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We have a world in the first age (think Atlantis without tech but with magic, a civilization with wealth, overflow of resources, no sickness, no pain, a civilization with more power than everyone else, enough food for everyone, never a bad harvest, never a parent or child lost to child birth, weapons forged by the gods themselves. Warriors return home from battle since the armor is invincible.), gods walks the earth, assist the humanoids in the world with different tasks in return for sacrifices and faith (the life force of the gods).

Gods and humanoids live in synergy, (Gods helps the humans thrive, humans believe in gods, gods get power from faith, power is used to help humans, full circle)

There are no evil gods nor good gods; gods are filling a purpose. God of life, grants good births and healthy children. God of death carries brave people over to the other side safe. God of harvest helps in bad years etc. God of war gives legendary weapons and armor to people. And the weave of the gods provides the magic in the world.

Now let's say that these gods someday just disappear, in an instant, something (to be decided) happens in the plane of the gods so they all disappear (since they technically cannot die). This means they no longer walk among men, no longer provide good births and strong children, no more good harvest in bad years, and dead people are no longer guaranteed safe passage to the other side. But most of all, all magic is gone, no more healing spells, no more fast travels no more than "what we would have" in a fantasy setting.

This is resulting in crops that were sustained by the gods no longer growing to the extent they might have (good crops still grow good), but bad crops dry out, get pests, fungus. Weapons are just steel, no longer imbued by the power of the gods, armor is just thin plate sheets (swords are still sharp and armor still protects, but no better than ordinary armor). People wounded are getting ill from infections an can no longer be instantly healed.

Potential other effects: Priests and Clerics are losing their offices, (might even be called frauds). People start fighting for food. Warriors who were invincible start questioning if it is worth the risk. Cities start getting overrun by wild life and other fantasy creatures that didn't want to attack before. And with reduced power of the military both in strength and numbers, that could be a problem.

Q: Would this event be enough to create a post-apocalyptic event? (Analog to fallout-fantasy)

(For reference, the story is in the third age, where the first is the golden age, the second is rebuilding, and the third is the current, haven't gotten any cool names for the ages yet.)

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  • $\begingroup$ Comments are not for extended discussion; this conversation has been moved to chat. $\endgroup$ – L.Dutch Dec 20 '18 at 12:09
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Humans will not survive.

Each of the analogues presented by previous answer is, IMO, wrong. They keys thing is, humans lack knowledge. Bad crops will die you say, but good crops will survive. But humans don't know the difference between good crops and bad crops, because all crops were good before. Noone has any experience with seeding seeds from "bad crops". Noone has ever used irrigation to water their crops. They not only lack the knowledge of how to build an irrigation system -- they even lack the knowledge that there is a benefit for them. Crops would always grow everywhere, regardless on how good or bad the soil was, and noone has ever used manure on their fields; there doesn't exist any knowledge that this has a benefit. Same for health care. Even people never were sick, noone has even an inkling of a clue on how to deal with it.

People will be worse off than in any zombie invasion you can imagine. And that's due to the lack of knowledge on how to exist.

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    $\begingroup$ Humanity /probably/ would survive that. Even in the post-scarcity god-granted world, there were probably at least /some/ people far enough from civilization that they've had to rely upon themselves alone. If the population is high enough to have multi-city civilizations, you likely have enough people that a sufficient number of someones to continue the species will figure out how to survive in the world that is before everyone dies. A huge fraction of the population will probably die, though, and take those civilizations with them. $\endgroup$ – notovny Dec 19 '18 at 17:56
  • $\begingroup$ @notovny Why wouldn't gods take care of people far away from civilization? Those people may have plant their own crops, but the magic of the gods would still make them grow, they won't get sick, etc. Being away from civilization doesn't give you the experience of things that just never have happened. $\endgroup$ – Abigail Dec 19 '18 at 18:11
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    $\begingroup$ @Abigail - I totally agree with your core point, but there are instances in human history of people abandoning agrarian society after many generations, and although one can safely infer that the casualty rate was high, the populations didn't die off completely. As hard as it is too see sometimes, our species is actually really quite good at figuring things out for ourselves, given sufficient motivation. $\endgroup$ – Iron Gremlin Dec 20 '18 at 1:45
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    $\begingroup$ @Abigail the people know that they need to grow crops, they need that they need to hunt, but the success rate of doing it is changing on a parameter that is the amount they sacrifice, to the parameter of skill and luck / weather. $\endgroup$ – Magic-Mouse Dec 20 '18 at 8:19
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    $\begingroup$ They won't all die, but there will be an apocalypse, which is what has been requested. $\endgroup$ – Separatrix Dec 20 '18 at 9:15
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While the collapse of the preexisting social order is quite plausible, total extinction is pretty unlikely. Here's a likely end-of-civilisation-inducing scenario. It won't do anything drastic like wipe all life off the face of the earth, but it'll probably do pretty well in dragging humans into a dark age:

Wannabe Gods

The absence of the gods creates what we'd call a market imbalance. Once it's noticed, sooner or later the thought will enter human heads: why not become the gods? Someone has to fill the gap in service coverage, right?

