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Warning! This page contains spoilers for Aru Shah and the Song of Death.


AruShah Not part of Riordanverse

The following article is from the Aru Shah continuity and not the Riordanverse canon.

Once, I lived in the great Khandava Forest with my family. Back then, Indra was my friend. But one day, Agni, the god of fire, grew hungry, and decided that nothing would sate him except my forest. My home. And you helped him. You helped him burn it all down.

–To Aru Shah, Aru Shah and the Song of Death

Takshaka ("TAHK-shah-kah") is a former Naga king, guardian of the treasury room in the Naga Realm, and trusted companion to Queen Uloopi.

History

Takshaka used to be king of the Naga tribe in the ancient Khandava ("KUHN-duh-vuh") Forest ruled by Mayasura. He was also a good friend of Indra, the god of thunder and heaven, he even gave him a boon that made Takshaka immune to lightning.

On the advice of Lord Krishna, Arjuna burned the forest down for hungry Agni to consume, as request by Brahma. Indra sent his favorite clouds to put out the fire, but Arjuna had Krishna on his side and it was too much work for him. Takshaka was the only one who escaped, but most of his family was killed, he has sworn vengeance on all of the Pandavas ever since.[2]

Arjuna's grandson, King Parikshit, angrily insulted a meditating sage by beating him up with a dead snake for refusing to give him food and water. His son, Sringin cursed Parikshit to die by a snake bite before the next week. Takshaka did the deed by sneaking into the kingdom as a merchant and biting Parikshit while he was meditating on Lord Vishnu.[3] Parikshit's son, Janmejaya, heard what happened and decided wipe out all of the snakes by performing a great sacrifice called the Sarpa Satra. However, a young sage named Astika, who was the son of a nagini named Manasa, intervened setting Takshaka free.[4]

Rick Riordan Presents

Pandava Quartet

Aru Shah and the Song of Death

Takshaka first appeared in the Court of the Sky with Uloopi and some of the other Council of Guardians when the Pandavas were accused of stealing the bow and arrow of Kamadeva and using it to turn men into Heartless Zombies. They come to the conclusion that only one of them could've gotten past Takshaka, who said the alarm went off when the breach in security, destroying the alibi Hanuman said about them being at the Night Bazaar at the time. The Pandavas were required to retrieve the bow and arrow from the real thief or have their souls go dormant and be banished from the Otherworld forever. Takshaka told them that new Pandavas will come along if they fail, then he makes a portal in which he and Uloopi leave through.

In the Naga Realm, Takshaka was seen in a vision of the past talking Uloopi of all the Pandavas' deaths and how Arjuna did not return to her. He said he just tried to warn her about him being a monster despite also being a hero, like when he burned down his home. Takshaka told Uloopi that he would tell her if her gem was found, and she called him a true friend. However, as Uloopi did not have her jewel, she could not tell that Takshaka was actually lying. The three Nagini who showed the Pandavas the vision had her jewel which they gave to them.

Takshaka's jewel

His jewel

Takshaka later ambushed the Pandavas when they arrived at the treasury to retrieve the thief's soul song. He slithered down the shelves knocking jewels on the floor and turned into his full-snake form. He thought for sure that he ended their line by killing Parikshit but they came back. When Aru Shah tried to introduced herself, Takshaka was couldn't believe that Arjuna's soul was in her body, calling it feeble. He saw this as a sign that the gods were cruel by summoning her instead of themselves. Like Indra, who failed to stop Agni from eating the Khandava Forest due to Krishna, that's where he got the scars from. With no gods on their side now, Aru tries to have Takshaka make up with Indra. But Takshaka is now friends with the Sleeper, and he almost bit Aru then neatly dodged her thrown Vajra spear. Aru tried to use Vajra as an arrow, but Takshaka was so fast that his tail just knocked the bolt aside, then it caught her in the stomach and she crashed into a wall. Before he could quickly kill Aru, Aiden Acharya played Despacito by Luis Fonsi while Brynne Rao blowed Takshaka back with her mace, Mini told them in a dream to use music. Aru used this opportunity to find the thief's soul song, but before she could to it Aiden's phone hit a car insurance commercial, allowing Takshaka to approach the two. But Aru changed Vajra into a hoverboard and use it to grab the phone herself. Aiden propped Takshaka jaws open with one of his scimitars only for it be dislodged with the thrashing of his head and Aiden went sprawling due to Takshaka's tail. However Aru managed to turn up the volume on his phone while Taylor Swift's Look What You Made Me Do played, Brynne taunted Takshaka asking if he was a Katy Perry fan. Takshaka slammed his tail on the ground causing more treasures to fall, Aru managed to catch the soul song but Takshaka heard her when she gasped. He knocked Aru off her hoverboard and Aiden's phone broke when it fell, Takshaka mocks them by completely Taylor Swift's lyric that said she's dead. He demanded the soul song, revealing that he let the female thief in the treasury in the first place. He tells Aru that her very heartbeat will betray her and lunged at her, she decided to keep him busy while he passed the song onto Brynne and Aiden using Vajra. He bit into the shelf and quickly avoided a heavy book, Aru tried to use Vajra as a net on him but he easily escaped due to Indra's boon. Brynne barricaded his jaws with some shelves then blew him back, but that caused Aiden to fall. Just when it seemed like there was no way out, drums from bhangra started playing, even Takshaka enjoyed this music. The music came from his grandson who was at the secret passageway, Takshaka was so furious he saw his grandson not a part of his lineage, but his grandson tells his Dada-ji that what he is doing is wrong. He pulled out speakers and Takshaka fell into a trance on the floor while the Pandavas escaped.

