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Turn 12 News

News of the 124th Day of the Shattering

Sahmid issues challenge for throne

'So what exactly is it that one has to do to take the throne? Or at least, to make sure those vile barbarians don't take it?'

'They left it up to Sahmid, and he brought together the best and brightest of the city. Finally, they decided that any person who could take Omar from the throne and put it back together would be allowed to sit on it.'

'Well heck, I could do that in my sleep.'

'That's the problem, you fool!'

Three Hadar generals murdered in sleep, one assassin slain

[Dark rumours swirl of discord in the Hadar, as three of their greatest generals are found slaughtered in their beds, attacked in the night by unknown assassins. One garrotted, two with throats cut, the anger in their remaining colleagues is rumoured to grow by the day. Some say that the Emira ordered their deaths when they refused to swear fealty to her, some refuse to believe this could be true of their beloved and trusted Emira, and say it is a conspiracy of the invading Jadeites, or traitors in other families or the horse barbarians. Either way, guards around the remaining Hadar generals' quarters have been tripled in number, and few feel safe without at least one trusted guard in their room, and a dagger under their pillow.]

Arkan slays Ghazban

'Hear ye, citizens of Shalazar! See the return of our mighty and triumphant hero, Arkan Al Fesk, back from his hunt for tha vile criminal Ghazban. See, he carries the head of the slain villain. Now justice has been served for the people of Shaliq! The heinous brigand that took our beloved Calipha from us is dead at last, slain by the righteous sword of a great man! Praise be to Shaliq, this is a joyous day indeed!'

Djinn follow third way

'Have you seen that djinn? You know, the watery one wot has to be a pious human for a month?'

'Oh, yeah--I got a bet on him to win'

'Well, you might be in luck. he seems to have been converted to that loony cult wot run the orphanages.'

'The third way, you mean? Oh no, that's no good--how am I going to win my bet if that mad djinn commits suicide?'

Burning s--- hits the fan

'Aaarrgh! Run, run for you lives! Oh. No, it's all right. The first isn't burning me--it's just burning my house... and my shop... and my dog. Got all the rats though, they went up like little torches as they ran out of the shop. Now where is it going? Why is the ground warm? Oh, shaliq preserve us! The sewers, it's in the sewers, rats are running left and right and going up like fireworks as the djinni of fire explode up through all the manholes at once! So I'm alive but my entire street is burning. So that's alright then.' [Said by a small carpet shop owner just before she faints.]

[The conflagration is only stopped when a very flustered Grand Vizier appears before the Padisha of Fire and states categorically that he has won this round of the contest. True, technically he is not judge of this particular challenge, but he speaks with the authority of the Calipha at present, and that is enough for both the Djinn and the majority of Shalazar. And anyone who wishes to speak against this ruling will undoubtedly have most of Shalazar upon his head....]

Sahmid puts out Shalazar

'Thank Shaliq for the Protector of the City! The Djinn were setting the city alight, and the whole place might have burnt down, but thanks to his viaducts and his dams and all his works, we got the fire out lickety-split!

The Grand Vizier's got BALLS!

'Dear Shaliq on high! No! Really? He's... 'endowed' again? Well that explains a lot doesn't it! That fraud! A eunuch my balls!'

'Hey, hey, hey hang on! Whatever's happened to him physically, hasn't he led us well over the last few months? Isn't Shalazar still free from Jadeites and Barbarian rule? As the Tomes say, look not the gift camel under the belly...'

'Yes, but then nothing natural or holy gave him back his precious bits did it? A demonically influenced leader is still an abomination, no matter how good a leader he may be. Without Shaliq or even a Calipha to protect us, we have obviously let our guard down... Shaliq help us all...'

Salash Converts

'Did you hear? Those slimy snake-devils want to convert to the Shaliquar faith!'

'Can they do that? Do they even have souls?'

'Who knows? The Priestesses discussed the matter, and the True Elders, the ones who will choose the next Calipha, announced that yes they do have souls. The Fallen Elders haven't made a statement about it yet.'

