|"We call upon the Millions-Upon-Millions, who feasted upon its own remains."|
The Millions-Upon-Millions |
The Many-Legged Worm
Unas, the Gatekeeper |
Nito, the Mother of Lions
|Date of arrival||Always And Never|
The Millions-Upon-Millions (The Many-Legged Worm, The Omnipede, formerly known as The Cycle) is the Twenty-First Hour of the Fansus, created by Will. Its aspects are Heart, Winter, and Grail. The Omnipede presides over life, death and rebirth; reincarnation and decomposition. It is nature embodied in a swarm of insects; consuming the Dead so that the living may thrive in their place. It is the Cycle that will not, will not, will not end.
Its Tarot card is The World.
- 1 Description
- 2 Worship
- 3 Locations
- 4 Items
- 5 About the Wassail
- 6 Relationships
Once there were the Gods-from-Stone. When they were slain, so too was the Millions-Upon-Millions. But as long as there is life, the Cycle continues anew. The Millions-Upon-Millions feasted on itself, and gave birth to itself. Thus it escaped Nowhere, and found itself trapped in a prison.
True to its name, the Millions-Upon-Millions manifests as an unending swarm of scavengers, blanketing the floor of the Wood. It might also appear as a great millipede, its legs beyond counting or reason. It has been depicted as a serpent devouring its own tail; as a dragon gnawing on the roots of the world; as one whose flesh and bones are that of the earth.
Grail, for blood and birth. Winter, for death and ultimate endings. Heart, so that the Cycle may never cease. The Many-Legged Worm stands alongside the Solemn and Abbess Sunset as an Hour associated with the Dead. The Millions-Upon-Millions takes the body, the Sun-Eyed Maiden the Soul, and at last the Gravedigger preserves the memories left behind.
To those aware only of the Millions-Upon-Millions's nature as a god of death, the myriad of cults devoted to it must seem strange indeed. They are for the most part cheerful places, with little of the grim solemnity often associated with chthonic cults. But the Many-Legged Worm is also a god of life and rebirth, and so its worshipers do not fear dying and do not overly mourn the departed.
Common rites include eating the dead, whether literally or symbolically; and self-cannibalism, also sometimes in symbol only.
- Temptation: Renewal: I have come to realise that death does not have to be an ending.
- Dedication: Renewal: I have dedicated myself to the pursuit of new beginnings.
- Ascension: Renewal: The Millions-Upon-Millions, who is the Cycle, has touched me. My vision has dimmed, and I know this to be the Third Mark.
- Ascension: Renewal: Some days I am afflicted with exhaustion; others I hardly need to sleep. My hungers rise and fall like the sun. I know this to be the Fourth Mark.
- Ascension: Renewal: I am sallow and pale now, and my breaths slow and shallow. When I sleep, I might be mistaken for a corpse. This is the Fifth Mark.
- Ascension: Renewal: My heartbeats are sluggish. My blood runs thick, oozing out when I am cut. I feel as though I am on my deathbed. I pray that this is the Sixth Mark.
- The Last Supper, The First Feast: I live, I die, I live again! I have taken my final breaths, and at last my soul made its way to the Forest of Stones and to the Millions-upon-Millions. In its mercy I have been gifted a new body: my skin shall be as a beetle's carapace, my eyes multifaceted, my body flexible and my limbs segmented. I will die eventually. But my spirit will not forget who it was and I will once again be reborn. I shall never cease. I will walk the world in service to the Great Worm. Perhaps once day I will rebel. Perhaps I will rise even higher.
Unas, the Gatekeeper
Those who wish to enter the dominion of the Many-Legged Worm must first pass Unas. Once a mighty king, he codified funerary rites and earned the favour of the Cycle. Now he is the implacable guardian of the Dead. Unas is Knock and Winter.
Nito, the Mother of Lions
The living may be able to defend themselves, and Abbess Sunset and Unas guard the Dead. But who defends those yet to be born? Nito is their protector. The sister of Unas and Queen in her own right, she earned the Cycle's favour with her mastery of life and birth. Nito is Heart and Edge.
The Forest of Stones
The Millions-upon-Millions makes its home on the forest floor. While it never quite recovered from the Wassail, it still rules over the Forest of Stones, a place of crumbling tombs, moss-covered graves, and endless, unceasing life. This is the land of the living and the dead.
All save a few are welcome there. The air is cool and damp, and no wind blows. In the shadows of great trees fed with blood and bone one may find peace for a time. The entire forest thrums with protective enchantment, and some areas take this to an extreme: layered with wards against everything from bad luck to the piercing gaze of the great Eye, these are strongpoints, bastions, and hideaways. The Skinner-Box, the Remnants, the Names of the Eye, any touched by the Blight-Abiding, and a particularly foolish occultist are forbidden from entering the forest.
A prison within a prison. Guarded with the strongest wards and deadliest curses the Omnipede could create, the Ossuary is where those it judges to have zero worth or redeeming qualities are sealed away. Even the Gravedigger is forbidden from entering here, and those that do not heed the warnings carved into its walls will soon learn to regret it.
About the Wassail
How They Feel
The Cycle will have its vengeance. Perhaps it already has.
Who They Blame
The Omnipede has grown ever more suspicious of the Gods-From-Light, of the Cantharide, the Reminisce, the Stillborn and the Stillwater. It does not openly blame anyone, not yet.
What They Hide
The Cycle is the Unending Worm, the Unending Worm is the Cycle. The Great Cycle is not the Great Worm, The Great Worm is not the Great Cycle. The Millions-upon-Millions still wields its old aspect, still talks and acts like the Cycle of old. But it will not speak of its killer, nor of the differences between it and its predecessor.
- The Piper: ""Will your stories ever end, oh friend of old?"
- The Firstborn: "Arrogant child. You must learn your place, or suffer."
- The Weft: "..."
- The Distinguished: "Child of the river, your sacrifice will bring you honour and fortune. I will ensure it."
- The Prince Consort:
- The Warp: "..."
- The Hill Queen: "Stop being so selfish. And stop scaring the Gravedigger."
- The Captain: "Voyager, traveler, friend."
- The Instinct:
- The Solemn: "Oh best beloved of those I call my children , your service does you credit. Am I worthy of your respect?"
- Brother Grimalkin: "Don't play with your food. If not for your brother, my patience would have ended long ago."
- Abbess Sunset: "Daughter! Stern and just, you are someone to be treasured."
- The Skinner Box: "... no. You are worse than the Eye could ever be."
- The Cantharide: "You idiot..."
- The Stillwater: "Sends a shiver down my spines."
- The Heart-Felt Fantasy: "A new beginning! A new spring!"
- The Gilded Insect: "Arsehole."
- The Mechanism: "What are you? You were never alive."
- The Dongolopticon: "Old friend. Your time came long ago. Come to me when you tire of your pleasures."
- The World-Carver: "Your artistry is to be respected, but you do it only for yourself."
- The Eye: "No."
- The Remnants: "Usurper. Bring your stagnant cycle to an end. And give me back my leg!"
- The Millions-Upon-Millions: See: The Cycle
- The Blight Abiding: "I hate having to mind-wipe newborn souls. Stop making me do that."
- The Stillborn: "Why can't people just stay dead?"