Today we have a guest post by the famous Professor F- on the topic of self defence against gods. Professor F- has been active in the community for some time and is an acknowledge expert in deity wrangling. She has also discovered the lost underground civilisation of Bad Suderode, banished the fae Prince Adoxacea from our dimension, beat an incarnation of Mars in an arm wrestling match and has published several well-cited papers on narrative determinism, among many other academic accomplishments. She is widely believed to have cheated in the arm wrestling match, but no one has ever been able to discover how. The Professor recently returned from her honeymoon on the other side of the green portal.
Self Defence Against Gods, by Professor F-
I’d like to begin by thanking the Archivist for this opportunity – I’ve not had the pleasure of writing for the Archive before and it’s an honour.
Now, the first principle of self defence against gods of all types is avoidance. If you can avoid angering the deity by showing your ankles, wearing your hair parted on the wrong side, being male or whatever other unreasonable demands it has made to keep its followers in line then just do so! Pride is easy to recover and compromising on unimportant matters shows a strong inner character.
The second most important principle is to deny the god power over you. Gods thrive on respect, fear, worship, etc., so do not feed your problem. A helpful way of avoiding this is to keep in mind the ridiculousness of its cult. Even the most Spartan death cult is all but guaranteed to have bizarre rituals, observances and demands, so make a mental note of these for later. If you are very lucky the god’s presence on our mortal plane will have a funny voice, this actually saved my life on one occasion when I was faced with an otherwise serious cannibal cult.
The third principle is to look for weak concepts. These may allow you to escape (and then afterwards avoid the god as principle 1 tells us), or failing that, deal the god and/or its cult a mortal blow. Sometimes these can be points of ridiculousness that you noted earlier for principle 2, if you can show the god’s followers that it is foolish, petty or unlikely to give them what it has promised then you will weaken its hold on our world. You may find a weak point in its connection another way, for example if it has only a single charismatic prophet then you can neutralise them with a swift kick to the nads or a casual shove into the lava pool floor of the cult’s volcano lair.
This is usually enough for the casual victim of a deity’s unpleasant attentions to get away, but to truly crush a god you must either battle them on their own plane of existence, or else bring in another deity to steal their domain. For example the way the Romans used Mars, who was more friendly to their cause, to subsume and replace the Greek god Ares. On one occasion I had to invent a new deity and lead a recruitment drive for believers, but the results were no less effective and I got to pick the name of the new deity, so it was worth the extra effort.
There are other methods of course, but most involve magic or subtlety impressive enough that their practitioners will not need advice from a short how to article. I am available for consults in unusual cases.
For the Archivist, and the Archive: Good luck.
If you enjoy the story please leave the author a comment, as this makes him very happy. You can also help the Archive defend itself against a hostile deity by voting at Top Web Fiction.