Pyramid of Two Suns

Sacred monumental temple of the Two Sun religion

As we crested the peak of Sentinel Rock, we saw the Cruz River stretching north through the corn fields and mesquite groves of Pimaca, principal city of the Two Sun city-states. None of the stories I'd heard about the land of Two Suns could prepare me for my first glimpse of the solar pyramid. The tower was constructed of stone terraces built into six ascending tiers, one piled on top of the other. Upon the topmost of these tiers, I saw the temples of Mazta and Ahriman, twin gods of sun and shadow. As we approached the base of the pyramid, the temples disappeared from view, blocked by the sheer face of the massive man-made mountain of To'Son Melor Cha, “The Great Temple of Two Suns." A breathtaking sight to behold!
— Abner Dupree - Memories of Pachuco
 
Abner Dupree's notebook sketches
 

Purpose

The Great Temple Pyramid was built to glorify the worship of the Two Sun Clan's dualist solar faith. The Priest-King of Pima, Heirophant of the Sacred Suns, keeps his throne chair atop the pyramid's highest tier and holds court there among his warrior-thanes, the Children of the Sun.


 

Architecture

Built by "makers" of the Ur-Zen Empire in the first century of the Post-Cataclysmic Era, the Pyramid of Two Suns is constructed of basalt megaliths piled upon a core support structure of hardened Precursor concrete reinforced with steel rods. Subsequent generations of Pimaca builders have slaked the walls of the pyramid in layers of limestone plaster which they decorate with elaborate frescoes depicting the iconography and sacred myths of the Two Sun faith.
 
The pyramid itself is square-based. Its four sides are oriented with the cardinal directions and the temple fronting faces east to greet the rising sun. The six terraces of the pyramid are joined by two sets of steep stairs built into the eastern facing. The dizzying ascent is angled at 45 degrees, giving supplicants who approach the sacred pinnacle the sensation of climbing into the heavens.
 
The Ascent
 

Structural Layout

Each terrace of the pyramid contains its own complex of Precursor-built halls and chambers. At the lowest tiers (1 and 2) all of these rooms have been re-purposed to furnish living quarters for Pimaca City's priest class and the acolytes of the temple itself.
 
The pyramid's middle tiers (3 and 4) contain oracle chambers, prayer halls, and chantries dedicated to prayers and sacrifices conducted in the Two Sun religion. Within the central column of the structure there are tabernacle vaults containing precious Precursor relics. Only high priests of the twin temples may enter these vaults and those who violate this restriction are punished with execution.
 
Cruz River
East Plaza - Ground Level
 
The top tiers (5 and 6) are reserved for the high priests and prelates of the Two Sun faith. Here the theocrats of the Two Sun clan, including the High Heirophant, hold their councils and govern the lives of their subjects. Atop the stairs leading to the sixth terrace is a kingly throne carved from a massive piece of yellow jade. This is the throne of Huracan, Priest-King of the Two Suns.
 
Offertory Temple
Approaching the Final Terrace
 
The top terrace of the pyramid, approximately 200 feet high, is topped by two temples. One of these is graced in white marble and gold. Known as the House of Light, it is dedicated to Mazta, God of the Bright Sun. The other temple, called the House of Shadows, honours Mazta's negative factor, Ahriman, Lord of the Black Sun. His temple is hewn from black volcanic rock and draped in purple damask shrouds.
 
Between these temples there is a bas-relief mural sculpture depicting the eternal struggle of the dual solar divinities: Mazta and Ahriman. Only high-priests of the Two Suns cult are permitted to look upon the mural.
Manichean Struggle
 

History

At the waning of the Age of Poisoned Sea and Sky, the Pyramid of Two Suns was the citadel tower of Sentinel Outpost, an important bastion of the Ur-Zen Empire. According to the word keepers, the pyramid was a locus of great power which the Precursors of Ur-Zen harnessed to fuel their wondrous technological marvels. After the second cataclysm and the fall of the Precursor kingdoms, however, the pyramid and its surrounding settlement was abandoned in a diaspora known as the Plague Exodus.
 
