This short companion post provides more details on the strange dreams had by Joe Johnson, Dietrich Munds, and Travis Taggart. Hints and spoilers ahead! There is a short Keeper's Note at the end.
A rose hovers in the space before you. It seems perfectly carved from marble. Subtle, blue veins run through its petals giving it an otherworldly beauty beyond its mere form. It appears immortal, beautiful, eternal.
You reach out to touch it and it is smooth and cool to the touch, but the flesh of the flower along its right side gives just so. The stone, it is rotting. Its delicate stone work darkens and crumples, decaying in front of you. The corruption spreads around it, destroying this single perfect beauty, this illusion of eternity.
As its petals crinkle and crumble, first one, then two, then more, you wake with a feeling of weight on your chest. You find that you've been crying.
Twin suns set before you, reflecting off of a lake that stretches to the horizon. The water is cast in purples in reds in the long light of this alien evening. Belying your sense of things, shadows of tall pointed towers (stone, you know they're stone) lance out along the lake's unquiet surface. Your heart races as you think of what you know dwells in lakes.
Black stars pepper the limnal skin, shining with their darkness. As you look out at that lake, horrible and beautiful and limitless, figures begin to rise from it. Damp hair runs down their faces as they move toward you. Three, four, six, ten... Their forms are beautiful, but as they approach they are... strange. Their limbs are so long, their hair dancing in an unfelt breeze.
And they sing.
It is a song of starlight, of the inescapable pull at the depths of space, of an empire lost but that would return. They seek of Carcosa. And the city behind you responds with dozens of pipes in a complicated harmony. And when these... Hyades (the word comes to you, echoing in your father's German-accented voice) look to you, their eyes reflect the darkness of the stars.
The thudthudthud of your heart wakes you. The plain jailhouse sheet is damp with your sweat. The man down the hall murmurs still. And in the chill desert air the sounds of pipes seems to chase you.
The motorcade proceeds ahead of you. It is for you.
Soldiers march alongside with rifles to their shoulders. They are all in a row, showing their elegant discipline. They march for you.
The entrance is decorated with long banners of stars and stripes. The red recalls blood, the sacrifices made. The sacrifices made for this great nation; the sacrifices made for you. The blue suggests the distances, the horizon to which your rule extends, the righteousness of your vision, the limitlessness of your wise leadership.
And not least of all, the white of the stars recalls the Heavens. It is your divine right. Descended from the ancient kings, the heir of an eternal throne, it is your birthright inscribed in the stars above just as it is in your blood, in your lineage. Who else but you could lead this divinely blessed nation into the future?
As you take a seat, your fingers trace the rests beneath your arms, each etched with the fasces of Washington and Lincoln, of Cincinnatus and Caesar, of the righteous and honorable.
An aide hands you a balanced iron rod, a symbol of your firm and just rule. Your thumb moves in a pattern you insisted by part of it. And they listened. Vaguely spiral in shape, its arms reach around as your thumb moves along its self-referential form. It is a symbol you know so well now.
Your grip tightens as you stand and see the thousands before you. The endless throng of the people who praise you, who worship you, who serve you.
Taggart wakes in his hotel room, the feel of the dream still warm in his mind.
Our current story arch draws from Robert Chambers's The King in Yellow. If you're interested in our source material, we've provided a link below. To be specific, Joe's dream draws from The Mask; Dietrich's dream from the opening poem that claims to draw from the madness inducing play itself; and Taggart's from The Repairer of Reputations. Each of these included boons to the Cthulhu Mythos score, Taggarts was accompanied by being stricken with megalomania.
How this chapter of our story concludes is still unknown. As described in the primary post Gloria Hanson and Amir Slama both seem committed to their craft. Slama's various passports are problematic to say the least. And what's the worst a play do, in the end?