Alternative names: Langford’s Rose, Xithxrar’s Face
“A Picture of a Rose” is a viral meme that has appeared on social media, message boards, and in chain emails. Most are removed almost as soon as they appear, crashing servers when posted, then vanishing. Seeing the image overloads the human brain, causing the body to freeze in place. Heart and lungs continue to function as normal, but almost every other muscle is locked up, and no brain activity can be detected. Trying to move the victim’s limbs results in muscle tears and bone fractures.
Viewed with safety measures in place, the image has a vague resemblance to a rose composed of fractals. No one that has viewed the image with the naked eye and come away with their sanity intact is able to describe what it looks like. Even when safely seen, the “rose” can nauseate and provoke panic attacks in the viewer. Attempts to photograph the rose result in a blank photo. The picture cannot be saved.
Noted cyber-occultist and psychonaut Guillermo Meizoso is speculated to be the first victim of the rose. In 2013, Meizoso was found in his Madrid apartment during a wellness check, frozen in place at his computer. A small fire had broken out, isolated to the computer. Meizoso suffered third-degree burns across his hands and wrists. In the weeks leading up to the incident, Meizoso had discussed using fractal images as a medium to contact spirits. If Meizoso did create A Picture of a Rose, it is unknown how it escaped, for lack of a better word, who may be spreading it, or for what purpose.
A prevailing theory, first stated by user RuneDaddy1988 on the New Dawn messaging board popular with occultists, is that Meizoso contacted an entity called Xithxrar. Xithxrar always existed, according to the theory, but had no means to manifest itself in our universe until a means was invented. When Meizoso created the fractal, he revealed just a tiny fracture of the entity. The image is alive in a fashion, containing some essence of Xithxrar’s intelligence. It spreads itself as a means of continuing its manifestation.
Sanity Loss: Viewing the image with safety measures in place costs the viewer 1 sanity point. Seeing “A Picture of a Rose” with the naked eye provokes an Extreme POW roll. On a success, the viewer loses 4 sanity points and enters a short fugue state, unable to recall what they saw. On a failure, the viewer loses 1D100 sanity points and becomes frozen.