Priests will come up with all kinds of explanations to justify all kinds of convoluted rituals, but in the end it'll just boil down to finger pointing: they(worshippers of another god) dunnit. Warriors would become tyrants who rule over the common folk by force. No matter their background, they'll all claim to "make the world godly again" but fail to actually do so. In true medieval fashion, supposed rituals of ascension would probably involve copious amounts of depravity/carnage, like bathing in the blood of a thousand innocents killed.

Cue the fragmentation and break down of society as warbands led by self-proclaimed Prophets and God-Emperors and such carve the land up and declare holy war on each other. The line between clergy and warlords would probably cease to exist here. The madness will last until people truly accept that the gods are gone for good, but that can take quite a while as concrete evidence of their (past) existence and influence is plentiful

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  • $\begingroup$ This is basically the story of the 3rd age, some people raise to become saints, almost immortal beings (immortal = don't die from age, but die from sword to the heart kind of immortal) $\endgroup$ – Magic-Mouse Dec 20 '18 at 8:15
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    $\begingroup$ @Magic-Mouse You can have the 2nd age be the "rat race age" then, where people keep trying and failing to assume godhood, all the while resorting to more and more extreme methods. Only when things have calmed down and people stopped trying to become gods in the 3rd age did limited immortality start coming about $\endgroup$ – nullpointer Dec 20 '18 at 8:47
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Unlikely (but not impossible)

You could just make a parallel with both 1929 and 2008 crises. The market was screwed up and hell broke loose because of that. Of course the scale of these events is nothing compared to not being able to produce food or have healthy children, but they were, in a way, cataclysmic events in their own proportions.

But the point is that people recovered from that.

The world didn't end just because its financial bedrock was crushed. It was bad, people lost their homes, unemployment skyrocketed, suicides, etc. It took time but eventually things got back to some degree of normality in the years that followed.

Humans are hard to beat. Unless gods and magic are something humans can't live without (meaning no medicine to replace healing spells, no horses and carriages to replace teleportation, no agriculture techniques to guarantee food production, etc), they should be fine.

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  • $\begingroup$ but what if we over night moved from 2008 tech to 800 tech? We didn't loose everything, we didn't loose health care just because some people lost their jobs $\endgroup$ – Magic-Mouse Dec 19 '18 at 14:12
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    $\begingroup$ If you mean that every aspect of your world was exclusively run by magic, then I think you are correct. I assumed that even though your medics have healing spells, not every medic is a wizard, meaning there would still be old fashined doctors that would immobilize your arm istead of fixing it up with abracadabra. The same can be applied to other sectors like transportation. Teleport was nice, but there are still horses and carriages around. $\endgroup$ – Magus Dec 19 '18 at 14:18
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    $\begingroup$ I think the answer lies in how dependant humans are of magic. If it is something they absolutely can't live without (no alternative ways for healthcare, education, transportation, commerce, etc), then you'll have your apocalypse. I'll edit the question to state this. $\endgroup$ – Magus Dec 19 '18 at 14:26
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    $\begingroup$ Again, this is a relative matter. Can every single human abracadabra everything? And if yes, does every human abracadabra everything? I, for example, haven't set foot in a bank in ages. I pay all my bills and solve all annoyances with my cellphone. My grandmother, however, goes to the bank in the beginnning of every month. She knows nothing of smartphones or technology. She depends on the old ways - which is why they still exist, to serve this small portion of the population or to serve me in the event that my battery dies. $\endgroup$ – Magus Dec 19 '18 at 14:36
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    $\begingroup$ Just like not everyone can do surgery, not everyone can do magic, but those schooled in the arts can do it. $\endgroup$ – Magic-Mouse Dec 19 '18 at 14:56
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The answer to this depends on details that are not in the question. This really depends 100% on what the humans do while they are in synergy with the gods, and how the gods actually help them.

Try this as an experiment. Get a friend and find a door. Have your friend on the outside of the door and put yourself on the inside. Now close the door and kind of lean against it, so that you're pushing on the door in the opening direction, but it's held closed by the latch. Use the door to prop yourself up a bit. You'll be here a while. When you least expect it, the friend opens the door suddenly.

Did you fall? Or did you just stumble?

Now let's repeat this experiment. Only now, lean a bit harder into the door, and we're going to do a task. Repeatedly take your right shoe off and put it back on. This is a hard task to do while standing. Not everyone can do it without losing balance. But it's pretty easy to do while leaning against the door.

Now what happens to you when your friend opens the door? I highly recommend having some padding on the other side so that falling doesn't hurt.

So the real question is whether your society chooses to just lean on the gods, or if your society relies on them to stay standing. This is very society dependent. No two societies will really answer the same way.

Consider the USA. I'd say we lean pretty heavily on the internet. If it were to disappear, we'd stumble pretty hard. It'd be bad news. But we'd probably roll with it. We'd probably catch ourselves.

