|“||Your modern life is a lie. It's full of false happiness, leisure, and comfort. The only true way to live is to suffer under hardship. Only then, under perfect pain and persecution, you will understand how to live again.||„|
|“||The Scarlet King used to be something very different. He wasn't a monarch, and he wasn't always red. He was the whisper on the wind that kept the peasants working, staring up in fear of his righteous famine. He was that inborn knowledge of a world of gods and demons which belied human agency and existed beyond us. He was the cold hunger of a famine that had no rhyme and reason but the cold apathy of a supernatural beyond us. And, given enough belief, he could be the Devourer, too. He is a creature of truth.||„|
|— Dipesh Spivak|
He is an ancient and demonic god who is untold amounts of eons old and is the son of the Darkness. He is often tied to the end of the existence itself. The Scarlet King has no true form. His mission is to spread worldwide destruction and destroy all of existence itself which makes him the enemy of many beings, like God, The Darkness, Death, Khaos, the Primordials, and many other beings.
The SCP Foundation views him as one of the most dangerous beings in multiverse. The Scarlet King is an eldritch god formed as the manifestation of the tension between the modern world and the pre-modern world and the rage it creates. In its eldritch god form, the king is consistently described as being red in color and wearing a crown or similar items associated with or signifying royalty
The King is more akin to a living meme than an individual entity; in effect, he is the idea of nihilism and a force of chaos, and can assimilate an entity thought to be him into an aspect of himself.
Dr. Simon Kells describes looking at the King as being "like staring at a Pattern Screamer only more hollow".
The seven brides and their seals are referred as following:
- A'tivik (vaduk/dominion)
- A'ghor (kifenn/longing)
- A'distat (hezhum/desolation)
- A'zieb (ba/wrath)
- A'nuht (ner/lack)
- A'tellif (usheq/hidden)
- A'habbat (xokib/hope)
The Scarlet King has gathered many followers, among them other gods, among them were Jeser, Goran, Moloch, and the Hanged King.
Humans also follow the King, most notably the savage Daevites and the Children of the Scarlet King, a "Satanic" cult which poses as an American right-wing Millenialist fire-and-brimstone Christian church. The group consist of 8000 actual cultists, and about 60,000 Christians, who unknowingly serve the interests of the inner circle. The cult has also wealthy benefactors.
Artists often draw him as a classical Devil-like figure with antlers, sometimes having also tendrils/tentacles coming from his body, likely a reference of his Lovecraftian inspiration. He is also often depicted with eyes on his chest.
His fist are described as massive and gnarled, holding the chains of his consorts and concubines. The same fists could effortlessly smash a man's throat. The King's voice is described as similar to "the chittering of a billion infinitesimal insects", and swirling and constantly moving. His voice also was neither "high nor low nor cacophonous nor methodical", simply just being.
Dr. Simon Kells describes looking at the King as being "like staring at a Pattern Screamer only more hollow". It is said that he looks similar to countless entities, with some being: The Devil, Abaddon, Typhon, Chernobog, The King in Yellow, and Nyarlathotep.
Powers & Abilities
The Scarlet King's true power is unknown, though he can conquer and destroy entire worlds and civilizations, and threaten other low elder gods. For regular humans his true power is presumably beyond comprehension.
The Howling of the Wind
|“||Seven girls taken away by raiders in the cold, as the wind demon howled and howled.||„|
|— Dipesh Spivak|
A battle that would later be key in defining the Scarlet King was fought in a blackened wasteland between a group of peasants and an obscure steppe tribe fielding a horde of conscripted soldiers. Both sides were starving, with the wind screaming at them. The peasants pleaded, begged and prayed to the horde, some of whom laughed or cheered, while others wept. During the battle, seven peasant brides were ripped from the fields and taken as spoils of war.
Some of the tension between pre-modern and modern that would shape the Scarlet King arose in South-East Asia as it was colonized and westernized by the British Empire. The British defined and categorized many of the Asian cultural beliefs and practices, causing rage amongst the natives, and as part of this the concept that would become the Scarlet King became more defined as well, although this did not please it.
Formation of the Foundation
|“||Modernity helped shape him, defined the contours of his rage, but it was when modernity started interfering in his kingdom that he was crystallised. Modernity in the form of you.||„|
|— Dipesh Spivak|
Originally it existed as the concept of there being something greater than man, such as gods or the supernatural, that could not be controlled or reasoned with. The concept was linked into the howling of the wind, and the uncertainty of starvation and famine. This concept was then shaped by the encroachment of modernity into the old world and the clash between the two.
The Scarlet King solidified into a sentient entity after it was defined as such by the SCP Foundation, following the group's supposed creation in the 1820s. As it became real, so too did a history of its existence reaching back to the Dawn of Creation, altering history to include it.
