Seeking Mr Eaten's Name (Guide)
Wiki note: The old version of this guide has been moved to Seeking Mr Eaten's Name (old).
Note that for the purposes of this guide, various qualities are often abbreviated:
- Seeking Mr Eaten's Name = SMEN
- Unaccountably Peckish = UP
- Marsh-Mired in Dreams of Sustenance = MMiDoS
Seeking is a long, arduous path. For the purposes of easy reference, the following is a rough outline of the steps involved. More detail is provided further on in this guide. Do note that many of these steps may be done in a different order than listed; however, please refer to the more detailed Candle guides for more information, as in some cases they may be prerequisites for each other.
- Beginning the Search — SMEN 0 to 3: Obtaining the Seeking Mr Eaten's Name quality and proceeding through the confirmation gate.
- Unaccountably Peckish — SMEN 3 to 28: The easiest and most reliable way of raising SMEN in this early stage is through the Unaccountably Peckish cards. These give 1 x SMEN per week, but cannot raise it beyond 28.
- The First Three Candles — SMEN 21, 24, and 27: St Arthur's Candle, St Beau's Candle and St Cerise's Candle may be obtained while still raising SMEN through UP.
Note that obtaining each candle will also give a free level of SMEN.
- A trip to the Winking Isle — SMEN 28 to 77: After topping out the SMEN levels obtainable by the UP grind, the primary (reasonable) remaining way to increase the quality is through a trip to Winking Isle.
Typically, it is advised to only visit once and to grind SMEN up to around 73 in a single trip.
- The Remaining Four Candles — SMEN 35, 42, 49, and 63: St Destin's Candle, St Erzulie's Candle, St Fortigan's Candle and St Gawain's Candle may all be obtained in relatively quick succession.
- NORTH — SMEN 77: It is, somehow, still not too late to turn back.
Beginning the Search
So, you’ve decided to buckle down and join the quest for the Name with like-minded lunatics such as ourselves! Good on you! The road ahead leads only to misery and damnation and woe and personal loss and financial ruin and loneliness and death and imprisonment.
You can’t say we didn’t warn you.
In order to start the process of Seeking, you must first find a proper entry point into the quest. There are several options for this, though in most cases they require a bit of legwork. (It only gets harder from here on out, of course.)
- Source 1: Via the storylet In your dreams, you hear a voice echoing hollowly each night while exploring The Forgotten Quarter:
- Source 2: Using Unaccountably Peckish:
- A point or two of Unaccountably Peckish can initially be gained by relaxing in your Voluminous Library, from eating fresh Rubbery Lumps at Zee, and via other methods listed here.
- Afterwards, you will begin to draw black-bordered cards (described in more detail below). Playing any option unlocked by being WITHOUT Marsh-Mired in Dreams of Sustenance will give you 1 x SMEN.
- N.B. While you can begin your seach for the Name via these cards, they also grant you MMiDoS, which prevent you from gaining another level of SMEN from UP until your next visit from Time, the Healer.
- Source 3: From the storylet But the view outside your window isn’t right during A dream about your home:
- Source 4: Be betrayed:
- At a later point in SMEN, Seekers may send social actions to betray their friends. Accepting a betrayal will make a fellow Seeker very happy, and it is unlikely that you will need to wait very long to find someone willing to send one to you.
- Requests for betrayals may be posted in this forum thread, or anywhere else that Fallen London players congregate.
- This option requires the player's having Watchful 30, though this can be easily attained even by a brand-new character via leveling and Watchful gear like the Blemmigan Tourist.
- This takes place only during the Christmas season, on Day 9 of Experiencing Strange Times: Twelve Days of Mr Sacks.
So, you’re flirting with disaster, contemplating searching for the Name. Now what? A black-bordered card should show up...soon.
The Northbound should now turn their eye to their opportunity deck to wait for either of these cards: An Alphabet of Scars or A Banner with a Strange Device, where you have a choice to make. Either option sets you to 3 SMEN, although the bolder choice offers more punishing consequences.
