The first line was riveting. The rest didn't meet expectations.
"Maybe it was not sweat or blood but liquid flame that oozed from his pores; he rather liked the image."
What was it, flaming snot? I'd rather know what it is instead of what it's not.
"This would truly be the greatest achievement modern man had ever witnessed – something to match, even surpass, the magic of the crafters. He fought the urge to squirm with delight." Sorry. Squirming high priests don't elicit an image I like, but I don't find it evil either. It's more like a puppy that wants to be let outside to do its business.
I couldn't continue