The Butterfly Hatching
|The Butterfly Hatching|
The Butterfly Hatching|
|Date of arrival||Has always been here.|
Its tarot card was Chariot for progress and a commitment to advancement.
The Butterfly took the form of a small orange butterfly, almost comically small in contrast to its wild power and volatile nature. Alternatively she took the form of a pillar of hardened amber, with something suspended within. Always cracking, always squirming, but never quite managing to break.
The Butterfly Hatching was the Hour of revelation, openings, and keeper of the horrible truths beneath the world's skin. Where her sibling the Ferryman would sequester its possessions and secrets into its domain, the Butterfly ever was obsessed with casting off facades, breaking down barriers, and laying plain the terrible state of the world.
The Butterfly was not merely an Hour of destruction however. The opened one was also a patron of natural beauty, self sacrifice, and honesty. Just as one cannot be totally self absorbed and deceitful, one cannot be totally thoughtless and guileless. In the early days of the Mansus, the Spider and Butterfly enjoyed a strange symbiosis that maintained balance over the principle of opening.
This delicate balance however eventually unraveled with the laying of the world's skin, separating the occult world from the realm of mortals. Humanity chose to trade its immortality to the Dolomedes, founding the principles of organized summoning and portalcraft from the spider's more subtle, less volatile principles. Stubborn as her sibling, the Butterfly continued to go where she willed, breaking through the world's skin in the process. These tears in reality eventually grew in size and number until they called out to Nowhere, necessitating the Butterfly's silencing and imprisonment to mitigate the damage.
The Cult of the Butterfly was a primal thing. Although still in its infancy when its goddess was taken from it, the ancient faith was notable for its graphic practices and lurid rites. The cult recruited openly from the public, drawing in prospective initiates with forbidden knowledge and the lure of glimpses of the truth beneath the world's skin. The group celebrated both the grotesque and the beautiful in equal measure, believing that one could not exist without the other to give it meaning, and that the truest splendors transcended mankind's limited sensibilities.
Surviving for a time after the establishment of the World's Skin, the Cult did the Butterfly's work by opening Ways between the world through which her brood and herself might more easily emerge onto it. Religious sacraments centered around themes of self-harm and the mortification of the flesh. It was believed that the well-being of their "current" bodies was a secondary concern compared to strengthening the spirit to withstand the transformation to the next form.
Following the loss of the Butterfly, the foundations of their doctrine and religious iconography were appropriated by the Apple of the Eye in order to subsume their ranks into her own cult. Their rites, drawing on the Butterfly's powers of Breaking and Violent Opening inherently posed a danger to the health of the Skin and the fabric of reality, and were quietly suppressed out of existence with the exception of one.
The Marks of the Imago were the blessings the Butterfly bestowed upon her followers. Firstly the body's eyes and openings would being to exude a faint yellow light. Then, the body would being to squirm with the Butterfly's power, with living things being able to be felt by the host just beneath the surface. Finally the skin would tighten as the body beneath it swelled and twisted with power, glowing cracks forming and insectoid beings being visible struggling to break free.
The Butterfly ever was a creature in search of revelation and forbidden knowledge. The aspirant would have to expose themselves to new, terrifying knowledge to keep the power contained within them appeased enough to refrain from bursting forth of their own accord. Alternatively, the insects could be... sated with offerings of flesh. In the case of a failed ascension the occultist would burst, freeing a swarm of otherworldly insects into the waking world. In the case of a successful ascension, the occultist would emerge from their own ruined skin a new being, a chitinous creature of horrific beauty.
The Moon- The realm of the Dead is the Butterfly's final resting place. Sealed deep within the core of the floating satellite of Mansus-rock, wound tightly with spider silk and entombed alive, the Butterfly is scarcely able to move, let alone use her power to escape. It is only with significant outside intervention that she is able to affect the Histories now, and even then to a greatly lessened degree than she once could.
The Second History-