Tracking down the elusive cultists...plus two unexpected arrivals
Yeah, your author's note nicely summed up all the questions this chapter raises, so I don't have to list 'em.
Atheism in a world where Gods are objectively real? Always fun to play with. On the Discworld, atheists are very quiet about it. Heh.
One of my TTRPG campaigns I had a PC who ended up as High Priest to the God Glitnir (a God of the Forge) - appointed by the God Himself within the very Womb of Gems. Well, poor old Fenrir suffered a catastrophic event and became not only atheist, but a denier of magic (tons of fun for a high level PC who had learned the secrets of all 20 Schools of Power). Poor bastard went insane, teamed up with the dwarfs (not Tolkien dwarfs - think Norse mythology, where dwarfs are more akin to a Tolkien/D&D goblin), and...
Well, I wrote down a bunch of notes on the guy's new mindset, passed him to the Ref as an NPC and he re-emerged months later as the Campaign big-bad. To my surprise the rest of the group decided to try to save/cure Fenrir, rather than just kill him out. Sadly the Ref had a massive hard drive crash and lost his Campaign notes. The joys of teasing the literal rocket scientist over not making a backup wasn't as much fun as finishing the narrative arc would have been.
Anyways, yeah, an atheist in a fantasy world where the Gods are objectively real MUST be considered madder than a Hatter with a fresh pot of tea.
I just want to see Glacius and Paf interact with Justin.
If I'm right about the "battery" thing and you wrap this arc up in a week, then the Gods are probably about to get a new toy. There can never, ever be unforseen consequences from a God getting a device to further store and channel raw power. Nope. None at all.