fragment:The Deathless Merchant of London 1


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fragment:The Deathless Merchant of London 1
By: RallistonRalliston
Published on 23 Oct 2022 18:02

rating: 0+x

What this is

A bunch of miscellaneous CSS 'improvements' that I, CroquemboucheCroquembouche, use on a bunch of pages because I think it makes them easier to deal with.

The changes this component makes are bunch of really trivial modifications to ease the writing experience and to make documenting components/themes a bit easier (which I do a lot). It doesn't change anything about the page visually for the reader — the changes are for the writer.

I wouldn't expect translations of articles that use this component to also use this component, unless the translator likes it and would want to use it anyway.

This component probably won't conflict with other components or themes, and even if it does, it probably won't matter too much.


On any wiki:

[[include :scp-wiki:component:croqstyle]]

This component is designed to be used on other components. When using on another component, be sure to add this inside the component's [[iftags]] block, so that users of your component are not forced into also using Croqstyle.

Related components

Other personal styling components (which change just a couple things):

Personal styling themes (which are visual overhauls):

CSS changes

Reasonably-sized footnotes

Stops footnotes from being a million miles wide, so that you can actually read them.

.hovertip { max-width: 400px; }

Monospace edit/code

Makes the edit textbox monospace, and also changes all monospace text to Fira Code, the obviously superior monospace font.

@import url(';700&display=swap');
:root { --mono-font: "Fira Code", Cousine, monospace; }
#edit-page-textarea, .code pre, .code p, .code, tt, .page-source { font-family: var(--mono-font); }
.code pre * { white-space: pre; }
.code *, .pre * { font-feature-settings: unset; }

Teletype backgrounds

Adds a light grey background to <tt> elements ({{text}}), so code snippets stand out more.

tt {
  background-color: var(--swatch-something-bhl-idk-will-fix-later, #f4f4f4);
  font-size: 85%;
  padding: 0.2em 0.4em;
  margin: 0;
  border-radius: 6px;

No more bigfaces

Stops big pictures from appearing when you hover over someone's avatar image, because they're stupid and really annoying and you can just click on them if you want to see the big version.

.avatar-hover { display: none !important; }

Breaky breaky

Any text inside a div with class nobreak has line-wrapping happen between every letter.

.nobreak { word-break: break-all; }

Code colours

Add my terminal's code colours as variables. Maybe I'll change this to a more common terminal theme like Monokai or something at some point, but for now it's just my personal theme, which is derived from Tomorrow Night Eighties.

Also, adding the .terminal class to a fake code block as [[div class="code terminal"]] gives it a sort of pseudo-terminal look with a dark background. Doesn't work with [[code]], because Wikidot inserts a bunch of syntax highlighting that you can't change yourself without a bunch of CSS. Use it for non-[[code]] code snippets only.

Quick tool to colourise a 'standard' Wikidot component usage example with the above vars: link

:root {
  --c-bg: #393939;
  --c-syntax: #e0e0e0;
  --c-comment: #999999;
  --c-error: #f2777a;
  --c-value: #f99157;
  --c-symbol: #ffcc66;
  --c-string: #99cc99;
  --c-operator: #66cccc;
  --c-builtin: #70a7df;
  --c-keyword: #cc99cc;
.terminal, .terminal > .code {
  color: var(--c-syntax);
  background: var(--c-bg);
  border: 0.4rem solid var(--c-comment);
  border-radius: 1rem;

Debug mode

Draw lines around anything inside .debug-mode. The colour of the lines is red but defers to CSS variable --debug-colour.

You can also add div.debug-info.over and div.debug-info.under inside an element to annotate the debug boxes — though you'll need to make sure to leave enough vertical space that the annotation doesn't overlap the thing above or below it.

…like this!

.debug-mode, .debug-mode *, .debug-mode *::before, .debug-mode *::after {
  outline: 1px solid var(--debug-colour, red);
  position: relative;
.debug-info {
  position: absolute;
  left: 50%;
  transform: translateX(-50%);
  font-family: 'Fira Code', monospace;
  font-size: 1rem;
  white-space: nowrap;
.debug-info.over { top: -2.5rem; }
.debug-info.under { bottom: -2.5rem; }
.debug-info p { margin: 0; }


WANDERERS' MEMO: While it should be pretty strongly noted that the operation plan written below has been unnecessary for around a year by now, that doesn't mean the records we brought together are in any way outdated; quite the opposite, even. Just because the issue of one billionaire is now solved doesn't mean the rest of them have suddenly magically disappeared.1 Keep reading and keep fighting, brothers and sisters. The war is far from over.

