During the Age of Anguish, her faithful living in nearby Ninshabur misinterpreted her instructions, however, and instead flocked to the area, eventually founding the settlement of Gormuz there. Believing Gormuz to be a holy city of Sarenrae, people from all over Casmaron flocked there for millennia, but were slowly corrupted by the imprisoned god Rovagug's dreams. Sarenrae continued sending portents and visions to her faithful in Gormuz during this period, but they were ignored or misinterpreted. She finally sent her herald Kohal to the people of Gormuz in -3923 AR, but they had been so corrupted that they destroyed him instead. In great wrath, Sarenrae was tricked by Rovagug into smiting Gormuz with her scimitar, destroying it completely, and created an enormous rent in the earth that eventually became known as the Pit of Gormuz. Upon seeing that her mistake had excavated Rovagug's prison and allowed all kinds of monsters, including Ulunat, the first Spawn of Rovagug, to disgorge themselves on Golarion's surface, Sarenrae learnt a valuable lesson in espousing redemption over wrath.
Sarenrae's realm of Everlight appears as a sun hanging at high noon in the sky of Nirvana. Her servitors gather there to plan their crusades without fear of espionage, as those who seek do do evil are banned from the realm. Sarenrae occasionally takes human form to walk the streets of High Ninshabur, learning from the less fortunate and reminding herself of her responsibility to care for the Great Beyond.
Sarenrae manifests as a bronze angelic beauty with golden hair composed of flowing flame. She emits a holy light which trickles down like liquid luminescence from one hand, while the other holds a scimitar emblazoned with radiant fire. Her holy light provides healing and sustenance, while the scimitar creates gusts of winds that remove disease and fear.
Sarenrae counts all non-evil gods as her companions, and even communicates with evil deities in the hopes of converting them from their dark ways, although certain tradition-bound deities like Torag distrust the Dawnflower and her flock, seeing their willingness to forgive as a weakness. She is known to be in a polyamorous relationship with Desna and Shelyn.
Sarenrae shows her approval by sending doves, or the unusual appearance of ankhs. She indicates her disfavor through unexplained sunburns or blindness that can last from minutes for minor transgressions to an entire lifetime for the worst offenses.
Kind and caring halflings often worship Sarenrae, tending to the sick and elderly. Rarely, a halfling may be born with red hair and, as this is seen by halflings as a sign from the goddess, these halflings are expected to become part of Sarenrae's clergy. Sarenrae is also one of the most popular deities worshipped by the strange planar race known as duskwalkers.
A large portion of Sarenrae's priests are composed of clerics, but within their ranks are also paladins and rangers, as well as a few druids and bards. Some priests work as personal retainers or healers for the wealthy, while others survive on assistance from congregational worshipers. A common form of worship by priests is to awaken with the dawn and give thanks and praise to the rising sun. The scimitar is a favored weapon and its use is held in high regard, and it is often decorated with sunburst images in red and gold. In battle, Sarenrae's clerics become dervishes, ready to destroy irredeemable corruption. Formal raiments include a long white chasuble and tunic with red and gold decorations depicting the sun. Worship leaders often wear a golden crown topped by a red-gold sunburst.
The main temples of the Dawnflower are open-air buildings, although side buildings have ceilings. Many have brass or gold mirrors that refocus the sunlight on the main altar. Priests often travel from one temple to the next. The Everlight Oasis in Kelesh is a popular site of pilgrimage for followers of the goddess. Church services are held outdoors and are joyous affairs that feature singing, dancing, and music.
Looked at from one side, the wall enclosed a barren sixty-acre field called the Port of Anarres. On the field there were a couple of large gantry cranes, a rocket pad, three warehouses, a truck garage, and a dormitory. The dormitory looked durable, grimy, and mournful; it had no gardens, no children; plainly nobody lived there or was even meant to stay there long. It was in fact a quarantine. The wall shut in not only the landing field but also the ships that came down out of space, and the men that came on the ships, and the worlds they came from, and the rest of the universe. It enclosed the universe, leaving Anarres outside, free.
