Ilagiarnaq Item in The Million Islands | World Anvil
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Ilagiarnaq (iˈlaɣiɑr.naq)

"Each day upon rising, Tuktu would spend time with the ilagiarnaq that Siku had left him, comforted by the warm life that filled the tiny wooden otter, and he knew that Siku was still destined for home. But on the last morning, the otter was empty and cold, and Tuktu knew then that the end had come for them both." - excerpt from an Arvik Tuniit folktale

An ilagiarnaq is a type of tupilaq, a statue which is crafted to invite a spirit. The practice of making tupilaqs is common across all the Taaru Peoples, but the ilagiarnaq is unique to Arvik. The spirit of the ilagiarnaq is summoned to witness a promise, and to be the signal that the promise has been kept. Among the Tuniit of Arvik, this is typically made to give to one's beloved as a promise to return home.

When the crafter makes an ilagiarnaq, they consecrate the statue with a small ritual in which they make the promise and call forth a minor Anirniit to enter into the statue. This spirit is a very small god, bound to the crafter by this ritual of worship. Those who touch the statue can feel the presence of the spirit within - it is often described as a sense that the statue is alive. If the promise is broken, the spirit departs the ilagiarnaq. Without the inhabiting Anirniit, the statue feels dead and empty, and anyone who had contact with it beforehand would immediately notice the change. Most often, the promise to return is broken by the death of the crafter, although any breach of the associated vow is sufficient to cause the spirit to depart.

Mechanics & Inner Workings

The creation of an ilagiarnaq is a Folk Magic ritual that summons the spirit into the statue. While the person who made the ilagiarnaq may roam beyond Arvik without breaking the ritual, the ilagiarnaq itself only remains inhabited if it is within the lands where Tuniit folk magic holds sway.
Item type
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Raw materials & Components
An ilagiarnaq is most often made of bone or ivory, but it will occasionally be made of precious wood. While it can be carved into any shape, the most common subjects are the animals sacred to Silakpak, especially the seal, otter, and walrus.


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