The Book of Radiance Document in Yeia | World Anvil

The Book of Radiance

Unhel ne aman, or na iltha cwry gwey kal. Taill ne damo e eru ddywsg ne can cen, ola, gwey ala. Ady ddywsg lait Unhel gwey yal hw nuba ew e iall gal.   Blessed be the Sun, the source of all light and life. It is by the grace of the Sun that we are able to see, to grow, and to thrive. Let us praise the Sun and offer our gratitude for its eternal radiance.
— First verse of the Book of Radiance and Sun Elf Call to prayer
    The Book of Radiance is one of the holiest books in the Elven Religion. And is considered as the most important for the Sun Elves for its connections to the Sun god and the magic that comes from the Sun. Not only contains rules on how to worship as well as the tenets of faith, but also myths about the Sun god and his deeds in the fight against the forces of darkness and evil.  

History of the document

  The oldest recorded version of the Book of Radiance dates from the end of the 2nd dynasty/ beginning of the 3rd dynasty (around 2500-2000 BP) but there are also hints that an earlier text might have existed as the inscriptions in the temples of the First dynasty (5100-2800 BP), written in a form of archaic elvish prior to the spread of Classical Elvish seem to suggest. The first editions were written on papyrus and specially in palm leaves. Later, parchment was also used. The recording of this holy text is also related to the development of the elvish calligraphic script, developed in Unhellion.  
Book of Radiance written on a Palm Leaf manuscript from the 3rd Dynasty (ca 2200 BP). by Callyxtus
  The canonical version of the book was established according to legend by the so called "Council of the 50 sages". A council of all elves (aside from the dark elves, of course) that met in the city of Zikalard, in today’s Southern Seria where 50 sages and theologians sent by the chief kings of the elves (at that time the elven world was more fractured that it is nowadays) were gathered to stablish what books where truly revealed by the gods, their structure and their content, as well as the correct way of worshiping the gods. Since then the book was widely copied and used across the elven world and all Elven Schools of Magic and Thought have accepted this books as the 5 canonical holy books of the elves, including the book of radiance.  
Book of Radiance by Callyxtus with Midjourney
  Due to the importance of the worship of the Sun for the Sun Elves, as it is their source of magical power, the book of Radiance became the most important book for them. So much, that many temples,Towers of prayer, even the doors of the Royal Palace of Ymhilean were decorated with verses and scenes from this book.  

Content

  The Book of Radiance can be divided in 3 parts . The first one is called The Noble principles and contains 6 chapters that contains the 6 noble rules that every follower of the Sun god must follow. Then there is another part of the book called "About the Radiant Ones". The Radiant Ones (Galynn in classical elvish) is another name to call the gods. This part of the book is more of a sort of rules of how to worship the gods (For example it talks about ritual purity and humility before entering a temple to pray in front of the statue of the gods with the rest of the community) and also about how the faithful should live, reminding them of the struggle between light and darkness.   This part also contains at the end a collection of myths, most of them are of course related to the Sun God and his fight against the forces of evil as well as detailing the names of his offspring. Interestingly enough, we find myths related to other elven groups apart from the Sun elves. For example the myth about the creation of the first Artificial Sun as told by the Snow Elves is also contained in this section  
First and foremost, we must acknowledge the glory of the Radiant Ones. They are the source of all light and all goodness in the world. They guide us through the darkness of life and give us hope for a brighter future. To worship the Radiant Ones, we must first understand their nature. They are beings of immense power and wisdom, beyond the comprehension of mere mortals. But they are also beings of great compassion and love, who seek to guide us on the path of righteousness.   To approach the Radiant Ones, we must first purify ourselves. We must cleanse our bodies and minds of all impurities, so that we may be worthy vessels for their divine grace. We must also prepare ourselves through prayer and meditation, so that we may enter into communion with the Radiant Ones.   When we approach the Radiant Ones, we must do so with humility and reverence. We must bow before them in awe and respect, acknowledging their divine authority over us. We must offer them our prayers and our sacrifices, knowing that they will hear us and grant us their blessings.
— Excerpt from the Book of Radiance
  Finally, the third and last in which the book is divided contains a collection of spells that use magic obtained from the power of the sun. These spells are the first ones learned by Sun elf and Desert elf children. For example; there is a spell for creating an artificial lamp or for lightning a torch in case there is no fire to lit them, there is also a spell that creates a momentary energy shield around the person.   As a funny anecdote during the Council of the 50 sages some sages proposed their Snow Elf counterparts to share the spell for the creation of the Artificial Sun but they politely refused but instead they shared the aforementioned myth of the creation of such invention as well as some spells about how to create magical doors to protect settlements and some invisibility spells.  

