You may have heard that the strange glyph ETAOIN SHRDLU was an artifact of hot-metal linotype machines, that it was nonsense text that operators would enter after a mistake by running their finger down the keyboard in order to key in a corrected version, sometimes slipping into print as a result of inattentive typesetters.

This is, of course, a lie.

It is writ large in the Codex Malasterium that ETAOIN SHRDLU is one of the 9,999 names of the dread entity many know as Køs the Cruel Star, Baleful Køs, Køs the Lamented. She manifests most often as a great light, shining from the upper atmosphere with cold radiance outpacing the sun, and to be touched by any natural light she has contaminated is to risk madness or death. When she appeared above Korton in the dreamlands eons ago, the people there traded with the Dark itself for relief, in the form of a dusky shadow that shrouds the town to this day.

But what is little-known is that Køs may be summoned into any world simply by writing her name–any of her 9,999 appellations.

No one knows the exact number of times it must be written. Perhaps there is some dread name that will summon her at once. But what is certain is that the Society of Køs snuck one of her names into thousands, millions of printed papers between the 1890s and 1980s. Digital expressions will not work; ink must touch paper.

It is said that, when the technology was discontinued, most of the work had already been done and that only a few hundred thousand instances remain before Køs will appear and rain her horrid light down upon this world. To forestall that, and the erosion of sanity in ordered space that will bring, we beg of you.


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