment, but that is not the same as accuracy.
The first eyewitness - a young Captain - arrived, wounded and manic at the docks of PickleHerring, still in his war-stained coat and half out of his head...