A Concise History of the Reign of Rashida the Subtle, Daughter of Calipha Adara the Glorious
Forty years have passed since Calipha Adara the Glorious stepped down in favour of her daughter, who would become known as Rashida the Subtle. Presented below is a timeline of the major events and changes which have taken place in that time.
[GM Note: this timeline is not yet set in stone, but should give you an idea of events since the end of Shalazar: Age of Wonders. It can obviously changed based upon many factors, including PCs generated before the start of the game.]
Encouraged by Old Man Bookwala's explorations into the lands of Punt, two trading posts are established by the Jerezad, one directly to the south of Shalazar, and one on the coast in the southwest. The southernmost trading post is quickly taken from the hands of Yamha Bookwala, and becomes a fiefdom of the main branch of the Jerezad. As a result, the Bookwala and 'main' Jerezad caravans start becoming more separate, and the trade routes more varied.
Calipha Rashida gives birth to a stillborn daughter. A day of national mourning is declared.
Grand Vizier Ali al Kabbar steps down for the second time. He had retaken his position in the Calipha's palace after the assassination of his protege, Grand Vizier Abdul al Hadar, on the last day of the reign of Calipha Adara. Grand Vizier Hacham al Hamar is appointed.
As a sign of the growing influence of the Yildun at Court, Calipha Rashida rescinds the right of the men of the Zaniah family to lend money with interest. Technically, her predecessor was not 'incorrect' to allow them to do so, but Calipha Rashida merely refuses to stay their executions at their request. All Zaniah males over the age of thirty-five are executed, while all those under that age are allowed to marry into other families. Notably, many marry into the Fesk.
The family of the Bookwala, after many years of dispute, finally break their ties with the Jerezad. There are numerous explanations given, from the mercenary (they wished to wholly control their trade routes) to the charitable (they objected to the treatment of the pygmy citizens of Punt conducted by their fellow Jerezad). Whatever the case, the loss of their support strikes the Jerezad quite hard, while increasing the relative importance of the Yildun.
Calipha Rashida gives birth to a son, and the populace rejoice. Unfortunately, Court rumour soon proves true, and the child is seen to be weak and sickly.
Despite their undoubted academic brilliance and the extent of their historical knowledge, the long decline of the Ash-Kenz finally comes to an end. Their resources unable to support the lifestyle and libraries to which they had become accustomed, they formally lose their status as a Great Family. Many of them marry into the Bookwala, who also gain the greatest share of their books and lore.
For many years it has been an open secret that Emira Baseemah of the Izar was in debt to first the Ash-Kenz, and later the Jerezad. With their family lands not sufficiently funding their extravagances, various creative (and some say desperate) measures were undertaken to develop mechanomantic devices grand enough to restore their glory. Unfortunately, one of these devices, of unknown invention or provenance, consumed itself and the city of Barminta during its testing. The crater left behind has formed the Great Lake of Barminta, ringed by broken and scarred ruins. Noted as a place of great misfortune, it is no longer visited.
Wahel al Majeej, Chancellor of the Invisible College, resigns. The Wizardess Nabeeha his appointed in his place.
The Alchemists Guild is founded as a separate entity to the Visible College. The Alchemist's purchase their premises from the College, and set up as a business organisation. When the Alchemists develop a secret and inexpensive method for creating more powerful flying carpets that they become a force to be reckoned with in the Caliphate, controlling the production of transport and a mail and message service.
Following the destruction of Barminta, the Izar realise there is no way to secure their debts. Emira Baseemah is said to die of shame and grief, and shortly thereafter the Izar lose their Great Family status. Notably, many marry into the Hadar.
The son of Calipha Rashida, already weak, succumbs to a flu and dies. A month of national mourning is declared.
After many years of intra-family squabbling, and after the departure of Emira Sousserah, the Ruchbah lose their status as a great family. The bloodline exists to the present day, but they are neither numerous nor wealthy enough to compete even with the Ash-Kenz. Many of the family enter court service. Some wags blame the rising level of treachery at court on their influence.
Finally, after many years of struggle and despair, Calipha Rasheeda finally gives birth to a fit and healthy daughter, Amlatta. There are great celebrations in the street and a month of rejoicing.
The court of the Calipha recieves a petition from a village beset by a skeletal wyrm, and Waleed al Din sets out to slay the terrible beast. With great fanfare, he takes his mighty sword into the desert, leaving with a small honour guard. None of the guard are seen again, nor is Waleed al Din; but two weeks later, the Bone Dragon lays waste to much of the city of Muna. The husband of the Calipha is presumed dead, and Rasheeda mourns for three years. His mouldering bones, together with his sword, are presumed to lie on the floor of the dragons lair in the Northern wastes.
Twenty years after the Waleed al Din of the Yildun won the Contest of Wonders and secured his place as first husband to the Calipha, the Yildun finally achieve their most ambitious victory: a fourth seat on the Council of Elders. A strict, doctrinaire interpretation of the Shaliqar faith becomes the norm as more Priestesses of Yildun sympathies are appointed to temples throughout the Caliphate.
The long-standing independence of the Freeman's Trading Guild, a matter of tradition but not law, comes to an end, as women are formally admitted as traders within the precincts of the Freemen's Souk. The status of the Guild falls in relation to the Great Western Trading Guild.
The Jerezad, investing a substantial portion of their wealth in a great naval fleet, attempt to seize the Puntish trading city of the Bookwala. Twenty-three years after their initial schism, the families begin to skirmish, settling old scores in a loud and bloody fashion. The naval invasion is eventually defeated by the Bookwala, but not without cost. Both families are significantly weakened before Calipha Rasheeda finally decrees that the contest must end.
Calipha Rashida dies. Even in the most fevered and suspicious of court circles, there is little question that her death was both natural and expected. Her daughter Amlatta, the only heir, takes the throne.
Year 1 of the reign of Amlatta the Pious
The present day