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Events of the Reforged Throne

And so it ends...

The Caliphate

When Merilla took the throne, Shaliq returned, and with her a peace and joy long missing from the lands of Shalazar. Both wise and cautious, she took for her husband Ghazi al'Altair, and made him the first of her generals. Though she would never love him, it is said she looked upon him with kindness, and he was to be her only groom. Together they bore three children, two daughters and a son, and the eldest daughter would succeed her, continuing the line.

The new Tablets of Gold contained stricter observances, but Merilla reinstated many of the festivals which had fallen out of favour under Amlatta, and indeed some which had not been heard of since before the fall of Omar. With the aid of the Djinn, she set about reconstructing the heavens, renewing the crops, and repairing the damage which had been done by the Adversary.

And so, as the Age of Wonders made way for the Age of Darkness, so the Age of Darkness passed into the Age of Joy. Yes, it was rough in the birthing, but great things are often midwifed from painful beginnings. Shaliq is ever-mysterious in her dealings, and there have been those who have asked, with reason, whether it was her intention to unite the world under the power of the Calipha, and if so, did she know it was necessary for the line of Adara to be replaced by the line of Merilla? But these things go beyond what a humble historian may ponder, into the realm of mystery...


--From the History of Senduk al Jerezad

Empire of Jade

After the wars, and the returning of Shaliq to the faithful, the Emperor converted to her worship and on bended knee offered his homage to the Calipha of Shalazar. The worship of Shaliq was taken up as the official state religion, helped by the large numbers of missionaries who flocked to the Empire. Trade was again taken up between the two lands and a Protector of the Empire was appointed from Shalazar to 'advise' the Emperor on all aspects of his reign. Despite the returning wealth and prosperity the Empire remains a far away and mysterious land, the most distant of all the protectorates of Shalazar, and despite the Priesthood's best efforts, ancestor worship continues to flourish underground.

The Horse Barbarians

After the death of their leader, the unity of the tribes was broken. A few tried to reclaim the mantle of the First Son, but they were challenged and struck down. Many of the tribes returned to their homelands, and resumed their ancient ways, but the Tribe of the Wolf, and some lesser tribes remained linked to the Caliphate. Their chieftains swore peace with Shalazar, and they returned all the cities they had taken, most of which fell into the hands of the Fesk. While they do not worship Shaliq in the same way as civilised folk, they now bow in prayer before the Maker of All Things, and keep to the commandments. At morning and nightfall they pray to her, and on the 7th day they keep from horseback in rememberance of the sins of womankind.

The Jungles of Punt

With the truce declared with the pygmies (a move fiercly opposed by the cult of Amlatta and covertly by some factions of the temple), and after the exodus of the snake-people into the Hadar cities and Shalazar itself, the jungles of Punt return to the mysterious serenity they once knew. The cities taken by the pygmies become great trading posts between them and the Caliphate; though the occassional bid to control them is made by one family or another such a move is soon quashed by the Calipha Merilla.

The feathered serpants return to their jungle worshippers and encourage them to lead lost travellers back to the nearest city, rather than sacrificing them to the dragons, a change that is reluctanly made but that serves to strengthen the bond between Shalazarian and pygmy.

It is said that after the destruction of the Adversary it seemed as if a pall had been lifted from the great jungles, and the ground and trees and rivers could live free again. Those groves and pgymy tribes destroyed by the great demon were mourned by their kind, but over the next few decades, the charred land became rich and lush again. Many many pygmies lost their lives in Punt, but their kind, now free from the persecution of the Shalazarians, is free to rebuild itself to its former glory. Museums of pygmy culture and art are established in some of the southern cities of the Caliphate, to preserve the rich and diverse culture of the great pygmy race.

Western Isles

The isles most Westward from Shalazar were eventually restored after Calipha Merilla began to task the djinn back to their old jobs. The Earth djinn, despite initial ignoring of the problem, eventually restored the fallen islands to the edge of the world after the oversight had been reported to the Calipha. Slightly dubious trade among the islands continued although raids of piracy diminished after the Hadar rebuilt their fleet off the island of Tobrukh. The islands themselves continued to be havens for all kinds of dubious or disaffected people, as well as home to the giant Sea Dragons of the West.

