For those who come after us, I apologise. I apologise for whatever crimes we may have committed to cause this. I apologise for not knowing the reasons or how to rectify it. I apologise for how there is so little we can do to even find out such things.
It was a day like any other. I had that day performed the annual service to praise our goddess, who created this wonderful world and all that is in it along with the other deities. A day of universal peace no matter what conflicts were occurring, even bandits and criminals, few as they are, allowed this one day to be peaceful every year. But on my way from the Great Cathedral to my residence in the Papal District, everything was lost to us.
A noise like a thousand nails screeching on a chalkboard resonated through the city, and in the days that followed I found it was actually heard at deafening volume all throughout our world, as the ground beneath my feet bucked and threw me across the plaza and my mind went blank. When I awoke in the medical facilities of the Papal District the next day I was informed of my new role as the Pope of our world’s sole faith, the faith of the gods with focus on our Human Goddess, after the main tower collapsed with the previous Pope, my adoptive father, in his office on the top floor.
My first thoughts were that If we hadn’t sent out Sterkeste, chief among the current Blessed, on a mission to a particularly war-craving fledging Empire last week he would have been in the tower and possibly able to save the Pope. But what I learned soon afterwards destroyed such hopes and caused tears to stream down my face for the first time since I was adopted.
More dreadful than my own father’s death, was the news that our goddess had abandoned us.
In the week that followed, around relief efforts for the damages and chaos caused by the great earthquake, all leaders from around the world gathered in the Holy Capital to discuss the situation. All wars had stopped, and even the most terrible underground organisations ceased their activities and joined us at the conference table.
The news from everyone was the worst possible. All Obelisks, divine artefacts given to us by the goddess for her to communicate with us, had cracked and lost all of their power. All Blessed, those personally chosen by the goddess to be her avatars in flesh, had lost all but their most basic empowerments, leaving them as simply strong and durable and smart. No longer could they use divine magics or feel their connection with the goddess, some even went mad from losing her presence, but they could still cast basic magics with need for neither chant nor formation. The entire world had been shaken and cracked by the quake, redefining our geography on the scale of raising new continents from the oceans and separating existing ones into island chains. All cities had suffered, and most settlements smaller than a town were levelled.
Even now, exactly 100 years, to the day, after what has come to be known globally as The Isolation, we are still none the wiser as to what truly happened. We cannot even feel our goddess’ presence, let alone communicate with her, and without her the Blessed cannot reach the other Worlds to gather information from our cousins born of the other deities.
I can only apologise to you in the future for our failings, and hope that you can keep advancing together in the magical and spiritual arts so that, one day, you discover the reason for our banishment and aim to rectify the situation.
May the Goddess smile upon you.
Excerpt of the diary of one Paven Framtidshap, 483rd Pope of The Reformed Church, dated the 25th day of the 7th month of the year 100 AI. Authenticity verified. Deemed heretical to current doctrine and sealed in the Sacred Vaults of The New Church.