The grandfather of serpents, the Cherokee say, dwells in high mountains and deep waters. Spangles of iridescent light glimmer from the feathers along its back, and on its fearsome head there is a diamond that seethes with power. Those brave enough and clever enough--those who can rest the diamond away--enjoy great strength and fortune. But they are seldom happy for long. The great serpent is as much spirit as flesh, and no man was meant to touch something that throbs with the unreal. Even so much as breathing its air can cause a man to sicken and die.
So the Cherokee avoid the black ponds and shun the high mountain hollows. Even the power of a diamond is not worth the wrath of the Uktena.