Ascension and the Long

Warning: this page contains some game play spoilers.

Long are immortals, who, in contrast to the Names, haven't yet entered the Mansus properly, and are still living in the Wake.[1] The usual way of turning Long (and one of the main goals of the game) requires attuning yourself to a certain occult principle with the power and the guidance of the corresponding Hour - one of several that have domain over the said principle.[2] There are seven steps in this process, which are known as the Seven Marks of Ascension.[3] The marks may differ between ascensions under the different principles and Hours, but the Seventh Mark almost always is the passing the Tricuspid Gate (but, as always, there are exceptions and it's possible for some to ascend without even being counted among the Know).

It is said that most (but not all) Long were human.[1] That could merely be a reminder that there are non-human sentient beings who ascended in their time – like Carapace Cross or Medusa. On the other hand, that could mean that animals (or maybe even inanimate objects) could attain immortality too.

Long occupy a relatively marginalized position in the hierarchy of the House. Since their ambitions to rise higher is often being considered a threat (not unreasonably) to the current rule of the Mansus, they are often hunted by the Names, Colonel’s servants[4][5], and even by the other Long, for varying reasons.[6][7][8] While not affected by aging and mundane diseases, the Long can still be killed (however difficult it is). As a result, to avoid annihilation, the Long are forced to live in hiding, and, ultimately, to either work their way into the Hours’ service, to become mortal again, or to exile themselves to the Noon island, where a spring touched by an unknown Hour makes you forgotten.[9]

Currently, there are direct accounts of existence of the Forge, Grail, Lantern, Winter, Knock and Edge-aspected Long. It's unknown whether Heart, Moth and Secret Histories Long do exist or not.


Forge Long

All of them had passed the Stag Door, and were accounted Know.

All of them spoke the Callidate Invocation.

And all of them were rich.'

- The Irreproachable Traditions of the Society of the Noble Endeavour

One of the more common paths of becoming Long, Forge-ascension involves "accustoming" your flesh to fire, scarring it to the point of becoming "hairless and imperishable"[10], and then passing the Tricuspid Gate (that last part being known as "the Conflagration of the Heart")[11]. The flames need to be hotter each time, requiring rare and expensive fuels to be employed in the process.[12] Due to this, big portion of Forge-Long came from those who held significant power even in their mortality - from those who are rich and/or are of a noble origin.[13] That is reflected in their Long-state by a more direct kind of power they obtain - as matchless physical strength and as the "Shaping Strength" of the practices of the Forge.[14]


Grail Long

'My new body is smooth without and red within like a sweet fruit.'

- The Feast of the True Birth

One of the more common paths of becoming Long, Grail-ascension involves growing a new, perfect body inside your old one,[15] and then "giving birth" to it (destroying the old one) after passing the Tricuspid Gate (that last part being known as "The Feast of the True Birth")[16]. This process requires nutrition with the very deepest satisfactions of the Grail, that could be achieved only by consuming other humans, alive or dead.[17][18] The result is velvet-smooth body, with senses peak-heightened, and strong enough to endure all the Enticements and the Torments of the Grail.[19] It's also speculated in Grail-ascension a change of the gender is possible, since lady Tryphon, a Grail-long, was known to be male in her mortal form.[18][20]

Lantern Long

'The Glory is very close to here.'

- The Incursus

While still being one of the more common ascension paths of becoming Long, Lantern-ascension is an important exception from the rules of Longhood. The Lantern-ascension requires brightening oneself's inner light.[21] The light thins the mortal body until it dissolves completely upon achieving the Seventh Mark and passing the Tricuspid Gate (that last part being known as "the Incursus").[22] Without a body, Lantern-long never return to the Wake as other Long do, and reside in the Mansus (and because of that are considered to be minor Names by some).[1] They still can be summoned into the Wake like any spirit, however. In return, their position is the closest to the Glory and the Hours than any other type of Long's is. It is also implied that Lantern-long are among the candidates for the the Watchman's Pilgrimage.[23]


Winter Long

'I cannot end before my time.'

- Until Winter

The Winter-Long are different kind of exception from the established rules. While all other Long types "will not grow old" - they never die of old age - they are still susceptible to the violence and can be killed. In contrast, Winter-Long can't be killed, but they will die when their time comes. They have a date set for their ending, and until that date nothing can end them. That happens due to them already being dead (as a part of their ascension) and brought back from Nowhere. They do pass the Tricuspid Gate, but since their immortality is of another kind, that serves no purpose other than tribute to tradition.[1][24]

It's said that most commonly Winter-Long ascend under the Sun-in-Rags, but details of such ascension are unknown.[2] Those who ascend under the Elegiast are required to draw "the Palest Painting" - a commemoration of the dead Hours, a depiction of the lost colours of the world. That painting will then serve as a doorway to Nowhere, through which its author will descend, later to be taken from there by the Elegiast.[25][26]

It is unclear how exactly "indestructibility" of the Winter-Long manifests itself. It seems that victory in a direct confrontation, both in the Mansus and the Wake may appear as if Winter-Long have died.[27] Perhaps they really do, but are always able to return, and the door from Nowhere is always opened for them?

