Enlai Character in Istralar | World Anvil


Enlai Shan (a.k.a. the Autumn Revolutionary; the Summerfall)

Wherever there is suffering, there will always be those who seek to defeat it. Shan Enlai, though young, has been one of the most proficient revolutionaries currently active in the country of Yulan Sheng. He has led raids upon the Jade Prisons to release those imprisoned for 'crimes of the mouth', has recruited soldiers for a secret freedom movement - the name of which has not yet reached public ears - to bring down the Great Leader and restore control of the government to the people, and has infiltrated the highest echelons of Yulanese society at great peril to secure information for the resistance.   Though extremely identifiable in his traditional battle-armour, he is skilled in disguise and is rumoured to even take the form of a woman from time to time. The impact this has left has been profound - even the threat of a courtesan being the Autumn Revolutionary is enough to cause many rich men to think twice about their treatment of those they hire.

Physical Description

General Physical Condition

Lightly tanned and well-muscled, but slender enough to easily pass as a female courtesan. This often fools his opponents into thinking he relies on dexterity in combat. This is entirely their mistake.

Mental characteristics

Personal history

Enlai was born in a small fishing village on the outskirts of Yulan Sheng to impoverished but loving parents, but sparked conflict from his very birth. The year, 5600, was the first of the century, and he had been born at the 'death' of Summer. Due to his country's status as 'Summer Unending', his birth was seen as a symbol that he'd either bring misfortune to the nation, or suffer extreme misfortune throughout life. To hide this fact from the watchful eyes of the Great Leader, his parents claimed that Enlai had passed away, and sent him to be raised at his aunt's.   His aunt, a patient and wise follower of Irori's teachings, raised him to be respectful and worldly, and to question all who acted in a rash, dishonourable manner. This inevitably brought him strife in his lessons when he attempted to guide his fellow pupils into behaving in a more polite and respectful manner. After suffering many beatings for his infractions, he was summoned to the Temple Elders, who attempted to show him how to be more diplomatic in his approach.  
Opinion flows like a river. You may swim in it and bend it slowly, or break its banks and forever change its course. One is natural and harms none immediately. The other could quickly leave a village to starve. Learn to be water, young one.
— Temple Elder
  The lesson seemed to leave a profound impression on him, and as he grew, Enlai only became more persuasive. Those who disagreed with him initially would soon be questioning their convictions after conversation, and his friends supported him fiercely. Whilst he spun dialogues of acceptance in his own time, he also dedicated significant time to his studies, and proved to be a wonderful artist in addition to his significant talent with a variety of blades.  


With the Khortoiir Tribe uniting upon the Tulaant Steppe and readying for war upon his country, the Great Leader of Yulan Sheng bid all able-bodied men be recruited to the Xiatian Army. Enlai was barely 15 at the time, yet lied about his age to join. The many different cultures and people he was exposed to over the 3 years he served were great, and changed his perception permanently.   When he returned, he had changed. He had learnt enough about the Great Leader that he knew someone needed to stop him, and he would gladly lead that revolution. Though his deeds have been many, they are censored thoroughly by the government of Yulang Sheng, and Enlai is currently considered a fugitive.

Gender Identity

Whilst he presents as male most of the time and uses male pronouns for himself, he often adopts a female disguise, and the reality of his gender is something known only to himself.

Morality & Philosophy

Enlai believes people have the right to speak freely and be accepted for who they are, and heavily disagrees with any who would track, censor, or otherwise control others, believing such actions to be those of a dishonourable person. He will not hesitate to act for the protection and freedom of his countrymen and of any who would ask his aid, knowing that few are willing to lay down their lives to secure the future.

Personality Characteristics


Despises the treatment of his countrymen by their own, and holds much love and loyalty towards his family. The death of his best friend upon the Tulaant Steppe - in a situation where none needed to die if their commander had but listened - opened his eyes to the pit his country had fallen into, and he now works to prevent any from feeling such pain. The subsequent torture and murder of all associated with him (that he didn't manage to help flee in time) haunts him, ensuring that only death could end his revolution.
Current Location
Year of Birth
5600 EA 26 Years old
Circumstances of Birth
Born at the end of the first Summer in this century; highly unlucky birthdate.
Deep amber, flecked with gold
Long black hair kept in a high half-ponytail.

Character Portrait image: by 山魂


Please Login in order to comment!
29 Jul, 2018 21:13

I like that he is still alive and an active hero. You center a lot on his diplomacy skills and persuasion, but only mention his physical prowess. Did he get any praise for that or is he on par with most normal soldiers and his leadership skills is what makes him stand out? I would also like to read a bit more about the revolution he started and the current status on it. You could do a small side bar on it unless there are plans for a whole article on it.

29 Jul, 2018 21:17

Love the picture choice! As well, you really brought the character to life. I'm really curious more about the area he's from.

30 Jul, 2018 01:01

Great article! The formatting is very nice, as is the picture you used. I get a very good sense of what kind of person Enlai is, and why he's a hero. Good job!