Lude Liu

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A story of the High Sun Plateau.



The Tales of the High Sun Plateau is a world-building project I’ve been working on for the past two years. It’s an isolated highland with unique religion and culture. The leader of this highland is the high priestess. They lead the highland spiritually and have special powers from their god: the High Sun. This picture book tells the story of one of the high priestesses in the form of an allegory, and discusses the topic of finding one’s self-identity and the relationship with their religions. I hope you will enjoy reading this!

And the story begins…

Once upon a time, there was an isolated highland, apart from the rest of the world. The people of this highland worshiped the sun and were living a hard but happy life. 

One day, a woman was about to give birth to her child, and she prayed to the sun: “Please let your blessing be with her.”

There, a girl was born with the sun’s flame.

As the girl grew up, the flame burnt along with her. “She truly has the sun’s blessing!” People of the highland were delighted.

They gathered around the girl and praised her and her flame.

The flame brought warmth and brightness to the people, but what it brought to the girl was the heat and burning pain.

The girl tried to ask for help from her people.  

“ Look at me! I’m on fire! It’s hurting me!” She cried. But the people only stared at her. “This is your calling,” they said,  “You have the sun’s blessing, the flame is for you to bear.”

As time passed, the flame kept burning more and more vigorously with her. She grew and the flame grew with her. She took the responsibility of her blessing and led her people to praise the sun.

She burnt alongside the sun.

One day, the people of the highland realized the sun was a little dimmer than before. They panicked, and the girl led them to praise harder and more devoted, but the sun never got brighter again.

Every morning, a darker and dimmer sun would rise up on the highland, and the people were more and more terrified. So the girl was looked up to provide her flame. She burnt hard every day to warm up the highland.

The people praised her as they had praised the sun. “Give us fire, warmth and light!” They asked, and the girl did. 

Despite her own suffering, she was glad she could help her people.

But there were malicious voices started to grow over time.

“It’s all her fault!” They yelled. “She could be the very reason for the sun to forsake us!”

The girl was devastated and heartbroken. She climbed to the top of the hill and called out to the ever-colder sun. 

“Take it back!” She screamed. “I never wanted your blessing. Oh the great sun, why me? Take your blessing back from me!”

She released all her power and all her flame like never before. After many days and many nights, it was the first time the girl felt she had burnt out.

The girl could finally stop burning. And now, she knows there will be no more flame with her ever again.

The end.

Other Artworks:

The Shepherd, digital, 2023

The Fall of Aarung River, digital, 2023

A Ride, digital, 2023

The Divination, digital, 2023

Thank you for viewing!

Lude Liu

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Lude Liu is a Vancouver-based illustrator from China. She is interested in traditional culture and folklores and she creates unique images with intriguing narratives. Lude has a style of bright colours and delicate line-works, and she primarily work with digital mediums, but sometimes with ink and other traditional mediums as well. Lude loves all sorts of stories, and she believes illustrations can be a bridge between the world of imaginations and the real world.

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