Hanged King Declassification

Today we're talking about the Hanged King and the nature of Alagadda as a whole. I'm going to be discussing a few articles that shape out our understanding of it; namely 701, 2264, and 2732. We're also going to be discussing two tales, About the Serpent and And so the Crows Laughed.

So, what is the Hanged King?

We're going to go back to the first HK article, [SCP-701: The Hanged King's Tragedy](http://www.scp-wiki.net/scp-701) by tinwatchman, which I'm sure many people have read. For those of you who haven't (read it, you should), it's a 17th century Elizabethan tragedy that slowly descends into madness each time its performed, culminating with the death of the entire cast and the audience going insane. Lovecraftians might be reminded of the King in Yellow, which this was inspired by.

The main elements of the Hanged King canon aren't in the article proper, however. We'll keep in mind the themes of the article madness, death, and artistry, and move on to the two supplementals. It is worth noting that SCP-701-1, although referred to as the Hanged King in the article, appears to be the Ambassador of Alagadda instead in later documents.

Now, onto [Document SCP-701-1640-B-1](http://www.scp-wiki.net/scp7011640b1), which details the plot of The Hanged King's Tragedy, minus the memetic madness. It's noted for having similarities to Hamlet and Titus Andronicus, and was ironically chosen as a less violent alternative to those two.

The event which kicks off the later events of the Hanged King is the death of Sforza, the previous king. What's of particular interest is not that he was secretly murdered, but how he was hanged after his death.

Wouldn't be a Hanged King without a hanged king, would it?

The other document, [Incident Report SCP-701-19██-1[(http://www.scp-wiki.net/incident-report-scp70119971), details a typical incident of 701 being played at a local high school. While the play starts out perfectly fine, unsettling details start to leak in through the night, starting with the appearance of the Ambassador of Alagadda, who appears to be some sort of originator of the anomalous effects. An Ambassador of a world beyond who brings madness and disdain wherever it appears.

When SCP-701-1 appears on stage again, the whole cast seems to see it, grabbing the actor who plays Gonzalo and forcing him into a noose that drops from above, slowly asphyxiating him.

I'd like to remind everyone that since this is taking place at a highschool, everyone here is a teenager. Fun times.

*1:43:32 – Antonio speaks: “With this, the tribute, in full it is paid.” The actor takes SCP-701-19██-B (the dagger) and draws it across Gonzalo’s stomach, spilling his intestines across the stage.*
*1:44:04 – Alinda takes the dagger from Antonio. She speaks: “With this, fool’s blood, it is the Hanged King’s.” She cuts Antonio’s throat.*

A tribute appears to be owed to the Hanged King, which the Ambassador collects. The document ends with the rest of the cast hanging themselves, and the audience descending into insanity.

What do we take from here? Not much. We're keeping in mind the themes of madness, stagecraft, and death by hanging, and moving onto the next article.


Now we're going on to [SCP-2264: In the Court of Alagadda](http://www.scp-wiki.net/scp-2264), by Metaphysician. As you may have guessed, this is where Alagadda really comes into focus.

SCP-2264-A is a gateway in the Tower of London that when using a special ritual involving representatives of the four humors, opens a portal to 2264-B, AKA Alagadda. Of a particular interest is that later in the article we find out the gate was built by Henry Percy, 9th Earl of Northumberland, a friend of Christopher Marlowe, who was the one who originally wrote SCP-701.

Alagadda is described as similar to a sort of dream state, with individuals skilled in lucid dreaming more capable of navigating. As soon as the task force enters, they all find themselves wearing elaborate carnival clothing and masks that they can't take off. The team encounters an explorer, the Wandsman of Kul-Manas, who warns them about four powerful beings that oversee Alagadda and would be very bad news to encounter.

The Black Lord, Wearer of the Anguished Mask
The White Lord, Wearer of the Diligent Mask
The Yellow Lord, Wearer of the Odious Mask
The Red Lord, Wearer of the Mirthful Mask

We also come across an intriguing bit of court gossip.

