SHAZRAD: City of Veils

Although our players' characters are wonderful, we imagine that they would get rather lonely in an unpopulated world. It's possible that we got a bit carried away, and that you no longer can keep track of them all. Hopefully this list of minor characters will help.

Akhreem Showik
      An engineering designer in the House of the Watching Dragon, once Farikh's master. His curiosity about a servant's sketches, and willingness to train that servant, led to Farikh's current career as an engineer.

      The daughter of a kitchen servant to the Watching Dragon and a friend to Azad's daughter Janaana.

Amina Dakhar:
      Current House leader of the Thousand Tales, renowned for her knowledge of the city's pulse and the beauty of her voice, a clear alto that weaves deceit as easily as truth. Curiously, no one has ever seen her smile or weep herself, though her tales wake reaction in others as effortlessly as a gull's flight. She has no known family or friends, though many allies, some unwilling.

      A rather feckless guard in the House of the Crescent Sword, usually assigned to guard duty at the Lighthouse. A friend of Kaabyshan's.

      A legendary hero of Shazrad, lover of the beautiful Shameet: he went to sea for 20 years but promised he would send her a lighthouse signal in the shape of a gull soaring from the Forgotten Isle when he returned. When he wended his way back after many adventures, he remembered the signal but not its shape, and Shameet, seeing the light from the Forgotten Isle, died of a broken heart just before he returned. In Talaal Ybiza's version of the ballad, the lovers are granted a bittersweet reunion before their tragic ends.

      A healer attached to the House of the Crescent Sword, often found working in the infirmary in the barracks. She has a certain sympathy for those who are impatient with bed rest, and sometimes seems oddly vulnerable. It is known that she was a former drug addict and she now turns her interests toward curing those with afflictions caused or exacerbated by drugs. She is also known for undertaking surgical tasks that even hardened healers might flinch at. The other healers deplore her for her tendency to bring in and treat lost souls at her own expense, but she is skilled enough in her particular pharmacological specialty that her eccentricities are tolerated by the House. If she has any relatives, they are unknown.

Azif Ybiza
      Talaal Ybiza's much-put-upon older brother, a respectable merchant who looks out for his brother but is often embarrassed in the process of doing so.

      A pot-bellied but suspicious and rather competent guard in the House of the Crescent Dragon. A decent sword, despite his rough and impatient manner. An acquaintance, though not friend, of the late Hairuben.

Bai Fezal
      A black market merchant in mechanical parts, as well as an unusually bold and strong-willed woman who has a tricky way with words. She has a sister, Fezina. "Bai" seems to be a name/title she took on her own, and in some Veils she seems to be, or pass for, a man.

      A junior guard in the House of the Crescent Sword.

Beitan Shetura
      A senior in the House of the Watching Dragon, rumored to have been one of Amina Dakhar's best before Zahara Taryn won his loyalty. No one is quite sure what she offered, though lewd as well as paranoid suspicions have been passed around.

      Farikh Jaalpeer's body-servant, at least part-foreign.

      A translator whose compassion for the downtrodden and foreign is greater than that of his wife. He and his family sheltered Azad and his daughter when they were new to Shazrad.

Djairad Arykh
      A man whose prayers of restoration for his mad sister Lizen were not answered in a way he would have liked. Caught stealing goods for his sister's sake, he had a hand amputated and was offered service by the House of the Watching Dragon.

Djaiz Eimynaa
      Kaabyshan's birth-father, in another Veil. Djaiz was close to the centers of power in the House of the Golden Hand, and when he discovered an affair had resulted in pregnancy, he took care to cover his tracks, fearful of the possible blow to his prestige the scandal would cause. However, he retained an interest in Kaabyshan's life as an "uncle." When Kaabyshan forced the truth from him, Djaiz's first concern was still his status; the two parted ways that night and have never met again.

      A guard in the House of the Crescent Sword, the daughter of Madryn Sheikil. Currently Kaabyshan's assigned partner. An adventurous, story-loving girl who grew into a graceful, competent woman.

Fareed al-Bashani:
      A merchant of the Golden Hand wed to Jalila, whose prosperity is marred (as he sees it) only by the fact that his single child, Sabbira, is a daughter; and worse, a daughter with a talent for music rather than finance.

