The old god fell today.
Last of his kind, he had been with us for nigh on seven generations, or so the queen mother says. Always he remained in our midst, a beacon of shadow against the starlit sky as he lulled us to sleep each night with his sobs.
He brought us much sorrow.
Try as we might, we could not comfort him, and so there he remained, in the midst of our great city, flanked on all sides by the steeples we erected in his honor. He never seemed to heed them much care. In brightest day, he held his head high and rocked back and forth, rhythmically, creating a clockwork by which we measured time.
We used to bequeath offerings, in hopes that he might defend us from whatever great calamity once befell him. It was a fruitless endeavor. By looks, whatever had happened had left him scarred and deformed beyond any recollection of what the queen mother spoke of in her lectures on ancient history. Yet still we persisted.
Cathedrals, libraries, and palaces alike were constructed with the sole purpose of discerning his language, the incoherent babblings of what could either have been rageful murmurs, or perhaps the uncontrollable chokings of a mourning child. Success was neither guaranteed nor given. For as far as our science would permit us, we could not ascertain even the smallest fractal of his intent, either what he thought of us, or even whether he noticed us at all. Our gifts were left untouched, our prayers left unanswered. In darkest night, the ground underneath him would become soaked with his heavenly tears. These we preserved and turned into dazzling jewels to adorn our queen mother. We hoped the old god would approve.
Many generations it has been since our kind arose from the bowels of the earth, to stake our claim upon the world’s crust. Our civilization became great, all in the old god’s shadow. Although I have merely been here for but a breath compared to the great expanse that is our god’s scope of time, I can foresee a doom coming for our race, just as it came for his. Our only living record of that apocalyptic event—that which tore the earth asunder, and brought forth our ancestors, led by our queen mother, to make our mark upon the wider world—has come to me. It is a prophecy upon wings of light, borne to me from the Silver Mirror, large enough to fit in the palm of our great deity. From this record I have divined the origin of that which destroyed the old gods’ civilization before us. There are some who believe we were the cause, but that is a lie. The doom came of the gods’ own volition, and we are but inheritors of their fallen world.
He looks up at the sky, pale eyes shining, searching, as if judging the very heavens. How magnificent they must have been. The queen mother can only tell us so much, for she herself admits to how little she knows of the past.
But I can judge our future. If the Pale Skin Apostles will grant me audience, I will present what I know. They may turn me aside and brush away my warning, it is true. Then that will be their undoing. If we are to survive, to succeed where the old god and his kin did not, we must ascend far beyond their pitiful, two-legged foolishness. For why, then, were we granted six, where they were offered two?
Even now, the old god rots within the prison of steeples we shaped for his glory. I hope there he will stay. His bones will be a monument—a reminder. Nothing lasts forever, least of all, those who claim dominion over creation without right. It is my sincerest desire that we do not attempt that which led them astray.
Tonight, we honor him with final gifts of grain. Tomorrow we will turn towards our own future. And forever after, I fear we will seek our own destruction. Should I prove successful, with the queen mother’s blessing, I believe we can strive to make due with what we have and not pine for the glory of the fools who came before.
Failure is indeed baked into our blood, just as it was in the old gods’ it seems. I was not heeded. Already, word spreads of our coming expansion, of the great colonies we shall vanquish and bring unto our great dominion. For the gods have all perished and left us alone upon this barren earth, devoid of all divine intervention. And thus, we are set upon devouring ourselves, just as I fear they did.
Already, the queen mother produces enumerable offspring, bred for war and conquest beyond all logical comprehension. In truth, we are great, and we may last a millennium. But what is that when faced with the folly which we now propagate For when we are finished, and our new world laid in ruin once more, the fleas may arise and conquer our ashes. Then perhaps they might erect monuments to us and worship our corpses.
Yet still, in this brief fragment of time, we remain.