You do not want to exit! Your course is set! You seek the name. 'Why?' and 'What will be lost?' are questions for later (or never).
Rarely, options around London can help in your search. If you're lucky. Most of these are functionally irrelevant, since starting your search properly will put you at 4 SMEN, and in a week (at most) you'll be at 5 SMEN.
- Look into the water in the Cave of the Nadir will raise 1 x SMEN up to 4. Requires 1-4 SMEN.
- Ask for help with a certain... obsession during an Interview with the Interpreter: Death by Water. Requires 10 Having Recurring Dreams: Death by Water and 2-5 SMEN. Increases SMEN by 1, if you're lucky.
- Mr Pages' Educational Picture Postcards and Assorted Souvenir Stationery in the The Labyrinth of Tigers raises SMEN on a (very) rare success. Requires 2-5 SMEN.
- Accept the Name! from Mr Sacks on his ninth visit. Requires at least 3 SMEN and raises it by 1 up to 28 SMEN
Seekers hunger for forbidden knowledge, but there are more literal hungers as well. Satisfy those cravings, and perhaps your scholarly cravings will be satisfied in turn.
- See what your Starveling Cat knows - Requires a Starveling Cat, as well as access to The Flit and progress in Embroiled in the Wars of Illusion. Gives 3 UP. You can generally get a cat quickly by looking on this thread in the forums. This is generally considered the fastest and most reliable way of increasing UP.
- "Enough! Someone else can deal with you!" - Give your Starveling Cat to someone else for 1 UP. Good for trading back and forth with a dedicated alt, because it has no other prereqs. Costs 2 actions per-character (one to send, one to receive) when doing it as more than a one-off.
- Attend and speak of...terrible things. - Increases UP by 1. Requires access to The Shuttered Palace, Connected: The Duchess 10, UP 2, and increases Menaces on success.
- If you have UP when Time, the Healer visits each week, it will increase by one level.
- Buy some Rubbery Lumps - should you choose to brave the "food," this will reduce UP by 2 for 50 pennies of Jade. Requires access to The Labyrinth of Tigers.
- A basket but no list - sending Lyme to the market will reduce UP by 3. Requires access to Mahogany Hall.
All cards listed here are unlocked by increasing levels of Unaccountably Peckish (abbreviated as UP). All of them are Non-discardable and Ubiquitous Frequency, so as you increase UP your opportunity deck will rapidly tend towards only drawing these. Each card has one or more options that can increase SMEN by one level, for varying costs. All of the SMEN-raising options are locked with Marsh-Mired in Dreams of Sustenance, so you may only use them once per week. Beware: Every MMiDoS option will only increase your SMEN if it is three times the card's UP unlock at most. You will still get MMiDoS even if your SMEN doesn't raise, so don't waste your weekly chance.
This table summarizes the options available. When there are multiple options, it only shows the cheapest; click through to see the full set. All the regular options reduce UP by 1 (except for KNIGHT OF FEASTS, which is likely a bug), while all the MMiDoS options set MMiDoS and increase SMEN; these effects are not shown in the table, for space.
|UP||Card||Regular Cost||MMiDoS Cost|
|1||ACE OF HUNGERS||-10x Piece of Rostygold|
|2||TWO OF BATS||Free|
|3||THREE OF ROSES|
|4||FOUR OF EYES|
|5||FIVE OF LIGHTS|
|6||SIX OF PEARLS|
|7||SEVEN OF WORDS||+7 CP Wounds||Free|
|8||KNAVE OF REGRETS|
|9||KNIGHT OF FEASTS||Free|
It is generally recommended to only raise UP as much as is needed to get the lowest-tier card that will still raise SMEN, as this tends to be the easiest to manage. However, this must be balanced with the costs and Menace gains associated with each MMiDoS option.
For example, SEVEN OF WORDS, KNAVE OF REGRETS, and KNIGHT OF FEASTS ( UP 7, 8, and 9, respectively) are worthwhile stretch goals even for players who have SMEN below 22; the aforementioned cards have no cost, give no Menaces, and have naturally high SMEN-gain caps, so are more helpful than harmful. SIX OF PEARLS has high Wounds associated with its MMiDoS option, though it's otherwise not terribly objectionable.
