What am I? I am a Solar, Chosen of the Sun. But what does that mean? How does that define my place in the Order of Things? To answer that, I suppose I must search further. I am not only a Chosen of the Sun, but I am a Zenith Caste. What does that mean? In the progression of the Sun’s chosen path, He reaches His Zenith at the very peak of His daily journey. The Zenith of that arc is no more or less important than the Brightening, the Relenting, the Repose, or the Sharing, but it is the step of the journey during which the Sun makes His presence the most known, the most inescapable, and perhaps the most implacable. As any child raised under the magnificence of the Sun in the Southern sky can tell you, the noontide Sun is the brightest part of the day, illuminating everything under the harshest light. It is both when the Sun feels the furthest away, on high beyond measure, far above our mortal reach…and when the Sun feels the closest to us, warming our faces, visible to us even when our eyes are closed. It is when the light is revealed in all its undimmed majesty and unconquered power, when shadows recede or vanish, and the hazy fog of illusion evaporates into clarity of vision.
It is thusly that the Zenith Caste stands as example and inspiration, illuminating the way so that others may find or make theirs. The role of the Zenith is both active and passive, enacting change and preserving the way simply by showing that it can be done. He is a leader by example, who does not seek to convince others of the right way, but simply ensures that the right way is clearly illuminated, and allows the rightness of the way to guide those who would follow. A guiding light, shining on all equally. But towards what end?
The world has fallen far, from the First Age. There are many ways forward, but the journey is so far, that many paths begin nearly identical to the other. One way forward would be to take us back, to the way things once were, with the power of the Solars ruling and protecting all of Creation. Back to the way things were meant to be, with the Exalted ruling the gods who ran the machinery of the world, fed and sustained by the grateful prayers of the mortals they served. But too far along that path would risk restarting the very cycle that brought us to this point, where the Solars of old became too used to power, and let matters deteriorate until our very allies and advisers turned against us. Another way forward would be to forge a new world order, a new Order of Things, but do we have the wisdom to envision a more perfect order than set in place by the Sun and the mightiest of Exalts of the First Age? We cannot afford the hubris to imagine we do, on our own. This must be accomplished with the aid of all Creation’s resources, which includes the gods of Heaven and Creation. For either way to succeed, their cooperation must be enlisted. It is not enough to inspire a man towards the light, if the light holds no reward for him. But inspiring him to properly empower the gods that can and will improve his lot, and that of Creation on the whole, is a worthy direction to steer towards. For Creation was intended to have a place for god and mortal alike —without one doing their job, the other will quickly wither and fade.
Whether the path to a new Age lies in the past or the future, there is little doubt in my mind that the power of the gods must be harnessed — and the duties of mortal prayers as well, in return. Ultimately, the light of the Zenith must serve to inspire both the mortal world and the divine, and in so doing, do its part to restore the world’s faltering spirituality to its proper place in the Order of Things.