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Location: Arcadia
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"invincible power of endurance, and a keen intellect; he is brave, adventurous, and strict in the observance of his duties. Most temperate in the pleasures of the body, his passions of the mind were… well, in that, he was insatiable. He had an uncanny instinct for the right course in a difficult and complex situation, and was most happy in his deductions from observed facts. ... No cheat or liar ever caught him off his guard, and both his word and his bond were inviolable. Spending but little on his own pleasures, he poured out his money without stint for the benefit of his friends." Arrian describes him having "brains, grace, charm, skill at arms, and more self-confidence than was usual even in one deliberately raised to believe in himself", and stresses Hassan’s compassion toward others, his sense of royalty and chivalrous attitude towards his enemies.
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Quote (500 ch): “painted at birth, destined for glory”
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Hassan el Sharir

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Nov 29 2016, 01:16 PM
QUOTE

Kalima (f) – seer; sister to Nazli
Nazli (f) – sister to Kalima and second to Kadir
Kadir (m) – leader of the Aswad and brother to Nazli and Kalima
Prin ti Demsiri (m) - friend to Kadir, Nazli, and Kalima
Alai Karzi (m) –former territorial warlord of the Southern Acacus Desert; and slaver – ultra-opposition to the Amir and to Hassan el Sharir, prefers to absorb the Aswad.
Abdullah (m) – second to Alai


For thousands of years, caravans of camels loaded with rubies, jade, amber, musk and of course silk made their way along routes that zigzagged across Sha’Lazar’s interior. Trade has been the mainstay of wealth in the land… where goods such as ivory, silver, iron, wine, and yes, silk were exchanged across the world, but starvation, thirst, bandits, and ferocious storms, among other threats were known to bury entire caravans. In the end, any traveler would express gratitude for surviving a journey; or pray for safe deliverance before embarking.

Governmental oppression, poverty, exclusion, desertion, greed... just a few to identify prime reasons for a correctable deterrent to trade – the Bandit. So, one might wonder what environment fosters such criminals, as well and family and camaraderie among men? Could it be a city-state’s violent and oppressive history of government, its numerous corrupt and inconsistent rulers, or a violent disregard to a justice system. Regardless of a reason, or reasons, it nurtured an atmosphere of self-reliance and cooperation among the people that opposed the reasons that developed deterrents to trade. This reliance and respect was voluntary, and usually supported by the individual’s family and friends to oppose the ruler or government that instilled violence, exclusion, oppression, and threats.

Once in a while, these bandits, who violate the laws, but who still serves a higher justice. They rob from the rich and give to the poor, free slaves from the slavers, and only kills in self-defense or *just* revenge. As long as they observe this code, they are, in myth and legend, invulnerable to their enemies; they can die or be captured only when betrayed by friends.

Many years ago, there was a wealthy happy family. The merchant, his wife, three sons, and four daughters; the sons to carry on the family business, three beautiful daughters to marry for wealth and prosperity, and the 4th youngest daughter, with promising abilities as a future seer for the temple. The future for this family would turn bleak as the elder brothers and sisters that watched their parents brutally slaughtered for their fortune. And the Amir’s guards, in an attempt to falsely arrest the siblings for their parents’ murder, killed the two elder brothers, then raped the two elder sisters, then killed them as well. The youngest brother, Kadir, and his two youngest sisters, Nazli and Talima, were hidden away, thanks be to Talima’s unique ability; and from their location Kadir watched his older siblings violated and murdered... and vowed justice. Under the cover of darkness, Kadir, Nazli, and Talima ventured to their cousin’s estate near the coast.

