Heart's Desire

They say that once every nine years there's a card game where you can gamble your soul and win your heart's desire. That sounds like tremendous fun.

Unlocked: Persuasive 6
Necessary qualities: Watchful and Persuasive
Starts at Veilgarden.

Follow up the rumour


Ambition: Heart's Desire! [Begin]

[Location: Veilgarden]

They say that once every nine years there's a card game where you can gamble your soul and win your heart's desire. That sounds like tremendous fun.
Unlocks: Persuasive 6

Follow up the rumor

This is an Ambition: a major storyline with enormous rewards if you reach the end. Once you've picked an Ambition, it is very hard to change it. Choose carefully!
Your Persuasive and Watchful qualities are most important for this Ambition.


Ambition: Heart's Desire! [1]

[Location: Veilgarden]

Find someone who can tell you more about this notorious card game.
Unlocks: Ambition: Heart's Desire 1

Option 1: Ask around

People say it's bad luck to talk about the game. You'll have to be convincing.


Ambition: Heart's Desire! [2]

[Location: Spite]

You've found the Devious Bookseller who claims to know the location of the card game you're looking for, which he calls the Marvellous. He insists that he can sell you a book which will reveal its location.
Unlocks: Ambition: Heart's Desire 2

Purchase the book

It's some sort of antique encyclopaedia of animal diseases. But it's the only lead you have.
(unlocked with Whispered Secret 30)


Ambition: Heart's Desire! [3]

[Location: Fallen London]

You have a book with the address where the Marvellous, the card game where you can win your heart's desire, is held. But no-one seems to have heard of the street.

Find someone who knows where this mysterious address is

It sounds like a street name from London before the Fall. That must be why it's not on any maps.
Persuasive challenge


Ambition: Heart's Desire! [4]

[Location: Veilgarden]

A striking, expensively dressed young woman with a scarlet headscarf and a pet monkey, they say. You'd think she'd be easy enough to find. But no-one seems to know where she lives. You'll need to build up your network of acquaintances to open some doors.

Arrange an introduction to the young woman in question.

Raise your profile high enough and she'll meet with you.
[You can acquire the Confident Smiles you need through social actions with your friends at your Lodgings; or through some Opportunities.]
Unlocked with 4 x Confident Smile


Find the Forgotten Quarter

[Location: Lodgings]

If you can't afford a London Street Sign, you may be able to find another way.
Unlocked with 1 x Note: A Meeting in the Forgotten Quarter

Work far into the night, trying to solve the puzzle of the Quarter

Laundry piles up. Friends are neglected. Your walls are webbed with half-mad scrawlings. All that matters is finding a way in!
Unlocked with Watchful 8

Open the way to the Forgotten Quarter

And they said it would cost you your sanity! The fools!
Unlocked with Heart's Desire: Scrawled Notes on the Walls 5


Ambition: Heart's Desire 8

You're ushered into a turret room where a blind man waits. 'I understand you've brought that wretched monkey with you,' he says sourly. 'Yes, I can help. But you'll need to make it worth my while.'

Option 1: Pay the Blind Astronomer his due

Moon-pearls: the Observatory's favourite currency.
Unlocks: 200 xMoon-pearl


Ambition: Heart's Desire

You need to obtain seventy-seven First City coins. The Bishop's words linger in your ears: 'You can't steal them. You can't find them. They have to be bought, or gambled and won, or freely given. Anything else is bad luck. You don't want to go into the Marvellous with bad luck.'
Tell you what, though, that does mean you could pay someone else who's just happened to steal them. Probably.
Unlocks: Ambition: Heart's Desire - The Bishop of St Fiacre's 4

Arrange for a theft from the Museum of Mistakes

There's a trove of First City coins in the Museum of Mistakes. But you'll need to expend a great many secrets to plan the theft, and even then no ordinary thief will be able to rob that place. You'll need to enlist the help of another player - it won't be a straightforward task. Who do you trust? They should have Persuasive or Shadowy at least 70.

crypticsecretsmall.png [Unlocked with 400 x Cryptic Clue]

Should your friend accept, the following venture appears for them throughout Fallen London.


