Manifester of the Arthropod

A Yellow King: The Wars Foe

The pallid monarch reacts with unpredictable caprice when his cosmic senses tell him that someone has read a copy of The King in Yellow. Those he deems useless or puerile, he visits and destroys, for daring to touch the mind of a living god. Others he leaves to seek their own path of destruction. In a particular few, however, he identifies a rapacity and ambition that promises delightful carnage ahead. Those he gifts with powers to enhance their potential for destruction.

Among this last category stands a Colonel of the enemy forces. Depending on their composition in your game, he might be named Arno Klaren, Dmitri Kotov, or Cecil Purcell. Had the Continental War not broken out, the Colonel would have pursued his avocation, killing, as a calculating serial murderer. Fortunately for him, it did, permitting to pursue his sadistic hobby without abandoning his social position.

As the war approached, the Colonel contemplated a particular throwaway passage in the distressing second act of the play. While in the throes of lethal passion, Camilla inexplicably cries, “O the writhing arthropods of Yab-shull! May they claim those who deny my ecstasies!”

Mastering the techniques of lucid dreaming, the Colonel journeyed while unconscious to the Yab-Shull Valley, located either on Carcosa, another planet of the Hyades, or both. There he communed with the inhuman molt-priest of the arthropods. When he awoke, he realized that he could manifest them into reality on Earth, merely by concentrating his mind on the dream images he had gathered.

When the Colonel was a lieutenant, he led a commando squad, coming into repeated contact with Loyalist forces. His summoned arthropods gave him the edge, chewing through his adversaries. Ironically his success led to rapid promotion to the rear echelon, depriving him of the excitement he lived for.

Obsessed by this desire, he has covertly arranged to capture a squad of Loyalist soldiers and whisk them on a transport plane to his remote manor. This forbidding edifice lies in Bavaria, or the coast of Scotland, or on the verge of the Russian steppes. Supported by his most trusted subordinates and family retainers, the Colonel then hunts them.

The Colonel believes that pleasures best blossom under constraint. He meets with his designated victims and announces the rules that limit his efforts. All who survive a night on his hunting grounds will be flown back to France. The others, well, when you call down the arthropods, you must feed them.

The Colonel looks like a fit, ramrod-straight man in his mid-forties. His summoned beasts, various in form, boast thick carapaces, long spear-like limbs, and gnashing mandibles.

The Colonel and His Arthropods

Numbers: 1 (Colonel) party minus 1 (arthropods)

Difficulty: Vastly Superior (Escape 4, Other 6, Kill 6)

Difficulty Adjustments: -1 if you were expecting the arthropods; -2 if one of you makes a Science Push to spot their weaknesses

Toll: 2

Tags: Human (Colonel), Warspawn (Arthropods)

Encounter Style: Primary

Injuries, Minor and Major: Leg Strike / Mandible Strike



At end of any Interval, spend 1 Health and roll a die. Even: discard.
Any time after the current interval, you may spend 1 Health or have 2 First Aid spent on you to discard.



-1 to Physical.
At end of interval, roll a die. Even result: discard. Odd result: trade for “Still Hurting.”

The Yellow King Roleplaying Game takes you on a brain-bending spiral through multiple selves and timelines, pitting characters against the reality-altering horror of The King in Yellow. When read, this suppressed play invites madness, and remolds our world into a colony of the alien planet Carcosa. Four core books, served up together in a beautiful slipcase, confront layers with an epic journey into horror in four alternate-reality settings: Belle Epoque Paris, The Wars, Aftermath, and This Is Normal Now. Purchase The Yellow King Roleplaying Game in print and PDF at the Pelgrane Shop.

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