The Great Serpent
|The Great Serpent|
|Origin||Blood or Flesh|
The Great Serpent|
The First Snake
|Names||The Anaconda (former)|
|Date of arrival||Unknown|
|Owner(s)||Anaconda With Sword|
The Great Serpent (The First Snake, The Sea-Dragon, The Appendage-Shedder, The Door-Key) was the Twenty-Second Hour of the Fansus, created by Anaconda With Sword. It was a God-From-Light, the first to descend from the Glory into the Fansus. Its aspects were Lantern, Knock, and Secret Histories, in decreasing order of importance. While it was alive, it delighted in exploring both the world and the Fansus, and wanted nothing more than to be able to discover new things forever. Outside of explorations, it was a lazy Hour, and often delegated items of lesser interest to its Names wherever possible. The free reign it gave its Names and Long made it an Hour of interest to those which wanted to become Hours in their own rights, although its mercurial interest resulted in very few of its Long ever becoming Names.
As the most powerful Hour in the Fansus in its time, it often took up the role of peacekeeper in conflicts, as well as restraining the more ambitious and destructive Hours when they wished to enact their will upon mortals. It was rarely recorded as ever having engaged in battles, although on the few occasions in which it did it was said to have utterly annihilated all opposition. The Great Serpent's power was said to be so great, that it is now speculated that an Hour slain by it would be so thoroughly destroyed there would be no remains left to go Nowhere. With the Ignition, those rumors have died out, as no one really wants to consider the Great Serpent to have integrated those Hours it had to kill.
Its tarot card was The World.
The Great Serpent was a tremendous snake with glowing scales. It was not clear which color it had, as the light it shed was an intensity so painful that no one could look at it very long. It typically wore a crown or other symbol of rulership, although in its whimsy it was rarely seen with the same design twice. It kept its Court with it only so long as they could keep up with it. Those who could had the privilege of the attention of the ruler of the Fansus, if they so wished to utilize it.
The Great Serpent was the removal of doors by the rightful owner of the world, the delight in discovering new things and rediscovering that which it had made previously, the whimsical patron and the easygoing ruler. It was invoked as a symbol of mastery, but also in aid of discoverers and teachers, as well as those who believed that obstacles were keeping them from their rightful goals. However, the Great Serpent was a whimsical Hour, and never reliably responded to any invocations. Indeed, it occasionally responded to invocations not meant for it, although it could never be denied.
Many grasped for the attention of the Great Serpent, but few received it, and fewer could keep it for long. Those who ascended often did so while working on their own as occultists, and not with the support of a cult. In contemporary times, there are some who still worship the Great Serpent, but most have accepted that it will not be returning, and have changed their devotions to focus on other Hours.
The Marks of the Great Serpent often reflected the one who was ascending. Some changed for the worse, and some changed for the better. Those who had particularly interesting Marks often garnered the attention of the Great Serpent itself, moreso than when the ascending had called upon it for patronage. Although the Anaconda is a well-known Name of the Great Serpent, it seems that becoming a serpent upon ascension was an outlying result.
- Wani: The Wani is a wide-mouthed creature, each scale a razor-edged tooth. It slips like silk through the water, or through flesh.
The Anaconda and The Vizier were Names of the Great Serpent before they became Hours. The Deceiver andThe Deceiver were also former Names of this Hour before the Deceiver was born. It is dreadfully difficult to find any records of their summonings during their periods as Names, and at least the Vizier seems to have been too busy to be summoned at all.
The Fansus was known as the House of the Snake, and it explored its house with great zeal. As no corners of the Fansus were unknown to it by the time of the Segmenting, traces of it had been left all over. After the War of the Doors, however, many traces of the Great Serpent have been twisted or erased, and only rarely does a dreamer come across those which remain.
- Sinuous Story ( , Fascination): A twisted tale of a twisted tail, and the star sought. In Vak.
- The Aged Bones: The Segmenting of the Great Serpent was the catalyst which allowed the Aged Bones to ascend to Hourhood. Prior to her ascension, the Great Serpent itself would visit, curious about the Architeuthian's protege and horrified by what it perceived to be the living hell she consigned herself to.
- The Caladrius: A fellow God-From-Light. The Great Serpent similarly never quite understood the mortals and their silly little habits. It viewed the Caladrius' determination as an excellent trait, although it couldn't comprehend doing one thing forever. Still, it never did anything meant to hurt this Hour.
- The Bright-Delver: The Delver is a remnant of the Great Serpent and its ill-advised venture into Nowhere. She has her father's whimsy and delight, with none of its dangerous traits.
- The Architeuthian: The Great Serpent thinks mortals are interesting, for all that they are tiny and petty. It delighted in the Architeuthian's ascent to Hourhood, because it would see a new side of humanity. That delight soured quickly as the Architeuthian displayed dislike of the Spark, and resulted in this Hour being stubbornly ignored in the years prior to the Architeuthian's patronage of the Aged Bones.
- The Engine of Cycles: The Ignition happened centuries after the Segmenting, and thus the Great Serpent has never known this Hour.
- The Vizier: The Great Serpent was a patron of the Vizier from Long to Name. Its disappearance was what instigated the Vizier's ascension to Hourhood. As a Name of the Great Serpent, the Vizier oversaw the bureaucracy and management of the Fansus, something which the Great Serpent neither had the aptitude nor the attention span for.
- The Harvester: The Ignition happened centuries after the Segmenting, and thus the Great Serpent has never known this Hour.
