The Sky is Falling! The Sky is Falling!
If the rumors are true, Elanthia as we know it just may be over. Stories are everywhere; the stars are missing, objects are falling to the ground leaving fire and destruction in their wake. Just what is happening in, or to, Elanthia? As the Moon Mages are the masters of the sky, perhaps this account of these recent happenings will supply some answers:
"It began with a madman -- a seer of the most classic tradition -- declaring that the constellations have voices and were fighting amongst themselves. Following this were declarations by god-botherers and boanerges -- madmen of the most classic tradition -- that the gods were fighting amongst themselves and the stars would soon fade.
"Something is undeniably amiss in the heavens. The prophetic tone of some constellations grows and twists, casting off visions and worrying the students. We have seen a sharp increase in meteorite activity, but our attempts to understand and contain this has been muddled by the holy men's claims that the rocks are stars fallen from the sky. Finally, a few stars have faded from view, though not yet any that are important to our practice.
"Grim and dramatic, these events are evocative of tales of our distant gods stealing Tasmine's tears and raining fire down upon Elanthia. Forgive me for my lack of faith, o' Phelim, at the notion that the gods are playing Tog Ball in the sky. I am a simple man, condemned to rely not on faith but on my organization's one thousand years of continual study into the heavens and the darkness that lies beyond them.
"The skies are in turmoil, a matter which should concern astrologers and bend all our attention toward understanding what the universe displays in front of us. I ask of the laymen to simply master themselves, and not allow the clergy to fill their diminished coffers through fear and terror at the night sky."
- Astrologer Fredrick Modah, Throne City Researcher
Clerics out only to fill their coffers? Perhaps not, but fear is most certainly at play. And as the Astrologer so eloquently hinted, it was indeed Phelim who is reported to have placed the stars in the sky. So, what do those among us closest to the Gods, those that call upon the Gods' favor to grant us life and keep us from the Starry Road think of recent events and reactions like Modah's? The answer may be in this intercepted missive:
"The heavens dim. The sky, ever changing yet always comfortably predictable, no longer is. The stars, placed in their home in the heavens by Phelim himself, fade away as in defiance; yet do people turn to the Church for guidance? Sadly they do not.
"Instead they turn to the brash and arrogant Moon Mages who believe they know more of the heavens then those who dedicate their lives to the Gods who created them. Insane ramblings about shadow creatures and the turnings of fate garner more attention than our pleas for piety and devotion. It is far easier to blame something over which there is no control than to look within and see that perhaps this is something we must work to correct.
"Even the animals and lesser creatures feel that something is deeply wrong with the skies. They strike out in anger and fear, seeking to right the wrong they cannot even comprehend. And here we sit, knowing the answer yet unable to convince the masses. We must rally around our Gods and pay them the daily devotion and love they deserve.
"Praise them as they have earned with all they have given Elanthia. Who knows what fate the Gods have slated should we continue to sidestep our responsibility and downplay their importance?
"The skies have turned red with the anger of the Gods. The stars themselves streak from the heavens, wreaking havoc upon Elanthia and its citizens. Yet there is hope. Small groups of Elanthians have turned to prayer. Clerics who had recently lapsed in their faith find it renewed. We must come together and seek new ways to appease the Gods, to demonstrate the depth of our love and devotion for those who created our very world. These fragments intrigue me. What use have they? The Gods never make it easy, for it is in the struggle that we discover the depth of our faith, and in that faith we find our strength and our passions. We must continue to preach, continue to inspire and spread that faith and passion to all."
- Gaervar Calindern, Clerical Historian
A bit of doom and gloom perhaps, but after all the sky is falling. Or parts of it, at least. And lest you think this is something only Clerics and Moon Mages have noticed, we have found evidence that even the common man has been affected by these goings on. These excerpts from the diary of a local farmer were recovered from the scene of one of the meteor strikes. Unfortunately, the writer ultimately got a bit closer to the events than he anticipated.
"I overheard some of those Moon Droolers talking about how the stars were dimming. I certainly couldn't tell any difference. They spend too much time looking at the sun through their telescopes, if you ask me.
"The Holy Fanatics are all up in a tizzy about the stars, too. But everyone knows they can find a "sign from the gods" in anything. A bear could pass gas in the woods of Therengia and five anlas later, a Cleric down in Shard claims he feels an ill wind coming and starts praying for guidance. Ill wind, indeed! Hah! Somehow, I don't think steering us around everytime someone's confused is what the gods are here for!
"Crazy Moonies spouting ridiculous prophecies, over-zealous Altar Scrubbers with doomsday message...the whole world seems upside down, but what I am most upset about is that animals everywhere keep going crazy and tromping all over my fields! That certainly has MY attention, but I still can't seem to figure out just what to do. Yet.
"Fact: the sky itself is burning. Pieces of the something are hurtling toward the ground and it isn't pretty when they hit. It's almost as if those Gorbesh cretins have returned to catapult us into oblivion. These fragments -- there must be something to them, right? I admit I am quite curious about them, although mostly I just want to take care of my fields.
"Hmmm...what's that strange whistling noise? Ah, well. No matter. It's time for bed. Morning comes early, but I'm always ready for it."
- "Three-tooth" Shroode, Turnip Farmer (327 - 392)
There you have it, straight from the people. While the Moon Mages research to discover exactly what is happening, the Clerics turn to the Gods seeking to discover how we can appease them and fix what is so obviously broken. That leaves the rest of us to deal with the fallout, figure out what to do with these "gifts" the heavens have provided us, and hope we don't get burned too badly in the process.