The survivors that settled in the ruins of Sentinel Outpost consecrated the citadel pyramid as a holy site and built the temples of Mazta and Ahriman atop its pinnacle terrace to honour their own gods. Believing the massive pyramid to to be the work of the Visitors, Mazta's divine servants, the early priests of the Two Sun cult investigated the pyramid's inner chambers and pursued the mysteries of the Ur-Zen Sun Seekers. According to legend, the Two Sun priests received the wisdom of Mazta and Ahriman's final revelation, a power source known as the Sunfire.
 
Sunfire Enthroned
From that time onward, the priests of Two Suns have served as guardians of the Sunfire. They await the day of decision when either Mazta or Ahriman will finally return to claim the hidden power of the pyramid. On that day either Mazta will use the Sunfire to glorify the earth and prepare it for a new age of splendor, or Ahriman will wield it to burn the world and rip it asunder.
 

Rites and Ceremonies

Every day during solar noon a ceremonial sacrifice is conducted upon a platform projecting from the pyramid's third terrace. People of the Two Sun Clan gather in the central square of Pimaca to watch the high priests slay a sacred bull in ritual offering to Mazta. The few who have glimpsed the upper terraces of the temple speak of miraculous feats of ceremonial magic which the inner circle of Two Sun high priests demonstrate during secret ceremonies.
 
There are rumors of darker secrets as well. It is whispered that during their nightly vigils within the House of Shadows the priests of Ahriman conduct occult rituals involving bodily mortification and other sensual depravities. Some even say that human sacrifices are offered to the Black Sun during nocturnal rites intended to open passage to a spirit realm known as the Black Lodge. The priesthood vehemently denies these claims.
 

Cultural Influence

The Two Sun Clan is the dominant cultural group west of the Rift Mountains. The state of Pachuco may be larger and more populous, the trader clans of Silver Lake may be more wealthy, but the people of Two Suns control the divine Pyramid, the central religious site of every Zone culture, and thus they are the undisputed masters of the Deep Zone frontiers of the Old Ur-Zen Empire.
 
All Zoners yearn to make pilgrimage to the Two Sun Pyramid at least once in their lives. The Green River valley is dotted with waypoint settlements established to treat with pilgrims and the sacred precincts of Pimaca City itself are furnished with apartments and diversions to both accommodate and delight the faithful. The most popular time for worshipers to undertake the Two Sun pilgrimage is during the time of the summer solstice when the longest day of the year coincides with the height of Mazta's / Ormaz's power over the mortal realm.
 
Two Sun Vaults
 
Though the shrines and priests of Pimaca are universally venerated by Zoner travelers they are also viewed with suspicion. The strange miracles ascribed to the Two Sun priesthood in popular rumours suggest communion with powerful spirits. Among the superstitious, these powers are greatly to be feared.
Sun Throne of the High Hierophant
Pyramid of Two Suns
Alternative Names
  • Piman'Touan, "Tower of Pima"
  • To'Son Melor Cha, "The Great Temple of Two Suns"
Landmark Type
  • Temple / Religious Complex
Controlling Faction
  • Two Sun Clan
Ruler / Owner
  • Huracan, Priest-King of the Sun Children
Location
  • Pimaca City
Legend of Two Suns
Myth | Jun 9, 2019

The Forbidden Zone's ur-myth of cosmic duality


Comments

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25 Feb, 2019 13:09

This is so good!! I accidentally removed my like because I tried to like it again xD Such a great article :D

Grab your hammer and go worldbuild! :3
Sage Dylonishere123
R. Dylon Elder
25 Feb, 2019 15:07

So my main issue here is (at least in mobile) the text is almost unreadable. Probably different on computer tho so no problem. I love the images and the descriptions are great as well. I'd like to know more about the rituals. Do they do human sacrifice? Or did I miss it. I had to highlight text to read lok

Sage Dylonishere123
R. Dylon Elder
25 Feb, 2019 15:08

It's weird I don't recall the text being so dark on computer the last time I saw your world

25 Feb, 2019 15:31

There are rumours of human sacrifice, but only rumours. The act is considered taboo by the laity. What those priests of Ahriman get up to in secret though...

