The Illuminated Primacy has a rich literary tradition, due in part to the religious significance placed on language by its dominant species.


Hanar literature is one of the species' most praised forms of art. Revering language and words with a genuine religious fervour, hanar authors, playwrights, poets and wordsmiths are renowned for being some of the galaxy's most talented writers.

The following is an incomplete list of hanar literary works mentioned by characters on CDN, with a brief description of the work in question.

  • Argument For These Ones' Susceptibility Regarding The Cooling Touch Of The Breeze: A popular treatise by Tiyallania, teaching that even the most faithful falter on occasion.
  • Broken Fragments of the Coral Shelf with the Passing of the Fifty-Year Tempest: A philosophical treatise by Syacindil, teaching that great revelations can follow on from great trials, so long as one retains faith and applies themselves to genuine attempts at understanding their new circumstances.
  • Doubt, Illumination: This account of the Greatest War blurs the line between history and fiction as it recounts the story of the war and the birth of the contemporary Illuminated Primacy. The author, Nisandandantir, fell foul of the Censors when its work was first published, although the novel was formally released from the Vaults a Kahjean century ago. Since then, Doubt, Illumination has become a core text of most schools in the Illuminated Primacy.
  • Repossession: A collection of plays by the noted hanar playwright and poet Ayurangliathu, Repossession is generally judged to be one of the greatest hanar works of the pre-Citadel era. Ranging across many genres and forms, the collection is an anthology of the author's 'blue phase' works, including the play Cant for Those Illuminated by both the Storm and the Fiery Glow of Mount Vassla, which is still performed today.
  • Reliquary Mottled With Discolouring Rust: A satirical work by the acclaimed Glaudioutartiou, Reliquary is famous for the unsettling effect it has on alien readers who believe that the hanar's famed politeness means that they all get along.
  • Shadows of Rain Dancing Across the Underside of the Waves: This meandering tome is often described as 'the true Kahjean classic' by hanar literary scholars, although the book's heavy language and complicated plot render it almost unreadable by any but the most dedicated readers.
  • The Tattered Paintings of Ublanathi: Often considered to be the pinnacle of the Second Belan Movement, Ublanathi is an experimental, critical work renowned for its dialogue and wordplay.
  • Those That Come From Above: This work by Flessinkyl predates contact with non-hanar. Hanar have always been aware of the existence of other intelligences, due to the memory of uplift by the Protheans (the Enkindlers). Those That Come From Above posits a future series of events in which alien beings from above the waves penetrate the Encompassing to tempt the hanar peoples with their claim to be the Enkindlers in person, while concealing sinister motives. There are seven volumes.
  • Waters of Peace in the Wake of Great Sorrow: A work by Kasumarba. A notable passage: "Death is of life, and though all return to the sea, all must work to continue onwards. The Enkindlers guide all in Life, and they shall continue to guide all in death.”


Since they were uplifted from Rakhana, the majority of the drell species has called the Illuminated Primacy home. Drell writers are famous in xenoliterature circles for their treatment of such themes as salvation, loss, survival and adaptation. However, aliens often face huge difficulties in following more plot-oriented drell works, as these are written for audiences with eidetic memories. Alien readers are strongly encouraged to take extensive notes.

  • To The Sea: The acclaimed movie, starring Fell Fannus, is based on the work of one Jiren Kos, and is considered as great a classic as their poetry (of particular note are the Exegenesis and Resistance poems, which deal with the Uplift and Exodus).
  • Dry Season: A tragic romance novel written in the pre-Exodus era, Dry Season is studied by drell students across the galaxy.
  • Hydroponic Veins: Written by Ketan Neivos, Hydroponic Veins is a concise novel lauded as a well-written summation of the Compact and it's socio-cultural impact on both the drell and the hanar.
  • Apprehension in Blue: A fantasy novel that interweaves traditional drell mythology with common Enkindler Doctrine tenets.
  • Patriot Fallacy: A drell-for-drell alternative history series, Patriot Fallacy's author, Jonat Mellis, has seen their series adapted for screen on multiple occasions and recently converted into a videogame. Learn more here.
  • The Dark Between: A short, seven issue graphic novel, around a hundred pages in total; it's apparently simple enough for an average turian to follow, if s/he takes notes.

According to Cerastes: "I was reading up on classic drell literature recently and noticed an incredibly boring trope whereupon the protagonist almost always endures some form of mind-bending torture, then comes out of it a brand new person (improved, always), rather than, say, any other realistic outcome. It's fucking dire. You don't get, say, a spiked ki'rah shoved up your urethra and come out of it thinking, "well, that's it, I am going to settle down, join a conclave, and spend the rest of my days volunteering for the good of society!"

And according to Fadil Mahd: "Ohhh I know which one he just read. It's called The Spirit of Our Stars and the Broken Spine, and no one should ever read it, but it's required in gradeschool in the Compact. It's... really bad. I'd honestly rather be forced to eat lutefisk again than go through that thing."

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