Why does it work? How does it work? How can you master it?”
“They’re all secrets,” Kars, the first of my men to join me, answered. “Everyone has a secret. I don’t ever learn them. My orders are to die and leave the things of the world to others. The rest will figure it out at the time, and some day, they’ll even know what magic is. It is a mystery that few survive long enough to figure it out.”
Ran was there, along with the others who did survive, and the first half of his story was the part that seemed relevant and that I needed to know. It all boiled down to something about the way the world of the future looked to the gods. The gods were not the same as the gods of my day, but they were not too far different. They didn’t wear armor with sharp edges and flamethrows that ripped through men’s flesh. There was no magic beyond physicality; their power flowed through life as if it was blood. Most of them believed themselves to be gods to a degree, if only that their power had a purpose and function.
But Kars’s story was the part that I couldn’t explain. The truth was, I really only had to see a few things before I could tell the story.
At the height of Kars’s strength, when the Gods of the future had grown strong as well, but before he had become an actual god, they had been fighting against the Great Evils in the mountains. The evil they fought included the old gods and their legions of monsters and demons. The giants of the far north fought each other for control of the lands. They tried to drive the evil back to the north while the gods of the north controlled it to the south. In time, the war, the war, had ended with the end of the northern gods. In the north, the gods went into hiding and the monsters and demons found another location.
All that had been left before the gods were gone were the remnants of the gods.
What would be left if one of the old gods were to return? I felt the need to know. I reached down to touch the old man’s neck and his blood ran cold under my fingers.
I wanted to understand. I had my doubts then, but I had faith in my mission now. My mission was to find the last of the gods, and the reason for that faith was what
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