Because UP cards are non-discardable, they have a tendency to clog your hand. Large lodgings are helpful to ensure that you can avoid having to play undesirable cards. Additionally, because they will be automatically removed from your hand if you fall below the UP level necessary to draw them, it is possible to simply lower UP (e.g., via The Labyrinth of Tigers' Rubbery Lumps) to "reset" objectionable cards. You can also clear some space in your simply by playing non- MMiDoS options on low-tier cards to discard them and lower UP by a point. For example, buying roast chestnuts on ACE OF HUNGERS or accepting the note on TWO OF BATS will remove the card from your hand and lower UP for little or no cost.
Closer to the Name
After gaining A Bad End from An Alphabet of Scars, you will have a number of options available in your Lodgings. More will appear as you continue to Seek the Name. Among things, these options let you increase SMEN independently of the UP cards, but less reliably and at greater cost. Avoid blackening your mind if possible, you'll need that Watchful later. Drowning your Secrets is cheapest but that's not saying much. The options with Watchful challenges all require 0 Sudden Insights: it's too late for second chances.
It is entirely possible to complete Seeking without ever using the SMEN-raising options in this storylet. Generally, the option that is most likely to be useful is Drown your Secrets, which costs approximately 11.5 in Appalling Secrets per level of SMEN. However, its difficulty increases very quickly. The options Set fires around the city and Char yourself with Enigmas are more expensive options with lower difficulty levels. Pervert your studies and Blacken your mind like paper are unlikely to ever be helpful, though since when has that stopped a truly devoted Seeker?
- Blacken your mind like paper ( SMEN 2): Halves your Watchful. If successful, increases SMEN. Watchful challenge of (100 + SMEN2).
- Pervert your studies ( SMEN 2): Halves your A Scholar of the Correspondence. If successful, increases SMEN. ASotC challenge of ( SMEN2).
- Drown your Secrets ( SMEN 4): Requires (77 × SMEN) x Appalling Secrets to possibly increase SMEN. Watchful challenge of ( SMEN × 20).
- Set fires around the city ( SMEN 6):Requires (77 × SMEN) x Mourning Candles to possibly increase SMEN. Watchful challenge of ( SMEN × 15).
- Char yourself with Enigmas ( SMEN 8):Requires (7 × SMEN) x Searing Enigma to possibly increase SMEN. Watchful challenge of ( SMEN × 10).
- Make a wild guess ( SMEN 9): Costs 77 x Appalling Secrets for a low chance of gaining a Searing Enigma, with the failure removing an Enigma, unless you are lucky and get the alternate failure.
- Grieve / Hate ( SMEN 12): Both only give a new quality: A Question.
- SEVEN IS THE NUMBER: Gain a Weeping Scar ( SMEN 14): Cover your body with the signs of your search. Carve the number into your flesh. Death is nothing before your purpose. Seven are the scars that will never heal. (The first scar will first come to you in a dream.)
- SEVEN IS THE NUMBER: Gain a Memory of Chains ( SMEN 16): Burden your mind with memories of what you have done, what you have suffered. The courts aid you, unwitting. You shall never be free. Seven are the chains that weight your mind.
- SEVEN IS THE NUMBER: Gain a Stain on your Soul ( SMEN 18): Mark your soul with the unspeakable. Only a monster can help you here, but soon you will be the monstrous one. Soon. Seven are the stains that mark your soul.
- WARNING: If your soul has been stained and you are currently soulless, do not enter The Forgotten Quarter. (You may only sell a stained soul by paying Fate at Hallowmas.) There you will be set upon by devils, who will attempt to rob you and forcibly insert your soul. This will cause you to lose most Infernal items, all Echoes, several other high-level or rare items, and sets your Wounds and Nightmares each to 15.
