Saturday, October 19, 2019

20 God Battles

[1] One Hundred Million Rats are throwing themselves from a great cliff into the ocean below. Within the water, which has turned a frothy red, the rats kill, eat, and fuck each other constantly. The great explosion of life makes it impossible to tell where the ocean begins and the swarm ends- it is unclear who is winning.

[2] Lightning strikes sideways at the sides of a great mountain which penetrates the clouds. The lightning is blasting off chunks of the mountain, causing rocks and debris to fall below and crush random pedestrians- the bystanders in the crossfire of most god battles are just mortals. Only occasionally do swirling clouds fly from the mountain to block a bolt of lightning- the small clouds inflate and explode into sandy glass dust. The entire mountain is moving at the rate of a burdened and strangled elephant, but the sight is still cataclysmic awesome- it cleaves through hills and shakes down empires on its slow, burdened ride to the edge of the world.

[3] The popular board game that many cultures play has a sudden problem. A certain piece is unable to take another piece- the God is unable to unwilling to allow its representative in the mortal world to be defeated by its foe. Wood refuses to move from its space on the board, glass pieces shatter instead of accept the humiliation. Knocking the piece over with the false piece sets it right back up. People have begun using stand ins or finding another game to play until this divine-level spat is over.

[4] The stream turns backwards. Rocks are shoved aside or fall into strange places, the fish swim in place, little circles as they flap going nowhere. The sandbars have created great swirling vortexes. The effect gets worse the closer to the sea you get; the water has backed up into a massive free-standing wall of liquid, refusing to mix with the salty brine water of the sea. Bears paw at the wall absentmindedly, clawing fish in half.

[5] Prey refuse to be hunted. The God of the Hunt is under attack, or at the very least, indisposed. Deer scuff up their tracks instead of being followed, or bravely rush hunters and wolves alike head on. Traps left in the forest are sprung with wooden prongs; small pits hidden with leaves have been dug by claw and hoof and left for the hunter's return. The antlers of bucks have grown long and ornate, refusing to fall each spring. Rabbits bite into the flanks of hounds or collapse their own tunnels- even farmyard animals turn up their nose at the slop they are fed. On a cosmic scale, the dominion of man over animals is put on hold.

[6] Iron goes cold, and stays cold. No amount of heat or fire can bend or sharpen a blade. The Elves have craft wooden weapons just for this occasion- they all remember the occasional time when the God of the Forge refuses to work. He must be busy somewhere else. Meanwhile, each night gremlins appear from the cracks in the walls, destroying the billows and twisting the shafts of the handles and calipers in the blacksmith's shoppe. They revel in chaos and despise this honest work- floors and anvils are made crooked and lopsided. When a bronze gong can be heard, all the weapons of the forge come alive and kill every intruder- it's a war fought in every silent worship and guild hall.

[7] The Ceremonies cannot end. The selfish Goddess cannot let the celebration pass; the festival continues long after the appointed date. Children in rotten masks play half hearted pranks, sellers in stalls have droopy, dusty candy, and the firecrackers go off like wet farts. The wind itself seems to have had enough; hijacked kites scream like banshees and tear through the market stalls, lighting themselves on fire to crash into the red and gold tents and the fire spreads down the line of decorations. The paper lanterns consume themselves greedily and try to destroy the festival; the fire has no intention to harming the people and burns paths for them to leave easily, even as the smoke billows harmlessly upwards. The smoke is white, clean, just nonsense to be over.

[8] Every person within a certain profession just goes blind. They wake up with milky eyes, unable to see. All the wetnurses, all the cobblers, all the tile setters, all the members of a specific guild; they curse and pray and beg the Gods for their sight to return. Their sight WILL return, when they switch careers. The profession is being strangled out, and people are forced to get by another way beyond the few stubborn blind old fools who refuse to change. The reason for this widespread curse? The patron of this craft had their main implement stolen, thrown into the eyeball of a great leviathan- an act of juvenile defiance and spite. The old-beast's blindness transferring to the workers. The slighted God simply sighs, calls a chariot of stars, and goes to retrieve it.

[9] The battle rages far above in a cloud; the glorious golden light and echoes of thunder are all you can see. It is a physical battle, and the force of each blow and closeness of each swipe can almost be felt by those far below. Occasionally, a divine weapon is deflected and falls to Earth, to be retrieved by angels within a few minutes. Those who are quick may be able to steal one away, but great misfortune is known to befall those found guilty of stealing from the Gods.

