In the Court of the Crimson King
|In the Court of the Crimson King|
|Part of Crouching Dragon, Hidden Tiger|
|The Court of the Crimson King|
|Casualties and losses|
Having earned trust from the Red Children, the runners of ShadowHaven are invited to seek the Court of the Crimson King, a mysterious location in cyberspace.
Before the events of Hast Thou Considered the Tetrapod?, Scarlet the Oracle agreed to reveal more information about the Red Children if runners could "seek the Court of the Crimson King." Night Claws was eager for information and agreed; a new decker named Quickdraw agreed to come along as well.
A perfectly unassuming host icon sat waiting. It refused entry to anyone not running in hot-sim VR.
Not understanding the dream-like logic of the bizarre host, Night Claws and Quickdraw struggled to make any progress. They relied on their knowledge of host architecture and matrix design as well as intuitive interactions with the fantasy iconography to progress.
The two appeared in a pitch-black area with a starry night sky overhead, low gravity and no air. On the ground were rusty chains and cages in which free sprites attempted to communicate they were in mourning for something and sought the sun. After some faffing about, Quickdraw located the sun, which was a physics object, and edited its location to be nearby. The sunlight dissolved the chains and cages, opening up the gateway into the foundation.
Inside, the two found themselves in a fantasy city of towers made of red clay and red sandstone. A procession made of a choir and a piper marched down the main street toward a coliseum, where a man with a giant key ring had locked up all but one of the doors, which was guarded by two spearmen. Night Claws and Quickdraw failed to convince the spearmen to let them in, but they did note the approach of the Black Queen, whose funerary chant marked the beginning of a ritual in which the two were told they needed to summon the fire witch Scarlet. Quickdraw correctly rang a nearby brass bell, summoning Scarlet, who teleported them to a coastline, where they boarded a ship with prismatic sails after a strange conversation with a gardener.
On the ship were a jester, who offered fruit and a pit orchestra, but no helmsman. Fortunately, Night Claws was strangely adept at manning the helm, and sailed the ship for an isle on which stood a red stone castle. Once there, a group of wise men told jokes, and were sufficiently impressed by Quick Draw's wit that they invited him and Night Claws to draw from their deck of tarot cards, which was missing the Emperor. It was a trick the whole time, and the jester disavowed any knowledge but led them inside by a marionette dance.
King Crimson awarded a file with the band King Crimson's entire discography. The Red Children were impressed with the pair's efforts. Scarlet prophesied, "The Tiger will make its move soon. The dragon crouches in the shadows."
- 2 faction rep: Red Children