The Jerezad

The Jerezad did not learn from the defection of the Bookwala, and instead descended into further internecine fighting. With the steady hand of Sahmid removed from day-to-day family politics after his ascension to the Palace, more and more power concentrated either with Imzenzi or Atiya. The family's name became a byword for treachery and poisoning, as one candidate for Emira after another fell victim to politics. While they maintained their trading dominance for more than fifty years, no Great Family could survive this kind of conflict forever, and eventually the oldest of the existing Great Families faded away like their rivals, the Ruchbah, before them.

Fesk

The House of the Fesk went from strength to strength after the return of Shaliq, becoming, over time, the wealthiest House in Shalazar. Their generosity to the poor and their piety during the troubled times both added to the respect they were granted and ensured their good reputation despite past suspicions. However generations later, after one hundred years have passed, a book appeared in the library of the Alchemists. It was called 'The Thirteenth Tome and Other Follies' and purports to be a true history of the wars and the time of the Shattered Throne. In it, the Fesk are held up to be betrayers, not saviours, and ready to sell the Caliphate to the Horse Barbarians in exchange for their survival. The House, despite denials, falls again into disrepute, and this revelation marks the beginning of the end of their prominence.

The Hadar

Six months after the destruction of the Adversary, Emira Hiroko stepped down from the head of the family and named Melinka al Hadar as her successor. The snake people became official members of house Hadar, though this was not a decision accepted by all.

Through countless displays of public generosity and piousness the family begins to rebuild the reputation that was damaged by the actions of Merina al Hadar and her public pledge of support to the Adversary. However, the painful memory of that betrayal, as well as the proliferation of the snake-people in the house resulted in a lingering air of suspicion and distrust for the family that would last the better part of a century.

The donation of an army of snake-men into the service of the Caliphate was warmly welcomed, however, and many snake-men went to assist in the Hadar military training camps, where their mastery of strange new fighting techniques and unrivalled grasp of camouflage and subterfuge fuelled the family's rise to regain their mantle as the most militaristic of the houses.

Over the next century the family rebuilds itself. The city of Marinia is rebuilt and becomes a lush and beautiful city, one almost in a position to rival the city of flowers itself. The island of Tobrukh becomes more glorious than ever, mainly due to the radical new techniques of interior design displayed by the former first-husband Erasmus, during his long residence on the island.

The Bookwala

The family of the Bookwala reeled in shock at the admission of guilt from the very mouth of their Emira. All those who had supported her were dragged to the fires, at times by their own sisters, and all those whose veins were filled with accursed blood of the Ash'kenz were purged. The rump of the family made no complaint when the Calipha handed over their city of Amarat, together with its famous library to the Invisible College.

Over time the family rose above these setbacks. The time of bloody cleansing at least ensure a minimum of infighting within the house, and they were quick to take advantage of the constant squabbles within the Jerezad. Their links with Punt remained strong, and they came to take control of most of the trade amonst the Western Isles.

The Yildun

Following the reforging of the compact with Shaliq and the reforging of the throne, the Yildun found themselves in the enviable position of being able to say 'I told you so' to every other family in the Caliphate. Driven to new heights of piety and strict religious obediance, they soon became the most powerful house politically and in terms of their influence on the everyday life in the Caliphate. Perhaps the most notable success of Emira Kokoro is in improving the public relations of the house; the Yildun might still be fanatical beyond the call of duty, but society at large now sees them as both fanatical and correct.

The Invisible College

In the weeks following the reforging of the compact, the Archchancellor of the Invisible College stepped down, and Rabanni al Bookwala was appointed in his place. Immediately attention turned to the problem of rebuilding the College and finding a new location for it. It was at this point the the Calipha intervened, and granted the Invisible College the city of Amarat together with its library as a starting point for a new college. for their part, the Invisible College immediately started builiding a great tower in the centre of the city, which could be seen for miles into the desert by all. In the years that followed, Amarat became more and more of a campus town, and the Invisible College less and less invisible, though rumours persist of secret rooms in the dark corners of the world. There are even those who say that the old College was never truly abandoned, though these are surely the ramblings of madmen...

The Council of Seven

The first act of the returning Djinn is to reform the Great Temple of Shaliq. The new templates are placed therein, and once more the sun never rises upon Shalazar but that it shines upon her covenant with her people. The new Temple is quite similar to the old, with a few exceptions, such as railings built around the high passageways, so that blind priestesses may ascend the Temple in safety.