[10] The Moon is chasing around the stars like a hungry amoeba. They slither and dance away, winking out or flashing brighter to scare it off. It takes minutes for the bodies to change position and react to each other, hence their distance, but the sight is entrancing to mortals on the ground. Magic has gone totally haywire from the strange motions of the cosmos; spells are swapping targets and effects are doing the opposite of how they are supposed to. Spellbooks are vomiting up their text as ink all over the library floor. Many spellcasters are calling the night early, just hoping their mana doesn't decide to boil over in their throats in their sleep.

[11] The Moon is chasing the Sun. Every few seconds, the night turns to day and back again. This chaos is an upheaval for the entire world; crows are making themselves mute from their incessant cawing, flowers are bursting apart as they unsure if to bloom or retreat into their pods. The tides are sloshing and changing every few minutes, great tidal waves retreat as the water doubles back. There is a great sense of vertigo everywhere- those who think the world is a sphere tie themselves to something hard and heavy so they cannot be flung off the globe.

[12] Every trumpet sounds- the Lord has come. Nobody hears it, because every spider has been plugging up everyone's ears with web. The Lord is very annoyed by this, and seeks the arrogant godling who ruined his good entrance.

[13] Birds flock to the trees, cruelly plucking out their leaves. They've set fire to their nests and bring salt in their talons to sprinkle around the bases of the mighty old oaks. The trees move as slow as syrup, but shake and twist and occasionally slap a bird to the Earth in a crack of bone from a crackling, slow old branch. The weeds and mushrooms curl upwards curiously; knowing whoever wins, they'll be eating well shortly.

[14] The Volcano's lava flow curls into fists and giant swords, stabbing and smashing at the buildings and walls that would divert its destruction. It is fighting the civilization itself; the statues of the empire coming to life; crumbling marble bends up the Earth and carries sprays water from their pipes built to grace the public fountains. The humans who run by are being trapped by flaming nets cast from the oozing magma; pulling in their victims and cruelly burning them alive.

[15] In a grand old city, blood is being collected. Instead of touching and seeping into the stones and collecting there, it slithers along about an inch above the ground, floating from open wounds and sores, from the dead bodies killed in gang fights, or from the chairs at the barber and surgeon. Anyone can contribute by slitting a wrist and letting some out. It floats towards a back alley where a lizard is drinking it, preparing to do battle with a huge black cat with glowing eyes. Each moment, the lizard grows in size and mutates, its skin sharing the color of the lifeblood.

[16] They're fighting underground, and with each blow or wrestling grab and throw, the Earth quakes. You see a building popped from its foundation to be shoved down onto another, great piles of bricks and stone rumbling to the ground as the fight rages just out of sight.

[17] Hundreds of young children are flung from their windows each night, riding on horses made of bedsheets and wearing armor made from pots and pans, fighting in a land of dreams. The most imaginative is the most powerful, they laugh and play for their “noble houses”, each headed by the child priest of a foreign god. The jousting is an illusion of play, but the falls are very real.

[18] Two huge statues rise from the rocky fields. The figures of two gods, formed from rumbling stone, weilding their magic weapons and alit with holy fire and lightning. The two gods forms are spectacular, awesome, and truly humbling to all mortals who gaze upon the slow and measured duel. The arrows are flung in slow motion, crackling lighting from their spells is slug-like in its movement through the air, though no less deadly. Nearby, a tiny mole watches the fight with an animal glee, and a single white star on its head. It is the most powerful, and most in control of this battle, of the three gods present.

[19] The squabble in the desert is titanic in scope. The sand flows from one hill to another as it feels as though the land is tilted from one side to another- huge mountains of fine grained sand and stone entombing entire cities and temples. The dust devils pick up the pieces and fling them sloppy back into place, only for this God's own avalanche to cover up their rivals the only source of water for their foe's people in a hundred miles. To the Gods, a spit in the eye. To the people, a death sentence.

[20] Every single person to ever live is having their soul taken from their resting places, counted by the gates to the great beyond, the Gods weighing each and every sin and virtue, balancing them on the golden scales of life and death. The two Gods are locked in eternal struggle- is man good, or is man evil? The only way to tell is to measure each and every one. This bet has gone on since the dawn of time, and any man who would learn the stakes to know it was naught but for a single coin.

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