— Morríghan ingen Ernmas
Member of the Korean cell of the Serpent's Hand,
Dinodon's Hand

rating: 0+x

The Deathless Merchant of London

Percival Darke
He Who Bargains With Death
The Businessman
Father of Darkness
"That Bitchass Whore"


Known to some as Percival Darke, the demon that calls itself the Deathless Merchant of London is the primary pillar supporting Marshall, Carter & Dark's reign over the paranormal market. Though undoubtedly Homo sapiens, calling him human would be an insult to the millions of years of evolution that made us2, 3 into what we are today. Conniving, smart, and deeply, deeply evil, Darke has made a reputation for himself in the anomalous communities around the world by being able to secure and grow his own wealth throughout the centuries, no matter what it might take.

Very unfortunately so, the name isn't metaphorical. Whether due to sheer luck or some other unforeseen forces, Darke has somehow ensured neither aging nor most physical attacks concern him in the slightest. This deal with death4 has allowed him to not only persist for almost half a millennium, but also actively flourish as the titular merchant. And what a merchant he has been.

In the modern world, his Company is one of the three primary pillars of the Veil of "Normalcy."5 However, just because it's important doesn't mean it's invulnerable, which is quite a nice change of pace considering the two other major players. The Jailors are practically untouchable, and killing the Bookburners' al Fine wouldn't actually do much to harm the organization as a whole. However, getting Darke out of the picture would leave the Merchants in a position so fragile as to give us a chance to permanently destroy it; Marshall and Carter might be smart, but they have never been the masterminds behind the entire operation. They are merely the pieces that Darke himself uses to checkmate other players on his infinitely complex chessboard.

And that's exactly why we're going to murder him.



The Deathless Merchant of London, moments before attending the summit that created "Convention Sur Les Phénomènes Surnaturel"6 that would officially establish the Veil on the 23rd of November, 1868. Can't stress enough how satisfying getting that smug smile off of his face will be.


Traits: While Percival Darke might appear to be nothing but a helpless old man,7 by this point you should know better than to trust devils.8, 9 He might not possess any explicitly dangerous properties at first glance, but his biggest strength lies somewhere else; it lies within his mind. His borderline genius mind paired with his near-immortality makes him an incredibly, incredibly dangerous player. And an incredibly potent magic user.

The true extent of his supposed invincibility is unknown. Though it is certain that his aging is either extremely slowed down or outright stopped, there currently exists no comprehensive record which would believably document whether his skills extend to damage done to his body as well. Certain books down the Library indicate past Hand members being able to harm him in some sense10 throughout those 500-or-so years he's been walking the Earth, but we cannot fully verify how true these are.11, 12

Additionally, his magic proficiency should under no circumstances be taken for granted; you might think that just because he's a rotting fart at this point he's lost his spark, but you know what they say about old men in a profession where men die young. He's a multiversal traveler that's seen and experienced more of the world than most of us present in this room combined: his skills are a combination of arts from every corner of the alchemical, magical, and occultic worlds.13 While he has much more important qualities that protect him than his own thaumic potency, that doesn't mean he's just your normal civilian. Don't forget that.

Nature: Plotting. Plotting above anything else. If anything within the paranormal market happens, you can bet your ass Darke somehow had his hand involved in it. You don't just easily get yourself to be the richest man on the planet without the ability to spin your web across all of reality. That — paired with his absolute lack of morals or any sort of code of ethics — make him an incredibly dangerous capitalist hyperbaron that will do anything he can to get his hands on you14 if you cross him.

The biggest problem with Darke however is his paranoia — and what a paranoia he has. If he's somewhere, you can practically guarantee he'll be surrounded by a legion of guards powerful enough to take out a whole army with ease. What's worse, his ridiculously high piles of money made from strangling the world ensure that those guards are more than well-paid. Which means bribing is entirely out of the picture here. See, the thing is Darke craves nothing more than control — and he'll do whatever it takes to gain that control.15, 16 Whether it is trade, war, or betrayal — if he wants it and it somehow benefits his capital machine, he will get it. No matter the price.

