Annqyun Ulijwa

Annqyun Ulijwa (a.k.a. The Reborn)

When that kid groaned on the bloody steps, it echoed like thunder. We thought the priests had botched their execution. And I suppose in one sense, they did.
— Fyaalash Ulaavtya
Annqyun Ulijwa was an elf living on the island of Qariy in northern Thurásin. They lived a short but eventful life, being responsible for starting the riot at the Grand Church which ultimately led to the island being freed from the control of Xiy Kiiquldast some 30 years after their death.

History

Annqyun was born in 46 Growth in Iruva, the largest city on the island of Qariy, with their upbringing being similar to many Qarimii living under the thumb of Xiy Kiiquldast. They were required to attend a school in which the curriculum glorified the republic and demonized the previous rulers of the island, and which stressed the importance of sailing and magical prowess in being a worthwhile citizen.   Unfortunately for Annqyun, they had a condition which prevented them from casting any magic, and found themselves to be a mediocre sailor. When they failed an important test of their ability in 56 Growth, Annqyun was removed from their family to be sent to a specialist school in the island's west, with the goal of finding them a way to be useful to the vast fleet the republic demanded. The following years were spent in frustrated boredom, as every manner of topic was taught in the hopes they would show an aptitude.   This changed with an outbreak of Rainbow Plague throughout the continent in 63 Growth, which quickly spread through the naval network to infect Qariy. Before most could even react, the disease had reached the specialist school, and its doors were locked tight in the hopes of preventing its spread in the rest of town.   After a few weeks the doors were reopened by the city's leader, expecting to find naught but corpses. To his surprise, a survivor emerged from the ravaged school - Annqyun. Their miraculous survival caused them to be brought to the Grand Church in Qariy to join its priesthood, to lead regular prayers and rituals designed to ask the gods for aid. They were called upon to nurse many of the sick, and found this work the most rewarding, though their lack of magic made their work extremely difficult.  

Outcast

Though it seemed Annqyun had found a place, being a member of the priesthood did not suit the rebellious teen. Far from making them more loyal to Xiy Kiiquldast, seeing how its most powerful church operated served only to make them hate the republic all the more. When the books in the church library showed them the forbidden perspective of long-ago Qarimii writers, they resolved to remove the republic from the island and restore it to glory.   While their ambitions were grand, their efforts were quickly noticed by the higher-ups, and Annqyun was thrown out of the church. They returned to Iruva to find their family had perished during the peak of the plague. With nowhere to go they turned to pretty crime and odd jobs to get by, all the while keeping an eye on the movements of the Xiy Kiiquldamii officials and priests. Growing unrest on the island made for convenient chaos to hide Annqyun's actions for a time.   In early 2 Famine, the robbery of a priest from the Grand Church sparked a fierce investigation. During its course, Annqyun confessed to the deed and returned some of the stolen goods, saying they had pawned the rest off for food. For this grave crime they were taken to the local church to be executed, part of a list full of petty criminals and rebels. When the day arrived, Annqyun caused such a fuss and ruckus among the prisoners that they were bumped to the top of the list. Taken to the top of the church steps before the deed, Annqyun's body was left to collapse onto the stairs and bleed on the stonework.   But when a priest went to drag their corpse away, Annqyun was not dead.  

Rebellion

Suddenly missing their left arm and with their eyes alight with divine flame, Annqyun rose from the steps. Fire consumed the small church, and before the priests could begin to douse it, Annqyun had severed the chains of the prisoners awaiting execution and called them to run. Within moments, the only people left on the stairs were the confused church employees.   While many disregarded the events of the day as nonsense - after all, how could someone return from the dead? - some knew exactly what had happened. Annqyun had formed a pact with one of the gods, exchanging a limb for magical power which transcended their magicless state and death itself. Divine assistance haphazardly acquired, Annqyun took a few days to recover before arriving to unleash similar power at another planned public execution. Prisoners of all sorts were freed en masse, with the priests never prepared to handle the arrival of the "demigod".   But Annqyun would not stick to small scale acts of arson and freeing prisoners. In mid 2 Famine, they riled up a crowd in Qariy's west and led them towards the Grand Church. As the largest monument to Xiy Kiiquldast's control over the island, Annqyun saw it as an insult to the local people. When priests attempted to prevent the riotous crowd from entering, they were harshly shoved aside, and Annqyun hurled divine fire at the building. Before long, the church was utterly ablaze, and its inhabitants were attacked by the rest of the crowd.  

End

It was this act that finally brought them to the attention of the Captain of Xiy Kiiquldast, Thyan. Furious at the destruction of the Grand Church, she ordered her captains to search the island for Annqyun. When all attempts to apprehend them ended in injury and failure, a lower-ranked captain called Odha decided the only way to fight someone in a pact with a god was to form one himself. At the smouldering remains of the Grand Church, he made a request for power from the Duality of Knowledge, asking for the knowledge to find and defeat Annqyun.   With divine knowledge acquired, he and Annqyun began a cat-and-mouse game across the island, with Annqyun often humiliating the proud captain at every turn. Multiple traps were laid, but none were successful, until late in the year.   In the second last month of the year, Odha had a building's interior reinforced with iron coated with silver and gold to disguise it, and ordered a set of executions to be held there. As predicted, Annqyun refused to allow the event to continue, and arrived in disguise to attempt to crash it. When they realised their magic was being nullified they tried to escape, but they were captured by Odha and wrapped in chains.   They were taken to Captain Thyan's ship to be judged, though multiple attempts were made along the way to help them escape. Aboard the ship, Annqyun was branded as a traitor to the republic and sentenced once again to execution. This time, it would be at the burned steps of the Grand Church and take the form of a decapitation to prevent any possible chance of resurrection.   The deed was done on the final day of the year, despite the best efforts of the rebels Annqyun had fought for.
Life
46 Growth - 2 Famine 19 years old
Aligned Organisation
Qariy
Pact Partner
Duality of Solidarity
Species
Elf
Conditions
Ethnicity
Children
Gender Identity
Nonbinary (they/them)
Known Languages
Zwiqaluu (native), Shyu Zannaq (basic)

