Monday, March 25, 2013

King in Yellow, Hastur, the Wyrd & the Origins of the True Fae

In order to do a Tatters of the King conversion to the World of Darkness, I naturally need to figure out what the King in Yellow, Hastur and Carcosa are precisely and how do they relate.  I didn't want to simply port over the Cthulhu Mythos as that would weaken the WoD Mythos and vice versa.  So I read a number of the books until I came up with something that worked for me.  It might not work for you, but that's okay.  In truth, if you run a WoD version of Tatters of the King, your players probably won't get to peek behind the curtain anyhow.  If you would like to see the main article from where all such articles have sprung, go here.

This story may not be true.

Once upon a time, the greatest of God's angels fell from grace by providing humanity with that spark of sentience so long denied by the Creator.  Loyalist angels and fallen angels clashed in mighty battles of song and poetry until one human or another invented murder in order to prove his (or her - tales vary) loyalty to God.  The invention of violence proved to be a tipping point for many Fallen who embraced it in order to get an edge against the superior numbers of the Loyalists.  The celestial battles became more like the wars we know today although some of the fallen grew still more inventive with battlefield tactics using great displays of magic.

They lost.

Hastur was one of the fallen angels though none today recall what it did or was responsible for.  It is as though fate itself chose to excise most memories of Hastur from their minds.  They recall that Hastur was a powerful fallen but know nothing of faction or house or history.  Of course, this hardly matters now as Hastur has little to do with most of the Fallen kind.  (Read this article on Demon: the Fallen to learn more about that cosmology).

Hastur was returned to Earth several thousand years ago by a cult that worshipped it as a force of entropy, ennui and creative destruction that could provide such maddening knowledge that to meet its gaze was to be undone.  It was placed within nine large stones, well-marked, and ranged within the territory defined by them as an Earthbound of the land.  There were other cults, however, who worshipped Gods in other minor Earthbound and Hastur's cult collected them and provided them to their own God who devoured them and added their essence to its own.  Perhaps it consumed one or a dozen or a hundred.  None can tell.

One day, however, Hastur had its stones moved into a bastion located within the lands of its cult's territory but that bastion was only tenuously linked to reality.  The bastion broke away and collapsed into another place, an unreal place, called Arcadia where, unknown to the Fallen and Earthbound alike, was where the True Name syllables of dead angels, both fallen and loyalist, had been allowed to take root in dream stuff to forge the entities that would become True Fae.

Long before the bastion collapsed into that land, the sleeping entities awoken within the syllables had begun calling for humans who had once pledged their lineages to the service of those angels, and the humans responded by making the journey to Arcadia of their own free will.  These first humans were changed by what they found there and

The foundation stones of reality, however, chafed at the sensation of Arcadia almost as much as the Abyss and through the automatic shuddering expression of subconscious human faith, the Hedge itself was raised.  Where the foundation stones laid by the angels touched Arcadia, they themselves became changed and all the more rigid, forming the Wyrd.

Anyway, back to the story of Hastur.  The movement of the bastion caused him great injury and a True Fae slipped in, lashing at him with powerful weapons (Props) that tore loose aspects of Hastur itself.  Before Hastur plunged back into its silent imprisonment, the True Fae consumed those loosened syllables, converting them into further titles.  It stole a total of four such titles from Hastur (who had, due to his devouring of so many fallen now had nineteen syllables).

These titles became the King in Yellow, Plateau of Leng, Carcosa, and the Spawn of Hastur.  As Hastur still exists, the loss of those syllables means that it cannot be permanently summoned unless the Arcadian realm of Carcosa is manifested so close to Earth they touch.  Also as Hastur still exists, Carcosa actually can manifest that close without destroying itself, which is impossible for other Arcadian Realms.

This also allows Hastur to keep thralls even while he is in the Abyss as the Unspeakable Promise is further strengthened by his bizarre relationship to the Wyrd thriugh the True Fae.  The promise also leads the thralls to become Unspeakable Possessors when killed as an ounce of Hastur's energies are pulled into the body as some perverse twist on the usual Earthbound pacts.

But that isn't where the story ends.

Oh no.  You see, the True Fae that was also the King in Yellow used its new found power to gather so many titles to itself through Feuds that it came to possess no less than eleven before it was tricked by a Mage upon Earth to swear on its true name to perform an impossible task or for its physicality to be bound to Arcadia unless it can step down to Earth from the Plateau of Leng with the consensual aid of a human being.  Of course, when Carcosa is briefly brought alongside the Earth, the Spawn of Hastur may be summoned within it.  The Spawn of Hastur were the last syllable torn from Hastur and therefore their presence allows Hastur itself to be summoned from the abyss.

Warning: Below holds details of these titles.  You may not want to have such a terrible being dissected into titles and game labels.

Thus the only titles that may enter the Hedge or the Earth itself are titles warped to non-physical forms:

  • The Yellow Sign (image)
  • The Queen & the Stranger (story)
  • The Sullied Dream of Creative Desperation (dream)
  • The Ethereal Vision of Madness & Death (hallucination).
  • Spawn of Hastur (wisps)
The titles that are bound include:
  • Plateau of Leng (locale)
  • Lost Carcosa (locale)
  • King in Yellow (actor)
  • Tattered Robes of Entropy (prop)
  • Altar on the Plateau of Leng (prop)
  • Pipes found on the Pleateau of Leng (prop).
I won't be providing statistics for all of these titles as it's best if they are quite flexible to your needs.  The locales are also detailed in Tatters of the King (Chaosium) although I might do a write up if I add / change much while I'm running it.  I will do up some statistics on the King in Yellow actor as there's even a write up in the story.

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