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Let's just say that although Fallen London looks lighthearted and cheery on the surface, there is some seriously messed up stuff in it you look closely enough, especially later on. Though, really, this should hardly surprise you -- Echo Bazaar is, after all, a Cosmic Horror Story...
- Even though the Recurring Dreams storylines increase your character's Nightmares attribute, they aren't actually that bad... Except for the ones that unlock at Nightmares 6, where the boundary between dreams and reality seems to break down.
- Your character's slow descent into complete insanity at the cost of everything else in the Seeking Mr Eaten's name quest. Especially the bizarre and self-destructive actions you must take.
- Polythreme. So far it's only appeared in the sidebar text, but it's terrifying. The city is enchanted with a magic that makes inanimate objects alive. This doesn't sound so bad until you realize the implications -- as the sidebar gleefully points out, this includes things like candles.
- Best illustrated by a card you can get if you play as a Clay Man:
"IN POLYTHREME THE BED I SLEPT ON WAS A SLAVE. THE ROOM WHERE I SLEPT WAS HACKED FROM SCREAMING STONE. THE WATER I DRANK BEGGED ME TO STOP. THEY PAID ME IN COIN THAT PLOTTED MY DOWNFALL. THE MEMORIES ARE TROUBLING. THIS PLACE IS BETTER."
- The way to Polythreme is now open. From the hints dropped about it, one would expect a nightmarish hellscape, but it is actually...surprisingly upbeat. It comes off as more quirky and bizarre than legitimately terrifying. (Even the option to write a travelogue condemning it as a horrible place actually comes off as comical, because the only "horrors" you end up writing about are the milder ones.)
- The third coil of the Labyrinth of Tigers. It's where the tigers keep humans locked up in horrible conditions, tucked away where few people will ever see them, and apparently held there indefinitely. It even gives your character nightmares just from walking around and hearing the screams!
"Get me out of here. I don't belong here. I'm only here because they think I'm possessed. Why am I here? I don't know how my family will eat now. I'm not possessed, I'm not possessed, I'm not possessed. I'm only here because I chased a cat! Where am I? For God's sake let me out. You there! I'm only in here because I organised a strike. Give me a mirror! Give me a mirror!"
- In the "Light Fingers" Ambition, The Orphanage, in its entirety. People are only sent here if their parents are dead (or murdered), and the entire place is a strange sort of asylum/hospital dedicated to creating and testing psychoses in the inmates, using the mind-affecting excretions of an eldritch monster.
- The very concept of "snow" in an underground cavern.
It must be, in part at least, frozen water: when it melts, it refreezes as black ice. Tiny, desperate fish and insects can be seen frozen in the ice, no larger than a fingernail, eyes distorted with fear.
- The Cantigaster. It was once human.
- Also, the poison it excretes is one of the few ways to permanently kill someone in the Neath. Make of that what you will.
- "Welcome, delicious friend." It's charming yet so very frightening.