Player infoYour Name:
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Character's Name: Joluk Hergal
Character's Sex: Male
Character's Age:16(This is really just a guess based on his appearance and the way others regard him. His exact age isn’t given.)
Canon point: After chapter 8 of the manga.
Abilities: He’s skilled at horseback riding. He’s proficient with archery and knows how to hunt. He can tend a campfire. These are all skills required for everyone in his clan.
Background: Joluk grew up in an extended family in Central Asia during the nineteenth century. Their customs involved women moving to the families of their husbands. His grandfather was the head of the family. The families of his uncle and brother were joined. Cousins lived as siblings. Joluk was the youngest among the males. Baimat was his older brother and Azer was his cousin. The heroine of the manga, Amira was his older cousin. Amira also had younger sisters, Karahiga and Aterui.
The Hergal clan lived as nomads during the summers and in a village during the rest of the year. Everyone in the clan learned to hunt for food and pelts. Archery was skill taught to both men and women. Horsemanship was an essential ability in helping with hunting and tending to their livestock. Amira was particularly talented with the bow. They all had to work together whenever they hunted wolves. They survived through their traditions.
When the manga started, Amira moved beyond the mountains to a village near the Caspian Sea. At the age of twenty, she married Karluk, the younger son of Anunbek Ayhan. Amira was older than the usual bride, and Karluk was at the young end of a marriageable age for his culture. The rest of the Hergal clan did not attend their wedding. There was little contact between the two clans. Joluk’s grandfather agreed to their wedding. His father and uncle did not find their match prosperous, despite Anunbek’s status as an elder in his village.
Karahiga was married to Numaji, a man known for his wealth, status and land. She did not live long after the wedding. Aterui married him afterwards. Numaji was a brutal husband. He beat Aterui so badly that her bones shattered. This killed her. Joluk’s father and grandfather still wanted a family link to Numaji’s land. Amira was the only girl left to marry off. They decided that her marriage to Karluk would not be valid until they reproduced.
Azer, Baimat and Joluk were sent to take Amira back. They had little choice but to obey their fathers. They arrived at the Ayhan residence while Amira and Karluk were away visiting nomadic relatives. Anunbek was outraged. Amira had become a valuable member of the Ayhan family. Azer suspected that they were hiding his sister, and demanded for her to come out. Karluk’s brother, Yusuf tried to restrain Azer to keep him from ransacking the place. Azer responded by pulling a knife on him. Karluk’s grandmother, Balkilush kept their fight from escalating any further by shooting an arrow between them.
She told them in no uncertain terms to leave and never come back. They had no right to take Amira. The Hergals were no longer kin to the Ayhans. Her demonstration with the bow added more to her argument than words ever could. She also told them that Amira was pregnant. They had no way of knowing that it was a lie. Joluk realized they were in over their heads and was the first to give up. They had to return home without Amira.
The elders in Joluk’s clan still insisted on having Amira marry Numaji. They did not accept the previous failure of the young men or that Amira had actually conceived a child. Joluk’s father and uncle decided to go back to Karluk’s village. They brought along more men to add to their forces.
The Hergal clan happened to meet Amira and Karluk away from the village. The married couple was unaware of what transpired between their families. They answered honestly when one of the men asked if they had a child. The Hergal men demanded Amira to return with them. Karluk did not accept their reasons for wanting to take Amira. He stood up for her as her husband. The older men threatened Karluk’s life, and then attacked him.
Azer took Amira’s horse, since they did not have extra horses for their journey. He told Amira about what happened to her sisters. He almost succeeded in taking her, but a foreigner caused a nearby herd of sheep to stampede. This foreigner was staying with the Ayhan family and studying the cultures of Central Asia. The diversion allowed Amira and Karluk to escape back to their village. Joluk noticed that Azer chose to let Amira out of his grasp.
The Hergals arrived at the village shortly after Amira’s escape. They were blocked from entering. All of the villagers were in support of Karluk and Amira. The Hergals briefly retreated, only to come back at night. The young men of the village were prepared for this. They threw bricks from the rooftops. There was violence from both sides, but also an attempt to prevent any fatalities. Joluk tried to stay out of the fray. Azer held the villagers off, while telling Joluk to head to the Ayhan residence. He was able to see Amira, but was unable to keep from being seen. The villagers swarmed him.
The Hergal men were tied up, and physically removed from the village. They were restrained in the sun long enough to weaken them, but not so long that they wouldn’t survive. The tails and manes of their horses were sheared as a further punishment. This served as a grave insult to the horsemen and a warning. They would face dire consequences if they ever returned.
Personality: The first thing one notices about Joluk is his fixation with food. When he first appears in the manga, he is shown stealing apricots from a fenced in tree. He tries to justify the theft by only taking from the branches that hung over the fence. He also offers to share with his cousin and brother. He goes on to complain about how hungry he is. He then starts to describe in detail what he would like to eat. He shows a pretty vivid imagination when it involves anything edible. He mentions his desire to get a meal before dealing with the mission his father and uncle sent him on. His appetite is brought up multiple times to the point where it annoys his brother and cousin.
