Unamarik Vestago

Former Leader Unamarik Vestago (a.k.a. Unamarik Braeden, Charity Braeden)

This article contains minor and major spoilers for several WIP book series. The series include The Philosopher and the Priestess, and The Forgotten Tale.   The predominantly used date system is AMA.

Physical Description

General Physical Condition

Unamarik has excellent arm and upper body strength, very little to no leg strength due to injury, is blind from age, but has excellent overall health.

Body Features

Unamarik has medium reddish brown skin— often described as terra cotta color. She is sturdily built and has a medium frame.

Facial Features

Unamarik has a broad round face, which trends towards oval shaped. Her nose is medium-sized and very gently projects outwards. The base and bridge of her nose are medium width, though the base is definitely wider than her gently sloping nose bridge. She has equally proportioned medium sized lips, average sized round chin, and averaged thickness gentle arching eyebrows.

Identifying Characteristics

Unamarik has burn scars. They are most concentrated on her hands and feet, arms and legs, and her hair line. They are also on her face. One burn scar sits over an eye.

Special abilities

Unamarik has no special abilities as she has an average level of magical ability (3-4 in Common Magic).

Apparel & Accessories

Unamarik usually wears a cropped short sleeved shirt with patterned trim along the neckline, hem, and sleeves. The patterns are generally triangles, which alternate in contrasting colors. She wears it in combination with a long skirt with matching trim at the waist line, and brilliant colorful patterns all throughout the fabric. Skirt patterns range from geometric, to nature, landscape, or celestial themed if not a combination of all three. She will occasionally wear dresses in the same style. The fabrics she wears are usually kotranis, which is a soft fabric that doesn’t irritate the skin.   Her chosen footwear are open-toed sandals, soft leather flats, or no shoes at all. She also wears a gold wedding band with stones inset into the metal in a rainbow color pattern. Unamarik sometimes will wear a dark blue headband with three shells affixed to one side and occasionally wears shell necklaces. The headband is magitech and will generate a sound buffer around her head when activated. Her braid is tied with soft leather.   Unamarik also carries braille books, hand lotion, a translator, and a large crystal.

Specialized Equipment

Unamarik has an ergonomic white battle wheel chair with a seatbelt, wheel shields to keep her from getting splashed, leg rests, and flying and firing capability via a touch panel and jet packs. It was specialized to her needs however by being equipped with a scanner that described the surroundings, and a conversion of the touch pads into physical buttons.   Before receiving the battle chair, she had a typical wheelchair with a pocket on its back, leg rests, wheel shields, and a seatbelt. That one was orange and patterned with lighter orange alternating triangles and lines. While not designed for battle, Unamarik made do and could use the detachable metal arms as a shield or ammunition, though she preferred shield for obvious reasons.   For a time she also used simple wooden crutches.   In her youth before her injury Unamarik would carry a carved fighting staff. It turned out the crutches worked just as well and were less expected.

