Lords of Chaos
Former city watchman from Tul Amangier
Askaradin’s white keffiyeh is usually neither tightly wound about his head and neck, as would befit proper guard attire, nor strictly white. Rather, the thing is an unkempt and dirty beige. The black agal that wraps across his forehead has been stripped of the silver ring of his former rank. The blue cloak of the Pedatoura is ragged at the edges. He is a small man, but attempts to make up for it with a fierce demeanor. Such efforts are usually defeated by his smile, and the constant stream of blessings and apologies that he utters.
It is clear though that he retains some discipline. His leather armor, shield, and scimitar are all meticulously maintained, and the buckles with the copper fist and bronze sun-sigil of Arathan Lightbringer are always polished to a shine that would bring a tear to the eye of even the most critical Raqīb.
I am Askari ad-Din Sayf Ibn al-Nur, but you may call me Askaradin. I am the third son of Nur ad-Din (Malik Nur ad-Din Mahmud Ibn al-Imad Zengi), who was the Re’is Kapudan of the Sultan’s Silahdars. It was assumed that my brothers and I would follow in his footsteps. My brothers distinguished themselves in various battles both near the city, and on crusade against the Dominion of Angar the Undying. I remained within the walls of Tul Amangier, undistinguished.
When my father was on his deathbed an hātif possessed the idol of Arathan Lightbringer in the niche over his bed. The hātif spoke of my brothers, and their inheritance and how they would bring honor to our House. Finally, the voice said, “A sword give to him that shall succeed thee in thy pilgrimage, and thy courage and skill to him, for he shall have need of it.”
“You do not follow me because I am the strongest. You do not follow me because I am the brightest. You follow me because you do not know where you are going. I do.” — Khalid ibn al-Walid, hero and Bey of the Silahdars at the Battle of Dhi Qar
I knew of no pilgrimage made or planned by my father. And, when my father handed a battered scimitar to me, I wondered where he might have me go. Alas, he died before he could say, and my brothers decided that the words of the hātif meant that I should leave our household and the city of Tul Amangier, and seek my fortune in the wide world.
I was assigned to the Pedatoura at the Gate of Saint Theodosia, also called the Shepherds’ Gate. I deserted my post before the year was out, weary of counting sheep.
“I don’t run away from a challenge because I am afraid. Instead, I run towards it because the only way to escape fear is to trample it beneath your foot” — Al-zir Salim, Sword of Vengeance