By Rob Harper.
The Living Gods have fallen into slumber. In their inner sanctuaries, safe from prying eyes, they have not woken for months.
They murmur, they half-wake at times in fits and starts as if from a nightmare. They see something in their dreams, something terrible. Whether it is an assault upon them or they are seeing some dire portent is unknown.
Inflicting pain or injury upon one is a sure way to wake them momentarily, and meet one's doom, though brave priests have so sacrificed themselves seeking to learn what is wrong. The waking living god seems to have no memory of what the dreaming living god murmurs and lapses quickly into slumber once more.
Their priests attend them, scribing all they say and seeking meaning in it. Clergies of gods that have never before spoken share these writings hesitantly yet they share, seeking to learn what is happening.
A time of power among priests has come, as the hierarchies are freer to pursue their own ends. At the same time, the confidence of the peoples of the cities in their priests has diminished as this has been seen so.
And none know if Abross sleeps too, if this is but Abross' means of destroying unfit lessers, and what shall happen when the time of the tithe comes in two years.
The clery of (pick one god) are now proposing a great convocation of the priests of all the living gods to share what they have learned. There is great debate about the wisdom of such a convocation, if (the proponent) can be trusted, where to hold it. Diplomats travel between the cities discussing proposal and counter-proposal while firebrands and street preachers hold forth their own views.
Ironically, this comes just as Inheritors of On come from The Wastes, accompanied by their Odhun companions and less savoury tribal guards, are seen travelling the Halcyon Sea region. They are said to be searching to find an "answer" about the Living Gods that they cannot find while the gods sleep. Thus is the possible Judgement of the Inheritors possibly stayed by this sleep.