The King in Yellow

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“Along the shore the cloud waves break,
The twin suns sink behind the lake,
The shadows lengthen
In Carcosa.
Strange is the night where black stars rise,
And strange moons circle through the skies,
But stranger still is
Lost Carcosa.
Songs that the Hyades shall sing,
Where flap the tatters of the King,
Must die unheard in
Dim Carcosa.
Song of my soul, my voice is dead,
Die thou, unsung, as tears unshed
Shall dry and die in
Lost Carcosa.”

Cassilda’s Song, Act I, scene 2
English translation, 1895.

This anonymously written play first appeared in France around the year 1895. Originally published in France, it was soon after seized and destroyed by the government. The play is in two acts, and the blandness of the first act only allows the second to shock the reader even more. The English translation is less explicit and the version most often encountered. It was printed in a thin, black octavo, the Yellow Sign embossed on the cover. The play itself is a dream-like fantasy that leaves readers, actors, and audience subject to dreams sent by Hastur.

The Original French

This version is more potent.

The English Translation

This version is far more common.

Xanthic Folio

Aset of tablets in what is said to be elder thing glyphs, found in China. These deal with the King in Yellow and his court at some length. Why a prehuman document should do so is unknown.

Yellow Codices

These English and French translations of the Xanthic Folio have circulated among jaded artists and writers for years. They are believed to be the inspiration for The King in Yellow even though its contents are quite different from the play, the Codices seem to convey it to the reader, almost subconsciously.

Spells

Only the Xanthic Folio contains a spell: Create Time Warp.