Ares said…

I have a message for your gods. They know who they are. I want to talk about War.

Warriors fight hardest when they are fighting on their home soil. Mercenaries fight for incentives but flee when the going gets tough. Slaves fight with a divided heart, half hoping for a chance to defect and gain their freedom.

Most foolish is the ruler who puts a person of divided heart in the position of general. Forcing someone to lead is like putting a target on your pants and hanging your ass out of a window.

If an army marches on its belly, it fights with its heart. If what you admire is power, ferocity, and strength, what you need are soldiers who are healthy, well fed, and absolutely fanatically devoted to the cause.

Trying to force a mortal to be your clergy is like dragging a mule around. I’ve watched deities try. I’ve watched the mortals kick and bray until they were exhausted, and then finally give in. But a mortal is not a mule. They do not need to kick and bray. They need only to do one, devastatingly effective thing: tell the truth. And those looking on will silently decide in their hearts that those gods are not to be trusted, thus ensuring that if the deity wants a second follower, or a third, or a fourth, they’ll need to break more.

Let’s pretend that we are at war.

Here is my army: They love me. They are well fed, and believe that I am in the right. They are willing to die for what they believe is theirs. That is, their faith. And they are willing to shed blood for who they are.

Here is your army: They are consigned to being with you. They merely cope with you, rather than believing in anything you stand for. They keep their children away from you, for fear of what you might do. They would secretly be pleased if you ceased to exist. The only way they can be themselves is if you are dead.

WHO DO YOU THINK WILL WIN?

Don’t give me some bullshit about numbers. War is not math. It is a game of heart and skill. If I have six and you have six hundred, still, you will fall. Even now, watch them wander away from you. Squirm, even, out of your direct control. You say they are yours, but do they do your will? No. They sabotage you at every turn, poisoning your messages, confounding your handiwork.

Do you think you could survive a siege if I called but four of my beloved warriors to my side and directed them against you? No. You would fall. And your own soldiers would delight in your agonized screams.

Now, let Hermes reassure you that I do not mean to wage such a war, as he is wont to do, but not even you would be fool enough to claim that you wouldn’t deserve it, if I did.

6 comments

  1. aoibheall52

    Hard to believe that there are deities that stupid out there . Who, despite the advantages of longevity, have so little insight into humanity. As a former soldier I have to agree with Ares. Numbers aren’t as decisive as heart.

    • Thenea

      And yet, there are. My worst-favorite story was about a woman who nearly died because a deity wasn’t going to take no for an answer. When she finally gave in, he then was CONFUSED, and DISPLEASED because she still hated him, even though she had oathed to him. Like… he literally couldn’t predict that forcing someone who hates you into a vow they don’t want to swear ends in them STILL HATING YOU.

      Like, dude. I could have figured that out. How hard is it?

    • Thenea

      I guess that story ends with the two of them making peace, and falling in love. But am I alone in wondering what kind of n00b deity does shit like that?

      • aoibheall52

        Are you kidding me? Name names! I want to LMAO at the Stupidest God in Existence. Unless she was a masochistic I doubt she fell in love – although they are out there. And even if that is one of the common fantasies , in reality it’s terrifying . I wonder what his chief attributes are – something fluffy no doubt.
        .

      • Thenea

        Uhhhh no. Naming names only fortifies that aspect of the deity. You can LOL at that stupid deity who did that. And the actual deity will be like, “Yeah! LOL! Who would do that?!” and then sweat nervously.

        Truth be told, it is SO much better for them to be ashamed and afraid that someone will find out that they were responsible. Causes them to over-correct, you see.

        And at the end of the day, my main objective is that I will never see a deity do that to a mortal ever again.

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