Now consider what would happen if our power disappeared. All fossil fuels and all existing renewable electricity devices vanish. I think we're going to do a lot worse than stumble. Our entire agricultural system depends on electricity and diesel fuel. There will be mass starvation, and that tends to earn the "apocalypse" title rather quickly in most people's vernacular.

Do your gods bring to the table something like the internet? Or is it being treated more like electricity and fossil fuels?

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There are two aspects in this answer, a short-term one and a long-term one.

At short term, right after the disappearance of the gods, you would expect a lot of faithful followers of these gods to pray for their return, as praying and sacrificing as been the best way to proceed in case of emergency and crisis ever since people remember and tell tales. Gradually, more and more would lose faith in the gods' return, as time passes and crises amass: more death in child birth or children dying at young age, crop harvest failing maybe not in the first, but in one of the following years resulting in starvation, emigration, uprisals and civil war. You cannot support as large cities and militaries as before. People will emigrate to the country side, trying to scavenge food or steal from the farmers surrounding the cities who will have to defend themselves and their remaining crops.

You can take the decline of the roman empire and its fall under the onset of gothic tribes desparately migrating westwards driven by nomadic tribes conquering their lands as a historic example. This has basically set back the economic and cultural development on the European continent by centuries. Although it was not an apocalyse, it possibly appeared so to the people living at that time, constantly starving and running for their lives.

How well your society can recover, will depend on external threats (as marauding trobes in the case of Ancient Rome) as well as your people's willingness to help out one another. If people are rather willing to suffer personal disadvantages for the sake of 'the greater good', as the survival of their people, e.g. paying high taxes to support the poor in society, offering public hygiene and basic medical service to everyone, public schooling etc., every young man or even woman serving in the military or the public services for some time in their lives as a service to society, then you can buffer the impacts much better than if people fight only for themselves, abandoning all mercy, compassion and support for the weaker ones when faced with hunger, civil unrest and the loss of their beloved gods.

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It would be rough for the humans. It is described in the Book of Genesis.

Eden was nice. Delicious plants grew on their own. You did not have to do much. No clothes either!

http://www.vatican.va/archive/bible/genesis/documents/bible_genesis_en.html

[2:8] And the LORD God planted a garden in Eden, in the east; and there he put the man whom he had formed. [2:9] Out of the ground the LORD God made to grow every tree that is pleasant to the sight and good for food, the tree of life also in the midst of the garden, and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.

But God got mad when the humans ate of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. God did not leave, but he sent the humans away from His presence and from beautiful Eden He had maintained to a wasteland without divine maintenance. Humans would have to work. And they would have to suffer. Also they would have to deal with weeds.

[3:17] And to the man he said, "Because you have listened to the voice of your wife, and have eaten of the tree about which I commanded you, 'You shall not eat of it,' cursed is the ground because of you; in toil you shall eat of it all the days of your life; [3:18] thorns and thistles it shall bring forth for you; and you shall eat the plants of the field. [3:19] By the sweat of your face you shall eat bread until you return to the ground, for out of it you were taken; you are dust, and to dust you shall return."

Side note - I am interested to know who the LORD God is talking to in this passage.

[3:22] Then the LORD God said, "See, the man has become like one of us, knowing good and evil; and now, he might reach out his hand and take also from the tree of life, and eat, and live forever"--

In any case, so too your scenario of the gods departing. The gods leave and no longer maintain things and make life easy - an apocalypse in a sense. The humans will have to work harder, and suffer, and deal with weeds. Maybe it will make them stronger and craftier in the long run. It would be very hard in the short run.

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Yes. If the gods had specific jobs to do then they disappeared, the things they were supposed to do would fail. Crops would die, babies wouldn't be born, no wind and no warmth. The world would collapse.

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  • $\begingroup$ The gods assist in the everyday, god of wind don't create the winds, the stars rays create high pressure when the air is heated, but the sailors sacrifice to the god of wind to change the winds to their favor. $\endgroup$ – Magic-Mouse Dec 20 '18 at 8:17
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Humanoids or people. Let's first decide who we're talking about - humanoids or people. The way you describe the life of humanoids and Gods, it looks like the life of my favorite dog. I take care of it, it trusts me, and since it doesn't have the life experience of its wild relatives, it will have a hard time if I'm not around. But if you are talking of a human, then the main thing that was given to us by Gods is the right to choose, which eliminates complete guardianship. And what happened to the Gods of Atlantis which your story started with - this is very well described in the video "Atlantis. The elite in search of immortality." https://allatra.tv/en/video/atlantis-the-elite-in-search-of-immortality Unfortunately, at this time, we have to watch the video with subtitles, but it is well worth it.

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  • $\begingroup$ I write humanoids because the world exists of elves, dwarves, orcs, gnomes etc. So not just humans, but all those are also people, but not dogs. $\endgroup$ – Magic-Mouse Dec 27 '18 at 14:04

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