The realm of Apallus was favoured with 10,000 years of golden prosperity.
The people knew their gods, personally, for their gods walked with them and cared for them. The gods healed the sick, blessed the crops, raised the dead and graced chosen warriors with their favor.
Though the evil gods were as active as the good, on level, people were happy, because neutral typically sides with good, and so evil had limited influence in a world where an innocent child cannot hurt or starve but for concerted effort, rather than tragic happenstance.
Then the gods and many of their works disappeared.
People lay sick and dying without their gods to cure them. Armies faltered and the wilds grew truly wild.
People had grown reliant on gods, and had not learned to bless fields or care the sick themselves. They could not create the wondrous monuments or fill the silos or remove crippling disease as gods had.
Most believed the gods had merely had their attention wrenched away from the people. Some outside threat had arisen, vitally more important than them.
“Perhaps evil has sounded the war trumpets and a great war consumes the heavens” the wise suggested. Others nodded their heads, because everyone knew that was the way of things. That evil hungered for what good had, and would one day attempt to take it all.
It’s easy to be patient when your gods have always provided for your every need.
“Wouldn’t we notice?” one voice asked.
People were perplexed. Notice what? They had quite readily noticed the failing crops, the dying children, and the undead that ran rampant through the night. People loudly shouted down this voice, saying they had noticed.
“No. The war in heaven,” the voice replied.
“Would we not notice Pelor gloriously striving against Shar as the night tried to consume the day? Or Shar striking Pelor from behind with darkness and a quiet divine blade? Would we not notice Kord’s mighty struggles with some titanic serpent? The gods were the fabric of our world. How could we but notice them consumed with war when we noticed godly sorrow so easily before?”
And people grew fearful.
If the gods were not simply busy with greater demands, what could have happened? Where could they have gone, and would they ever even return?