SS4 – Writing History
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A boring world-building chapter. The last we'll see of the unnamed, middle-aged-man-san.

The middle aged man put down the quill and rubbed his hand, hurting from the hours of writing. 

They’re getting nowhere.

He sighed as he looked over at the people gathered. This should, by all accounts, be a historic conference. Never in recorded history had so many influential people, from all races and faiths, gathered in a single place. 

The topic, of course, being the revelation they all experienced. And the artifact that appeared after. That the two were related, was more or less agreed upon. The question they had been discussing at the moment, was how.

The man looked out of the window, gazing to the north as he massaged his hand.

Up there, close to the mountain top, a flash of light bright as the sun had drawn the attention of everyone in the city shortly after the golden barrier appeared to the south. 

As one of the scribes working for the city’s lord, he had accompanied the local religious leaders and the city lord as they climbed the mountain to review the artifact the scouting party had found. 

It had the appearance of an enormous hourglass, eight meters in height and four meters in diameter. A thin stream of glittering golden dust falling down from the filled top half. 

The priests had confirmed it was indeed a holy artifact. When they prayed to it, a screen appeared similarly to how other holy artifacts had, by responding with giving a familiar message. The message would inform the person who prayed of the artifact’s nature.

He had been asked to record the message that came in response for the city lord, while the priests recorded their own.

Spoiler

Time remaining: 999 Years, 11 months, 20 days, 5 hours, 24 minutes, 17 seconds.

Creator: YjM#H})Ad&B=,gA(4pSC.6p$ 

[collapse]

The indiscernible name had caused some confusion as to what it meant, which had been another question early in the conference.

The questions being discussed were whether the artifact was responsible for the barrier or not. Whether it could be destroyed. And whether destroying it would result in the dissolution of the barrier.

The man sighed again. The way he saw it, most of it was pointless. After all, the revelation had confirmed that an armistice was agreed upon between the heavens and the demons. As for the moment, they were safe. Their souls were safe.

[Amara, please save our souls.]

The man prayed again. It had become a frequent occurrence for the man; he believed that their new goddess would save them. That the hourglass was her gift to them. To remind them that peace was not eternal; that the demons would come again. 

The different faiths had been in chaos since the revelation. After all, it had proclaimed that their god had changed. Such a revelation had never happened in history before.

The religions had worshipped different gods. Most of them were similar in nature, yet the names and appearances were different, if they had any. Now they had all been told that their gods weren’t protectors of their world anymore, if they were to begin with. 

Many would have doubted that their old gods were gone, that they wouldn’t abandon their faithful followers. It was a natural conclusion to believe that there could be several gods; the holy artifacts could be prayed to in order to see it’s creator.

Except they were all gone.

Every single holy artifact had vanished. Wherever they had been stored, be it temples or royal treasuries. All gone, without any trace.

Divine intervention was the natural answer. 

The conference had begun with the religious leaders from the notable faiths debating alone. They had eventually come to the conclusion that the holy artifacts were probably not destroyed by a new goddess, envious of her predecessors. 

Instead they drew the conclusion that it too was a result caused by the terms of the armistice. After all, it stated that the battle would be between the new goddess and the demon lord. As such, the priests decided that powers from other gods were likely not permitted in the future conflict.

But that only told them two dire things. Their gods weren’t as powerful as they thought. After all, why else would they agree to an armistice? And the second thing painted a far grimmer picture.

The old gods had truly left them. Amara would stand alone. 

The man had wept tears in grief, pride and gratitude for their new goddess. Who else would have the courage to stand against such a powerful foe? In his heart he condemned the old gods as cowards.

After visiting the church, the man had found out that the gods needed prayers. Only by showing your faith, could it be rewarded. A miracle would never happen without a prayer.

So he prayed. 

[Amara, please save our souls.] 

He wanted to give Amara all the strength he could give her.

Now, the present religious leaders had decided to merge their faiths into the Amaran Church, led by the leader of the previously largest religion; it had possessed the most holy artifacts and records. The other faiths had mostly begun after the supposed appearance of other gods, some who left holy artifacts behind in the distant past. Few were heard or seen of again though. 

The priests’ respect for the old gods remained unchanged. They believed that the old gods were by no means cowardly. Only that amongst the gods, when deciding amongst them, Amara had stepped forward. 

Gospels were already being written, depicting her bravery.

The man was tired. The discussion often went in circles, or took a turn as someone diverted the conversation for their aims.

With the united faiths, they had begun with declaring that now was the time for them all to stand united. Which meant that they were saying nothing different from before, as they had already been calling for the different nations to unite against the demons that had been assaulting the lands.

And the political leaders remained divided. Countries that had held holy artifacts and previously held in prestige, now held nothing in the cases when they had been reliant on them as deterrence against others.

Countries that had lost land behind the barrier, unable to support themselves on their reduced territory, now claimed that they needed to have rights to land from other countries, using the heavenly armistice as a justification.

Many looked to the priests of Amaran Church to ask guidance from the goddess, that she should aid resolve their situation.

Yet their new goddess was silent. Just like his, the priests’ prayers went unanswered. The old gods, although very rarely, had occasionally answered prayers.

Many were unnerved. Had she already abandoned them? Was the goddess angry? If so, it was because they hadn’t united and pushed back the demons the priests proclaimed. After all, it had been ten years since the demons first appeared.

The man didn’t think so. He thought Amara wasn’t answering because she was preparing. After all, she had to. If Amara was going to take on the task of several gods upon her beautiful shoulders, she would need to be strong. 

So he prayed.

[Amara, please save our souls.]

His wife had become jealous that he held another woman in his thoughts. He had argued he didn’t think about Amara that way, that he only did it for them. For her, and their children.

His wife had also become upset when he had taught their children to pray, as he had been quite adamant. Their children couldn’t understand the meaning of the revelation, nor the need to pray. With tears in his eyes he had begged them to do as he said, at least until they came of age.

His wife had said that the only woman allowed to be the source to his tears was her. She understood where he was coming from, and prayed herself. She had tried to bring him to church in the past, but he said he could not bring himself to do things he had no heart in. That it would be disrespectful to the gods to pray to them, simply because he was told to.

Ironic, since that was what he was now trying to make his children do.

His wife had told him that he was free to make his prayers, but otherwise restrain himself. And she accused him of suddenly becoming a fanatic believer simply because their deity now was a woman. He had responded that the goddess’s gender had nothing to do with it. But he apologized in the end, and promised to be more civil.

But he didn't mind the discord with his wife. For it had made their nights more interesting.

The man was brought back from his thoughts as the raised voice of a neighbouring ruler cut the atmosphere.

The man sighed one last time and picked up his quill once again.

By the time Amara would go to do battle he would be long forgotten, but his work would not be.

He halted as an intricate golden cup flew across the room, making the debate take a turn as the tension that had been building between the political leaders finally boiled over.

The man watched the scene that ensued.

[Amara, please save our souls.]

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