(Created by: Andre Ribeiro <firstname.lastname@example.org>)
Back when the world was new, God created Man.
And gave him free will.
He also created Woman, Lilith, who taught God what humans could do with their free will.
"Abba, it was wrong. Finish it," said God's most beloved angel, Lucifer, "They cannot become what we are. Ever."
God, however, had been already enchanted by humanity and Lucifer's words scattered amidst Heaven's soft winds.
God made then another Woman - no free will this time.
Now it would work.
And here's why.
"Because thou hast done this, thou art cursed above all cattle, and above every beast of the field; upon thy belly shalt thou go, and dust shalt thou eat all the days of thy life." ~ Gen. 3:14
Ophis, also known in Western Tradition as The Serpent, was indeed the first being created by Lilith. Before the Fall of Lucifer, when Adam and Eve were still naming animals for Yves in the Garden of Eden, Lilith roamed the world rejoicing in her total and absolute freedom. There were no men to give her orders, no God to make her obey them. She was alone and she was free.
And she was lonely.
What is the point of freedom if there's no one to share it with you?
So Lilith, who was still able to draw upon the Symphony and manipulate its Forces, wished for company. She wanted someone who, like her, enjoyed life and all the freedom that came with it. And Ophis came to be.
But in spite of being physically identical to Lilith, Ophis couldn't help herself being sorry for humanity. She had embodied Lilith's concept of "free will" and, for her, it was a pity that Adam and Eve lived enclosed in a dictatorial garden, controlled by God. And she started to get closer to Eden, to better sort out how she could help them.
Ophis realized that God hadn't told Adam and Eve a thing about the corporeal or the celestial worlds. In fact, the pair seemed to live like children in an endless summer field. They didn't long for a life outside the garden, because they simply ignored that such existed. Ophis didn't like the sound of God's Symphony and so she went back to Lilith, asking her how come she knew so much and mankind so little.
"I have partaken of the fruit from the Tree of Knowledge," said Lilith, "That's why I couldn't stand Eden no more."
And Ophis heard from her mother how she came to know she was free to do what she wanted; and more: Where she could find the Tree of Life, the very tree whose fruit would turn one immortal. From this, Ophis envisioned her master plan: to begin a chain reaction that would result in the usurpation of God's order. His first and only step was to deceive Eve into partaking from the Tree of Knowledge; she, in turn, would provoke Adam to do the same. The wisdom gained from the tree would include knowledge of the location and power of the Tree of Life, which the pair would immediately search out and rape. By eating the fruit of the Tree of Life, Adam and Eve would become immortal; they would, in fact, become gods, and challenge the unity of God.
Ophis looked for a vessel which would impress Eve, make her stop and listen to what she had to say. After some thought, she went for a Dragon. The reptilian body, massive claws and large wings, plus a clear and steady speech, would sufficiently do. And the plan was carried on.
However, Lucifer, the beloved archangel, overheard Ophis enlightening Eve. He knew he must had warned the Host, but when the girl led the dragon to Adam for her to finally share its secrets, Lucifer just did the wrong thing and silenced [It wasn't the first time Lucifer did it. Dominic, not yet an archangel then, would perceive that act as he had perceived the previous ones - and finally get the nerve to send a servitor of his, Asmodeus, to warn the Lightbringer of his errors. Fall was a few days apart...].
But something went wrong.
Ophis, unaware of the things she'd set in motion, succeeded in passing the knowledge to both humans and was still reveling in their expressions of amazement as they hear the tunes of the Symphony for the first time when Yves showed up.
He looked sober, more than ever.
"Ophis, what hast thou done?", asked the Archangel of Destiny, and there was a tone of amusement in his voice.
"They must have the right to choose their own path," she replied, "They shalt not fear death now that they may become immortals."
"Hast thou told them the whereabouts of the Tree of Life?"
"Yes, by Lilith I have."
Yves smiled. Somewhere in Heaven, Asmodeus reported Dominic that Lucifer knew what he was doing and that there was a reason to it. The Symphony twitched inside Yves and in that moment he realized the full potential of his word and what He wanted him to do. When he spoke, his voice bore the grace of Heaven itself and the music it contained ringed so beautifully loud that man and woman became deaf to the Symphony once again. Ophis was on their knees, her dragon wings wide open, shivering from fear and joy.
