Blood was its Avatar and its seal—the redness and the horror of Blood.

Prince Prospero is the dauntless and cold-hearted monarch that held the fabled Masque of the Red Death. He invited one thousand of his "hale and light-hearted friends from among the knights and dames of his court" to join him in a six-month seclusion away from a terrible sickness that raged outside his protected palace, welding the castle gates closed in order to assure that none of the infected could enter his festive domain. For the "Red Death," as the plague was called, had ravaged the countryside, cursing its victims with "sharp pains, and sudden dizziness, and then profuse bleeding at the pores." Without regard for the poor and dying outside, Prospero held a grand masquerade ball for his beautiful friends. Yet, the presence of the Red Death was not to be ignored. "He had come like a thief in the night... and Darkness and Decay and the Red Death held illimitable dominion over all."