Za'lyr'zna Archive Fires

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Za'lyr'zna Archive Fires
Public Library, Dudley.jpg
Nu'lyf Library in Ra-kup, after its rebuilding in 2014 following the Library's destruction
Native name Иёи-жϟ Тё-ϟιч-яё Эж-фё-юж
Date12 October 2010 – 30 January 2011 (2010-10-12 – 2011-01-30)
LocationVarious Libraries and Archives, Za'lyr'zna and Toryne'yn, Syrtænzna
Also known asThe Unseeing, The Unknowing, The Post-Truth Burnings
TypeMultiple Arsons, Book burnings
ParticipantsLæsic Chaos Cults (alleged)
Outcome
  • Temporary attempts at banning the Cult of Læs
  • Protests of religious persecution in Za'lyr'zna
  • Loss of large amount of Syrtæn'at Literature and Records
  • Anti-Az'ra species riots in Toryne'yn
  • Banning of the Myopia Coalition
Deaths241
Non-fatal injuries81

The Za'lyr'zna Archive Fires (Traditional Kæzhyn: Иёи-жϟ Тё-ϟιч-яё Эж-фё-юж, Reformed Kæzhyn: Pap'ul Za'lyr'zna Tu'ka'tsu) were a series of arson attacks and book burnings occurring in the North and Midlands of Syrtænzna, primarily in the region of Za'lyr'zna and the Capital allegedly caused by a group of Læsic Cultists, with the Syrtæn'at Government passing the blame on agitators from the Cult of Læs, in a broad manner which did not actually denote any specific religious group, as many small groups within both Syrtænzna and Kæra'zna fit such a label, with heavy-handed and unpopular attempts to crack down on such groups by the Syrtæn'at Police soon proving to be fruitless, though many Cultists were placed in police custody, not many had enough evidence to properly convict them and were let go following protests claiming religious persecution by the Government.

The first fire was reported at 9:08pm at the Västrop (Now Nu'lyf) Public Library in the district of Kek-æl, Ra-kup, where the local Fire Department was alerted to a person having seen smoke coming from the area. In the time it took for the firefighters to arrive, the lower floors of the building were engulfed in flames, and a pile of burnt books were left in front of it, which many believed to have been either a calling card or a call to action, as it included a note that reads

 
 
Тш кy Фе пе.Тш хy Фе пе. Тш ϟy Фе пе. Тш-ϟё ϟy Пе Фе. Эш-ϟёϟ Пе ϟжϟ Тш-ϟёϟ Пе Чy
 

 

Which translates to:

 
 
We saw you before. We saw you this week. We saw you Today. You did not see Us. You never do, and You shall never see Tomorrow.
 

 

Background

Political Instability in Za’lyr’zna

Following the implication of Minister-President of Za’lyr’zna, Ryz’as-Tsøka during the Microwave Affair in 2009, dissolution with the Syrtæn’at Government increased amongst the population of Za’lyr’zna. The almost complete collapse of the now disgraced Civic People’s Party within the region had allowed for the Ascendancy of Za’lyr’zna specific parties, including the Pro-Kæra Silent Majority and the Læsic Democrat Myopia Coalition, increasing political tension between these “fringe parties” and the Establishment.

Tensions came to a head shortly before the Arsons, when the National Government commissioned the building of the Tyr’estyn People’s Library in the town of Tas’uk, over the top of an old Cardinial burial pit, against the wishes of the current Minister-President. This sparked multiple protests in and around the small town, obstructing construction through the use of insults and heavy projectiles at the builders, including rocks and bricks.

Ethnic and Religious Tensions

It was very likely the choice to place the Library over the burial pit was one motivated by the history of tensions between the Az'ra population of Za’lyr’zna and the wider populous of Syrtænzna, Since their immigration from Kæra'zna, the Az'ra have generally been regarded as strange and outsiders amongst the wider population, seen as more a minority in the more sparsely populated Northern Regions now known by the Kæra name of Za’lyr’zna. Dating back to their departure from Kæra'zna as asylum seekers, the sentiment towards them, as seen in 1901 in the words of then-President and Unitarian Leader Johan Strömberg remarking in reflection of his time in the Home Department,

 
 
When [the Az'ra] fled South, it was rather easy to take the stance that they were not expected, and certainly not welcome. In some ways, it is hard to tell if anything has changed.
 

 

While reforms under the Tyrstin Ministries furthered political representation of the group, in the modern day, only 21.3% of Az'ra students achieved 5 or more formal Secondary-Qualifications, in comparison to the national average of around 40.2% according to a study ran by the General Directorate of International Development and Living Standards, with a 1994 survey in Toryne'yn revealing that only 15 of a total 500 Ulvrikian Elves would be willing to let a room to an Az'ra tenant, with the number increasing for Nekomimi and Zrei, with 29 and 41 respectively. Provinican Historian Karl Arsil argues that such extended periods of species discrimination furthered the Az'ra identity of Za'lyr'zna, as communities were forced to develop a shared identity among different regional heritages and classes in order to survive in an often hostile enviroment.

This feeling of detachment extended to the Cardinial religions brought with them, with Ulvriktru and even Akuanism being more accepted in common society than the faiths of the New Northerners, especially when in reference to the more Fundamentalist branches of Læsism and Pæfism, with discrimination having been a trend across the country in non-Az'ra communities, forcing many Cardinials to form their own separate settlements, including Ra-kup. For several decades in the 20th Century, followers of the "Kæra Faiths" suffered from lessened opportunities in employment, housing and access to clubs and social groups - often accused of being "cultists". It is believed by most Sociologists that such labelling further separated the religious groups from wider society, causing further radicalization and dissolution with the majority, with many Cardinial religious groups in Za'lyr'zna self identifying as "Cults" in defiance of their rejection and discrimination.

First Arson

Presumably occurring between 8pm and 9pm, on the 12th of October 2008, a group of Az'ra Elves broke into the Västrop Public Library through the back entrance, having previously disabled the alarm. According to police reports, the perpetrators seized any non-literary objects of significant value, including several Library Computers. Following this, the group left several bundles of flammable material (firelighters) across the floors and began to set the building ablaze, with a hooded individual seen by adjacent cameras leaving the front to leave the pile of burnt books, while the rest of the participants exited from the way they came in.

At 9:08pm, Uf'sy-Røp - a resident of Kek-æl - reported to the Kek-æl Fire Department of seeing smoke coming from around the District Centre, as well as an "odd smell" permeating from the area, which he later described as "like burning plastic and incense oils," joking that the smell could be sold as a "East Borean Scented Candle" to a local paper after the fact. According to an inquest done of the incident, several members of the Fire Department didn't trust the resident's account, leading to them sending an insufficient amount of resources to deal with the fire where it became evident that was the source of the smoke. The fire spread partly to neighbouring buildings, injuring 9 and killing 1 person before the fire was successfully put out at 12:32am, leaving the building gutted and substantial damage to the neighbouring structures, whose remaining occupants were evacuated.