Mental characteristics

Personal history

Unamarik Vestago was born on July 12th, BMA 99 to Heir Malaika Vestago and Unik Ekowan in the city of Eclastani. Her birth was much celebrated as she was only the female child aside from her mother and grandmother to be born into the Vestago family for quite some time. Unfortunately, this meant that her twin brother, Unismarick , was often overlooked.   *Minor and Major Spoilers Pertaining to Fool’s Gold, Book One of The Philosopher and the Priestess series*   When Unamarik and Unismarick were six-months old, their mother Malaika was killed in an attack on Eclastani by the people of Ninivellis. The family was much grieved, and Unik was left to raise the children himself.   Because of Malaika’s untimely demise, the family did their best to shelter Unamarik, Unismarick, and the rest of the small children (their cousins) from the War of Gold and Cocoa. Many of them didn’t even know they were at war and received all their instruction within the walls of their home.   At four-years-old, Unamarik and Unismarick were both sent to a healer to confirm whether or not they were autistic, which was a common practice in the family. While Unismarick received the diagnosis right away, Unamarik did not and was sent back to her father after ten minutes with the healer, very distressed. It wasn’t until she was eight-years-old that she received the diagnosis.   Throughout her younger years, Unamarik enjoyed watching people and listening to them, trying to figure out their stories. It often drew her to the Radobayamivaran Temple where she lingered on the steps and listened to the stories and teachings, intensely interested, but never going in because she didn’t think she was welcome. She had been raised to pray to Koalnack, a single god. She had been raised to offer salt and utter prayers over it, but the stories of Koalnack didn’t spark the same interest and reverence in her that the stories of Fifahlar, the one who had made the stars, did.   Eventually, a temple leader by the name of Runick Kuran, saw her and invited her in, telling her that all were welcome regardless of their beliefs and told her that stepping through a door wasn’t a commitment. If she wanted to listen she could listen, if she wanted to look at their sculptures or leave or hold length conversations with the temple leaders that was fine too. Unamarik was overjoyed, and a deep reverence for the world was kindled within her as she learned of a religion that had survived the fall of Aradis.   When Unamarik’s family found out, they were far from pleased. Instead of forbidding Unamarik to go to the Radobayamivaran Temple, Unik instead attended with her in support of her interest and freedom to choose. When Fesaru, Unamarik’s grandfather, tried to deal with the issue himself, Unik did not yield and suggested that Unamarik was perfectly capable of choosing her own beliefs whether or not she was autistic. That shut it down right away as discrimination towards a disabled individual in Eclastani— particularly from an assistant leader— was treated very seriously.  

Heir of Eclastani

  When Unamarik was diagnosed with autism, her family celebrated the confirmation that she was definitely next in line to lead Eclastani after her grandmother, Harala Vestago, as the oldest autistic girl. Things also changed as her family and the people around her treated her somewhat differently and her daily life changed. She was expected to interact with foreign delegates and was often with Harala when her grandmother was attending to things that had nothing to do with the war. Unamarik didn’t mind and found it pleasant, though she missed being with her brother and attending the temple’s lessons.   The one thing that didn’t change was her family’s willingness to let her pursue an intense interest in biology, and by extension healing. Because of this, she was allowed to assist in the delivery of one of her many cousins.   Things settled into a new kind of normal for Unamarik until a representative from Karuna demanded an audience with Harala. The family had been in the middle of a meal, but Harala allowed them in, thinking to introduce them to Unamarik.   What happened instead was that the Karunan man threw the Saharan Knife into the table and informed Harala that Senator Raya Vestago of Karuna— Unamarik’s very distant cousin— wouldn’t be needing it anymore. Unamarik was too young to understand that this act amounted to a declaration of war, as it meant that her cousin, the only female senator of Karuna had more than likely been killed. All she knew was that within two weeks, she along with her father and brother had quietly left Eclastani under the pretense of finding a suitable place to found a secondary city and settling it.  

