Prominent among the Nine who are One is an old associate and long-time ally of the King of Shards: In ancient texts called “It who Scratches at the Gates,” the Gate Scratcher for short, is also known by Its proper name and titles, Sarusammog of the Gates, Master of Time, Lord of Paradox, and Patron of the Fourth god of Terra.
Sarusammog’s appearance resembles something out of a Lewis Carroll story, a seemingly nonsensical mix of furry caterpillar, sans hookah, and long-furred feline with a Cheshire cat-like expression, either comical or creepy depending on who’s looking. Fur-covered tentacles ending in clawed paws with opposable thumbs give it an almost noodle-armed appearance, and these extend from Its upper body segment in two rows just below the head.
It is the first and last of its species to pioneer and perfect the science and technology of time travel, and is in the Gods of Terra setting the unparalleled master of that as a science and as an art form.
It early on also pioneered the fields of Paradox theory and Paradox engineering, and an experiment involving these was the cause of Its own species’ demise, erased from a history in which only The Gate Scratcher was spared.
It is the only being in the resulting altered timeline with any direct knowledge of Its species’ former existence. Even the King of Shards does not know.
Paradox engineering is the application of the laws governing the geometry of spacetime to restructure reality, allowing to happen what would otherwise be physically and even logically impossible given the fundamental structure and behavior of the universe and its spacetime metric.
In fact, neither It nor the King of Shards has any awareness of the others’ current status and whereabouts, such do the mastery of space, time, and reality of each being mutually cancel detection of the other’s presence in the current era of humanity.
The Gate Scratcher’s spacetime travel and paradox technology has been woven into Its very body and brain on the molecular level, permitting It free bodily travel anywhere in time, space, and as well to nearly any reality in the multiverse, as can the Tempest with her own Prime hypershard, Its gift to her.
It is a rather congenial being, and ranges from amusedly indifferent to friendly regarding humanity. It loathes Suthidruu and will destroy them on sight whenever able to.
Just don’t call It “cuddly” as exception may be taken. If that happens one may be sent somewhen or somewhere else unpleasant in an instant of relative time. It does like to have Its fur groomed regularly, though tongue-baths are out of the question.
Its presence does not have a detrimental effect on human minds, unlike the various non-humanoid avatars and the pure incarnation of the King of Shards, but the constant toothy grin and trilling purr in Its voice may put many on edge. It practically oozes confident, predatory charisma despite being rather amiable, and Its voice may have hypnotic effects and even a hint of humor, and when angered, mixed with subtle menace during conversation.
The Gate Scratcher delights in riddles, jokes, and wordplay, and occasionally grants some minor gift, usually a favorite book to one who knows an especially amusing, original, and/or clever one not heard before. And It’s heard a lot of them. It lives onboard a starship, the only real purpose of the vessel being to serve as a mobile dwelling place and somewhere handy to keep Its stuff…
That would include a massive private collection of books from all times and planets visited. It includes originals, or near-perfect replicas, of every book supposed lost forever, from the Great Library of Alexandria in its prime, among other places and times. Never try to steal them, though, as the price for theft is being paradoxed out of existence!
Its collection of science, occult lore, mathematics, philosophy, mythology, and history hail from every inhabited planet It’s ever visited. This includes worlds yet to exist, and the distant past of worlds now dead or destroyed.
It is not easily offended, but roused to anger the cuddly demeanor drops, and the Gate Scratcher becomes a whirlwind of fur, teeth, and claws bent on one goal—taking down the guilty party, in the most efficient, ruthless, way possible.
That’s one reason why It has survived to the present day…that, and a healthy dose of time travel.