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Author Topic: Sha'ib: City of Mazes (Arabian Nights/Fantasy Sandbox LGBT Accepting Characters)  (Read 5309 times)

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Offline Kuroneko

"Man habeeb, your sister is crazy, you see that thing she's doing with her hips?"

This made me giggle because habibi and any variation thereof means 'beloved' in Arabic ;)

Mod question: is there room for mystics/fortune teller type characters? i.e., perhaps not 'true' mages or one whose Jinn blood might have lent them a gift of prophecy that's occasionally quite accurate? (and therefore might get them into trouble from time to time).
« Last Edit: February 25, 2015, 11:48:46 PM by Kuroneko »

Offline CrashTopic starter

This made me giggle because habibi and any variation thereof means 'beloved' in Arabic ;)

Mod question: is there room for mystics/fortune teller type characters? i.e., perhaps not 'true' mages or one whose Jinn blood might have lent them a gift of prophecy that's occasionally quite accurate? (and therefore might get them into trouble from time to time).

The Hadaree would consider it a gift from Asaheem, the Bedu from one of their Gods. 

Offline Kuroneko

The Hadaree would consider it a gift from Asaheem, the Bedu from one of their Gods.

Awesome :). Thank you.

Offline CrashTopic starter

Pretty much all people of the desert are followers of the Bedu Gods or Asaheem.  Atheists are virtually unheard of.

Offline Kuroneko

I gathered that from reading the background material, but I wanted to check with you regarding the idea before I let my mind travel along that path any further, lol.

Offline Rave

Hmmm....
Interesting, interesting indeed.

Question!

Are Hybrids a thing? More precisely, a Nasafi Elf/Bedu child. I have an almost perfect image for this in mind, and I can build quite a character around it, but it really looks like said person in that picture is a mix of both races.

Offline Madmartigan

I am surprised I have not seen much in the way of daring thieves

See, that was immediately where my mind went, especially since I'm not a fan of magic. I'm just dragging ass about getting in a character sheet.

Offline Amarlo

I will also be joining if you'll have me :) I will submit a character sheet asap! This game looks very promising.

Offline Sain

Alright think I'll go with a slave dealer then if brothels are forbidden. CS up soon, could link pretty easily with any of those former concubine/concubine characters as the person who got them to their masters. Could fix some past backgrounds with petty criminals and law enforcers too. Anyway, off to writing.

Offline CrashTopic starter

Hmmm....
Interesting, interesting indeed.

Question!

Are Hybrids a thing? More precisely, a Nasafi Elf/Bedu child. I have an almost perfect image for this in mind, and I can build quite a character around it, but it really looks like said person in that picture is a mix of both races.

Really unlikely if only based of proximity, but I would be willing to read the concept and make a decision based on that. 

Offline CrashTopic starter

I will also be joining if you'll have me :) I will submit a character sheet asap! This game looks very promising.

Welcome!

See, that was immediately where my mind went, especially since I'm not a fan of magic. I'm just dragging ass about getting in a character sheet.

Mad - No worries.

Offline Dhi

Alright think I'll go with a slave dealer then if brothels are forbidden. CS up soon, could link pretty easily with any of those former concubine/concubine characters as the person who got them to their masters. Could fix some past backgrounds with petty criminals and law enforcers too. Anyway, off to writing.
Farrah has come into possession of Majidah as a white elephant gift and might know your character that way, though this would not have been a shady deal. Farrah also enforces the law as it pertains to water, so another possibility there.

Offline Madmartigan

if brothels are forbidden

Wait, what? When did that happen? Aw damn.

Offline RedPhoenix

I'd be fine with a slaver character being the one who sold Majidah but for the ages to work he'd have to be in his 30s or 40s now, as Majidah was a child when she was sold and is in her 20s now.

See, that was immediately where my mind went, especially since I'm not a fan of magic. I'm just dragging ass about getting in a character sheet.

