“Where are you? We said 2am @ sector 9 plaza. The one on Breton. Call me!” Gloria glared at her phone and opened their chat app as well. It probably wouldn’t work either. The Wi-Fi here was so spotty. She texted, Where ru? Im @ plaza 9 x Breton. Call me.
She mentally shook her head and tried to relax. It wasn’t that bad. Frank was only 30 min late. Tons of people still swarmed the streets. She knew how to get back to their camper. Gloria traced the seam on her orange plastic rape whistle that was tangled in the mass of plastic bead necklaces covering her chest. She was safe enough.
A gaggle of nude blue women walked by, headed further down 9th towards the next plaza. Shit. That’s where Frank was! He’s at the plaza on Glimmer.
Gloria caught up to the blue woman and smiled. They started singing some song she vaguely knew and they laughed and tripped their way into the next set of streets. One of the blue women started coughing and another smacked her on the back.
“I’d blame it on the dust, but see? It’s just, like … smoke? The dust died down. I dunno. I need my inhaler.” The woman croaked weakly. Gloria broke away from the other women as they searched through a fanny pack for her inhaler. Gloria mentally shrugged and tried looking for Frank in the packs of dancers and merrymakers. He wasn’t there either, but it was hard to tell.
The smoke was getting thicker, harder to see through. A passerby wearing neon necklaces and a speedo shouted to his friend, “What’s up with this fog? I thought the desert was dry! It’s all London up in here!”
Gloria frowned and took off her respirator. The air was clear of dust and smelled fragrant and spicy. It was such a contrast to the diesel burning on the other side of the playa. It really was fog! It didn’t hurt your lungs like smoke. But it was growing thicker and more golden in the lights from campfires and Coleman lanterns.
Something caught her eye. Another group of people entered the plaza, wearing mustard-colored robes and full face masks. They started to sway and move in unison, in an intricate dance to a song only they could hear. It didn’t match the bass blaring from a village a few camps down. Gloria watched them, transfixed. The robed dancers began to spin like whirling dervishes and suddenly they had swords held over their heads.
“What the fuck?” A sweaty bearded fat man in jean cutoffs and clogs pushed past her. “That’s just dangerous.” Gloria looked back and there suddenly were fewer dancers. Their swords … no scimitars were gone too. It now mostly looked like drunk people spinning around at random. A few wore rompers and there were no robes in sight.
“Weird,” she said to herself and checked her chat app. Nothing from Frank but there was something from Jen the owner of the camper they were staying in on their group text.
If anyone sees this. I’m not sure what’s going on, but the smog is too thick to breathe here at the camper. Sleep with your respirators on. Ok?
Gloria felt a little burble of panic rise up in her stomach, trying to escape out her throat. She swallowed it down and pushed through the thoughts of suffocation out of her mind. Frank would be at the camper. She moved quickly through to the other side of the plaza looking for their road. Gloria texted Frank as she walked.
I’m headed to the camp. I don’t know what your deal is but I’m getting worried. Get back to me. The message went through and she looked up again to see her street. Gloria turned left and the fog grew substantially thicker. “Just a few more blocks and I’m there. Sector 7 remember like 7-11.” She whispered to herself. She made out a familiar hump and glow of the airstream with a steampunk group living in it. “Almost there. Fuck this fog.” And as the words left her lips the road was enveloped in a thick wall of the vapor. She could barely see 2 feet in front of her. The lights from lanterns were now vague suggestions of lightened orbs in the tendrils of smoke. Holding up her hands before her, she kept walking, slowly. Her steps sounded so loud, almost echoing in the vapors. Gloria flipped the flashlight on, on her phone. “That did fuck all.” She waved it around trying to see anything. She had maybe a block to go, but it was hard to gauge distance when everything was a sulfurous yellow. She walked on for what felt like an hour but based on the number of steps must have been right. She stumbled to the left and headed towards the
glowing circles of light. Slowly materializing from the eddies of smoke was a circle of camp chairs around a Coleman grill. She turned left, the neighbors had that set up. This was her block! She walked a little more confidently towards the shapes that must be her camp. Gloria reached the light and looked around. “I think that’s it.” This was her camper, right? There was the hammock on its rack. She opened the door to the camper and touched the familiar solidness of its handle. Entering she saw someone sitting in the driver’s seat staring out the windshield. “Jen?” Gloria croaked out weakly.
