Prince Prospero is introduced. A plague called the Red Death is killing everyone off.
Prospero believes that if he locks himself away, he can't catch the red death. He gathers up 1000 of his friends and locks everyone away in his castle. He decides to throw a big party.
Prince Prospero has decorated 7 rooms for the party, all marked by a different color. The last room is all black with blood-red windows and nobody enters it. In this room is an ebony clock that strikes every hour, on the hour.
As the party is going on and right before the clock strikes midnight, a mysterious guest appears dressed as a plague victim.