How could a person describe their connection to the System that governed Pangera? It moved through them, existed within them and all around them. It had been part of their lives from the moment they were born. Only those sapients who existed at the moment of descent could have told you the difference between the before and the now. It was an inescapable, unchosen overseer that applied its rules to all creatures it chose to invest itself in. Yet there were times when the System responded to the people, rather than the other way around. It was an entity of adaptation in many ways. When the world changed around it, it shifted to better represent the circumstances it found itself in.
This change could come as a response to technology, equipment or tactics. The Abyssal Legion is one such example, their members undergoing such drastic changes and using such specialised arms and armour that numerous new classes became available to them. Many other cases were known, and many more unknown, across the societies of the world.
What was more rare, was the System responding not only to circumstance, but to will. Those few occasions when the Sapient people of Pangera were able to effect change in the System based on their desires, altering reality to better suit themselves, rather than the other way around. This phenomenon was so rare, no scholar would be able to find a reliable example of it occurring throughout recorded history. Such things were simply not written down. It was too personal, too spiritual for that.
Such an experience took place inside the Church of the Great One. That indescribable feeling, built within Beyn and his closest followers. They could feel a powerful emotion building within. An uplifting, a changing, a becoming. Each of these humans felt the same thing, but none of them could describe it. How could someone find the words to discuss this feeling? It was as if the hand of god reached down to alter their DNA. As if the fundamental pieces that made up their existence were altered by an unseen force.
And then it was done.
All of their eyes flew open at once to stare in shocked incredulity at the person opposite to them, only to find that person looking back with the same expression. In an instant they knew that each of them had received the same message from the System. In the next second all eyes flew to Beyn.
He was frozen. He felt as if he’d been struck by a bolt of lightning. His nerves wouldn’t respond, they were jammed. He couldn’t even think about wanting to think. So immobile was he, no breath moved in his body, and he slowly began to turn red.
Then the tears came. Slowly at first, they dripped from his eyes and into his lashes, but soon gave way to a raging flood. When they saw this, the congregation joined him in an instant, each of them openly sobbing with joy. When recalling later, Beyn couldn’t say at which moment he had changed his class, and neither could the others. Somehow during the outpouring of their emotions they each accessed the System menu and switched their Class without even stopping to consider the benefits and drawbacks of such a change. In fact, they didn’t care. This was a miracle. Another one. Truly this was the heavens assuring Beyn that his feet had not strayed from the path that had been laid out before him!
The first they knew of the Class change was when they smelled something odd inside the church.
“Lazy,” it said.
Beyn was so shocked he fell to one side and tried to put out his hands to stop his fall, only to realise at the last second he only had one hand and face planted on the ground. With pain racking his body, he looked up from the cold stone floor to see a member of the Colony on the wall, watching them.
“Don’t you have work to do?” The ant huffed before turning around and skittering away.
The priest watched it go, completely stunned, as did the congregation around him.
“Priest…. Beyn… did you… hear? Or… smell? What I just …” brother John stammered.
From the floor, Beyn’s eyes slowly bulged out of his head as he realised he hadn’t imagined what just happened.
“I did,” he said. Then he roared.
It wasn’t easy for a one armed person to leap quickly to their feet, yet the priest managed it with alacrity and surprising grace before he sprinted out the door. The others followed after him, filled with energy just as he was, even if they weren’t sure what he wanted to do. Beyn frantically scanned around the church before he found what he was looking for. Nearby, an ant was seen looking in the window at a potter who was busy at his craft. Without hesitation, he ran forward and threw himself on the ground before the startled insect.
“Speak unto me of your wisdom!” He cried. “Instruct me so that I might better serve!”
There was a heavy pause as people nearby turned to look with strange expressions at this eminent figure in their community throwing himself into the dirt and trying to speak with an ant monster with his voice. The Colony member, a carver, looked at this strange, robed human and the ones who came after with a steady eye for a moment.
“These humans need more to do. Too much rest is driving them crazy.”
So saying, the ant flicked its antennae and turned back to watching the strange human art of shaping clay with their… hands.