Nílutai of Kyrata

For Menoyukh'al, 22 Messidor CCXXIX

"Woe!" howls the protagonist of unenqe play Eleven Days as they face their trial, "Woe that plagues have ravaged my soul, that catapults cast fire upon my lungs and my spirit, while you bask in your spires, architecture of fingers reaching to the sky, bathing in unshared warmth. Woe that you know not that I exist!"

Eleven Days is often considered Nílutai of Kyrata's masterpiece, yet is seemingly remarkably different from their usual work. Eleven Days surrounds violence– crowds it in, gets the audience up close and uncomfortable with immense wrongdoings. Its four acts follow the protagonist, an unnamed fellow living in the middle Sekhenakhen in the toxic slum outside a Walled city, who learns that he is the child of an esteemed noble from within the Walls, cast out of the Walls without fanfare when an egregious physical defect prevented him from passing the infant health checks.

Enraged by this, the fellow prepares an explosive concoction and throws it at the Walls, not able to break through it but creating a huge, jagged hole– an imperfection, an egregious physical defect– in the stone. Caught and imprisoned by wallmen, the fellow is put to trial against nobles of the city– including his own parents. However, due to his status as an outsider, he is wrapped up in protective layer after layer and held at the very opposite end of the extraordinarily large trial room in fear of his presence enabling Crystal exposure. He screams, he howls, and he is put to death. The trial lasts eleven days.

It is extraordinarily in your face, visceral, bloody for the work of Nílutai of Kyrata, who previously was known for ethereal verse of the pure sense, such as in their poem Song of the Mariner, or their other most well known unenqe play Mountain and Valley. Yet, it remains one of the most popular unenqe plays even years after its conception, even reaching audiences abroad in Iyajarmna, Xuane, and old Ikhita.

However, perhaps it is not quite different from their other work, for above all the anger and visceral rage there is what is present in nearly all of their œuvre: the eternal, agonizing loneliness of identity.

...

Nílutai of Kyrata's name is unlike many other Agatin individuals for the simple fact that they were born far away from the Bugetiy'aguto: that is, of course, Kyrata. Their parents were cleaners, janitors from the Walled city before their child, that very Nílutai, failed to pass health checks, leading them to be banished from the city and forced to flee. Eventually they made their winding path from the Lipekay-Budva river and the Walls on its banks all the way to the central Bugetiy'aguto, the Et'shinaqi lowlands, where Nílutai would grow up, and where their parents would die before they became old.

Though they remembered little of the Walled city other than blissful, fleeting, mist-like images of grandiose architecture and stone walls, Nílutai felt haunted by Kyrata, opting away from the Straiti conventions of a first name, family name, and patronymic, in favor of the Agatin first name and 'of' name. Instead of the typical lengthy description of environment, nature, and surroundings at their birth, for they remembered nothing, they chose the short and concise name of Kyrata alone.

Nílutai of Kyrata. Nílutai of Kyrata, the Straiti person in Agatin clothes. Nílutai of Kyrata, the Agatin person of niqa steppe origin-- descent, perhaps? Nílutai of Kyrata, who could only remember scant words and phrases of Kyrati Lipelaya from their parents' lips, the rest slipping out of grasp into the ocean dream. Nílutai of Kyrata, who travelled wherever they could except for the steppe. Nílutai of Kyrata, who vocally advocated against the Walled cities.

...

That Unholy Traveler is perhaps the closest work by Nílutai of Kyrata that reaches the level of negative emotions set to rage and whip like monsoon winds as Eleven Days, though while Eleven Days was a rapid firestorm, That Unholy Traveler is considerably more slow-paced, moody, with its verse working slowly and sweetly along emotions of displacement and lack of belonging.

Of course, for an Agati'ei to describe a traveler as such a thing as unholy is quite unusual– perhaps insulting, even. Travelling in the Bugetiy'aguto is synonymous with utmost respect to all, the traditions began by the god Qiwahcha so long ago, and with the practiced cultivation of a pure adoration of the world and all it is. But when one realizes what Nílutai writes of, it is clear that Nílutai speaks not of Qiwahcha themself, or of the tradition of travelling and those who follow it, but of themself.

"Is it my own heart that may beat with shame; of that road followed in pain," it goes, "Homes hollowed, love forgotten, cultivations uprooted; Do the generations that walk these paths bloody love their footsteps?"

They think that perhaps they could have loved the Lipekay-Budva, if only they had grown up on its banks just as their ancestors, all the way to their very parents, had. If only they could have.

...

Nílutai of Kyrata traveled, of course. Paved their way, taking their days footstep by footstep, carving out their own holiness into the world. Not only did they make their way across the Bugetiy'aguto, but they explored the isles of passage and the central seas much as well. It was this time that they wrote their longest and most expansive works, including Song of the Mariner.

They had fallen in love on their travels. There was a windsurfer and fisherman named Xandrua, from the Isle of Iyajarmna. He was a tall person, with black mandibles instead of upper teeth, hair long and dark, and a multi-pointed spear of Crystal. Nílutai wrote much of Song of the Mariner. while gazing upon his face, speaking with him.

Xandrua asked them, once, of their wishes. Explained to them, it was quite easy: once a sailor made it around the precarious spires, it was quite a calm journey to sail all the way across the White Sea and into the delta of the Lipekay-Budva.

Nílutai of Kyrata denied him.

...

Though the verses crafted by Nílutai of Kyrata are winding, beautiful, impressive, expansive, they never seem to satisfy themselves in their end. The act of ending shatters them. Nílutai's words find no closure in themselves.

But does Nílutai find closure in their words?




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