Under Elder Kyree Tao-Ying, the Council of Elders enters something of a renaissance. Certainly the first year is spent debating passages of the Theopneustic Tomes in order to confirm their meaning under a new compact, as well as 'redacting' the rulings passed by the two Councils of Four during the Shattering. Once again, however, the theological world is split between two views, one which holds that the world suffered because mankind chose not to see Shaliq as a diety of love, and one who which clings to the belief that Shaliq's commandments must be followed more strictly lest similar misfortune again befall the world. This latter is supported by the Cult of Amlatta the Pious, who still maintain that the Pygmies must be eliminated...

Alchemists Guild

The Alchemists Guild thrived after the return of Shaliq. Every carpet in Shalazar and further afield had to be rewoven, and for a while cloud-weaving became the most prominent art within the guild. However, as with all good things that must eventually come to an end, the myriad number of apprentices that were taken on to deal with the glut matured, and found that the work had largely dried up. Consequently, carpets became two a sheckel, and the guild turned it's attention back to more normal pursuits, such as large explosions. They felt confident in doing so partly due to the safety procedures introduced by the late Guild Master Ashira and partly because there seems to be a guardian djinn watching over them. Not always, not every time, so safety is still essential, but sometimes - an alchemist will be caught and protected from the flames and set down unharmed. Praise be to Shaliq!

The Order of Kal'Nayak

The Order of Kal'Nayak came through the troubled times a purer and stronger force. With proof of the taint of Captain Kayam, his execution at the hands of Captain Jhetz was the start of a purge that swept through the order. All those who had served under Kayam's command came forward of their own free will, and accepted their own execution for the crime of consorting with one who served a Demon. Several others also stepped forward, and proclaimed that they had trusted the tainted one, and also walked freely to their own pyres. Killian presided over the executions, and then went before the Council and asked to be relieved of his oath in order to take new vows as a monk. He handed over a smaller but shaper honed order to Captain Hasta, his chosen successor.

The Order then turned its attentions outside its own ranks, to hunt down the evils that had be seen during the troubled times. The Invisible College offered its aid in this matter, and following the example of combined piety and sorcery enshrined in Elder Kyree, the Order of Kal'Nayak came to accept sorcerors within its ranks. Together they sought out and cast down the Demon of Secrets, wresting his Book of Power from his slave Jeryn, and with the aid of the King of Cats they sought out and destroyed the last servants of the Demon of Rats, and then obliterated the Demon himself from Shaliq's creation, and purged the world of ever last rat.

After these great works the Order's place in the hearts of the pious was confirmed, and they set out to uphold the new commandments of Shaliq, seeking out those who knew of the demonic or necromantic practices of others, in addition to the tainted themselfs, and consigning all to the purifying flames. The piety was doubted by none, but both the Calipha and the Council had need at times to restrain their zeal.

Jolem al Kazak

After the destruction of the Adversary, Jolem as per his promise to Killian, confesses his role in the abduction of Killian and the former Calipha to Calipha Merilla. For his valour and honesty Jolem is saved from execution or imprisonment, and sent into exile back to the island on which Killian was held captive. Once he arrives at what will be his final home, Jolem uses the seeds and tools he brought with him to begin what becomes one of the finest vineyards in the Caliphate. The wine is rich and full of flavour, and becomes a high-priced delicacy back in the cities. However, after a mere fifteen years of life on the island, Jolem dies of a heart attack, his body withered from the lack of alchemical steroids that maitained his warrior prowess in the former Calipha's bodyguard. The vineyard is soon snapped up by a prominent member of the house of Fesk, and the vineyard continues in memory of its founder.

Ashira al Ash-Kenz

The name of Emira Ashira is an infamous one in history, a watch-word to warn Bookwala children of the dangers of ambition. Not content with being Guildmaster of the Alchemists Guild, it is said that Ashira coveted the position of Emira and sold her soul to Adziz the Evil, a powerful necromancer, in exchange for earthly power. It is said that he practised his dark craft on her behalf and she ascended to the position of Emira of the Bookwala. But as in the best tales, ambition brought them both low - Adziz's power became too great to conceal, birds fell dead from the sky when they flew near, flowers withered beneath his feet, and in their unnatural couplings Ashira too became infected with the taint of foul corruptions. Though she confessed her sins to her Calipha, she remained unrepentant, and was felled by the Sword of Life and Death, shortly before her husband should have been executed.

