Artificial Sun Technology / Science in Yeia | World Anvil

Artificial Sun

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!.
— Inranstir Emberbrook to Yuya, the Seris adventurer
    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.    


  According 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.


  The 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.
Artificial Sun by Callyxtus

How it works

  The 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.
Mattyn and wizzard making the Artificial Sun work by Callyxtus
  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 Translation

  When 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.


  • 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.
Your chibi snow elf guide by Callyxtus

Cover image: by Callyxtus with Stable Diffusion


Please Login in order to comment!
Dec 3, 2022 18:53 by Sailing Ocelot

I love reading about useful inventions that affect the way of living for a people. I almost a feel that there is some kind of reference to insects with this society, especially how they live in caves for a long time and how one leader is given the knowledge of the Sacred Spell. What happens if the noble passes away? Has this happened before? Love the sweet chibi art by the way! Have a great Worldember!

~~~~~~~~ SailingOcelot
Dec 3, 2022 22:25

Thank you for your nice comment Sailing Ocelot!!. I'm so happy that you like both the article and the chibi!. Yes, i agree, the Snow elves have a peculiar lifestyle. They're also similar to insects as you say in the sense that, during summer what they do is planting wheat during Spring and harvest it in Autumn before they return to their cave settlements, just like ants and their anthills hehe.   As for your questions, if you mean if the noble passes away before founding the new settlement, well, they would have to return to the town where they came from and the High priest of their hometown must name another noble to the position of high priest of the new community. There cases specially during wars where the high priest died and the settlement was abandoned because there was no one that could keep the Artificial Sun working. But for example if another expedition arrives with a high priest he can restore its power.   Another posibility is that the high priest of a community dies without naming another High Priest, in this case a delegation of that town has to go to the nearby cave village and ask the High Priest of that place to name another one for their village.   I hope i answered your question, it is so satisfying to see people interesting in your world and asking questions!. You also gave me an idea, i could add what i've told to the article! in the section of "Did you Know", so thank you!!.   And also have a great WorldEmber too!! and sorry for this looooong answer :3

Dec 3, 2022 21:51 by Annie Stein

This is a really interesting and really fantastical solution to the problem of not being properly prepared for the cold. I like the myth of how it happened, and how they've learned to use the artificial sun.   Also, I remember you asked if you should move the chibi up to the Did you know section, and I definitely think you should. It has such Did you Know energy!

Creator of Solaris -— Come Explore!
Dec 3, 2022 22:28

Thank you Nnie!!! I've to say that i have some doubts about how the origin of the Artificial Sun but this was for me the most convincing and the most interesting, so I'm very happy that you like. And about the chibi, I'd definetly move it to the "Did you Know" section, as you say it has a Did you know energy hehe and i'll put another artwork i'm finishing in the place where it was until now.   Thank you so much again for your comment! and hope i can also read your articles for WE!!

Dec 4, 2022 19:28 by E. Christopher Clark

Great work! This hooked me from the beginning and didn't let go. My favorite part was probably the bit about what "night" is like for them. Sad that they don't get full darkness while in their caves, even for when they're sleeping, but so cool that they get to experience night as this magical thing when they go outside.

Check out my progress on the Cabinet of Curiosities
Dec 5, 2022 22:52

Awww thank you so much for your nice comment!! I really, really appreciate it! and I'm soo happy that you like it and that you enjoyed so much reading it!. I agree with you about the fact the don't experience full darkness in their settlements, but hey, good thing they have blinds so they at least can somehow have some darkness inside their homes. Seeing the night sky for them is magical but also for many other elves in Yeia, if i manage to write the article of the Desert Elves you would see they have an entire festival dedicated to contemplate the night sky during summer!.

Dec 5, 2022 21:08

Very interesting read. It really is a neat way to get around to the problems of living underground. It does seem quite the ordeal to maintain it but it is very much a necessity.

Feel free to check my new world Terra Occidentalis if you want to see what I am up to!
Dec 5, 2022 22:55

Thank you so much Kefkejaco for the comment!, I absolutely agree with you! its a "little sacrifice" that Snow elves have to do in order to survive winter and their extreme cold temperatures in that side of the continent.

Dec 28, 2022 04:00 by Starfarer Theta

I can think of a few places that would love to have something like an artificial sun. Having such light and warmth on command would be such a useful tool. Though I can't help but wonder if such power can be abused especially in times of war. I suppose having the making of the sun be restricted to a priest and helper, not to mention the dangers that must be inherent in even making it in the first place, keep its use as intended. It could also be that to misuse it would cause it to fizzle away or befall some other suitable fate since it was a specific gift given during a specific and almost tragic circumstance. I can't imagine the god of the snow elves would be too pleased (would probably be very upset) to see the artificial sun being used for any other purpose but to bring light and warmth to these people. - Nemo, World Traveler

Feb 2, 2023 19:52

Sorry for anwering so late! I was quite busy on January and couldn't answering sooner!. Thank you so much for the comment, I love it!. Nemo indeed makes a good point about using the artificial sun's power in times of war, and Nemo is also right, Elves are very a pious people and the idea of anger the gods is so terrifying that they don't even think about betraying the god by misusing this power, this divine gift. But they are indeed afraid that perhaps their wood elf brothers to the South and their human neighbours to the east and north could use this technology for other purposes if they discover their secret. One way, and the only one that i can imagine, of using the artificial sun in times or war is to make it shine at much as they can to blind their enemies in case they are able to break the seal of their caves and invade their settlements.

Jan 2, 2023 20:01 by Amanda McRoberts

I love the "did you know" section of the article. Absolutely amazing, and a great way to really draw you in to the important parts.

Feb 2, 2023 19:55

Thank you so much Mando!, I thought it would be a nice adition to the sidebar, I usually feel that is a section of my articles that is sometimes a bit empty. So i thought, why don't put more info here like a little encyclopedia or article with the chibi i draw? and I like the result a lot, and I am also so happy that you like that too!!

Jan 21, 2023 21:43 by LexiCon (WordiGirl)

Thanks again for letting me read your article on stream! I've finished my entire reading challenge article, so you can read all my comments, see the replay of the Twitch, and check out the other things I've done here. I appreciate you! <3  

World Ember Reading Challenge 2022
Generic article | Jan 27, 2023

Feb 2, 2023 19:56

Thank you to you too for reading it and to add it to your reading challenge. I really apreciate it! :3

Feb 2, 2023 20:52 by Akimotos

Cool concept and well written with nice artwork. I like the idea and how-and-why. You describe the usage and effects as well as the purpose. It isn't a pure technological solution as it uses magic and it's original creation was done by the Divine father. (I wonder... why did Nyedildur leave the cave to call his God? did he die? i.e. was his death necessary to get the attention of the Divine father?) ;-) A fun article, although not the winning one i still appreciate it. Nice work!

Akimotos, worldbuilder.