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London Below

Below street level

By far the most locales of Neverwhere are below street level. This is the area properly called London Below. It consists of the sewers, the Underground, maintenance tunnels and some places the existence of which would rather surprise any outsider.

Areas of the Underside (another term for London Below) belong to different factions. Most of it is divided among nobles of sorts such as the Earl at Earl's Court or Lady Serpentine. Borders between such domains (called 'baronies' or 'fiefdoms') are not usually marked or only in such an unobtrusive way to be virtually invisible to the uninitiated eye. The skill Dysorientation comes in handy here.

There is a kind of feudal system on the Underside, although there is no King or Queen. Each noble is sovereign of his or her own area; some may be hostile towards visitors, some may be friendly, some may take no notice at all. Each has very individual motives for everthing he or she does, which will not necessarily be readily understood by everyone.

Some areas are the domains of certain people - the lowest sewers, for instance, belong to the Sewer Folk. Some of these places will be described with the people living there in the appropiate section.

Forgotten places

Another part of Neverwhere consists of forgotten places. Narrow alleys, hidden squares, locked up and walled up rooms, empty buidlings - all of these areas may be part of London Below. Ordinary people never notice such places. Did you ever wonder what may lie behind that locked, unmarked door in the pedestrian tunnel? The inhabitants of Neverwhere do.

Some of these places may be coexistent with other, 'normal' places. In Neverwhere, there may be an old, empty (or not so empty) building exactly at the same spot where in the real world a new office tower rises. Often, such buildings or places may only be reached at certain times and using certain special rituals.

A special kind of forgotten place in London Below is the number of closed Underground stations. There are said to be fifty of these, some with no longer used connection lines. Special Underground trains, themselves part of Neverwhere, stop at these places at certain times. The timetable is a cherished possession.

Some places are only temporarily forgotten and devoid of interest for the Upworlders: public buildings at night, when they are closed, are a prominent example.

The rooftops

Finally, some parts of Neverwhere lie atop the highest buildings in the city. Up there, where no-one ever goes, reside some individuals who are just not made for living in the lightless depths of London Below. They are hiding in plain sight, guarded by the invisibility of Neverwhere.

Some of these places can be reached by using ladders and rungs in walls which seem to serve no special purpose. Like all of Neverwhere, the roofs are also linked by mysterious, non-euclidic routes which may, though convoluted, prove shorter than a straight line.

The Floating Market

The Floating Market is a bazaar which is assembled at irregular intervals, but always at night, at changing locales. It is a place where goods of all kinds are traded, and valid currency consists of anything the seller may place value in. Exchange ratios may seem grossly odd to outsiders - or they would, could they see the market at all. Wares and currency alike consist of weapons, clothes, food, trinkets, gadgets, services, favours, leftovers, trash, and more often than not things no-one from Above would place any value in.

The Floating Market is always held in a public place. Examples are Westminster Abbey, the battleship Belfast anchored in the Themse, and even the famous shopping centre Harrod's. Knowing when and where the next market will be is a commodity in itself. This knowledge is spread by word of mouth exclusively. If you cannot find the market, you do not deserve going there. It is interesting to note that there is no person or comittee responsible for setting date and venue for the market. It seems as if the market itself just makes its next appearance known to a select few who will spread the word.

The Floating Market is under a truce. No fighting may be done here, all hostilities have to cease. This does not go for fighters proving their mettle to would-be hirers, but actual hostility is anathema. Trespassers will wish they had had the option to die. The Floating Market itself will somehow deal with such trespassers.

The Floating Market is open to all - the only exception to this are the Sewer Folk, the odor of whom is so bad that they are banned from all Floating Markets taking place indoors.


Night's Bridge - that's its name on the Underside - is one of those places you sometimes have to cross when you want to go from here to there. The bridge itself traverses total darkness. It is located somewhere in the underground, spanning a bottomless chasm. Lights of any kind are gradually extinguished when crossing Night's Bridge. Moreover, those who traverse it usually do not remember what they have experienced on the bridge.

