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*Drip* *Drip* *Drip*

Listen close, and you might just hear the echoes of fallen gods watering these lands.

What is it that surprises you? Is it their number? A host of countless pantheons of a multitude of worlds all converging here in the deadlands? Or is it simply their presence that confounds you? The living always say that everything dies. Yet, they always seem to exclude the gods in those thoughts. Forgo the notion that these beings, as mighty as they are, can come to an end of their own. Take that pile of gods there.

For a time, theirs was a prosperous, beautiful land. Rolling hills and valleys lined with bountiful fields and orchards producing naught but the finest foods stretched from horizon to horizon. With rivers and lakes so clear one could see for miles to their bottoms without fail. And come night the heavens were mirrored back in equal splendor as the waters and skies joined in an inseparable union.

But as is the nature of things, there was no peace. Want and strife drove the inhabitants to savage squabbles that threatened to decimate the region. And they might have, had the gods not intervened. Perhaps they took pity on the bickering, lesser creatures. More likely, they didnt care to see their meticulously crafted canvas torn to shreds.

Thus a temple was erected. Modest stone polished and stacked with care that the children of the world might be granted audience with the divine. The Greater Gods carefully tested and appointed their emissaries to dwell within the temple, anointing them with the responsibility to guide and care for the mortals in their stead. So when the Greater Gods ascended back to the heavens upon the temple's completion, word spread fast. The mortal masses flocked from countries away to visit the temple and its resident gods.

And day after day, they fell to their knees before those gods and cried:

“Oh, my Lords! Will you bestow upon us the salvation we seek?”

And the gods would look down with warm smiles and knowing eyes and reply:

“Yes, dear child. We can offer our guidance to alleviate your sorrows. Follow us and listen, and all will be well”

And so the cycle continued for generations. The gods dutifully continued to help as the mortals came and went, clamoring for their boons. And a measure of stability was instilled.

But one day, there was a change.

The winds shifted and stars flowed across the skies as a new god materialized in the temple. The other gods must have been surprised by the new arrival. It's not every day a new god is born, despite what the number of divine corpses we have down here would lead you to believe. But the temple gods welcomed their new kin nonetheless.

The mortals, on the other hand, were much more enthusiastic. They journeyed to the temple en masse, eager to display their concerns and questions to the new god. The sudden addition to their pantheon an invigorating jolt to their faith. Though just as many were simply enamored with the presence of something new, opting to sit by and casually listen to the new gods’ illuminations of the world.

The new god, to their credit, attended to their duties as best they could. Interacting with their followers with all the haughty, well-meaning arrogance a newborn god would muster. Their methods were… unorthodox, often at odds with the advice and actions of the other gods, much to their dismay.

The other gods of the temple tried to intervene, offering gentle guidance that their fellow god might be tempered, molded into a deity worthy of their station. Clearly, the advice was ignored. And over time the other gods ceased their attempts. Perhaps they figured that as long as it stuck to its tasks, age would grant wisdom, and lessen its problematic disposition. Besides, if its methods worked and the mortal needs were met, what was the harm of letting things be?

Oh, how wrong they were.

Nobody quite remembers what happened. Such is the curse of any soul who is unlucky enough to end up buried in the eternal sands of the deadlands. Their stories are out there for any determined to find them, but the details are often not as lucky.

Some have rumored it was a desperate lover seeking to reconcile with their estranged partner. Others argue it was a general, seeking guidance before a great battle. But what all agree on, is that the new god misstepped. The words they offered the mortal that day ended in profound tragedy, despite the god's intentions.

Word spread like wildfire, as one could expect from such a staggering realization. The gods, whom the people had worshiped for generations untold- were fallible. The guidance they held in such esteem might lead them astray.

Hopeful eyes once full of awe and wonder in the gods' presence evolved into venomous glares of disdain and doubt as the people began to keep their distance from the temple, tumbling back to their old ways.

And that would not stand. The Greater Gods descended from the heavens, admonishing the temple gods for their failures. The skies shook with their grievances and irritation that could be heard for miles. They had brought shame upon the temple, and in that shame, the offerings and worship of the mortals had begun to run dry. The Greater Gods had chosen them to act as their will. If the temple gods were incapable of upholding themselves to their standards, then they would be replaced.

Most of the temple gods took the scolding in stride. Renewing their vows to help their mortal followers, and bring glory to the temple and the Greater Gods.


The new god seethed. They had the audacity to dare question its judgment? Those ‘greater gods’ who spent so much time detached from the world that most civilizations had long forgotten their names? Its wisdom? The impudent mortal peons who could barely wipe their own asses before running to its divine feet for guidance?

And for that transgression, the god's rage only grew. The seasons flowed and the god grew callous. Bitter resentment and fury replacing the wide-eyed youthful optimism it had arrived at the temple with. The inner turmoil finally boiled over as the god watched a mortal praying before it at the base of its altar. Visitors to the temple were obviously no strange sight, yet this patron had come every day for the last month. That man, no more than a mere fool, cursed not with madness but with profound confusion and stupidity, had come to ask the same question again. Why must it waste so much of its precious time helping something that refused to learn? Was the god being mocked? Did this insect enjoy being a thorn in its side? In an instant of tumultuous rage, it smote the unsuspecting fool on the spot, bloodied face filled with pain and shock.

And rage. So much rage.

Those who witnessed gathered others from outside, and those mustered more still until a tidal wave of fury and bodies broke upon the temple. They toppled the coffers and shattered the shrines and altars.

The mere mortals, for the first time, brought a god to their level. And with words and fists, they tore its still screaming carcass asunder.

Some of the other temple gods tried to intervene, to plead for peace. Their tears and cries drowned out under the torrent of rage and blood. Until the temple, once filled with gods and mortals, contained only silence.

*drip* *drip* *drip*

Tragic, is it? Maybe, but remember: they’re hardly special. Gods are a dime-a-dozen, tasked with menial work to maintain a grand cosmic equilibrium. Those above them more than happy to replace them at the first notice of failure or disappointment, conscripting a new god from the ether to take their place.Those below only willing to venerate and support them so long as their demands are met. Cursing their existence and casting them aside when it suits them. Not a day goes by that a god isn't felled, their spiritual essence worn down and cast aside like trash.

So listen close as the echoes of fallen gods continue to fill the afterlife.

Because it won't end anytime soon.

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