My New Botanist Friend

Dearest Mother,

I was so pleased to receive your latest communication, taking particular delight in your account of the spring cotillion. If only I could have been there to witness Cecily’s debut! Please assure the great aunts that they needn’t worry about me in Paris. I have fallen in with a cadre of fellow Americans, gallant strapping fellows all, as heedful of my welfare as any brothers could be.

My instructor at the school, M. Gérôme, continues to award me reluctant praise. The more of this I earn, the more aware I become of the gulf I must cross before fully claiming the mantle of artist.

Toward this end I have recently become acquainted with a young woman who has forbearingly agreed to pose for me. Something about the intensity of her gaze, the otherworldly gravitas, inspires me to fresh insights into the delineation of character. One might call her my muse—though among my group there is another, a Parisian singer named Aurore, who has declared herself the reigning muse of us all.

I speak instead of my own subject, Calixte Garel. She studies botany, having overcome the dreadful chauvinism of the professors at the Sorbonne to gain a sort of unofficial permission to attend lectures. Though less prone than I to lecture others on the injustice meted to women denied desired education, the quiet command in her bearing surely worked a sort of magic on those stooped and bearded men.

From time to time I fear that her intensity will burn not others, but herself. Lately she has been arriving for our sessions in a sort of fever. Calixte says she has discovered a serum with great potential for extending the lives not only of plants but of humankind itself.

Mar 12

Calixte has just left and am in rather a tizzy. She says she has nearly perfected her compound, aided by an older mentor named Cassilda. That name sounds an ominous note with me, for reasons I cannot elaborate upon. When I asked Calixte about a certain legendary realm, an unwelcome recognition flitted across her face. It was mere moments later that the tendril—the green, herbaceous tendril—flitted momentarily from her ear, to brush away an errant, dangling strand of her normally tame coiffure.

Oh dear. This is not a letter to send home at all, is it?

I shall now consign you to the fire, inconstant letter, and contact the others. Once more, we have work to do.

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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