“The only business of the historian is to relate things exactly as they are: this he can never do as long as he is afraid”― Lucian of Samosata, Lucian’s True History
The Roman historian Lucian recorded details of the cult of Glycon, and the leader of the religions, the prophet Alexander of Abonoteichos. The cult was powerful and influential, with Alexander hearing the whispers of the snake god Glycon, which spoke to him at it was coiled around his arm. Alexander claimed the god spoke to him, and only to him, the secrets of the universe and had foresight into future events. Alexander claimed that the serpent was a new incarnation of Asclepius, the god of healing, with powers to grant fertility, common to snake cults across Macedonia. The cult grew in popularity, wealth, and influence, as many flocked to Alexander with gifts, seeking the wisdom and blessings of the divine Glycon.
Glycon itself was said to be a serpent as long as a man with a human like face and long blond hair. The prophet also claimed that he hatched the god from the egg of a goose, and that the creature grew to full size in a single day. However, Lucian labeled the so called prophet a charlatan, saying that the “divine” Glycon was an elaborate hand puppet, and that the entire cult was based on fraud. However, the cult persisted, being active for more than a century after the death of Alexander, which occurred in 170 A.D.
So what was the truth of Glycon, and what was a lie? In the darkness of the Shadow War, the truth and lies coin around one another, becoming one.
Glycon, The Doorway to Beyond: Most of the time Glycon is, in fact, an elaborate hand controlled puppet, made of cloth and yarn, with carved gemstone eyes and ivory fangs. Its blond locks are said to be made of true human hair, harvested from woman who has died trying to bare her first child into the world. Creating the puppet involves a ritual lost to time. Only a single such puppet can exist at any one time, and if the ritual is attempted while a Glycon puppet is already active the caster dies in the attempt.
Once the puppet is created it serves as a tether to our reality, a doorway between our world and a dark consciousness drifting through the cosmic void. When worn as a puppet Glycon can, and does, whisper to its wearer, imparting secrets and advise. Should the wear sacrifice 1D6 MP points to the puppet those secrets can take the form of auguries the future, solutions to impossible problems, resolutions to unanswerable questions, or words of advice so powerful they change the course of the asker’s life.
Glycon, The Living God: Glycon can, and does, sometimes inhabit the puppet and enter our reality. This is usually done to protect itself, it’s chosen Prophet (typically the creator of the puppet), or its most loyal (and often wealthiest) patrons. It gains this ability when human blood is spilled upon the puppet. Unknown to anyone but the chosen prophet, there is a sharp spike inside the puppet allowing the wearer to slash their own palm for 1D2 points of damage. In this way the puppet can become an avatar for the dark god and animate without anyone knowing exactly how it ensued. Glycon moves by slithering, and can swim and climb (both at 85%) at its full movement rate.
Glycon, The Deadly: The manifestation lasts for 1 hour per hit point of blood soaked into the puppet. Once animated, any damage caused by the puppet counts towards extending this duration, even if no blood loss occurs. In combat Glycon can deliver fearsome poisonous bites and constricting attacks. It can even swallow whole slain victims, so long as they are under 45 in SIZ. The poison of Glycon grants dark glimpses of the cosmic void to the victim. While brief flashes these sights are enough to damage a human mind (trigger a 1D6 sanity check) if not shatter them into wholly into insanity.
Glycon, The Invulnerable: The physical puppets and the avatar manifestations of Glycon itself cannot be harmed by normal means. They cannot be cut by blades, torn by stretch, burned by fire, or dissolved by acid. They can only be affected by magic weapons, spells, and fires taken from the Sacred Eternal Flame kept by the Vestal Virgins in Rome. In both forms, that of a puppet and as a living avatar, Glycon has the same number of hit points.
Glycon, God of Coiled Secrets
STR 150 CON 200 SIZ 60 DEX 90
• Hit Points: 26
• Damage Bonus (DB): +1D6
• Build: 2
• Move: 8
Attacks per round: 2 (Bite or Constrict)
Constrict (mnvr): wraps around its prey, crushing and suffocating the victim. With a successful attack, the victim is at a disadvantage, suffers a penalty die to any action, and automatically suffers damage (1D6+DB) each round unless the Glycon is destroyed or dislodged by an opposed STR roll.
Fighting 65% (30/12), damage 1D4+db+1D6 Sanity Check
Constrict (mnvr) 65% (30/12), damage 1D6+db (see above)
• 1-point canvas or scales
• Its non-terrene nature makes it immune to all mundane physical attacks.
• Enchanted weapons may inflict damage but cannot impale.
• If reduced to zero hit points, Glycon becomes a normal puppet without any invulnerabilities.
Sanity Loss: None in puppet form, 1D3/1D10 Sanity points to see Glycon in animated avatar form.
• POW: 150
• Magic Points: 30• Spells: Any chosen by the keeper, typically concerning healing, fertility, and gaining information.