Sun-Disc Myths

Sun-Disc Myths (Il Qadhidi Rahi Ijin in Arventiri) pertain to a body of myths and legends surrounding a mystical object, the Disc of the Sun, that allegedly belonged to the founder of the City-State of Elusqa. The Disc of the Sun was said to be the artifact that allowed the first caliph of Elusqa to obtain near-total domination over the western half of the Pāll-tanír.


The most prominent of the legends that surround the Disc of the Sun has nothing to do with any of its legendary owners. Instead, the most prominent Sun-Disc myth is classified by some scholars as nationalist propaganda disseminated in part to solidify the claim of the Ayyan family to the throne of what was then Elusqa in the aftermath of the Second Great Desert Revolt.   As the story goes, a year and a half into the Second Great Desert Revolt, two young princes from the city-states of Elusqa and Sun'im saw the bloody cost of the conflict and decided that it would be better to set aside their Arventiri pride and sue for peace so as to not prolong the war and to avoid further casualties. One of these princes, Sahir ar'Ayyan, in searching for a way to overthrow the prideful and short-sighted leaders of his native Elusqa, was said to have found a dusty brass disc deep in the vaults of the Elusqan royal palace.   It is said that upon touching the disc, Sahir experienced a vision of a great and dazzling city overflowing with crystalline water and laden with the desert's bounty. It is said that the disc blazed so brightly with the warmth and heat of the sun that, for a moment, Sahir forgot that he was in a dusty old vault deep in the bowels of the Elusqan royal palace. Remembering that Elusqa was said to have been founded on just such an artifact, Sahir knew that he had been ordained by the gods to lead his people.   According to the legend, during a covert nighttime meeting between the officials of Elusqa and Sun'im and the leaders of the rebellion, Sahir and the other prince, Madra Iqiros risked their lives by intruding. It is said that when the two were threatened, the night became as day for the briefest of moments and when the light cleared, those that had dared to raise their arms against the rightful rulers had been burned to ash by the sun's wrath, and those that had dared to doubt them had had their eyes struck blind by the vengeful gods.   Further, it is said that many years later, in the twilight of his life, Sahir set out with the Disc of the Sun to the Shār to claim the fertile lands therein for Tan'Ayya. Though he returned from the journey, he never spoke of what he encountered nor of the whereabouts of the Disc of the Sun, until he died.

Historical Basis

There is a solid historical basis for at least some of the events described in the most prominent Sun-Disc myth. Indeed, large-scale revolts against the Dominion erupted across the Pāll-tanír with the blessing of the governments of Elusqa and Sun'im (now the Madresha Caliphate) in 421.27 NL.   It is widely agreed that these uprisings were most likely driven by aristocratic agitators with resentments over the fall of the Emhirani Empire, the thwarting of the First Great Desert Revolt, and the Dominion's heavy-handed attitude toward the pursuit of wealth for wealth's sake. It is thought that while the revolts gained some traction among a more extremist segment of the public, it did not enjoy widespread popular support.   Both Dominean and Arventiri scholars more or less agree that neither Sahir ar'Ayyan nor Madra Iqiros were true princes of Elusqa and Sun'im respectively. A close examination of genealogical texts from the period indicate that the Ayyan and Iqiros bloodlines were from minor branch families of the royal Elusqan and Sun'iman families. According to this view, at best, Sahir and Madra would have acceded to the throne only through the complete and utter destruction of three or four other branch families in addition to the main line of the royal family. Contrary to the just and righteous motivation that Sahir and Madra were depicted to have in the legend, most scholars contend that their siding with the Dominion to minimize the suffering of the people was a thin veneer over their true ambitions of acceding to their respective thrones.   Although most concede that it is unlikely to ever find one, no record of a clandestine night meeting between the heads of Elusqa, Sun'im and the rebellion have ever been found. Furthermore, experts in the physical sciences contend that sunlight powerful enough to burn bodies to ash would have no doubt left an indelible mark on the desert and yet no evidence of such a site has ever been found, either in the desert at large, or in the many various potential locations that believers in the myth claim the meeting could have occurred.   As for the Disc of the Sun itself, other than numerous and sometimes conflicting illustrations produced after the Second Great Desert Revolt, no direct evidence has ever been found of its existence. There are records of Sahir ar'Ayyan departing, later in life, on an expedition into the Shār but apart from a letter written but never sent to a close friend and advisor prior to his departure, where he mentions that he may finally have the secret to unlocking the mysteries of the jungle, there is no mention of any such artifact.


The legend is particularly widespread in the modern-day Ayyanesha Caliphate, which is ruled to this day by Sahir ar'Ayyan's descendants, and where the legend is taught to children either by their parents or their instructors at school.   It is known, albeit to a lesser extent, in the Madresha Caliphate. This is due in part to the historically strained relations between the two kingdoms. The Madresha royal family maintains that Sahir made a vow to Madra that they would share in the power and prosperity of the Disc of the Sun but that Sahir broke the vow and kept the Disc for himself. It is unknown whether this aspect of the legend developed prior to the strained relations between Tan'Ayya and Madras or as a result of the conflict between the two states. Outside of the Madresha royal family, however, the story is of little interest save as a curiosity for historians and treasure-hunters who occasionally try to enter the Shār in order to find the Disc of the Sun.


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