Knock Long

'In the Fifth History alone, my skin will peel from me in tatters..'

- In the Arms of the Mother'

The Knock-Long are among the most mysterious and obscure of immortals. The information we have makes it hard to determine a "common" image of one (and even whether if there is such thing as "common" Knock-Long). The only known group of Knock-Long - the Hooded Princes - tied directly to the Mother of Ants (described as "children" of her, but possibly as a figure of speech[28]), and it's unclear, whether other types exist. Similarly, the Knock-ascension we experience in Cultist Simulator: The Priest is directly overseen by the Mother of Ants[29]. The ending of it implies that player character became something akin to a Hooded Prince, but several things suggest that they are not considered to be one.[30] First of all, the Priest ascends only in the Fifth History, while the Hooded Princes are explicitly extinct in it.[28][30] The second is that 'The Twin-Serpent Tantra' provides an exact number of the Hooded Princes,[31] and, while it's never said that this number can't grow, it implies that the Hooded Princes are a group of specific individuals, not just Knock-Long in general.

There is no information on the existence of Long dedicated to other Knock Hours. However, one of the Hooded Princes clearly doing the Horned-Axe's bidding in Exile may imply that they are actually dedicated to all, or, at least, several Knock-Hours, not just the Mother of Ants (but, again, he's a renegade Knock Long, so who knows...).[32]

The process of Knock ascension involves suffering seven ordeals and experience seven accompanying visions, each corresponding to a "lesser" Principle (since Knock is a "principle above all"), each leaving a scar:

It's unclear whether those visions have any particular Knock significance, or are just important Principle-related episodes.

In the final ritual, all scars are opened, making the Priest a Door through which their congregation enters the Mansus. The Priest dies in the process, except for the Fifth History, where they acquire snake-like features, like long sharp teeth and peeling skin, implying they achieved Longhood.[30] Passing the Tricuspid Gate is never mentioned (but perhaps just omitted). As with most things considering Knock-Long, it's unclear how common this method is. It's hinted that one of the Bureau's Hunters, Spencer Hobson, was attempting to perform similar ascension, but failed.[33] Similarly, church of St. Marzanna may be a trace of another failed attempt.[34]

Edge Long

Edge-long often seek to match each other in war.'

- Candia Besieged, Venetocratic Crete, 1668

The defining element of the Edge Longhood is the Corrivality - an endless struggle between the Edge Hours.[35] The Edge ascension does not require any specific doings or rituals, but rather entanglement in the Corrivality deep enough to be noticed (and vouched for) by the Edge Hours, and, finally, "locking" yourself in the Corrivality, becoming integral part the world's processes.[36][37] In order to do so, one needs a worthy adversary, so, as a consequence, most (if not all) Edge Long ascend in pairs of two mortals struggling against each other - known as "Edge dyads".[38] Particular steps in that struggle may vary from case to case (even the Exile in their specific situation can ascend with different combinations of Defiance exercises), and it seems that the only necessary step is "choosing a side" - consecrating oneself to either the Colonel or the Lionsmith (unless, of course, one enters the service of the Wolf Divided and by default is opposed to everything). It seems not to be important whether the halves of the dyad are consecrated to a different Hours or the same one (the Foe of Exile is hinted to be pro-Colonel, and that doesn't affect Exile's choicest in a slightest) - the scheming of the Edge Hours leaves plenty of place for enmity between their own followers. The Horned-Axe tries to prevent ascension of new Edge dyads - due to them being "joined" by the Corrivality, while the Axe likes separation.[32] Again, as with Knock victory, the passing of the Tricuspid Gate is never mentioned in Edge victories (but, again, perhaps just omitted).

Heart/Moth Long

It lives between the trees of the Wood. It beats....'

- The Account of the Moth

What Heart and Moth Long are and even whether such exist is uncertain. While Cultist Simulator: The Dancer allows both Heart and Moth victories, post-ascension status of the Dancer is unclear, specifically, because those victories require certain Keys to be employed (which is not the case for all other Longhoods, and required for Namehood pursuit only).[39] The process itself for both ascension involves undergoing seven changes[40] under the guidance of the several Names of different Hours, with Moth path being known as "the Old Form"[41], and the Heart path being known as "the New Form"[42].

Heart victory states passing the Tricuspid Gate, so it's likely that protagonist becomes at least something Long-like.[43] Moth ascension is even more mysterious since it explicitly denies passing the Tricuspid Gate (perhaps it's Moth Long who "don't need to pass the Three-Valved Door"?[1]).[44] It is speculated that Moth-Long are akin to Lantern in terms that they are leaving the Wake entirely, becoming Carapace-like Wood-spirits.