- The Watcher in the Window: A fellow God-From-Light. The Great Serpent surely would know what the Watcher in the Window was before, if it had ever been anything other than what it was. Like all its "siblings," the Great Serpent never intended offense or harm to this Hour.
- The Apple-of-the-Eye: A fellow God-From-Light. The Great Serpent was never one for staying still, and eschewed the idea of perfection in everything it did. Still, it appreciated the Lie's different point of view, and never took any action intended to slight it.
- The Archivist: The Great Serpent adored the Archivist for similar reasons as its fascination with the Aged Bones. It would delightedly tell the Archivist about its new discoveries, delighting in the knowledge that others would remember them always.
- The Elder Sister: One of the few Hours older than the Great Serpent, the Elder Sister fascinated and annoyed the Great Serpent in equal measure. Before the Segmenting, it might have released humans from the Elder Sister's dance and lead them back to the Spark. Perhaps. Nothing can be proven, after all.
- The Silver Owl: The Great Serpent never knew of the Ignition, but was delighted by the idea of an Hour from an unknowable source. More sympathetic writings would later insist that the Great Serpent spent such a length of time observing and following the Silver Owl in order to be certain that it would not and never be a threat to the Fansus. Less tactful works that were written when those events were occurring have been known to describe its actions towards the Silver Owl as "pestering."
- Old Tarnished: The events in the Third History which lead to the ascension and imprisonment of Old Tarnished occurred centuries after the Segmenting, and thus the Great Serpent has never known this Hour.
- The Cuckoo: The Great Serpent thought the Cuckoo was a harmless, albeit annoying, sort of thing that would quickly be destroyed by the other Hours. This was a mistake that it never recognized nor rectified.
- The Fanged Bramble: The Bramble was just beginning to spread its roots when the Segmenting occurred. The Great Serpent considered it a curiosity to be assessed later, after its quick jaunt into Nowhere.
- The Snow-Stained: FNORD
- The Spark: A fellow God-From-Light. The Spark was perhaps the Hour closest to understanding the Great Serpent, for whimsy follows inspiration, and the Great Serpent could never take to one task for long. Perhaps, in a younger and more peaceful age, the two Hours would chase each other about the Fansus in an almost-juvenile game of tag, one taken up for the joy of it. Or perhaps this is a pipe dream made up by inhaling too much of the Tail's venoms.
- The Ferryman: An old acquaintance. Revised the deal made between the Ferryman and humanity after the fact. Made it so that only the Dead as well as slain "immortals" could be collected by the spider, and that the Hours taking humans for eternal servants was not a violation that gave the Dolomedes the right to immediately collect all of humanity's end of the deal.
- The Diagram: FNORD
- The Anaconda: The Great Serpent was a patron of the Anaconda from Long to Name. Its disappearance was what instigated the Anaconda's ascension to Hourhood. As a Name of the Great Serpent, the Anaconda enforced the rules which the Great Serpent had created and then forgotten about in its whimsy, as well as removing obstacles to the Great Serpent's whims.
- The Synapse: FNORD
- The Void-In-Skins: In truth, this Hour sowed the first seeds of the Great Serpent's curiosity towards Nowhere. While the Great Serpent had to corral the Void in order to keep the Fansus and the world from becoming boring and uninhabitable, it was desperately curious about all things relating to Nowhere after their first meeting. Eventually, when the Great Serpent explored from the roots of the Wood to the apex of the Glory and lacked answers, it would venture into Nowhere, and never return.
- The Peacock: FNORD
- Snake Tail with Appendages: The Tail is a remnant of the Great Serpent and its ill-advised venture into Nowhere. It has its father's merciless curiosity, with none of its more tempering traits.
- The Insidious: The War of the Doors was catalyzed by the Segmenting and what returned from that, so naturally the Great Serpent knows nothing of this Hour.
- The Mendicant Without: The Great Serpent was long gone by the time the Mendicant arrived, and had it been there the Mendicant would not have been able to break the truce upon the Fourth History. Thus, these two Hours have never met.
- The Unmirror: Another seed of the curiosity which drove the Great Serpent into Nowhere for answers. Unlike the Void-in-Skins, the Unmirror abjectly horrified the Great Serpent. To wait for an eternity doing nothing is what the Great Serpent would have considered a special sort of hell, and it acted accordingly. While the Unmirror cannot die until it is forgotten, the Great Serpent made several attempts to destroy them before it learned of this.
- The Anvil: The Great Serpent gave the Anvil free reign in improving and building upon the Fansus, with the caveat that it had to be explorable later. Considering the Great Serpent's exploratory abilities, this was no challenge for that Hour. In return for its work, the Great Serpent gladly offered assistance or resources if asked.
- The Maker: The Maker held the same belief in perfection as the Apple-of-the-Eye, with none of what the Great Serpent perceived to be the Apple's redeeming features. That the Apple considered the Maker to be a treasured ally and the Anvil considered the Maker a friend were all that kept the Great Serpent from shunning it similarly to the Architeuthian.
- The Deceiver: Many Long and Names of the Great Serpent joined the Deceiver's Cabal, and the primary creators of the Deceiver were all formerly patronized by the Great Serpent. As the Great Serpent's oversight of its minions held as long as its attention did, the seeds of this Hour could well have been planted before the Segmenting, and the Great Serpent would have been blissfully unaware.
- The Huntsman: FNORD