That Which Remains
The Foremost of Snakes
Chanakaya, the Dancer-with-Swords|
Actia, the Singer-of-Sunlight
|Date of arrival||c. 960 C.E.|
|Owner(s)||Anaconda With Sword|
The Bright-Delver (That Which Remains, The Sea-Singer, The Foremost of Snakes) is the Fourth Hour of the Fansus, created by Anaconda With Sword. She is a God-From-Blood, born of the horrible thing which happened to the Great Serpent in Nowhere. Her aspects are Knock, Secret Histories, and Heart, in decreasing order of importance. She wants everyone to be able to see everything that the Glory and the Occult has to offer, and remain unharmed from it. Like most Hours, she wants the world population to become worshippers. Unlike most Hours, she doesn’t care whether or not the population worships it; it just wants the Mansus to become lively.
While followers of the Cuckoo might consider themselves virtuous people who help the poor and less virtuous become proper citizens, followers of the Bright-Delver are actually concerned with aiding others in a way that helps without sacrificing their happiness. Soup kitchens, free clinics, and other such charitable organizations are often the purview of cultists of the Bright-Delver. It’s not that they’re naive enough to assume that no one will cheat them, it’s that they believe that helping people is more important than punishing those who take advantage of them. In the Mansus proper, amongst the affairs of the Hours, those who take advantage of the Bright-Delver often have the Anaconda to answer to- a punishment which is never worth the crime.
Her tarot card is The Empress.
The Bright-Delver appears often as a colorful sea snake, similar to the blue-lipped sea krait. Her body is covered in chimes, castanets, silks, and other musical instruments and colorful items. She is never silent, and is always dancing to the rhythm she creates. When the Delver chooses to take a human form, she always appears as some sort of dancer in bright and cheery garb.
The Bright-Delver is invoked by artisans and teachers alike, and beloved by anyone who wishes to fill the hearts and minds of others with light. Parents, too, invoke the Delver in hopes that their children will be adored and protected. Those afflicted by curses or wishing to pursue a diplomatic solution without raising their hands also call upon her power.
The People’s Committee for Openings, home to the Charitable: the closest thing to a charitable society for the occult as one gets. It can be difficult to pinpoint members of this cult; they often look just like the average person. Their motto is Together, we rise.
Those who listen to the ceaseless beat of compassion will by graced by the Marks of Kindness, which bring solace to the heart and fill the soul.
- Temptation: Kindness: It has occurred to me that I hold the key to salvation.
- Dedication: Kindness: I have dedicated myself to the betterment of others. I will aid and assist those who suffer, whatever the cost.
- Ascension: Kindness: The Bright-Delver has pressed her snout to my forehead, to open my eyes. I see the light of the Glory and the color of potential within each and every of my fellows. I know this to be the Third Mark.
- Ascension: Kindness: The Fourth Mark has tinted my eyes, and when I bleed, it lights up the deepest darkness. The top of my head feels bare, but now is not the time.
- Ascension: Kindness: Sleeplessness and vitality come with the Fifth Mark. I am followed by waking dreams, even as I soothe pains and bring comfort to those in need. Even when I close my eyes, I still see the world in all its color.
- Ascension: Kindness: The Sixth Mark embraces me, and I feel neither loneliness nor sorrow. My eyes are inhuman, slitted like a serpents and in an ever-changing pattern of colors. The children all recognize me as a protector, and even the most frightened does not fear me.
- The Beat of Love's Drum: A crown sits upon my head, and my feet touch the glittering sands of the Aquarium. Silks and songs and joy follow in the wake of our parade, and even the cruelest denizens of this place leave us in peace. The Bright-Delver's shadow dances in the flickering light of the Glory, and soon she will lead us all to the tops of the waves to see it. Perhaps, one day, I will rise to meet it.
- Coatl: Each feather glitters like a rainbow, and chimes like a silver bell. Let it wrap around your neck or waist, and it could be taken for a gaudy accessory.
- Bookwyrm: Each Bookwyrm has an abundance of wings, and no two have the exact same amount or coloration. Despite that, you can never claim that any one is more aesthetically pleasing than another.
- Librarian: They rifle through your books while idle, recategorizing and reshuffling them. On occasion, you find a new book and a letter on your desk advising you to read it.
Chanakaya, the Dancer-with-Swords
“Now. What horror do we have to end?”
Aspects: , ; Deceiver
Summon an utterly loyal Name of the Bright-Delver: The most faithful agent of the Delver, yet the one she favors so little, still stands guard to ensure his beloved master can dance ever-uninterrupted. Winter might show him a threat that could impede the Delver’s dance, and Heart show you are his friend in standing against it. He comes into being with flashes and lances of multicoloured light glancing off his sabres and twists and spirals and arcs, each action with a militant, beauty like a firework. He finishes his routine and smiles. “I’m sorry for the ostentation. The vīravidyā, it was always my first love.” His sabres dance and shimmer, never quite at ease. Very often you find them carving an almost musical pattern in the air, as he smiles a wistful smile remembering better times, yet one resolute in knowing he did what he had to.
