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How to Become a God

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The first thing you've got to know is you've got it all wrong. Take everything you think you know about theology and throw it away. When you're ready, read on.

It was a cold night; colder than usual for the city, at least. The moon shone above us, lighting our path. We didn't need to see to know our destination – the place may as well have been programmed into our minds. The only place open on the far end of town, overlooking a placid ocean that stretched for who knows how long, drew us like a flame.

The building, decrepit and decayed as it was, let loose a soft light from its one window. A single word, its paint chipped away, stretched over the plate glass. At one point, it read “Jerry's” but now it was more like “Icnys”. The condition of the place belied its popularity – unless you knew of it, you'd overlook it, or write it off as a drug den.

Drugs were just one of the many things it offered, but only to a close crowd of hand-picked customers. Everyone else knew it as a coffeehouse that stayed open despite its lack of business. Many suspected that it was a front for something more sinister, or that it was simply being funded from the owner’s pocket alone. If they only knew, they'd wish that the explanation was that simple.

Still, the thoughts of the general populace aren't why you're reading this, are you? You're reading this because you're insane.

Sorry, that just kind of slipped out. What I meant was, you're reading this because you're seeking, like many others, deification.

I have to warn you, <insert name here>. You're traveling a well-worn, but nonetheless dangerous, path. If you want to continue, fine. Just don't blame me.

You're going to need a full bottle of alcohol, preferably of whiskey, though the brand doesn't matter, a knife, a mix of destroying angel, hellebore, and belladonna. All of these things must be got at the same place. This is the place you will be performing the ritual, <insert name here>, so be sure that it's lonely or you risk being caught. I know what you're thinking, “How the hell am I to get a bottle of whiskey, a knife, and some rare herbs, all in the same place?”

All I can say is, there's ways. Manipulate a friend into buying these things and giving them to you at the ordained spot. Find the rare herb/knife/alcohol store. I don't know – I just know how it must be done.

When you've done this, wait for a night when the stars sparkle like the shards of a shattered mirror. If it's the right time, you should smell incense faintly on the wind. As soon as you arrive, the skies will darken to a royal purple and the grasses, even if not present before, will blacken. The slightest touch will make them crumble, so it's easy to know where you've been before.

Look to the horizon and you'll see white pillars jutting up into the sky. Walk towards them. You'll want to take the most direct path possible. Trust me on this. It's my only gift to you.

Approaching them, you'll find a woman chained to the bottom of a deep well, deeper than you could possibly hold your breath. She doesn't struggle, doesn't scream, simply stares up at you with persistent want. Don't meet her gaze, or you'll find yourself walking towards the well, whether you want to or not. You'll jump in and eventually drown trying to save her.

Keep walking towards the pillars to find a series of raised platforms, forming a staircase to the highest one. As you walk up them, you'll hear and see the most terrible things: people being slowly flayed to the bone, infants being raped, people screaming for help, for mercy. Ignore them. They are but memories now, <insert name here>. You cannot save them.

As you step onto the final platform, it will collapse out beneath you. Still got the alcohol from before, <insert name here>? You're going to need it if luck's not in your favor. As you plummet to your death, you will hear one of two things: A powerful voice stating that it is not yet your time to die or the same voice reciting a long list of everything you've ever done that would condemn you.

If you hear the former, congratulations! You're in the clear. Skip the following message and carry on. If you hear the latter, well, then, you'd better hope Death's thirsty. If he is, you can trade that bottle of alcohol for one more year.

It will be easily the most uneventful year you'll ever have, because your unplanned-for extension cannot be allowed to have effects on the lives of others, lest it attract the notice of the archgods, who are very 'destroy it all and start again' happy. Still, this kind of thing happens when you make people serve thousand-year-long shifts. Just saying, if any of them are reading this.

If all goes properly, you'll find yourself in a vast expanse of void. Stay perfectly still and watch the 'ground' for flashing squares. These are markers for the more forgetful deities, so that they can avoid a death by matter compression. That's right – you're in the heart of a black hole. Technically, you're smaller than even the lowliest bit of subatomic material, but that's got no bearing on things.

Remember the 'coffeehouse' from before, <insert name here>? That's your end goal. As you walk forward through the wormhole, keep it in your mind. Feel the cool sea breeze on your face. Smell the crisp, salty air. Hear the plucking of a nostalgic melody drift idly through the night. Go towards the light and open the door.

If you did it correct, you'll see a very empty coffeehouse. Tables are scattered throughout the room, all in states of disuse. Some chairs are tipped over, the food on the table waiting patiently for an owner who will never return. Choose one of them and sit down. Eventually, the piano man will notice you and come over.

He will ask you about why you're here so late at night. The smell of stale coffee and cigarette smoke will lace his every breath, but make no notice nor mention of this. Else, you will be found the next morning, reeking of bourbon and coffee. Your vocal chords will be messily removed from your throat, usually severing the jugular, and be discovered in your rectum.

If you give him a decent answer, he'll suddenly lean close to you and inhale deeply. Don't ask him what he's doing, just hold up your packet of herbs. He'll snatch it away, a greedy gleam in his eyes, and point his grubby thumb towards the back.

Walk back there and you'll find the door to the cellar, conveniently hidden behind the register counter. Pull it open to find a beautiful man or woman shackled to one of the tiny room's walls. As soon as you go down, the door will slam shut behind you. You'll hear the sound of a lock clicking into place. The person before you is a god(dess) that has fallen from grace. If you wish to become a deity, you must find a way to kill them and steal their soul.

Do this with much quickness, <insert name here>. Chained or not, you're facing a deity. If you aren't destroyed in the first couple of seconds, you'll eventually starve to death.

But, you'd give anything to be powerful, wouldn't you?

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