Zahrah al Bookwala

Zahrah of the Alchemist's Guild continued to practice her craft and became one of the most respected ignificiers within the guild. Although initially she avoided matrimony, when the family of the Bookwala fell into disrepute after the discovery of Emira Ashira as a practising necromancer, corrupted by her husband, Zahrah considered it politic to change her name, in her slightly distracted way. She chose the highly respected matchmaking team of Tovaika and Zobrelle of the Hadar to choose her husband, and therefore succeeded in marrying successfully without any more input into the process, which suited her fine. She is known in history as the author of the key text-book for apprentice ignificiers: '101 Ways to Blow up a Tower: the Grey Tower and Other Stories'.

Samir al Fesk

Cast out from humanity for the sin of laying with one of djinn-kind, Samir was transformed into the new Padisha of Fire, the old Padisha now only whispering from the smoke of dark fires as a newly fallen demon. The new Padisha none the less look his duties seriously and immediately re-tasked the Fire djinn to their original tasks. Over the following years a number of pious citizens of Shalazar also had cause to thank the Padisha, as he helped where he could those who would hunt demons, necromancers or the undead, and also appeared to sympathise with parted lovers - a lover who called on the Padisha of Fire to reunite him with his loved one, would often find himself whisked away in a ball of flame or smoke. Also, not long after the transformation, an eternal flame sprang up in the Hall of Many Tongues, that neither consumed nor went out, and many storytellers directed their tales to it, that the Padisha could listen and be comforted. And if a small child, with hair the colour of flame, sometimes tells stories too old or too wise for him, about heroes long dead, who in the Hall would dare argue?

Saleem al Fesk

Saleem lived the rest of his life quietly in religious contemplation and in writing history. He and his beloved Fatimah had a small spartan house on the edges of the Great Temple grounds where they brought up their son, Waleed. In later life, after Waleed had married a fine and respectable Yildun girl, Saleem's greatest joy was in being visited by his numerous grandchildren. In life, he was most proud that his 'History of the Shattered Throne' was mentioned in the Theopnistic Tomes. However, one hundred years after his death, another volume of his histories came to light, 'The Thirteenth Tome and Other Follies', which caused a number of eyebrows to be raised regarding his true piety. The volume contained some rather racy theology as well as a rather more unvarnished account of history, and was immediately banned as heresy, although underground copies continued to be circulated for years afterwards.

Thuban

After being released from the Palace dungeons after many years, Thuban was reinstated as Court Poet under Calipha Merilla, although with very undemanding duties. He was often seen in later years sunning himself in the Palace gardens, near to where the Court ladies take the air. He finally found his true love when he met and married Yelina, a young and nubile lady in waiting, unfortunately only to expire on the honeymoon. Yelina had a bouncing baby boy six months later.

Nadir

Nadir the Slave of the Adversary was hacked down while paralysed after witnessing the destruction of his mistress. His name was struck from the records, and blackened in the eyes of all right thinking women. Some heretical fools have claimed however, that but for him the reign of the adversary would have been without flaw, and would have endured forever. Some even continued to proclaim this heresy from atop their pyres.

Nassab was proclaimed storyteller to the Calipha, a role he fulfilled for many years, teaching her children tales of heroism. There was briefly a rumour within the palace that he had once served Nadir the Accursed, and had sought to slay the Calipha, but the rumour continues that he was overcome with remorse and confessed all to her, and was forgiven.

Adsiz al'Ashkenz

The terrible deeds of this man did not end when he confessed his sins before the Council. He and his tainted wife came forward and admitted their crimes, but were still unrepentant, claiming they sinned for the sake of the caliphate. They brought with them the Sword of Life and Death, and asked that it be used to slay them. Ashira was executed first, for the wife goes before the husband, but when the blade was touched to the neck of Adsiz he broke his bonds and struck it down, then fled the plaza as a mist in which the forms and cries of rats could be heard. Nothing more was heard of him, but when the Demon Lord of Rats was struck down by his ancient enemy, the Prince of Cats, the body that was left behind seemed to some to resemble that of Adsiz.