Wreck of the Alexandria

  Travel wasn’t kind to the twins. They had lived a very comfortable life up until they left. They didn’t take well to having to change everything about the way they lived, or learning from Unik how to survive without the creature comforts and ease of access they had grown up with. It was most difficult for Unismarick, but eventually, they settled into the new way of life and even began to enjoy the simplicity of travelling south with their father and two oxen.   Unik involved them in every part of the process of picking an area to settle. The area they picked was far south of Eclastani, towards the coast. Unik was focused first and foremost on building them a shelter, but promised to let them pursue their own ideas after they were out of living in a tent.   Because they had to survive on their own, Unik took them to the coast for collecting salt. While there, though, they witnessed the wreck of a pink. Unamarik was insistent that they help the people, not understanding there was very little they could do as the ship had already wrecked on the coral reef. Still, her father tried and brought back the only survivor he could find, who died shortly thereafter despite his care. Due to that event, he went as long as he could without returning to the coast.   When they returned to the coast, things had not changed. There was another wreck, and no survivors. Unamarik was so upset about not being able to warn the ships about the reef, that she swam out to it in the middle of the night when her father and brother were asleep, hoping to find some way to tie a stick and fabric to the formation.   Several nights later, Unamarik had gotten up in the middle of the night during a thunderstorm. That night she saw a galleon approaching the reef. Not knowing what else to do, but unable to do nothing, Unamarik swam out to the reef and attempted to anchor herself on the old coral with a spear she’d made. While the crew didn’t see or hear her before the ship had wrecked, she gave them just enough warning for there to be survivors. Unfortunately for Unamarik, who was still only a child, she was washed under and smacked against the reef by a wave, which rendered her unconscious.   Priscilla Braeden, one of the survivors, saw Unamarik go down and sent her son to fetch the child. Christopher found Unamarik caught in the reef and quickly pulled her up to the boat where Priscilla immediately set to helping the child clear her lungs.   Unamarik was separated from Unik and her brother. As the child was comatose from her head injury, Priscilla was most concerned about getting her the appropriate medical care while the other survivors tried to locate Unamarik’s family.   Unable to find the family the Braedens took Unamarik into their care and had her christened with the name of Charity Braeden in the event that she didn’t survive. Luckily, Unamarik did survive and eventually woke up.   While Unamarik hadn’t yet learned to speak English, she did speak Aradan and so did Priscilla. They quickly established a dialogue, and Priscilla learned that Unamarik had suffered memory loss from the injury.   Over time, the memory loss proved to be temporary and Unamarik told them her given name, which they respected and called her by upon learning it. Thankfully Unamarik also recognized the area of land where the survivors had started to settle and knew the way back to Unik and Unismarick. When questioned and doubted by Minister Amos Kelly about whether or not she knew the way home Unamarik was able to describe the route in graphic detail in what little she knew of English.   While it had already been decided that Unamarik would be returned to her family, the rest of the survivors were relieved at the prospect of other people and decided to go back with her. Unamarik found it a bit rude, but understood the desire and figured it would be fine. She was supposed to be founding a new city with her father, after all.   Unik was overjoyed to have Unamarik back, and was thankful to the survivors of the Alexandria for caring for her. She had made friends with several of the survivors as well, though she simply thought the minister was funny and had a lot to learn since he kept telling her bad things would happen to her in death if she didn’t dress and act differently than she did.   While everything went very well in the beginning, things quickly degraded between Unamarik’s family and the group of survivors she considered her friends. Most of them wanted to do things their way and refused to acknowledge that Unik was the one in charge. Thanks to the mischief of Kitty Fitzgerald and Priscilla, Unik was able to keep a tenuous peace until he and the twins were summoned back to Eclastani to discuss the new city.  

Return to Eclastani

  Despite Minister Kelly’s concerns about their departure, Unamarik and her family set out with the messenger who had summoned them, but they didn’t go alone. Unamarik wanted to show her friends the wonder of her birth place, and hoped to teach Amos as the temple leaders of the Radobayamivaran religion had taught her not to thoughtlessly judge others. She also, along with her father, hoped to help Kitty who had been miserable and stifled in the culture she had been born into. So they journeyed to Eclastani with the entirety of Priscilla Braeden’s family, Kitty, and Minister Kelly.   In Eclastani, Unamarik was warmly welcomed. Unismarick, however, was largely ignored. The discussions were mainly about what was to be done with the settlement and how many people from Eclastani would go to found it. When Unamarik was prompted to name the settlement, Unismarick suggested it be named Alexandria after the ship that had wrecked. He was reprimanded for speaking out of turn, but Unamarik found that to be wrong. The justification was that she would one day lead both Eclastani and the settlement, therefore she was to have the honor of naming it. Unamarik at that point stood on her chair, pulled Unismarick up with her and told them, “Unismarick leads with me, or I don’t lead at all.”   That stunned her family into silence, but they conceded and thus the settlement was named Alexandria.  

