"The Masters of the Bazaar - Mr Wines, Mr Spices, Mr Veils and the rest - speak in high-pitched whispers, and under their concealing cloaks they seem winged or hunchbacked. Fallen angels, stunted pterodactyls, mobile colonies of fungus[, ...bats]? They dismiss all personal questions with an airy wave of their gloved hands."
"The Masters apply peculiar customs duties: to fish below a certain size, to green ribbons but not red, to speckled eggs but not plain. Perhaps their strangest tax is a heavy duty on stories of love, but it only applies to stories leaving the Neath..."The Masters of the Bazaar: it's hard to describe these cloaked, slightly creepy things as anything but, well, alien space bats. They call themselves Mr, but they may not really be men. There are eleven titles, but two space bats take up four of them, and the rest have one apiece for a total of nine bats. Confusing? Fallen London is generally that way...
Here is a list of the Masters and their domains.
|Mr Apples/Mr Hearts|
|"'Catch?' There is no 'catch'. All is delight and freedom from care!"
"This upstanding citizen governs commerce in food, wood and immortality. They say it's an ally of Mr Veils."
Mr Apples, aka Mr Hearts, has also been known by the names Mr Barley, Khan of Roots, and Khan of Hearts. Known for a love of games and gambling, this darkly cheery, kind, and 'overly familiar' Master is in charge of trade in food, wood, and immortality. As Mr Hearts, it deals in meats, skins, ligaments, bones, bloods, and animals, and runs an emporium at the Labyrinth of Tigers. It's probably the most innocent Master; the worst atrocity it is known to commit is selling a very mysterious meat (whose consumption makes one Unaccountably Peckish... uh-oh) at his emporium.
Mr Apples can be encountered rarely at Mrs. Plenty's Carnival. Those seeking to obtain pleasure-yachts will have to gamble with it - and win - to get them.
|Mr Cups/Mr Mirrors|
|"Work hard for the enrichment of the Bazaar, and us all. Shun seditionists. Practice courtesy & honesty."
Known for a harboring a strong enmity toward Mr Spices, this distant and proper (though possibly flirtatious) Master is in charge of trade in crockery, pottery, and sculpture. Under the name of Mr Mirrors, Mr Cups is also in charge of trade in "the frangible and the fine." This includes fine or quality secrets unlike the more affordable variety proffered by Mr Pages.
Mr Cups employs a group of "Relickers;" these collectors are tasked with salvaging junk or certifiable scraps, which they sometimes pay for with valuable items. It can be found running an emporium in the Labyrinth of Tigers; its alter ego Mr Mirrors can occasionally be encountered in the Mirror-Marches.
Mr Cups/Mr Mirrors appears to be behind the murders of the loved ones of Fallen Londoners seeking their Nemeses. It and Mr Wines also drove the Watchmaker's Daughter, a talented craftswoman whose toys came alive, to suicide by pestering her too much.
|"Not bad, my little one. I’ll be keeping an eye on you."
Mr Fires has also been known as Khan of Fire. Known for being the only Master who actually likes living in London, this strict yet confident Master is in charge of trade in coal, gas, candles (since the fall of the Third City at least), as well as dockside trade and dirigibles. Rumor has it that it intentionally tampers with the stories of London so as to make them useless to the Bazaar and prolong its stay in the Fifth City. But Mr Fires has a dark side: it also is mean to its employees, hates unions, and runs the Orphanage, which is really a secret testing facility for all sorts of atrocious substances.
Mr Fires controls the neddy men (the Masters' enforcers), and can be encountered near his office in Wolfstack Docks if one is currently dealing with said enforcers.
"Tools, printing-presses, guns, steam-engines: taxes from trade in these are payable to Mr Iron. They say it never speaks, but can write with both hands simultaneously."
Mr Iron has also been known as Mr Bronze and Khan of Swords. Known for communicating only through written means (often writing with both hands at once), this silent and seemingly humorless Master is in charge of trade in tools, engines, weapons, and printing presses. Mr Iron actively discourages notable professions and involvement in stories. Rumor has it that it is also secretly in charge of the game of Knife-and-Candle.
Mr Iron can be occasionally encountered at Mrs. Plenty's Carnival, but that's not a good thing.
|"I do not play games! I am a Master of the Bazaar! It is not a matter for games!"
The irritable and peevish Mr Spices is in charge of trade in spices, sweet smokes, and prisoner's honey.
Mr Spices and Mr Wines were once friends, but then they fell into dispute over which of them has right and claim to the domain of dreams. It and Mr Cups are also enemies. One of the more elusive masters, Mr Spices appears very infrequently in the stories of London; it seems that the only situation in which one may encounter it is during the hunt for Jack-of-Smiles (which this Master created in a halfhearted attempt to somehow make more love stories through murder).
|"A scream is just an imperfectly tuned song. And we all have a song in our hearts."
"Mr Veils deals with clothing and fabric, and takes a close interest in the silk-weavers of Spite. But not in any of the more dubious activities in the district of Spite! The mere suggestion is slander!"
Duplicitous and impatient, Mr Veils is best known for its enjoyment of hunts and songs. It is in charge of trade in clothing and fabric and can be encountered running one of the emporiums in the Labyrinth of Tigers. Zailors sometimes misattribute Mr Veils as being in charge of Mr Wines' ladies of the evening in their zee-zongs. This Master may (or may not) have sold out Mr Eaten, who actually enjoyed staying in one place for a while.
Spoilers for Ambition: Bag a Legend!:
Mr. Veils assumes another, more malevolent identity as well...
|"To the wicked and the wise! To the hungry and the sharp!"