Farikh Jaalpeer:
      An engineer of the Watching Dragon whose specialty and obsession is prosthetic limbs. He climbed a dragon as a child and the fall lamed him badly. Out of obligation, the House took him in as a servant, and discovered they had nurtured a gifted engineer. He lives with his bodyservant Calmor near Hound's Tooth Lane.

Farima Shabalat:
      Current leader of the Lightfoot Cats, having replaced the previous one in shady circumstances. She seems almost like a young girl, with her sense of mischief and respect for wit and daring, but criminal activities have increased considerably since she took over, and rumors say she is responsible especially for the most dangerous and astounding ventures.

      Bai Fezal's sister and partner in black-market trade in mechanical parts, despite her meek, modest ways. She is almost never seen without her veil.

      An engineer in the House of the Watching Dragon and a colleague of Farikh's. Young and rather unfocussed in his interests and talents, but eager.

      A slightly out-of-shape guard in the House of the Crescent Sword who wasn't averse to making a bit of money on the side, mostly by confiscating bagatelles. Died in an unfortunate encounter involving Reidjai, half a mechanical dragonet, and a warehouse worker with unknown connections.

      A warehouse worker for Memet Adrash, rather on the incompetent side.

Hassan Askhalani:
      An instructor of voice and instruments in the House of the Thousand Tales, though he is the master of other, subtler skills. He is kindly, good-humored, and ever-delighted to be presented with a new and promising student. At present he is Sabbira's primary mentor in the House.

      Azad's daughter. It is not her true name she goes by (as with Azad), but the name of a desert flower that caught her fancy.

      A strong-willed and gentle woman of the Golden Hand married to the merchant Fareed al-Bashani, who is happy in her husband other than the treatment he has given their daughter Sabbira. She supports her daughter in her studies with the Thousand Tales despite her husband's disapproval.

Jameel Jorun:
      Current House leader of the Crescent Sword. Jameel is a tall, grey-haired man who has been around for quite a long time. He retains close ties with Kinship Jorun and, though a widower, remains close to his three children, none of whom is a warrior. Despite his long familiarity with war and devout religious beliefs, he's one of the most relaxed and levelheaded House leaders.

      An engineer in the House of the Watching Dragon specializing in joint mechanisms and a colleague of Farikh's. A sere woman with a dry sense of humor and a healthy cynicism about her House's inner workings.

Jheraan Shakhir:
      One of Reidjai's cousins.

Kamila Fatin:
      A girl whose life turns to the whirring of gears and mechanical parts rather than duty toward her well-to-do parents and their merchant trade. A merchant, Memet Adrash, was intrigued by her talents and became her first patron; currently Kashur Alee has taken that position, and rumors say her parents are aghast that she seems to have become his mistress.

Kashur Alee
      An influential man in an influential, prosperous, and sometimes untraditional Kinship. He keeps a fine estate with well-trained staff, is not averse to luxury, and seems to harbor some past bitterness from a previous affair or relationship, though he usually conceals it well with good humor and banter. Currently Kamila's patron, keeping her as a "mistress."

Kemal Marud:
      A man with a strangely twisted left hand who studies Shazrad's old music and poetry, which his Kinship reckons a harmless pursuit. He is well-regarded among other scholars and is occasionally consulted not by the Thousand Tales, but (oddly enough) by the Watching Dragon, on matters whose significance remain mysterious.

Khalad Elamyr:
      Current House leader of the Starborn Word. Khalad is quick to temper and quick to humor, but he is most feared for the god-trance and his prophetic visions, and some say he knows the secret of Shazrad's veils. He abandoned his family for religion and has never looked back.

      (Not to be confused with Khalid ibn Malik.) Literally, "the Golden Nose." An extremely successful merchant in spices and, if rumors are to be believed, more sinister wares. Both criticized and admired for his ostentatious displays of wealth, the most notorious of which is Khalid's fish.

Khalid ibn Malik:
      A Shazrash physician who spent his last 10 years in Sokaru learning the arts of medicine and meditation. He has little memory of his life before that time, and only recently returned to the City of Veils. Currently he is bound to the Watching Dragon, despite having done the House a favor. Madryn Sheikhil and his daughter Djamira also owe him a favor that has blossomed toward friendship.

Khodran Marud:
      A generally inoffensive young man who grew up in his elders' shadow and did nothing particularly wrong except getting betrothed to Zahara Taryn, who assassinated him from a distance out of desperation and defiance.