Well get to it, I've got a madrasa you need to break into. :P

Offline Paladin101

Dhi, was thinking your character and mine could have met, perhaps be friends or at least acquaintances. Since mine serves as a guide from the city to the Bedu tribes and does a lot of traveling he could have helped guide you to some oasis in the past, or gone with you to go resolve a dispute at a distant tribes oasis? Just a thought. :)

Offline Madmartigan

Well get to it, I've got a madrasa you need to break into. :P

Done and done, unless we run into a necessary re-write issue because his history (and present) peripherally involves a brothel.  ::)

Offline yesiroleplay

 
Character Sheet (WIP)
Name: Ablah Sud Aln’mr  “Well-formed black panther, Ablah the Black Cat”
Player: yesiroleplay
Concept:  Consort Guardian Wizir
Trouble:  Recently lost favor with the Sultan.
Sex: Female
Age: Appears 23
Orientation: Hetro, but a girl has to do what a girl has to do
On’s: Power, intelligence, wit, nuance and subtlety, plus the usual
Off’s: Unpleasant odors, bullies, phonies, bigoted zealotry
Race or People:  Hadaree, of mixed Djaffir and Bedu ancestry.

Appearance:
Hair: Black
Eyes: Chocolate brown
Height: 5”4”
Weight: 110 lbs

Description: Swarthy and slender, Ablah appears typical of the Djaffir, her mother’s people.  Graceful, supple and lithe, she moves much like her favorite animal, the panther.  While she inherited her mother’s build and skin tone, her features are more typical of her father’s people, the Bedu.  A sharp angular nose and high cheek bones soften into a delicate jawline that enhances her sultry lips. Her exotic allure draws the eye even in a harem full of beautiful women.

One Unique Thing: Ablah is much older than she appears*.

Personality: While she can be witty, charming, and even out-going, Ablah much prefers quiet intimacy or even solitude.  Normally calm and quiet, she shows animation when challenged, particularly when asked to play devil’s advocate against commonly held beliefs.  She enjoys attention, particularly at the expense of a rival, but rarely seeks it, feeling attention gained for its own sake is worth less than when earned without motive.  She rarely engages in the most social of harem activities – gossip.  Instead she sits and weaves, listening to her fellow concubines and remembering all.  Perhaps she weaves more than just thread and cloth.

Skills: Wizir magic (minor illusion, protection, and healing), harem skills, listening, debate, weaving and sewing.

Residence: Currently the Sultan’s harem, but this is likely to change soon.

History:
Short version:  Ablah is an orphan adopted and trained by a wizir.  She served the Emir as a harem girl and Guardian wizir for several years, but recently lost favor and now finds herself up for sale in the local slave bazaar. 
Long version
Ablah is the result of a brief liaison between the daughter of a wealthy Djaffir merchant and a charismatic Bedu warrior.  Her father disappeared into the desert sands shortly afterwards, never knowing he had conceived a daughter.

Ablah’s mother was disgraced, and as punishment she was banished to Sha’ib, to a trade depot and caravansary run by a distant relative.  Safely distant from her home city where she could not tarnish the family honor or cause scandal, her father made a good job of forgetting she existed.

Yesenia, The flower of Djaffir beauty faded in the harsh environment.  Her several-times distant cousin was almost as rich as her father, but he had none of his passion or flair.  The compound was Spartan and utilitarian and everyone was required to pay their way, family included.  The pretty merchant princess was not used to harsh labor, and resented everything about her new life.

When Ablah arrived she only increased Yesenia’s burdens.  There were no nurses or tutors for the infant, and the young mother was not suited to the role of parent.  Ablah got little love from her mother, and not much from anyone else.

Yesenia died when the girl was six years old.  Perhaps the cause was eating bad clams as the medic claimed.  Or maybe the young woman died of lost dreams and a broken heart.  Or perhaps the cause was less poetic and more tragic.  Ablah was too young to understand anything except that her mother was gone.

Her so-distant cousin sent a note to her grandfather apprising him of his daughter’s fate and updating him on the status of his grandchild. The man found the note where his cousin left it, in a bundle of trade documents he was sure to read.  News of his daughter’s death hurt him.  Odd, he hadn’t thought about her in years, and yet now he felt the loss.  The rest of the note gave him less concern.  Another useless granddaughter, of which he had ample supply.  And this one a half-breed that couldn’t even be married off to advantage.  Still, she was of his blood.  He crumped the note and then sent a reply to his cousin.

