FANDOM


Appallingsecret

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 is SMEN, Unaccountably Peckish is UP, and Marsh-Mired in Dreams of Sustenance is MMiDoS.

Overview Edit

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.

  1. Beginning the Search (SMEN 0 to 3): Obtaining the Seeking Mr Eaten's Name quality and proceeding through the confirmation gate.
  2. 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 level of SMEN per week, but cannot raise it beyond 28. At this stage, the options to raise SMEN on the Seeking Road storylet may still be relatively affordable to play.
  3. St. Arthur, St. Beau, and St. Cerise (SMEN 21, 24, and 27): The first three candles may be obtained while still raising SMEN through UP. Note that obtaining each candle will also give a free level of SMEN.
  4. Weeping 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.
  5. Remaining Candles (SMEN 35, 42, 49, and 63): These may all be obtained in relatively quick succession.
  6. NORTH (SMEN 77): It is, somehow, still not too late to turn back.

Beginning the SearchEdit

Waves

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.)

So, you’re flirting with disaster, contemplating searching for the Name. Now what? A black-bordered card should show up... soon.

First Steps Edit

Trail
The North-ridden should turn their eye to their opportunity cards to wait for An Alphabet of Scars or A Banner with a Strange Device, where you have a choice to make. Either option sets you to SMEN 3, although the more gung-ho choice carries extra negative consequences.
  • A WARNING: On reaching SMEN 2 or 3, you are given a choice between opting-in to continue the search, or to exit the story entirely. You do not want to exit! Your course is set! You seek the name. "Why?" is a question for later.

Now is an excellent time to boost your UP to 1 and wait for the card ACE OF HUNGERS (see below). This will get you your weekly shot of SMEN (to 4) and reduce UP back to 0.

Around LondonEdit

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 SMEN 4, and in a week (at most) you'll be at SMEN 5.

Unaccountably Peckish Edit

Sidebarunaccountablypeckish
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.

GainEdit

LossEdit

Opportunity cards Edit

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 Appallingsecret ACE OF HUNGERS

Red gold -10x Piece of Rostygold

Sidebarunaccountablypeckish -2x Unaccountably Peckish
Banknotes -(100 * new UP) x Penny

2 Scrawl1 TWO OF BATS

Free

Mastertc -12 CP
 Connected: The Masters of the Bazaar
Sidebarsuspicion +5 CP Suspicion
Sidebarnightmares +4 CP Nightmares
Cat -30 CP Shadowy
Owl -30 CP Watchful

3 Scrawl1 THREE OF ROSES

Bear +Challenge Success Dangerous
Bear -30 "bonus" CP Dangerous
Cat -30 CP Shadowy
Sidebarwounds +10 CP Wounds
Sidebarsuspicion +2 CP Suspicion

Bear +Challenge Success Dangerous
Bear -30 "bonus" CP Dangerous
Cat -30 CP Shadowy
Sidebarwounds +10 CP Wounds
Sidebarsuspicion +2 CP Suspicion
Sidebarunaccountablypeckish +1x Unaccountably Peckish

4 Scrawl1 FOUR OF EYES

Bohogirl1 -3x Favours: Bohemians
Salon2 -3x Favours: Society
Clergy -3x Favours: The Church
Widow -50 CP Connected: The Widow
Urchin -3x Favours: Urchins
Sidebarnightmares +10 CP Nightmares
Fox -50 CP Persuasive
Sidebarscandal +4 CP Scandal

Bohogirl1 -3x Favours: Bohemians
Salon2 -3x Favours: Society
Clergy -2x Favours: The Church
Urchin -3x Favours: Urchins
Widow -50 CP Connected: The Widow
Sidebarnightmares +10 CP Nightmares
Fox -50 CP Persuasive
Sidebarscandal +4 CP Scandal

5 Scrawl1 FIVE OF LIGHTS

Banknotes -(10 * UP²) x Penny
Sidebarscandal +10 CP Scandal

Sidebarwounds +25 CP Wounds
Sidebarsuspicion +15 CP Suspicion

6 Scrawl1 SIX OF PEARLS

Cat +Challenge Success Shadowy
Sidebarwounds +7 CP Wounds
Sidebarsuspicion +2 CP Suspicion

Banknotes -18x Penny
Sidebarwounds +21 CP Wounds

7 Scrawl1 SEVEN OF WORDS

Sidebarwounds +7 CP Wounds

Free

8 Candleblack KNAVE OF REGRETS

Shard -50x Shard of Glim
Clergy +(0 to 1)x, random Favours: The Church
Bookdead -1x Reputation: Abomination
Rookery +1x Adrift on a Sea of Misery

Quirkheartless -3 CP Heartless
Quirkmelancholy +3 CP Melancholy
or
Quirkheartless +3 CP Heartless
Quirkmelancholy -3 CP Melancholy

9 Bottleandglasstc KNIGHT OF FEASTS

Bat -1x Sulky Bat
Sidebarunaccountablypeckish Unchanged Unaccountably Peckish

Free

Detailed strategyEdit

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) 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 Tiger's 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 NameEdit

The Seeking RoadEdit

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 Echoes 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?

Winking Isle Edit

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?

A detailed analysis of Winking Isle can be found here and here. The nearly-optimal strategy is:

  1. Prepare when <77
  2. Watch when 77-99
  3. Circle when 100-395 (this range only comes up if you fail some luck rolls)
  4. Watch when 396-1616
  5. Circle when >=1617, except:
    1. Watch if within 550 of target
    2. Wait if within 50 of target
  6. Cash out at 60000 (best) or 10000

Gaining 7 SMEN at a time takes ~220.27 actions, while stopping at 10k to gain 1 SMEN takes ~49.05.

Winking Isle has no lighthouse. Enter anyways, if you so desire. It will cost you no candle.

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.

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.

CandlesEdit

St Arthur's CandleEdit

Candleblack

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.

Once you have seven Footsteps of the False Saints, you can acquire St Arthur's candle, along with a free level of SMEN.

St Beau's CandleEdit

Demetergreen

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:

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 the Slow Boat, then the State of Some Confusion/Mirror Marches, then New Newgate, 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 too, 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.)

St Cerise's CandleEdit

Candlecherryred

Unlocks at Seeking 27, with St Beau's Candle. You must sacrifice something precious to the well to obtain this candle. The options for this are:

If timed well, the Noman may be the easiest and cheapest tribute for this step. Otherwise, Overgoats cost 11,700 Echoes and are 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).

St Destin's CandleEdit

Candletranslucent

Unlocks at Seeking 35. Does not require St Cerise's Candle. With 12 Notability and no Profession, you can gain St Destin's Candle when Slowcake's Amanuensis visits.

Alternatively, if you haven't acquired a Destiny yet, you can visit an abyssal future and give the Lorn-Flukes The Name, although doing so means you will be destined for TORMENT.

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.

St Erzulie's CandleEdit

Candlebloodred

Found in the Cave of the Nadir with Seeking 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.

St Fortigan's CandleEdit

Candlewhite

Unlocks at Seeking 49. You must have the previous five candles and your own Ship. Acquire a Book of Crimson Prayer, then you can sail to the Chapel of Lights. Attend six services to acquire the sixth candle.

St Gawain's CandleEdit

Candleeye

Unlocks at Seeking 63. This quest comes in two parts -- the first requires St Cerise's candle, the second requires St Fortigan's. 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.

NORTHEdit

Upon reaching Seeking 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.

Community content is available under CC-BY-SA unless otherwise noted.