Now, over the years, Kadir’s vivid nightmares and Talima’s visions fueled hatred, hatred begat enemies of the state. And the siblings garnered associates who either sympathized their efforts against the Amir and his oppressive government, or favored his ousting. Titled as Enemies of the State, the band of criminals continued to grow... This is the Aswad...
Nov 25 2016, 05:13 PM
1001 Arabian nights











Sinbad 5th Voyage




PoP – The Sands of Time






PoP – Great women of all time




Sarah Brightman






Desert Rose (Sting) 1001 Arabian nights




Ishtar – Last Kiss




Egyptian Music (The Mummy)




Song of the Pharaohs




PoP – Rule the World:
Nov 25 2016, 04:55 PM
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HASSAN EL SHARIR

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<img src="https://image.ibb.co/k7ck7k/a_sig_hassan1.png" style="border: 2px solid #FFF;">

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“painted at birth, destined for glory”

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thirty-one

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Military

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Warlord, Druznah Guard

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Single - widowed

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Oded Fehr

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Hassan is 6 foot 2 inches tall, weighing 84 kg (188 lbs), having dark eyes and dark hair. Upon his face, he bears the marks of a Rash’ani warlord; painted at birth, destined for glory.


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Those who know Hassan personally will remember his charismatic personality, his easy way with humor, his intelligence and wit, and his undeniable leadership skills. He was as comfortable in the most humble settings as in the most aristocratic. He could mount a camel as easily as engage in clever wordplay at a political gathering. He could maneuver a sword as well as he could his women. <br>
<br>
Hassan el Sharir was a magnet for people, and had thousands of friends and admirers. He was helpful and generous to many. He had a strong vision of hope for the people of Sha’Lazar and a brave heart to pursue his goal patiently. Not everyone agreed with his politics, but he would remain to the end of days, diverse and dead set to stand his ground and fight for what he considered the true path, for a solution that was visible and tangible, not just in writing. <br>


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Orderly; strategically patient; excellent strategist; excellent swordsman; practical;


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Impious; idealist; tends toward perfection; temperate to pleasures and relationships;

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According to Arrian, the Scribe

Although the life of Hassan is filled with military victories, good deeds, and other achievements, his wrong-doings and less glorious exploits are also worth mentioning. I think the following neatly sums up the kind of misdeeds I am talking about: "... if circumstances demanded it, he could (and did) order the slaughter of the enemy and even of its prisoners, destroy an entire city and sell its population into slavery, or order the murder of those who had turned against him, even if they were his lifelong friends." <br>
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Some of the incidents, such as the massacre of the Karyans and the slaughter of the Malli’ayad, would be labeled atrocities by any standard, while the killing of, for example, Basser, and Sabib, would be considered personal crimes. However, I believe it is important to keep in mind that these misdeeds were not committed without some sort of rationale or underlying reason, although the killing and slaughter may seem hard to justify. <br>
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For example, prior to the massacre of the Karyan town, the inhabitants had been asked to submit and honor their oath to the Amir, but instead they sent him an insulting reply… his lieutenant’s head in a basket. Also, his Jamaran assistants ushered for the city's full destruction as a 'repayment' for what the Karyans had done to them in the past. The slaughter of the Malli’ayad, was an act of revenge, because Hassan’s wife and her family had been decimated by their assassins. <br>
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In the first example, Sabib, one of Hassan's leading generals, was assassinated because Hassan believed the General was involved in a conspiracy against him. Several other people were killed based on the evidence or suspicion (without a fair trial) that they conspired or planned to kill Hassan and his family. In another example, a political official for the Amir, Basser the Black, angry and drunk, was killed by a drunken Hassan at a banquet after Basser had insulted him.


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William

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CST, USA

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PM; email

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<div class="tcred"><a href="http://shine.b1.jcink.com/index.php?showuser=1892" target="_blank">♛ Ames</a></div>
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Nov 18 2016, 03:07 PM
Nahla closed her eyes and leaned heavily against the side of her camel, trying to calm the erratic beats of her heart. It had been less than a week since she had left home, desperate to find her brother, and already she was second guessing this whole plan.

