Jord: Dawn of a World
Shield of Apostasy
The Shield of Apostasy is the name given by the population of Jord to the curse cast down by Garos during the Age of Silent Gods that separated the existing deific powers from the mortal plane in retaliation to stripping him of his godhood. Those avatars of divine will or pure fate already on the mortal plane were left trapped, and those outside, while still able to interact indirectly, were unable to directly influence anything in the mortal realms.
The Invoking of the Shield
While all inhabitants of Jord heard Garos’s voice toll across the heavens when the curse was pronounced, those who were more skilled in magic were said to be able to feel the curse fall, like a large soap bubble spreading over the face of Jord. Those holy men of faith, while still able to pray for magical spells, no longer were able to directly feel the comfort of their deity coexisting with them. The feeling was likened to stepping out of a warm tavern into a cold winter’s night, and some went insane from the experience. Others had a crisis of faith, and threw away a lifetime of servitude to a church for something more concrete and tangible to worship.
The gods themselves, used to being able to converse directly with their children, became limited to conversing only by using visions, which never crossed the shield as clearly as the gods may wish, losing many of the fine details in the journey. Because of this, the gods now tend to use more vague imagery in an attempt to get their intent across without accidentally steering one of the faithful in the wrong direction with a misinterpreted vision.
Because of such a massive change in the core functioning of all societies, historians across Jord agreed to start the roll of years over from that point, to make it easier for all inhabitants to reconcile historical differences. Libraries everywhere have kept their scribes busy altering texts to suit the new reckoning.
It was widely believed before that when one died, their soul would travel to some sort of celestial destination for judgement befitting their religion. Accounts from those few who have come back from the dead now fearfully tell of only a dark coldness awaiting them on the other side of life, and a sensation of being pulled along. Some philosophers have begun to argue that the soul never departs Jord upon death now, and the growing trend in the dead rising from their graves as undead monsters has caused the peasantry to begin believing those theories. Many villages are now cremating their dead instead of burying them in an attempt to prevent their loved ones returning as soulless horrors.