| "This secret is perhaps not as carefully guarded as it should be."
Beyond this point lie spoilers for Fallen London, Sunless Sea, or Sunless Skies. This may include midgame or Ambition-related content. Proceed with caution.
"It moves when you grasp it. A snake's head appears beside you. "Excuse me," it hisses. Your apology is profuse. Mollified, the snake becomes chatty. He asks you if you've any news of the Fingerkings. The Fingerkings?"
Fingerkings are snake-like entities that swim in the dreams of the denizens of the Neath.
Fingerkings swim in a river of memory and dreams, called the Writhing River, which can be accessed via several locations scattered around the Neath (Hunter's Keep and Irem are examples). Little is known of their origins or purpose, but they occasionally help individuals understand lost knowledge and secrets. Even the Bazaar itself is not safe from the Fingerkings' influence. If one makes a deal with them it is possible to peer into the deepest secrets of the world, but that's not advisable. (Look at what happened to poor July, a member of the Calendar Council.) The Fingerkings are known for traveling through mirrors, making places like Varchas rather dangerous for unprotected humans. Since Parabola is lawless, Fingerkings can take on many forms, such as that of a dragon, or a winged snake.
The cats are the sworn enemies of the Fingerkings, to the point that simply showing one a snake will lead to an eternal hissing contest. The Third Coil of The Labyrinth of Tigers houses humans that were possessed by these creatures. Mirrors are banned for obvious reasons.
Catching Dream-Snakes Edit
Should one ever happen to get on the bad side of a Fingerking, it's advised that the unfortunate individual never sleep, ever, lest they be killed permanently by furious dream-snakes. (The Tireless Mechanic is in this situation.) These are the last thing many people want to meet, but many knowledge-craving madmen have double-crossed Fingerkings in order to discover forbidden secrets. One who has done so can only stave off sleep for so long; if they do want to rest, they will have to build a serpent trap. It's a clever creation that allows its snake-plagued maker at least one night of sleep. It uses a Clay Man as a decoy to draw the Fingerkings' attention away from oneself; the snakes eat the Clay Man's soul, and the trap becomes one of the few sources of the elusive Neathy green called viric.
The Fingerkings Desperately Want...Edit
...to exist. This is why they possess humans, they want a taste of reality. If a Fingerking ventures to the Surface, it will be instantly destroyed by the sunlight.