On Veneration of Naga
Before there were humans to smelt treasures for dragons in the deeps, and before there were elves to change the world by physical might that the fey might rule, and before the great schism among the sons of earth; before all of these things, there were treasures brought here from otherworldly places. From the smallest golden medallion to the great golden world-serpent, these treasures were made in the forges of far-off eternity in an antiquity unknowable.
A great nagaking, himself blessed with the foresight of great-gross eons, learned that storing the treasures of his kind in this place would allow them to survive the great schisms elsewhere. And so, inspired by the great beyond’s gods unknowable, the nagaking traveled between worlds to grant a visitation to [red-planet], and to bring his treasures of grosses of other worlds. But the nagaking was not totally fruitful in his endeavor, for upon this world, there was already life here. Blessed and cursed with foresight as he was, the nagaking learned that his treasures could be easily plundered by that life—perhaps it was a vision of the great dragon hoards of Tiamat’s mighty brood; perhaps it was the dwarf’s similar veneration of things that scared him off; finally, the mighty serpentfolk and villainous troglodytes were beginning in those times to arise.
His spirit still strong, the nagaking did a great work in this place. Dividing and secreting away his many treasures, his spirit he also divided a greatgrossfold (that is, into 1000 12 parts, or 1728 10 ) into the legless crawling things he found. And so the great black snakes of the world were transformed into the mighty guardians of the dark un-evade-able; the great green snakes into the mighty guardians of the deep unshakable, and the great white snakes into the great witch guardians unlovable. These creatures, as diversely colored as the creatures from whose bodies they derived first life, were the first among nagakind. For grosses of years, these first nagas guarded sacred sites and sacred treasures the import of which for most was rendered into things truly unknowable. Some changed themselves, taking on the great properties of those locations they called homes in silences incomprehensible. Others fed on their own motivation; their own spirits; and became mightier for their time.
Over time and in keeping with his perfect foresight which could not be for a moment doubted, however, certain among these early forms of naga were overwhelmed by the world around them not at the cost of their clear identity, but at the cost of their very life itself. Some by dragon’s teeth and claws were rent asunder. Some by the greed from the deep were overcome and their treasurers taken. Some still, by parasite and crawling thing, met their doom in silence and perished leaving their treasures unguarded. All these things to the nagaking we ascribe foreknowledge. Further, we know that the nagaking assigned only treasures which would not doom the world should they fall into the most vile of hands to these places and guardians.
With his spirit and his soul sufficiently recombined—for is it anything but the most clear that the nagaking’s spirit, upon losing a body host would necessarily seek out that in the world most like itself? And what in the world would be most akin to a pool of soul-water which floats among the ether of the soul than another pool from the same origin? It is as clear as that the mountains of the depths are truly endless that this would be the case. With his spirit and his soul sufficiently recombined into a gross of super-nagas, themselves a force to be reckoned with on the order of the dragon, the nagaking’s work was almost complete.
Now, with his gross of treasures most important guarded by guardians most truly perfected†, the nagaking’s descendants gathered for a moment again their eternal spirit and will, and caused a portion of their number which remained—that is, those outside the gross with whom were possessed by the original might and will of the nagaking, who all of these things had most clearly foreseen—to incubate and birth the first eggs of a new type of creature, following the model of the fey: a new race to do the labors of protection. For even a near infinite collection of receptacles of great power as these first gross of naga could be supplemented usefully by the erection of temples, tombs and other structures to defend the great relics of that bygone collection of far-off-worlds now made unknowable. And thus the first among our kind, the first proceeding out of naga, the first nagaji, came to be.
While in retrospect un-see-able, all of the history of the nagaji, whose years are only a few great-gross beside the eons of the naga and the long eons un-tell-able of the nagaking, is a mere footnote in the great history of nagaking and nagakind, there are nonetheless a few events which would serve to educate the young nagaji as to the way our race’s role in the vast world incomprehensible has and will play out. For we are not a race with populations which exist for their own sake, as the human, elf, and dwarf of our day may often for themselves claim. Rather, we are a race tasked with doing the works of our nearly-divine progenitors, the mighty naga. Likewise, as the days of our great labors have by and large come and gone, we are freed from days of labor and days of toil to pursue other things and make something of a second destiny for ourselves.
The purpose of the book you have picked up, then, my descendant, is to give to you a wider-ranging perspective on the world in which you find yourself. For who among your peers can be said to have seen all the things that my long-aged eyes have seen? Who among your peers can help you to look backward as well as forward; look to the great temples of the deeps, to the great labyrinth unexplorable, to the great deep mountains uncountable. But also, my descendant, look inward, and understand that as a mortal gifted with both a mortal soul and a remainder of the great singular soul which has come before you, you stand on the shoulders of giants before you slither or walk out your very door. Let my words, my tales guide you, and make for yourself a great place in the world.
Deep Perspective by Hissthou the Wisened; Introduction
†That is, Mythic Nagas. -BB