He’s a bit of a smart - aleck. He has a tendency to make inappropriate remarks. Part of this is an attempt to diffuse the situation he’s in. Part of this is also an attempt to express whatever is on his mind. When Anunbek argues that Amira was not a thing that he could return, Joluk agrees that he has a point. Even though Baimat and Azer likely think the same thing, it goes against their mission. Saying it out loud really did not help their case. The second time they head to Anunbek’s village, Joluk asks if they should take the ‘scenic route’. Baimat’s reaction indicates that those types of comments are a common occurrence. He’s attempting to joke right before a battle against the village, which he would rather just avoid.
Joluk values his family. He’s particularly close with those in his generation. They’re the ones he feels that he can vent to, even if they often tell him to shut up. Azer is as much a brother to him as Baimat. Joluk usually tries to reassure Azer or calm him. He’s the one who convinced Azer to stop arguing with Balkilush. As they head home, he points out that their hands were tied. There was really nothing they could do, if Amira’s marriage was truly valid. Joluk regrets making enemies of his in-laws. When the elders blame Azer for failing their mission the first time, Joluk tries to make him feel better. Anyone would run away after having an old woman with incredible aim shoot arrows near them.
The female members of his family are as important to him as the males. He bluntly expresses his disapproval of how roughly Numaji’s clan treats their women. He’s visibly disturbed and anguished at how Aterui dies. Joluk is appalled at the idea of having Numaji for a relative. His wealth and power does not make up for his brutality.
Joluk begs Azer to try to reason with their elders. He knows that Azer is just as afraid of losing Amira as he is. He’s convinced that the more stoic Azer would have a better chance of getting their fathers to stop being blinded by their pride and greed. Joluk gets rather flustered when Baimat reprimands him for being too hard on Azer. They all feel trapped and powerless. They can’t bring themselves to actively disobey their elders.
Joluk is not inclined to fight when he doesn’t believe in the cause. He doesn’t want to battle people when he agrees with them. He’s the last to go into action and the first to suggest retreating. As much as the ferocity of the villagers frightens him, he refuses to run away without his family. He would prefer they all just give up and go home. He makes no attempt to attack any of people defending Amira, even when he’s caught and beaten to a pulp. He likely would surrender if given the chance.
There’s more to Joluk than the mouthy glutton who complains too much about any inconvenience. He’s actually rather sensitive and thoughtful. He may have some bratty moments, but he can also be the voice of reason when it’s required.
Action/Journal Sample: [The screen alternates between on and off, with the image switching between Joluk and the surrounding area. The sound also fades in and out. Joluk is pushing buttons randomly and examining the unfamiliar device. He’s mostly talking to himself.]
What is this weird thing?
I’m hungry. Some manti would be nice, boiled with ground lamb and topped with some pepper powder. Yeah, and some soup too.
[He’s stopped pushing random buttons. The video is showing random things in the area.]
Um…hello? Can anyone here me? I can’t be the only one from …my world!?
If I heard that rabbit-like thing with a floating pomegranate over its head right, then it’s …gone?
[He doesn’t quite understand the concept of other multiple worlds. He’s starting to sound agitated.]
There has to be someone else!
Azer? Baimat? Amira? Amira’s husband?
Weird foreign guy who set the sheep on us?
[He sounds a bit desperate on the last one.]
“Hey! Wait!” Joluk called out to the retreating fluffy creature. “I’m sorry! I swear I’m not gonna try to eat you!”
His words made it seem more eager to get away from him, not that he could really blame it. How was he to know that the red floating thing was not a piece of fruit? Attempting to grab it was a bad move on his part. If he had his bow with him, he probably would have tried to shoot the creature. It reminded him of a rabbit, until it started to talk. Speech caused him to change his mind about wanting to eat it, though his appetite did not abate.
He looked down in confusion at the weird stuff the creature gave him, not knowing what any of it was. The only thing he caught from the creature was something about his world being taken by darkness. What did that mean, anyway? How can an entire world disappear? He shuddered at the thought of being alone. Everything about this place was starting to freak him out.
“At least I don’t have to worry about bringing Amira to that Numaji anymore,” he muttered to himself. “We should’ve given up as soon as they started throwing bricks at us. His land isn’t worth the trouble.” That understatement was an attempt to lighten his mood. If only Azer and Baimat were with him. He suddenly missed causing Baimat to roll his eyes, and having Azer respond to his ramblings with either a glare or a bland expression. He desperately hoped that whatever saved him would bring them as well.
He started to look around for other people. Unfortunately, he didn’t recognize anyone. Everyone else looked as lost as he was. Still, it couldn’t hurt to ask around.
“Hey, do you know where to find a place to eat?” he asked a random person. He figured it would be easier to deal with all this weird stuff on a full stomach.
Notes: I started this app before official translations were released by Yen Press. There are differences in how the names were translated, and other information. The Hergal Clan is Halgal. Joluk is Joruk. Azer is Azel. Amira is Amir. Yusuf is Karluk's brother-in-law. Aterui is Atelui.