From the first moment they saw them they noticed these gods seemed to act a little… weird.
They had arrived with all the expected paraphernalia, of course. Blinding lights in the sky, choirs of heavenly voices, sacred signs floating over the village, wings of blazing fire. You could had practically taken out the ancient prophecies and used them like a checklist, every single detail was there. But still, something about them wasn’t quite right.
There was, for example, the fact that they never took off their horned and winged helmets to show their true faces.
They also seemed a bit too obsessed with the useless golden trinkets and bright rocks lying around the old ruins. Some of the warriors we sent to escort them were a bit embarrassed to recount how the gods had apparently quarreled amongst themselves for some of that junk.
But what really made the tribe suspicious was how eager they were for the doors to the temple’s inner chamber to be opened, even after the tribe told them it was just and empty room and showed them all their most sacred relics were already displayed on the altars.
Everybody was beginning to get restless but nobody dared to do anything, fearing what might happen if they began to doubt the ancient prophecies. Only the old shaman kept strangely calm. “Let them be as they are.” He said. “Everything returns to balance in the end, you’ll see.”
The gods kept asking, then demanding. Until one day they suddenly appeared at the village bearing strange and powerful weapons. They herded everyone to the temple and ordered the shaman to open the inner chamber or they would kill them all and destroy the village.
“Are you sure that’s what you want? There’s really nothing in there but a lot of dust and some old bones.” The shaman asked with an innocent smile. When one of them shoved a barrel against his chest, he calmly walked to the main altar and touched the sacred symbols in sequence, making each one glow with a gentle blue light.
The huge doors creaked and slowly opened. All the false gods rushed in, pushing and shoving against each other, trying to be the first ones to get inside.
The shaman, now totally forgotten by them, touched the sacred symbols once again, making them glow with fierce red light.
The walls of the chamber suddenly became white fire, filling the temple with a blinding light just for an instant before the huge doors closed again, drowning out the screams.
As the symbols slowly stopped glowing, the shaman turned to face the astounded villagers.
“This…” he said, pointing at the doors. “…is why I’ve always told you not to take things for what they seem without question. These strangers come here saying they are our gods and you simply take their word for it, just like that.”
“But, the ancient prophecies…” Came a shy voice from somewhere in the crowd.
“The ancient prophecies are bullshit, you should have figured that out a long time ago. Now go home and burn those stupid books. It’s about time you started thinking with your own heads.”
The crowd embarrassedly looked at each other for a moment, then slowly began walking back to the village below.