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Nur Zakmin

The Chronicler

Gather round, everyone. The sun has set, the hills are singing the songs of the night- hear the crickets sing, the wind brush against the leaves of the trees. The fire is warm- come sit besides me! Let me regale you with a tale of heroes long forgotten, epics of gods fighting to protect our world.
— Nur Zakim

Nur Zakmin, better known as the Chronicler, is a historian and reknown story teller who travels the land of Arda Almyed, in search of little known myths, legends and prophecies. They consign these stories to the scrolls they carry, and each completed scroll is sent to the Rising Tower in Claireveille. Whatever stories they consigned, they took up the habit of telling them around campfires and taverns, delighting those who travelled with them with tales of wonder and magic.

Nur also made themselves quite a reputation as a chronicler for groups of adventurers and explorers. Many have asked them to join their adventures, so they may write down the tales of the groups they accompany and archive them in the library of the Rising Tower. Their chronicles are written in a beautiful and elegant style, making them famous not only among historians but among most of the lettered population as well.

The Rising Tower

At the age of six, Nur was adopted into the Rising Tower, the largest temple dedicated to Samara the Enchantress. Their family had died in a fire, and they were left with nothing but the mark of Kirïal the Silent and the clothes on their back. They quickly distinguished themselves amongst the rank of initiates at the Rising Tower, proving themselves to be a gifted child. They burned through quantities of books in the library, decending deeper into its depths at an impressing speed.

By the age of 16, they had almost finished completing their higher education, and were made an official scholar of history at the Rising Tower. Throughout their life, Nur remained a devout worshipper of Kirïal the Silent, who had been the patron god of their parents. Their childhood had basked in the tales of the god's Mizamanium, and Nur wished to work towards a similar goal. They set out on the path of the mythseekers as soon as they were old enough, and left their academic life behind.

Sûmaiya Dedjerah, I thank you for the time you have spent by my side and the energy you have devoted to teaching me what I wanted to know. I will miss my time here, but I look forward to visiting you with tales of my life on the roads. May the goddess keep a watchful eye on you.
— Nur Zakmin to their mentor

Life on the Road

For the following decade, Nur Zakmin travelled the roads of Arda Almyed. At times, they would stick along a group of merchants or adventurers, learning as much as they could from those with whom they shared their time, writing down with the utmost care and respect all stories they heard to the long paper scroll they carried on their back.

One evening, as they sat alone by their camp fire in the middle of the Al Tahas, a group of timid Serulians came from the shadows and asked to join them in their evening. Nur accepted without a second thought, for it was rare to meet the people of the forest, and eagerly asked them if they had any stories to share.

Little one, I fear you would not understand our stories, for they were not meant to be spoken in your tongue. But if it pleases you to listen, I invite you to open your eyes and ears...
— Serulian Earthling

Nur was then asked if they too could share a story of their people. Thoughtful, they considered the proposition- they had never taken the time to tell to others of the stories they had found, only sent them to be copied into books for the great library of the Rising Tower.

It would please me greatly to do so, but you will have to forgive my awkward retelling. Let me tell you the story of how our goddess Samara, charming Ghabeiun, came to loose her eyes...
— Nur, telling their first story

The Serulians left during the night, and the next time Nur reached a town they purchased a simsimiyya- the instrument has never left their side since. Nur learned to play the instrument at the School of Eloquence and Music in Fleury, where they quickly learned to master it before setting out on the road once more.

Whenever Nur found themselves travelling with others, they would not hesitate to tell the stories they had learned, accompanied with by the melody of their simsimiyya. Of course, they still sought out old stories and legends, but they had found new joy through the act of sharing what is so dear to them.

Nur's fame quickly grew across the Danatelian Lands. Rumours and tales were told of the musician who could bring myths and legends to life, and everywhere they went Nur was greeted with open arms, as others hoped they may get a chance to hear a story.

Simsimiyya by Salvadordavy

Profession | Jun 5, 2022

Historians of stories.

