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In the early days of the rule of the Scarlet Empress, more than a few people, mortals and dragon-blooded alike, died in mysterious circumstances or simply vanished. Rumors inevitably circulated upon such an event, most of which were rapidly forgotten. One such rumor survives to this day however, spawned from the disappearance of five important people within the span of a week. The disappearances themselves, though of more prominent personages than usual, were not otherwise noteworthy until a newly minted imperial official’s response to a public inquiry about the disappearances was, “all I can say is that rumors of the involvement with Sundial have proven to be false”. This comment baffled nearly everyone because, as far as anyone could tell, there were no “rumors of Sundial”. No one had ever heard the name used before. When the official who made this strange comment vanished himself several days later, an orgy of rumor mongering followed.
While a large number of theories appeared at the time (and since) about what Sundial was, one came to dominate the consciousness of the time. The five who vanished were thought to be the leaders of an organization called Sundial, which secretly controlled Creation. Though people disagreed about whether these five were secretly anathema, spirits, fair folk, demons or anything else, most agreed that it was “obvious” that Sundial went back long before the Usurpation. Believing that it was they who taught the Empress how to harness the First Age relics she used to unite the empire, most people saw the disappearance of the five as a grand double-cross, with the Empress eliminating her puppet masters.
True or not, this tail has survived centuries, though not without mutation. Common folklore holds that Sundial has been revived at least twice. Some hold that it never really died, but just periodically became more public. Many also believe that it exists at present as well, and they are correct, though whether the current incarnation has anything to do with the original or is merely taking advantage of a folktale is anyone’s guess.
Conspiracy theorists who believe in Sundial believe that this latest incarnation is comprised of powerful, yet shadowy figures within the tattered remnants of House Iselsi [db96]. Based on a decoded letter from someone known only as Stylus, it is thought that the modern Sundial (and, some think, the original) believes that the Usurpation was a hideous betrayal of the natural order and seeks to restore House Iselsi to prominence as the servants of solar and lunar exalted.
Like the original Sundial, the modern version identifies its leaders as implements used in architectural design. Some claim to know the five principals of the modern Sundial:
- Stylus undoubtedly leads Sundial and is widely believed to be an elder member of House Iselsi. Some suggest that this might be Iselsi Musgrave, a water aspect who died in suspicious circumstances over a century ago. Those who support this idea are divided, with most thinking he faked his death and the rest thinking he is a ghost.
- Edge is almost certainly a fire aspect named Drelen Assad. He is something of an impatient man, and one of the more well known members of House Iselsi.
- Angle worships the Unconquered Sun and is probably a sorceress. The most likely candidate is Karnis Tarani, an earth aspect who dwells in Nexus.
- Compass has connections deep in the Immaculate Order and may actually be a monk. Assumed to be a woman, little is known about her, but she is probably an air aspect.
- Paper is known to be slightly insane and a sorcerer. Several possibilities exist here, but the top of the list is Miranis Illurian, a wood aspect known to wander in the eastern wyld.
As with all conspiracy theories, many rumors surround Sundial. Note that some of these rumors (particularly those involving sidereals) may rely on information that most people don’t really have. In no particular order:
- The original Sundial never existed, but was a ploy of the Empress to keep her enemies off guard.
- The original Sundial was a band of solars.
- The original Sundial was a band of gold faction sidereals.
- The original Sundial was a band of bronze faction sidereals.
- The original Sundial was a band of demons.
- The original Sundial was a band of spirits.
- The original Sundial was a band of fair folk.
- Sundial is so named because they have mastered magic that controls time.
- The original Sundial still exists.
- Sundial possesses the Eye of Autochthon [sc80].
- Sundial controls every aspect of the hat-making industry in creation and, through it, the minds of anyone who wears a hat.
- Sundial are actually agents of the Empress.
- Sundial struck a deal with Mask of Winters and sabotaged the defenses of Thorns.
- Sundial has nothing to do with House Iselsi, but are actually a cabal of mortal sorcerers.
- Sundial is run by a ancient, hidden gold faction sidereal.
- Sundial is run by Chejop Kejak.
- A second circle demon runs Sundial and, through it, controls much of what is left of House Iselsi and a large collection of outcaste dragon-blooded.
- Sundial is under control of the Guild, who seek to make mortals the masters of creation.
- Sundial actively promotes the heresy of the antitheses [db81] for their own nefarious purposes.
- Sundial holds the key to dispelling the Great Curse .
- Sundial’s entire reason for existence is to abduct exalts of all varieties and trade them to the fair folk to feed on.
- Sundial is a tool of a deathlord for tracking down and recruit solar exalted into service as deathnights.
- One of the incarnations of Sundial was responsible for engineering the fall of House Iselsi.
- Sundial hates the deathlords with a passion and secretly leads the resistance against them through any means, including recruiting solars.
- Sundial has always been the secret ruler of creation and faked their initial disappearance to gain even more control.
- Sundial is behind the disappearance of the Empress.
- Sundial controls the spirits who rule Great Forks.
- The spirits who rule Great Forks control Sundial.
- Sundial directs the Bull of the North [kh38].