The figure turned, it was back-lit by the sulfurous smoke and orbs of light showcasing the tendrils of the ever-moving mass.
“I saw it there, the many terraced steps of the palace of Ythtil. It stood crouched on the shores of the lake of Hali. You can hear them, bartering in the marketplace. The merchants with tempting products from across the stars.” The figure said quietly yet they rushed their story. “Can’t you see the city’s black spires?” It pointed out the window and for a second it appeared to wear the mustard robes of the dancers from before. Gloria rubbed her gritty eyes. The person at the driver’s seat continued talking almost to themselves as they stared out the windshield. “It’s there, can’t you see it? The great city of Carcosa!” The hand dropped to their lap and seemed to sag.
“Jen, are you okay?” The figure didn’t move so Gloria stepped closer. “Jen?”
“It’s gone, gone to the wayside.” The voice was barely audible. “He’s coming. We burned his effigy tonight. The King has come for us, Gloria.” Its head turned quickly, snapping to look with its wild eyes as it said her name.
“Frank?!” She snatched back her hand and stopped moving forward. ‘Dear God, what did you
do to your face?” She felt it again, the panic bubbling up from her stomach rushing out her
mouth. She ripped off her respirator and threw up on the formica table attached to the camper
Yellow Miasma, The
● Cost: 35 POW
● Casting time: 5 minutes for each disk
● Duration: 1D10+2 days
Creates a three mile diameter yellowish fog bank. It requires seven yellow metal (gold, brass,
bronze, etc) 12 inch disks etched with arcane symbols to be placed in a circle 1 mile in
diameter. The disks must be exposed to the sky. When each disk is placed the person placing it
must sacrifice 5 POW to activate it. As many as seven people can be involved in activating the
disks, one for each disk. Once the final disk is activated the atmosphere near each disk begins
to thicken into a yellowish fog gradually spreading to cover a three mile circle over an hour. The
fog bank will remain in place for days unless dispelled by defacing the etchings on the metal
disks. For each disk defaced there is a 15% cumulative chance the miasma will dissipate.
Alternatively an elder sign, star stone of mnar, or other protective objects/spell as determined by
the keeper can neutralize a single disk if brought within 25 feet of it.
For every three hours spent in the miasma make a hard CON roll or succumb to the
hallucinogenic effects of the fog. Being in a closed building (closed doors and windows and no
ventilation pulling air in), wearing a modern N95 mask or respirator, or a World War era gas
mask lowers the difficulty to a normal CON roll. Wearing a modern gas mask provides a bonus
die on a normal CON roll. Combining a mask with being inside a closed building is cumulative,
so wearing a modern gas mask inside gives two bonus die to a normal CON roll. For each failed
CON roll, roll 1D10 on the list below to determine what visions of Carcosa the victim sees woven
into the world around them, then make a Sanity roll based on the result.
● 1-5: Courtiers of the King in Yellow (San Loss: 0/1D3)
● 6-7: Adherents of the Unspeakable Oath (San Loss: 1/1D6)
● 8-9: Byakhee (San Loss: 1/1D6)
● 10: Spawn of Hastur (San Loss: 1D6/2D10)
Anyone going temporarily or indefinitely insane from these visions will tend to have
delusions of seeing the subjects of their visions during the period of their underlying insanity
(and will be subject to Sanity Loss or not, as described on page 162-3 of the Call of Cthulhu 7th
Edition Rule book). Anyone going temporarily insane due to the effects of the miasma gains an
obsession with the King in Yellow and Carcosa. Those going permanently insane effectively
become cultists of Hastur.
Alternative names: The King’s Beath, The Smog of Carcosa.