Eastern Light Myth in Dain and Zea | World Anvil
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Eastern Light

The Eastern Light is a common motif in Dain myths and fairytales representing a world-ending calamity approaching from the east. The Eastern Light usually precedes a gigantic flood, storm, or tsunami wiping all life from the face of the continent. It is often interpreted as innate fear of ocean and the Yellow Storms veiled as other allegories. Much more rarely is it seen as a literal impending doom.  

Example: ‘The princess and the birds’

  Once upon a time, there was a princess. She lived in a tower as tall as the clouds are high, and no one could reach her other than birds. The princess loved her birds, and they brought her everything she needed. One day, however, she said: ‘I’m bored. I want to meet a human’. The birds were surprised. ‘Is our company not enough?’ - they asked, but the princess requested the same again. She was not allowed to leave herself, so the birds debated how to best bring her a human for company. ‘Let us try!’ – chirped the impatient swallows and flew to the nearest city. They found a man and pecked and pecked until he stopped protesting. They dragged him to the base of the tower and flew up. Their small talons couldn’t hold him for too long, so the man dropped to the ground one, two, three times, before the larger birds helped and carried the man to the princess’s window. ‘This does not look like a human at all!’ – she screamed and pushed him back out of the window. The birds had to agree. Even before the man hit the ground for the last time, he looked nothing like not only their princess, but a human. When he reached earth, it shook, sending tremors up the tower, but the princess barely felt them. In the following days, the man’s family and friends gathered under the tower and lamented. The princess regretted her wish to see people and couldn’t sleep, so she said to the birds: ‘Go and silence them’. The birds were not sure what to do but didn’t want to refuse the princess. ‘Let us try’ – squawked the colorful parrots. They landed between the men and women and started singing as loud as possible, drowning out the people’s noise. And the sound shook the tower for the second time. Those who stayed were pecked and pecked until they stopped protesting and soon all was silent. The princess was happy with the outcome, but it did not last long, as a much larger crowd soon gathered under her tower. The princess then said: ‘Bring me the power so I can stop this myself’. The birds were stumped by this demand, but then the albatrosses said: ‘Let us try’– and flew far to the east, beyond the horizon. They found a stray cloud and they pecked and pecked until it stopped protesting. After a day and a night, they returned, holding thunderbolts in their beaks. The princess was overjoyed, but as soon as she touched a bolt, a terrible yellow light shone in the east. It was the storm, looking for its child’s stolen property. The tower shook in the rain and the wind for the third time and fell, burying the princess and the crowd alike. Only the birds remained, but nobody is there to hear the warning in their cheerful song.  


  The story above is one of the most common and earliest stories where the Eastern Light motif can be found. It is usually considered a standard fairytale, about a greedy princess who had earned her punishment. However, some elements do not fit entirely, like the innocent crowd being crushed as well. Contemporary researchers sometimes liken this story to the current world events. The disfigured human represents the Change, more and more frequent with each generation. The silencing the crowd by more noise is the influx of the Zean culture into Dain. Finally, human reaching for the thunderbolt signifies fully harnessing or misusing the power of sefia. Modern prophets warn that a storm is coming and soon only birds will remain to tell the humanity’s story.


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