Valley of Obelisks Girds for Sunthaw Gathering
XANDRAR—Hundreds of pilgrims are expected to descend on the river town of Sumberton next week, awaiting the thaw of Lake Daggerchill with song, dance, and joyous celebration.
The travelers, members of the “Benevolent Order of the Southern Sun,” make the trek annually to the banks of the Daggerchill River. The gathering sometimes lasts for weeks if a cold snap prevents the lake’s annual fall.
“Many of us bring our families [to Sunthaw]—it’s great for children to step away from their chores for a few weeks and remember what’s truly important: the joyous turning of winter into spring,” said Jurri Sensanack, Lodge Master for the Benevolent Order’s Xandrar chapter.
While in Sumberton, members of the Benevolent Order will arise before dawn to “Sing the Sun Awake,” an elaborate choral performance involving hundreds of singers from all over southern Khorvaire.
Many will also visit the crumbling obelisks that dot the farmland in the Daggerchill River valley—the structures that give the region its name.
“I obviously have an interest in ancient history, or I wouldn’t be a member of the Benevolent Order,” Sensanack said. “The obelisks are a tangible reminder that whatever our day-to-day problems are, we’re all part of something much greater. Something much older.”
The Benevolent Order of the Southern Sun takes great pride in its heritage. Members can trace their ancestry to ancient forebears from the mysterious continent of Sarlona who settled Khorvaire thousands of years ago.
“The Sunthaw festival is a touchstone to that rich heritage. It’s as accurate a recreation of an ancient Sarlonan festival as we can create,” Sensanack said.
About the Author
David Noonan is a designer/developer for Wizards of the Coast. Before coming to Wizards, he was a daily newspaper reporter in Washington state. Apparently the city hall beat is good practice for an Eberron campaign.