The Sunchildren and Their Ties to Greek Mythology
The story of the Sunchildren of Enkanomiya is a tragic one, sealing their fate within the Dainichi Mikoshi. But just like many parallels to Greek Mythology found throughout this region, the Sunchildren also tie into mythological figures and their tales.
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As found in the quests Hyperion’s Dirge and Phaethon’s Syrtos, for a long time, Byakuyakoku was submerged in darkness. With no light or way out, they were at the mercy of the Dragonheir of the Depths, also known as the Bathysmal Vishaps. These creatures thrived in the dark and hunted humans without mercy. Because of this, a man named Aberaku started working on the device that came to be known as the Helios or the Dainichi Mikoshi. This was an artificial sun that lit up the entirety of Byakuyakoku and drove away from the Vishaps.
With the threat of the Vishaps gone, the people of the Byakuyakoku could live in peace. Or they were supposed to but then came human greed. Many of the nobles started the idea that the Dainichi Mikoshi was not created. But in fact, it was a vessel for a deity and only the chosen children of the deity should rule Byakuyakoku. This is how the Sunchildren came to be.
An infant was chosen by the nobles and be crowned the ruler of Byakuyakoku. But of course, as Aberaku stated in his quest, how could a child lead a nation? While the Sunchildren were rulers in name, it was the nobles that pulled the strings. And when the children started to get old enough to make their own decisions, they were removed.
In a ceremony to reunite them with the ‘deity’, they were made to enter the Dainichi Mikoshi. In the burning heat of the artificial sun, no one could survive.
As seen in the quest, Phaethon’s Syrtos, there were around seven Sunchildren. Considering their names, all of them seem to have ties to Greek Mythology, some famous figures while others are not so well known. However, the common thread between them is that they are all children of the god Apollo. Apart from the titan Helios after whom the Dainichi Mikoshi was originally named, Apollo is another god associated with the sun.
When you first find his grave in Enkanomiya, it shows his Watatsumi name which is Orupeusu. But keeping in mind that everyone in Byakuyakoku had two names by the end, his real name would be Orpheus.
In Greek Mythology, Orpheus is a pretty well-known figure. A lot of stories say that he was the son of a king but some versions claim him to be the son of Apollo. He was a skilled musician and poet, having been taught by Apollo himself. He was so talented at playing the lyre that while on the expedition with Argonauts, it was his music that saved them from the sirens. However, the myth that Orpheus is most famously known for is the story of him and his wife Eurydice.
After the untimely death of his wife, Orpheus journeyed to the underworld to bring her back. Upon meeting the king of the Underworld, Hades and his wife, Persephone, Orpheus used his music to convince them to let him have his wife back. They agreed but told Orpheus that he needed to make the journey back to the Earth without once looking back. Unfortunately, while he made it all the way to the entrance, his anxiety made him look back to ensure that Eurydice was following him. Since she had still not reached the gate, she disappeared and Orpheus failed.
Orupeusu, unfortunately, did not live long enough to enact any of his Greek counterparts feats. However, at his gravestone, he was described as a talented musician, skilled at playing the Lyre. His voice was said to be so beautiful that it could move even the Earth.
Much like Orupeusu, Surepio was named after a pretty well-known figure in mythology, the god of medicine, Asclepius.
He was the son of Apollo and the human princess, Coronis. After being taught the art of healing by the centaur, Chiron, Asclepius became so good at what he did that the Greek god, Zeus, feared he may make all humans immortal. Due to this, he was struck down by lightning and killed.
Surepio, on the other hand, was described as a sickly child. However, due to his condition, he took an interest in medicine. Perhaps, if he had lived, he would have been a great healer much like his Greek counterpart.
Risutaiosu was named after a minor Greek god Aristaeus. While the myths about him are a bit obscure, he was said to have introduced the practice of bee-keeping and the cultivation of olives and vines. He was also known as the protector of herdsmen and hunters.
He too was a son of Apollo and his mother was a nymph Cyrene. The most important part of his mythology, however, is that in many stories, he was the reason for Eurydice’s death. It was him who pursued after her and as she tried to escape him, she fell to her death.
While Risutaiosu wasn’t all that into bee-keeping and olives, he was rather interested in clay and would often use it to mould sculptures of female officials.
Isumenasu was named after a rather minor character in Greek mythology who has been related to many different figures. One of them is Apollo.
Ismenus was the son of Apollo and the Oceanid Melia. His brother was Tenerus, a hero who went on to become an Oracle of Apollo.
Isumenasu, on the other hand, was a child who enjoyed boating. He would often go out and make maps of Enkanomiya.
Rikoru was named after Lycorus, another not so well known figure in Greek mythology. Lycorus was the son of Apollo and a nymph named Corycia. The city of Lycoreia was named after him.
While there isn’t much information available about the Sunchildren, there is enough known about Rikoru. When the Sunchildren were established, he was the first one chosen. He initially started off as an admirer of Aberaku, however, that was soon to change. Knowing that children couldn’t possibly rule Enkanomiya, Aberaku began to protest against the nobility. Especially since they were using his device to get their way. The nobility, on the other hand, turned Rikoru on Aberaku by convincing him that Aberaku wanted to kill him. This led to him imprisoning Aberaku for life.
Unlike the other Sunchildren, Ion only has one name.
In Greek mythology, Ion was the illegitimate child of Creusa and Apollo. Since this was a child she never planned for, Creusa abandoned Ion in his cradle. Due to this, Apollo asked Hermes to take his son to Delphi where he would be raised by a prietess. Soon after though, Xuthus, the husband of Creusa arrived at Delphi and was told that he would meet his son there. Upon meeting Ion, he took the prophecy literally and assumed that Ion was his actual son. The two of them would return home and Creusa, not knowing that Ion was the son she abandoned, planned to kill him. Surprisingly though, Ion too planned to kill her. Thankfully, the conflict between the two of them was sorted before anyone got hurt. Ion would then go on to find a tribe named the Ionians.
In Enkanomiya, Ion was a child who loved fortune-telling and was well-versed in sigil signs. However, it was said that he was not a very good fortune-teller. However, later we learn that while Ion could see someone’s future, he chose to lie to them because he didn’t want to give them the bad news.
Piramumon perhaps had a rather sad existence since he claimed that there was a world beyond Enkanomiya but no one ever believed him. Even though he was right.
His Greek counterpart, Philammon, was a son of Apollo and Chione, the daughter of a king named Daedelion. However, stories about his birth vary. When he is claimed to be the son of Chione, he is said to have a twin brother named Autolycus whose father, however, was Hermes. Otherwise, he is known to be the son of Leuconoe, the daughter of the Morning-Star, Heosphoros.
Much like his father, Apollo, Philammon was a skilled musician. He placed second in Pythian games that were held in Delphi. Once there, he went on to sing songs about Leto and the birth of the twin gods Artemis and Apollo. While not a lot is known about Philammon, he was said to be one of the Argonuats. Though, a lot of times, his name is replaced by Orpheus.