Nur Taalib by Salvadordavy

Peculiar Last Name

Nur lost their parents when they were just a child. Their mother was a poet at the court of the Vazan of Claireveille, and their father was a musician who accompanied their mother. Both perished fire during the Great Fire of Claireveille: the family home was destroyed during the catastrophe, and Nur was left with severe burn marks all over their body. As an orphan with no living blood relatives, Nur was stripped of their family name in accordance with Danatelian customs. When they reached the age of 16, they chose their own family name: Nur Zakmin.

Calligraphy for Zakmin by Ynarkaelle


Nur live with their head up in the clouds, doubtlessly lost in deep reflection about some obscure myth. Their attention is only captured by stories they have not yet heard, and this tendency to easily grow bored has given them the reputation of being uncaring or even unfeeling.

In truth, Nur simply does not care for the formalities of society. Sure, they care deeply about their work, but so too do they care about their friends and close ones. But they struggle to get these feelings across- language and society have too many unseen rules, and Nur has found it easier to express their affection either through actions, or through the stories they tell.

- I told you I would do anything for you- what more do you need?
- Nur! We were 11 when you said this! We're almost adults now!
- So what? I never said I stopped caring. I don't know why you thought I did.
— An argument between Nur and Khali, their childhood friend.


Nur Zakmin is human with dark brown skin and deep earthy eyes, with silk thick and wavey black hair tied in braids and worn up underneath a headscarf. Their body is covered in many burn scars, remnants from their childhood, but their skin feels cold as a Dhülha morning. This and their eyes are the mark of Kirïal the Silent, whose sign they were born under.

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Cover image: tile pannel


Author's Notes

And voilà, my submission to the 2022 bard challenge! I am hoping to get some character art at some point, though that will probably be unlikely during the time frame of the challenge. I'll be keeping my fingers crossed!

As always, please feel free to leave some feedback- it is always grately appreciated <3 !

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Eternal Sage AmélieIS
Amélie I. S. Debruyne
7 Feb, 2022 19:47

Nice character! That sounds like a fun life, getting to travel wherever they want and write down anything they find interesting :D Are they paid by the temple for this role or do they depend on people's generosity?   I like the detail of orphan giving up their family name. Could they just retake it when they become adult or do they have to choose something new?   More random questions: Were they treated any differently for bearing the sing of a god? Does that sign do anything? Like grant them the favour of the god, or give them an aptitude for music/poetry? Do they accept to join any group of adventurers who invite them? I imagine with how popular they are, there must be a lot! Do they have criteria or preferences to select them? Particular group of people in general they're more interested in getting to know?

To see what I am up to:WE pledge and article list.
8 Feb, 2022 12:01

Thank you for the kind words and the detailed questions! I answered most of them in tooltips, but I'll give you a brief summary :)   Mythseekers rely mostly on the charity of temples, and they have to find other ways to make coin to afford inns and the like. Luckily for them, they are considered to be wise and knowledgeable people, so their services are often in demand (kind of like "oh i have a problem. you there you are smart please fix it").   Orphans rarely take new names, mostly because there is a power in choosing your own name. There are a few exceptions of course, but most orphans (be they abandoned or parent-less) will jump on the occasion of choosing their name once they are adults.   People are not treated very differently when you bare the sign of a god. Its a bit more of a superstitious thing, like "cold hand means kirial likes you" and "blue eyes means argus favours you", that kind of deal. Sometimes though some people have very "intense" marks, like their fingers looked like they were dipped in gold, or they are born with white hair. This is kind of another level of mark which will for sure attract attention.   Nur kind of just goes wherever their attention is drawn- it really depends on how they feel about specific people, and how interesting it looks like it will be. They spend a lot of time travelling alone as well- people are not always a company they enjoy, because people are hard.   There, long comment answer, but thanks again for your really wonderful feedback!

Author of Arda Almayed - check out my SummerCamp articles here!
7 Feb, 2022 23:33

Poor Nur, with a tragic beginning to their life :( I love how from that though, they were able to make a name for themselves within the Rising Tower. It sounds like an absolutely lovely place to just become absorbed in all of the books, ever!   The mythseekers are fascinating, too. I love that while they're mostly associated with one goddess, the actual mythseekers can worship anyone. The openness seems fitting for Nur, with the freedom to learn and to tell stories from wherever their interest lays. It matches the "head in the clouds" personality you mention :D I love them!