Actia, the Singer-of-Sunlight
"I refuse to let sorrow color the future."
Aspects: , ; Deciever
Actia: The Bright-Delver dances merrily in the depths of the sea, and Actia's fingers dance swiftly in The One Sanctum as she mediates between the Ministers. She uses her voice only to honor her patron with song. It has been said that Actia's curse is that she cannot hear her own song, but she laughs off such words. Actia's hair, teeth, irises, and nails are infused with the light of the Glory. She can be spotted easily in the dark, although her skin is the richness of shadows on a summer's day. She has been seen dancing with the Watchers in The First City, and although she never minds people watching her, no one has ever seen her dance twice.
The Bright-Delver holds her court in the Aquarium, filling the waters with light and music when she passes. Occasionally she can be found wherever the Tail and the Anaconda hold battle, pleading with them to cease or simply entrapping them within her coils until they call a truce. Here, however, she does not hold her court, and will not pay attention to mortals begging for her notice.
- Monastery of the Enlighteners: Once, in another History, the Delver’s influence waxed, and a thousand civilizations sought the light of the Mansus. But other, less benevolent Hours took note. Here, before everything changed, the adepts of the Delver once spread their knowledge and protection throughout the world, in a small monastery, they with open hearts spread knowledge far and wide. It is gone now, but perhaps something remains...
- Charming Castanets ( , ): Anyone can create a compelling rhythm with these. It’s hard to keep your feet from tapping along. But, the Bright-Singer has never needed feet to dance...
- Sweet Scale ( ): When the Bright-Singer makes merry, sometimes she loses a scale in the dance. This one is yours, now.
- Happy Hymn ( : You wrote this! Isn’t it wonderful? Sing, now, and let the world sing with you.
- A Dummy’s Guide to the Occult ( , , , Contentment): If any other group had written this, it might be construed as an insult. But the People’s Committee for Openings is as close to an occult charitable society as one gets. Intended for mass consumption, one could almost read this to one’s children. It achieved brief literary success before the Suppression Bureau finally decided it was dangerous and removed it.
- Two Beings ( , Contentment): A fable written in the style of a children’s story about a squid and a reptile, and the friendship they share. The illustrations are typical of books written by the People’s Committee for Openings.
- The House of Kigyo ( , Contentment): The first of the works of acclaimed filmmaker Oskar Musat to be shut down, this short film still makes its rounds among certain circles with critical acclaim. Occult over popcorn, anybody?
- The Uncountable Habits of Continually Sane Cultists ( , , , Contentment): The Committee advises with large bold letters reading this book BEFORE any more what it calls delicately ‘Advanced’ texts. It is written by the pseudonymous ‘Joanna the Sane’, who in a jovial manner describes the do’s and don’ts of not falling into insanity, despair, or omnicidal mania.
- Apologies about Necessities ( ): A lyric sequence explaining certain actions to an unnamed Mistress, begging her understanding and forgiveness for them. In Sanskrit.
- The Architeuthian: The Bright-Delver shares the Aquarium with the Architeuthain, and occasionally cajoles him to act with more mercy.
- The Caladrius: A relatively good relationship-while the Caladrius can often go too far in their attempts, both Hours are altruistic beings related to knowledge. The Bright-Delver often restrains them from going too quickly towards amputation or mutation.
- The Anaconda: The Bright-Delver affectionately calls this Hour sibling, and begs it to be loving and kind to all, especially the Tail.
- Snake Tail with Appendages: The Bright-Delver affectionately calls this Hour sibling, and begs it to be loving and kind to all, especially the Anaconda.
- The Engine of Cycles: The one Hour with which the Delver has, albeit reluctantly, gone to war with.
- The Peacock: The Delver competes with this Hour to teach the Mendicant how to be a proper Hour. She holds no grudge against the Peacock, but does wish he wouldn't be so gruesome.
- The Elder Sister: The Delver finds this Hour to be selfish and cruel, but has hope that she'll change for the better.
- The Harvester: Considered to be a piece of the Engine, and the same opinion applied to it.
- The Aged Bones: The Aged Bones ascended from the First History, that History which the Delver shaped the course of. The Delver herself is deeply proud of this Hour despite Architeuthian being the patron instead.
- The Mendicant Without: The Delver interceded on the Mendicant's behalf to prevent its death by Anaconda, and is doing her best to teach it how to be a proper Hour.
- The Ferryman: If the plan the Mendicant has suggested succeeds, this Hour is the first on Delver's list of enemies to mortals.
- The Great Serpent: The Great Serpent spawned the Bright-Delver, and she often refers to it as her father. She is ambivalent about bringing her father back to the Fansus, however.