The Lithomachy

'The Hours tried to bury the memory of what happened to the Wheel, the Flint, the Tide, and the Seven-Coiled, but the Dove won't permit it.'

- 'The World Does Not Weep'

The Lithomachy (from Ancient Greek lithos "stone" and machia "battle" - a reference to the Titanomachy) is an unofficial name for the sequence of events surrounding the death of the gods-who-were-stone. Also called the Extirpation, this period marked many significant changes in the hierarchy of the Mansus, as new gods were born and usurped the gods-from-stone who had reigned since before the existence of humanity, the ways of the House were reshaped by the Forge of Days, and mortals became able to ascend and become Hours themselves.



'Xi describes the rites of the gods-who-were-stone, the first Hours, as practiced before the existence of human civilisation by the Carapace Cross.'

- 'Songs of the Carapace Cross'

In the ancient days of the Mansus, the gods-from-stone ruled and were worshipped by the Carapace Cross, the predecessors to humanity. It is never explained where these Hours came from, or how long they reigned – it is simply stated that they existed before any living memory can recall.[1] These gods were the Horned Axe, the Wheel, the Flint, the Tide, the Seven-Coiled, and the Egg Unhatching, and seemed to represent primordial, prehistoric forces.

While an exact timeline is unknown, several early events likely had some part in causing the Lithomachy to occur:

The descent of the first gods-from-Light from the Glory, the Sun-in-Splendour and the Forge of Days. Their arrival is said to have fundamentally changed the Mansus.[2]

The birth of Humanity. While several different origins to mankind are presented, the one most frequently referenced is the Shearing of the Carapace Cross, in which these ancient beings cut off their wings and hair and pass within Humanity. [3][4]

The rise of the Moth and the Red Grail, the first gods-from-blood. The details of their birth are never made clear, and it is even disputed which of the two Hours came first, though the Moth is heavily tied to the Shearing of the Carapace Cross. It is also possible that the birth of these Hours directly correlates with the death of several of the gods-from-stone. [2][3]

For some time, some remnant of the Carapace Cross and Humanity existed simultaneously.[5] But mortals were barred from entering the Mansus. Humans lived in the dark, and while some like the Unwise Mortal entered the service of the gods-from-stone, it is implied that most were treated with hostility. In particular the Seven-Coiled is presented as a hungry monster with a disdain for humanity.[6]


The Extirpation

'The Barrowchild describes how the Grail drained the Hour called Tide, how the Moth "usurped the Wheel from within", stealing its skin, and how the Forge first eclipsed then shattered Flint. '

- 'In Memory of Gods'

Whether a singular movement or a sequence of independent actions, the gods-from-stone were killed and replaced by these new Hours and rebels from among the ranks of Humanity:

Additionally, the Forge of Days opened the ways of the Mansus, “despite the screams of stone”, and humanity, led by the Colonel and the Mother of Ants, stormed the gates of the House to become the first Know. [9] With the Mansus opened to mortals, various gods-from-flesh would begin to appear, including the Ring-Yew and the Twins.

The Restitution

'The writer credits the Red Grail, the Ring-Yew and the Horned-Axe - the powers the Sisterhood reveres - with agreeing a final treaty between the Hours of the House and the Hours they'd displaced... '

- 'The Morphy Codex'

The Lithomachy finally ended when the last god-from-stone, the Horned Axe, made a pact with the Red Grail and the Ring-Yew, who had ascended sometime after the opening of the Mansus. As recompense for the death of the Horned Axe’s siblings, the Red Grail sacrificed one of her Names, who loved the Yew. This Name ascended through the Peacock Door and became the Thunderskin. [10]


Perhaps these are glories... but then it cannot be that Glory is merciful.'

- 'In Memory of Gods'

It is often debated among occultists whether the Lithomachy was justified or not. Some argue that the gods-from-stone were cowardly and vile, standing in the way of mankind and their ascension into the House. [11] Others condemn the usurper Hours for their crimes, and regret the destruction of the old gods.

Regardless, none debate the significant of these events. With the gods-from-stone gone, the Sun-in-Splendour, mightiest of the Hours, began his reign of the House of the Sun. The current structure of the universe was set in place, as mortals who entered the House became Know and sought to ascend further, to become Long, Names, and even Hours.

But the dead gods are not gone from this world completely. Their echoes can still be heard in the Mansus, and their duties and roles in the House were not completely usurped by those that killed them. [1] Among the forces in the Mansus and the Wake still tied to them are the following:

Other Notes

In-Game Sources

1. Temple of the Wheel deck 2. Read 'The Origins of Hours' 3. Read 'Five Creations' 4. The Vision of the Shearing 5. Read 'The Manner in which the Alchemist Was Sparred' 6. The Sevenfold Slaying of the Seven-Coiled' 7. Read 'Medusa's Lament' 8. Read 'The Focus of Amber' 9. Read 'The book of Dissolution' 10. Read 'The Morphy Codex' 11. Read 'A Second Glory' 12. Liminal Evocation 13. IN THE HOUSE OF THE MOON 14. Kinship 15. Younger Sister 16. The Stag Door 17. Read 'A Catalogue of Uncharted Pleasures'