Dust and Blood
In the time when Multiverse was made, all things were given form. Even the deep waters of the Darkness took shape and form, and many old gods were born of them. Of these gods, whose names are oft forgotten, there was Khahrahk. Khahrahk was not great upon his formation: in truth he was small. He crawled around in the darkness of the abyss, but unlike his brothers and sisters, he knew himself and knew the abyss. So blessed and cursed by awareness, he felt pain and loneliness, and looked beyond the depths: but the thought of the light and the shade pained him more. Existence was pain, and he would have no part of it. It would be better to not exist. It would be better for all things not to exist.
Upon this vow, he consumed his brothers and sisters, and grew strong on their essences. This act, this first sin of Khahrahk, caused him greater pain as he himself grew greater. He grew blind by his pain. So great was his spite and so absolute his hate, that he cursed the Creation and its Creator, and vowed to destroy the Multiverse and all that it supported it. He clawed his way up to his throne on the bones of his fellow gods in those dark aeons. Many other gods born of the Darkness Below died in these times, or chose to leave those shadowed realms to work within Creation. Those that remained grew old and powerful, but they were bound in subjugation under Khahrahk.
When there were no more gods to subjugate in the lower realms, Khahrahk declared himself King of the Darkness Below, and took the name Khnith-hgor, and set the boundaries of his kingdom. This kingdom he built to bring utter despair to those who lived among the Multiverse and its roots and branches, to share his pain with all of Creation as he destroyed it. He diverted many souls to his realm, delivering pain untold upon them as they were stayed from their true rest. With the borders of his realm set down, the King declared his war. His servants, and there were many, those birthed of the Darkness Below or those that had fallen to the King’s service, surged out of his kingdom, and there was war with Creation. This war continues to this day, and shall not end until the end of all things.
Of the gods the King had subjugated, Sanna was considered to be the wisest and most beautiful. She had not remained in the King’s realm willingly, but her escape had been prevented by circumstance. She obeyed the king with her words, but not with her soul, and for this goodness she is mourned. With the war declared, the King took Sanna by force, and lay with her for seven days and seven nights, until she was broken beneath the King. When this was completed, he rose in her blood, and was from then on known as Shormaush Urdal - the Scarlet King.
Seven children were born of Sanna, seven daughters of the Scarlet King emerging from her broken womb. The King saw this, and took them by force to be his brides. Upon the seven brides the King put seven seals, so that they might never die as Sanna had died. With them, the King gave rise to seven ranks of abominations, seven orders of Leviathans, who became his most beloved servants, who march at the front of his war.
The seven brides sealed forever, the legions of their children spread out, and added their strength to the war. Worlds that had resisted the dark gods of the King fell under the weight of ceaseless assault. The roots of the multiverse rotted, festered with the King’s spawn. The Ways became treacherous and poisoned, to where travel could only be made by the blessed, the brave, and the mad. The King’s realm grew fat with damned souls, and the Places of Rest waned in strength: Few souls managed to escape that fate, but even in death many still fought.
Many gods fell to the service of the King: The grinding machinery of the Factory, who consumed all, leant its mindless strength in blood and steel. The Hanged King tore at the Multiverse’s knowledge from within. Jeser warped the wills of mortals, and Moloch the Horned One brought forth their shame. Many more whose names have been erased also served. The King’s many mortal servants recreated the establishment of his line in living effigy.
It shall not be said that the King was unopposed in his conquests. Many gods and heroes among mortals struck back at the invasions of their worlds, serving under countless banners. But they fell, in time, and their ages are past, and they are as blood and dust. The King and his armies approach the Taproots, the center worlds, in all his wrath, and all his hate, and all his spite. He reaches out to corrupt and consume and destroy. Even now his presence is felt. Time slips away. The heroes are gone. The children of A’habbat have been slaughtered to the last. The King’s servants are already here, making straight the path for his arrival.
High above, the brothers of Death watch the war unfold, hovering over the depths. As they always have. They know the outcome of the war, for they are the end of all things, but they do not speak of it.
Beneath Two Trees
Nahash, who guarded the Tree of Knowledge and knew the secrets of deep magic, had looked to the East, and saw in those regions a brewing shadow. A new power was rising within an ancient kingdom, a power that swallowed all in its path. Old gods had been uncovered, and all their terrible rites now knew public practice. Most horrible of all, the Serpent saw the Scarlet King rising from the depths of the Abyss, rising to consume all of creation. The Serpent saw this, and, frightened at how the All-Mighty could permit such a thing to exist, then acted of his own will. He wished to strike first, to cut down the shadow of the Daevas before it could spread too far, to cut off the reaching hands of the Scarlet King before they could spread their foul influence further.
