Look past her artificial Mirage to where the Light lies. Balance shall be restored once Day breaks.
LOGLINE: An ambitious Acolyte of the Sun seeks the truth about their religious upbringing and is forced to confront the dark nature of their beliefs when it threatens their only love.
Mirage of the Red Sun is a tragedy that takes place in a non-eurocentric & queer science-fantasy setting that I've been developing for a while now. The current working names for this setting are Arjunbai and The House of the Sun. Mirage of the Red Sun is a story about how one's yearning to find identity and belonging through faith can lead to their trust being taken advantage of by those in power who prey upon their insecurity and desperate need for community.
For a full synopsis of the plot, scroll to the bottom of this page!
Worldbuilding & Concept Art
While I have been developing the world of Arjunbai since ~ 2015, story development for Mirage didn't start until this past summer 2021. One of the core cultural aspects of Arjunbai centers a Polytheistic religion based on the duality and balance of Light and Darkness; Good and Evil, with the ultimate teaching being that the world & its people are multi-dimensional, and are not all-evil or all-good.
This religion is one of the only things that has stayed relatively consistent and I had a great deal of fun exploring the corruption of this religion as backbone for the main plot for Mirage of the Red Sun. My artistic this summer was pushing the rest of Arjunbai, which was originally high fantasy, towards Science-Fantasy— the genre that Mirage of the Red Sun was written for.
Content Warnings: mention of torture & major character death
Mirage of the Red Sun is centered around Theanu Lakasi's greatest ambition: Proving to the world that the worship of Light alone will cause all Darkness to fade completely— the belief held by the heretical faction Theanu is a part of. Theanu's mentors preach that the Believer who brings society to the Light will take their place next to the Sun.
With their partner Idalia by their side, Theanu's search accidentally crash-lands the pair in a strange alternate world where Theanu's religious sect has expanded their power and influence across the stars, calling themselves the Suryans. Strangely though, Darkness continues to loom, and Theanu grows more desperate to find the truth.
The pair runs into The Scholar, Dr. Kali Bormir, a theo-archaeologist whose entire line of work is studying the past in order to find out what religion was like before the Suryans came to power. Kali begrudgingly brings them to Mathari Sivyani, the Suryan High Priestess who promises to show Theanu the Light.
This tragedy ends with Theanu realizing too late that the worship of ONLY Light is flawed once Sivyani calls for the ritualistic sacrifice of their lover. Theanu chooses to take Idalia's place and is consumed by the Sun, completing the arc of a traditional Tragic Hero.