Takshaka was later seen at the Ocean of Milk with the true thief of Kamadeva's bow and arrow. She was Meenakshi, who was more commonly known as Surpanakha, the rakshasa sister of the demon king Ravana who started the war in Ramayana. He arrived to the princess and her army of Heartless to celebrate them finally getting the amrita, the nectar of immortality in a labyrinth guarded by snakes with fire that can kill anything with heartbeat. He saw this place as miserable and couldn't wait to retrieve the amrita so they could leave. This was witnessed by the Pandavas and Durvasa in the astral plane of the Department of Many Voices.

Kamadeva love arrow

The arrow of Kamadeva, the weapon he helped Meenakshi steal

Takshaka came after Meenakshi when the Pandavas arrived at the golden labyrinth as well. She wanted some time alone with them, but Takshaka noted that they are on the side of the devas so they wouldn't join their cause. Aiden got mad saying that Takshaka betrayed Queen Uloopi, Takshaka was not ashamed to admit it. He thought Uloopi was wise before but thought her judgement became compromised when she fell in love with Arjuna calling it pathetic. He hid her heart jewel, took her eternal youth, and made her weak on purpose saying she couldn't be trusted. Aiden responds saying that wasn't his choice to make, he was actually recording this conversation using his camera, Shadowfax. Takshaka said he to do it for the greater good and Uloopi wouldn't listen, Meenakshi said that was a noble act. She explained she wanted to use the amrita to make the story of her and others, including the Sleeper who got the idea, immortal. After five minutes of discussion, the Pandavas decided to go against them, Takshaka told Meenakshi this would happen. After slithering through the ranks of the Heartless, he went sprawling from Brynne's wind mace and his tail whipped forward knocking Meenakshi to her feet. Takshaka caught the arrow before it the ground and took control of it, but as per Aru's plan, a rakshasa named Hira disguised herself as Meenakshi to receive the arrow from him. Takshaka was shocked and confused at this trickery with the Heartless, Aru reluctantly plunged the arrow in Meenakshi's heart and she faded.

Before leaving through a portal, Takshaka reveals that the Pandava's have missed their deadline. He came back wearing full regalia of the naga court along with Urvashi, Hanuman, and Uloopi. He pretended that he had nothing to do with the theft, in the Court of the Sky he warned the Pandavas that any persistence in their "fantasy" and the council won't reverse their sentence when they got to his part. But Aiden suddenly showed the video he recorded with Shadowfax, Uloopi, who received her heart jewel from Aru back, was furious in pain at Takshaka's betrayal. For dishonoring his house and name, and breaking the vows of friendship and loyalty sworn to her that are unforgivable, she has a retinue of naga guards drag his away while his hissed and thrashed against their hold. However, it is later revealed that Takshaka managed to escape his jailers and disappear, Aru knew that he is clever.

Personality

Due to the tragedy of burning of his home in his past, Takshaka harbors a deep resentment toward the Pandavas and anyone with asura lineage. He once shared a close friendship with Indra but they don't hang out together anymore. He also hates music, especially Despacito by Luis Fonsi and songs by Taylor Swift.

Appearance

Takshaka had a huge, scaly and jet-black tail that can flash livid red, the prone torso of a man, and a forked tongue. He looked immortally youthful, but had an ancient and powerful aura. Serious burn marks roped across his brown chest and face. His cobra eyes were milky white with blindness. A dark blue jewel gleamed at the center of his forehead.

Takshaka can transform into the complete form of a snake, his face ripples when this happens. His head was scaled and ancient scars striped his diamond-shaped forehead and his face was cobra hooded. His fangs can lengthen and drip venom, they were stained yellow and one was chipped.[5]

Abilities

Although he is sightless, Takshaka has a mystical ability to sense his surroundings.[6]

  • Shapeshifting: Takshaka can transform from a half-man, half-snake being to a full cobra form.
  • Electrical Immunity: Due to a boon from Indra, his old friend, Indra, Takshaka is immune to lightning.

Trivia

References

Pandava Quartet
Books: Aru Shah and the End of Time | Aru Shah and the Song of Death | Aru Shah and the Tree of Wishes
Main Characters: Aru Shah | Mini | Brynne Rao | Aiden Acharya | Sleeper | Meenakshi | Takshaka
Council of Guardians: Boo | Urvashi | Hanuman | Jambavan | Uloopi | Surasa | Kubera
Minor Characters: Pandavas | K. P. Shah | Arielle Reddy | Poppy Lopez | Burton Prater | Brahmasura | Valmiki | Palace of Illusions | Shukra | Gandhari | Durvasa | Shakuntula | Rambha | Ravana | Navdeep | Hira | Jaya and Vijaya
Devas: Indra | Dharma Raja | Vayu | Ashvins | Krishna | Shiva | Chitrigupta | Ganesh | Lakshmi | Ritus | Kamadeva | Varuni | Varuna | Ratri | Ushas | Agni | Brahma
Creatures: Makara | Asura | Chakora | Naga | Rakshasa | Vahanas | Ek and Do | Timingala | Time | Wish | Zombie | Apsara | Yaksha
Related Content: Roshani Chokshi | Rick Riordan Presents
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