Tonight I got to the end of The Shuttered Palace "Nemesis" arc Ambition in "Echo Bazaar"...well not quite the end. I have another thing to do when I get higher Dangerous and I have a feeling I will be back.
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Red honey is:
according to the sidebar snippets:
"What is red honey? Something to do with prisoner's honey? Whatever it is, it's forbidden to buy or sell it in a city where very little is outright forbidden. Even the sale of souls is licensed."
according to the Mumbling Beekeeper:
"The petals you brought him are from a rare and deadly flower: something you get when you cross-breed exile's rose with a flower they brought out of Hell. Who 'they' are isn't clear, but twenty years ago they had him raise his bees on this flower.
The honey the bees produced, he says, was 'something special'. But when he says it he starts laughing and can't stop."
and according to the Esoteric Cryptozoolist:
"'This stuff. Gaoler's honey. Cross-bred, flower from Hell. Drives bees quite insane. Oh, you know? Odd effect on us. Get into dreams, memories of damned. Crawl around and enjoy them. No fun for the damned! Terrible pain. Ghastly. Fascinating."
And tonight I found out why.
Backtracking: I last recovered a bottle labelled "O.T.T. Jun. MDCCCLXXXIV" that had a blood red dried residue inside. I had the choice to ask around, or to ask around the 'darker' side of London. I traded in a favour from a criminal and he told me he knew of a student at the university that was studying a d---ed type of bee. After pointing me in the direction he wanted no more to do with me.
I went to the university. I had to buy my way into it as I didn't have the exact qualifications to enter [Scholars of The Correspondence, which I am several Watchful levels away from being able to come in contact with bits of. It apparently makes your eyes bleed and lights one's hair on fire.]. My character now apparently has their name engraved on a brass plate in one of the place's libraries.
The Junior Fellow of Esoteric Cryptozoology didn't want to talk to me, so I had to let him in on some secret knowledge I had to make an exchange. He told me what I already knew which was that the bees are fed from 'special' flowers and this drives them mad. And then he handed me a tiny specimen container that also had a dried trace of a blood red substance.
It was then that he offered to "perform... a scientific procedure of some sort It sounds complicated. 'Reconstitution' is the shortest word he uses.". As long as I would provide the supplies and little bit of jade for his trouble.
I tried the tiny drop that the Esoteric Cryptozoolist managed to reconstitute from the trace amounts we both had...and lots of other items I had to provide. It cost me like 14 Echos [Echos are hard to get D:] to buy it all.
An Evening of Pacing
You prowl the mossy corridors outside the Cryptozoologist's study as he retires within. The work is performed in near-darkness. There are no flashes of light. There are no puffs of coloured smoke. There are no unearthly wails, except once when a proctor catches a student sneaking a paramour up the back stairs. Nevertheless, the small hairs on your neck erect themselves, one by one. Hell is touching the living world, here.
The Cryptozoologist emerges from his study as dawn approaches. His face is shadowed and his eyes are wide. 'Here,' he says. 'Take it away. Please.'"
I missed saving the page of the description of the taste, but I imagine my character is trying to mentally block the taste. I asked Bostonbookworm to save me the page when she gets to it though.
"That was an incredibly wretched night.
I laid back to place the drop upon my tongue with all the fear that I may die, never able to return to my home in the light again. I feared learning something I would be unable to comprehend and I would lose all sense of myself. I contemplated giving-up on finding this 'Scathewick'. I finally gathered all my resolve and tasted the sinister substance. The red honey seemed to radiate of infernal origin even in the glass vial I held carefully between my fingers. 'For ******.'.
I felt as if I had been ripped off my bed and away from this world. If a Prisoner's Honey dream is a breeze, Gaoler's Honey is a hurricane...or more. I wasn't myself...and yet I was. I wasn't really...there...And the taste...ash, and intense sweetness, and--and---I must not remember! I can feel it there still in my bones, running through my mind, in my very core. I must not think on that taste. I fear I really will lose myself.
This world was full of doors. And people that seemed permanently obscured as if the shadows and moonish 'Neath light had become one. And yet they were people. I knew I must appear the same. I stopped to try to talk to them, and it was as if my voice was not my own. Some knew people I knew, of the same circles. I parted myself from them and it felt that I was following the taste itself. It led me to a door. 'The taste is the key' I enounced, but it wasn't me.
I saw, but yet it wasn't through my own eyes. I saw the sky. I smelled straw. I was laying on my back looking through a crack in...in the shed...yes I was in a shed wasn't I? It wasn't me that knew this, but yet it was. I was looking at the sky absentmindedly though the cracks in the roof of a hay shed. It was quiet. It was lazy. The weather was so nice and so clear... Seemingly miles away I-myself-could hear someone screaming in pain. Screaming at me! Screaming at the pain of me crawling in their memories.