History & Associated Parties: Darke's history goes far down the written records — further than most still-living people. Nobody17 can quite pinpoint the exact date him and his "Darke Trading Co." appeared first. Some say his family comes from a long-standing line of alchemists that traversed the spaces outside of reality, searching for their magnum opus within unreality. Others, that the Darke line has always been a band of occultists, witches, and murderers making deals with demons to ensure their own wealth. The only thing that is certain is that it was somewhere around the 17th century in London, and that it has since used many locations around the world — ranging from the Kingdom of Hy-Brasil through Three Portlands to Esterberg — as nests to allow Darke to grow his parasite off of.

Since then, Darke has made many, many allies. Be it by bribing, blackmailing, or sheer shared interest, the many people he met and benefited off of made sure his company grew quickly, eventually allowing it to turn into the Marshall, Carter and Dark18, 19 we all know and hate by the turn of the 19th century. Amos Marshall and Ruprecht Carter notwithstanding,20 such alliances and collaborations have more often than not ended horribly for the non-Merchant party involved.21

Approach: For most of the Hand's history, our approach towards Darke has been the same as towards the rest of the major Merchant players; that is, learn to avoid them where possible, and generally think of them as a target secondary to the Jailors and the Bookburners. However, after more than two centuries of failed wars waged against the former, we have realized we cannot tear down the Veil by beginning with its strongest pillars; if we take out the Merchants first, the two remaining players will not only become shocked, they will also become vulnerable enough as to leave themselves open to attacks. So that approach changes today.

The question, however, remains: how should we go about it? How the hell do you wipe out an unaging, irrationally resistible, absurdly rich, cripplingly paranoid capitalist?22

THE OBVIOUS APPROACH: Assassination. Ockham's razor might not be the sharpest tool, but it's still an effective one. The best way to go about it would then by all means simply getting the bastard out of the picture in as simple a way as possible, even if it takes a few civilians with it. Think a mass raid, some area gas poisoning, or even bombing of the place he'd occupy at the time of the attack. Anything simple but large enough in scale should do the job in no time.23, 24, 25

MIDNIGHT'S APPROACH: Alt-Universe Counterpart Duel. Here's some food for thought — what does the man that craves nothing more than control hate the most? The only person that knows how to take said control away from him — himself. The best way to get Darke would be to somehow make him meet his own alternative counterpart through the Library. If the antimatter-annihilation-something doesn't get him, his fear of losing his beloved power surely will.26, 27

MORRÍGHAN INGEN ERNMAS' APPROACH: Kaijumancy. If you want something large-scale but still targeted, boy have I got something for you. Using the sleeping bodies of the kaiju we were able to find next to the shores of the Korean Peninsula after the 1988 Quin Krake attack on my home, we should launch a personalized attack just on Darke's headquarters when he inevitably comes to visit. The boys from Dinodon are highly proficient in bringing those dormant beasts back to life under their own shackles, and I can guarantee you they are more than waiting for a chance to get the man with their magic. Just give them the word, and it will be done.28, 29

SVENDOR SARRIAN ENZAN JUNIOR'S APPROACH: Erm, Assassination? All of you are overcomplicating. You come up with absurd plans that are so out there they barely have any connection to the issue at hand. So here's something simple, effective, and that will actually work: a money mimic. Using all of our magic together, we will create and bind a mimic so well disguised as something he'd invest in that not even Darke's thaumaturgists will be able to sense it. Then, we'll just get one of our corpo contracts to meet with him under some business excuse, hand him the bill, and BAM. The jaws of the trap will get on him before he can even shout for help. And I severely doubt he has wards powerful enough to get past the teeth of a mimic bound by the collective power of four Hand cells. Eat the rich, all that stuff, you get the gist.30, 31

Observations & Stories

There's many stories to be said about Percival Darke. Some of them good, most of them bad. However, the only story worth telling about him now is not a tale of the past or the present; it is the tale of the future. The future where he's gone.

So, let's tell it together. Here and now.

In two weeks, Percival Darke will fall. All 127 members of Kapuza Bazyliszka, Dinodon's Hand, Fool Moon's Hiss, and Tranquil Tail will come together and use all of their magic to create the single most powerful magical trap in the entirety of the Serpent's Hand. Using our bait like an anglerfish, we will lure out the parasite that calls itself the Deathless Merchant of London and snap our jaws around it before it can even realize our light is merely a setup. The first pillar of "normalcy" will fall, allowing us to bring down the remaining supports of these chains that bind our reality. The domino has already been put into motion.32, 33, 34

Now, let's get to writing.

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