'Their eyes are open to the sky. Their scales are scarred and cold. Now at last are they visible, and to look upon them is long-forbidden knowledge.'
- 'A Vision of the One Hundred and Eight'
The Great Hooded Princes are a dynasty of princes deeply learned in the invisible sciences, specifically in the arts of Knock (many things indicate that all Hooded Princes were in fact Knock-Long). In one of the Histories they came to rule India, and went on ruling the region from the shadows when conquests endangered their primacy.
They are closely connected with the Mother of Ants, but also said to venerate the Twins and the Meniscate.
The Hooded Princes feuded with the House of Lethe during the height of its power before the rise of Rome. It seems that as a result of that war they were doomed to perish in the Fifth History. To avoid that, they were forced to flee from their home - likely Mesopotamia - and the Fifth History altogether. They petitioned the Mother of Ants ("whose children they had been") for delivery from this doomed History, and were granted their wish. When the Princes arrived at their destination, they met the iterations of themselves native to that History. Originally, each History presumably contained only fifty-four Princes, but now one possesses a hundred and eight of them. After their flight, the Princes enacted a “secret conquest” of India that ensured their rule would survive regardless of whatever force subjugated the land. The Princes also learned how to forge lions by spying on the Hours, and used the crafts of the Lionsmith to aid the defense of their power.
The Shadowless Empire moved to invade India after Rome’s fall in the 5th century, but the Princes managed to put up a competent and effective defense of their land, and held onto their dominion. The Princes combated the Persian invaders with “unskinned armies,” implying they had invoked some magics of the Sister-and-Witch in their efforts to repel the Shadowless Empire.
When India was threatened by the Timurids in the late 14th century, the Hooded Princes asked for the intervention of the Moth, the Sister-and-Witch, and the Ring-Yew to drive the invaders away. When the Hours refused, they enlisted the help of the Velvet to blackmail the other Hours into helping them. Only then did the Hours devastate the Timurid army.Description of the Twin-Serpent Tantra implies that the Hooded Princes have kept their rule and influenced the world's affairs to this day.
1. Read 'The Twin-Serpent Tantra' 2. Read 'The Leonine Tantra' 3. Read 'On the Matter and the Deeds of Serpents' 4. A Manual for Departure, Read 'A Manual for Departure' 5. Read 'The Encircling Tantra' 6. Read 'A True and Accurate History of the Shadowless Kings' 7. Read 'The Fire-Circle Tantra' 8. The Twin-Serpent Tantra 9. Read 'The Flayed Tantra' 10. On the Smoky Satisfaction..., enigma lore compilation 11. Enigma Phase X – Solution, Search for Something Unseen 12. The Victory of Crowns 13. The Leonine Tantra 14. At the Fane of Owls, Half-Smoked Cigarette 15. A Vision of the One Hundred and Eight