      A mage-lord of Sokaru, erratically in correspondence with Farikh Jaalpeer about his mechanical designs. A brilliant if unpredictable man, from what little is known about him in Shazrad.

Lizen Arykh:
      A young woman who was separated from her brother at age 11 and returned with scattered wits.

Madryn Sheikil
      The captain of a Shazrash trade-ship and Djamira's father, who dotes on her. A generous man, though savvy in financial matters after years of experience.

Maidran Zar:
      To put it bluntly, one of Beitan Shetura's pet engineer-flunkies in the House of the Watching Dragon. He fits the somewhat derogatory Shazrash stereotype of an obsessive engineer, concerned only with his "pets," uncomfortably well. Given to exaggerations and florid gestures.

      A portly merchant whose dealings with Talaal are tempered by affection and good humor.

      A friend of Farikh's who lives nearby, with an unholy fondness of the day's beginning and announcing it in a loud, grating voice.

Mehara Taryn:
      The de facto head of Kinship Taryn, once renowned for her beauty and many suitors. In her public appearances she is always impecccably dressed, except a tendency toward an excess of jewellery. As the years pile upon her she has taken less and less of a visible role, though many suspect that she still pulls the strings to which Taryn puppets gyrate.

Memet Adrash
      A minor businessman specializing in supplies and shipping arrangements, some less legitimate than others. He has a meticulous grasp of detail that is sometimes bungled in execution by his subordinates. Kamila's former and first patron.

      A junior guard in the House of the Crescent Sword.

      A warehouse worker for Memet Adrash, somewhat more competent than Hamid and Omar, perhaps due to the fact that he is a married man with a 4-year-old daughter. Also has loyalties to Kashur Alee.

Nehqari Tharikh:
      An instructor in the Academy of Voice and Musicianship who sponsored Zhael in exchange for some years of her service.

      A warehouse worker with about the same competency in important affairs as Hamid, which is to say, not much.

Raakesh Taryn:
      One of the mavericks of Kinship Taryn, who has been in almost open feud with the Kinship's more traditional (and numerous) members since Mehara Taryn, his cousin Zahara's grandmother, pushed Zahara into a desperate break for freedom with the House of the Watching Dragon. Once a mischievous lad with a penchant for practical jokes, betting, and wild dares with his friends, he has grown into a sardonic man with a tightly explosive temper and an officially discouraged skill at dueling. No one in the Kinship has been able to trace any communications between him and Zahara since she escaped, though that doesn't lessen the suspicions.

Sadreid Azel:
      Current leader of the Golden Hand. Kinship Azel has traditionally dominated this House, but Sadreid's negotiations with Duxaur and Sokaru resulted in trade agreements that are still in effect. As a result, the House, Kinship Azel, and Sadreid himself have all prospered. He is temperate almost to the point of invisibility, but ruthless where finance is concerned.

Sukri Shakhir:
      One of Reidjai's cousins, a man given to laughter...and gossip.

Talezed the Star-Blessed
      The priest who founded the House of the Starborn Word in Shazrad's misty past. Known for his compassion and fondness for cats.

      A loyal female guard in Kashur Alee's service who poses as a maid, rather frank in her speech.

      Zhael's beloved brother, who died in a seaside misadventure when she was 6 years old.

Tiuuran Sadje:
      One of Zhael's fellow students, several years her senior, in the Academy of Voice and Musicianship. Their friendship deepened into love, but he disappeared in the turning of a Veil and she has not been able to find word of his existence since.

      A mythological hero-figure and trickster; the oath "Yeeka's milk" is common among the working class.

      A senior in the House of the Watching Sword, who does not stand high politically but is known as a skilled and selective teacher. Age does not seem to have slowed her; she keeps to one of the strictest regimens of any in the House.

Zahara Taryn:
      Current leader of the Watching Dragon. Her beauty, though she hides it under a veil, is legendary, as is her past: She assassinated her betrothed with an automaton and escaped Kinship Taryn to take refuge with the Watching Dragon, which she guides now with a sure hand and ever-more-devious technology.

Zhen Li
      A Sokarese physician and shogenji. Khalid's mentor during his stay in Sokaru.

Copyright © 2000-2001 by Alioqui & Yoon Ha Lee

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