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Wednesday, July 22

Castle Ambrose: Part 6b – The Throne Room

“I have enfolded Yhtill,” said the King in Yellow, “and the Phantom of Truth is laid.” He spoke more quietly. “Henceforth, the ancient lies will rule as always…” The King turned to Cassilda. “Now. Cassilda!”

Cassilda rose mutely to her knees.

“Thou wert promised a Dynasty by Truth, and in truth shalt thou have a dynasty,” said the King. “The Kingdom of Hastur was first in all the world, and would have ruled the world, except for this: Carcosa did not want it. Hence, thereafter, Hastur and Arcanis divided; but those in Arcanis sent you from Aldebaran the Phantom of Truth and all was lost; together, you forgot the Covenant of the Sign. Now there is much which needs to be undone.”

“How, King?” Naotabla asked faintly. “How?

“Henceforth, Hastur and Arcanis will be divided forever. Forever shalt thou contend for mastery, and strive in bitter blood to claim which shall be uppermost: flesh or phantom, black or white. In due course of starwheels, this strife will come to issue; but not now; oh, no, not now.”

“And—until then?” whispered Cassilda.

“Until then, Carcosa will vanish; but my rule, I tell you now, is permanent, despite Aldebaran. Be warned. Also be promised: He who triumphs in this war shall be my—can I be honest?—inheritor, and so shall have the Dynasty back. But think: Already you own the world. The great query is: Can you rule it? The query is the gift. The King in Yellow gives it in your hands, to hold … or to let loose. Choose, terrible children.”

“You are King, and are most gracious,” said Naotalba faintly. “We thank you.”

“YOU thank ME?” The King drew himself up, indignant. “I am the living god! Bethink thyself, priest. There is a price, I have not as yet stated the half of it.”

Everyone waited, petrified.

“The price is: The fixing of the Mask.” [MORE]


posted by Michael Tresca at 6:32 AM

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