Aiounnae is an adult Aitectli, Ruler of the City-state of Nauhtli.
She was born in an Aitectli settlement, not far from the main city. She grew up in a loving home with two brothers, not many adventures on her horizon, a repetitive but peaceful life. But unlike the bulk of her kind, she was naturally curious and inquisitive. Thus her birthplace couldnt hold her for long. Her brothers didn't really love the idea of her wandering around, but had to remain with the family business, and help their aging father with the hard jobs.
Arrival in Gaushan
Not having traveled far from her hometown before, Aiounnae one day simply started swimming in one direction, following a plancton rich current, simply curious of the world at large. She slowly entered colder and colder waters, which spooked her a bit, but didn't bother her physiology. The lack of benthos and fauna unsettled her, but she also saw beauty in the stillness.
One day, surfacing from the water column to have a better sense of direction, she noticed signs of civilization among the ice. This was her first encounter with the surface world, and curiosity made her leave the safety of the water for a closer inspection.
She didnt know that she had stumbled upon a newly freed Eldia, and the guards were on high alert, and quickly noticed her and questioned her inside the settlement. Once established she wasnt a spy, she was let go.
Although the whole exchange would have been normal business for anyone from the surface, already hardened by the state of the world, her naive and inexperienced mind was quite impressed by this first encounter with the 'Dry People', as her kind refers to them. This made her more suspicious of strangers, but not to the point of fear. She was learning about this new world after all, and becoming less naive every day.
Left the cold and dry ice of the area, she continued to coast the continent toward warmer waters, longing for the familiar sight of the colorful corals of her hometown.
Heading north, she was delighted to encounter a big reef cluster spanning miles, which she promised herself to protect.
After finding the perfect spot in a coral reef, she settled down among the colors, constructing a humble abode in a crevasse. From here, she developed her house to grow engulfing the corals, instead of distrurbing them.
As it is traditional among her people, the first settler of a new cluster of houses acquires the role of Ruler of the settlement, or Toatoani, as its the one that lived there the longest and as such has a better grasp of the oceanography and of the workings of the settlement. If the ruler is a fair one, it will attract more and more citizens, becoming an established monarch in the city state.
After settling herself, she started expanding her own alone abode into a proper village, or city, which attracted a number of her species.
She now has properly settled in as the Tlatoani, with the appointment of an assistant, or Ezhuacatl, Apachtli who helped her expand the settlement,she has written the Law (Itlatlalil Nauhtli), and established a Tidalism Temple, the centre of the religious life. The City State now has an established bureoucracy and a modest international presence, as the Aitectli tend to be isolationists, only interested in sporadic commercial agreements.
Refractary to drama, Aiounnae doesnt have aptitude for subtle diplomacy, preferring straight truths to kind lies. She never intends to be rude, but simply doesnt have the tools to deal with other's feelings, and expect the same treatment in return. She is quick to judge and slow to change her mind. But given solid reasons to do so, she doesnt mind being wrong or changing her attitude. She is deeply caring of others' phisical wellbeing, and especially of nonsentient animals. She considers landscape destruction and animal abuse to be the ultimate and unforgivable sin, especially regarding coral and coral reefs, while usually being a quite forgiving person.
She is a strong follower of Tidalism, the worship of the Tide as the Restoring Force of the Universe. Wherever thats true or not, she considers herself the conduit of the Tide's will.
After seeing a worrying trend in the advancements in human technology (namely the widespread of naval vessels), Aiounnae felt it was necessary to know more of the past of her people, long forgotten to the fog of time, to compare it to modern events, and dispel that sense of deja vù that this uptick in "discoveries" created in her. This led her into a rabbithole to know more and more about her culture and lost knowledge, an endeavour of "curiosity" which turns out is extremely toxic to aitectli, causing in her an autoimmune disorder.
The physical ramifications of her curiosity are an extremely duller skin color than before, a high sensitivity to light, joint pain in her fingers and hands, knees and even in the chest. Not all changes to her physique are negative, this includes the growth of flying-fish-like fins on her back, bioluminescence, and the ability to "taste" or smell metals from far away. These changes seem to be more of a stress induced adaptation than a simple illness, but are still cause of concern especially since she also lost some weight, which in the Aitectli, comes from an importan layer of blubber that keeps them warm.
After being tricked by an ancient being, a follower of the Devourer, Oth'fruzernios, which told her he "just wanted to go home", and leveraged her innate compassion for a fellow ocean dweller,with a ritual Aiounnae'Kael opened a gateway to the void in Jotunstan, where the obelisk used to be (it collapsed after the ritual) and freed one of the precursor to the coming of the Devourer, a Degradatus.
While Aioun was already sick when she was tricked, after realizing what she had done, her whole body tensed up, and she lost conciousness sitting up, in the blizzard that was coming, freezing her in place, a statue of shame and regret. The cold damaged her systems greatly, and she would have died if a friend, Avalan, wasnt flying by and was lured on location by the collapsing of the tower, and noticed her on the riverbank.
He then brought her frozen body in a warm location, where she was nursed back into a semblance of life. Here she slept for several days, before being brough to Nauhtli by guards that were alerted by an exausted Avalan.
Here she slowly regained some health, although the damage to her body was done: she was mute and blind, gaunt as a zombie and pale as a deepsea squid.
She has since regained her voice, although now hoarse and feeble, but her blindness remains, a stark reminder of her sins. Luckly she had developed some weak echolocation in her previous descent into light hypersensitivity, which already made her wear primitive sunglasses made of imported smokey glass. She now often wears a blindfold, to protect her eyes further.
Interestingly she still tries and succeeds to write her own letters and documents, although always with the supervision of a servant, with not extreme drift in the lines of text, as she had exercise while her sight was deteriorating before, and sometimes still prefers to sign instead of talking, a mode of communication more common among aitectli than it is for humans, although this requires a translator (usually a servant) to be present.
On the 21st of Nopak (before the incident), Soh'yus'es'e'tot manifested itself to Aiounnae and said that "mebelmok thanks me", and bestowed upon her four great gifts, in the form of water spirits:
- The Tide: Reliable
- The Tide: Coming and Going
- The Tide: Powerful
- The Tide: Unforgiving
Unlike many of her kind, Aiounnae doesnt sport any living jewels like corals and anemones. She can make friends with animals very easely. She becomes increasingly nervous when away from water for too long, as its common for her kind.