Carcosa Collection


First Edition

The King In Yellow is the dread play at the heart of the stories that form the book of the same name by Robert W. Chambers.  The play is generally regarded as having been published in an alternative reality in the year 1895, although some claim that it was written earlier and/or based on earlier works...

It consists of two acts: Robert W. Chambers quotes only the briefest passages of the play, and then only from the first act, for example: "The very banality and innocence of the first act only allowed the blow to fall afterward with more awful effect".   For it is the second act that contains words and descriptions so powerful to drive the reader to madness as illumination to transcendental truths occurs.

Beware the Second Act

Although it is sometimes thought to have been written in French, The Repairer of Reputations states that the play was translated into French, the French government seizing the translated copies that had just arrived in Paris (from where is not stated), after which there was great demand in London to read it. It should be noted that this happened in the alternate timeline of that story, rather than in the history we are used to.
Various authorities state that the last copy of the play in America was burnt at some point before 1990.

The play concerns the final days of the dynasty of a distant world, the arrival of a Stranger to their city, a masked ball and the final disastrous arrival of The King In Yellow. Various scholars have given us details of the play and it's background, and whilst most of them relate the same details, some seem to be inconsistent with each other. The King In Yellow appear impossible to pin down as an exact text. Is this due to inconsistencies between the various historians (both those in the real world and in it's fictional counterpart), or might there be something else at work here?   Could it be that the text actually demonstrates mystery itself, and thus cannot ever be totally known? This would explain the power of reading the second act, which none have been able to describe… mostly due to anyone reading it has not been in a state to communicate rationally with anyone again.

The Trumps of Doom

The author is never named by Chambers, although in The Repairer of Reputations it is suggested that the author shot himself after writing it, although Hildred Castaigne believes that he yet lives.


The Carcosa Collection scholars posit this: that throughout the ages, certain artistic individuals are drawn towards the essence of Carcosa, a timelesss viral metaconcept waiting to consume worlds.  They are possessed by an aspect of the Phantom of Truth, the being said to herald the coming of the King to annex an age.  That is why the works appear time and time again, with evidence of the characters from the play spanning back to ancient civilizations.  That is why even now, poor tortured artists have created a tarot deck that channels the entropic forces of Hastur to this dimension.  That is why the collection has items on display that show the horror of King in Yellow is the infinite intruding in the finite…


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Tome Tribute

"They say foul beings of Old Times still lurk in dark forgotten corners of the world, And Gates stll gape to loose, on certain nights, Shapes pent in Hell."

From Unaussprechlichen Kulten

Credits and Copyrights

Carcosa Collection and Website Bruce Ballon © 2010-2015 , Web Design Luke Shield and Bruce Ballon, Art / Graphics / Photos by Steve Lines and Bruce Ballon, music clip by Ennio Morricone

The Book

Thought of the Eon

There is a concept that is the corrupter and destroyer of all others. I speak not of Evil, whose limited empire is that of ethics; I speak of the infinite.

-Jorge Luis Borges