*I was informed that the Black Lord was the victim of a political struggle some time ago (the reason never known, if reason existed at all) and cast into some dreadful dimensional backwater.*

Hmm, a powerful masked creature that was exiled into some shitty little dimension. [What does that sound like to you?](http://www.scp-wiki.net/scp-035) Yes, everyone's favorite mask is actually a political exile. Go figure.

The second exploration is much like the first, with them seeking out the Wandsman again, as they figure he's reliable. He tells them that the Ambassador has been off visiting Grand Karcist Ion in Adytum (Metaphysician being the same author who wrote the Sarkicism hub and a ton of lore on it) but is expected to be back shortly, and he doesn't plan on being here when it does come back.

The wandsman also mentions that he's encountered people from earth before, mentioning what appear to be Mr Dark and [SCP-507](http://www.scp-wiki.net/scp-507)

The wandsman senses that the Ambassador has returned, and leaves quickly. The team, taking a hint for once, decides to leave as well.

The Foundation decides to take a third exploration into the city, this time to find the Ambassador and the Hanged King, to see what kind of threat they pose. Because third time's the charm, right? I'm sure everything will go well.

They actually do end up finding the Ambassador. Or it finds them. Their luck seems to run out at that point.

*It stood so damn proud. Just radiating arrogance. I couldn't understand a word it said and yet every syllable dripped with narcissistic venom. It brought a hand to where a mouth should have been… and it laughed and laughed… and then we destroyed ourselves for its amusement.*

One agent survives. The Ambassador takes the agent from room to room in the palace, placing him before the throne, to send a message.

*Please tell me what you saw.*

*A god shaped hole. The barren desolation of a fallen and failed creation. You see the light of long dead stars. Your existence is nothing but an echo of a dying god's screams. The unseen converges. Surrounds you. And it tightens like a noose.*

He saw the Hanged King.


But who exactly is the Hanged King? Let's go to the theater to figure that out.

Keeping in the mind of stagecraft and art, we're going on to [SCP-2732: 《缢王本纪》](http://www.scp-wiki.net/scp-2732) by SunnyClockwork, who also wrote And so the Crows Laughed and About the Serpent.

SCP-2732 is a Beijing opera stage, with a matching booklet (SCP-2732-1) detailing seven different entries all about the same event. When an entry is read out loud near SCP-2731, corresponding props and mannequins will appear on the stage and act out the entry.The entries appear to become more complex as they go on. For example, the fourth entry goes like this.

*In the Kingdom of Ajia, there was a king who hanged himself in the middle of the court. The whole country celebrated this, and exposed his body in the wild. The next day, the king's emissary came. It had no face, but laughed menacingly. The people were greatly shocked, and regarded it as the likes of gods and monsters. They then offered blood sacrifice to the being.*

All the entries appear to be different stories of the Hanged King's creation. For example, Entry 5 appears to detail the King making a deal to cheat death through Yaldaboath, who is called the Mother Dragon in Chinese-style Sarkicism lore. Oddly enough, all the entries seem to disagree on the facts of the case. What exactly happened? We get to number seven, but:

*That day, the Kingdom of Ajia trapped their king. The king hanged himself and died. The whole country celebrated this, and exposed his body in the wild.*
*Three days later, the king's emissary [ILLEGIBLE]*

…Huh. It seems someone spilled ink over this entry. I'm sure it was entirely by accident, and not because, say, this was the actual true entry.

Reading this entry causes another instance, SCP-2732-D, to appear on the stage, lacking limbs and wrapped in black silk. Like in entry 6's performance, the figure is composed of animal meat. However, this one doesn't do anything. It just stands there, looking at whoever started the performance.

They notice that this instance vanish at the end like the rest. Upon examination of the body, its found that the eyes are entirely human, appearing to have belonged to a Han (the largest ethnic group in China) male.