Prepare your theft from the Museum of Mistakes!

Very few are permitted to visit the Museum. It's the direct responsibility of the Ministry of Public Decency, which manages secrets too lethal or embarrassing or disgusting for public exposure. If you're going to break in, you'll need to be very, very careful. But the friend who asked you to carry out the theft has bought enough information to give you a decent chance. Increase Planning a Theft to 5 or more to make the attempt.

Use your contacts to prepare the ground

There must be academics who know floorplans, bureaucrats who've processed applications, rich and idle wasters who've managed to sneak a look at the treasures within. Someone will know.
foxsmall.png [Unlocked with Persuasive 70]


They say the Museum has three gates, of iron, amber and poison-cedar. They probably made that up, but you'll be going in the back way. If you can find it.
catsmall.png [Unlocked with Shadowy 70]

After planning a Theft from the Museum of Mistakes increases to 5, the concluding storylet appears.


A theft from the Museum of Mistakes

Everything is prepared. You are frankly jittery. You must really like your friend. Or are you planning to use the inside information they gave you to rob it for your own reasons?

Steal the coins!

You're ready to steal the silver coins your friend needs. You have a route across the rooftops planned. You have the location of a chimney-stack that seems to serve as a disguised entrance for senior Museum functionaries… if the stalking black-cloaked things you've seen are in fact Museum functionaries. You have the new locations of the major exhibits memorised. You might even be ready.
Unlocks: planning a Theft from the Museum of Mistakes 5

Hang the coins! Take whatever looks most valuable!

You've worked hard for this! And your friend isn't that good a friend. You'll just tell them it didn't work out.
Unlocks: planning a Theft from the Museum of Mistakes 5


Gamble for silver!

Your quest for the Marvellous is well known among your more colourful friends. Some of them may be failed Marvellous seekers themselves - they might have access to First City coins, if you can get word to the right ears…

Unlocks: Connected: Bohemian 15; Drop of Prisoner's Honey 70


Send your monkey out into the night looking for coins

Well it's worth a try. And if he steals them, the bad luck's on him. You don't actually want him to win the Marvellous, do you?
Not for the first time, you wonder exactly what a card-playing monkey's heart's desire actually is.

(A matter of luck: a long shot…but you might win.)


A polypous offer

A Rubbery Man you know knocks politely at your door one evening. They always knock, the Rubbery Men. He makes a sound like the wind in a broken bottle. He wants something from you: he gestures bonelessly at the fire. What does that mean?

Unlocks: 1 x Warm Amber ; Connected: Rubbery Men 5.


Visit the Numismatrix

The Numismatrix can obtain any coin in the world or under it, but her prices are eccentric and she never sells more than a single coin. Besides you dislike the vivid mossy verdigris-green of her beady little eyes. And she smells of beeswax and decaying rope.

Unlocks: 111 x Surface Currency


The Master's Voice

The Masters of the Bazaar know where to find anything. Who to speak to? Mr Stones, who deals with jewels? Mr Iron, whose domain is metals and tools? That famed connoisseur, Mr Cups?

Unlocks: Connected: the Masters of the Bazaar 1.


Accidentally commission burglaries

If you know the wrong kind of people, you can casually mention that you're in the market for coins. Criminal habit will do the rest.

Unlocks: Connected: Criminals 10, 15 x Inkling of Identity

Ambition: Heart's Desire

Seventy-seven silver coins jingle in your pockets. Time to find the Topsy King. He holds court in the Flit, far above the streets of the Fifth City. They admit only the most athletic variety of criminal. But if that's not you, there may be another way in.

Unlocks: First City Coin x77

Option 1: Bribery!

It is inconceivable that a Flitling might betray all those dramatic and blood-curdling oaths, just for a bribe. Inconceivable. Unless it's a really big bribe.

Unlocks: Moon-pearl 1000

Option 2: Persuasion!

Of course they won't let just anyone into the Flit. You understand that. But surely they can make an exception for someone like you?

