Background: Sunna

Forwared from „Sunna“

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  • Sunna is a goddess of humanity. She is primarily worshipped in the human nations of Vetia, especially in the Empire of Sonnstahl, which is named after her.

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    Sunna is not only worshipped as goddess in the human nations of Vetia, especially in the Empire of Sonnstahl, but also considered as historic founding figure of the Empire of Sonnstahl. The Calendar System wildly used in the the Empire of Sonnstahl is based on that believe and uses "A.S.", which likely stands for "After Sunna". The oldest reference on Sunna in the background material is dated 59 A.S., the most recent date we find in the background material is 962 A.S., which clearly shows how antic Sunna as historic figure must be.

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    It was in the cold years, when the sun was pale
    and the summers were short, that the goddess
    came to us. In that time of darkness, the beasts of
    the wood, barbarians of the wastes and brutes of
    the mountains descended upon us, and we were
    swept before them as reeds before the flood. First
    to rise from the mass of foes was Bragh, the Black
    Bull, slayer of a hundred chieftains, shattering armour
    and bodies with his great mace.
    The people of the Askar lay in the path of his
    westward rampage. Their King, Warin, saw all
    hope was lost. Still he marshalled ninety brave
    warriors to hold a ford over the river Gewache,
    and buy his people time to escape the approaching
    doom. The eve of the battle found him in a
    riverside shrine, deep in prayer. To Ullor, Father
    of Winter, he prayed for blizzards. To Volund, the
    Smith, he prayed for strength of arm and steel of
    spine. Finally, to Sunna, he prayed that his people
    would see another dawn. The alarm was raised as
    he finished railing at the silence of the gods; the
    beasts came as the daylight failed.
    Each defender gave their life dearly. No man fell
    with his blade unblooded; a score of foes fell beneath
    their feet. Yet it was not enough, for Bragh
    then took the field. The Askar died to his mace,
    until only King Warin stood between the Black
    Bull and the western shore. Great horns gored
    valiant Warin's horse, and a single blow shattered
    the King's shield and arm both. The Bull stood
    ready to deliver the deathstroke, when a lone soldier
    leapt forward.
    Helm dislodged, golden hair flowed to the warrior's
    waist, Warin was stunned to see a woman
    plant her boots in the bloody water between
    King and Beast. Dwarfed by the Bull, even a brave
    Askar maiden could not hope to hold back that
    enemy. But at this moment, the dawn broke, with
    a fire not seen in a decade. A blinding blaze of
    light from the eastern horizon ignited her polished
    breastplate and sword. The brilliance staggered
    Bragh as the woman struck. The first blow
    cut through Bragh's heel, bringing him crashing
    to one knee. The second sunk deep into his chest,
    drawing a roar of pain that shook the earth. The
    third and final blow drove straight between the
    monster's open jaws, and into his skull.
    As the Black Bull fell, the beasts fled. Though only
    one in nine survived, the King's men rushed to
    Warin's side, pulling him from the river to face
    his rescuer. All clamoured to know the name of
    their saviour, yet the King stilled them by falling
    to one knee. He knew that face, lit by the dawn’s
    glory, and knew his prayers had been answered.
    He offered her his sword,even as he spoke: "It is
    Sunna. She has come."
    — The Book of the Askar, Chapter One, taken from the Sunna Cycle




    Though the Askar had come to know Sunna’s
    divine heritage, one tribe alone could not hold
    the storm from the East. From the West and leading
    a host of Equitan knights came Uther of Gasconne,
    in defiance of his King's order, inspired by
    Sunna's great deeds. Next came Queen Genoveva
    of the western peninsula with her many archers,
    once Sunna had driven the Ancient One and his
    armies into the sea. Then the defeat of the green
    hordes in the White Mountains earned Sunna the
    friendship of Arcaleone and his warriors. The
    Breidar, Gjothar, Glauca – in time all the tribes of
    humanity joined with Sunna and her holy purpose.
    Little time could be spared to celebrate this unity,
    as the ravenous hordes swept forth once more.
    Sunna's host rode to meet them at the banks of
    the Volsk. Enemies beyond count crowded on the
    far shore, while smoke rose from the ruins of once
    fertile plains. Men of the West took heart from the
    roar of the mighty river, its waters seemingly impassable,
    until shamans marked by the Dark Gods
    strode from the gathered multitudes and began to
    chant. Foot by creeping foot, the river froze into
    a bridge of ice, and a pall fell over the assembled
    humans.
    Seeing the danger grow, Warin advised Sunna to
    retreat, to protect her followers. But She was not
    dismayed. The Åsklanders were first to charge,
    scrambling to cross the river. Queen Genoveva
    and her archers met the attackers with hails of
    arrows, turning white ice to red slush, driving the
    savages off. Then came the Makhar raiders, riding
    across the thickening ice on their sturdy black
    steeds with banners bearing an eight-pointed
    star. Uther and his knights met them with lance
    and sword, and turned the Makhar back through
    valour and steel.
    Finally, with the bridge littered with the bodies of
    fallen foes, the Ogres advanced. Bolstered by great
    mammoths, under whose weight the ice creaked
    and groaned, they marched like an unstoppable
    wall of flesh. Queen Genoveva held the bridge
    with her archers, launching arrow after arrow
    to no avail. Once more did Warin, fearing for the
    lives of the people, plead with Sunna to retreat.
    Instead, she walked to the river's edge, bearing
    her standard for all to see. There she planted it
    in the ground, spreading her arms and looking up
    to the sky. Answering her call, the clouds parted
    and the sun beat down more fiercely than it had
    in many years.
    Bathed in golden light, the ice bridge began to
    crumble. Queen Genoveva reached the bank,
    but many of her archers were not so fortunate,
    washed downriver with great shards of ice. Yet
    the great bulk of the Ogres now proved their undoing,
    and thousands crashed into the icy waters.
    Tales of that day spoke of the Falls of Kivack
    blocked and flooding with the weight of the dead.
    Humanity rejoiced at this new Spring, and praised
    their saviour Sunna – certain the cold years were
    at an end.

