After the murder of Yelm, darkness envelops the world. Elmal battles many usurper suns to preserve the road from which his father warmed the land. He learns the words he must speak to keep them at bay.
Elmal stood guard at his post in Nivorah, far form the Solar Court, when the Emperor was killed. Had he been there, he could have interposed himself between Yelm and the Rebel, taking the blow meant for his father.
But he was not and so the sun fell from the sky and darkness seized the world.
Like people everywhere, those of the Golden City panicked and thought existence had come to an end. It was Elmal's duty to guard them, but in this case he could do that best by leaving them, taking action, and returning when he had rescued his father. Because death was still new in the world, the gods did not yet understand its permanence.
So Elmal spun into the sky onto the path his father proceeded upon each day, granting glory and warmth to all. He found that its light might still be rekindled.
Upon this path pretenders prowled. THey tore up the golden paving stones, sutffing them in stacks, devoouring them, seeking to usurp not only Yelm's throne but his rune of power.
First Elmal encountered his younger brother Little Yelm gathering up the stones. Little Yelm said, "I suppose you think you're the sun now."
"I am not the sun," Elmal replied
Shame overwhelmed Little Yelm and he stopped gathering the golden stones. So the two of them did not have to fight.
Next loomed the Demon Sun. He did want to fight, and said "You think you're the sun, Elmal?"
"I am not the sun," Elmal replied "and neither are you."
The Demon Sun attacked Elmal with his implacable mace. Elmal withstood him with his fiery shield, crying out, "The sun is not red. Hell gives off no warmth. A force shines from you, Shargash, but it is not the light that gives life." For a quick eternity they clashed. In the end, neither god slew the other,and the Demon Sun withdrew to hang over his green-walled city, Alkoth.
During this prolonged duel various Small Suns, like the Ghost Sun and the Eggshell Sun, managed to sneak away a number of golden paving stones. After Elmal recovered from his injuries he battled a few of them. But they were many and while he retrieved the bricks from one, another would sneak in to steal more. All of them asked if he thought he was the sun. And to all he said he was not, that one day he would find away to rescue his father from hell.
Finally the Cold Sun imposed himself upon the sunpath. It radiated a dim frigidity, strengthening the ice crushing Yelm's domain. When the Cold Sun saw Elmal, he laughed. You're supposed to be the sun?"
"I am not the sun," said Elmal, and he leapt at the Cold Sun, spear out-thrust.
They battled for a long time, reaching only a standstill. The Cold Sun withdrew, but Elmal knew it would gather strength and return.
Elmal patrolled the parts of the sunpath he had freed from incursion by false suns small and large. Every day he went up and down the length of this portion, expanding it southward a little at a time. A mantle of heat grew around him, not as strong as Yelm's, but enough to preserve the land below.
Finally he went to Nivorah and told his people it was time to go. The Riders heard him faster than the Wheels, who were deafened by the sounds of their cumbersome carts.
As we readied for exodus, the Cold Sun came a second time.
He blasted Elmal with frost, with ice, with hail. "My name is Yonesh," he said, "and I am the sun."
"You are not," said Elmal, "because you are riddled with storm runes. You will pollute whatever part of the great sky road you touch."
To save the sunpath, Elmal saw the terrible sacrifice he would have to make. He would have to destroy part of it, further damaging the city below. So he broke a hole in the path, over Nivorah. The Cold Sun could claim what was once the Golden City, but a line of warmth and brightness remained to the south, for the Riders to follow.
Yonesh rushed to leap across the breach. To keep him back, Elmal girded himself for one mighty blow, to knock him senseless.
As it landed, he said what needed to be said to power his strike.
"I am the sun!"