I pulled what I could find of me-***** Cassius-from this person's world and mind. I was back in the hall again. I felt as if I had just experienced something not many have ever before. The taste again led me along. I lost track of how many worlds I entered...Each time I heard my lips utter that phrase...One 'memory' was passionately mid-kiss, one was of running through The Flit; I place I had only run through once, and yet here I knew everywhere to vault and scrabble-up, the one I remember the most was one of feeling small and loved, I saw a bright and happy glow. It was so delightful and I reached out my clumsy fingers to pull it into my mouth. Vaguely I myself knew it was the colour yellow, but yet I didn't have any concept of colours. This was something I had never seen before. The screaming here was the worse, it was dire, there was no understanding of pain or of anything. I do not think I should think on this much longer as it is unbearable.
That was the last place I could take and I pulled, and pulled, I fought my way from the taste and wherever it was directing me. I felt my body again. Myself. I felt my laboured breathing, I felt my own arms, I felt the sheets under my fingers. I finally snapped my eyes open and the cold atmosphere of London flooded and clouded back. The taste still curled around my mind and tried to draw me back, but I held on to the ceiling and the bookshelves of my shack and finally won the battle."
This whole area I listened to these 3 songs:
and also the rest of Abney Park's "The Death of Tragedy" album.
But what -is- Gaoler's Honey?
I had found that MacKay had been providing the honey from the Mumbling Beekeeper's insane bees to the Shuttered Palace. To a woman most memorable because she had a large set of keys on her belt. I snuck onto the palace grounds [my character is actually somewhat welcome at the palace, but this was incognito work] and found this woman. I followed her to a large garden covered wall. She opened 3 different locks with 3 different keys and opened a secret door. I decided to steal her keys and go into the garden. Now I had the option to attack her violently or to attack and take the keys from her with restraint. It took all evening to chloroform her and get the keys. I had to ask so many people for Sparring-Bouts to get enough Hard-Earned Lessons [3 were required per try] to get lucky [the challenge was 95% expected to fail with my Dangerous level] enough to succeed. I unlocked the door with much trial-and-error, and there was a second door bolted from the inside D: My character knocked and "A bored voice says: 'What is the taste?'"
"'Taste is the key.'"
The door opened and a man assumed I was a Tomb-Colonist [The Tomb-Colonies are a place where people that have died so many times and came back that they no longer are acceptable, or not, not rotting enough to stay in London and they are sent to colonies over the Unterzee (a giant salt water underground lake). Most are heavily bandaged like "The Invisible Man"] that was expected to talk about business and for a tour of the place.
"A dank but serene place with a mossy fountain at its heart. Dark hives of bees humming on the far side. Dozens of cages stacked in rows and ranks: each has its prisoner, woman or man, their dull, hollow faces turned to you. Bees buzz to and from the cages -
'Ah, ah, Si-, er, Mad-, er, yes! You're our friend from the tomb-colonies, I suppose? A marvellous evening! Would you like to begin with the tour?'"
'This one was a zailor. His memories, I'm told, are extraordinary in their variety... ah, the grandmother from the Hill. If you're looking for cosy domestic dreams, her honey is the sweetest...'
The Simpering Cage-keeper leads you past rows of cages filled with wretched prisoners: well-fed but shrunk with despair. Black bees drone busily around them, crawling into eyes and noses, out of ears and mouths, harvesting them like flowers."
So while Prisoner's Honey comes from the nectar of The Exile's Rose, Gaoler's Honey is made by bees driven insane from the 'special' flowers, and literally mined from people's minds. The honey is their memories.
L.S. Cassius also learned that 'Scathewick' is a merchant/liaison for the red honey 'suppliers'.
"'Scathewick! The man's a nuisance and no mistake. I've spoken to Carrywell about him. Not once but several times. If he'd only stay there with her, we'd let him be. Remind her of that, when you return to the tomb-colonies. We can't stomach his interference any longer. No matter how useful he may have been.'
He looks oddly at you. 'But you know this...don't you?'"
Now I have reached the end of the new "Nemesis" content, but I have the option to be disgusted and beat the 'tour guide' to a pulp. I need higher Dangerous though [I have the minimum level to unlock the option].
So yes, that was my evening. I think that this -should- be Part #3 of what I plan to type-up sometime. But I just finished this section so I thought it best to type it up now.
And! If anyone has a Twitter [and very soon Facebook account will do] account, and would like to join me in The 'Neath, just go to
and yes, my Twitter name is still "Lady_Noremon".
via @Bostonbookworm: http://twitpic.com/2h0kv5
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