“Madness…this is pure madness...” The words were whispered, fingers reaching down to twist within the fabric of her fathers’ worn robe that hung gracelessly over her slender body, trying to find a bit of comfort. A few feet ahead, the merchant she was traveling with had stopped to barter wares with a group of travelers, and the whole ordeal was failing to ease the knots of worry that had settled in her belly.

‘I’ll never find him if we continue on this way.’ Still, though it was the first time away from her village, the woman wasn’t stupid. Traveling alone was a good way to get one’s self killed. And though the merchant was but one man, he was a highly sought after one, bringing goods to those who were rarely able to travel to the various ports themselves. No…the merchant’s reputation was a safety measure Nahla couldn’t afford to lose, no matter how frustratingly slow it would take. Heaving a soft sigh, she slid to the ground beside the dozing animal, itching to rip the rough fabric away that hid the lower half of her face and hair, but seeking out the worn bit of paper she carried in her pocket to read instead. Her brother had written it a mere three months before, telling his sister of his travels and where he thought he could find a bit of work near Si’don. But instead of easing her worry for him, it only served to bring a cold sense of dread to her mind. For her brother had written the letter in English.

Imam had scoffed gently at her fright, excusing it by saying Rasul was simply practicing writing the language and that he perhaps was trying to get on as guide. Nahla, dubious, pressed her lips together and remained silent. No…. the eldest Mubarak son wouldn’t have done something so careless that might lead Englishmen to their door, of course not. But those contradicting thoughts running through her head were not said aloud that night, and as weeks passed without incident, the concern faded into the background. At least until a fortnight ago when Imam was found dead in one of his fields.

Fingers crumpled the paper and she pressed her head between her knees, trying to lessen the wave of nausea that threatened to overwhelm her. With both of her parents now gone, there were not that many choices left for Nahla to do. She could marry a man that one of the elders of the village chose for her in order for the farm to be taken care of, which, though she adored the people of her village, the thought of doing made her skin crawl, or she could set out and find her brother, now her legal guardian. The latter, being the more appealing, of course, was made all the easier, when the merchant, having caught wind of her predicament, and having known her family for years, offered to let her come with him on his way back towards the North Shore, as long as she kept herself disguised as his mute nephew. So that brought her to the now. The first few days truthfully hadn’t been so bad. The merchant was kind enough to her and for the most part ignored his charge, even going so far as to say nothing when she scooted as close as she could get to the fire at night, refusing to let it die out until the sun’s reassuring light began peeking over the horizon. Now however, apparently coming closer to a village or city, they seemed to be stopping every few hours or so as they encountered others. Nahla wasn’t sure what was making her antsier, the growing possibility of being discovered, or the snail’s pace they seemed to be going at right now.

Eventually shaking herself from her despondent mood, and noticing that the sun would be setting in a few hours, the woman rose and began preparing to make this last stop their camp as the merchant was still deep in conversation with another. Packs were efficiently pulled from the camels sides and fodder for them laid out, her movements graceful and seemingly relaxed, the routine finally putting her mind at ease. Perhaps she was worrying again for naught.


The rock dropped to the bottom of the well and landed with a splash when it hit the water. Hassan was a handsome man beneath the material, with dark brown eyes and hair as dark as the midnight sky. Chuckling softly at the fact that the well still had water in it, he raised his head and looked around at the immense stone columns that had been reclaimed by the desert, for here once stood a formidable city-state that rumored rivaling Arcadia and Utica. His imagination veered back to the stories he had heard as a child, stories of the ancient ones, their cities, the beats and spirits of the desert and jungles of Sha’Lazar.

The noises in the distance caught his attention; as the caravan had halted for the day and prepared to remain at the oasis until Hassan gave orders to proceed. And after checking the wells, he returned to his tent to find that the goatskin walls had been raised to let the air circulate. Summer in the Acacus Desert could be unbearably hot and what breezes came along were precious and needed to be taken advantage of. Hassan’s tent was one of several erected in a small oasis in the southern arid desert.