Al'Phariq

Al'Phariq lived long and happily as head of the Guild of Alchemists. The wealth of the guild was restored 10 fold by the demand for renewed carpets, and it rose high in power and prosperity. The new premises of the guild were designed by Al'Phariq, and incorperated an engine to allow the entire complex to leave the ground, and travel where it would. Al'Phariq was also appointed as an advisor to the Calipha, and became a man of great influence within the court.

Rabbani al'Bookwala

Became the Chancellor of the Invisible College soon after the return of Shaliq, as his predecessor was rendered distraut by the destruction of his life's work. He presided over the rebuilding of the Invisible College in its new home in the city of Amarat, and the reordering of the great library there. He also joined with and aided the Order of Kal'Nayak in their quests against the several demons that had been losed, and was several times seen to be aided by no lesser than the Padishah of Fire in his battles against evil.

Arkan al Fesk

After the destruction of the Adversary, Arkan also confesses his role in the kidnap of Killian and the attempted kidnap of the former Calipha. He however stated that he and Jolem acted alone out of the former bodyguards, and not to let their actions taint their reputation. The Calipha praised Arkan for his valour and honesty, and stated that the former Calipha's bodyguards would be re-instated as the Blessed Legion. Then she pronounced his punishment - exile from Shalazar with Jolem al Kazak to the island that once held Killian and their other captives. He duly left the city and sailed far away, never to return.

Yasmina al Bookwala

Yasmina, having watched her comrades Arkan and Jolem confess their roles in the kidnap of Killian and receive their punishment before the Calipha approaches the Calipha and confesses that she also had a hand in the affair. Merilla considered the matter and stated that for her punishment she must once a year sail out to the island to which Jolem and Arkan had been exiled, for the purposes of delivering their food. She was forbidden from ever stepping foot on the island, or from sailing to within view of it at any other time. Yasmina returned to her role as Alchemist to the Calipha's bodyguard, during her tenure writing several renowned textbooks for alchemical students on adhesives, steroids, sleeping aids, and the moral consequences of alchemy. After a year working under the new Guildmaster Al-Phariq, Yasmina and Al-Phariq celebrate their wedding, as arranged by Emira Melinka al Hadar. After a long working life Yasmina retired to the Bookwala quarter in Shalazar where she lived out her days in peace and quiet correspondance with other scholars.

Meshif

Meshif, better known as 'Jehryn' of the Honourable Company of Messengers was exposed as a follower of the Demon of Secrets six months after the destruction of the Adversary. An investigative team led by Elder Kyree and Rabbani al Bookwala found several followers and a few sects of worshippers of the Demon of Secrets in Shalazar, and, under interrogation by the Order of Khal'Nayak, a contact in the Honourable Company of Messengers was named. This contact was Jehryn. Jehryn was followed by the Order of Khal'Nayak who witnessed him abducting and mutilating a young beggar. The Order arrested the villain outside his quarters. Amongst his posessions were two books, one of which was burnt immediately by Rabbani, the other had its contents read aloud by Captain Hasta, thus discorporating the demon, and then was burnt. The fiend confessed hundreds of killings under interrogation, victims ranging from young homeless beggars, to many of the mercenary army the Crimson Jackals, who he claimed were responsible for the death of his wife and child. Tried under his true identity, the murderer was burnt by the Order of Khal'Nayak with the blessing of the Council of Elders. The Honourable Company of Messengers denied any knowledge of his false identity or his actions out of work.

Ghazi al'Altair

General Ghazi al'Altair married the Calipha and was placed first amongst her generals, ironically largely succeeding in fulfilling the ambition of the Obsidian General. From this it became tradition that the first of the Calipha's husbands would also be the first of the Calipha's generals, and so it was for the remainder of Merilla's line.

Most believe that Ghazi was true in his love for his wife, though it was never reciprocated, and his memory was invoked by husbands or wives wishing to inspire devotion in an otherwise unloving spouse. His three children, first a daughter, then a son, and then another daughter, were the only heirs Merilla was to bear, and when it came time for her to pass away, she did so holding her beloved husband's hand.

