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|“||For three days the King was hanged. His blood streamed down from the high palace, and seeped into every inch of the city. For three days he struggled and twitched and refused to go out, yet all the sounds he made was drowned out by the laughter of the Ambassador and the applause of his own people. For three days his body grew colder and colder, until it was as dead as the queen deep beneath the castle; until he was but an empty husk, a hole of his previous self.||„|
|~ From "Theology of a Snake".|
|“||He was standing there as the King shrieked and shrieked, as the King crawled back to his throne with maggots and decaying flesh, as the King was offered their blood by the jester, and as the King dropped the cup. The jester was laughing, the Court was laughing, the crowds were laughing, the crows were laughing, and he was laughing with them.
The Dragon was laughing in his brass prison, and he witnessed his mark.
|~ A Alagaddan guard from "The Clock Shall Strike Again".|
The Hanged King, designated as SCP-2264-5, is a powerful being in the universe of the SCP Foundation. He is the monarch of the distant realm of Alagadda and is considered as one of the most powerful entities in the multiverse.
- 1 Biography
- 2 Personality
- 3 Appearance
- 4 Powers and Abilities
- 5 In Other Media
- 6 Gallery
- 7 Trivia
- 8 External Links
- 9 Navigation
Due to the universe of the SCP-Foundation having no official canon, there is also no official origin or biography to the Hanged King. The biography below is composed of several different sources of the SCP-wiki, which can work together, but necessarily do not.
Betrayal, Death & Resurrection
The Hanged King was once the ruler of the city-state of Alagadda, where he governed as a corrupt tyrant, suppressing and exploiting monarchs. He indulged himself in base pleasures and possibly practiced ancient, dark magic from the abyss. At some point the King came into contact with the Brothers Death (or Yaldabaoth depending on canon) and played a game with them, but lost.
Eventually most of the people of Alagadda rebelled against their King, setting his palace on fire and killing all who were loyal to him, including his court jester. The King was captured, and his crown and robes were ripped away from him, replaced with rags and chains. His jaw was then broken and he was forced to crawl through the streets of the city, while being mocked, kicked and pelted with filthy things by his former subjects, who all cheered loudly. In response he only mumbled unholy words, which frightened the people, who in turn cheered louder in order to silence him.
The King was hung outside the city on a hill, and while suffocating to death, he continued to mutter unholy words until he died. He was originally left to hang, to be feasted on by crows and maggots, but as nothing touched the dead body, the people buried him in a shallow grave.
After this, the people started to rob the palace of their former ruler, indulging themselves in his riches.
The next day, the Brothers Death in forms of crows started to gather around the grave of the dead King and strange noises could be heard from beneath the earth, though this was only heard by a homeless man, who was dismissed by the rest of the people. The day after that, the river that flew through the city turned red and started to smell like human blood, and many citizens fell ill, started to bleed and tremble and were bound by chains. Those who stole from the palace suffered the most, growing weak and eventually dying.
On the third day the illness lifted, but the people became suicidal, cutting their faces and slitting their throats, and their blood poured through the city into the red river. Madness spread and most animals save for the crows also fled the city in this time.
On that very same day, having refused to die and having bargained with the souls of others with the Brothers Death, the King rose from his grave and travelled through the city, back to his palace. There he sat down on a throne covered with rusted spikes, which pierced his flesh and brought agony to his soul. Despite the pain, he remained silent for a moment, until the palace began to tremble and the red river boiled. The crows started to circle the city and pecked any surviving subjects to death.
The Hanged King himself was now bound to the seat permanently and his undead court jester approached him, offering a silver chalice of blood from the Brothers, which the King took, but due to his trembling hands, dropped on the floor, spilling the blood which would have completed his resurrection.
This led to the dead throughout the city to rise again, now in twisted, inhumane form, whose faces were covered in masquerade masks. The dead started a continuous carnival through the street, acting like the previous days had just been a play, and depraved acts such as orgies became common place on the streets. The Hanged King himself started to scream at this, but his death had made him unable to make any sounds, which led him to weep in silence.