"Thou hast showed me that I not only have a bright Destiny," God said through Yves, "But I may have a dark Fate as well. Because thou hast done this, thou art blessed above all angel, and above every beast of the field. Go protect the Tree of Life and upon thy belly shalt thou go, since wise is the form of the serpent and life it represents. It glides from the earth -- it is the living essence of the soil; from time to time it sloughs its old skin cells, an image of its former self -- it represents recurring youthfulness; its penetrating eyes sparkle with unusual luster -- it signifies celestial wisdom. But as celestial as thou may be, since thou cared so much for Man, a being of dust, from now on thou shalt dwell only on Earth, and dust shalt thou eat all the days of thy life."
Ophis knew then that this was a blessing and a curse, all in one. Her dragon vessel had lost its claws and wings and she was locked in a serpent vessel forever - geased to hide the tree she would be glad to let Man find.
"As for Adam and his wife," and this was Yves' voice once more, "They already know too much to live near the Tree. They must be taken east of the garden and shalt no longer call Eden home." Yves sent two cherubim to watch over Adam and Eve's first steps [they were Novalis and Zadkiel, none of them archangels yet] and put Michael, the Firstborn, to guard the garden with his lambent sword [he wouldn't stay there for long. When his brother Lucifer rebelled, Michael led his sword into the fray and personally cast him out of Heaven - becoming Archangel of War].
Yves then hurried to take the pair away - he had yet to go back to Heaven and name his soul-mate, the Fate of the Symphony, Kronos - and to the desert lands of Nod they went.
And yet Man was now free to live as they wanted, Ophis wept as she realized she would never see them again.
[Lilith went mad when she found out what had happened. She tried to free her first daughter, but she couldn't overcome God's power - and it filled her with anger. When Lucifer Fell, some days after, he didn't have to ask her twice - she would never side with the tyranny of Heaven. Lucifer said the Symphony could and should be something to be tampered with, and that was just how she felt about it.]
Nonetheless, thousands of years later, Man turned back and headed west, in small boats and rafts, rediscovering Eden.
Many years later still, in large caravels, Hell did the same.
And Eden, now Americas, was never the same...
If Ophis is still alive? Yes, she is. She no longer loves humanity, though. As she sees it, humans were long ago twisted by the War - twisted beyond salvation, with very few exceptions. She has geased herself to protect the Amazon, the last portion of the original Garden of Eden, and the Tree of Life, the one whose fruit can make a human truly immortal - in other words, can turn their corporeal souls into celestial ones. The Tree is a Tether of Michael, leading directly to his camp in The Groves - a vestige of the connection formed when the then young warrior was its keeper. Ophis cannot go to Heaven though, not even through the Tree. However, although she is bound to the corporeal plane, she can assume her celestial form - and she does so without disturbing the Symphony, so part of it she is now. Her celestial form looks like a giant green anaconda, with horns.
She also has servants, angelic ones, who call themselves "Ophites" (she like to call'em "volunteers") and who help her in her duty against the infernal forces - specially those of Saminga, who wants the tree of Life destroyed at any cost. These volunteers are lent by their Superiors - most frequently Michael, Janus and David, followed by Novalis, Zadkiel and Jordi - and have access to her Rites and Servitor Attunements.
Despite God's geas, Ophis herself serves no one. And that's just the way she wants it.
Ophis wouldn't force her volunteers to do anything. They may help her the way they find better. Nevertheless, while helping Ophis, angels cannot leave the corporeal plane.
Every volunteer receive the attunement State of Ophis (IN, pg. 163, one of Baal's attunements. how he got hold of it is an interesting story in itself...) for free. It reflects their commitment to Life and their bonds with the corporeal plane.
This attunement allows an Ophite to move smoothly and with little effort in any kind of terrain, still silently and furtively. They're not delayed by anything (not even water!), if there's room for them to pass. Any attempt to detect their approximation has a -4 penalty.
The Ophite can shed the dead cells of his vessel as snakes do. It's a lengthy and painful process, but can save the Ophite's vessel of being killed. When an Ophite's body hits goes to 0, he doesn't fall unconscious. His vessel looks dead, but the Ophite is awake an can leave his skin in celestial form to reform later. Reforming takes a full day and costs all the angel's Essence.
With this attunement, the Ophite can stun an opponent just looking at him, as the opponent has a glimpse of God's wisdom and glory. The victim will be stunned for a number of combat rounds equal to the Celestial forces of the Ophite.
Ophis cannot be invoked.
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