Thanks for liking and sharing your reading experience. I haven't changed the font size or colour at all. The only change I made in the last week was I darkened the background behind the font to make it more readable! There used to be lighter grey bits that didn't contrast enough with my font colour. Now the grey is more uniformly dark with no lighter marbling. It's less dynamic looking (I used to have tawny bits that looked great with the gold) but by my reckoning everything should be easier to read.

If I hear more comments like yours I might start sectioning my text into paper texture columns and go black font on white background. What good is style if no one can read your substance?

Sage Dylonishere123
R. Dylon Elder
25 Feb, 2019 16:12

To be this is very true. I really like the comments as well. O can read them perfectly cause its like theors a semi transparent layer over them. that would work even better and show off the background too. It's an awesome background but for whatever reason I can't read XD ill check tonight on my comp and see what ot looks like there too

25 Feb, 2019 18:38

I think I fixed it. Something was wrong with my CSS that was making my fonts turn brown on mobile devices.

Sage Dylonishere123
R. Dylon Elder
25 Feb, 2019 18:43

Now that's something I've never heard before looks great now

Journeyman RwbyMoon
Benjamin Andula
25 Feb, 2019 17:58

Pretty interesting site of belief! I really like how you took the Mesopotamian ziggurats (or their Precolombian/Indian counterparts, unsure) and their type of believes & sacrifices and totally turned them into something brand new and even more developed!   However, I see 2 major issues in your article > On numerous parts of the article, the lack of external links to others articles (or even tooltips) really break up the comprehension of the article on some aspects (Who? Where? Why?), since we can only hardly understand. > Even though your artworks and your theme are gorgeous, the very big fonts, the moving sidebar and the scale of it also make it hard to read.

"Nothing great has been accomplished in the world without passion" -- G.W.F. Hegel
25 Feb, 2019 19:22

Thanks for reading, Benjamin!

Good suggestion to add some links. When I wrote this article I got to end of my content at 1400 words. By the time I finished formatting I had around 1550! At this point I'm going to wait until after the Tower of Power challenge is over to start adding links because that would tinker with my word count too much. In another week or so I'll have this page scattered with golden links for those who want to read more.

I shall take your comments about formatting the sidebar under advisement. Articles that don't make the sidebar stick the way I do have to load up the edge of the page with text to fill the screen. Personally, I find scrolling up to catch the beginning of a sidebar section incredibly tedious. Then trying to find the spot where I left the main body of text is even more tiresome. With the sticky sidebar that scrolls independently I don't need to pack the sidebar with filler to balance the page and I don't need to force my reader to jump back and forth between columns. This way I can put a few pertinent details in the sidebar and the reader can glance at it if they want to while scrolling down the main content panel. No need to scroll back up to catch what they missed on the first pass.

Personally, I don't like having to always use a sidebar anyway. I'm coming up with a CSS solution so I can get rid of it if I want to no matter what article template I use.

Journeyman RwbyMoon
Benjamin Andula
25 Feb, 2019 19:30

It's all good then (for the sidebar), the main thing is that it's ok for you in the first place. When using the sidebar, consider moving entire parts of your body of text into it while breaking it up, it allows an easier read and a great balancing without having to make a volleyball game with your scrolling bar to understand everything ^^

"Nothing great has been accomplished in the world without passion" -- G.W.F. Hegel
Redclaw123
Elias Redclaw
1 Mar, 2019 17:03

This is an amazing article! I love the insane amount of detail that you put into this article .   First of all, the beginning quote is amazing and immediately hooks the reader into the article. You manage to keep up the interest of the reader using subtle descriptions and great artwork. I’m on phone so it doesn’t look as nearly as great but still looks amazing. I can’t see any mistakes here so I have nothing to say besides this. Congratulation and keep up the good work!

4 Mar, 2019 12:58

Thank you for your kind words!