    — The Book of the Askar, Chapter Five, taken from the Sunna Cycle




    Sunna's forces gathered in the halls of Warin to
    feast, weary from war. In that time came the
    emissary from the Vermin. Grossly bloated and
    adorned in finery of the Avras style, he was borne
    aloft by a dozen slaves, surrounded by a hundred
    black-furred guards. His proclamation echoed in
    the chamber: “Serve the Empire and be rewarded.
    Oppose and be destroyed.”
    Sunna's generals fell to discussion. Warin led
    those who would agree, and see their people
    spared another war. Arcaleone urged rejection
    of the terms. All counselled a united stance to defend
    Vetia. Sunna listened to all, then rose, drawing
    her sword Sonnstahl. At her command, the
    guards were slain to a rat, the wretched slaves
    dispatched, until Sunna stood over the corpulent
    envoy. "A message for your masters. The dawn is
    coming. " With that, he was lashed from the city,
    forced to drag his mass back to Avras.
    Preparations for war were made, and the
    sun-blessed host marched the long miles to the
    heart of the Vermin lands, intent upon slaying the
    rat King. Three times were rodent armies, vast beyond
    counting, sent to bar their path. The losses
    mounted among Sunna's followers, yet their holy
    mission would not be halted. The alliance pierced
    all the way to the walls of Avras, and plans were
    drawn up to storm the city.
    That night, the Vermin came to Warin. They knew
    of his growing doubts and fears, for he had seen
    how few remained in Sunna’s force and how easily
    the numbers of the rats were replenished. They
    offered another way to save the Askar. One blow
    of the weapon they proffered, and even a God
    would be crippled. Time for the men to retreat
    and terms to be reached. Conflicted, Warin took
    the blade, though its inscriptions burned his eyes.
    As dawn broke, the men attacked the city. On the
    walls, the rat King was visible, red fur and laurel
    crown marking his station before he fled into the
    city. Sunna was never parted from Arcaleone in
    this time, and Warin was given no chance to intercede.
    As planned, Uther and Genoveva fought
    a rearguard, buying time against the growing
    swathes of vermin reinforcements streaming in
    from across their empire, while the main force
    breached the city’s mighty gates. Fighting soon
    raged through the city, but Sunna and her cohort
    fought to the throne room, to confront the rat
    King himself.
    What awaited in that place was not the same being.
    Surrounded by dead priests and shards of
    glowing rock, a towering beast, red of fur and toying
    with the tiny laurel crown boomed a thunderous
    laugh, pointing towards the brave humans.
    Dozens of vermin struck at the holy woman, but
    she could not be harmed by mere mortals. Elite
    rodent bodyguards clashed with righteous men,
    and blood flew. Arcaleone reached the King first,
    and fought bravely, but men cannot stand with
    Gods, and the great Rat tore the throat from the
    bold son of Myra. Sunna was buried beneath
    black furred bodies as she strove to reach her fallen
    disciple.
    Amidst the pandemonium, with Arcaleone’s
    blood staining the King’s fur, Warin lost all hope.
    The cries of the dying surrounded him; from the
    windows he could see the rearguard fail and a
    rodent tide sweep toward the city. Grasping her
    arm, he freed Sunna from beneath the mound of
    the dead and dying – and thrust the Vermin blade
    into her side. The rats’ work was done; the blade
    twisted in his hand, and what was a minor blow
    became a thrust to the heart of the goddess made
    flesh. Sunna’s face pinned Warin, the betrayal
    filled her eyes. Before that stare, Warin fled, to
    pass from the history of Vetia and become a byword
    for treachery. Sunna wavered, and the King
    came on in triumph. But even wounded as she
    was, she did not fall, and met him blow for blow.
    Their fight raged from the throne room to the
    walls of the city. Rats and men turned to look
    up at the legendary combat overhead. Flaming
    sword clashed with glowing scimitar, sparks raining
    down. A dozen wounds were traded, yet it
    was the woman who faltered. Sunna staggered,
    but with the last of her strength pulled Warin’s
    Vermin blade from her own body, and drove it
    through the creature's chest. A hideous scream
    marked the King’s end, black tendrils spreading
    through his veins, and he toppled broken to the
    street below. Falling to her knees, overcome by
    her wounds, Sunna died steeped in golden sunlight
    and in the knowledge that the first city of
    men was avenged.
    So passed Sunna, the Uniter, who brought a new
    dawn to the long night, and struck down the enemies
    of humanity. In the years after, her followers
    forged new nations to preserve her legacy.
    Uther would become a great King of Equitaine.
    Queen Genoveva's descendants would thrive in
    the lands of Destria. Arcaleone would be eternally
    honoured, as the Glauca and Aeturi came to name
    their ancient fatherland in his honour. Greatest
    of glories was reserved for the Askar, the Breidar
    and the Gjothar, who would unite under the symbol
    of Sonnstahl, the sword of light borne by our
    saviour, Sunna. May we always live in her light.

    — The Book of the Askar, Chapter Fourteen, taken from the Sunna Cycle
    On those who do not serve her glory, she will rain
    fiery coals and burning sulfur; scorching sunfire
    will be their lot.
    Sunna Cycle. Precepts 9:27

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