The reply was brief.  “Care for the girl.”  Along with the note was a gift of three camels and a small purse of silver coins.  After buying his conscious clear, the man never gave thought to dead daughter or unwanted granddaughter again.

Age eight was old enough to start formal education, and while her guardian was not one to waste money on frills, he was shrewd enough to know a child’s education was an investment in the future.  It cost him nothing to allow Ablah into school.  And if his cousin were ever to have a change of heart and demand an accounting he could justly claim he provided the girl with a fine education.  So Ablah started school with her cousins. 

School was much easier than sorting coffee beans, or spinning bailed cotton into thread.  It was also much more interesting.  A whole new world opened up to the girl, and she absorbed all of it she could.  One of the teachers as the chief accountant and treasurer for her elder cousin.  A man of vast knowledge and many hidden skills.

Fuad the Keeper was a well-travelled man, a man of learning, and nearly as wealthy as his employer.  And unknown to all but that employer, Fuad was a Wizir of the less common Guardian school.  He guarded not his employer’s life, but something much more important to the man.  He guarded the treasury.

Sensing the girl’s potential, Fuad began schooling her in his hidden art.  She was bright and lovely and her mind was sharp and inventive.  She was a delight to teach, and he thought of the girl as the daughter his eunuch state preventing him from fathering.  He hoped to one day pass on his wealth and his profession to the girl, keeping the family wealth safe. 

The treasury remained safe throughout her cousin’s life.  But his sons fighting over their inheritance almost before the man was properly give back to the earth.  Squabbles, lavish parties, failed investments, and a run of bad luck drained the family coffers until there was nothing left in the treasury worth guarding. 

An old man now, Fuad left his employment.  Sadly, he had been too trusting of his wealth and discovered it lost along with that of his deceased employer.  For as he aged most duties of accounting and treasury now fell to Ablah.  And she allowed the most handsome and sliver-tongued of her cousins to persuade her to invest her father’s wealth along with the family fortune on one failed scheme after another.

The old man never blamed her.  After all he had little use for wealth in these final few years.  Though it saddened him that the girl would not inherit.  The old man and the young woman moved to another district of the sprawling city.  And there he resumed her lessons.  Lessons he’d neglected earlier, as there seemed no need to teach her the skills needed to find a job. 

“There is a hidden communication to these things.”  He instructed.  “Men of power hire our kind in secret.  Not the secrecy of shame, but the secrecy of security.  When a person of sufficient wealth needs a guardian, he hires a bellman to announce an event.  It might be a wedding, or a grand feast, or a funeral.  What matters is that the phrase…” 

The ritual of hiring was complex and obtuse, designed to protect all involved.   Neither party knew the identity of the other until far into the process. And even then they might never meet until an agreement was finalized.  This meeting was commonly either secret, or done incognito.  Sometime after that final meeting, the guardian would gain employment with their patron, in a job to which they were well suited and that was unrelated to their real task of protection.

Ablah thought it all overly complicated and not a little silly.  But she learned the process just the same.  And so, six months after the death of Fuad the Keeper, she found herself on the slave block, about to be purchased by the Sultan himself.

The auctioneer knew nothing of her background, the man that had come to own her knew nothing other than he had purchased her from Bedu bandits.  Even the proctor that came to buy her knew nothing except his instructions to buy three slaves for the young emirzade, at least one of which should be an exotic.

She was several years older than the emirzade, but they bonded.  His father never told the boy that one of his concubines was more than she appeared, and the boy delighted in the attentions of an older woman.  For sixteen years she served him, and she bore him two sons and a daughter, the daughter died as an infant, and she knew not the fate of her sons.  They were pulled from her breast at weaning, never to see their mother again.  For the sons of an Emir are not raised nor taught by slave girls.

The Emir died with fourteen sons suitable to inherit his lands, properties, and titles.  It was the way of the nobility that one son would receive the bulk of this estate, and that the rest must content themselves with his beneficence.  This wealth was not conferred upon the eldest, nor upon the paternal favorite.  Instead the formal heir was selected by vote among the eligible males.  In theory this reduced fraternal bloodshed, as it was not usually practical to kill all of one’s brothers.

