Dankmeme Swamp and its Discontents
Jay Wigglesworth Jensen writes:
“I was interested in your name tier for Cultist Simulator. However, I’m concerned about whether or not you’d find my name suitable- it’s Jay Wigglesworth Jensen, and me backing on that tier is, honestly, contingent on getting my middle name in. Would that be acceptable?”
The ‘name tier’ is the one that Kickstarters often have:
“Your name, or a pseudonym, goes in the game, as an author of forbidden works / damned soul / grasping tide spirit / oracular bottled ape foetus etc. I reserve the right to veto unsuitable names, because I still remember that time a backer tried to get a landmark called Dankmeme Swamp in Sunless Sea. But I’ll find something that works for us both, or give your money back. If I get a lot of backers, I am really going to regret making this a seventy quid tier, but I’ll put an whole extra library of Scarlet Monks in or something.”
Of course I said yes, even though thanks to the Kickstarter’s unexpectedly good progress I need to find homes for 200 names now. The setting is early 20th Century and Wigglesworth will fit right in. The most prominent member of the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn was called Samuel Liddell McGregor Mathers, a name I feel probably deserves a font of its own.
I remember that back in my time at Failbetter, we got an alarming email once from a lawyer called Oliver Dashwood-Quick. He objected to our website describing him in unflattering terms, and wanted us to do something about it. We didn’t habitually libel random lawyers, and it took us a while to work out what he was talking about. There was a profile in Fallen London for a character called Oliver Dashwood-Quick, who was described as a shadowy and persuasive gentleman. Whether the player had just picked a coincidentally 1890s-sounding name, or whether it was a Hotblack Desiato thing, we never found out. We just fixed it sharpish. A lot of lawyers probably are shadowy and persuasive, but I doubt many of them appreciate being described that way.
A lot of people know Aleister Crowley was in the Golden Dawn. Fewer know that they also had a member called Maud Gonne. What about the following: Matricia Hakes, Rory Cross, Evelyn Underhill, Theresa Galmier, Tenebrous Oxide? One of them was really a member of the Golden Dawn. Others may be fictional. Google will tell you, perhaps reliably.