Cathedris, the world of God-husks and New Magic, welcomes you.
8 Feb, 2022 12:02

Its a hard life out there! And the Rising Tower is absolutely somewhere I would love to spend my life in. I'm really excited to write some more about mythseekers too, because man I love that concept a lot (I'm creating my dream job). I'm really glad you like them!!!

Author of Arda Almayed - check out my SummerCamp articles here!
8 Feb, 2022 07:34

Love the article and the adjunted music parts! I wonder what caused the fire of Claireveille... The structure of the article is very pretty and makes the read easier, love it!

Visit Daeliha, Iphars & Khulgran
Love to code, but this one is driving me crazy!
Hey look, I have a CYOA maybe you wanna play it? :3
8 Feb, 2022 12:03

Thank you!! Yeah god the music was a formatting life saver :') and thats a good question, I'll have to write about that! Thank you for your kind words <3

Author of Arda Almayed - check out my SummerCamp articles here!
8 Feb, 2022 23:30

Once again some great work TC! ^^ Nice flow of layout and a very nice character! The mythseekers themselves also seem like an interesting job. Also liked the link you managed to get in to your WE myth :)

Feel free to check out my latest challenge article the Avaronian Empire if you want to see what I am up to!
13 Feb, 2022 15:07

Thank you so much for the kind words! I'm glad to hear what you enjoyed :)

Author of Arda Almayed - check out my SummerCamp articles here!
9 Feb, 2022 08:55

That's a compelling and intriguing character! It's not only the romantic endeavour they are on — travelling the land in search of myths, legends, prophecies feels terrific, how they are complex personalities which is seen as cold and uncaring but in truth is, filled with passion and love for detail.   I love the small detail of leaving the physical appearance last because it made me discover the character through the tales, then through their voice, and lastly, seeing them. Kind of like the fame that precedes them and their stories until finally brought them by the campfire we can share.   There is a small typo in the Mythseeker part around the folk stories.   I enjoyed it, especially the musical background, which enhanced the immersion. Thank you for a wonderful read! <3

Introducing my challenge entry, with my cat as the main character and visitor to the tavern.
13 Feb, 2022 15:16

Woop, thank you for the typo catch, I appreciate it!   Leaving the character appearance last was kind of accidental, but I'm glad it ended up giving this impression, its very nice to hear :) ! Thank you so so much for your kind words and feedback, I really appreciate it <3

Author of Arda Almayed - check out my SummerCamp articles here!
10 Feb, 2022 00:19

In the peculiar last name section "both perished fire during the Great fire..."   Other than that jumping out at me this was yet another bard that was a pleasure to read. Mythseeker, perhaps later viewed as MythMaker by history from their travels with adventuring groups.   One does wonder, does the Rising Tower have a secondary Repository anywhere? (well, I do having destroyed a similar structure as part of my bards story)

As always, it would be appreciated if you would stop by my challenge article The Storm Giant Empire and leave some feedback.   If you are looking for things to read from summer camp there is also my Summer Camp 2022 Reading Challenge.. Happy worldbuilding.
13 Feb, 2022 15:19

Thank you very much for your comment! Hmm most of the books within the library probably have doubles throughout the country, and the library itself has many safety measures to make sure it doesnt burn- but we will see what happens!

Author of Arda Almayed - check out my SummerCamp articles here!
10 Feb, 2022 20:12

I really like your use of the tooltips, and I love the section on Personality and the argument between Nur and Khali. The way you've formatted this, including the way and order in which the content is presented is very effective.

