Solare

“Ravager take you!” was one of the most uttered phrases on Sangrar in every age, along with “Solare burn me!”  Every culture swears and these were two of Sangar’s best, right up there with “By the Stones!” though that one naturally fell by the wayside once there weren’t any Stones.  Kandol said it was easy to let go of that saying because it dredged up memories he’d rather let lie.  Besides, as a sacred oath, it was a toothless old thing, hardly of any use.  The few times he did swear by the Stones, it was instinctive and he regretted doing so immediately.

“Erlik’s Eye!” (“Holy shit!”) was another one, as was “By the Pits!” (“No fucking way!”), both of which picked up steam in the Age of Man.  The Elder Races didn’t like using the Dark Lord’s name, or anything that even sniffed of One-Eye, not even to cuss one another out.  A few people had special ways of expressing themselves.  Indallar was partial to “By the foamy beard of Umbar!”, Nammath used to say “Humak’s Horns!” not that anyone heard him except his hawk and rabbit, and the Forge Folk swore by exclaiming “Pick and Axe”, which could mean just about anything.

The difference between “Ravager take you” and “Solare burn me” was easy to miss, particularly for someone from your world who doesn’t know the gods of Sangrar.  Solare and Yarnor the Ravager were both Elehu and gods of fire, but that’s all they had in common (I know, that’s a big thing).  Solare was part of the pattern of the seasons.  He was the Summer Lord, whose warm breath turned the spring planting into summer’s bounty.  He was a lord of creation celebrating the cycle of life and death.   Yarnor the Ravager though, was a god of destruction.  He represented the most primal aspect (I know what you’re thinking, but no, that’s not a shout out to Zuras and Majestrix) of fire and its uncontrollable nature.

Remembering that is your best clue to properly taking their names in vain.  “Ravager take you” is always directed at someone else, whether you’re clowning around or really pissed off.  No one ever said “Ravager take me.”  Conversely, invoke the Summer Lord to when you’re outraged or surprised or upset with yourself.  “Solare burn you” wouldn’t make any sense to a Sangarian, not that you’ll ever bump into one in an alley.  To put it in your terms, “Ravager take you” was more of a “fuck you” versus “Solare burn me”, which translated closer to “fuck me” or “no shit”.  (In the spirit of full disclosure, this explanation is also included in the Yarnor entry).

Solare was easier on the Elder Races than his fellow champions of the seasons.  In Spollnar’s spring and Garruth’s fall, back breaking labor was required (well not really, but it would have been if magik hadn’t lightened the load) to plant and harvest.  As for winter, well … Kandalla just made things tough on everyone.  During the summer they had to check on the fields, which wasn’t too demanding and that was about it, leaving plenty of time for praying to the Earth Mother.

Unlike most Gods of Light, Solare didn’t live on Sangrar with the Elder Races.  He called Edda, Imma and Olla home, though he did come down to the world for the occasional photo op with the Elder Races, most often to see the Halflings, who named him patron.  The little folk called Merrivaun home.  It lay in the Westlands, on the far side of Yarnor’s desert, so they didn’t get many visitors.  They lived in burrows like the Ravirs and in all Merrivaun, there was only one building, a temple to Solare shaped into three domes to represent the Suns.  Hallways like spokes on a wheel connected the domes to a fourth central dome where services were held.

By all accounts, Solare had a good sense of humor, not like the Laughing God, who laughed all the time but wasn’t particularly funny.  That’s why he got along so well with the Halflings.  Hallo, the little folk’s Firstborn, was Solare’s partner in crime for many practical jokes.  It’s amazing what you can pull off when you have a god on your side.   One time, Solare gave wings to the corn growing in the fields and the ears took flight.  Another time, he made everything in Merrivaun bigger and tried to convince the Halflings that they were shrinking, except Hallo who sprouted as tall as an NBA center.

In addition to his Summer Lord duties, Solare also served as caretaker for the Three Suns, in much the same way that Aeriel had looked after Arra since Lindivar’s murder.  As you can guess, the Darkening was rough on him.  Can you imagine any torture worse for a sun god than having the suns flicked off?  The shock of it threw him for a loop.  Celetran found him floating lifelessly in Esel and brought him to the Outermost Heavens, where Numra realized that Solare yet breathed.  This triggered an aha moment for the Explorer – if Solare was alive, then so were the Suns.  Their fate was inextricably linked.

Numra rushed off to put his plan in motion, leaving Ollare alone and rather upset, which would cost him later.  Solare meanwhile, slept through it all like a god with a bad hangover.  Numra and Aeriel were able to restart the Suns using the spark in Numra’s staff like a set of jumper cables.   Once the Suns were Rekindled, Solare woke up with a start, like adrenaline had been injected into his heart.  He wanted to resume his duties at once, but couldn’t.  Though Rekindled, a sliver of darkness remained in the Suns and it was poison to Solare.  For Solare, the old saying was true.  He couldn’t go home again.

That first dusk after the Rekindling, everyone realized how it was going to be from there on out.   Darkness crawled out of a hole deep inside the Suns and the Rekindled Suns flickered.  Solare howled in pain and tried jumping into the Suns, but the darkness knocked him back to Tar-Livarre.  Aeriel sighed.  She’d been through this before, after Lindivar’s murder, and knew what it meant – more work for her.  She was the goddess of light and the Suns needed her to fight the darkness.  From that day forward, Solare lived in the Heavens and left the battles at dawn and dusk to the Dawn Mistress.

During the Age of Man, Solare was popular, as were all the champions of the seasons.  He wasn’t the guardian of Edda, Imma and Olla any more, but he was still the Summer Lord and that carried weight.  Observing the natural cycle was part of the lore in every kingdom, and from the end of spring to the beginning of the harvest, Solare benefitted from a never ending stream of prayers.

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