The Third History
The Third History is widely regarded as the History of Man for a reason. Despite the power of the supernatural there, mankind’s wit, skill and desire for order allowed their race to maintain dominance and usher in an age of civilization and progress. For obvious reasons, this History has long been regarded as a bastion of the Doors, those Hours of an orderly and sometimes unchanging temperament.
Before the Segmenting, the Great Serpent utilized this history for its observations of mortals and most specifically of mankind. It never appeared in person, but would often send Long and Names to walk secretly amongst humanity, and bring back the records of what they observed. The Serpent's servants pestered humanity, testing their morals and mettle, but never giving out a scrap of occult knowledge to the mortals they interacted with. This humanity would learn of the invisible arts by their own merits; this was the decree of the Great Serpent. It was here, when the people of the North looked across the great oceans and wondered what they might find on the other side, that the Great Serpent first learned of the human occultist who would one day become one of the most powerful Door Hours.
By first observation, of course, none of this could have been foretold. For now, that being was merely a struggling adept in a settlement that could only be called a city by the standards of that time, born to toil for the betterment of that people for only the reward of seeing others survive. The city to the east demanded tithes and tributes for a cessation of hostilities. Food for their people and to fuel the machine of war, and partners for their military leaders. The cruelest of the generals had taken and buried two spouses already, and the ignoble adept was to be the third. The Great Serpent learned of this adept's curse, spun from cinnabar and magic, that slowly poisoned an army as their general slipped further into illness and madness. With the dying gasps of the eastern city's warriors, the adept changed form and rent the skin of the world, entering the Mansus. The Great Serpent took this new Long as its own, despite having given them no patronage. The Great Serpent could not be denied. As the new Long rose in their patron's esteem, they took a Name befitting their form: The Anaconda.
Following the War of the Doors the Hours of the Keys, those Hours of a chaotic and changing nature, set plans in motion to establish a foothold in the History of their rivals. Across the sea and in the darker corners of the world, new gods begin to whisper and work their wonders, drawing many to their service. In the New World in particular, scattered segments of humanity began to be drawn together in worship of a new pantheon of gods whom whispered in their dreams. Gathering together, these humans came to form the nameless empire now known as The Old Kingdom, whose profane rites and prayers strengthened their gods' hold over their world, so that they may one day facilitate their coming.
Seeing their rivals on the rise, the Doors began manipulating events in the mortal world to counter their influence. The Cuckoo sent the kingdoms of man visions of treasure across the sea, and urged them to take them for themselves. Explorers and Conquerors set sail for the New World, and attacked the indigenous peoples.
Initially the Doors’ plan worked perfectly. The conquistadors caught the Keys’ scheme in its infancy before the fledgling empires could fully establish themselves, conquered and converted the people with reasonable effort. Things went far off script, however, when the Conquistadors saw how easily they took the New World and decided they would be better off without having to answer to Spain. They announced their secession from the Crown, and crowned the greatest among them “El Rey Dorado”, the Golden King. Realizing their error, the Doors doubled down and lent their combined might to the reclaimers sent by Spain to retake the New World. Facing unexpected, supernatural difficulty defending his new empire, Cortez receives an offer of help from an unlikely source. The Exile-Priests of the “heathen gods” returned, and showed Cortez the works of their otherworldly masters. Needing power and allies, he accepted their aid, and became an unwitting agent of the Keys.
Decimating the reclaimers, Cortez secured both his new nation’s sovereignty as well as his place in legend as a unparalleled conqueror. The Keys then moved to the next stage of their plan, with Cortez in place of what the Aztecs would have eventually become. They filled Cortez’s dreams with visions of a new frontier to conquer, and his priests prophesized a new age of prosperity triggered by breaking the Doors of the House of the Sun. Anticipating the Keys were going to help Cortez tear the Skin of the world and march on the Fansus, they planned to turn the Keys’ plan on its head. The Crone concocted a plan to kill two birds with one stone, and the Tower of Treasures started work on a particular masterpiece. Using her power as the Hour of Deceit, the Cuckoo takes over the supernatural correspondence between the priests of the Keys and their masters. When Cortez penetrated and invaded the Upper House to unite with his otherworldly “allies”, the Crone in the guise of their gods led them to the Golden City created by the Tower of Treasures. Convinced it would give him power and eternal life, Cortez used the city to ascend to Hourhood, but at the price of binding him to the city. Now trapped, the Golden King has become the prisoner of the House he intended to rule.