The Terrible Truth

  After some initial difficulties upon their return to Alexandria, Unamarik and her family lived happily with the survivors. The only catch was that Christopher Braeden's fiancé, Ektora, had followed them from Eclastani with her infant brother. Unamarik was simply delighted that Christopher could still be with his life love despite her father’s wariness towards Ektora, who told them from the start she had fled from Ninivellis. Despite the rocky start, they lived in peace for several years, preparing for the coming influx of people from Eclastani. It wasn’t until 84 BMA that stories and actions began to mismatch and unravel the great majority of what Unamarik had been led to believe about Eclastani and her mother’s death.   When Unamarik discovered that someone had made an attempt on Ektora’s life, she began to ask questions that her father refused to answer and eventually figured out that he was an accessory to whoever had made an attempt. Unamarik was so betrayed that she ran away from him and asked a rather flabbergasted Minister Kelly to hide her from him so that she could get to the bottom of things, who complied.   To her horror, Unamarik discovered that her own grandfather, Fesaru, had made the attempt on Ektora’s life. Fesaru was angry with her and betrayed for trying to protect someone from Ninivellis, when Ninivellis was the reason her mother was dead. Unamarik was even more horrified, and broke off communication with him and immediately established a dialogue with Orsano, the king of Ninivellis after she had assured Ektora’s safety. Through communication with Orsano, she learned of the War of Gold and Cocoa and the founding of Ninivellis. She also learned that Malaika, her mother, had died not because of the war, but because Fesaru had ignored her demand to attempt to make peace with Ninivellis. Unamarik learned that Malaika had taken trying to make peace in her own hands, but as the heir of Eclastani and a notable target in a war, had been mortally injured before she could even start.   Because of this, Unamarik forced a meeting between Orsano and Fesaru in an attempt to make peace and end a generations’ long war. Unfortunately, Fesaru was highly uncooperative and it turned into a full-fledged battle in Alexandria, which led to an attempt on Orsano’s life, which Unamarik stopped by throwing herself in the way. Fesaru was horrified. He tried to get her a healer as the fighting died down, but Unamarik refused to be healed until the others were tended to. Fesaru and Unik didn’t know what else to do but listen and did as she asked.   Unamarik, however, was found and healed by Ektora while Harala, Leader of Eclastani made peace with Orsano, King of Ninivellis.     *Minor and Major Spoilers Pertaining to The Chains of Alexandria, Book Two of The Philosopher and the Priestess series*    

Leader of Alexandria

  After the end of the war, Unamarik made amends with her family and went about life hopeful about the changes that were to be made in both Eclastani and Ninivellis. She spent several years living happily among the people of Alexandria, those who had come from Rowe, Eclastani, and even those that came from Ninivellis.   Upon her father’s death in 69 BMA, she and Unismarick became leaders of Alexandria. They struggled to run it and keep it a safe, but it was doable as long as they worked together. Unamarik, however, had been invited to Ninivellis by Orsano before Unik’s death. She wanted to go, but was determined to stay and help her brother, but he insisted she depart. So Unamarik went to Ninivellis.   While she was welcomed by Orsano, who was her friend, Unamarik ended up having to flee the city due to an attempt on her life. As it was, she incurred an injury and had to be taken into Eclastani in secret to receive treatment. Once well enough to leave, she learned that Eclastani was no longer safe for her as the local law enforcement had found her name on a hit list, all because she’d forced peace between Ninivellis and Eclastani. So she returned home to Alexandria where she struggled to maintain peace and govern alongside her brother at the cost of her happiness. She didn’t believe anyone else would be as caring, careful, and diligent in the care of the exponentially growing city as she was.   Despite her best efforts, Alexandria was indeed home to tensions between its peoples.  

Marriage

  Unamarik, while she had always wanted children, had given next to no thought to marriage and so was genuinely surprised when Paul Braeden, who was a very good friend, proposed to her. She desired the companionship, but knew there was a possibility that Paul was looking for more than just companionship so she told him she had to think about it, at which he was very apologetic about even asking.   She later explained to him that she was aromantic and asexual, which really didn’t bother Paul since he really was predominantly asking to marry her because of their strong friendship. At that point, she accepted his proposal and the couple were married, which was looked at by the inhabitants of Alexandria as evidence that Unamarik meant everything she said about accepting each other despite each other’s differences.  

Technical Difficulties

  While Paul was perfectly open to not having children, or adopting, Unamarik had always wanted a biological child and particularly felt pressure to have one as she needed an heir. Their biggest obstacle wasn’t that Unamarik was asexual. It was that she was usually touch averse, and particularly touch averse in a way that impeded them. So Unamarik sought the advice and assistance of a healer, only to be invalidated multiple times over and told that there was nothing that could be done.   So Unamarik turned again to the intense interest she had had in biology and began to pioneer alternative methods of conception, which eventually led to the birth of her daughter, Evera Malaika Braeden.   Unfortunately, Evera’s birth meant that several people discounted Unamarik’s identity as asexual. She grew tired of defending her identity and took to simply ignoring the comments.  