'Well, in these times, any allies we can get are a blessing I suppose. Don't look at me like that, I know they're slimy snake-devils, it's just that these are tough times, and we do need help.'

'I don't know, truces wth barbarians, snake-men with souls... makes you miss the simpler times under Amlatta doesn't it?'

Men Rule Londameldarol

[On the outskirts of Shalazar, a small band of men, whose wives are known as some of the most demanding harridans to ever have walked the face of Shalazar, pack up their belongings, gather at the gates of the city, and head out South towards Punt. They have heard the rumour that the city of Londameldarol has been taken over by men. Their wives have been made house-bound, and the priestesses confined to the temple and the indoors. This life sounds a paradise to these weary, harrassed men, and they set off in hope of a new life. Most people, men and women are shocked and angered by the news of Londameldarol. Such impudence by men is considered by many as heretical and blasphemous at worst, pure foolish cheek or temporary madness at best. Few communications have been sent from the city in the last few months, so the true state of the city is unknown.]

Military coup in Marinia

(message delivered to Hadar Emira)

'Hear now our words, o Emira. We served you faithfully for many years, and you sent assasins after us in our sleep. No longer can we respect one who stoops so low. We declare Marinia free of your rule, and loyal to Emir Erasmus.'

Alchemist's Guild Return to Prosperity

'Well, that Shaliq that's all sorted. You should've seen my Delmi over the last few weeks. She's a member of the Alchemists' Guild, you see, and apparently their Guild Master was settin them all to unprofitable tasks, and the Guid was losing some serious money. But now the Guildmaster's married into money, apparently, and is pumping a load of money back into the guild, so Delmi's happy. Yeah, some really rich clients have been commissioning loads of high-cost projects apparently, and the Guild's profits are now way, way up. Well, I'm just glad my wife's happy again... now she positively raves about the Guildmaster. Money always helps things, doesn't it? Throw money at the problem and it just goes away... almost like magic.'

Djinn of Obsidian

'Seriously, I saw it myself when we went to the Obsidian city with Captain Kayam! A great big black shiny thing it was, with razor sharp fingers and a loud booming voice! It said, 'I am the Djinn of Obsidian, this is my masterwork, isn't it nice? Now leave this place so I may continue my work!' Then he stomped off over the razor sharp streets like they were nothing!'

'But, hang on... I once befriended a Djinn. A great wind-djinn it was, name of Ghalaresteliopity. I did ask him once if he would take me to the Obsidian city, I'd heard so many rumours about it and was very curious. When I suggested it, the Djinn turned from me and said he would not go to such a cursed place, none of his kind would. So, if the Djinn don't like obsidian, why is there an Obsidian Djinn?'

'Maybe he's the only one who does? I don't know! I'm not exactly a djinn expert, you know! All I know is what I saw...'

Khal'Nayak free again!

'Well, that's a relief! Now that that power-mad Arkan al Fesk has been removed from his position, we have a decent Protector of the City, Sahmid al Jerezad! And you know what he's done? He's let the Order of Khal'Nayak operate within the city again! At last some protection from people who aren't just fight-mad vigilantes, or Arkan's own private militia! Well, I don't know about you guys, but I'm definitely gonna feel safer in my bed tonight.'

'Yes... but then again, Arkan did protect us against the horse barbarians at the invasion didn't he? And he did preserve order in the city, didn't he? Plus, I know the Order are blessed Demon and Necromancer hunters and all, but sometimes they did get a little, well, out of hand didn't they?'

'Oh, and Arkan didn't? Look, better the demon you know then the demon you don't. At least now we're protected by Calipha appointed guards, and not a bunch of civilian rabble-rousers!'

Abib Invaded!

A messanger arrives by carpet at the bazaar looking tattered and tired, and pronounces to the gathered:

The Jadeites are at the walls of Abib, they are bearing down on us! There are hundereds of thousands of them! We are doomed!!