Importance

    The Book of Radiance (as well as the other elven Holy Books) holds a tremendous importance in the elven world. The elves that follow the light path of magic consider the content of this books as revealed and inspired by the gods themselves, who taught the elves how to pray, what to say in their prayers, what kind of rituals should they perform etc... . For the Sun elves the rules and prayers contained in the book were given to them by the Sun god, and so, they've to be followed to the letter.   Also related to religion is the role of the book at the religious ceremonies held at Sun elf Temples. For example, the first chapter of the Book of Radiance is used as the call to prayer from the Towers of prayer . This call to prayer not only invites the faithful to go to the temple or pray at their homes if they couldn't go there, during the 3 times of the day that are mandatory for Sun elves, it also reminds the faithful of the power of the Sun god, as he is "the source of all light and life", and the responsible of the wealth, protection and prosperity of the country.  
Manuscript containing the first verse of the Book of Radiance in Calligraphic Script. by Callyxtus
    There is also a linguistic and artistic importance behind this book (as it is considered as the most important of all the 5 Holy Elven books according to the Sun Elves). As such this book are written in the purest most elegant form of classical elvish and is also written in the most beautiful calligraphy. The writing of these books and the multiple literary works which deal with the interpretation of the holy texts facilitated the spread and consolidation of classical elvish as the lingua franca of all light elves
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Medium
Papyrus
 

A note on Elven Holy Books

  The Elves of the Light recognize 5 Holy Books:  the Book of Creation, the Book of deeds (also called Nuthmunaion or Book of the Thousand Rules in the Elvish-Oronai world), the Book of the Kingsthe Revelations of Ahira and the Book of Radiance. Each one is reviered and read by all elven communities. But due to the source of their magical powers and the supposed protection of a deity over them  some books related to specific gods are more cherished than others.      This is the case of the Book of Radiance for the Sun elves, or the Book of the Deeds and the Book of the Kings for the Green Elves and the Elves of Southern Teria.  But despite this more important role of certain books, elven religion emphasize that all books have to be reviered and  known by all elves, so as not to provoke the wrath of the gods, something that the elves fear so much, as the consider themselves as the most pious of all the humanoids.    Various Elven Schools of Magic and Thought base most of their philosophy in these 5 holy books that they consider as the ultimate source of magic for the elven nations.  
   

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Cover image: Book of Radiance by Callyxtus with Midjourney

Comments

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Oct 16, 2023 11:26

Aaaah, that was such a nice read and so good art and conlang. Splendid, wonderful, executed with grace. Nicely done. :)

You wanna see what we did for the last events? Go, click here: Eddies Major Events
Oct 30, 2023 18:33

Awww...Thank you so much Eddie for your nice compliments, it is so nice to return writing long articles again and see that people likes them so much!!

Oct 16, 2023 15:44 by Dr Emily Vair-Turnbull

This is such a great article. I love the art of the manuscript and the calligraphy, and the thought you've put into the different parts of the book. :D

Emy x   Etrea | Vazdimet
Oct 30, 2023 18:36

Thank you!!! ^^. I'm not gonna lie, I spent like hours to get both scripts right because I totally forgot much of the letters XD, but the result was worthy it. I think is the first religious book I write about so, judging by how much do you guys love it, I'm very very happy with the article overall

Oct 17, 2023 02:56

Enjoyable, thoughtful and well done. The Midjourney artwork is good. The conlang work as well. I like the exerpt section the best.

Oct 30, 2023 18:38

Thank you so much!! So all those hours trying to get the conlang and the script right were worthy it hehe. I think that I could've added more content to the exerpt section but overall I like it too

Nov 4, 2023 15:05 by Carolyn McBride

Love this piece, especially the obvious thought you've put into your world and its magic. The images are terrific too. Well done!

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