- Light a Taper ( SMEN 18): Using an Antique Mystery, Veils-Velvet Scrap, Impossible Theorem, and Vial of Masters' Blood, you may practice a forbidden rite to increase SMEN by 2, with no known cap. This will also remove your Connected: The Masters of the Bazaar and grant a Dreadful Surmise. It is not required to progress.
- The Number and the Candles ( SMEN 21): The final Seven at last, written high in fire. This is your true purpose, your life's meaning: the reckoning shall come. (See below.)
- St Beau's Candle ( SMEN 24): See below.
- The Lower Mysteries ( SMEN = 28): After obtaining St Cerise's Candle, you may spend 7 Uncanny Incanabula for a hint as to your next step, and a level of SMEN. This is not required to progress, though the SMEN level may be helpful.
- Sleep with the Calling Card crumpled in your fist: Those who possess Mr Eaten's Calling Card? may visit Winking Isle (see below).
- Final Preparations ( SMEN 77): You will go NORTH.
You will need Mr Eaten's Calling Card? to reach Winking Isle. The very fortunate might receive one from a former Seeker who no longer has use for theirs, so try asking on the forums. Otherwise, you must reach SMEN 29 and ask God's Editors for help (as either a member or a potential member). Only those who have asked A Question may enter the island proper.
At Winking Isle, those who abandon worldly cares and possessions and have persistence and luck can fast and meditate to increase their SMEN to high levels without needing vast quantities of Enigmas and Secrets. This is undoubtedly a terrible idea, but you've come so far already, given so much up. Why stop now?
- Prepare when <77
- Watch when 77-99
- Circle when 100-395 (this range only comes up if you fail some luck rolls)
- Watch when 396-1616
- Circle when >=1617, except:
- Cash out at 60000 (best) or 10000
Ambitious Seekers can complete an optional round of Preparations, even more punishing than the mandatory cycle, in order to unlock the quality The Sun beneath the Sea?. This quality allows setting your A Question to "Who is Salt?", which will affect the ultimate ending you reach.
Because the process of preparing for Preparations is so onerous, it is generally recommended that players get all their Fasting and Meditating done in one go. This will save some time, compared to leaving and returning as various candles' unlock requirements are met.
Make sure you get rid of all the stuff you need to for Preparations before departing; there is no way to sell or discard them on the island. Players who wish to preserve some portion of their Echoes despite the requirements of Preparations may invest in Rookery Passwords, which can be resold to the Bazaar for 95% of their purchase price, or in Winsome Dispossessed Orphans, which can be traded to the Tigers of Port Carnelian for a profit once your Winking Isle stay has finished.
After reaching SMEN 7, you will have A Dream of Dark Waters. This grants you your first Weeping Scar. After acquiring the first Scar, you must mark yourself further: at SMEN 14 you can acquire further Weeping Scars, at SMEN 16 you can acquire Memories of Chains, and at SMEN 18 you can acquire Stains on your Soul. At SMEN 21, with your body, mind, and soul each marked seven times, you can finally begin the search for St Arthur's Candle. You must commit seven betrayals and use seven Searing Enigmas to perform seven rituals.
The easiest option for obtaining The Stench of Betrayal is to betray other players through social actions. If willing participants may not be found it is also possible to marry and betray several NPCs, or perhaps your Midnight Matriarch. The seventh Stench of Betrayal (but only the seventh) may be obtained at Mahogany Hall for free.