The Serpent approached Hawwah, for she was wiser than her husband, and spoke to her of the dangers to the east, and of the greatest gifts of the Tree of Knowledge that might be used against the Daevas. But she refused the gifts, for she could see the cost that would come of it. The Serpent spoke then to Qayin, warning him of the shadow in the east and revealing the secret knowledge to him, teaching him the most powerful magics and potent spells. He was to lead the march against the shadow in the east.
This knowledge proved to be too great a burden for Qayin to bear: in truth, it would be too great a burden for many of the gods. Qayin’s mind frayed under the strain of his hidden knowledge, and he lost that which he had once possessed, the eyes of a child and an uncovered spirit. He became withdrawn, eating little and sleeping less, and was filled with despair at the torment he now knew. His brother Hevel, at the urging of their mother Hawwah, spoke to him on this. An argument broke out over innocent words, rising in intensity until, in a fit of rage, Qayin struck down his brother Hevel with a stone. Adam could not bear to see his second son killed. Qayin was banished from the valley, cursed, and left to wander in the desert.
Hevel’s spirit returned to his body after five days, for in those days the perilous Ways between the lands of the living and the lands of the dead could still be walked by the heroes of men. But his return was not met with rejoicing; he remained distant from his family and friends, and was of dark demeanor. The entire People, seeing that their future chief banished and their champion now trapped by despair, and hearing rumors to the east of the Daevas growing ever stronger and reaching ever further west, cried out in pain.
When the shadow of the Daevas could no longer be ignored, Hevel took up his sword, and went east. There he fought the Daevas for three and thirty years, until he was heard of no more. Set too made actions of his own, building mighty bulwarks and defenses around the valley out of Hahkama’s copper servants, and raising from the People an army to defend their home.
Years passed, and news of a great army from the east emerged, a final army, sent out to conquer the entire west, and at its head was the Butcher, Ab-Leshal, fiercest of the Daevite generals, endowed with frightening strength and terrifying sorceries. Many of the People fled, scattering themselves to the wind and the mercy of the outside,
Qayin, hearing of the doom that was to come to the People, returned to his home, and was met there by the Butcher. Here, Qayin saw with horror that Ab-Leshal was in truth his brother Hevel, who in vanity had sworn himself to the dark gods of the Daevas and drunk deep of their black magics. Qayin once more took up a stone to slay his brother, and for this Ab-Leshal tore off his arms, first the right, and then the left.
Ab-Leshal then set upon the valley and the People with his legions and sorceries and war-beasts, and all the might of the Daevas was shown. The People were slaughtered, even the elder Adam and Hawwah. Hakhama, the Voice Who Spoke For God, was shattered, her body broken and looted. The Tree of Life stolen away, and the Tree of Knowledge set to flame. Nahash the Serpent fled, first to the space-tower at Babel, and later on to the Library, where he remained in penance for his part in these things. The garden in the desert was reduced to ash, and those who were not killed were placed in chains, led back to the slave pits of the Daevas.
Set, forgotten by all, remained, protected by the last of his shattered defenses, and watched the ashes cool. He saw ahead the destruction of the world, and the victory of the Scarlet King, looming as if clouds on the horizon. And he was greatly afraid. Set prayed for hope, and he was answered. He was shown the path the future would take. There was to be a Flood, until such a time when the Scarlet King might truly be destroyed. A period of safety within Yesod, where magic was hidden, and the King was trapped in his hellish realms. The war would be fought in secret, until such secrecy was no longer needed.
By the instructions set before him, Set gathered thirty-six men and women to him, and established of them an order, forever hidden. In absolute humility would they serve the world, passing their mantles from one generation to the next in secret, unknown even to themselves, until the end of all things. They would be the ones to set the world right. The Thirty-Six scattered to distant nations, and there they waited, as doom came to Daevon in the east.
Ab-Leshal had returned in triumph, but it was not to last. That part of him which was Hevel, who had played in the shadow of the Trees, who had loved his brothers and protected the People, still lived in his blackened soul, and this drove him mad. He struck back against the Daevas whom had enslaved him, and with rage and fury cut down their idols, and slaughtered their priest-kings, and brought ruin to their city. The god Moloch, the Horned King Crowned in Shame, stood to face Hevel-Ab-Leshal, and he too was defeated, rendered a sickly shade of his own power. Elsewhere, the subjugated peoples of the world, who saw the end that was at hand, struck back at the Daevas, to sow the world with Daevite blood.
