XIV Adventus Regis
IVNIVS I DCCCXCVII
VI years of safety and prosperity has made the PCs soft and content. With this mindset they vacation with their families to the resort town of Vestalanium in Southern Italia. The resort is run by Gaius Phillipus, a former legionnaire, who does all he can to make the party and their wives and children comfortable. After a day of relaxation and exploring the town they are to join Phillipus on his pleasure barge for dinner and entertainment and tomorrow evening they have the exclusive privilege of be invited to see the latest play by Livius Carbo, Adventus Regis (Arrival of the King). With this happy schedual the placated PCs leave their children at the villa of Phillipus and explore the town with their wives in tow.
In the sprawling town gardens they find a lost little girl who has been repeatedly smashing a dead kitten on a rock while whispering "Mother, there is a stranger in the city." The girl is left with the town's vigilies and the PCs try not to let the event ruin their day. A trip to the town augur, Vettius Dulius Decula, settles their minds as he assures them that the future will only bring success and good fortune.
Next they visit the town baths which are said by Phillipus to be second to none in the empire. During his massage Gaius Severus Commodus discovers, to his horror, that the slave attending to him has been rubbing his skin with her own blood. The slave is taken away, screaming, and the PCs leave the baths.
That night the children watch puppet shows at the villa while their parents board Phillipus' barge meander down the Aufidus river. Minor hull damage causes them to relocate their dinner and entertainment to a hastily erected pavillion. VI hours after sunset the party heads back up the river only to find the town of Vestalanium burning.
The PCs leave their wives with Philipus and set off into the town to rescue their children. What they discover on their way is, quite literally, a town gone mad. Bodies lay bloody and ruined in the streets and mobs roam the alleys looking to murder those who have not yet lost their sanity. In the glare of burning villas fresh graffiti can be read. In yellow paint "The King walks among us", "Rejoice that the last King has returned", and "Magnum Innominandum" marks the way to the villa of Philipus.
Arriving at the villa they find the slaves in a critical state. The children, the slaves explain, were taken by a woman in yellow robes wearing a featureless pallid mask to the arena for an unknown purpose. Quickly mounting the surviving horses in the stable, they ride of to Vestalanium's arena where the play Adventus Regis was preformed.
Fending off attacks by the horrible winged things that serve the Unspeakable One they finally make their way inside the arena to the senatorial box. There they find three men and a woman. The woman and one of the men are prostating themselves before the man laying on a couch as the third man transcribes all that the second man speaks. The second man, the one on the couch, is a horrid figure. He is draped on the couch rather than laying and appears to have no bone in his body. The man-thing rolls his eyes towards the intruding PCs and speaks to them in a voice both audible and in their minds: I HAVE BEEN EXPECTING YOU.
This once man, Etrusicus Superbus Invicti realizes, is an avatar of The King in Yellow: The Boneless One.
Brutal fighting begins between the man and woman and Titus Decius Pullox, Gaius, and Etrusicus but every blow struck on the man seems to heal just as quickly as it is made. Lucius Aemilius Rufus moves to subdue the writer, now assumed to be Livius Carbo, but the playwright rolls up the scroll he has been working on, hands it to one of the winged servants of the Last King and slices his own throat open.
During all this the horrid limp form on the couch simply watches with no trace of annoyance or amusement on its drooping face.
The cultists slain, The Boneless One states that their actions intrigue him but that any further interference will cost them dear. The sun rises and alien entity leaves a ruined corpse in his wake.
The PCs children are found in a storage room with many other children taken from Vestalanium. The childrens minds did not survive their abduction and they gibber and moan and cry hopelessly, their minds shattered by The Unspeakable One.