Bloodshed occurred of course, but politics, intimidation, promises of wealth, and simple persuasion usually narrowed the field down to less than a handful of real contenders.  When the old Emir died only three of his sons had any real hope of acquiring his wealth, lands, and hereditary titles.  And of course, whoever assumed their father’s wealth and position was practically guaranteed the appointment to replace him as Emir.

The son Ablah served was most likely to succeed his father.  The old man had known this, after all, not all of his sons were gifted with a guardian wizir.  This proved a wise action, as one night only days after his death Ablah was finally called upon to serve her true mission.  A trio of assassins visited her lover while they slept.  No one knew which of his brother’s they served, or how they got past his guards.

Ablah woke before the assassins struck, and the shadows began to move to confuse the assassins.  Two of them dispatched one another, thinking they attacked the heir apparent, just before their target slew the third. The man knew his intended assassins, masters of weapons all.  He also knew his skill did not match theirs.  Only the confusing shadows saved his life.

There were changes in the harem in the aftermath of the assassination.  The assassins had gained entrance to the inner sanctum, and no one was to be trusted.  Guards were transferred to distant posts, and the new Emir sent his favorite concubine away, advised perhaps by the woman that saved his life.  Even Ablah was not beyond suspicion, and the Emir wondered, perhaps with paranoia, if she had perhaps set the whole thing up to gain his trust.

Then the Emir had an idea.  “The Wiziry you used to protect me.  I could be used against my rivals, could it not?”  Ablah was no assassin, she was a Guardian.  But one did not protest too strongly to the master.  The Emir did not want the assassin he sent traced back to himself, so not too long after sending her main rival away Ablah found herself again on the slave block in a circuitous route toward a mission she swore she would not attempt.


Equipment:
A killer body.
A keen mind.
Deadly wit.
A sharp tongue.
Various paraphernalia of a harem girl – jewels, wisps of silk, hair pins, and other oddities that serve mostly to adorn her killer body, but might also be used to aid her magic.

Notes
* Her youthful and ageless appearance is just that – appearance.  She is actually a healthy woman in her mid-thirties, and probably has several decades of ‘youth’ left before one day she dies of old age.  While she looks young a vibrant and beautiful, and even feels that way to the other senses like touch or taste, she actually ages just like anyone else.
This effect is mere illusion, though illusion that can’t easily be pierced or dispelled.
« Last Edit: March 03, 2015, 01:37:53 PM by yesiroleplay »

Offline CrashTopic starter

Done and done, unless we run into a necessary re-write issue because his history (and present) peripherally involves a brothel.  ::)

Like any large society prostitution likely exists but it is severely punished and would be very underground.  Like I mentioned to get around the sever punishment the idea of term marriage is used.  You sign a contract to be married for a period of time.  Oddly this was legal in the Islamic Empire for a time.

Offline Sain

Name: Zidir ibn Hajar
Player: Sain
Concept: Deceptive slave trader
Trouble: Zidir's old friends who went deeper into the shadowy life of Sha'ib have begun to harass him to join them and basically become the front for a criminal gang. However, he would rather anything than see the effort put into the business crumble like that.
Sex: Male
Age: 28
Orientation: Straight
On’s: Obedience, Cunning, Status, submissive partners, exotic races.
Off’s: Blood, pain, not being in control.
Race or People: Hadaree with a distant efreeti ancestor.

Appearance: Hair: Dark grey
Eyes: Orange
Height: 1.81 m / 5’ 11”
Weight: 68 kg / 150 lb

Description: Zidir is a Hadaree of average height with a nimble athletic frame. His skin is dark with a touch of grey. He keeps his hair well combed and appearance fresh, wearing mostly heavy robes of very light colors without any obvious jewelry or trophies to mark his wealth. He often keeps the lower half of his face hidden under perfume dipped cloth. There is a clever inquisitive look in his faintly glowing eyes that becomes rather visible in low illumination.

One Unique Thing: Zidir has an easy time walking in the dark, but is also remarkably easy to spot.

