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A wiki dedicated to The King In Yellow, the Yellow Mythos and all things related
to the dark mysteries of Carcosa, Hastur and the Yellow Sign...

Welcome to The Yellow Site

Anyone with more than a passing familiarity with The King in Yellow will know that the character and the play of this name are not supposed to exist. They are fictional creations from the pages of a real book of the same name. This "real" version of The King In Yellow was written by Robert W. Chambers, a renowned author of a century ago, whose work has, on the whole, faded into obscurity. The King In Yellow is his most popular and recognised work, published in 1895, featuring a series of short stories (and poems) that are hard to categorise but are together regarded as an important early landmark in 'weird fiction'. The opening stories of the book concentrate upon the aforementioned mysterious, horrific play and those that fall victim to it, and hence to the titular entity that seems to stalk its pages and maybe the world the characters inhabit too. Although Chambers was an American writer, most of the stories are set in and around France, particularly Paris, where he had spent many years as an artist: this served as the inspiration for some of the tales, particularly the final stories of the book, which appear unrelated to its title. The ones in between these latter tales and those directly linking to the play vary in theme and content, but arguably touch on subjects related to the play. These will all be discussed at greater length elsewhere...

Chambers' writing style hinted at a great mythology behind his handful of tales: at shadowy figures, alien places, strange artifacts and terrible gods; at clouded lakes and dark stars; at death reanimated, an ancient, implacable evil and madness pushing in through the walls of the world. However, he never returned to this universe he created so economically and tantalisingly, leaving the way open for numerous followers to revisit and expand upon it in his stead over the hundred years and more since he published The King In Yellow, to form what has come to be known as the Yellow Mythos. Not least among these are those authors who have co-opted many of its features into the Cthulhu Mythos, the latter based upon the writings of celebrated 20th-century horror maestro H.P. Lovecraft; the incorporation of these Yellow elements both into further stories and into the Call of Cthulhu games has seen some of the Yellow Mythos' greatest expansion and definition.

The aim of this project is twofold. For the main part it is an attempt to collate all relevant information – for the uninitiated and curious, as well as for those who know and appreciate the mythology – on everything associated with The King in Yellow. It deals with the original stories, their inspirations and successors and other people’s interpretations of the mythology, and also with the dark reality suggested within the fiction and how the presence of the play and the King are regarded as seeping into normal reality and disrupting a previously familiar and sane world. A final part of this project is to provide a sandbox for those wanting to express, develop or showcase ideas related to the mythos.


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Introduction to the MythosEdit

If you are unfamiliar with The Yellow Mythos, the introduction will get you started. See also the box to the right for more general information.

Who or what is The King In Yellow?Edit

These pages look at the various items that go by the title The King In Yellow: in particular the 'original' play (author unknown); the book (partly concerning this play) written by Robert W. Chambers; and the entity that appears within the confines of the play and yet can be encountered outside of it too. Finally there is a page devoted to Kings in Yellow that have appeared in other mythologies and un-related tales.

What is the 'Mythos'?Edit

Over time a great mass of created fiction can build up around the core canon of an invented universe, into a collection of very many elements, characters, settings and themes, often disparate and sometimes contrary – a "mythos", whose various parts may be weaved together in different prose stories, poetry, games, films and so on into an interconnected, quasi-real folklore (there is, after all, a close linguistic association with mythology), although not necessarily an unambiguous or unchanging one.

