Alas, the flagellants' proclamations of doom drive increasing numbers of our people into twisted, terrified zealotry. Many among them are gripped by constant fear that the next day will be their last, and are determined that only endless acts of penance will save them. More concerning are the even larger number of people who, though they do not go so far as to embrace self-flagellation, nonetheless believe the fanatics' claims that we are suffering some divine retribution. Unreason spreads like wildfire across your lands, stymying rational debate and scientific progress.
In time, reason will reign once more – but for now, holy terror paralyzes our advancement.