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The Empress' Shadow

by Emily Short profile and Failbetter Games

Part of Fallen London
Historical / Fantasy
2016

Web Site

(based on 1 rating)
1 review

About the Story

Teach at Sinning Jenny’s Finishing School! Recruit students and train them in important skills, such as deportment and maiming. Then send the class to plunder the secrets of the Empress’ Shadow – Queen Victoria’s eldest daughter, who is visiting from the surface!

The Empress’ Shadow will be available beginning 23rd December for 35 Fate. Begin this story at The Empress’ Shadow: A Royal Barge at Wolfstack Docks, available throughout London during the festive season.


Game Details

Language: English (en)
First Publication Date: December 23, 2016
Current Version: 1
License: Commercial
Development System: StoryNexus
Forgiveness Rating: Merciful
IFID: Unknown
TUID: 1o22eal74wojleo2

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Member Reviews

Average Rating:
Number of Reviews: 1
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful:
Education, political intrigue and strange romance, February 19, 2021
by MathBrush
Related reviews: about 2 hours

Surface stories generally aren't my favorite in Fallen London. To me, it feels like being in a dark room telling ghost stories at a sleepover, then going out into the brightly-lit kitchen to say hi to your parents and grab some snacks before going back in.

That said, the player agency in this story is impressive, and mechanically it is one of the best stories, and has poignant moments of writing, especially the drawn-out ending. Reading this made me feel that Failbetter made an excellent choice hiring Short as their creative director; the grasp of the world of Fallen London as a whole and the creative mechanics are exactly what I'd hope a creative director would bring.

In this game, the oldest daughter of Queen Victoria, called the Empress's Shadow, is the only normal child she has left, and is coming down to the Neath to visit for unknown reasons. She is the empress dowager of Prussia, just like in real history.

You want to get close to her. It turns out that she desires a revolving suite of new servants to keep from getting too close to anyone or revealing too many secrets. So, for you to get her secrets, you become a teacher at Sinning Jenny's finishing school, training your own set of spies (chosen from 6-8 of the factions already in Fallen London), and using them to find out more about her.

Her motives include both romance and power, which is interesting, and the game gives you a permanent carousel that can result in a favor (although I failed the 50% luck check all 3-4 times I tried, which is just what luck is).

The only drawbacks to me personally are the lack of engagement I felt with the surface-based story. Otherwise, it is very well-done and was interesting to play.


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This is version 1 of this page, edited by Emily Short on 31 December 2016 at 4:33am. - View Update History - Edit This Page - Add a News Item