Introduction to Divine Tyranny in Divine Tyranny | World Anvil

Introduction to Divine Tyranny

Welcome to Divine Tyranny! In a world where all-powerful gods live among mortals and play with their life for their own entertainment, Archivist Cécile is doing her best to go unnoticed. Unfortunately, the warring water and forging gods are now interested in the archives... Come read about Cécile and the world in which she lives!
Introduction to the story | Cécile | The Archivists | Novel upcoming

Table of Contents

Short book synopsis
Gods are all powerful and play with mortals’ lives, sacrificing them to their petty fights. Even those like Master Archivist Cécile who do not wish to participate are forced to suffer the consequences of the gods’ temper. Unfortunately, a new royal heir selection is coming, and the quarrelling water and forging gods are going to use it as a proxy to settle their conflict. And this time, it seems that they are interested in the archives...
Genre: Romantic Fantasy, High Fantasy.   Location: A secondary world where gods are real, all-powerful, and walk among mortals.   Interest: Explore a world where gods use mortals as pawns in their games, and witness the consequences for the people living there.
Gods fight header
Gods fighting by Thommas68 on Pixabay

The world


The gods

Gods live in another plane and come to the mortal realm to interact with us. They can remain immaterial, incarnate themselves, or possess humans, all while still retaining access to their enormous power—any human nearby is unlikely to survive its use, however.   Gods have imposed on themselves rules to follow while in the mortal realms. Without those rules, mortals' kingdoms would not survive very long, and where would the fun be in that? The rules state how much power the gods can use and where they are allowed to intervene. For example, directly killing a member of a royal family is forbidden. Much more fun to plot an assassination attempt with mortal pawns, you see.   If the gods break a rule—and are caught doing it—they are dragged back to the gods' realm by their people, where they will be given a big public judgement and a penance in proportion with the size of their infraction.

Local gods' council ruling the country:
  • the water god,
  • the forging god,
  • the architecture god,
  • the war god,
  • the trade god,
  • the sun god Q (see the gods).

  • Minor gods living in the country:
  • the god of plants,
  • the god of pestilence,
  • the healing God,
  • the food gods,
  • the shadow god,
  • the hunting god.


    The Game

    Why do gods do all of that? Well, I guess immortality is rather boring; the poor dears have to occupy themselves in some way. And seeing all the same faces centuries after centuries is not interesting enough. Nor is blasting away mortals and making them die in all kinds of imaginative ways. That too becomes boring after the first century.   What the gods ended up doing is play an elaborate game against each other using mortals as pawns. The general idea is to get many mortals to pray for them specifically. This is, of course, for their ego and to improve their rank in their own social hierarchy, but they also get a small boost of power from it. One mortal alone is insignificant, but once they get whole countries to worship them...   So, the gods all play their little games, showing off to the mortals, building their priest-minion cults, vying to become the official religion of empires... before throwing it all away on a whim because that man over there was rude, and washing the insult away with fire—and the whole country with it—was far more important. Priorities, you know...

    Examples of petty rivalries:
  • regular choice of a monthly patron deity for the calendar,
  • election by mortals of a royal heir, as each candidate has their own patron god who will become the main patron god of the country for their length of the reign,
  • the story of the trees of the water temples.

  • Greed

    Why do mortals play along with all of that? Well, it's not like we have a choice, what with the enormous power difference. Even if you're not truly awed by the gods, you'd at least want to appease them. But also, greed. Never underestimate the power of greed. When a god comes along and says you could be great if only you follow a few instructions, not a lot of people have the moral fortitude of saying no to their face. Not that anyone who actually does would survive very long...   Those who think themselves clever will pick and choose which god to show devotion too, even attempting to play them against each other, thinking they are beyond the lessons of the past. All of this is useless. We just have to look around to see that there are no immortal humans anywhere. No matter the gods' pretty promises, we all turn to ash in the end.   Even the strong magic, political influence, and high social status will all crumble away as soon as the gods get bored. There is no interest in peace and happiness, after all. And the gods are expert at creating drama...

    Consequences of interacting with gods:
  • the touch of a god leave a brand behind,
  • being possessed has long-term consequences—for those who survived it,
  • gods can curse mortals.

  • Potential rewards:
  • being offered gifts from the water gods,
  • learning secret magic like the forging god's alchemy,
  • owning special artefacts like the high priests' lockets.


    Main Character

    As for me, I was "lucky" enough to be born with a nice amount of magic, and a great sensibility to it. This allows me to perceive the gods' presence among us when not many other mortals can. None of this gave me a favourable opinion of them. While I could undoubtedly make myself noticed by one of them, it is quite clear that the path to longevity does not lie that way.   I'm an archivist working at the royal archives in a prestigious but minor role, enjoying the anonymity among the crowd and the distance from anyone too important. Life is comfortable, and I see no reason to change it.   The secret to it all is to pray to all the important gods of the kingdom, but not too much: not praying is a deadly offense, but showing too much devotion, sending them a little too much magic, and there is a chance they'll notice you. And then, drama will immediately start.   Of course, with the current excitement at the royal court about the upcoming choice of a new royal heir, gods are bound to take a small break from the continental wars to visit us. But there is no reason for this to go wrong.

    What to read next


    Novel plot

    The plot will be centred around the choice of a new royal heir. As a new king gets to choose the main patron god of the country for the length of their reign, the gods are very invested in that choice. Last time, the water god and forging god were tearing each other apart to win, when the architecture god managed to sneak behind them and steal the crown, so I anticipate a lot of drama for the revenge round...

    Cover image: Gods fighting by Thommas68 on Pixabay


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    Jun 15, 2022 15:47

    "But there is no reason for this to go wrong."   Dun dun dunnnn!!!

    Creator of Araea, Megacorpolis, and many others.
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