'The Grand Vizier? (Spit) Worse than Omar, that one is. Wants to marry Hiroko or Kokoro to take over their house, wants to support Erasmus in his insane blasphemous plans, takes control of our defenses away from Arkan and gives them to Sahmid - who's a fine agriculturalist and builder, but what we need right now is a soldier to protect us from our Jadite foes - aye, and our barbarian foes if that alliance fails. We need a woman in his place, a Stewardess to look after things until the New Calipha comes to save us. Viziers simply weren't meant to run things for this long, he's gone and brought us to the brink of peace and then turned things around and nearly reversed all our gains. I'm a man meself, but if I see any bonehead trying to assert his `natural male authority' I swear I'll kill him and stuff his-'


'Whups, pardon me miss, got carried away there.'

Jadeites Routed!

Even as they set upon Abib from the North, the Jadeites found the Horse Barbarians at their rear. They appeared out of nowhere, and their horses rode down the Jadeites infantry and sent them mad. At the same time, a force of Ghazi's men engaged the Jadeites front. As the infidel dogs fought at either end, they failed to notice that they were being dragged away from the city and into the desert. And then suddenly, whooooooooosh! they were in the sandstorm of the earth and air djinn, and the ground shook beneath their feet... tens of thousands died that day and the rest of the army has been broken into pieces. It will be sometime before the infidels can regroup, and hopefuly time enough for our valiant defenders to fortify Abib properly.

Erasmus a tit, shock, horror.

'Did you hear what that fool Erasmus tried? He went marching into the Grand Vizier's court, and right in front of his Emira starts banging on about how men should rule Shalazar, and he was going to take over the family! Of course his claims were laughed out of court, I mean, no-one in their right mind would back him over his Emira. The word is he's not been well recently. Maybe it was a fevered rant or something.'

'Yeah... his Emira's lovely, but too soft in my opinion. Don't get me wrong, she's a nice girl, but so young, and so inexperienced. I mean, she lets her husband go spouting all that rubbish in a public place, and doesn't even have him escorted out, then she lets that low-born fool Nadir strike her husband, and complain to the Grand Vizier, and doesn't even punish him? Like I say, she's a nice girl, but way too soft to survive long in these dangerous times...'

Invisible College advisors return to their positions

'Well, that's a good thing isn't it? Have you heard about the Ivisible Collge? Yes, apparently several of their professors and advisors are willing to return and help the citizens of Shalazar in their time of need. Yes, you remember, they all holed themselves up in their college, and the doors vanished. Now, it seems, they see their fellow people in are in trouble, and have decided to assist us where they can... No, no, not all of them, but some of them, and that's a start at least, isn't it?'

Eunuchs No Longer

'Grown back? Is that possible?'

'That's what I thought. But remember when their, ahem, 'precious parts' were stolen ten months ago, back when Shaliq and Amlatta were still with us? It was a sorceror behind it all, and the, ahem, parts were enchanted to grow back on their original owners.'

'Well, it would explain why all them eunuchs have started being so cursed randy of late. They keep pestering my Salma with their fruit and their offers of hot oil massage, I'm not sure the poor dear can bear much more!'

'There's only one thing for it. Chop them all off again! Eunuchs should be eunuchs, eunuchs they were, eunuchs they should stay, and eunuchs they shall be once more.'

Djinn Attentions

'I've heard that a few of the Djinn are getting a mite friendly with some folk.'

'Nothing wrong with friendly Djinn is there? We could do with a few more friendly ones to make up for all the others causing trouble and knocking down walls and not doing their jobs anymore.'

'No, not friendly, I mean friendly.'

'Aaaaahhh. But isn't that, like, against all the commandments of Shaliq? Wasn't that why Omar was cursed?'

'Yes, but now Shaliq, may she forgive us all, no longer has her eye on the world, maybe they think they can get away with a bit more.'

'Surely no one would be stupid enough to actually get involved with a Djinn, would they>'

'I don't know. Would you have the courage to tell a Djinn you weren't interested?'

