Dawn of the Old Gods
Verse in progress
Muses from there: Theodred Sammeth (deadmanbusiness), Melkor Sammeth (deadandvoid), Ashley Carrey/Ashkari (undeadgodandstar), Trever Daly (reincarnshaman), Kale Daly (engineermage) Veena and various kittens (bamfingcats), Eric Teague (nottheritestuff), Rory McCallum crowschild lucky7thson ), Ceilidh McCallum (princessstabbity).
Ceilidh McCallum vs. The Super Evil Fair Lady A short story published in Luna Station Quarterly
In this world everyone has a tiny spark of magic. Gods walk the world and because of this and society has developed quite differently. Perhaps the biggest difference is the lack of Judaism and its descendants, Christianity and Islam. The religions never formed because why believe in a god that doesn’t physically exist when its obvious that there are gods that do. Something happened many years ago that caused a weakening of the gods power. Some say it was humanity’s realization that they didn’t need the gods for everything, like in the Industrial Revolution, or at least their priests. Others say that it’s part of the natural way of things. The gods are fading, its past their time.
In the beginning - for that is how all good stories are told - the Cosmos created the Earth, it created all the worlds out there. Between these worlds it created a great web that attached each world to the others. Then it created the gods. They were beings of unimaginable power. Gods of the Storm walked across the countryside, their steps measured in miles, and in their shadow rain came. Those that derived their power from the moon were so beautiful that if a mortal was unprotected they would go insane. These gods crossed the worlds through the webs, visiting, creating lives and families. Though their children were not as powerful as they were.
Then mortals were created and with them the last of the powerful first gods, the gods of death. They existed in the lands of the living and the lands where the souls went, each god itpherding souls to the afterlife in their own manner. Each creating their own personal niches in the this underworld where the mortals that worshiped them could be happy - or punished if the case need be.
Life was, perhaps, good. The gods certainly thought so. And they used their power without thought of the damage it might cause. But the humans of Earth did not. Though they had power like the gods, it was weaker, a flickering candle flame between the burning devastation of a forest fire. So, the humans banded together and created a large crafting of magic, larger than had ever been seen before. Almost all the humans in the world were part of this ritual and they struck at the gods trying to break free from the gods’ grip over their lives.
Of course, the gods fought back. And though their power was mighty, they weren’t able to completely break free. Some of their ilk did not fight against the mortals, sympathizing with them thus making it harder for the gods to gain the upper hand.
Eventually things got so bad that the leylines of the world, the sources of the mortal’s magic and the connection to the great galactic web started to crack and then it broke at one of the two anchor points - this one located in the heart of what would become Europe - snapping the Earth from the galactic web and creating a massive dead zone, a place where the leylines completely burned out. To this day this area is a magical dead zone where people don’t live or visit because it makes them feel uncomfortable and just wrong.
At this point the Cosmos intervened. It stopped the leylines from leaking power, but it would not reconnect the Earth to the Galactic Web It merely stabilized the second anchor point located in what would later become Eire. Then as punishment for the gods mistreatment of humanity and for humanity’s breaking of the leylines, of the world’s very make up. It tied their powers together. Gods could only gain power and life through mortal worship and mortals could only have access to their magics through worshiping the gods. Thus one could not destroy the other and one could not live without the other. This would be so until the leylines and web was healed.
As for the gods that did not participate, it created their own world and space between the mortal realms and gave them a choice: They could either stay within the mortal world and be tied to the same pact as their siblings, or they could go to this other realm where they would not be tied to such need however they would not be able to live among their siblings or mortals again without giving up a great deal of power. Those that chose this became the first fey and this in between became fairy.
The Cosmos did one last thing before it left. it found an individual - if he was man or god when it approached him it is unknown today - and asked him to keep the balance between the mortals and the gods. To keep the balance of the land.
Over time a few more gods seeking sanctuary for problems unknown in their own world were given leave to cross to Earth, bringing their own people, though it was a one way journey if they agreed to stay. And if they did stay they would be bound by the same rules as the other gods that lived there. Some did, some did not.
One other major event happened sometime after the war: the creation of the Clutching Grove.
The Clutching Grove is a malevolent forest created when the seven eldest children of some of the first fey were stabbed with iron and then hung in a tree being left to die. They were the first fey to be killed by iron and it was a long and suffering death. Their spirits became trapped with the grove and because of the sheer power they had in life and the sheer agony that their death caused they were able to create a haunted grove that moved within the lands of fairy, occasionally slipping into the mortal realms. The grove - and the seven spirits - search out others to join them in their misery. It’s said that if you end up in the Clutching Grove you will not come out. Even gods fear to tread near the Grove because they don’t know if they’ll be able to free themselves from its grasp.
The creation of the Grove is tied to the McCallum family. However this is unknown to most of the world at large except for a few select individuals. The McCallums do not talk about it.
Time passed and the gods, though weaker, kept their thumb upon humanity by the fact that they needed them for magic, to help live and work. But then about four hundred years ago humanity figured out how to make things for themselves without the help of the gods causing the Industrial Revolution. They still needed to worship the gods for magic, but they didn’t need to use magic for everything any more. They were able to use machines to do some of those things now. And because of that humanity learned to live away from the gods and develop into their own people.
Some people even thought that they might not even need the gods any more, but most people aren’t foolish enough to believe that.
One of the interesting aspects about the world is that with the god’s readied existence several things haven’t happened here that have happened in many other Earths. One is that colonialism never took off. It became hard to colonize a place when your gods, and thus source of power, was thousands of miles away and the people here had their gods right behind them. Another thing is that because of the lack of Germany, plus the increase of sacred spaces complete with very angry creatures that would do horrible things to anyone who tried to build upon their land, the world isn’t as densely populated as other Earths.
That being said, life in the world isn’t too different from other earths around the early twenty first century. There’s television, movies, cars, and planes, computers and the internet. There are differences though: People sell magical charms on etsy. Ritual Magic and necromancy is studied along with physics and medicine. There are laws that prevent Seventh Sons of Seventh sons from participating in contests because of their good luck. And gods and their demigod children from going into politics as well as being restricted in other activities. Humanity having broken away from their gods’ grasps just a little bit strives to keep their freedom as much as they can.