|Featured In||The Stormlight Archive|
”Money is behind every war. Religion is but an excuse. Or perhaps a justification.—Au-nak
Appearance and Personality
Au-nak has white hair and bluish skin, like all Natans, but he dyes two locks of his hair red. He keeps them braided and hung near his cheeks. He also wears red gloves. He speaks Alethi with an "airy" Natan accent, elongating the "oh" and "ah" sounds in his words.
Au-nak and his family are devoutly Vorin. Au-nak is an outspoken and talkative person with strong beliefs. For instance, he claims that the Order of Talenelat, Highprince Dalinar Kholin's devotary, is for lesser people. He is rather cynical about religious wars as he believes that every conflict, regardless of professed purpose, is economic in nature. He cites the Eighty's War as an example, since religion was used to justify the Emuli and Tukari claims on Sesemalex Dar; Au-nak believes that both sides are actually motivated by the desire to control a great port and possible Dawncity.
Au-nak grew up in a devoutly Vorin family, with strong trade connections with the Alethi.
As an adult, Au-nak visited the Shattered Plains in 1173 as a visiting dignitary from New Natanan. Au-nak was Brightlord Hatham's guest, as they were negotiating a contract. During one of Elhokar's parties, Hatham spoke to Au-nak with subservience and respect, but in reality he was attempting to manipulate him. Hatham covertly ordered one of his ardents to insult Au-nak in conversation, even questioning his Vorin faith, and Au-nak eventually left in anger. Hatham hoped that when he followed Au-nak and persuaded him to finalize the contract, Au-nak would not be suspicious that Hatham agreed so easily to Au-nak's terms.
Au-nak was present at the coalition meeting at Urithiru in 1174 alongside numerous heads of state. He thanked the Alethi for securing the Oathgate at Stormseat, but expressed disapproval of them using it without permission of the Natan people who once lived there. He seemed excited by Navani's suggestion that the Azish people should create a set of laws for the coalition forces to follow. He also agreed with Taravangian's suggestion that the Voidbringers might be planning to attack Jah Keved. After the Battle of Thaylen Field, the Natan contingent persisted in their requests to control the Stormseat Oathgate, although it is not clear if Au-nak was still in Urithiru.