List of Known Long


'Longs are immortals who live in the world. Most, but not all, are former humans. There is a finite number of Long. Passing the Three-Valved Door in the appropriate mode makes you Long. Names often hunt the Long, many of whom have taken refuge at Port Noon, where a spring touched by [text is missing] makes you forgotten.

Three important exceptions. First, the Long patronised patronised by the Watchman (and perhaps by other Hours) live in the House rather than World - their body is gone. Some authorities consider them minor Names rather than Long. No taxonomies are perfect.

Second. Being a Winter-long is more like a fixed-rate mortgage than a variable-rate mortgage: that is to say, the Winter-long have made and arrangement that defers their end, but they've also fixed the date of that end. (Technically, they've already ended, because [text is missing] back up from death into the House). They do need to pass the Three-valved Door, but that's arguably ceremonial.

Third, [text is missing] don't need to pass the Three-Valved Door, [text is missing].'[1]

In-Game Sources

1. Inquisitions for the Demiurge, Discord Follower Count Lore Snippets (full transcript right above) 2. AMA 3. "Multiple Hours can oversee an ascension." 4. The Nine-Year Vision: "There are always seven Marks" - seven marks of Lantern, Grail and Forge, seven Forms of Change, seven Lock-Scars, seven exercises of Defiance, and the seven Pentiments 5. The Victory of Crowns, Study the 'Victory of Crowns', by 'Arun' 6. Read this volume of the Orchid Transfigurations 7. An Immortal Enemy 8. J.C. 9. Captain Welland 10. Port Noon 11. Ascension: Power 3, Ascension: Power 4, Ascension: Power 5, Ascension: Power 6 12. The Seventh Mark?, The Conflagration of the Heart 13. The Shaping Heat 14. Read 'The Irreproachable Traditions of the Society of the Noble Endeavour' 15. The conflagration of the heart 16. Ascension: Sensation 3, Ascension: Sensation 4, Ascension: Sensation 5, Ascension: Sensation 6 17. The Seventh Mark?, The Feast of the True Birth 18. The Red Need 19. Read 'The Rose of Nuriel' 20. The feast of the true birth 21. Lady Tryphon 22. Ascension: Enlightenment 3, Ascension: Enlightenment 4, Ascension: Enlightenment 5, Ascension: Enlightenment 6 23. The Seventh Mark?, The Incursus 24. The Incursus, THE INCURSUS (with risen) 25. The Elegiast's Price 26. Show Miss Naenia the Palest Painting, Enter the Painted Door, Death is Down, From Whom Nothing More Can Be Taken, NOWHERE 27. Until Winter 28. The Long is dead!, The Long is vanquished! 29. Read 'On the Matter and the Deeds of Serpents' 30. Priest 31. The Arms of the Mother 32. Read 'The Twin-Serpent Tantra' 33. At the Fane of Owls 34. Spencer Hobson, Spencer, a disciple 35. Mentions of the priesthood, St Agnes, and the scar above his heart (mirroring the Heart Scar of the Priest) 36. Church of St Marzanna the White 37. Where We Go 38. With Marzanna likely being the Mare, it's possible that her influence in that church is due to her entering another unlucky priest. 39. The Corrivality (1) 40. The Corrivality (2), The Corrivality (4), The Corrivality (7) 41. An Immortal Enmity? 42. An Immortal Enmity (Colonel) 43. An Immortal Enmity (Lionsmith) 44. An Immortal Enmity (Wolf) 45. Eternal Enmity (Lionsmith) 46. Eternal Enmity (Colonel) 47. Eternal Enmity (Wolf) 48. The Door in the Wood 49. The Kingskin Gate 50. Temptation: Change, Change: Leaf, Change: Pearl, Change: Antumbra, Change: Stigma, Change: Pupil, Change: Ivory 51. Old Form, On the Old Form 52. The New Form, On the New Form 53. LIFE, UNENDING 54. THINGS WITH WINGS 55. The Concursum Diaries, Our Enemy's Identity, #diarist_unknown section 56. Summon the mysterious Name known as the Baldomerian 57. Ask Teresa about the Dream of the Key '...but as Lantern-long, I owe courtesy to your mentor...' 58. The Lodge of the Sage Knight 59. Our Enemy's Identity, #welland_unknown section 60. Read 'My Deeds, My Powers, My Achievements and the Injustices Perpetrated Against Me' 61. Study a censored edition of 'The War of the Roads, 1450-1580' 62. The Six Letters on Necessity, J.C., Our Enemy's Identity, #julian_unknown section 63. The Silver Book, Read 'The Silver Book' 64. Read 'The Rose of Nuriel' 65. Our Enemy's Identity, tryphon_unknown section 66. The Gospel of Zacchaeus (greek) 67. The Gospel of Zacchaeus 68. Read 'The Gospel of Zacchaeus' 69. (nice) Dr Ibn al-Adim, Ibn al-Adim (wikipedia)