It is said that in Night's Bridge you are confronted by what you fear most. The child's terror in the dark of its bedroom at night is replicated here. There may be strange sounds or any number of eerie sensations. These are directly based on the traveller's subconscious fear of the dark. In any case, sometimes individuals do not make it across; they disappear, usually never to turn up again, neither alive nor dead. It's the toll the bridge takes. Safety lies in numbers when crossing the bridge; solitary travellers will be tested very thoroughly, while the bridge is usually satisfied taking one out of a larger group.

The light returns suddenly, blindingly, when one has made it across. On the other side of Night's Bridge, regardless from where the traveller was coming, is Knightsbridge Underground Station. Crossing the bridge doesn't get easier on subsequent occasions, nor does entering via that station lead to the bridge. Clever people might want to go to that station by other means, thereby circumventing the bridge, but they will find that their destination has mysteriously disappeared; sometimes crossing the bridge may be mandatory.

The Deep Tunnels

The deep tunnels are no longer used today - by the upworlders, that is. These tunnels were built well below the sewer level in the 1920s. They were originally supposed to contain an extension of the London Underground. Later, the tunnels were used for the stationing of troops during World War II - the iron beds lining the walls can be found there still. Those soldiers left a lot of their belongings down there, and while some was taken out of the tunnels when they were closed for good in the early 1990s, a lot more has gone over to Neverwhere, maybe along with the occasional remaining soldier.

Here Varney the mercenary made his lair, far beneath Camden Town Tube. While Varney is no more, his lair might still be found down there, behind a barricade of iron beds. While it does not have much in the way of furniture, there are an obscene lot of weapons to be found here, some archaic, some modern, and some ingenuous and virtually unknown to the world at large.

Earl's Court

Earl's Court is an Underground train which travels freely through the London Underground system. It follows a certain schedule.

The Earl is an elderly man and so are the members of his court. The lot of them look like a historical reenactment society gone senile. The Earl is one of the nobles of the Underside; his fiefdom seems to consist of the tunnels of the Underground. He wears an eyepatch and has a red-gray beard. His fur coat does not exactly hide the pyjama pants he wears underneath. While the Earl might be a bit - incoherent, he is nobility, so you had better treat him like that.

The Earl's power also extends to the vending machines in the stations which may be ordered to yield their contents to those under the Earl's command.

Down Street

Down Street is a rather vertical expanse of street which you can only reach from inside a house (if you are going down, that is). The house has a  brass plate saying: 'The Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Houses', and smaller beneath: 'Down Street. Please Knock.'

If you knock, the door is opened by an elderly manservant who will lead you to an elevator if you ask for Down Street. This elevator leads down. Exiting, you will find yourself on a narrow ledge. The actual street, if you can call it such, is a spiral path down with a deep well in the center - a long, sheer drop. From the ledge directly above the well, where the elevator stops, only a narrow board leads over to the beginning of the path. Vertigo is a bad idea here.

Going down takes hours. There you will find a vast, Cyclopean hallway of rough stone blocks. Through it lies the Labyrinth.

The Labyrinth

The Labyrinth lies at the bottom of Down Street. It is a jumble of narrow alleys, paths, and walkways among ruins of old buildings, walls, and other, sometimes even intact edifices. When the Angel Islington was still imprisoned in the Great Hall on the other end of the Labyrinth and the Great Beast still guarded it, traversing the Labyrinth was suicidal, even if you had one of the figurines of the London Beast which gave you an intuitional insight into the geography of the Labyrinth and showed you a way through it.

Today, the Beast is dead and the Great Hall is vacated. Nevertheless, the Labyrinth may hold many secrets, not the least of which is the carcass of the Great Beast and the number of weapons stuck in it - there are bound to be some magical ones among them...

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