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The Eyes of Samara

Samara and the Silver-Tongue Jackal


The Eyes of Samara is a well known Saohri myth about how the goddess of love and knowledge came to lose her eyes. The myth is popular across the Danatelian culture for a variety of reasons- it is often used to teach children about being careful, and is also quite popular due to the presence of the Silver-Tongue Jackal, an enigmatic figure of Saohri theology.

Myth


Samara the Enchantress, Al Malehiruf Talban, is blind. She was not born blind- in the days of old when mortal and gods shared the same sky, her eyes watched the sun rise and set, the stars dance among the night sky. But even gods make mistakes, especially when they are young and foolish.
— Teacher of the Temple of Samara

In the old days of the Age of Eternal Sun, Samara the Enchantress, youngest of the gods, walked amongst the gardens of her divine palace. She gazed at the myriads of bugs and flowers, studied the movement of every blade of grass and every beating heart, taking in the wonders of the world. She was fascinated by life and its mysteries, and she wished to know everything that was about this wonderful world she came to life in. No one loved like Samara did.
Samara the Enchantress by Aijxjx

One morning, as the sun shone on both horizons, the goddess sat surrounded by thousands of kinds of fruits, many forgotten by man. She prepared herself to try them all, when the Silver-Tongue Jackal came from the shadows of a blackberry bush. Its pelt was dark as night, its teeth black from the juice of the fruits.

"Dearest Samara, prettiest amongst gods, I come to you with a challenge. I hear you are the brightest and bravest of your kin," he spoke, voice rising like an echo from a cave. "But I see you now, and you are so small and young- I find it hard to believe what I heard."

"Why, kind Jacakl, you will find all you have heard is true! There is nothing I wouldn't do to know the mysteries of this world, and soon enough there will be no secrets left for me to learn."

The Jackal flashed a grin, daggered teeth catching the light of the rising sun. "Ah, it pleases me to hear so. Yet -I hope you will forgive me for asking- I find myself wanting for proof." The Jackal paused, taunting words hanging in the air. "No one has ever seen the face of Deïmon the Bright. She keeps it hidden behind a veil- tell me what it looks like, and I will believe in your might."
— Extract from Tales of the Time of Gods

The young and naive Samara considered the challenge. It was said the Faceless shone so bright she had no choice but to hide behind a veil, lest she harm any who dare lay their eyes on her naked form. But the words of the Jackal spun a weave of questions in her mind. She told the beast to come meet her the following day, but she made no promises. The Jackal smiled, and returned to the shadows once more.
Deïmon the Bright
Deïmon the Bright by Aijxjx

Fresh fruits now forgotten, Samara stood to walk through her gardens. We all know what the goddess hides behind her veil, and if what she says is true it would be foolish to try take a peek. But what if she lies? I cannot take her word for proof, no, I must see her face for myself. Only then will I really know.

Samara waited for dusk-dawn, where Deïmon would retreat to her chambers to rest for a moment, before setting out to walk amongst the sky once more. She hid in the chambers of Alty'tajealuni-Dafia, crounching amongst the many plants and drapes that lined the walls.

The Sun entered her room, drapped in many scarves and veils. She wore her crown of gold, shoulders straight and strong. The air grew warm and heavy, and from her hiding place Samara wiped her brow. Trepidation hung thick in the quiet of the dusk-dawn. The Sun brought her hands up to her face, fingers reaching for the veil that fell from her crown. Samara went still. Light flooded the room.
— Extract from Tales of the Time of Gods

The burning fires of the Faceless goddess scorched the eyes of Samara. Her scream alerted Deïmon, who covered her face once more and rushed to help the foolish goddess, eyes still burning from the heavenly light. Deïmon took the young woman in her arms, and brought her to the Forge of a Thousand Tiles, and made a mask out of burned stone.

Ghabeiun returned the following day to meet with the Silver-Tongue Jackal. She could no longer see her gardens, or gaze at the golden pink hues of the morning sky. The beauty of the world which she loved so was now forever lost to her, and as she approached the blackberry bush she did not see that the eyes of the Jackal shone gold.

"You tricked me, cruel beast. Your silver words have cost me the world, and never shall I gaze at its wonders again."

"Ah, little goddess," came the cackling answer, "you have lost your eyes to no other fault than your own! You are a great goddess, and I am but a humble creature of this earth- how could I ever make a god bend to my will?"
— Extract from Tales of the Time of Gods

Samara could've easily fallen prey to desperation, but she soon realised there was strength to be gained from her loss. Though she could no longer see the beauties of the world, her heart found itself more open to the people around her. She was no longer blinded by appearances, and slowly she learned to love the world once more for what it was.