The King In Yellow's mythos is based in greater part upon just a handful of century-old tales and only a small number of (often highly vague) in-universe 'facts'; on these there is no living, definitive authority whom we may question or appeal to. So there is in fact very little that is 'hard' canon, and as a result the book is unusual in being the basis of what can be thought of as several largely overlapping, frequently muddied – the names are often used interchangeably – yet in some areas distinct variants on one mythos, which have built upon these slender foundations in slightly differing ways:

  • The Yellow Mythos – the most useful 'umbrella' term, this can mean either or both of the following two, but fundamentally draws upon the concepts derived from Robert Chambers' writing, particularly things associated with the eponymous colour;
  • The Carcosa Mythos – which takes a relatively narrow path, the lineage focusing upon the mysterious city of Carcosa, including its earliest incarnation as set down by Ambrose Bierce, and those fictions that regard the King in Yellow as a terrible god in his own right rather than an avatar of some other eldritch abomination;
  • The Hastur Mythos – which in contrast places the King and all things related firmly within a larger (though later-established) continuity, which The King In Yellow in fact helped to influence, known as

The following are some very useful first ports of call:

  • Introduction to the Mythos is a helpful primer on the overall story and the universe surrounding The King In Yellow and related texts.
  • Defining the 'Mythos' explores more fully the above-mentioned notion of there being multiple, varying but interdependent versions of the mythology.
  • What counts as Mythos canon? This is a guide to what (if anything) must be regarded as necessary, sacrosanct and inviolate components of the Mythos.

Related topics to The King In YellowEdit

These pages look at those elements in the fiction that are almost always mentioned in relationship to The King In Yellow – sometimes they are more important to the stories than the King himself. They include:

Much of the fiction, including that involving the wider Hastur Mythos, refers to cults and inhuman servitors in thrall to the King and the Yellow Sign. There is also a strong history of referring to certain cosmological features, notably the Hyades and Aldebaran.

Source material for the MythosEdit

This includes published written material where the Play, the King, the Sign or Carcosa play an important part, including significant texts such as:

Other related worksEdit

GamesEdit

Various games (especially role-playing) that mention the Yellow Mythos, such as Call of Cthulhu and Trail of Cthulhu. These are an important source for the Hastur Mythos version of the continuity in particular.

Film and TVEdit

Appearances of the Yellow Mythos in moving pictures, such as True Detective.

Stage

Live performances related to The King In Yellow.

MusicEdit

Musical works based on or inspired by the contents of The King in Yellow, or which have inspired addition to the Mythos.

Further RecommendationsEdit

Stories and poems that touch on similar themes to those explored by this Mythos, such as The Phantom Of The Opera and The Yellow Book.

Theories on all things YellowEdit

Pages discussing various aspects of The Yellow Mythos and taking ideas in various directions.

Submissions Wanted and New ReleasesEdit

A chance for writers and readers to keep abreast of new projects related to The Yellow Mythos that are open to submissions or which are newly available for purchase.

RequiredEdit

Information that is required to further flesh out this wiki.

LinksEdit


Watching the Detectives (a poem) http://www.scribd.com/my-uploads

Using this wikiEdit

The category tags at the bottom of most pages are an excellent way to find related information – just click on the tag to be taken to a list of all the pages in that category. When adding or updating pages on this Wiki please bear the following points in mind :

  • Make use of the tags – these are really useful, but do make sure you put new pages in the correct category!
  • Only make drastic changes to content where absolutely necessary (ie errors) or where an entry is incomplete.
  • Make sure you are certain of your facts before changing information. If you are not 100% certain or a point is contentious, please leave the existing information and add yours with an indication as to the doubt or dispute. Alternatively, put a request for clarification on the Required page.
  • Where information does not directly relate to The Yellow Mythos (such as the broader Cthulhu Mythos) please do not add it to the Wiki unless you really have to – use links to Wikipedia or a specialised Wiki instead. Non-Mythos stories are fine if a) they influenced or are strongly influenced by the Mythos, b) deal with similar themes that may be of interest to readers or c) demonstrate an interesting concept or involve some interesting trivia.
  • When creating a new page, please doublecheck that it doesn't already exist – a couple of duplicates have arisen due to issues of capitalisation and styles of abbreviation. Also, make sure that the spelling and form is correct to prevent duplication by error. The Wiki works best when it is easy to find information!


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ThanksEdit

This site wouldn't exist if it wasn't for a lot of people. We would like to say thank you for as many of those people as we can.

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