Personality: Very manipulative tends to say just the things you want to hear and with the right tone of voice, but only to serve his own ends. This sugary mannerism of his is so deeply engraved in Zidir’s spine that it is no longer a mask that he can shed off. Sometimes other people close to him happen to fall under the definition of his own ends, but Zidir is never quick to trust people so the process of building such friendship takes either time of a few very convincing displays. Zidir is most often quite comfortable and relaxed in his mannerism and thoughts (after all he is pretty well off), but when in crisis he tends to seek isolation so that he might meditate alone.

Skills: Sleight of hand magic tricks, Negotiations, Rumours, Reading people, Knowing the right people

Residence: A rather large house in Sha’ib. A stone building with two stories and a basement. Plenty of room for ‘guests’ and more for hiding things that need to be kept discrete.

History: Zidir had a humble beginning. He was just a boy on the streets of Sha’ib with a lazy father with a quick temper. In the past he had been someone of importance, or so he would claim, but to Zidir he was ever only a husk of a man whose only shared trait with his son were the orange glow in their eyes. Even a mention of mother would send him chasing the boy with a rod in hand. It was not a childhood of plenty or comfort. With hopeful eyes little Zidir stared from the narrow alleys at the wealthy who passed by, but he had ambition and could not just sit idle. He was among many little children of Sha’ib who made a living by pushing their way to the crowds and gatherings to steal from under the adult’s noses. This was life back then. Many an adventure and fights were had with the other children of Sha’ib and Zidir learned early that his fists alone were not a good answer to violence. He learned to lie talk way through trouble. Lies, flattery, bribes and even intimidation became his knife.

Being sharper than the witless goons and thieves he matured with, Zidir noticed early that this way of life would not lead him to where he wanted to be. Sure enough they could snatch a good load every now and then and that would bring joy for a few nights, but it was never enough. He thought and he thought hard, withdrawing from his former friends. What would a street rat of Sha’ib do to earn like an Emir? Zidir still remembers that sensation of realization he had when he turned one morning to look out of the window and saw starving orphans look with longing faces at the luscious and happy slaves of a passing noble.

It all began so small and so very awkward. A lot of mistakes one can make when starting a slave trade and Zidir fell for at least half of them. Luckily for him he knew the right people and the right words with which to attract his first guests, poor girls exchanged their life for stolen bread and pretty promises. He did not think twice of their fate back then when a suspicious looking effendi bought them for a few coins. Neither did his father’s passing move Zidir in any direction but the positive. He cared not for the blight of others then, being consumed by his own greed and self admiration for his ‘genius’ to come up with such a path.

A year hence some Pasha and Mir began to appear among the clients and as time passed more prestigious buyers dared to give Zidir’s establishment a chance. Time passed and with it the current of money which  flowed through grew. Zidir poured much of it into building the house large and luxurious as well as to furnish it.

Curiously enough with the worst of his greed satisfied, the man had time to think once more on what he valued. He spent more and more time engaging in idle chatter with those slaves that he had chosen to instead of being sold to help around. Past the early twenties Zidir became increasingly compassionate and while he still puts his own success above most others, there are now several people of the slave house and a few outside friends whom he counts as something akin to a family.

Zidir’s place in the city is deeply rooted, having already worked as a slave merchant for more than ten years, his reputaion is widespread. There are of course rival merchants and those whom he has stepped on in his climb to this spot that might wish harm upon him, but much vaster is his web of connections that spreads from some lowly slum workers to nobles. Although he no longer does thievery, Zidir sometimes still helps connect some shadier people with the people they need.

Equipment:
-Clean heavy clothing that protects from weather without sacrificing comfort.
-A very simple dagger.
-Hidden pouch with money.



Farrah has come into possession of Majidah as a white elephant gift and might know your character that way, though this would not have been a shady deal. Farrah also enforces the law as it pertains to water, so another possibility there.

I ended up with a bit different character than I began with. I think the current one could work to have fixed that trade.

I'd be fine with a slaver character being the one who sold Majidah but for the ages to work he'd have to be in his 30s or 40s now, as Majidah was a child when she was sold and is in her 20s now.

Yeah Zidir is a bit younger... He did begin slavetrade at an early age though so that might have worked still. Not sure how meaningful a connection it would be though if neither character remembers anything of it. His eyes should be easy to remember though so Majidah might have some faint childhood memories of some older boy giving her bread and place to stay before she was shuffled off to the noble court.