Symbolism and Interpretations

The Eyes of Samara is a myth that has been at the source of many debates and discussions amongst various circles of academics. Theologists have found many interest in it, especially in the flawed depiction it gives of the goddess Samara, as well as showing her capable of change. Historians are particularly drawn to this myth as it is one of the rare stories to mention life in the Age of Eternal Sun, and ethnologists are particularly interested in tying the story to a variety of Danatelian traditions.

Most debates in theology surround the nature and essence of gods. They are described as having bodies, but what do these bodies look like? What are they made of? Gods are greater than any mortals, yet they seem to make mistakes- why were they created imperfectly? Most importantly, theologians believe that the appaerance of a god reveals essential information about their character.

True Knowledge

By losing her ability to see the world, Samara stops being blinded by its superficial beauty, and learns to appreciate the true nature of things around her beyond their appearance. This idea connects to the way Danatelians concieve the world: every existing thing has an essence (called bahri), a quality that makes that thing a specific thing.

Blind Heart

Samara's blindness is emblematic of her ability to love anyone, regardless of who they are. This good hearted way of seeing the world also makes Samara ideally posed to be the Divine Judge- she will not be biased by prejudice and deceit, and instead stay true to what she knows. Her impartiality is somwhat foiled by her idealistic view of the world.


Origins and Growth of the Myth

The Eyes of Samara is along the oldest Danatelian myths. It takes place in the Age of Eternal Sun. Most people believe the myth to have come directly from their ancestors who witnessed the events at the time they happened as it is one of the only stories not initially told by a Nasbarin.

"I swear its true! It was my distant ancestor who saw what happened. My family is favoured by Samara the Enchantress herself!"

"Shut it up, fool. Spread any more lies and the goddess will strike you down!"
— Drunken students

Many Danatelian traditions were inspired from events recounted through the myth. The strong and powerful Naar Iilhia blind themselves in a ritual known as the Rising, to represent their closeness to Deïmon the Bright. Blackberry bushes are sometimes burned to chase away evil spirits, and it is said their berries contain magical properties useful in the arcane arts. And as with all myths, many variations exist, each often leading to the rise of a myriad of local traditions and superstitions.

Silver-Tongue Jackal

The Silver-Tongue Jackal makes a few appearances across the Saohri mythos, and usually serves the role of an antagonist or trouble maker. The origins of the character is unclear- they do not seem to have been created by Matazel the Lonely, at the very least not on purpose, and their place in the cosmogony of the Saohri religion is vague.

Two main theories exist amongst Saohri theologians: the Silver-Tongue Jackal is either a physical manifestation of the chaotic energy of Magic, or an offspring of Aher the Green. The topic has been more or less relevant amongst Saohri theologians, without any consensus ever being reached.


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Cover image: by Praewthida K

Comments

Author's Notes

First article for WE 2021 is done, and its a myth (how surprising)! Hope you enjoyed the read, and feel free to leave some feedback :D happy WE!


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Sage Dylonishere123
R. Dylon Elder
2 Dec, 2021 17:44

Love your articles. The writing and art is always on point. I found a little issue but I dont know if it's wrong or not.   "...sun rise and set, the stars dance among the night sky. " did you mean dancing accross the night sky? Idk if it's really a problem but I just wanted to point it out cause it read strange to me. Other than that I've found nothing. The article reads super well.   It's an awesome myth with that surreal yet grounded tone to it. It reads like a myth should, course that's expected when I read your myths. Had a bittersweet quality too, which I'm all about. I like how she found strength in her loss and didnt let it break her down. Well done!

3 Dec, 2021 13:27

Thank you so much for your kind words Dylon <3 !!! I'm really glad to hear you enjoyed this myth, and I'm glad the bittersweet quality shone through hehe :D   Re the thing you pointed out, I think its correct? Its in the line of "samara looks at the stars dance", if that makes sense.

Author of Arda Almayed, resident myth nerd!
3 Dec, 2021 01:46

Another brilliant myth! <3 I love how you don't just weave a story but also elaborate its context within your world--what others think of it and how it's interpreted or challenged is such an amazing touch to elevate your myth to the next level. Lovely start to WorldEmber!


You are doing a great job! Keep creating; I believe in you!
Luridity: Love is love, and chivalry is most certainly not dead. A galaxy of sweet, silly, sensual & downright sexy characters, their lives, & their loves. Contains NSFW content.
3 Dec, 2021 13:29

Thank you so much Dani!! Yeah honestly for me half of the fun with myths is how they are interpreted and reworked, so its something I really enjoy discussing in my worldbuilding :) I'm glad you enjoy it too!