Interesting. What do we take away from this? The King was once a human king from China who was hanged, but managed to escape death through some sort of deal. But we don't quite know why that happened.


We're moving on to our two tales. First, we'll be taking a brief peak at [About the Serpent](http://www.scp-wiki.net/about-the-serpent), at the section labelled About the Kings.

*The King of Ajia once called upon the Great Abyss, summoning the Three Lords of Death, and said: “I wish that I will not die.” The Lords of Death answered: “You may gamble with us.” Thus the king played cards with Yulü, competed in throwing with Yama, and engaged in a chess match with Kshitigarbha, with the royal blood, the citizens, and the animals under his rule as stakes.*

Much like 1440, the King sought immortality through challenging the three Brothers of Death to a game of wits. But unlike the Old Man from Nowhere, the King lost. In return, the brothers took the lives of his court, the commoners, and the livestock. Those who survived were understandably angry at the King and rose up in revolt, trapping him in his palace.

If this is already too long for you, you can stop here and finish the rest of About the Kings, which sums it up pretty well. But why do that? Let's go into [And so the Crows Laughed](http://www.scp-wiki.net/and-so-the-crows-laughed).

The tale talks about how the King was dragged out of his dungeons by his enraged subjects- nobles and commoners and criminals alike, all of them stood cheering as he was paraded through the streets like something less than human.

Everyone but the wise scholars, who picked up their things and ran away as fast as they could. Why was that?

*But even as people spat at him and cursed him, nobody dared to look at him in the eyes. Even with his jaw broken, he murmured unholy words that no one wished to hear. So the crowd shouted and yelled as loud as they could, trying to hide the unsettling feeling stirring their hearts and minds.*

Something dark and powerful had been implanted in the King's soul by the Three Brothers, something that his executioners could sense and that the scholars recognized. Unnerved by the whole thing, they tried to get it over as quickly as possible.

*He did not ask for forgiveness, nor did he curse his rebellious subjects for he knew they had already been cursed. He spoke inhuman words that came from places of dark, and then laughed and laughed until his final breath. Then there was silence, as his hands and feet finally stopped moving.*

Something tells me this isn't his end.

They leave him for the animals to pick clean, but even they don't touch the body. The crows merely circled the body, seeming to laugh at the subjects foolishness. So they took the body down and buried him in a shallow grave, as nobody wanted to stay there any longer. And that was that, and everyone lived happily ever after.

If only. The day after, a homeless man reported that the crows were acting strange around the grave on the hill. Two days after, everyone started to fall deathly ill. The animals fled the city, except for the crows, which seemed to be growing in numbers. The river turned red with blood.

On the third day, the Hanged King rose from his grave.

*He was hanged as a king of men but he came out of that place something else. His body lifeless, but he was not dead as he refused to walk that path, and used souls he had and didn’t have to make the bargain.*

The King bargained away the souls of the remaining subjects in order to return from death. But it didn't seem to work, not quite. Something was missing. He walked through the city and returned to his throne, which had been turned into an instrument of torture and sat upon it, spikes crucifying him onto his throne. It became the centerpoint of his kingdom, transporting the entire city into another dimension.

Alagadda was born.

His court jester, who had previously been killed by the mob, walked again as the Ambassador of Alagadda, and came to his throne clutching a goblet filled with blood.

*“With this, our blood, it is the Hanged King’s.”*

That line again, which we previously saw in SCP-701. A tribute for the Hanged King. The King moves to take it, but his trembling hand spills it on the floor and wastes it.

His subjects rise again, bearing masks in a macabre carnival. Even those lucky few who managed to flee, they remain haunted by nightmares. A thousand poems and dramas are inspired by these nightmares of Alagadda, the unearthly city ruled over by the Hanged King.

He remains not quite dead, not quite alive stuck in a state of half-existence, impaled on his throne. His rule is a hollow one, a city populated only by the dead and the Ambassador. He has sacrificed everything he has for this.

*And so the Crows Laughed.*

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