The Burning of Alexandria

  While Unamarik and Unismarick ruled diligently, they were no match for systematically engineered unrest, the very same unrest which had led to Unamarik and Unismarick both having burn scars. That same unrest, unfortunately, was fed and festered for 65 years and came to a head in BMA 4 after Paul’s death.   *Minor and Major Spoilers Pertaining to Out of the Ashes, Book Three of The Philosopher and the Priestess series*   A woman by the name of Sira Ganyi, who called herself a priestess of Sorallis, had been feeding the fire through manipulation and fear-mongering. All Unamarik truly knew about her was that she wasn’t welcome in Alexandria as she had tried to bring Evera to ‘her side’, which had gone poorly. Unfortunately, Evera’s own daughter was overtly willing to join Sira and spread the same kind of fear and hatred through Alexandria. It culminated into a riot, in which half of the city was set ablaze.   Unamarik was attacked while trying to put out the fires, and fell from a rooftop. Unismarick, however, had tried to keep her from falling and had fallen with her. While Unamarik was left paralyzed from the waist down, the fall claimed Unismarick’s life. She was more distraught by the loss of her brother and the perceived death of Evera (who had attempted to go to Eclastani for aid, but never sent word) than by Sira grabbing control of the city in the hopes of bringing back her precious Sorallis. The only light in the whole thing was that two of Unamarik’s friends, Jonas and Parvati Harrison, had managed to escape the city and had promised to send help.   Unfortunately, that was help that didn’t come for eight years.   *Minor and Major Spoilers Pertaining to Sister to the Stars, Book Four of The Philosopher and the Priestess series & The Keeper of the Books, Book Four of The Forgotten Tale series*  

Aid

  Unamarik spent several years in poor conditions and only kept alive to give her people a false sense of hope. Sira used her as a bargaining chip, but the treatment was beginning to wear on Unamarik despite how diligently she tried to stay healthy for Melynie, her youngest grandchild whom she had raised as Melynie’s mother had had her at a young age and didn’t think she was fully capable of raising her. Despite her best attempts, illness and neglect had finally caught up with her.   Unamarik, however, was both surprised and concerned when she was contacted by a woman called Romana Lofton. While she told her that she was coming because Jonas Harrison had sent her despite Parvati not keeping her promise, Romana told Unamarik right away that she was looking for a way to get rid of creatures called golems, who had caused the loss of her first child. Unamarik told her immediately how to get rid of the golems, remembering from reading about it, but warned Romana against coming. Unamarik was concerned for Romana’s safety as she was pregnant. The birthrate in Alexandria had been negative since Sira had taken control, and Unamarik worried that if Romana came Sira would do away with her and take the children.   When Romana came anyway to provide appropriate medical care alongside her husband, Jarive , Unamarik took the opportunity and said her goodbyes to her family to hopefully just ‘imply’ her death. With the family sent away and no witnesses, Unamarik received the medical and magical care she needed to survive. From there, she hid in the catacombs she had helped to build beneath Alexandria, but was later transferred to her old office in the library, which her sister-in-law, Prudence Braeden, had blocked off except for a single hard to find passage which was little more than an accident of architecture.   While there, Unamarik began to mend, receiving food and water from Romana, Jarive, and Melynie, who all snuck it in to her. Because she had received the appropriate medical care in addition to physical therapy from Jarive, she was eventually able to move around on crutches, which was far more than they had hoped for.   Unfortunately, she had to rely more on Melynie for food and water as her suspicions about Sira proved to be correct and Romana was imprisoned whereas Jarive was nearly murdered by the woman. Thankfully, Unamarik had heard him trying to get into her old office via the old catacomb passage and was able to let him up and heal him. After he’d been healed, she suggested that he hide from Sira in his cell, because why would she ever look there for him?  

