The World-Spider came, and only dregs were left amid the riven strands of silk.
The cocoon closed the world off from everything. Nothing--no ghost, god, or spirit--could get in or out.
Not even the prayers of the desperate fodder could escape it. While the world dissolved, the gods in their heavens starved.
Lean times set in. Having grown used to the sustenance of prayer, the gods found their withdrawal symptoms sudden and agonizing. Even the mightiest deities withered into emaciated husks.
All of them had a breaking point.
Ravenous hunger alike to that of the Enemy gripped them, and in their frenzy they tore down and devoured the essence of their own planes and servants.
When the World-Spider moved on, as it always did and always would, the gods descended on the scraps it left behind. They devoured the emptied lands before them, for matter was naught but spirit-stuff of their own contrivance, once upon a time. They drank of the lakes of liquified thought and potential. They huffed the clouds of dust and dismay that yet clung to the ruins.
And still they hungered.
Their bloodshot eyes turned toward one another before long. The smallest and feeblest among them were the first to go. Land-spirits, tutelary deities, and the odd surviving demi-god were snapped up like morsels. But they did not satisfy. A food chain shrank as rapidly as it came into existence. "Eat or be eaten" soon became "eat and be eaten", which further devolved into the mindless mantra of "e a t".
Roiling, half-digested spirit-stuff spilled from opened bellies until the selfsame feast came to a grizzly conclusion, and the last of the gods were consumed by an encircling sea of chaotic juices.
Only, not all of the gods destroyed one another like that.
Perhaps it had once been a god of sneaking and opportunism. Perhaps it had just adapted very quickly. It couldn't remember, and frankly it didn't matter. What mattered was the work it had put in before all the other gods spilled themselves.
The last god cobbled together all of the wretched castoffs of its kin and the Enemy. With skeletal fingers it sculped an island, and with spit, glue, and hope it held it together. It even managed to scoop up a few overlooked creatures who had been floating adrift since the World-Spider's coming.
It nurtured these half-dead, maddened beings until they could scratch an existence out of the rocks, at which point the last god turned from savior to jailor. Even as it raised new shreds of land from the roiling sea, it jealously guarded and browbeat all within its domain. All formality was abandoned, and the intercession of religion was done away with. The true nature of the relationship between god and mortal was laid plain, bare, and raw: one is the reaper, and the other is its harvest; flesh and prayer are just different mediums for the same outcome.
The mortals slipped down from the jagged, hollow breast of their god. They died. They spread, multiplied, and mourned. They died. They looked out upon the sea of chaos and recoiled with fear. They died. They bowed their heads beneath the lurid, bloodshot gaze of their titanic keeper. They died. They expressed their anguish by acting in the god's image and enslaving the beasts and briars of the earth. They died.
Ages passed. The god's name was forgotten, even by itself. In its place it took the title of the Last God.
Centuries more dragged by. The title became its name, spoken in anxious, placating tones by every soul with a voice in that realm.
The Lastgod is jealously protective of its scraps, castoffs, and orts. Dismal wealth and mighty doom await.
Rumors on the Orts
- Some farmland has started to moan and weep vinegar. The town would like help quieting it.
- The Lastgod chipped a tooth on a sacrifice recently, and smote the offending village. Now neighboring communities are warring over the ruins for possession of its rotten molar fragment.
- A child born under a skittering cloud has finally come of age, and must be escorted under guard to the ribcage tor where they are to be broken upon the rocks.
- Mud puddles forming in the Lastgod's footprints are tinged with nourishing ichor from a recent injury.
- A new island has risen from the roil. Settlers are already preparing fresh, noisy skinbarges to row to it.
- Sacrifice is fast approaching, and the herders are alarmed that every animal they slaughter seems to start rotting immediately.
- An old patch of forest has grown too old. The wood is spongy, rotten, and mildly carnivorous.
- An apprentice boneturner needs live and dangerous specimens to continue their experiments in creating bipedal animals.
- The Lastgod has not accepted the monthly sacrifice prepared by a nearby village, and seems to be completely ignoring it. The villagers are panicking.
- Harvested grains are bursting out of their silos and smothering people. Again.
- A plague of rampant gut fauna growth is sweeping through several towns. A dozen people have already ruptured.
- Part of an island has sloughed off into the roil. Its exposed face is honeycombed with dozens of deep, spiraling tunnels.
- A temper tantrum put the Lastgod's foot through the ground and revealed a hidden vault underneath. There is glowing in the depths.
- The smoky night sky opened up briefly over a mountaintop to reveal stars. Horrible, lurid stars.
- Clutches of rancid, undulating eggs are being uncovered in cellars and burial pits.
- One of the Lastgod's centennial bowel movements has left a smoking crater in a nearby acid river valley. Swarms of parasites are emerging from it.
- A raving prophet touched by the Lastgod has been raised from the nearby serfs. No matter how much they gorge themselves on food, they continue to waste away.
- Something with Too Many Legs was spotted lurking around the old temple.
- An ephemeral godling has congealed out of the roil to reach its pseudopods onto land and threaten nearby villages. The Lastgod must be lured over to stop it.
- They say someone has found a shred of spider's silk.