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Jhenalu

The False Hero

Written by Sodose

It doesn't take much to become a "Hero"...
Sinroshians often reminisce about the revered Jhenalu, a great war hero who saved many innocents at the battle of Kairouan. His story can be compared to the epic sagas that tell of the mighty deeds of gods.  

The Legend

  Towards the end of the raging world-wide conflict that shaped Ularr of centuries, Sinroshi started to face hard times. Enemy forces had taken large portions of their land, and much of their economy had been drained by the growing resources necessary for the nation to maintain their weakening position in The War.  
Buttles.png
by Sam Robbins
One of the last remaining outposts of Sinroshi was the fortified town of Kairouan. Only a small group of soldiers were defending it; one of these men was Jhenalu, an insignificant person of insignificant rank. However, this was about to change.   When Nastar marched on Kairouan, Sinroshi was outnumbered 10 to 1, but still they held out. In the heat of the fighting, Jhenalu was shot in the leg. He was carried off to join the growing number of wounded behind the fighting.   While he lay there awaiting assistance, he saw the inhabitants of Kairouan being rounded up for what looked like execution. With his remaining strength and extreme luck, he saved the town’s people. How exactly he did it depends on who is telling the story. Claims range from flash bangs, to machine guns, to even the will of Yatyan; though all telling have him do something heroic, awesome, and impossible.    

The Lie

Now this sounds like quite a tall tale. That's probably because it isn't true. Jhenalu was actually a private who died of dehydration before even seeing real action. There was however, a battle of Kairouan, and in that battle someone did deeds similar to those described above.   The story goes like this. During a campaign launched by the Sinroshian armed forces, inspectors secretly scoured the ranks of the military for a hero or icon who could inspire civilians and soldiers alike. Unfortunately this investigation yielded only one result, Yetfedire Hestempeira, who was a Heedian , a nature-centered religion despised by Yatyanists. He "disappeared" as a result.   Still in need of a heroic icon, Sinroshi took on a different strategy. They pulled a random name from a list of members of the armed forces who had died in the past year, and got Hrayuatya Jhenalu. They then used the potent propaganda machine they had created over the decades to attribute all of Yetfedire Hestempeira’s acts to Jhenalu.   Although people outside Sinroshi know the truth about Jhenalu, the majority of Sinroshians refuse to believe that their beloved Jhenalu did nothing. Given that the nations are all enemies, Sinroshi has been able to frame these cultural attacks as an attempt to undermine the nation.
Context Info
Sinroshi: One of the four major nations of Ularr. Sinroshi has an authoritarian government and has more than it's fair share of nukes. This nation took the most casualties during the Great Wars and were the first of surrender. (No article yet, but it's in the works!)   Yatyan: The creator deity to most Ularrians. The nation Silria is a theocracy built around this god, and uses him as an excuse for their atrociousness against their enemies.

The Son

  Unfortunately for the Sinroshian government, their coverup of the true hero wasn't very through. Hestempeira, the true hero, had a son named Klardyen. This young man was perfectly aware of what Sinroshi did to his father and has sworn to avenge this great dishonor.   Like most people in Ularr that fall prey to vengeance, he joined the Yatyanist Clergy. With the aid of his passion, Klardyen rose in the ranks of Silria, quickly distinguishing himself from the masses. Soon he had a regiment of heavily-armed Bestara (Ularrian warrior priests) and began capturing members of Sinroshian secret ops teams and making terrorist attacks.   The Klardyen crisis is still unresolved and as the truth about the intent behind these attacks comes out, doubt about the legend of Jhenalu is beginning to spread.

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Cover image: by Samuel Robbins
Character Portrait image: by Sodose with Artbreeder

Comments

Author's Notes

Notes of The Judges

In the unlikely event that I do win, I would like the miniature in "The Son" sidebar as my prize, not the corpse in the main section.


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27 Jan, 2021 15:17

I love the "manufactured hero' concept here -- it's brilliant! :D

2 Feb, 2021 16:13

This is a really amazing take on the hero challenge, I loved reading through it!! Awesome work :D

14 Feb, 2021 20:45

A nice twist on the normal warhero story!

All my WorldEmber 2020 work, including my main highlights.   Too low they build who build beneath the stars - Edward Young
14 Feb, 2021 22:48

Thanks for the like and comment!!


Come and join my Discord or check out my world! And While your at it, have a look at my Hero Challenge Article, don't forget to leave a like :)
19 Feb, 2021 21:03

Nice! I didn't expect the twist there. I'd love to read an article about the guy who really did it.

19 Feb, 2021 22:57

Sure thing Grayish! Article is coming right up!


Come and join my Discord or check out my world! And While your at it, have a look at my Hero Challenge Article, don't forget to leave a like :)
1 Mar, 2021 21:38

I liked the twist of the epic tale being a lie created by the government. Well done.