The Second Rise

  Once again able to move, Unamarik began to sneak out from the office and began planning what to do by listening to the plans of both her niece, Martika, and Sira. It was on one such outing that she was reunited with Evera at the edge of the woods who excitedly told her that aid was coming from Ninivellis and Eclastani, though she apologized for the long wait which had been due to the war with Karuna.   With the extra help, and the odds in her favor, Unamarik and Evera were able to focus on Sira and the priestesses of Sorallis while the combined forces of Martika’s revolt, and aid from Ninivellis and Eclastani retook the city. They successfully retook the city and were able to end Sira’s reign of terror.   They spent the next several years rebuilding Alexandria in the aftermath.   Later on in her life, Unamarik married again— this time marrying a long-time friend who she’d met through Romana, Aroura Jzaonik. The couple had several children and were happily married until Unamarik's death.

Education

Unamarik had a comprehensive elementary school and healer’s education until she was eight-years-old at which point her education was left to her father. The education he provided was more spiritual, political, and history oriented than math, science, and language. As such, Unamarik later experienced difficulties in math and science, though she excelled in reading and did very well in language due to intense interests which she could only pursue through the written word. She didn’t receive a comprehensive education until she was well into adulthood, but Unamarik completed elementary through high school levels of education, and also college level biology and science based learning.

Employment

Unamarik was born as one of the many heirs of Eclastani, but didn’t become Eclastani’s Heir Apparent until eight-years-old at which point she was confirmed to be autistic— a trait sought after in an autistic matriarchy. However, circumstances did not allow her to claim that title, and instead she later became leader of Alexandria alongside her brother upon their father’s death, and eventually retired, passing the role of leader onto her daughter, Evera.

Intellectual Characteristics

Unamarik is a thinker. She is highly observant and able to piece things together that others might not think of. While quiet, friendly, and placid, she knows her morals, ethics, and beliefs like the back of her hand. She is unwavering in them and the things she believes are right and will not hesitate to defend or fight despite her position as a pacifist. She is selfless to a fault and loves without conditions, often putting others before herself. She is also playful and enjoys messing with people in a harmless way.

Morality & Philosophy

Unamarik believes first and foremost between peace and harmony between all peoples, regardless of ethnicity, culture, or doctrine. She never understood people’s need to change other peoples’ minds unless they were causing harm. Like her ancestors before her, she believes in making the world a better place for the down-trodden and oppressed, and does her best to protect and help them— even if that means fighting.

Social

Speech

Unamarik uses clean language, and can sometimes lack tact in a given conversation, though she has no lack of wit.
Unamarik of Alexandria
On a Stroll by Natira DeMerchant
Birthdate
October 3rd, 80 BMA

Death Date
June 30th, 1,157 AMA

Current Location
Species
Leusmandan
Ethnicity
Eclastanian
Circumstances of Birth
Born to the heir of Eclastani
Children
Biological Sex
Female
Sexuality
Asexual aromantic who experiences platonic attraction and desires companionship
Gender Identity
Female. Unamarik presents as female and uses she/her pronouns
Eyes
deep brown, large almond shaped
Hair
Thick straight black hair, side part, down to waist. Generally worn in a braid with long bangs swept over ears
Height
5'8
Weight
147 lbs
Known Languages
Unamarik’s native tongue is Eclastanian. She learned Aradan and English as a child and is fluent in both. She also learned Sorallan, but refuses to speak it. She is a proficient speaker of Karunan, Terastan, Niklan, and Taia. She is fluent in Emar and VriKalarian Conlang, which she uses most often.


Cover image: The Page-Eaters, cropped by Natira DeMerchant

Comments

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8 Oct, 2018 06:06

I missed not having an introduction to this character. It would be nice to summarise who she is and what she is known for, as presently you don’t find these details out till late in the article. The use of art though is very nice (and I love that skirt!) and adds a ton of flavour.

You really completely cover her life. I appreciated the forewarning about spoilers handling writing articles on characters from in-progress books is a struggle I’m familiar with.

I was curious if there is some tradition behind the naming of her and her brother?

Formatting: Excellent use of the sidebar, you provided a lot of detail there. Nice use of the template. Notes above regarding possible addition of an intro apply. The personal history section has subheadings, but perhaps needs more.

Completeness: Overall completeness is very high, and you provided an exceptional amount of detail. Not much I could think of that you didn’t include.

Writing: You write really well, but there are aspects where your prose needs polishing. Some sentences run on too far, some typos. One thing I didn’t understand was “the wreck of a pink”. Unsure if this was a typo or slang I don’t know, though by context I gathered it was a ship.