Offline yesiroleplay

https://elliquiy.com/forums/index.php?topic=224117.msg11012404#msg11012404

I updated Majidah too, with her being gifted to Farrah and such. :)

I took out that she was Marid-blooded. It wasn't really adding anything to the character. Since her background is mysterious it could always be re-added if it becomes a good plot point somehow.

Also Majidah could have connections with anyone who has spent time in the Sultan's court or especially his harem, so uh, if anyone wants to discuss that sort of background with our characters I would love to. I find it is easier to overcome my shyness with group games if my character already knows somebody. :)
Farrah has come into possession of Majidah as a white elephant gift and might know your character that way, though this would not have been a shady deal. Farrah also enforces the law as it pertains to water, so another possibility there.
Ablah and Majidah both served in the Sultan's harem.  They should certainly know each other, and were probably both friends and rivals. 
I really want my character to have met Farrah at some point.  Sultans are pretty careful about no man ever seeming their consorts and concubines, but Farrah is no man.  I see possibilities...

I've got lots of ideas for my background, but didn't want to post it until I tested the waters regarding prior connections.

I will say that she lost favor with the Sultan because she saved his life from an assassination attempt using her Wizir magic.  This, to put it mildly, freaked the guy out.  He can't look at her as he used to, but he can't punish competence and loyalty.  Frankly, she scares him, and she reminds him of a situation where he had to be rescued/saved by a woman.  Something his fragile male ego finds difficult. 

so.. ties with others anyone?

Offline CrashTopic starter

Sain - Looks good. Approved.  One thing I should mention.  No follower of Asaheem can be a slave.  It is part of the religion and would be enforced.  Others are free game.

All - Bedu tribes most certainly have rivalries and even blood feuds between tribes.  They don't all get along.

Offline RedPhoenix

Sain - Yes I think that works, a brief encounter when younger, she would certainly remember his eyes although I doubt she stood out much at the time so he may not remember her as well. We could work it in later that he has some knowledge of her background if we feel like that would be a fun plot hook. I don't see any reason to establish that now though. But yes, older boy who took care of her while she was waiting to be sold, that works. :D

yesiroleplay - Oooh yes. Your character is a bit older so maybe she was there when Majidah joined and perhaps she taught Majidah most of what she knows, and the rivalry could have begun when the student felt she was surpassing the master so to speak, when she was getting equal attention and was sort of the "it girl" of the harem. Perhaps Ablah had something to do with the unlucky dice roll that sent Majidah off? Could be lots of fun to play out. :)

Offline yesiroleplay

yesiroleplay - Oooh yes. Your character is a bit older so maybe she was there when Majidah joined and perhaps she taught Majidah most of what she knows, and the rivalry could have begun when the student felt she was surpassing the master so to speak, when she was getting equal attention and was sort of the "it girl" of the harem. Perhaps Ablah had something to do with the unlucky dice roll that sent Majidah off? Could be lots of fun to play out. :)

With Crash's permission, I was thinking Ablah was one of the Sultan's first concubines.  Gifted to him by his father the prior Sultan when he came of age.  (What age would that be?  Historically somewhere around 14 I think, but probably older due to E! rules even as a back story.)  Anyway, there were probably at least 2 or maybe 3 women gifted to the young prince, and he's grown up with her at his side never knowing she was a bodyguard as well as a consort.  While she does like attention, a more important concern is that she always be near the Sultan to protect him.  If Majidah got in the way of that, Ablah might get rid of her "for the Sultan's safety"  (okay, and maybe a bit of jealousy too)
« Last Edit: February 26, 2015, 11:24:33 AM by yesiroleplay »

Offline CrashTopic starter

Yesiroleplay - Sorry Sultan and his family is off limits.

MdG - She looks great.  Would be fun to have her run into Devi if I can ever get her finished.
« Last Edit: February 26, 2015, 01:57:03 PM by Crash »

Offline Kuroneko

Wait, what? When did that happen? Aw damn.

Don't worry Mad, I'll keep you busy ;).

My show opens tonight, so I'll finally be able to work on my sheet.