Magi were a patient breed. Since he couldn’t deal with Leylin directly right now, Distorted Shadow would instead wait at the side, recovering to full capacity. If Leylin did not increase in power himself by that time, he would have a chance for revenge!
The commoners of the prime material plane treated powerful existences like the gods and Magi like they came out of a fairytale. Regardless of what such powerful people did, all they cared about was earning a few more coppers for the next day. They just wanted bread to eat and beer to drink.
Doron was one such commoner. He came from a line of carpenters, having been forced into the job due to his background. However, his inheritance was lacklustre. In fact, he had to maintain the furniture of the regional lord for free a few times a year, including the mangers of the barn. He wouldn’t even be given food.
Clearly, matters related to gods and devils were like the epics sung by bards to him. Such events did not have anything to do with him, and listening to them would only be treated as a pastime.
However, all of this changed one day. Seeing the purple moon explode as it formed an evil eye, he felt like his quiet life had come to an end.
The loss of the moon’s light was a minor thing— after all, most normal families went to sleep early because they couldn’t afford the oil for their lamps. There were many stars in the sky as well, so it didn’t really affect the night much. The only exception were ladies who loved to admire the moon with a midnight drink.
No, the important issue was the revelation the moon’s destruction brought about. Be it the moon turning into that eye or the terrifyingly large Weave shattering along with the moon, this was too similar to the work of demons and devils…
“The end is nigh. A powerful existence is about to destroy the world…” A few deranged minstrels in the town had changed from their usual waltz music, replacing it with a solemn prophecy that made Doron’s heart feel heavier.
“The gods above… perhaps i’m thinking too much. I should head to the church more often and ask Priest Rockefeller for help…” Doron looked at the amount of money in his pocket. There were a few copper coins within, shining with how worn down they were. The edges were badly damaged as well…
‘Damned Lady De Lise, she must’ve gotten that fat pig of hers to cut the coppers at the edges…’ Doron couldn’t help but complain to himself when he looked at the meagre salary he got for an entire day’s work. Of course, he wouldn’t dare to directly rebut his employer.
Having witnessed the strange phenomenon a few days ago, the uneasy Doron was considering making a trip to the local church, making a donation or something so he could ask for the Lord’s protection.
The system of church and state ruled the World of Gods. With one controlling the people’s faith and the other wielding authority over their lives, the poorest of commoners would still give one of the two all they could. Only the former may have been voluntary, but they exploited the commoners all the same.
“Doron!” A cheerful whistle sounded on the street, “You’ve finished up with Lady De Lise?”
Doron was familiar with the owner of this voice, turning around to face a young man wearing abnormally loose clothes. The freckled youth was called Mitch, and his eyes seemed to shine with brilliance.
“Mitch! Weren’t you working at the Church of Magic? Why are you back now?” Doron asked in surprise.
The town Doron lived in was under the control of a feudal lord, and the man had built a Church to Ilmater in it. Royals greatly favoured this god, wishing to make all their followers his worshippers.
On the other hand, a church dedicated to Mystra was only available in a faraway town, requiring a day and a half of carriage travel. This was basically the distance between the ends of the world to Doron— he’d only been there once and had been deeply stunned by the bustling of the heavenly city.
He was extremely envious of Mitch’s job. Even if he was only a lowly servant, the man was working at a church. He could one day awaken the power of magic, becoming a wizard respected by the rest.
Mitch grew crestfallen upon hearing this, waving his hands. “Sigh… Don’t even mention it. I came back because the church closed down.”
“The church… closed down?” Doron’s mouth fell open. He clearly couldn’t understand how these words were sharing a sentence.
Churches were overseen by their respective deities. Priests all controlled bizarre spells, and the fees of even the lowliest of churches could still make them quite a bit of wealth. How could such a place actually close down?
“It seems like you don’t know… Most of the priests of the church faced a sudden death on the day of the black moon. The rest of them cried all day long…”
Having come back from the city, Mitch was full of conversation. He shuffled closer to Doron, hiding his mouth with his hands as he whispered, “I heard the Goddess of the Weave has fallen…”
“The Goddess of the Weave fell?” Doron didn’t have much to say about this incident. It was far removed from him, and with Mystra not being the deity he worshipped he couldn’t comprehend the stakes of the situation. Hearing that a true god had fallen, the only feeling he felt was a slight bit of schadenfreude just like when a king died.
“Mm, the wizards are out of luck…” A smile appeared on Mitch’s face. It seemed like the bullying he’d faced from the priests and wizards wasn’t just occasional. “A lot of wizards were already beaten to death by a mob of people…”
“What does this have to do with wizards? Couldn’t they use magic to avoid being beaten to death by the commoners?” Doron was obviously suspicious of Mitch’s ‘secret.’ Wizards to him were all superior individuals, people whom even the lords had to be respectful and courteous to.
Even the domineering Lady De Lise didn’t dare to offend Wizard Holdman who stayed near their town.
“Hehe… The wizards lost their ability to cast spells once the Goddess of the Weave died… Say, would the lords and commoners they persecuted before let them off?”
Mitch revealed a sharp, toothy grin, “That’s why I came back. I didn’t have much chance to become an effort anyway, so I’m here to hide… Anyway, let’s stop talking about this! We should head to Buck’s Tavern to celebrate our reunion!”
“But…” Doron touched his cash-strapped purse, “I still want to visit the church once!”
“Church? Oh right! Some of the other churches seem to be busy all day, preparing to evacuate or something. Even businessmen and nobles can’t have priests cast spells for them right now… The church here should be the same…” Mitch patted Doron’s shoulder, his look telling the carpenter not to waste his time.
“No!” Doron’s faith was more or less solid.
“Okay then,” Mitch shrugged his shoulders in frustration, “I‘ll follow you.”
The town church wasn’t all that large, only the size of a few houses. A small fountain towered at its front, but unfortunately there was no spring water flowing out of it.
The shrine looked empty, with numerous items missing. Even the remaining servants gave off a languid air, with few people here to pray. Doron clearly noticed the change, but he still asked a servant, “Hello! I would like to see Priest Rockefeller!”
Doron still held a good impression of the kind and benevolent Rockefeller. Although the man could only cast a few low-grade spells, he could treat common injuries and had saved numerous lives in town. Doron had decided to donate to him, just in case he’d have to ask the man for something in the future.
“Priest Rockefeller…” the old fellow watching the door took a long time to react. He rubbed The sand out of his eyes, “He’s already left. He took everything, only leaving a few piles of potatoes for this pitiful old baker…”
“Huh? Nobody took over either?” Doron was surprised. There were a considerable number of worshippers in town despite its small size, and no church would let go of a base where its foundation had already been laid. There should have been another priest coming over even if people were transferred.
Situations like this one were quite abnormal, and it caused a bad premonition to rise within Doron’s heart.
“Why? Do you want to pray and confess? Perhaps I can help you!” Old Baker Tanner’s eyes Were already aimed at Doron’s purse.
“No! There’s no need!” How could Doron not understand his intentions? He immediately grabbed his purse and ran away, Mitch following him.
Only after they’d left the town did Mitch turn around, fiercely laughing at his friend. “Haha…“ he said between ragged breaths, “I’m right, aren’t I?”
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