Eternal of Night
Sung is the Rainbow Serpent. This eternal appears equally at home in male or female guises - as a shapeshifter Sung can take on whatever form she considers appropriate. She is usually considered to be female, however, and often identifies herself as such - regardless of the gender (if any) of the form she has taken.
Sung collects neither titles nor sobriquets, but acquires them nonetheless. In some places she is called the Whispering Wind, while Kallavesi mystics refer to her as the Feather on the Breeze. She is both Lady of Mysteries and Lord of Illusions, as well as the Spiral Dancer in the Brass Coast. In Urizen several spires celebrate her as the Everflowing River and hang brightly coloured streamers on their battlements that dance and sway in the wind.
It is well known that Sung claims that her name both is and is not actually Sung. Before his unexpected disappearance while investigating the Whisper Gallery the Dawnish enchanter Warwick de Alyons put forward a theory suggesting that Sung's real name may actually be expressed as music rather than words - in that this would mean it was not "Sung" but was still 'sung' (rather than spoken). The eternal did not confirm or deny, but did allegedly favour the clever Dawnishman with a special boon of which he never spoke.
Sung admits freely that she is a serpent - that her true form is that of a limbless snake with feathered wings (as distinct from a wyrm , the Night eternals whose true form is that of a wingless lizard). As with other serpents, this tends to mean that Sung is more cerebral and philosophical than the earthy, practical eternals such as Sadogua: she is concerned with subtle, esoteric matters. Unlike her fellow serpents such as Soghter, however, Sung appears to be somewhat grounded and less prone to the kind of extremes that lead scholars to dub an eternal 'mad'.
Her most common appearance is as a naga dressed in layers of loose multicoloured robes. Regardless of their precise cut, they always include flowing sleeves that suggest wings. She usually wears a head-dress of brightly coloured feathers, similar to those favoured by many Sumaah. This head-dress often holds in place a veil, similar to those popular in parts of Highguard.
Sung is soft spoken, with a gentle and pleasant temperament, but given to teasing and asking impossible or leading questions. She rarely raises her voice and appears to genuinely enjoy pleasant conversation. She especially enjoys the discussion of mysteries, enigmas and riddles - not so much the attempt to answer them, but the joy that comes from sharing theory and speculation with like-minded individuals.
This eternal is usually encountered alone - she often seems quite solitary in her nature. Her heralds usually wear multicoloured garb, and share her desire to discuss enigmas and inexplicable events. They tend to express a deep personal affection for their patron - and almost alone of the heralds of the Night eternals there are none do not identify themselves as her children.
Sung is closely associated with the rune Wyr. She adores mysteries, as distinct from secrets; she loves to explore, expound on, discuss and study the things that nobody knows the truth about. It is mostly disinterested in discovering the solution or answer to a mystery - unless that solution or answer itself raises more mysteries. "It is the mystery which endures." says Sung. "The light of truth kills the mystery, and leaves the seeker desolate." That isn't to say that she will not help those who seek to fathom out a mystery, but the greater the enigma the more tangential or esoteric her aid is likely to be.
Like may Night eternals she loves art - especially music, spoken poetry and stories, drama and dance - but prefers them improvised rather than technical. She also appears to take endless delight in well-done misdirection, sleight of hand ad the skills of mundane magicians. She is known to have little appreciation of sculpture, painting or literature unless those art forms are full of allegory and multi-layered metaphor. Unsurprisingly, she loves mystery stories - but one of the few things known to anger her is the explanation that so often comes at the end of a mystery story or play. It is wise, when performing for Sung, to leave the resolution of the mystery unstated and instead engage in speculation about how the story might have developed.
There are certain mysteries that Sung returns to time and again. They include the purpose of death; where life comes from; the existence of the soul; the meaning of existence; the identity of the Creator; the nature of love; the meaning of faith; the point of suffering, and why living beings have the capacity to appreciate beauty. She is fascinated by the priests of Way, but apparently loves to tease them by presenting heretical or blasphemous viewpoints.
Lesser mysteries and enigmas intrigue her, but are quickly discarded. She is sometimes prepared to offer aid in seeking an explanation for such lesser mysteries that are actually secrets - situations where some people already know the answer but are keeping that information to themselves. Examples might include investigations into mysterious murders, or for seemingly inexplicable events that are actually the work of mortals.
Sung has little time for the eternals of Day - she makes little effort to conceal her distaste for their focused nature and their common drive to banish all illusion and understand everything. She clearly believes that "nothing sane can survive for long in conditions of absolute truth." This dislike often manifests in an abrupt or unwelcoming attitude to any merrow who come before her. She is also known to dislike the eternals of the Whisper Gallery, considering their fascination with secrets to be 'vulgar'.
Sung rarely lies, but she never tells the entire truth as she knows it. She enjoys misleading and obfuscating, hiding the "facts" in layers of doubt designed to allow people to come to their own conclusions. Speaking about direct facts or trying to cut through to the heart of a situation is a sure-fire way to annoy this subtle eternal.
Unsurprisingly, Sung is known to favour Imperial citizens who reflect something of her own nature. She enjoys verbal sparring with magicians from the League and esoteric speculation with Kallavesi mystics and Urizen stargazers alike. She is also known to have a special affection for the people of Dawn, especially the Weaver cabals and troubadours, but with a soft spot for anyone who embraces the romanticism that lurks at the heart of many Dawnish quests.
The Rainbow Serpent encourages imagination, optimism and speculation. She inspires mortals to embrace the wonder of their world, and to question tradition and easy solutions to problems. She is also a romantic - not just in a carnal sense, but in the sense of a quality or feeling of mystery, excitement, and remoteness from everyday life.
Sung enjoys communicating with mortals. She loves novelty, the inexplicable and the wondrous.
She enjoys weaving illusions, and is known to offer boons to magicians who seek to obfuscate or conceal with shadows, mists or false images (such as the magical disguise created with The Twilight Masquerade.) Magic used to preserve uncertainty or mystery may also gain her favour.
When she wishes to offer a minor boon to someone, she may give them one of her feathers - when dissolved in wine or spirits they may create effects similar to those caused by the Infusions of Feathers, or enhance the effect of rituals such as Signs and Portents or Sift the Dreamscape's Sands - Sung is said to be the only creature who knows the truth about the ruined city visited by mortal magicians who invoke that ritual, but refuses to share her knowledge. In her darker moments she inspires curses and maledictions that cause confusion or hallucinatory madness.
While Sung does not wish to see mysteries solved (or "destroyed" as she might put it), she encourages inquisitive spirits who rely on intuition and leaps of logic. The ritual Shadowed Glass of Sung goes some way towards explaining her attitude - the ritual does not provide facts or resolve a situation - it allows the magician to find the clues that will help them work out their own conclusion. More than anything else, this is how Sung prefers to see the world; a multitude of people, places, things and events that can be understood only through the exercise of intuition and imagination.
During Winter 378YE, Sung made contact with Imperial magicians and helped them to design the ritual Clear Counsel of the Everflowing River. The master-magician Simargl of the Circle of Zulgan-Tash arranged for the creation of a suitable ritual text, and during the Spring Equinox 379YE, the Imperial Conclave added the ritual to the body of Imperial lore. Some arcane scholars point to this ritual as being the powerful equivalent not only of Swim Leviathan's Depth, but of Missive for Sadogua as well.