Apparitions of the Adversary

'You really think those apparitions which have been turning up are sent by Shaliq? Why would Shaliq, may She return her blessed gaze to us, just appear to a select few after deciding to abandon the world? Don't you think that She would return to the whole world in glory, and return the Djinn to their tasks? What about the false visions that are being sent, that bear so many similarities to these apparitions? No, it's the Adversary, taking advantage of the absence of Shaliq's gaze to steal the worship of the people for herself. It's not only holiness that can fill your heart with feeling, sorcery and dæmonic powers can do it just as easily. Likewise with gold and perfumes, any halfway competent alchemist could pull that off. The Dwellers in Shadow are powerful beings, and proud, wouldn't one of them be tickled pink to have whole crowds of people bowing down in worship?'

Too Many Teacosys!

[Two of the Guards of the Grand Vizier]

'Where'd he go, where'd he go?'

'How'd they nab him like that, right from under us?'

'Well, it would help if he wasn't chasing everything in a skirt...'

'Hey, there he goes, on a carpet, there--you can tell by the turban. They've got him bound and gagged!'

'You mean that one over there?'

'No, I mean that one.... wait, how many of them are there?'

'Look, there's another over there! And another!'

'There's six of them! Which one is real???'

Munir's Dead! I think...

'How can Munir still be alive?'

'Why shouldn't he be?'

'Because I saw him when the throne room fell. A horse barbarian stabbed him through the heart, and there's no way he could have survived that. I saw it with my own two eyes, the blood was everywhere!

It's Raining Dead!

[All over Shalazar, there is fear amongst the young waifs and strays that walk the streets. Several of their number have disappeared over the last month. And the fate of the bodies is well known.

They have been found skewered on high flagpoles, and broken on the ground and on rooftops of buildings in the ciy, all seeming as if they have been dropped from great heights. The bodies that are not completely destroyed are found with the name and symbol of Shaliq carved into their chests and foreheads.

Such horrific deaths have shaken the populace of the city, especially in the poorer areas to their very cores. What the deaths represent, or who has committed them is a complete mystery. As yet, no-one has implemented any investigation or action, which is a sad but undeniable reflection of the fact that the crimes are perpetrated against the unprotectable of the city: the lowest, the poorest, the uncared for, and most importantly the uncounted. How can you protect so many, when there is no way to find them, and no-where for them to hide?]

Star Juggling

'Mummy, why is that astrologer banging his head against the wall? Is he a member of the Hadar?'

'No, dear. Apparently the stars have been falling again?'

'But mummy, hasn't that been happening for weeks now?'

'Well, yes, but now some of them are falling upwards... and sideways... and bouncing up and down... I suppose he's having a hard time keeping track of them.'

'Aw... poor man...'

Yildun Return Guise

'Hear ye, hear ye! Let it be known that the honourable house of the Yildun do open the city of Guise, newly reclaimed from the invading force of the Empire of Jade, to the house of the Jerezad. The Yildun do hereby offer their full support to the the Jerezad if it be so required to aid them in the reconstruction of their city and the resettlement of their people. If the Jerezad see fit to appoint a new steward to the city he will have the assistance of the house of the Yildun at his request until the family has re-established its control of the city. Glory be to Shaliq!'

influence chart

Standing is a measure of the relative strength of the Great Families of Shalazar. The Standing of a great family determines how useful it is to spend points of Influence on your actions each turn.

The Jerezad are gaining greater influence based both upon their piety and the skill with which they are managing their affairs. Regaining Guise has increased their resources.

The Bookwala have not yet regained the trust they lost after the theft of Elmiyah--but at least they've not done anything else to make themselves hated.

The Yildun have made themselves popular by giving Guise back to the Jerezad. Their generousity and piety are admired far and wide, and with the return of Killian they have gained a strong ally.

The Hadar have been ripped apart by an internal struggle. Accusations that the Emira is having her opponents assassinated have made her feared and distrusted even within the sections of the house that have remained loyal to her. That they would allow a low-born waif like Nadir to stand against the Grand Vizier has not made them popular, either.

The Fesk continue to show signs of wealth and prosperity, and give alms and succor to the poor in Shalazar and beyond.