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Graham

Looking for the King in Yellow in the strangest of places...

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Graham

I was skimming the Harn suppliment "Tomes and Scrolls" and came across an entry for a text named the "Masque of the Laughing Gods" a quick read of the description revealed that Hastur is 'leaking' into other realms via copies of his most well known play, now this begs the question, has the play appeared in other roleplaying games, and how do the authors explain the interpolation?

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yronimoswhateley

I've used The King in Yellow as a loose inspiration before in a D&D/Ravenloft campaign, combined a little bit with "The Masque of the Red Death" - I don't think anyone would have recognized anything from either of them by the time I was done with them, though.

 

TV's True Detectives used it as loose inspiration for the paranoid or insane ravings of criminals and victims in the series... I may have forgotten bits of the series, but I don't believe the detectives ever directly identified the source of the references to "The King in Yellow" and "Carcosa" and so on as being a work of fiction - rather, they just caught them as weird clues that seemingly unrelated cases, suspects, witnesses, and victims might actually have something in common - but I'm guessing that in-universe The King in Yellow is a work of horror/fantasy/prose-poem fiction like it is in real life.  Sort of like "oh!  The cultists we're dealing with think these short stories are real... what a bunch of wackos!"  Of course, the show did have a couple maybe-mundane-maybe-magic moments, so who knows?

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ElijahWhateley

The play has appeared in a ton of other fiction and games, starting not long after it was published. To start with, of course, it's a Robert W. Chambers creation that simply gets mentioned in Lovecraft but seems to have been embraced by the Lovecraftian gaming community. Outisde of Lovecraft and the other weird fiction of the 20s, in 1938 Raymond Chandler (the Raymond Chandler of hardboiled detective fame) referenced it in a short story also called "The King in Yellow". There's an entire series of science fantasy novels by Marion Zimmer Bradley that throws around Carcosa, Hastur, the Lake of Hali, and other KiY names, but mostly uses them in very different contexts (so, for instance, the Hasturs are the royal line, if I remember correctly). I can't remember the number of times I've seen Carcosa and the KiY show up as very minor references in things; off the top of my head, there was an atlas published for Game of Thrones that includes Carcosa as a city in that world (though not on the continent of Westeros), there's supposedly a reference in one of the Mass Effect games, a Trekkie I know said an Admiral Hastur shows up in DS9, and there must be thousands of casual name-drops in novels and shorts. 


 


For more references, just look at the Wikipedia page for "The King in Yellow". Wikipedia pages are regularly trimmed of non-notable content like minor references, so the list on that page is far from exhaustive.

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Rayven

I'm a growing fan of the King In Yellow and I have seen interesting references made in a number of places but I personally want to write my own some day...as a very twisted Alice in wonderland setting with no way out. And instead of the red queen you have the kind in yellow.

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yronimoswhateley

I'm a growing fan of the King In Yellow and I have seen interesting references made in a number of places but I personally want to write my own some day...as a very twisted Alice in wonderland setting with no way out. And instead of the red queen you have the kind in yellow.

 

I hear the music, daylight disc

Three men in black said, "Don't report this"

"Ascension," and that's all they said

Sickness now, the hour's dread

...Books by the blameless and by the dead

King in Yellow, Queen in Red

...Where prophecy fails, the falling motion

"Don't report this, agents of fortune!"

 

Blue Öyster Cult - "E.T.I."

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The_Tatterdemalion_King

a Trekkie I know said an Admiral Hastur shows up in DS9, and there must be thousands of casual name-drops in novels and shorts. [/indent]

 

Robert Hewitt Wolfe, who wrote for DS9, is on record as a big RPG fan, and has snuck various references to such into Trek—not just Admiral Hastur, but also the mystery writer Shoggoth, and the half-Glorantha-derived Tzenkethi.

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JeffErwin

BTW, I have found a connection between Oberon and Hastur, e.g., in Robert Greene's "James iV" (published 1593):

 

"Music playing within, enter ASTER OBERON, King of Fairies; and Antics,

who dance about a tomb placed conveniently on the stage; out of the which
suddenly starts up, as they dance,
 BOHAN, a Scot, attired like a ridstall
man, from whom the
 Antics fly. OBERON manet."

 

This "Aster Oberon" is connected with a tomb (where the hermit Bohan is dwelling), rather like the demon/Crackstone in Munday's Fidele and Fortunio. The tomb in James IV is given an inscription from the Tomb of Cyrus in Turkey, comparing the corpse to a clod of earth.

 

The name "Aster" no doubt relates to "Iscariot" and "Scorax" (Shakespeare's Sycorax), names of spirits summoned alongside Oberon in late medieval and Elizabethan English magic. Since Scorax in Arthur Gauntlet's grimoire is probably identical to Agrippa's Sorath, spirit of the Sun, "666" (var. Scorath), and the probably originally identical Scox and Stolas of the Goetia, both bird-demons, the names at some remove are likeliest corruptions of Astorath or Astaroth. We may also note the prominence in several 16th century grimoires, as well as in the trial of Gilles de Rais, of "Barron" or Baroyn, a demon (the omission or addition of initial A- being a consistent feature of French mediaeval texts, particularly at the beginning of lines). Hence... in my Shakespearean setting, Oberon could be an avatar of Hastur and Faeryland a mere guise of Carcosa.

 

As it was Barron that supposed demanded child sacrifice, Oberon's coveting of a child from his Queen Titania might take on a sinister meaning. Astaroth and Asmodeus were the dedicatees of the infant sacrifices of the Abbe Guibourg in the 1670s in France.

 

In Spenser, of course, Oberon is the "faery" counterpart of Henry VIII.

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Graham

I found a copy of Dungeon Magazine 134, the scenario 'And Madness Follows' has someone putting on a certain well known play, with predictable results, the Yellow Sign makes a fairly prominent appearance.... More leakage of Carcosa into other realms.

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vincentVV

AFAIR, according to Martin Wiki Carcosa is a city in the far-far east, And yes, there is a lake near it =)

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TMS

The past year or so I've taken a renewed interest in anime and manga, and have found a surprising number of Cthulhu Mythos references, including to the King in Yellow mythology. Looking at my notes (because of course I've kept track of all of them all), the elements of the KiY mythology are mentioned repeatedly in Crawling! Nyarko-san, a goofy comedic take on the Mythos that I watched after seeing it mentioned here. One of the main characters is based on Hastur and the King in Yellow, and Carcosa and the Yellow Sign are also referenced. In the anime adaptation of the video game Devil Survivor 2 there's a multilayered computer security system where the layers are named after Mythos deities, one being called Hastur, while the King in Yellow has a sub-layer of the Nyarlathotep layer named after it. The manga (not the mediocre anime) Excel Saga also briefly mentions Hastur as the name of some kind of surveillance device.

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