5. Dawn of the Era of Five | Ies

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It was only a rumor, at first. The Creation Tools, those pieces of power that had supposedly aided in the crafting of the five Planes of Existence, had probably never existed. If they had, they did not any longer.

Yet, the rumor. Was it a long-standing myth, or a recent thing sparked by recent knowledge concerning the Tools? No one knew.

The rumor stated that the Creation Tools were hidden soon after the separation of the Planes. Hidden, but not anywhere on the Planes themselves. Hidden between them. It was possible, surely – no one knew how to visit the places between the Planes for longer than the brief moment it took to travel from one Plane to an adjacent Plane – there was no reason to. The Tools could very well have been resting there since the beginning of time, gathering metaphorical dust and falling further from memory.

Until the rumor. Suddenly, everyone was remembering that they, too, had known of this rumor. They’d known of it long before their peers, and just hadn’t thought to mention it. But of course they had known.

Scholarly Deities and gods of war alike were discussing the topic day and night, wondering aloud to each other that it had taken everyone else so long to realize.

Within half a century, the first of the Creation Tools was found. Lost for countless hundreds of thousands of millennia, forgotten for almost as long; discovered only forty years after the rumor became public knowledge amongst the gods.

It was incredible, an amazing act of fate. It was the beginning of a new age, of progress and innovation, of Faiths spanning galaxies and Deities growing more powerful by magnitudes. There was some creep who managed to take power for a bit in the middle there, but his time in the throne passed quickly. By the beginning of the following century the other Tools were being found left and right, their discoverers rising swiftly through the ranks of the Pantheon. Now there are but a handful of relevant gods, all others Forgotten, their followers enfolded into a pre-existing Faith or simply eradicated, erased from the universe.

These galactic Deities are powerful beyond imagination, and their empires enjoy unprecedented levels of wealth and abundance. There is only one problem. It was I who started the rumor. It was I who spread the knowledge and the legends of the Creation Tools. This may not seem like a problem, but it is. A problem far more puzzling and foreboding than any I have come across in my long life, since my birth at the beginning of sentience.

I do not know the nature of the problem, nor its extent. Only that it is there. My evidence is flimsy, and my proof nonexistent, but you should believe me nonetheless.

For I am Ies, god of untruth – and there is something wrong with the universe.

Let’s see now, something insignificant, yet easily verifiable… A war? No, too much chance of it happening regardless. Not all the gods are interested in such squabbles, anyway. Hmm.

I have shut myself in my study upon figuring out that the universe is broken. It has a back door. A bug. It can be hacked. Exploited. Something of the sort – my familiarity with technology ends at the beginning of the Pvytaen’s twentieth century.

Candles flicker amongst the tome-crowded shelves, casting dancing groups of shadow over the room. Purely ornamental, the candles – one needs no source of light in the Heavenly Plane for there to be light.

I may have crippled myself, visiting only the primitive worlds, civilizations stuck in the dark ages. I can’t help it – they are so much more susceptible to my trickery, my subterfuge. It appears that, as the god of untruth, I have no issue with lying to myself. I have been left behind by the forces of influence in the universe, and am no longer of any relevance. The Pantheon barely tolerates my presence. The Council hasn’t contacted me in centuries.

I shake my head to dislodge such depressing thoughts and turn my attention to the issue at hand. The universe is malfunctioning, and I need to take advantage of it. So. My first test confirmed my suspicions for the most part, but I am never one to be overly hasty. Patience rewards those who have it.

War is out – too unpredictable. A pandemic might work, but I don’t want to start anything I can’t control, and if it spread any farther than one system, it could quickly get out of hand. I have no illusions about my lack of power over the Mortal Plane – what some call the Vacuous Plane. I am a forgotten echo of the memory of a shadow of my former strength. But not Forgotten. I have made sure of that.

Not war, not disease – something more concrete. It has to grab the whole Pantheon’s attention, but I don’t want another fiasco like what happened with the Tools. A new element, perhaps? A peculiar mineral found on a planet on the edge of civilized space. Nothing too eventful, yet likely enough it would reach the ears of every active Deity on the Pantheon.

Yes, I nod to myself, congratulating my Medieval-fueled intellect on coming up with the perfect test. Once I’ve worked out the specifics of this Reality-breaking effect, I can really get to work. Who knows what I can do with it – a new force of magic that only my followers can utilize? A hidden reality with unimaginable treasures that only I can access? The possibilities are, figuratively, literally endless.

Who needs to control the Belief of men when you have the Belief of gods?

The shadows cast by the burning candles dance frantically around my study, and my smile burns brightest of all.

Things are looking up, and so am I. It’s time for a visit to the Plane of science. The Plane of mortals. It’s time to test how far I can bend the Universe before it snaps and kills us all. I laugh madly, and thank the gods for leaving me to rot in my lies. The joke’s on them – they are lies no longer.

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