The skies of the Fugue Plane were a misty gray. The Styx flowed smoothly on the ground, wiping the memories of the occasional listless soul clean to induce a calm lifelessness.
A city of black granite and rotting mud was erected in the wilderness. This was the City of Judgement, under the jurisdiction of the God of Death Kelemvor.
Countless beings with no faith were half embedded into the Wall of the Faithless, wailing as they seemed to be getting swallowed by it. The faithless in the World of Gods were treated worse than the worshippers of rival gods, demons, and devils. They wouldn’t be accepted by any divine kingdom upon their death, only able to suffer eternally on the wall.
It was too late for these souls to pledge faith to any god. Kelemvor gave them three choices upon their arrival, and the other two were even more torturous for the faithless than the Wall. Only the Abyss or Baator would accept these beings, but even they only wished to turn them into soul nourishing bugs.
The City of Death was deathly silent and quiet despite being littered with sluggish souls. Even liches would wish to leave this place as soon as they could.
*Boom!* A large golden gate opened up all of a sudden, radiating divine light. The glow carried the power of salvation, seemingly adding a ray of hope in this land of death.
However, reality was the exact opposite. The wandering souls shrieked in shock at the appearance of the holy light, avoiding at all costs despite only seeing a single ray. This light held the power of a mighty god, and it wasn’t something they could face directly. Had they not escaped, they would have been wiped out of existence without a trace left behind.
“Damn it, a god is descending. It’s the Goddess of the Weave…” The City of Judgement bustled with activity as many of the souls hid underground and in towers. Even the liches, devils, and demons cursed loudly as they escaped, portals beginning to flash throughout the city.
Mystra’s figure slowly walked out of the bright golden door. Looking at the activity in the city, she smiled meaningfully.
“Mystra!” A giant voice boomed throughout the city, and a middle-aged man in blue robes came to stand before her. He looked extremely common, seeming like a nobleman, but his eyes shone an all-seeing black. A strong death domain was spread out with him at the centre, as if he was the ruler of death in this entire world. This was the king of souls, the Greater God of Death Kelemvor!
“You always bring me trouble!” he said as he saw the city rustling. His death domain reverberated with a tranquil power, soothing the agitated souls and rendering them calm once more.
This was a mutation of the standard death domain, Eternal Tranquility. It served to protect and soothe the dead, giving them respect.
Kelemvor was a neutral god, and he’d always tried his best to provide peace to the dead. He opposed those who tried to extend their lives, and despised the blasphemous arts of necromancy. His symbol was that of a skeletal arm holding up a balance.
There were rumours that Kelemvor and Mystra once loved each other as mortals. Their relationship seemed to have stalled after they ascended to godhood. Although the two had never admitted it, the current scenario suggested that the rumours were true.
“Why have you come to disturb the peace of the Fugue?” Kelemvor looked at Mystra.
Their current relationship was different from before, and it was partially because Kelemvor hated magic. He felt that magic had disrupted the peace of the dead. There may have been other reasons as well: many liches and devils guessed that Alustriel was a daughter born to Mystra through a mortal named Elminster.
“It’s naturally for that God of Massacre… Kelemvor, aren’t you angry at the fact that someone is eyeing your throne and prying into your powers?” Mystra laughed coldly.
“He’s just a new god, his power is far from Nephthys and Segojan…” Kelemvor said after a period of silence. These other gods he’d mentioned were also gods of death, but they were intermediate gods themselves! Leylin was only a lesser deity, and without even a full comprehension of the law of death he didn’t pose much of a threat.
“Really…” Mystra’s expression changed, and she made up her mind. “Have you ever heard of the legend of the Night Serpent?”
“Is this what you foresee?” Kelemvor grew silent once more. “For you,” he started after a while, “I’ll lend a hand once more. However, I once made a pact with the circle of gods, and it prevents me from doing many things…”
Kelemvor was a neutral god, and without Leylin even being a God of Death yet he couldn’t just charge into his divine kingdom. It would be considered blasphemy, and if he tried it the other gods of death would ally together to suppress him. Such was his fate as the strongest God of Death.
“That’s enough… I only need you to…” Mystra smiled beautifully, and spoke of her purpose.
“My worshippers are being detained by Kelemvor?” News from the Fugue Plane soon reached Leylin’s ears, and it caused him to frown.
This was indeed a troublesome issue. Worshippers would normally enter their god’s divine kingdom after death, and this was a pact that could not be violated. However, some things could still be done in between.
While pious worshippers had enough strength of faith to directly move to the divine kingdom after death, and priests would directly become powerful holy spirits, things didn’t work the same way for regular worshippers. They first had to be sent to the Fugue Plane, being judged by Kelemvor. The False would be placed on the Wall, and the remaining would be sent to emissaries of their respective deities.
Kelemvor was acting up on his contract with the circle of gods that solidified his position as a neutral god. It would cause Leylin some trouble, after all only a small number of his worshippers were fervent enough to be transported directly.
“The emissary questioned him before, but Kelemvor answered with a condition. He expects you to make a trip to the Fugue Plane yourself before he releases their souls…” the valiant spirit reported, trembling in fear.
Leylin waved the man away before falling into deep thought. He smelled a conspiracy brewing, and it caused him to smile wryly.
‘They’re clamping down hard… Not even allowing me some time…’ Even if he wanted to rest now, they would most likely not give him this chance. His laws clashed with Kelemvor’s own, so the bias would be hard to fight. On top of that Leylin had no friends among the gods, only those who would watch upon his situation with schadenfreude.
‘Thankfully I don’t have many worshippers in the prime material plane. Most of them are here in Debanks Island, and their souls don’t need to enter the Fugue Plane when they die…’ He felt somewhat relieved at this thought. The best way to fight his opponents’ schemes was to avoid walking into the trap, if not his outcome could only be miserable.
Having confirmed that Kelemvor intended for him to travel to the Fugue Plane where he could cause even more problems, Leylin prepared to ignore all matters and hole himself up in his tortoise shell of a divine kingdom. So what if his reputation would be ruined? So what if his faith in the prime material plane would be halted? Most of his operations were within the divine kingdom, hence there was nothing to fear.
Moreover, Leylin was someone from the Magus World. Becoming a greater god was of no use to him, and the more concern he showed about the threat the easier it was to deal with him. He would only end up losing everything if he acted. Instead, he would enter a battle of attrition.
Of course, he still had to attend to the shortage of faith that would be caused as a result of this suppression. At the very least, Leylin knew clearly that the faith from the prime material plane would drop drastically soon. His worshippers in the divine kingdom would slowly turn into petitioners over time, an irreversible process that would rob him of new faith. Although there were profits to holing up inside the divine kingdom, his main source of new faith had been cut off!
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