During an uprising known as "The Awakening" gods begin to appear seemingly out of nowhere all along an empire with a whole continent under its power. They are not gods, per se, but rather immortal beings from once thought to be folklore.
Think of it as if Greek gods sprouted all around the world and attacked the populace. But instead, the humans have muskets, cannons, and airships to defend themselves. These gods do not have any magical powers, per se, however, they do have massive effects on people's minds and anyone who observes then will undoubtedly become insane and does the killing for them.
The number is not entirely clear as the royal city has become isolated and reside underground in a place known as the "Godless Embrace".
Because of this awakening, the empire's religions and beliefs are shattered and the massive continent descends into madness. There was, however, a cult that knew of The Awakening long before it happened, but were always thought to be crazy. Now, with the outbreak of these gods, the government turns to this cult for answers.
They say that "The Awakening" happens every ten thousand years as a way of cleansing the earth and making it new. However, during the previous Awakening, a civilization created the only weapon capable of killing these gods.
But in the chaos, a group of rebels stole the weapon and used it to create a unscalable range of mountains surrounding themselves. They did this as a way of protecting it from those who wish to use it for other, more sinister reasons. And that apparently it is still out there waiting to be discovered.
But my question is how these people are fighting off these gods in the meantime.