Rob Does Words
Treating fiction poorly since 2019


There were no churches for our Gods. No shrines or sacrifices. No prayers or tithes. Our Gods didn't truck with that behaviour.

Or that was the line we were constantly fed at school.

The Gods didn't appreciate ass-kissing or supplicants who were just looking for a scapegoat. And there was no hope for those who denied their existence.

Me? I'm not too worried about their wrath. Sure, any one of them could destroy us. Laughably easily. But they didn't. That was always the argument I had with the more devout acquaintances I had: they didn't threaten us, aside from existing. More than that, they had left well enough alone through any number of times when shit went sideways due to our own actions. I figured so long as no one went and antagonised them specifically, then they had no reason to do anything to us. And, by and large, there were no instances where evidence was presented to the contrary.

Now, I mean, Af, Gadreel and possibly even Armaros had been present at the recent civil war across the continent, but they didn't actually do anything except watch. Even among themselves there was little to no interaction.

I've often wondered what they did when they weren't overseeing, so to speak, specific events that call to them. There are a lot of ideas, but its hard to study them in safety since Bezaliel and Satharieal both watched the schools, waiting for someone to put their foot in it.

The one question they really allowed us to ask, and some had even said they encouraged it, was ‘how many are there?’

Most people considered there to be ten or so major gods which could wipe us out whenever they chose, plus another dozen or so minor ones, which could do serious damage if they wanted to. Sounds good, right? Well, if you go back merely thirty years, a single generation, four of the ones we currently recognise didn't exist. Well, they probably existed, we just didn't know about it. These four are the thrust of my study.

Baraquiel, the god of thunder and lightning, wielding his massive force during the humid summer months towards the central peaks. Hiding in the mountains, alongside Ananiel, waiting for his time to let loose. Bara was once assumed to just be a piece of Ana, however we know now that he is his own being, albeit somewhat weaker and with a smaller area of influence.

Kokabiel, the overarching, or so we said, god of the stars. Forever preventing us from exploring her secrets. Along with Samshiel and Sariel, she kept our planet safely hanging in the sky. What gets me about Koka is that, well, there are thousands upon thousands of stars in the sky, why has she been sitting in our sky for the last decade or so?

Third on my list is the god of fog. A very slippery customer and probably the most anti-social of our expansive pantheon. Going by the name of Chaziquiel, she tends to stay away from civilisation, sticking to the forests and abandoned coastlines. We only found out about her as we spread out from the cities to expand our farmland. My life dream is to have a conversation with her. Unfortunately, I have to be realistic and assume that will never happen.

Of course, nothing I will do in my career will ever answer the one question that matters. I'm not focused on the quantity of gods as a whole, but the quality. I want to know what determines what or how a god manifests.

Any information we have on the subject comes from either the mute Penemue or the devious Satharieal. While I consider Pene trustworthy, Sath obviously isn't. And either one will protect their own interests before ours; they are gods after all.

There are a few expeditions out in the world currently trying to locate the current manifestations of some of the more non-hostile gods. I look forward to their findings.

Somewhere far away.

The sight boggled the mind. Mostly because it was the first time any of us had seen a manifestation. But on top of that, it just happened to be Af. The god of anger. One of the biggest, most active, and by a large margin the most hostile of the gods.

We had no idea what had happened here. So instead of trying to figure that out, we just wrote down what we saw. Every detail. So here goes.

Af stood so tall, straddling the Blanc River which ran north to south down the entire continent, itself over three kilometers wide.

Aside from its – I use it as there's no way to tell from here whether its male or female, and really, do those labels even apply to gods? - height, the most striking aspect was the sword which had skewered it between the shoulder blades and exited out about where our hearts would be. Blood, frozen in time, bloomed from the entry point. Various lacerations and cuts seeped the same bright red blood and its forearms, for some reason detached at the elbows, were just solid red.

A look of immense pain was plastered on its face, most of which was obscured from view by its hair, the same shade of white as the rest of its body.

There are no combination of words which can describe the scene properly. Even without its injuries, the scale itself boggles the mind.

We were stuck now, though. Af was not the god we were looking for, hell no one should ever hunt this thing down. But there it is, directly in our way to the desert.

Someone points out that there should be a village where it’s standing. But even if there was, nothing for miles could withstand the emanations that Af puts out, even here, some two dozen miles away, we were beginning to feel it and we were ordered to break camp and head back the way we came.

The desert god would have to wait.

Then someone put words to something I had been struggling with this whole time.

“What can do that to Af?”

Because none, not even the Elementals, had ever dared to stand against the god of anger.