Ghazban al Bookwala

After the death of their leader, much confusion reigns amongst the Crimson Jackals: who was Ghazban, who was Sudaq, how were they related? Many of the Jackals instead pledge their allegiance to Emira Ashira of the Bookwala--unfortunately, they are hunted down and executed under suspicion of consorting with demons shortly after she confesses to necromancy. The remainder disband, some of them becoming mercenaries for various houses. Eventually the name of the Crimson Jackals fades into infamy.

Lafesh the Magnificent, a seer of somewhat dubious merit, marries a snake-woman, and sets up a successful venture selling fortunes to passing merchants. He does not mention his former associates...

Captain Kayam

Captain Kayam, unwitting tool of the forces of darkness, is thrown upon a pyre shortly after his death. He is mourned by his associates and remembered for his courage among the Order of Kal'Nayak, although his loyal henchmen, upon realising that they have consorted with a demonologist, loyally allow themselves to be put to the sword.

Captain Reuben Hasta

Captain Hasta becomes the head of a diminished Order, following the death of Captain Kayam and the disappearance of Jhezt al'Gharizme. Under his guidance, the order becomes strong and powerful again, and he is responsible for increased recruiting and better training than the Order has ever known. For the duration of his life (and he dies an old man snug in his bed), the Order maintains a sterling reputation for strict adherence to the will of Shaliq. After his death, however, things begin to slip...

Jhezt al'Gharizme

Jhezt looks sadly over the bonfire and the ashes of his former comrade-in-arms al Kayam. Something catches his attention, and he steps up to the still-warm coals.

Oddly enough, al Kayam's moustache seems to have survived the blaze. It's not even singed. Jhezt gingerly picks it up -it's not even warm- and fancies he can feel it moving in his hand.

'It must be the wind' he thinks to himself, though there is barely a breeze, and leaves, thinking to take it to the Kal'Nayak headquarters as evidence...

...however, neither Jhezt or the moustache are ever seen again.

Melinka

Melinka became Emira of the Hadar after Hiroko stepped down and named Melinka as her successor. Melinka was renowned for being perhaps the most charming, pious, kind, and politically astute Emira that the family had ever had. Melinka never deserted her duties as Emira, though she still found time to be a very prolific match-maker, arranging the marriage of Al-Phariq and Yasmina al Bookwala among many others. She worked tirelessly to have the people of her husband Salash accepted by the people of Shalazar, and to prove that the days of trouble and betrayal that may have dogged the family in the past were well behind them. Merina was quietly removed from power, and Alia, the second daughter of the former Emira Bahiya was put in her place as the steward of Usk. The city of Marinia was rebuilt and became a lush city renowned for its beauty and its piety. Melinka never bore children from her marriage, which many expected, and for which some were relived. This was always a source of sadness for the Emira, but when the time came she had no hesitation in naming the daughter of Alia, Falina as her successor as Emira, a decision praised by a large portion of the family.

Hiroko

Emira Hiroko publicly stepped down as Emira within a year of the destruction of the Adversary, claiming that the future of the family could be placed in much more capable hands than her own, and named Melinka as her successor. The former Emira then set about making preparations to travel to the Empire of Jade with the Priestesses who were charged with assisting the conversion of the remaining Jadeites. Hiroko was a paragon of piety and compassion in the Empire, and was a great driving force and mediating voice in the establishment of the governorship of the Caliphate over the remnants of the Empire. She never sought a return to the realm of politics, though, and eventually returned to the Island of Tobrukh to spend some time with her husband Erasmus. The pair spent many happy years together, though often Hiroko found herself called away to Marinia to assist in its re-establishment and would spend a few weeks or so in the city helping out where she could. Eventually the happy couple retired to Marinia where they spent a long and happy time together, in a very spacious well-decorated mansion.

Kokoro

The youngest Emira in Yildun history was remembered in family archives as one of the kindest, most pious, women to ever handle the reins of the family. The Emira faced pressure from many members of her family to take a harder line on many issues, particularly ecumenical and religious matters; and while she did lose a good deal of that innocent naivety she entered her role with, her compassion, kindness and patience never faltered. A favourite tale amongst her descendents is the story of how she met her husband. On the eve of her 30th birthday the young Emira was at a dinner hosted by her close friend and fellow Emira, Melinka al Hadar, where she met a fiesty young man by the name of Radhi al Yildun. The two got into a blazing row and went outside to settle their differences. The rumour has it that isn't quite what happened as the couple announced their engagement three days later. After a few months of franticly arranged dinners, outings, and dress-fittings by their friend Melinka, the couple wed in the height of summer on a carpet of rose petals in the gardens of the Palace, with the Calipha herself as a guest of honour. Kokoro had many children with the love of her life, and stepped down to her eldest daughter at the grand old age of fifty-three. She died peacefully in her sleep in the arms of her beloved several years later, and a month of mourning was declared for one of the family's most loved women, and most wise and compassionate rulers.