- Hello from Valayo! Featured work: How to Write Great Competition Articles
13 Feb, 2022 15:19

Thank you! I am tooltip obsessed, they are basically my WA footnotes haha <3 ! Thank you so so much for your kind words :D

Author of Arda Almayed - check out my SummerCamp articles here!
Sage Dylonishere123
R. Dylon Elder
11 Feb, 2022 18:53

Yessss! A bard that's not all about music, but a historian and storyteller! This makes me so happy. The quotes are beautifully written, as is the actual article. I'm particularly impressed with how you play the two against each other, telling a story with the article about this storyteller. Interspersing the quotes of their responses was a great idea. Well done!

13 Feb, 2022 15:21

Yeaaaaaah !!! Love me a historian <3 thank you very much for your high praise! As you know I get a lot of inspiration from your own work so this means a lot <3 :D

Author of Arda Almayed - check out my SummerCamp articles here!
Sage George Sanders
George Sanders
12 Feb, 2022 01:00

I like the emphasis on cultural misunderstandings and different forms of communication.

Read about the ancient history of the Anhult Wildlands in my Challenge article, Echoes of the Past.

Submit articles for Lavani to read by leaving a comment on her Reading List!
13 Feb, 2022 15:22

Thank you for your comment! I'm glad to hear what you enjoyed :)

Author of Arda Almayed - check out my SummerCamp articles here!
14 Feb, 2022 19:29

I dig the myth seeker, and by what I see he has a very rich world to explore. There is something I wonder about: Are all stories equal to him? From the text I got the impression that he records every new story, writes them down and sends them home - but are there any stories that touched him? Or is he looking for something specific?

If you have some time, I would much appreciate your feedback on my entry for Adventure April: Carbon Copy Paradise
19 Feb, 2022 21:02

Thank you very much for your kind words! Jsyk, Nur uses they/them pronouns :)   And these are some very good questions! Nur has a particular inclination for myths and legends, and they will follow whatever road an unheard story will lead them on. They privilege what is personally interesting to them- they are first and foremost a self-funded researcher, so they kind of just write down whatever they find interesting enough to be remembered!

Author of Arda Almayed - check out my SummerCamp articles here!
15 Feb, 2022 17:39

I love them already. I really like the cultural notes about the fact that orphans choose their own names. I always love your articles and this is no exception. <3

19 Feb, 2022 21:03

Thank you so much for your kind words Emy <3 ! I'm glad you enjoyed that little cultural sidebar, I wasn't too sure about it so its nice to hear it has some success hehe :)

Author of Arda Almayed - check out my SummerCamp articles here!
Sage eccbooks
E. Christopher Clark
15 Feb, 2022 22:44

Gosh, I just love your world. Mythseekers, a mention of Samara (who I think was my entrance to your world), and that amazingly named Rising Tower—where I, as an author, want copies of my books to be held now!   This is a great article. I particularly loved the bit in the sidebar about Nur's surname and the details about the culture you provided there.

Check out my entry for Spooktober 2022, during which I’m creating new art daily
19 Feb, 2022 21:05

Thank you for your comment Chris!! Your words are too kind :'0 I'm really touched :') !

Author of Arda Almayed - check out my SummerCamp articles here!
19 Feb, 2022 16:06

Great, a storyteller. I think they is done well, especially fitting in really well with the world that already exists (at least from what I've read it feels that way to me).   I love how they finds his way back into life like this after the stroke of fate and now even brings joy to others through stories. The process of how they comes to this is also well described. Apart from that, I simply like story collectors. Could even have been without an instrument for me, but certainly nice for accompaniment. In that sense, the concept of the classic Mythseeker is just perfect for me.   Is they actually in pain because of the injuries or have they gone away or never occurred because of Kirial's protection?

19 Feb, 2022 21:09

Thank you for your comment! I'm glad that even to newcomers the character feels integrated to the world, thats really great to hear! And I agree that this is mostly an academic who tells stories with a backing track more than a musician or proper "bard" haha, but I'm really glad to hear the concept of Mythseekers was enjoyed!   As for your question, the injuries are simply scars now- the burn marks are visible on their face, arms and legs, and had to heal like any wound would've. Kirial's mark mostly concerns Nur's peculiar moss green eyes and their forever cold finger tips, which are interpreted as a sign of the god's inclination for them!

Author of Arda Almayed - check out my SummerCamp articles here!