SCP-701-1 is a humanoid entity that appears in roughly 37% of performances of the The Hanged King's Tragedy, henceforth refered to as SCP-701. It is unknown what causes the mysterious phenomenom that leads to it's summoning, although one researcher, Dr L., believes it to be a typical XK-class invasion scenario. SCP-701-1 is a memetic virus, which has successfully caused the deaths of thousands of lives in the 400 years since the play was written. Events involving SCP-701-1 always follow the same basic pattern, described below.
- 1 to 2 weeks (7 to 14 days) prior to the event (dress rehearsal): Cast members begin to deviate from the published text of the play. Rather than improvisatins, these deviations are both orderly and consistent, as if the actors were working off a new or possibly revised version of the script. The cast and production crew will seem unaware of any change, and - if it is brought to their attention - will state that the play has run that way from the beginning.
- 2 to 3 hours prior to the Event: SCP-701's true effect generally occurs during Opening Night, or else at the production with the greatest planned attendance. This generally means that it will happen within the first week after the play's opening.
- 1 to 2 hours before the Event: SCP-701-1 makes it's first appearance, appearing on stage in the final scene of Act I, generally in the background or to the side of the main action. It may seem to enter or exit the stage area, but does not appear to ever enter the backstage or off-stage area; it simply disappears when not on stage. The cast does not appear to notice or comment on SCP-701-1, at least at first. Keep in mind that 701-1 will appear multiple times leading up to the Event.
- The Event: SCP-701-1 appears fully on stage during the banquet scene in Act V. Here, it will be incorporated into the action of the play as 'the Hanged King.' The cast will either murder each other or commit suicide, sometimes using items that seem to appear spontaneously on stage (or, as in the case of Incident SCP-701-19██-1, items handed to them by 701-1). Rioting breaks out in the audience, with viewers randomly attacking anyone in front of them, regardless of past relationships.
- Following the Event: If any of the audience members survive the initial outbreak, they may exit the performance space, in which case they will continue to engage in random or opportunistic violence. Victims will generally require sedation or restraint in this scenario, with their normal personality beginning to return roughly 24 hours after the event. Survivors will generally exhibit signs consistent with a traumatic experience, although some will have forgotten the event. Others may either be rendered permanently comatose or psychotic.
It should be noted that the incident above is the only known example of 701-1 interacting with the play before the banquet scene.