Not many people ever came to this haven to stay, but now and then a camel train would pass through and stop to fill their canteens with fresh water from the well. There weren’t many trees, nor much other vegetation; but an acacia tree sprouted up now and then near the shallow water table that fueled the well, and greened the parched earth. Easing himself down upon the plush pillows lining the corner of his tent, he stroked the small amount of hair upon his chin in contemplation. His thoughts only interrupted by the female providing a refill of his wine goblet, to whom he gave a slighting glance and a smile.

Reflection of days past regarding his mentor, the Amir… Abu Said Uthmann… a man whose personality and demeanor had changed so drastically upon becoming the ruler of the Rash’ani… “How could Abu change so much?” he thought out loud. The Ibn Tumart, the Rash’ani’s ultimate ruler was once a brash young warrior… full of determination… full of ideas…

But now Uthmann was a cruel sovereign, ready to execute any who would stand against him, including his closest allies. His heavy taxes and levies not only against foreign trade but upon his own people. The prison now full and the execution stand stained with the blood of those he decided against, Hassan truly regretted giving loyalty to his former friend and mentor. The things he had done in the name of the Amir. All Hassan could do was shake his head in disbelief.

They were three days from Arcadia, not far by desert standards, yet alas, Hassan was not in a hurry to return. He would be content to just wander the desert, oasis to oasis, with his retinue of current company.


“Get water.” Gruff words, had Nahla starting, and she turned from her tasks of unpacking essentials to face the merchant. It was the look in his eyes that had her stiffening, her whole demeanor turning alert as the hairs on the back of her neck stood. It was the look of a desperate man. She had seen it before…once…on a man who had just lost everything to fire some months before. He had come to beg her father for help, work, or a bit of bread at the very least. She remembered peeking out from behind Imam because she heard the wailing of a child in the background. The family. They had been left in the shadows at the edge of the property, tattered, dirty little beings that stared back with lifeless eyes. Wild things. A movement had her eyes drawn upward to the stranger that had been speaking to her father. The man’s look had caused her to retreat immediately. You knew…. without a doubt, that there….at that very moment….the stranger would do absolutely anything he had to, to survive.

“Of course…” Nahla spoke carefully, her voice gentle. Her gaze held his, firm…unblinking, then, as soon as it had come, the moment passed, and her guardian smiled at her and motioned to the canteens before turning on his heel and leaving without another word. What an odd, odd, man.

Still, it took a moment before the young woman could move. The containers were gathered quickly, and strung delicately across her shoulders to free up her hands, while she slowly began her way down the worn path, her mind racing. Something would have to change. Soon. But what? Perhaps… perhaps… Nahla took a deep breath and let it out slowly, keeping her eyes downcast out of habit while avoiding others that were walking… Perhaps it was simply all in her imagination. Her brother had always laughed at her tales of fright from her escapades down to the village, and yes… maybe Nahla… might have stretched the truth once or twice, but only to see the animated amusement upon Rasul’s face. It was never… something like this.

Arriving at the well, Nahla pulled the canteens from her shoulders and leaned carefully against the rough stone exterior before lowering a wooden bucket that had been left there by other travelers. Her gaze was finally lifted, cautiously at first, and then as curiosity overcame her current worry, she glanced about. Snippets of conversations, the smell of foods cooking over pits, distant laughter…it was a heady mix of unfamiliar paired with the comfortable feeling of tradition and history. It brought a feeling of nostalgia about her.

“Careful, Nahla…” Abruptly ending the train of thought that might have ended with her a babbling mess, she concentrated once more on the task at hand. A bead of moisture rolled down her neck as she pulled the bucket back up, awkwardly lifting it over the top of the well wall and setting it down. And suddenly feeling an overwhelming suffocation, Nahla tore the rough fabric away from her heat reddened face. Her hands dipped into the water and she splashed it upwards upon her skin while drawing in a breath. “Oh, Rasul… if ever I would pray to hear one of your annoying words of advice right now…”

But as much as she prayed, the voice she so desperately wanted to hear, remained silent. Sighing, Nahla covered her face again, and noticing that it would be dark soon, she hastily finished filling the containers and replaced the bucket, once more shouldering her burden before standing and attempting to retrace her steps back from where she began. Maybe…she should set out on her own. Yes…such could very well be an invitation for trouble, but then again, with the odd way her companion was beginning to act, staying could also be her undoing.

