Sun Dancer Lore

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Called Dervishes by the peoples of the Green Lands, Sun Dancers are the strangest and deadliest of all Irekei. The true pinnacle of strength, the Sun Dancers teach, can only be reached when an Irekei casts off all weapons but his flesh and spirit, becoming like unto the Dragon itself.

A fragment of the account written by Larethonnel Vendralimo, Elvish Blade Weaver of the Deathless Empire, after his brief captivity among the Devil Men in the War of Flames:

"And so the degenerate Outcasts fled before the great assaults of Lestron, our Wizard, and the Blade Weavers laughed to see their vaunted bravery crumble. But even as we moved through the smoking ruins of their hovels and tents, the heat of the accursed Sun bore down upon us, hotter than a forge. My vision blurred, and out of the rippling landscape stepped an Irekei, naked to the waist, his skin as black as onyx. He wore no blade, but was too strong of limb to be a Magus. We drew our blades and moved upon him, but he stood still, with no expression upon his vile face.

Laughing as we came, the Blade Weavers began our dance, expecting an easy kill. And then this stranger moved, and taught dancers the true measure of motion. So fast were his limbs that my eyes could not follow them, and he seemed somehow to pluck the thoughts from my very brain, anticipating the steps and turns of my dance, and countering them effortlessly. We slashed at him, our T'lanarionae a storm of steel, but the jet-skinned devil weaved and leaped, and we never drew his blood. Then he struck, with nothing more than his bare fists and feet, but in them was such force that they sent his targets flying through the air, as if struck by a battering ram. And such a baleful heat was in him that our flesh burned at his touch, as if lashed with fire.

With every strike he wailed and howled like a demon, and finally he taunted us, yelling in a broken parody of the High Speech. "You die now, Hateful Ones!" he cried, "For I am Sun Dancer, and my carreeka is pure! Feel my flame!" And at that flames sprang from his hands, and they burned like torches as he whirled. I saw him turn aside a longblade's edge with his bare palm, then shatter the enchanted steel with one swift strike. Never have I seen such fury, or such speed. The very dust rose around him in a whirlwind, so fast were his leaps and turns. And then we heard the cries of the Outcast's kinsmen, who had fled only to lure us into the dancer's deadly trap. Only then did the Outcast smile, and his grim joy was so fierce I felt sure that my doom was at hand…"

The Devil Men of the Burning Lands still tell the ancient tale of Khar'ubar, the Fire Hand, who first learned to walk the Path of Khar'ika. Once a Warrior, he betrayed his own Virakt to slaughter, never knowing that he had himself been tricked into violating the Irekei's highest law. Branded a Traitor and an Outcast by all Irekei, Khar'ubar was stripped of his original name and exiled into the harshest corners of the Deserts, where even the Irekei do not go. Consumed by grief, the fallen Devil Man longed for death, but in the end his spirit was too strong. He learned to adapt, even upon the Sun's Anvil, and learned to move and strike like the drake, the serpent, and the scorpion. In time he heard the Voice of the Dragon, and learned, in solitude, how to focus his soul-fire, his khar'ika, through discipline, meditation, and rigorous practice. In the fullness of time the Outcast realized that he had been betrayed, and he returned to the lands of his people. The transformed Irekei sought out his enemies and destroyed them, one by one, with no weapons but his fists and feet. Khar'ubar the Irekei re-named him, Fire Hand, and once his vengeance was achieved he returned to the wastes, seeking even deeper secrets. He was the first to bear the title L'alar Khalinka, or Sun Dancer, and so great became his name that many Irekei have since followed his example. To this day, some bold young Devil Men hear the calling of the fire in their blood, and abandon their tribes to seek a master who can train them to dance the Dance of Fire.

Called Dervishes by the peoples of the Green Lands, Sun Dancers are the strangest and deadliest of all Irekei: in a race of feuding tribes, they walk alone, welcomed by all. Born to a race of knife fighters, they bear no blades, and indeed shun them. The true pinnacle of strength, the Sun Dancers teach, can only be reached when an Irekei casts off all weapons but his flesh and spirit, becoming like unto the Dragon itself. Few Irekei have the discipline or fortitude to become Sun Dancers, but those who do are among the deadliest Warriors ever known.

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