Remember how I suggested a couple articles ago that the mind of a god whose domain underwent a drastic change might snap? I got to play with that today.
Three gods breathing for a city underground, faced with a threat beyond their means. Three with a dictum of “never again”, but how to give their words the strength? One looking outside to heroes of old? One looking inside, to protect those she serves by sending them away. One in the middle, trapped between the answers.
And then came the one called Forged in Malice, and the problem fell to her to deal with. And then she turned her eyes upon the city.
The first looked to hail the hero she had sought, but her savior was not there for praise, only burial. The second exhorted her flock to flee, as she always had. The third again was paralyzed between choices he had never dreamed would be.
When Forged in Malice left, she left only shells. Corpses without blood, without mark or sign. A city without people. Gods without their minds.
The first one, by her hope betrayed, tells all who come, “Away! Away!” For seeing the light in the darkness, she rejects all light; she will keep her city of corpses safe.
The second’s blame turns inward; she leaves damp footprints among her lost followers, and tears of dust streak the tiles behind her. “There are no gods here,” she wails. “If there had been gods here, they would have intervened. Something would have been different. There are no gods here.”
And the third? Who could he blame for this? What could he have chosen to do? How can the problem be solved now? Nor mortal mind nor godly thought was meant to take this indecision. It is better, then, to forget. He plays with a music box in the city center, and waves to the nice people who prayed to him and gave him this gift. Their prayers still echo with the music in his ears; there is nothing lost. Only life as he knows it.
And racked by sobs or shouting a warning, above the lost, below the mountain, still the city breathes.