“We conceive mischief, and bring forth iniquity. We hatch the eggs of vipers and spin a spider’s web. Our works are works of madness, and the act of violence is in our hands.”
The Seventh Church Of the Illuminator is the current incarnation of a cult who worships the goddess Hecate. Though Hecate had many temples and shrines erected to her in Ancient Greece the Church has a slightly more malevolent view of the goddess. They claim to have secret knowledge of Hecate’s true form and purpose. They focus on the “torch bearer” and “light bringer” aspects of the Goddess. She, and they as her worshipers, must illuminate the darkness and bring forth that which mankind wishes not to see. The culmination of this work will be a sort of universal realization throughout humankind. An epiphany for an entire species. An epiphany that will lead to madness and, as the Church sees it, the “clearing of the earth for the resurrection of those that were”.
The discovery of these ancient beliefs is credited to archaeologist Harriet Dayton-Bell. While mainly concerned with Egyptian and Mesopotamian culture she did spend the summer of 1897 on the island of Samothrace, in modern day Greece. She was led there by “disturbing” allusions to the island in the mythology of Ningishzida and Wadjet. She claimed to find well hidden “satellite” temples to both deities nearby the more well known sites. It was in these smaller temples that she found the references to the Greek island and the “Snake Mother” or “Light Bringer”. Realizing this was a reference to Hecate she suspected if she went to the island she may be able to find a similar “satellite” temple to the witch goddess.
She was correct. It was in a cave at the end of a treacherous climb towards the summit of Mount Fengari that she found the temple. Unlike the others this temple wasn’t hidden below ground or through a nondescript passage. This temple was so small it wasn’t even necessary to conceal it. There was barely room for one person and what space there was, had been completely covered in thick spider’s webs. She ordered the rest of her team to leave and spent two full days in the temple with no food or water. Here she was said to have been visited by Hecate herself:
“She was adorned with serpents and carrying a large torch. She was beautiful and terrifying. She told me I was chosen. That I was to be her her vessel and I was to help her in her work, and find more to help with her work. It was then that I saw her other form. It was horrible to behold.”
-Harriet Dayton-Bell, We Hatch the Eggs of Vipers and Spin a Spider’s Web
When she came down from the Mount Fengari temple (known as Mount Voormithadreth to The Order) she was different. She looked fine despite her lack of supplies and exposure but had a “wild look” in her eyes. She spoke quickly, to herself, about her vision and her mission frightening her team.
She immediately returned to England in 1880, relocated to Britchester and founded The Church Of the Illuminator. She shunned many of her friends and colleagues. Those who she thought were worthy, mostly artists and writers, were inducted into the church as The Order Of the Eternal Serpents. These “visionaries” are believed to be the ones who will “expose the light to the darkness” through their art.
The first Church lasted the longest. After the induction of the first ten members Harriet and her followers were not evangelical. However, they made no attempt to hide themselves. They had a reputation of being a radical art colony with new members finding them by word of mouth. Members were free to come and go as they pleased, and many did not advertise their affiliation, but fully embraced the mission.
Despite the Church’s practice of being noninvasive, members of the local community began to fear and despise the Church. Many could not even give real reasons or evidence for their dislike, claiming it was “just a feeling”.
Things came to a head on Sunday December 22nd 1901 when the town en masse converged on the Church and burnt it to the ground. Once the fire dwindled the townspeople felt as if brought out of a dream, and began to feel guilt and remorse for what they had done. However, when they searched the remains they found not a single member of The Order inside. They had known what was going to happen and retreated to a nearby forest. They emerged while the ruins still glowed, and Harriet spoke. She claimed this was a necessary stage in the life of The Order and now they would move to a new home.
They left for Kodumon the following week with 6 new members who had recently wielded torches against them.
This is where the cycle of destruction, relocation and rebirth began. More often than not the means of destruction are human however the Church has also suffered it’s share of natural disasters. The means of determining the spots to relocate are also a mystery with only vague mentions of maps contained in the “Černé Vodítko” by The Order.
While the Church itself has changed names with every foundation, the members have always retained the title The Order Of the Eternal Serpents.
A rough timeline of The Order Of the Eternal Serpents and The Church Of the Illuminator.
- The Church Of the Illuminator, Founded 1880, Brichester, England, Destroyed by fire 1901
- प्रकाश के पुनर्जीवित मंदिर (The Resurrected Temple Of Light), Founded 1908, Kodumon, India, Destroyed by a storm 1916
- Tercera Iglesia del Portador de la Antorcha (The Third Church Of the Torchbearer), Founded 1922, Toledo, Spain, Destroyed by The Nationalists 1937
- Tokong tanglung Suci (Temple Of the Sacred Lantern), Founded 1939, Klang, Malaysia, Destroyed by riots 1946
- الجمعية لايتبرينجير (Assembly Of the Lightbringer), Founded 1956, Ash Shatrah, Iraq, Destroyed in the Barazani Rebellion 1962
- Brethren Of the New Light, Founded 1989, Shere Neck, AB, Canada, Destroyed by tornado 1999
- The Seventh Church Of the Illuminator, Founded 2008, Philadelphia PA, USA, as of yet undestroyed.
- Harriet Dayton-Bell, We Hatch the Eggs Of Vipers and Spin a Spider’s Web
- Unknown, The King In Yellow
- Ludwig Prinn, De Vermis Mysteriis
- John Dee, Liber Loagaeth
- Lucille Moore, Doctrine Of the Secret Eyes
- Godfré Ray King, Unveiled Mysteries
- Unknown, Černé Vodítko
- Sacrament Of Eight Eyes
- The Book Of Evagh