The Brothers laughed and in their crow forms flew away, though they would always watch over the city. During the King's reign, Alagadda became aware of SCP-3812 and deemed it a threat which needed to be destroyed. However, SCP-3812 retaliated by banishing all of Alagadda from reality and destroying all memory about it, causing the city to become an interdimensional nexus (SCP-2264-B), which could only be accessed by numerous interdimensional entry points called Janus Gate.
During the uprising the scholars and artists had decided to run and left the city before the hanging. Despite their escape, they suffered from nightmares, which showed the new vile form of the city. These dreams would influence them to create works of art, plays or literature based on the Hanged King and the city around him, which would spread his influence and make everyone who views said adaptations accessible to the King.
Life in Alagadda
The Hanged King (now SCP-2264-5) is still stationary within Alagadda, and cannot move. Because of this, he uses SCP-2264-4, also known as The Ambassador of Alagadda, as an mobile agent, who travels throughout the city and the wider multiverse. The Ambassador has traveled as far as Adytum, where he met Grand Karcist Ion. Over eons many have come to the city, either in order to participate in the carnival and/or orgies of the twisted, vaguely humanoid inhabitants or in order seeking the boon of the King.
The Scarlet King
At some point the Hanged King came into contact with the Scarlet King, an even more powerful god, to whom he fell into service, alongside Jeser and Moloch. He came to be known as the The King on the Gallows, He Who Was Hung, who tore down the Tree of Knowledge. The Daevites who primarily worshipped the Scarlet King and his servants also began worshipping the Hanged King.
The Wanderers' Library
The Wanderers' Library (a group associated with the Serpent's Hand) claim the Hanged King to be an "ancient, unknowable thing with more names than the stars". The King once stayed at the library, but during his stay the library became more and more insular and depressive, which lead to a sudden loss of knowledge in the 11th Century. This dark knowledge ended up in the Black Vaults of Alagadda. The vaults served as a dark reflection of the Library which held long forgotten dark knowledge sought by multiple individuals such as the Knight of Flowers and a member of Are We Cool Yet?.
One notable Janus Gate was located in the Martin Tower of the Tower of London, created by Northumberland Lord Henry Percy in the 17th century, which would later be known as SCP-2264-A. Percy's friend, famous playwright Christopher Marlowe traveled through the gate into Alagadda, where the Ambassador would influence the playwright to write "The Hanged King's Tragedy", a five-act Caroline-era revenge tragedy, which would later be known as SCP-701.
The play, when performed, has the chance in triggering an anomalous psychotic events, which always leads to a human sacrifice and mass suicide, killing all performers and parts of the audience. Surviving audience members will go on a murderous rampage for the next 24 hours, before calming down. A hooded figure is also seen during the rehearsals of the play as well as during the play itself, designated as SCP-701-1, who is considered to be the same as the Ambassador of Alagadda.
It is speculated that the plays have so far killed at least ten thousand people, if not more. Henry Percy also tried to stop Christopher Marlowe from publishing the play, though without success.
It is also speculated that the Hanged King is responsible for SCP-2221, an End User License Agreement found over the internet which can only affect people who possesses legal capacity to agree to a contract. Affected individuals, referred to as SCP-2221-A, will undergo several behavioral changes which include increased voter turnout and political activism, increased interest in that person's respective religion and issues of religious identity, while also shifting their religious practices by incorporating nooses to their belief, and violence against alleged criminals.
The Foundation's travel to Alagadda
At some point the SCP Foundation found the Janus Gate (designated as SCP-2264-A) in the Tower of London, and through an alchemic ritual, managed to open a way to the city. The Foundation conducted several missions into the city, with varying results.
Traveling inside the city appears difficult to humans, as concepts of space and time don't seem as fixed as on Earth, and recalling events after returning is also difficult, unless a person was either a lucid dreamer or using hallucinogenics, which could help a little with coordination and memory.
One of the most famous travellers to the city was Dr. Calixto Narváez, who discovered a lot, such as that all spoken language was translated, meaning all beings in Alagadda could communicate with each other, while written language was more complex. Dr. Narváez was deployed two times in Alagadda, and met another traveler there, the Wandsman of Kul-Manas, who warned about the Ambassador and encouraged the doctor to leave before he'd return.