It was a dull show for the Defense crew, too. Sometimes the foreman wished that somebody would just try to cross the wall, an alien crewman jumping ship, or a kid from Abbenay trying to sneak in for a closer look at the freighter. But it never happened. Nothing ever happened. When something did happen she wasn't ready for it.
Some of them had come there to kill a traitor. Others had come to prevent him from leaving, or to yell insults at him, or just to look at him; and all these others obstructed the sheer brief path of the assassins. None of them had firearms, though a couple had knives. Assault to them meant bodily assault; they wanted to take the traitor into their own hands. They expected him to come guarded, in a vehicle. While they were trying to inspect a goods truck and arguing with its outraged driver, the man they wanted came walking up the road, alone. When they recognized him he was already halfway across the field, with five Defense syndics following him. Those who had wanted to kill him resorted to pursuit, too-late, and to rock throwing, not quite too late. They barely winged the man they wanted, just as he got to the ship, but a two-pound flint caught one of the Defense crew on the side of the head and killed him on the spot.
The hatches of the ship closed. The Defense crew turned back, carrying their dead companion; they made no effort to stop the leaders of the crowd who came racing towards the ship, though the foreman, white with shock and rage, cursed them to hell as they ran past, and they swerved to avoid her. Once at the ship, the vanguard of the crowd scattered and stood irresolute. The silence of the ship, the abrupt movements of the huge skeletal gantries, the strange burned look of the ground, the absence of anything in human scale, disoriented them. A blast of steam or gas from something connected with the ship made some of them start; they looked up uneasily at the rockets, vast black tunnels overhead. A siren whooped in warning, far across the field. First one person and then another started back towards the gate. Nobody stopped them. Within ten minutes the field was clear, the crowd scattered out along the road to Abbenay. Nothing appeared to have happened, after all.
Inside the Mindful a great deal was happening. Since Ground Control had pushed launch time up, all routines had to be rushed through in double time. The captain had ordered that the passenger be strapped down and locked in, in the crew lounge, along with the doctor, to get them out from underfoot There was a screen in there, they could watch the liftoff if they liked.
His eyes saved him. What they insisted on seeing and reporting to him took him out of the autism of terror. For on the screen now was a strange sight, a great pallid plain of stone. It was the desert seen from the mountains above Grand Valley. How had he got back to Grand Valley He tried to tell himself that he was in an airship. No, in a spaceship. The edge of the plain flashed with the brightness of light on water, light across a distant sea. There was no water in those deserts. What was he seeing, then The stone plain was no longer plane but hollow, like a huge bowl full of sunlight. As he watched in wonder it grew shallower, spilling out its light All at once a line broke across it, abstract, geometric, the perfect section of a circle. Beyond that arc was blackness. This blackness reversed the whole picture, made it negative. The real, the stone part of it was no longer concave and full of light but convex, reflecting, rejecting light. It was not a plain or a bowl but a sphere, a ball of white stone falling down in blackness, falling away. It was his world.
Someone answered him. For a while he failed to comprehend that the person standing by his chair was speaking to him, answering him, for he no longer understood what an answer is. He was clearly aware of only one thing, his own total isolation. The world bad fallen out from under him, and be was left alone.
Shevek automatically shook his head. With the grace of a prestidigitator the doctor slid the needle into his right arm. Shevek submitted to this and other injections in silence. He had no right to suspicion or protest. He had yielded himself up to these people; he had given up his birthright of decision. It was gone, fallen away from him along with bis world, the world of the Promise, the barren stone.
For hours or days he existed in a vacancy, a dry and wretched void without past or future. The walls stood tight about him. Outside them was the silence. His arms and buttocks ached from injections; he ran a fever that never quite heightened to delirium but left him in a limbo between reason and unreason, no man's land. Time did not pass. There was no time. He was time: he only. He was the river, the arrow, the stone. But he did not move. The thrown rock hung still at midpoint. There was no day or night Sometimes the doctor switched the light off, or on. There was a dock set in the wall by the bed; its pointer moved from one to another of the twenty figures of the dial, meaningless.
He woke after long, deep sleep, and since he was facing the dock, studied it sleepily. Its pointer stood at a little after 15, which, if t