You must have St Arthur's Candle and reach SMEN 24 to search for St Beau's Candle at a nightmare version of Mrs Plenty's Carnival. Be sure to bring 3330 Moon-Pearls and 150 Memories of Light first, and note that you will lose all your Carnival Tickets when you start. The only way to gain them, and thus St Beau's Candle, is to buy 10 tickets with your moon-pearls. You'll find the candle in the House of Mirrors, but to obtain it, you must give up something of great value. There are three options:
- all of your Lodgings (only possible if one of them is a Lengthy Lease to Premises at the Bazaar)
- all of your Connections/Favours/Renown (if your Renown values are all at least 5)
- Surrender your health (sets all 4 major menaces to 8)
- 40 FATE (usually a little less than $10 USD)
It is not terribly difficult to raise Renown to 5 via Mrs Plenty's (non-nightmare) carnival, and if your account was created specifically to Seek you may not consider the loss of Renown a lasting downside. However, in other circumstances, "Surrender your health" is probably the best course of action, as it only gives Menaces. After playing it, you're going to be in the Menace areas for quite a while, one after another (first A boat trip, then A state of some confusion/ The Mirror-Marches, then New Newgate Prison, then the Tomb-Colonies), so be sure to prepare for this before going to the Carnival. You may want, for example, to ensure high enough Making Waves to tide over your Notability for a week or two, as well as Memories of Light (if you want to go to The Mirror-Marches), a Tincture of Vigour to get a Tomb-Lion, Skyglass Knives for prison, weasels and bats to appease Death, and Rostygold, Jade, Moon-Pearls, Surface Currency, Foxfire Candles, and to use as bribes or postage in prison and exile. Good Watchful-boosting items are useful for playing chess with the Boatman, and menace-reducing items will help you get out faster. (Also, keep in mind that Menace areas tend to impact Quirks, especially the Tomb-colonies with Hedonist and Austere.)
- An Overgoat (or Ubergoat, which costs 1 FATE)
- A Classic Short Story
- 7 Fluke-Cores
- A Noman (Only obtainable after Christmas)
- A Nearly-Daughter (Fate-locked)
If timed well, the Noman may be the easiest and cheapest tribute for this step. Otherwise, an Overgoat costs 11,700 Echoes and is purchasable from the Bazaar; Fluke-Cores may be obtained (very slowly) from the Cave of the Nadir, and Classic Short Stories may be written with the help of at least two Trade Secrets (which accumulate at the rate of one per month from Time, the Healer).
Alternatively alternatively, you and another Seeker can obtain St Destin's Candle together during Hallowmas. The sender needs St Cerise's Candle, SMEN 35, at least 77 in each stat, and all seven confessions; the recipient needs only SMEN 3. This will give both players the candle, while halving the sender's stats and lowering the recipient's by quite a few levels.
Found in the Cave of the Nadir with SMEN 42 and St Destin's Candle. To obtain the candle, you must become Obscure, permanently giving up the ability to have Tattoos, Professions, Notability, Ambitions, and a Destiny.
Although you don't actually have to do any of that. You can simply acquire the candle with no penalties whatsoever. If you prefer. Nobody will ever know—except you.
Unlocks at SMEN 49. You must have the previous five candles and your own Ship. Acquire a Book of Crimson Prayer, then you can sail to the The Chapel of Lights. Attend six services to acquire the sixth candle.
Unlocks at SMEN 63. This quest comes in two parts -- the first requires St Cerise's Candle, the second requires St Fortigan's Candle. In order to go North, you must first go South. Then you will visit the Chapel once more.
Note: Returning from The Chapel of Lights may leave you with negative several billion opportunity cards. This is a bug, and can be easily fixed by going to Zee, or any other location with a separate card deck such as a Flash Lay or a Party.
Note2: If you got curious and went South before getting St Fortigan's Candle, you will have the Well quality which locks the option to sail South. Don't panic, this isn't a problem as you don't need to go there a second time.
Upon reaching SMEN 77, an option from The Seeking Road can be chosen once you have all seven candles. This will grant you the quality Embarked on an Expedition to the North, locking The Seeking Road permanently. At zee, you can choose the destination of NORTH, bringing you to the Avid Horizon to complete your quest. At the brink you may turn back, the last chance to save yourself, or press on.
NOTE: The Avid Horizon content features a message from Failbetter Games explicitly requesting that nothing beyond that point be publicly shared. That includes this wiki.
Those who turn back will find themselves home with a unique item and no further consequences. Returning automatically triggers Giving up the Search for the Name. Choosing Turn back will remove most, but not all, qualities associated with Seeking; choosing Not yet will not remove anything, but The Seeking Road and NORTH will remain inaccessible.