Despite the Wandsman's warnings, Mobile Task Force Psi-9 ("Abyss Gazers") was sent to Alagadda, in order to estimate the threat the city and it's inhabitants could pose to humanity. The Task Force consisted of twelve agents, specialised in Counter Occult Stratagems. After traveling through the city and arriving at the centre, the Palace, they met the Ambassador, who taunted the agents in an arrogant and narcissistic way, forcing the men to "destroy themselves" with it's psychic powers, while laughing in an alien language. The agents suffered both mentally and physically, with bones, organs and muscles being damaged, which led to the death of eleven agents, leaving only one survivor, Alexander Papadopoulos.
Agent Papadopoulos was dragged by the Ambassador through the Palace, meeting the Hanged King himself. According to Papadopoulos that the King's face was hidden beneath a veil, which was then lifted, and the agent described the sight as following:
|“||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.||„|
Agent Papadopoulos was then returned to Earth as a message/warning for the Foundation and an interview was conducted over the event. Over the interview the agent showed a lot of distress and begged to be terminated, which were rejected. The agent was later amputated in order to prevent suicide-attempts.
Further operations to Alaggada have been suspended for the time being.
Marshall, Carter, and Dark
The King, his Ambassador, and the three lords were eventually greeted by Ruprecht Carter, Skitter Marshall, Percival Darke and his apprentice Iris Dark from Marshall, Carter, and Dark Ltd., which was acquainted with the Kingdom. The businessmen offered the Alagaddans the skull of the recently deceased SCP-096 in exchange for some rooms in the palace. After the Hanged King revived 096 into his new servant, the Ambassador was pleased and agreed to give them more liberty in Alagadda.
The Hanged King encompasses Cosmic Horror, so his true motivation and reasoning is beyond human-comprehension. The reason for SCP-701 and it's effects are unknown, and the city of Alagadda appears to be more ideal for higher beings such as the Karcists of Sarkicism.
As SCP-2264-5, agent Papadopoulos describes the King being covered in tattered robes, having hallowed bonds around his corpse-like hands and throat, with pale tendrils slither in and out the tattered robes. There were impish creatures crawling all over the him, caressing his twitching body as if intending comfort while others pulled the tethers that anchored the King even tighter. The face was covered with an veil, and what lied beneath was described as a "god-shaped hole", enough to turn a human insane and suicidal.
Powers and Abilities
The King's true power is unknown, though according to the Wandsman of Kul-Manas, the ancient being known as Yaldabaoth could rival the Hanged King, making him one of the most powerful beings in the multiverse.
He still cannot move away from his palace in Alagadda, having to use the Ambassador to travel across creation, apparently only being able to manifest in the human world through SCP-701.
Despite all this, he was still weaker than the Scarlet King, and for this reason presumably fell to his service.
In Other Media
French musical artist Edward Ikor released on January 5, 2020 a song based on the Hanged King's Tragedy of the same name, which was succeeded by several versions.
- He is based on the various incarnations of Hastur, especially the one from Robert W. Chambers' The King in Yellow. However, the Hanged King coming back to life after three days could also be a parallel to Jesus Christ.
- SCP-4505-265, an oil painting linked to other old anomalous art pieces, depicts the Hanged King by using the appearance of a hanging Jesus Christ.
- Although at first it appears that the Ambassador serves the Hanged King, it becomes evident, especially in the tale "Midnight Parade" that it itself is the true power and ruler of Alagadda and it deliberately keeps the King chained to his throne.
- An entity or entities known as SCP-001 (Kalinin's proposal), turned SCP-701 into a TV show with multiple seasons, allowing the Hanged King to spread it much faster through Earth.
- Li’l Lollipop of Herman Fuller's Circus of the Disquieting once tried to complain to the King that Alagadda wasn't colorful enough.
- When Dr. Robinson of the Foundation and Agents Rodriguez and Tate of America's Secret Service examined SCP-1981 while playing, Ronald Reagan mentioned that his speech was the Hanged King's tribute. It is possible that there is some connection between SCP-1981 and SCP-701.
- Despite being one of the most powerful beings in the multiverse, "There Are No Children In Alagadda" shows that even the King is not as powerful as the beings known as the Pattern Screamers.
Canon SCP Beings
SCPs In Video Games