Unlocks: Confident Smile x3


Heart's Desire - the Topsy King

[Location: The Shuttered Palace]
The case is open. The Topsy King's unfinished opera lies before you. What now?
Unlocks: Ambition: Heart's Desire - The Topsy King 7; First City Coin 77

Search the manuscript for a clue

It's a weird and rather ugly document. Bagley seems to have invented his own musical notation system. He also appears to have been less than fastidious, even before he went topsy. Are those soup stains?
(unlocked with Watchful 63)

The Correspondence?

Bagley's alternate notation system contains something that looks very much like bastardised Correspondence sigils! This may be your only chance to study it.
(unlocked with Watchful 65, a Scholar of the Correspondence 1)


Heart's Desire - the Topsy King

You've learnt several things. The Topsy King was once Tristram Bagley. He failed to write an opera. He liked soup. And now here he is, in this daguerreotype. Happier times, in a crowded ballroom. He is younger, cheerier and unencumbered by bat or umbrella.
Unlocks: Ambition: Heart's Desire - The Topsy King 8; First City Coin 77

Examine the daguerreotype…with help

If you have friends to help, you can get away with substandard equipment… [Gain Sudden Insights through social actions at your Lodgings.]
(unlocked with Patent Scrutinizer 1, Sudden Insight 3, Watchful 70)

Examine the daguerreotype

You'll need the very best scientific equipment.
(unlocked with Patent Scrutinizer Deluxe 1)


Heart's Desire - Desperate Intentions

[Location: Wolfstack Docks]
(unlocked with Ambition: Heart's Desire - the Topsy King 16)
Cora wants to talk to you about her brother, the Topsy King.

'That damnable opera,' she says. 'And the Correspondence. He was a driven man. I'd never seen him like that. The Marvellous is a family affair for us, but Tristram never wanted to… until then. He gambled his mind away. What was left of it.'

You Understand…

You've learnt a great deal about the Marvellous, these past few days. You can guess her intention.
unlocked with Appalling Secret 20
REWARDS UNKNOWN - Help us fill the wiki!

One Last Secret

She bites her lip. Why all the layers of intrigue? There's something she wants, but she can't bring herself to say it.
unlocked with Persuasive 94
First choice removes 20 appalling secrets!


Heart's Desire - Double or Nothing

Perhaps Tristram Bagley - the Topsy King - can win his mind back in the game of cards. But if he's lost his mind, how can he possibly win? And how can you even convince him to play? Is this the end of your quest? Of course not. You're cleverer than that.
(unlocked with Ambition: Heart's Desire - the Topsy King 17)

'What if…'

There must be a way.
unlocked with Watchful 97

To increase "Ambition: Heart's Desire - the Topsy King 17" to "Ambition: Heart's Desire - the Topsy King 18" you must raise your Nightmares to 5. The "A Cheery Gentleman" card that appears has an often-overlooked unlocked option. See the page on Nightmares for more information on this step.


Heart's Desire - the Price of Desire

The Royal Bethlehem Manager has an idea how to entice the Topsy King back to the Marvellous. He wants payment for his opinion. Naturally, he hasn't said how you are supposed to pay him..

Give him your dreams

The Manager knows a thing or two about nightmares. Perhaps your dreams are of sufficient quality to tempt him.[This will cost you all your Death By Water, Burial of the Dead, Fire Sermon and What the Thunder Said dreams].
Unlocks: Recurring Dreams: Death by Water 5
Recurring Dreams: The Burial of the Dead 5
Recurring Dreams: The Fire Sermon 5
Recurring Dreams: What the Thunder Said 5
Memory of Light 1

Give him your key

The key opens… well, perhaps you're not sure. But the Manager strikes you as a man who enjoys an enigma.
Unlock: Stone Tentacle-Key 1

Give him brass for buttons

Shower him in brass! Cover him! Drown him! His buttons will shine like never before!
Unlock: Nevercold Brass Sliver 5000


Heart's Desire - Back to the Bale

The manuscript of the Topsy King's opera can be found in the Bale Collection, in the Umber wing of the Palace. You'll need another look if you plan to stage the thing.

