Horror On The Orient Express
We know from events in Milan, that Umar has had encounter with the cult of the Yellow Sign in the past. During that time he managed to acquire a small book, “The Sermons of Naotalba,” which is what he digs out and consults for his research.
The main purpose, roughly, of the Yellow Sign is the use of madness to unleash human imagination and creativity, towards the goal of founding Carcosa, a sort of New Jerusalem of madness, on the Earth, ruled over by the King in Yellow. It has though, a secondary goal as well: fighting against the one thing the Yellow Sign is truly afraid of…
They call them the Outer Ones. They came to earth from a distant world or realm millions of years ago, and so have haunted the edges not only of human civilization, but of those beings that came before man. They are not colonists or conquerors, but work towards their own purposes.
Usually the Outer Ones are indifferent to human activities, as long as they are not interfered with. On occasion though, they become strangely fascinated with individuals. They will offer great knowledge, power, and above all, immortality, to those that will enter into agreements with them. It is from here that legends of men selling their souls to devils come from.
The cool, unsympathetic, and alien plans of the Outer Ones are innately inimical to the worldview and purposes of the Yellow Sign, so they are fundamentally at odds. Also the other forces and gods that the Outer Ones sometimes serve or worship disturb even those who revere the Yellow King.
Many who have written of the Outer Ones state that they care little for the Earth, that it may be to them no more than a rest point when they travel across their star-spanning empire. Or that it is only a remote mining station where they harvest rare ores. Others within the Yellow Sign whisper that the Outer Ones do have some other great plan or strategy, that there is some upcoming event to prepare for, or perhaps a terrible war that they are arming for. But any who may have uncovered such details have not been left in a mental condition to elaborate.
The system of symbols are not a true language in any normal sense. There are more a way of interacting with the tools and servitors the Outer Ones have created. The mental harmonies and rhythms created by chanting the sounds represented by these symbols can allow others beings besides the Outer Ones to use these works. The “spells”, if one wants to call them that, described in the book, are meant to interfere with the such works, in hopes of thwarting the Outer Ones or their agents. There are strict warning about using this knowledge to attempt to control Outer One tools or energies, but one could ignore those warnings.