Hevel, son of Adam, who had cast down the gods of Daevon, raised his voice in challenge to the Scarlet King. And the Scarlet King answered him. Hevel, son of Adam, took up his sword, and the floodgates of the sky opened up with a Flood that would wipe time itself clean. And in doing so, the All-Mighty called upon the world, for the first time since the Word was spoken. The King was thrown and trapped in the Pit of Megiddo, and the world was called upon to witness.
The SCP Foundation was able to neutralize or destroy the first six brides, but the seventh—the strongest—had yet to be born. Her name is SCP-231-7 and is prevented from existing by using Procedure 110-Montuak, developed by Robert Montauk, a scientist.
What the procedure actually involves is unknown, but it is heavily implied that it involves brutal acts of violence, such as rape and torture, in order to keep the Leviathan away. The seventh daughter gave birth to SCP-999 after O5 ordered to stop Procedure 110-Montuak. 999 is now believed to be the only thing to be able to defeat his father/grandfather.
Iteration 5 of SCP-2317 claims that the Scarlet King is the untold horror imprisoned inside SCP-2317, a salt desert-dimension locked behind a 19th-century wooden door. In Iteration 6 it is revealed that the entity is actually SCP-2317-K, Devourer of Worlds or Dread Devourer, an Apollyon-level Devourer entity that will enter the Foundation's reality within 30 years or so.
The O5 counsel are surprisingly apathetic to the Devourer's inevitable attack, as several other SCP entities are projected to destroy the world in the meantime, and consider maintaining staff morale to be more important than fruitless attempts to re-imprison the Devourer. Thus, the myth of the Scarlet King was created, alongside a fake ritual, Procedure 220-Calabasas, which can supposedly "appease" the entity.
Myths and Legends
Whether the Scarlet King truly exists and whether SCP-2317 is worthy of that title is left as an exercise for the reader, as the universe of the SCP-Foundation has no true canon. Some writers treat them as one in the same, while others claim the Dread Devourer is even more powerful than the Scarlet King.
|“||There are legends, myths, rumors about a demon king who are the dark whispers in between the winds. She doesn't know if this is true, or what the price for what she's about to ask would be. All that she knows is that she's desperate. And people always said that desperate people are always willing to make the stupidest choices.||„|
|— "Biography" of the Scarlet King's past summoner|
|“||You know now what the Scarlet King is. He is a creation of swirling anomalies, of so many different times, all over the world. He is the memory of a world that is lost, the premodern world, made manifest in a form of hatred for modernity, the new, the humanism and smiling coldness that marks our day to day existence. Forged from a perfect balance of irreconcilable anomalies and our breaking minds. He is an entity created by this overwhelming, unavoidable tension. Of the howl of the old world when faced with a cold, grey, purposeless new. He is the revenge of our fallen past. He is the idea of the ancient in a world which discards and fetishes it.||„|
|— Dipesh Spivak|
- It has been hinted that instead of working against the Scarlet King, they may be unwittingly or even knowingly playing right into his hands. If this is true, that is presumably why at one point, the O5-Council decided to stop the Protocol, which resulted in the birth of SCP-999. 999 is described as a being that can cure depression and PTSD. As the Scarlet King's background is tragic due to being born aware and possibly suffering from some sort of existential crisis, the O5-Council plans to defeat him "with light and love and laughter that can brighten the blackest of hearts".
- The Scarlet King is often theorized to possibly be the true or final stage of SCP-2317, an untold horror that even the SCP Foundation has difficulty containing and documenting. Since even foundation doesn't know, it is ultimately up to the people to believe if SCP-2317 and the Scarlet King are one and the same. However, writer of 2317's article personally believes that it and the Scarlet King are completely separate entities.
- SCP-3806-A claims that Yaldabaoth and the Scarlet King are known to snatch human souls in the astral plane.
- His followers, The Children of the Scarlet King, could possibly have a tie with Sarkicism, as their rituals have some things in common such as human sacrifice, mutilation, "sex magic", thaumaturgy and the overall worship of an higher being. The Foundation though never has discovered a proper connection.
- This is probably because Sarkicism comes from the original worshippers of the Scarlet King, the Daevites who had rituals similar to the Children of the Scarlet King.
- The Global Occult Coalition refers to the Scarlet King as "PTE-616-Mendes-Ex-Machina".
- It is unknown who the other children of the Scarlet King and SCP-231 are, candidates for the possible children include SCP-017, SCP-035, SCP-040, SCP-049, SCP-053, SCP-055, SCP-058, SCP-096, SCP-105, SCP-106, SCP-169, SCP-239, SCP-293, SCP-447, SCP-1504, SCP-1879-2, SCP-2030-1, SCP-2774-A, SCP-4666, SCP-4715, Dr. Clef, and Dr. Montauk.