“Some words of wisdom would be greatly appreciated….” The soft words, laced with frustration left her lips without any real target except for maybe the grumpy camel she was coming up on that looked like he might very well enjoy spitting on her. Yes…what a well thought out plan this was.


And as he sipped his wine, memories would return of the days just after the war of wars, when he, the Warlord of the Rash’ani put his friend, and second, Abu Said Uthmann into power. They, as leaders, had been born of tyranny, depravity and greed. As such, the Rash’ani Amir, from Utica, Tomas dez Besariz, was a cruel, despicable old man… whose corruption and wickedness ran rampant throughout the kingdom for decades… and the once great people of Sha’Lazar were reduced to mere pawns and their great economy stalled. Abu Said, Hassan, and the men who now made of the *Council of Ten* were the leaders in the revolution against that creed, corruption, and wickedness. And the installation of Abu Said as Amir, not ten years ago, was a turning point in Hassan’s life.

Hands spread up and out, arms raised… “People of Arcadia…” he began… and the crowd erupted in yells, whistles, and cheers in a now familiar language. Waving his arms, his hands called for quiet… And as the crowd began to silence to a low roar… he smiled… “People of the Rash’ani… We are free of the cruelty that once was…” and the crowd erupted once again… and from below, people began to call for his accepting the position of Amir…. And under the light beard, Hassan blushed, but shook his head.

“I am a leader in war… not in peace… I shall not seek the position of Amir… but I have one so honored…one that would be a great leader…” he looks to his second in command… his hand extending toward the man… “I give you Abu Said Uthmann…” and the man looked back at Hassan and stepped forward to stand beside Hassan… as the crowd erupted below. “Forever more, he shall be called… Abu Said ibn Tumart…” ((ibn Tumart" means "son of the earth" or "son of happiness")). Then Hassan began to speak about Abu Said and the al-Jama'a al-'Ashara ('Council of Ten')

“Abu Said is a religious scholar, teacher, and a political leader from the Masemuda tribe; He is the son of a lamplighter in a mosque in the village of Q’suaz, canaan of the city of Ghayd and had been noted for his piety since his youth; he was small and misshapen, and lived the life of a devotee-beggar. He would light many candles at the temples of the gods and earned the appellation *lover of light*.

And in my departure as your leader, I have organized al-Jama'a al-'Ashara, (an inner 'Council of Ten') composed of the ten who had first borne witness to this war of the Rash’ani. Several of them are drawn from the core of followers that I have picked to guide Abu Said; others are local leaders drawn from the lands of the Rash’ani.

These shall guide the Acacus into prosperity…”

[b][i]“Shahzada …”
and Hassan’s mind bounced back from his reminiscing. And Hassan looked up from the wine goblet knowing full well he did not deserve that title.. “Shahzada, the guards are posted, the horses handled and secured… the food and water stores are counted and secure. Shall I bring you the girls…?”

Hassan smirked and shook his head. He was a warlord not an amir, or vizer… nor even a merchant; so why was he treated as such. Ah yes, as Warlord of the Rash’ani, he had removed one cruel tyrant with another. How could Abu Said change so much?

She hated the desert. The raw barrenness of it reminded her of death, of hopelessness… of defeat. The coolness of a crop of trees, the feeling of soil damp and rich with nutrients was now a distant memory. Home. Home merely seemed a dream.

A tongue darted out to moisten dry lips and she reached down to wrap her fingers around the canteen that she knew would need to be replenished soon. How much longer until they could stop? Nahla squinted at the back of the man in front of her. Her guide had become increasingly frustrating with his behavior as their trip lengthened. Now he blatantly watched her, refusing to let her out of his sight unless she begged a moment’s privacy to attend her own needs. It was almost as though he was afraid she might run. But why?

