Realms Podcast
The Sunborn's Sorrow

The Sunborn's Sorrow

A fallen prince shares eir tale.

Hello and welcome to Realms. My name is Zach and I’m the writer and reader of Realms. I am a game writer and novelist currently living in sunny Southern California.

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The Sunborn’s Sorrow

Stranger! Friend! Come hither to this sliver. Long has it been since any woman or man passed their shadow overhead. No I am not a whijinn or a darksmyte. I am Sunborn. Imprisoned here. Let me speak, hear my tale. It is a good one, I assure you.

Before I do, perhaps you have a mirror and can reflect that delicious dawn to me?

A jewel, a diamond, or a brass hilt?

No? No shame, no shame. I am plenty happy here, drinking my solar allotment through my fingertips.

Pray, do you have a moment? I am a prisoner, yes, but not dangerous. Not like a few slivers down. Don’t even look at the star-crossed hole. Ey will devour you. 

Yes, please, stay a moment. Take a rest. You’re on pilgrimage, no? Here to learn and engage spiritually through the humble act of trodding on the Goddess Shayla’s good Earth. 

Yes, yes, drink. Enjoy. I will not annoy you like a blood-sucking dontyo. I will soothe your ears, relax them from the praying you must be doing. Oh, by the Goddess, thank you! That is a comfortable little hollow there. 

Yes, I will begin. I was a prince of worship once. A shining star. My story might not sound all that new to you. It’s very rote. But I’ve been working on a new twist to it. A spiral of new flavors. 

Yes, I am Sunborn, of the Gratinuous Cloud, of the capital city of Glory. I deserve to be here in this sliver, where only my fingers can drink the sun. Here is my tale: 

Fingertips to lips I sip
the golden rays of which I long for
sun rag, wrung out
dry and dying and husky
a Sunborn such as I will wither
always desiring to surge through 
the awful sliver that denies me the light.

I rage at the unfairness of 
being cast aside and cursed
for my radiance. It is the brightest, 
after all, who are dragged down
cringing and screaming to the depths
by the sunless rabble.

A prince I was, winged and clawed and
terrible with glory; burdened by
purpose: to lead the worlds below
into the sun’s embrace. Yes, one
might hear this and call me
lustful, greedy for conquering.

Not all desires are foul, good pilgrim,
no, not all things go too far; 
You know the darkness of the shadowlands
or even closer, the darkness in all 
hearts; the Goddess spared no one in
her designs. We are all light and
shadow at once, even the Sunborn.

I did not propose a plan, no
I led my personal Angels to the 
citadels atop the 
lightning cloud to wrest the 
Scepter of Divinity from my 
fourth mother’s hand.

The killing was not easy, despite
what they claim; it was not intended.
They got in the way and my Angels were
hasty; but it didn’t matter anyway.

The Scepter, just as fate, chooses 
the Sunborn who wields it. It did not
bless me with undying judgment; it cast me
aside and down, burning with the cold
of a thousand dead suns.

Yes, rejected. Yes, spurned. Yes, stained.
I turned away from the values of my people.
And now I am in this sliver. Now I waste 
away in the sunless salt flats of the 
Cinnamar Sea, waiting for the summer solstice
to sustain me. 

Oh, you’ve heard my tale? Was it unique enough, pilgrim? Did I give you something new? I hope so. I have been penitent in my self-desolation. I am cursed to wait for a thousand cycles before my third mother will deign to visit me. Then, perhaps, parole will be granted to this fallen prince. 

Can I tell you a secret, pilgrim? Can I admit something?

Now, I am humbled. Now, I know the truth of the world: that to conquer you must dance with a mask of pain, only revealing your true self when it is time to die. 

It’s wisdom I offer you, for free.

Might you spare me some sunlight, dear one? I can see now that you carry an empty sheath. Just…oh thank you. A few more degrees. Yes. 

Oh that sun is simply delicious. Like rich eggs on toast. Buttered earth and sunset. Goddess, yes!

Thank you, pilgrim. 

I will find you one day, and give thanks. 

May the sun rest easy on your shoulders. 

Thank you for reading today’s short story!

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Realms Podcast
Escape the real world for a better one. Realms produces original sci-fi and fantasy short stories and reviews - releasing once a month. Follow this podcast to get updates or subscribe at to get episodes directly in your inbox.