Sahmid al Jerezad

It could not be said that Merilla was foolish in her choice of advisors. Word of how well Sahmid had watched over the city of Shalazar while all around him was falling reached her ears shortly after she took the Throne. While her husband had military matters in order, she still had need of someone to operate the Palace, renew the ranks of the eunuchs, and keep hold of the myriad minor tasks that might distract her from rebuilding. In short, she realised that she needed Sahmid al Jerezad.

There is some question as to how willingly he undertook the position of Grand Vizier, given the sacrifice that it entailed--and yet those who say that he hesitated also mention that Merilla virtually demanded he accept this burden. And so it was that the Caliphate came under the guidance of the ever-watchful Grand Vizier Sahmid, whose steady hand massaged away the tensions between the Great Families and kept them from war. Indeed, his steadying influence was much missed within the Jerezad...

Qasim al Jerezad

The mysterious 'choking' death of Regent Qasim al Jerezad begins what is to become an ongoing spiral of deception and death within a divided house. Many times over the next few years, courtiers caught in the crossfire (or even merely tired of the infighting) are heard to say, 'Such things never happened while Qasim held sway... those were dark days for the Caliphate, but for our house...'

Atiya al Jerezad

Although accused of the murder of several of her adoptive family (including possibly the two women from whom she inherited her lands), Atiya was particularly skilled at making certain that only rumour, not proof, could be attached to her name. She would never become Emira, and she and Imzenzi never resolved their rivalry. Several hundred years after Merilla took the throne stories were still told of the intricate tales of intrigue and treachery that continued between the two of them. Indeed, these stories outlasted the Great Family of the Jerezad itself...

Imzenzi al Jerezad

Imzenzi al Jerezad never became the Vizier of his family, although it is said that many who were Vizier were in his debt. While conducting a war in the shadows with his rival Atiya, he lived out a publicly happy life, and spent much of it playing with his grandchildren in his gardens. His son Imzazi fathered thirteen children by his formerly draconic wife, but only seven of these lived beyond the age of ten--most say due to Atiya's handiwork.

A'nand al Bookwala

Anand al Bookwala survived the internal purge of his house, and went on to assist in the recovery of astrological knowledge following the reforging of the Throne. The stars are in radically different positions, and it is A'nand who constructs the first authoratative star chart of the new night skies. Towards the end of his life, he writes the tome 'Skipping Stars--How the Games of the Djinn During the Times of Darkness Affect Us Yet.' His passing is mourned by the Invisible College, although there is one dark rumour which swirls about his name--that during the Shattering, many of his predictions could not have had any foundation in what was then current astronomy....

Elder Kyree Tao-Ying

Elder Kyree leads the less-militant faction of the Council of Elders, and it is largely her example which keeps such groups as the Cult of Amlatta in check. Her aid in the destruction of the Demon of Secrets provides her with credibility amongst the Order of Kal'Nayak, without which she might have made many enemies due to some of her rulings. She becomes the patron of Waleed, the child of Fatima and Saleem al Fesk, and proposes a career in Court for him. Once a year King Salash of the Snake Men would come to her for an audience, but this audience was always private, and what was said within has never been known thereafter.

Asuki Ashimori, Chamberlain to the Emperor

Asuki Ashimori would return to the Empire of Jade to find it wounded and disheartened, but he brought with him word of a new Calipha, a party of priestesses, and a faith in Shaliq which shone like a beacon. Some say that the next Emperor was chosen at his recommendation--whatever else is true, Asuki Ashimori was to become the Emperor's Lord Chamberlain and most senior advisor. His friendship with former Emira Hiroko and Elder Kyree served him in good stead, and much of the rebuilding of the Empire was done by Djinn pledged by Merilla at his request. He had seven sons and one daughter, each of whom he taught the line of the Emperors back until the beginning of known time--and both of the lines of Calipha.