Table of Contents

I'm Cécile [FamilyName], a daughter from a minor noble family of the capital, and a 35 years old archivist working at the royal archives. Thanks to this, I know all the secrets of court politics and of the gods' puppetting us behind the scene. Of course, I have some common sense, and will never get involved with any of them. However, I guess I feel a lot of morbid curiosity about what's really going on in the country...    

My family

Despite our noble status, my family is of very little import in the kingdom. We lived comfortable enough, yet always aware of what we did not have and of the necessity of keeping up appearance with the rest of the nobility despite not having the same means. As nobles, we get the honour of being able to vote for the election of royal heirs but are not important enough to truly get involved in the politics surrounding it or to get singled out for blackmail.   As for me, I was born the eldest of three siblings from the youngest son of the matriarch of our family, and so I have little hope of inheriting anything, anyway. What I did get from my family is a nice amount of magic and a great sensibility to it. While it could allow me to become a very skilled engineer and gain the favour of the forging god or to be able to easily control the irrigation devices of our Lord the water god Lydien, this has only made me want to hide from any divine attention.   Indeed, thanks to my sensitivity, I can perceive the gods' presence among mortals even when they're trying to hide their presence, unless they are making a really special effort to do so. Which they never do. This means that I have seen a lot of their manipulations of us, their possession of our leaders, their starting petty conflicts for fun without care for those they hurt. It is impossible to become familiar with the god and keep a favourable opinion of them. No, while I could undoubtedly make myself noticed by one of them, it is quite clear that the path to longevity does not go that way.

The archives

What I chose to do instead is gain even more insight about what was going on with the world and the gods. I easily got myself through the toughest test in the kingdom to become at archivist in the royal archives of the capital so that I would be able to learn all the exclusive and secret information kept there. While some archivists can become very influence and advise the king and high priests themselves, that's far from the case for the majority of us. With little effort, I have been able to lose myself among the crowds and keep my distance from anyone too important. My life is unexcited and far more comfortable for being that way! I see no reason to change it by making myself a target.   Even better, this means that I can comfortably look for information I have no real business knowing and experiment with old knowledge the gods gave mortals before decided we were not good enough for it. Through my 15 years at the archives, I have done many forbidden rituals and crafted many dangerous artefacts. Not because of any great need, just because it was fun and to see if I could. No doubt the gods would find fault with this if they knew, with how killjoys they are...

My relationship with the gods

The way to treat gods is to give them exactly the right amount of respect: too little and they'll get offended, and too much and they'll take notice and want to "reward" you. Gods get a tiny magic boost from every prayer we send them, so they get quite particular if anyone misses out, just as they love easily brainwashed people they can pump out of their magic. Our saving grace lies in the fact that there are so many of us mortals around, the gods cannot possibly keep track of anyone.   Pay lip service to everything you're supposed to say and do, and live your best life unopposed and untroubled, that's my philosophy. What use is it to attempt to change the kingdom and improve our lot when the gods will prevent any of it, anyway? My family all makes this mistake, trying to get in the grace of anyone powerful, divine or mortals, and then getting disappointed I won't debase myself in the same way. Or getting super involved with charities, helping out people, lobbying to get laws changed and then getting hurt when nothing happens and people continue to get killed uselessly.

Upcoming royal heir election

They've all already asked me what I intended to do to gain favour during the upcoming royal heir election and what I intended to change. My answer is nothing! I'll continue just as I've always done, or if anything spend longer hours at the royal archives to reduce any risk of coming upon any of the minor gods that will litter the streets at the occasion.   I cannot help but be more than a little scornful about all of those people considering royal heir election with dreads for the inevitable deaths that will follow. So long as the major gods don't all suddenly decide to do away with their rules and go in an all out fight right in the middle of the capital, I am under no risk at all. More people should do like me and realise the gods mean nothing but troubles. Or maybe not. After all, if the gods ever notice there is something wrong with our faith, they will undoubtedly want to "purify" the population with a great deal of fire. So yes, too bad for the rest of the kingdom, but it's their fault for being stupid and falling to all the gods' manipulations so easily.


Author's Notes

Named after the astronome Cécilia Payne who discovered the composition of stars and helped open science to women at Harvard.

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5 Aug, 2022 20:16

I really loved [First Name][Family Name] (Okay I am really curious what is her actual family name now... Simply reading this in first person made my head made me feel like the main character is interesting. And the story premise feels interesting too. Hope it gets published, when you get the book ready!

Eternal Sage AmélieIS
Amélie I. S. Debruyne
7 Aug, 2022 07:40

Thank you! Yes like I've said in discord, I was very lazy and didn't want to decide the family name yet XD I've seen decided it should be linked to water, which is some progress! I might figure it out withing a few months XD   I got some nice plot ideas during the months and I think I'll be ready to establish the plot of the book soon! Unfortunately, November this year will be taken up with another novel rewrite, but maybe next year...

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6 Aug, 2022 15:46

Cécile got a real mood, and maybe a feeling of superiority given by all this knowledge? Either way, it's a really good introduction to this world, it will be interesting to have her point of view on the articles!

I gathered some awesome articles in my Reading Challenge, want to take a look? There's also a Reading Challenge Big List combining all mentions of authors for the challenge, maybe you're in there too!
Eternal Sage AmélieIS
Amélie I. S. Debruyne
7 Aug, 2022 07:42

Thanks! I might have something for smug characters... :p I've been having fun with presenting Cécile's completely impartial opinions on most of my SC articles :D

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25 Aug, 2022 21:10

This lady has enough knowledge and artifacts to easily join the royal machination BIG TIME. I wonder what would need to happen for her to decide to get involved?

Eternal Sage AmélieIS
Amélie I. S. Debruyne
26 Aug, 2022 15:11

Probably some random god coming and messing up with her life :p After all, she is ideally positioned, one of them is bound to do so sooner or later. And then, she will have a hard time hiding how interesting she is XD   Thanks for the comment!

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28 Aug, 2022 23:26

I like her and her philosophy!

Eternal Sage AmélieIS
Amélie I. S. Debruyne
31 Aug, 2022 09:21

Thanks :D Cécile is very fun indeed. Stick to your own business and don't get involved in ridiculous godly shenanigans. But snice you have no choice but to witness it all, at least make fun of it when you can... And like all my MCs, she is very smug XD

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