In Carpathian mythology, Aurn (/ɔːn/) is the anthropomorphisation of the rising sun. Repesented in most cultures as a golden woman, Aurn represents not only the physical sunrise, but also rebirth, hope for the future, and in some regions, the first day of spring. When accompanied by two inward-facing griffons, Aurn can be interpreted as a symbol of war for a just and peaceful future.
Origins in Coastal CarpathiaEdit
In coastal Carpathian villages, huts are built facing east in order to view the new dawn over the Carpathian mountains. In some villages, Aurn is worshipped as one of a pantheon of natural gods that preside over the success of the village. In these cultures, villagers rise before dawn and light precious wax candles to guide the sun over the treacherous mountains. If no candles are lit, the sun may become lost and Carpathia will be doomed to endless night. Early writings suggest this mythology has a basis in solar eclipses, and the journey of Frenrik the Fisherman's Son to a "Great Cold Land without Aurn" (probably one of the poles).
With the arrival of the Elven Epoch in Althea, the Aurnean symbology spread inland. In her new interpretation, Aurn was not worshipped as a goddess, but began to take on warlike connotations. Elven Seers may have drawn the practice of blinding themselves with sunlight from the idea that Aurn represented what was beyond the horizon, or the events yet to come.
The Guardians of the DawnEdit
The orginal Guardians of the Dawn were heavily influenced by Carpathian culture, particularly during the building of the mountain fortress Anarόrë Mindon. Though the Guardians are traditionally associated with griffon symbology, elements of Carpathian symbology - particularly of Aurn - are evident in the tower and surrounding city.
Of particular note is the eastern-facing Watch Hut that accompanies the Dawn Beacon. In modern times, this beacon is used to signal attacks on the fortress and city below. Writings indicate that at the time of construction, it was lit each morning before dawn in the tradition of the Carpathian villagers.
A gold statue of Aurn accompanied by two marble Griffons stands in the city's central plaza beneath the Morning Fountain. Carpathians often make the journey to the fountain before marriage, each tossing a gold coin into the water (representing the sun) for Aurn's blessing.
The Guardians as a whole subscribe to no unified religion, and may actively reject religions of neighbouring areas. However, members are free to follow any religion they choose, and many who were born into or descended from coastal villages recognise Aurn as a goddess. This does not hold true for the majority of Guardians, who view Aurn as a rich symbol with no mystical powers. They choose to retain references to the female anthropomorphisation around Anarόrë Mindon as method of cultural distinction, and also perhaps, as an excuse to hang paintings of naked women around the fortress.
Aurn appears to be a corruption of the Elvish ára (dawn) or anarόrë (sunrise), meeting the Low Carpathian dornen (to grow above) or auren (gold). Scholars suspect that the original Carpathian name for Aurn was lost when villagers began to adopt Elvish words into their vocabulary, especially in the wake of the building of Anarόrë Mindon. Many Carpathian workers returned home to their villages unable to remember many basic words in their own language, such as for fish or for bread.
Peculiarly, the Common dawn seems itself to have formed form the Low Carpathian dornen. This influence may be due to the Carpathian region's early obsession with the nature of the sun, before other cultures had discerned its importance in the growing of crops or the availability of fish.
It is a common myth that the Guardian warcry "for the new dawn" arose out of the rather crass "for the nude Aurn". There is no evidence to support this, and several phonological discrepancies indicate otherwise.
Reports that Carpathians burned virgins as sacrifices to Aurn also have no basis in fact. This myth arose from one text, Voyage to the Wild East, by an Arisian scholar. This text has since been proved a work of fiction, based on traders' tales - there is no proof the scholar ever left his home in Aris.