"Trade in anything drinkable comes under the jurisdiction of Mr Wines. Though it can't be bothered with water. Entertainment, music and the business of the ladies of the evening are also its domain. There's supposed to be some sort of dispute about dreams."
Mr Wines has also been called Khan of Dreams, and appeared in the Fourth City as the Cloaked Emissary. Known for entertaining guests at huge revels, this jovial Master is in charge of the trade in all things drinkable, including medicine and with the exception of water. One of the more accessible Masters, it can be encountered throughout London; for example, it'll occasionally appear at Mrs. Plenty's Carnival. It is in charge of a group of dancing beauties who are often misassigned by zailors to Mr Veils.
Though Mr Wines is not known for many atrocities, it and Mr Cups/Mr Mirrors drove the Watchmaker's Daughter, a talented craftswoman whose toys came alive, to suicide by pestering her too much. Mr Wines is also London's most notorious check-skipper, and has a reputation for leaving others holding the bill for parties here and there.
The Not-Masters Edit
Mr Sacks appears during the eponymous 12 Days of Mr Sacks, a rather demented version of Christmas. It is - er, they are in fact other figures of note: at first Mr Wines, then various Nomen (and one showman) emulating the other Masters.
Mr Sacks carries around a huge bag, which it uses to collect gifts from the citizenry over the course of the holiday. It's Christmas, only in reverse. And more ghastly, because sometimes, Mr Sacks will collect people.
|Who is it? Is it, in fact, one of the Masters of the Bazaar? Is it Mr Iron or Mr Pages trading under another name? Or is it a bold rascal pretending to be an unknown Master?
We do know that it runs the House of Chimes. Mr Chimes has also been known by the name Khan of Drums; it seems to be a role played by many Masters.
|Accept no substitutes.
Unlike the other Masters, Mr Names does not appear in Fallen London at all. It exists only on Twitter and was created by Failbetter to act as a directory of official Fallen London Twitter accounts.
What Are the Masters' Most Prized Possessions?Edit
|What are these things?|
It is said that drinking Hesperidean grants immortality to whomever consumes it. Alternatively, accounts from the Presbyterate suggest that consuming it grants an 'acute vision' to the drinker, which when acted upon will lead to eternal life.
A Sealed Copy of the Crimson Book
The Crimson Book contains the most 'savage tales of love and loss' and has 'passed through fire and flood'. This indicates that the Crimson Book may have been written long before the Fifth City; perhaps it is still being added to today? The Masters have allegedly assigned a group of Special Constables to specifically seek out and confiscate any and all copies.
Masters' Blood has many unusual and unique properties that separate it from normal blood. It is a far deeper red, is cold to the touch, and contains a song: 'an unending fading ring like black space struck with a fingernail.' It also emits a low constant vibration, such that if left on a shelf other items will physically move away from it.
Tears of the Bazaar
This is liquid sadness: touching the cork of the bottle will induce weeping, and if drunk, it will consume the drinker with melancholy.
Little is known about Veils-Velvet. A similar material can only be obtained by blind orphans who have collected scraps of Mr Veils' "hair" then carded and spun it for over a year.
Breath of the Void
This is how the Correspondence sounds, when it's spoken between the stars.
Reported Location of a One-Time Prince of Hell
The season of revolutions brought an end to thrones in Hell. Where did their nobility take refuge? And what will Hell pay to find them out?
Rumormaster's Network (Rumourmonger's Network)
The pass-phrases and meeting-places for a whole covert network of devoted gossips.
A Secret About the Masters (revealed after meeting the Seven Pictures of Eleven Masters social goal for Sunless Skies)
|The following information is derived from two highly controversial sources.
The first was an end-of-term paper entitled On the Origins and Descent of the Masters. It was written by a Benthic student, who claimed it was based on rubbings taken from a lost Second City inscription. Her paper (along with the rest of the class’s coursework) was seized by an Auditor from the Ministry of Public Decency. The Principal awarded each student a first, as is traditional when their work is seized by the Ministry.
The student responsible emigrated – abruptly – to the Iron Republic, but not before scratching a choice excerpt into the back of a toilet door with a compass. The passage was discovered by several students and circulated, before the Ministry returned and removed every toilet door in the college at the hinges.
The second source is A Rhyming Revelry, a slim book of nonsense rhymes written by a once-celebrated cellist. He was, for a time, a favourite at Mr Wines’ revels. One rhyme concerns eleven pilgrims who travelled from a cold and windy waste. It enumerates each of the reasons the pilgrims were unwelcome in their homeland.
The book is impossible to find these days, but it is said the Jovial Contrarian has a copy, and enjoys quoting it at more libertine events.
By combining these sources, and indulging in a certain amount of speculative recreation, we can suppose the following:
Firstly, that the Masters’ kind are denizens of the High Wilderness. Their hunting-grounds lie in the dark span between the stars. Occasionally, some instinct draws them together to boast of their recent bargains, trade secrets, and battle to establish primacy. Their chiefs are victorious, merciless pedlar-magnates.
Secondly, that the Masters were not Masters in the High Wilderness. Indeed, they accepted the position as emissaries of the Bazaar in order to escape misfortune, failure, and fruitlessness.
Thirdly, we have an inkling about the reasons for their ignoble conditions, although no indication which applies to which Master. The circumstances given in A Rhyming Revelry are:
The Devoured Master Edit
Who is Mr Eaten? A good question, but not a wise one.
The Drowned Man's brothers - aye, and sisters - gave him to the knives and the lacre.
A reckoning is not to be postponed indefinitely.