A sticky sort of plan
The curator is unwilling to let you study the manuscript for long enough to make detailed notes. Hmm. What you need here is a silver tongue, a jar of honey and a monkey.This choice is locked for now.
Unlock: Persuasive 103
500 x Drop of Prisoner's Honey


Heart's Desire - Tapping the Baton

To stage the first part of 'The Bell and the Candle', you're going to need glass instruments and some liberal-minded musicians and singers.

Direct solutions
The best way to get the musicians of Veilgarden on your side is to get them stinking drunk. As to the instruments - well, that's what money is for.
[These items are found in the Bazaar Sidestreets. You will need to be a Person of Some Importance to acquire them.]
To unlock, you need 1 x Night on the Town , 1 x Bejewelled Lens , 1 x Comprehensive Bribe .


Heart's Desire - A Night at the Opera

Your rather shambolic and booze-hammered operatic company is as ready as it ever will be, in the snug of the Singing Mandrake.

Here we go

The Topsy King enters with a flourish of his bat and a 'Garbles!' With that, he sits down next to the Manager of the Royal Beth. Time to begin.
Unlock: Scholar of the Correspondence 1
Unlock: Persuasive 108
Persuasive Challenge


Heart's Desire - The Morning After

The Topsy King, Tristram Bagley, attended your riotous performance of his opera. But what did it do to him?

Not at home to visitors

He's not in the draughty heights of the Rope Court. The Raggedy Men don't know where he's gone. A few of his paintings are missing already.
Unlock: Watchful 108
Watchful Challenge


Heart's Desire - Back to the Manager

You have four players for the Marvellous. Yourself, a monkey, the Bishop of St. Fiacre's and the Topsy King. Now for the fifth - the Manager of the Royal Bethlehem Hotel.

Looking for the Manager

Could it be that the Manager is avoiding you? He won't speak of the Marvellous inside his Hotel. And does he go anywhere else? Does he attend clubs and salons? Probably not. You'll have to catch him in the street.
Unlock: Watchful ???
Watchful Challenge


Heart's Desire - Seeking the Manager's Beloved

The Manager of the Royal Bethlehem has promised not to play the Marvellous. But who did he make that promise to?
Unlocked with Ambition: Heart's Desire! 13

Clay wisdom

The Manager mentioned a temple. The Clay Priest, worn with age and wearing white silks, will speak with you.
Unlocked with Investigating 12, Unnatural Exuberance 1


Heart's Desire - Gaining an Audience

The King with a Hundred Hearts - the soul and creator of Polythreme - bars your path to the Marvellous. You must speak with him.
Unlocked with Ambition: Heart's Desire! 14

A gift for a king

The Clay Broker leans heavily on his copper staff, which bends under his weight. 'The Manager sent you, didn't he? The King doesn't want to see you. You'll have to bring a gift. Something ridiculously expensive. Something from the East, perhaps. He likes things that remind him of his travels.'
Unlocked with Fascinating 12, Unnatural Exuberance 1, Fourth City Airag: Year of the Tortoise x 1


Heart's Desire - Meeting the King

You have an audience with the King with a Hundred Hearts, up at his villa.
Unlocked with Ambition: Heart's Desire! 15


The villa, unlike the rest of Polythreme, is quiet. Lonely, even. Still, you are expected. What does one wear to meet a king?
Unlocked with Fascinating 12, Unnatural Exuberance 1


Heart's Desire - Walking in the Garden

You are in the villa of the King with a Hundred Hearts. He's invited you to see something of his history.
Unlocked with Ambition: Heart's Desire! 16

Looking in the garden

The two statues escorting you light lamps and braziers. What can you see?
Unlocked with Fascinating 12, Unnatural Exuberance 1


Heart's Desire - The End of Memory

You have walked through the memories of the King with a Hundred Hearts.
Unlocked with Ambition: Heart's Desire! 17

Meeting the King

At the end of the path is a statue. A handsome man of the Orient. The traveller. The King with a Hundred Hearts.
Unlocked with Fascinating 12, Unnatural Exuberance 1

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