Bloody Steps

Xiy Kiiquldast at its peak was a bloody affair, as its founder had created something of a blood cult in his later years. It was this cult that inhabited the Grand Church in Qariy, a building in which much was spilt in order to "honour the gods".   It was for this reason that the executions performed during this era were less than efficient - the goal was to not only remove undesirables from society but to ensure they were a sufficient offering to the divines. The stairway of the Grand Church was stained with blood long before Annqyun and their rioters set foot on the grounds.
Bloodied Sword
Bloodied Sword by Free-Photos

Divine Magic

Despite Annqyun having a condition which prevented them from casting any magic through any normal means, the magic of the Divinities is not normal. It is far more potent than any mortal mage, and can bypass mortal limitations.   This said, it was well known that Annqyun would go into a trance before or during every 'event' they attended, and would be strangely quiet for their duration. Privately they confessed to not remembering anything that had occurred during this time, but trusted in their allies and their deific partner to guide them. This combined with the fact their time with the rainbow plague had left them weaker than most led some to quietly worry that their divine partner might overextend and get Annqyun seriously hurt.   Long after the fact, some speculate on why Annqyun did not recognise the trap for what it was and call upon their magical trance in advance. Of those who ask, most attribute it to youthful naivete and overconfidence - They were only 19, after all, and so inexperienced with magic!
Terrestrial Magic Pink
Terrestrial Magic by Isaac Thompson

Legacy

Though Annqyun's life was short, and their time in the national spotlight brief, their actions endured. Inspired by their victories against the republic, many Qarimii took up arms in the years following their execution. Progress was slow, but by 19 Famine they had successfully reclaimed the western half of the island from Xiy Kiiquldast, and re-established in some form the long dormant Governorate of Qariy. One of the earliest acts of the new government was to rename the city the Grand Church had occupied to Annqyiru, and many buildings and streets would bear their name in the years to follow.   When the island was finally rid of Xiy Kiiquldast in 31 Famine, the Qarimii pestered the government to build a great statue of Annqyun in the titular city. While work on this did not begin until 6 Disturbance, this delay allowed them to make it far grander. The final result, a 23 metre tall copper plated statue of the heroic elf, stands at the bottom of the stairs leading into the Grand Church, and dwarfs the building's charred ruins and much of the surrounding city.   This statue has helped Annqyun linger in the popular consciousness, and they are a figure around which all in Qariy can rally behind. Many will travel to their statue to ask for their strength, or to follow from their example and attempt to form a pact with a god. While few are successful, it is common knowledge that visiting Annqyun before asking will raise your chances.
Qariy Solo Flag
Flag of the Qarimii Independence Movement


Cover image: Annqyun's Revolt by Isaac Thompson
Character Portrait image: Annqyun Ulijwa by HeroForge
  • 46 Growth
    9 Experience

    Annqyun is born
    Life, Birth

  • 63 Growth

    Rainbow Plague sweeps Thurásin
    Plague / Epidemic

    No-one is sure where the plague originated from, but after it began to appear in central Thurásin it swiftly spread throughout the continent.

    Additional timelines
  • 2 Famine
    21 Vengeance

    Annqyun forms a Pact with Solidarity
    Religious event

    On the day of their execution, Annqyun forms a divine contract with a god, and uses their power to free themselves and the other prisoners.

  • 2 Famine
    25 Balance

    The Grand Church in Qariy is destroyed
    Revolution

    As plague swept Thurásin, the people of Qariy grew increasingly sick of the control of Xiy Kiiquldast. Tensions soon boiled over into a full blown riot, best shown by the burning of the Grand Church of Qariy. All the priests present were killed, and what few escaped the initial slaughter were tracked down and arrested. Though Xiy Kiiquldast still held parts of the island's east, their era of supremacy was coming to a close.

  • 2 Famine
    14 Structure

    Odha Ro Vyuzhray forms a Pact
    Religious event

  • 2 Famine
    27 Independence

    Annqyun is Captured
    Life, Trauma/ Loss

  • 2 Famine
    30 Solidarity

    Annqyun Ulijwa is executed
    Life, Death

Comments

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16 Jan, 2021 21:14

I love the story of Annqyun, even though it's desperately sad. They were so young. :(

Emy x   Welcome to Etrea!
13 Mar, 2021 23:54

Congratulations on winning! Had a read of the article and loved it. I especially loved the detail about the Rainbow Plague. Interesting detail!

Writer, sarcastic, funny, dragon-lover, movie buff | Twitter   Author of the now complete Remember Dragons Lie Volume I: The Stag
22 Mar, 2021 13:28

Nice! Sad, but nice.

Master TimeBender
Unknown User
23 Mar, 2021 01:01

This is such a great article! I don't know how to pronounce their name, but I hope I come back to explore more of this world at a later date. Nice work!

~TimeBender~ Here's my costume challenge entry!
Eclipsion Royal Armor
Item | May 28, 2021
Thicc Shrek
Thicc Shrek
23 Mar, 2021 11:45

Annqyun sounds like a nice fella. Deserves cookie.