You know.... when Spring arrives and we go outside... see the sun for the first time in months can be a bit... shocking. And how do you think we keep the temperature in our cave cities? it’s just thanks to the Artificial Sun, blessed be the gods who taught us Snow Elves how to build these machines!.As peculiar is their way of life so its their technology, the Snow Elves are famous for their cave and underworld settlements where they live from Autumn to Spring. Its cities and way of live are embodied by magic. One cannot but ask how do they keep themselves and their vast cities warm during that long period of time? To that Snow Elves answer that all its thanks to magic, and specially that magical wonder that are the artificial suns.
OriginsAccording to Elven mythology, the origins of this mysterious technology (to humans and other elves) can be traced back many millennia ago, to the early centuries of the elves on the planet. As the story tells, when the first elves reach the area of the Albine mountains, they didn't know that the winters were so harsh, so they were ill prepared for winter. Winter arrived and elves began to die of hunger and freeze. The bonfires of their refugees in the caves weren't enough to combat the cold temperatures. The situation was so desperate that the high priest of the elven tribe, Nyedildur went out of the cave, and before freezing to death he shouted to Heaven :
Oh Divine father, bringer of light, how could you have forgotten your beloved and pious sons?!, Send us your light so that we may survive, prosper and worship you!The god took great pity on them and their pleas and descended from the heavens. When he reached the cave the elves suddenly stopped feeling cold and were surrounded by an aura of warmth and majesty. The god raised a pillar in the middle of the cave and also resurrected Yielder. When all the tribe gathered around him the god, pointing at the pillar created a beam of light that suddenly engulfed all the cave. Then he said: Though I am eternal this light that now i give you is not, others of your beloved kin will come and populated this country that will need this warmth. And after he said that, he whispered the sacred enchantment to the High Priest Nyedildur in order to keep the artificial Sun working, and after having bestowed his blessings upon the elves, he went back to heaven. Since then, every high priest of every Snow elf community is thought the sacred spell that must be used to create the energy needed for the artificial Sun to work. Yes, that’s the name the elves gave to the gift bestowed by the god, because of its power, warmth and brightness.
DescriptionThe Artificial sun itself is giant ball of magical energy brighter as the Sun itself. It simulates natural light and because of its high magical energy and his share size nobody can touch it without having his hands literally melt. It also levitates above the pillar where it is located thanks also to its magical powers.
How it worksThe Artificial Sun is located at the top of the great pillar in the highest point at the cave, overlooking the entire elven settlement. Through millennia of improvements, the Snow Elves have been capable of improving the energy and brightness of the Artificial Sun. The artificial Sun's light is not produced directly by the spell of the high priest. Instead, the magic that is produced when the High Priest makes the spell and that powers this device comes from the orb of the sceptre of the High Priest and it’s stored in a giant base. This magical power behaves like a smoky substance and it’s powered to the artificial Sun by a series of pipelines and bellows. It is not known how but the snow elves discovered that if you heated that magical "substance", the more brighten it would become. The substance stored in the vase usually last for a week, so every week the High Priest accompanied by an special type of assistants called Mattyn (that can be translated as "Those who feed the Sun") climb on to the pillar where he recites the sacred spell filling the vase with magic and then the Mattyn spend the rest of the week, day and night powering the magic into the artificial sun. Because the artificial Sun is as bright as a real one, the High priest and the Mattyn have to work with an special type of glasses to avoid being blinded by its light. That’s why its also advisable not to look directly at an artificial sun.
Now, you might wonder, do the Snow Elves have proper nights on their settlements, and the answer is .... not really. What happens is that the light and power of the Artificial Sun diminishes during night time as the Mattyn reduce the amount of magical energy that reaches it. So nights for the Snow elves will be like sunrises in the outside world. That’s why seeing the night sky after they go out of the caves in Spring and return to their towns in the valleys, is such an event for the Snow elves.
The Ceremony of TranslationWhen a Snow Elf community grows too large, part of its inhabitants has to migrate and create another settlement. His departure is preceded by a ceremony called the Ceremony of Translation, where the most noble among the group is given a sceptre with an orb and its named High Priest of the new community. Then, the High Priest of the Mother city whispers to him the Sacred Spell that will enable him to create an artificial sun in their new cave.
DID YOU KNOW...?
- The Sacred Spell is only tought between Snow Elf priests. And despite the friendship and brotherhood that unites most of the elven realms, Snow Elves are very jealous of this prizeless technology and don't share it with other elven community
- The Mattyn hold an special position inside this peculiar elve community alongside the High Priest, without them the Snow elves wouldn't survive the harsh winters and the plants won't grow so, when a banquet is held they are the first ones to be offered the food, and in the capital they are also the first to eat only after the king himself. They also have special seats on the theatre and city council. These privileges are bestowed to them as a sign of gratitude from the rest of the community.