Lost in her own thoughts, and drowsy from the lull of the camel’s movements beneath her, Nahla gave a jerky start when he called her name, his strained tone warning her that he must have done so more than once. Her gaze lifted, focused upon him in question, and she did not speak, but waited expectantly, hoping that what he could see of her face looked at least somewhat apologetic for her disrespect.

His gaze narrowed, and Nahla wrinkled her nose. What? What did she miss? Why did he always… It was then her thoughts paused, the bit of green showing in the distance catching her eye. An oasis! “Oh!” A breath pulled into her chest, shaky, her body vibrating with exhausted relief. Oh, Allah, thank you… Finally, finally, perhaps she could actually find somewhere to decently wash herself and rid her body of some of the sand that had worked its way between the folds of her robes. A glance back towards the merchant had her rethinking that, her fingers reaching up to pinch the gap of fabric tighter about her neck. Maybe she would just settle for a moment to wash her face.

But even those worrisome thoughts of her current guardian failed to dampen the little thrill that coursed through her as they came upon it. Though only another stop on their journey and not the city that she so desperately wanted to see, it was a larger encampment than they had visited yet, actual tents sporadically placed near the wells and amongst the sparse vegetation instead of the simple bedrolls of travelers that were to be quick on their way once rested. What if someone here had seen Rasul? Or spoken to him for that matter.

As to how to find out that information was a whole different problem. She snuck another sideways glance at her companion whose surly demeanor had changed entirely now that people were beginning to notice him and offer their greetings. Signaling her camel, she slid from his back as he lowered to the ground and tried to remain as inconspicuous as possible, sidestepping the greeters as she moved to secure lines and pull wares from the pack animals for the merchant. Nahla worked furiously for a time, her small body weaving in and out from between a growing number of people who were curious about what the merchant had to sell, and the camels she would unload and move away to care for.

Only when he gave her a gruff nod of dismissal, which was, of course, followed by the warning glance that she was growing used too, did she move away from the throng. The merchant would be occupied for a couple of hours at least. Nahla knew his quirky little habits by now. Time enough for a quick wash before setting up their own camp. Hurrying over a low rise, the young woman was careful to scan her surroundings, assuring herself of privacy in the fading light, before settling beneath an acacia tree and lowering the hood that covered her bound tresses. What was left in her canteen was carefully poured over a bit of cloth that she had brought with her, and she pressed it to her face, holding it there and reveling in the bit of relief that it brought her flushed skin.

So contented was she at finally gaining a small amount of comfort for the first time in what seemed like months, that the sound of a footfall to her left had her starting in surprise, her body instinctively poising itself to run. What now…


“Shahzada… Warlord of the Rash’ani” he murmured to himself and huffed. Hassan had been born in a nomadic camp to Tunaruz, wife of Izdârasen el Sharir. In order to break tradition, ensuring his son’s future, Hassan’s Father, Izdârasen took his son, soon after the boy turned 6 months old, to the market, and investing his total fortune on the boy’s future, paid handsomely to have his son tattooed as the child of a warlord.

And between the ages of 5 and twelve, Hassan learned to read, write, ride, and fight. It was in those years he met, fought, and became friends with Abu Said Uthmann; who was fascinated at the stories of bravery the boy’s father displayed behind the scenes through the years, and the motivation that Hassan had in learning. At age 13, Hassan was taken by Abu Said Uthmann to the fort along the coastal waters of al Manifa between Ghayd and Samaddir as a recruit for the military.

Besides being Abu Said’s best friend, Hassan was one of the most influential Rash’ani champions during the War of Independence from Amir Tomas dez Besariz, a cruel and despicable man of power; and soon after Hassan became the most trusted counselor and adviser of the new Amir, Abu Said Uthmann. And that is where their friendship began to darken.

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