Author of Arda Almayed, resident myth nerd!
4 Dec, 2021 09:57

My girl Samara just can't catch a break in this setting, can she? Gets her heart broken and now her eyes stolen. I'll get you to write a happy ending for her, one of these days! >:(   Seriously - great work as always <3


Creator of Araea, Megacorpolis, and many others.
4 Dec, 2021 13:50

I'm sorry! If it helps her eyes got stolen first. Idk why that would help but yeah. And she already has the epic of the lovers, thats happy!! And thank you Q <3 <3 :')

Author of Arda Almayed, resident myth nerd!
4 Dec, 2021 19:55

This is just some fantastic work! Well thought out and the way you written it makes it feel like a real legend. Loving it! :D

Feel free to check out my River challenge article and my Secrets in the swamp Adventure article if you want to see what I am up to!
5 Dec, 2021 19:18

Thank you so much Kefke, I'm glad you enjoyed it!!

Author of Arda Almayed, resident myth nerd!
5 Dec, 2021 23:02

Such a good myth. Lesson learned for Samara, I guess. I like that Deïmon didn't seem to be angry with her, but rushed to help her instead.   The Jackal is a really interesting figure in your mythology. I hope we get to learn more about them. :D

6 Dec, 2021 14:22

And what a lesson that was! And yeah Deïmon is a chill goddess, this is the equivalent of accidentally hurting a kid so she probably felt a bit guilty I'd say.   I'm glad to hear you liked the Jackal! I've been struggling to find a good trickster antagonistic character for a while, but I'm pretty happy with that guy. We'll see when they show up again!

Author of Arda Almayed, resident myth nerd!
Eternal Sage AmélieIS
Amélie I. S. Debruyne
8 Dec, 2021 21:11

Very nice myth, and I love all the debate/interpretations around it. I also like how it expands on your costume challenge article :D   I'm wondering about the signification of the jackal's eyes glowing golden at the end. Is it something you want to leave mysterious?

To see what I am up to, my latest article is Geography of magic for the River Challenge
9 Dec, 2021 15:26

Thank you Amélie!! I'm glad you enjoyed the nod to the costume challenge hehe, and I'm glad these golden eyes are intriguing someone! All I will say that these eyes are up for interpretation :)

Author of Arda Almayed, resident myth nerd!
11 Dec, 2021 10:43

A wonderful myth! I really enjoyed reading it and it carries an important lesson that many should heed more.

Check out my world World Behind the Veil!
11 Dec, 2021 11:41

Thank you very much!! I’m glad you enjoyed it :D

Author of Arda Almayed, resident myth nerd!
6 Jan, 2022 03:29

I love that this myth wouldn't be out of place right here in our world. Thank you for sharing! :)

7 Jan, 2022 22:05

Thank you for reading! I'm really glad you appreciate it :D and thank you so much for the kind words, this means a lot ;-;

Author of Arda Almayed, resident myth nerd!
Master PrincessESH
Aster Blackwell
11 Jan, 2022 04:38

This is really lovely! It was written really well, I really felt like it was a story I could be told over a campfire.

11 Jan, 2022 15:39

Ooh, thank you so much!! Actually thats a good idea, maybe I'll tell it around a campfire this summer..

Author of Arda Almayed, resident myth nerd!
Master PrincessESH
Aster Blackwell
13 Jan, 2022 03:50

That'd be so cool!

Sage eccbooks
E. Christopher Clark
16 Jan, 2022 21:38

Have we heard about Samara before? I feel like I have, but I might be totally silly. At any rate, I really love what we learn here.

Check out my pledge for Summer Camp 2022
18 Jan, 2022 10:51

We have! Samara was first spoken about during WE 2020, and I'm currently in the process of re-editing her article. She's also mentioned in several other important myths (epic of the lovers, betrayal of samara, forgotten)- I like to make her life very hard :)   Thank you so much for your kind words!! They mean a lot <3

Author of Arda Almayed, resident myth nerd!
24 Jan, 2022 20:20

What a great myth! I love me some fairy tales, and this scratches that itch just right. I love how you took that Naar Iilhia ritual from the costume challenge and worked its background into a full tale (or was it the other way around? we may never know).   Not a lot of pointers I can give since this is pretty extensive as an article about a story. You played it well by going in and out of quotes to tell the narrative and connect it to the culture and history, as you often do.   Good work!


Let us unite against the enemies of Album!
25 Jan, 2022 18:05

Thank you so much for the kind words and feedback rikia <3 ! I'm so glad I've hit the nail right with that one, probably one of my best Myth myths so far hehe :)   Actually I knew Samara was blind (as in she had lost her eyes) for a while now, but I got the idea on how whilst writing the Naar Iilhia. So a bit of both? Its these kinds of moments where two things you were working on just click in a really nice way haha

Author of Arda Almayed, resident myth nerd!