“Detain anyone who is acting suspicious. Do not let them leave town”, the Vizier had said “even the family of the Sheikh”.
Qaid Sufyaan, son of Mutlaq the Dentist, was volunteer captain of the Shurta police militia and these were certainly not orders he was comfortable with.
But he had to admit that the events of the last few weeks had been worrying. Sailors from Moriban could tell of evil armies ravaging the land across the sea, and even al-Hammâm had been troubled by mysterious nightly disappearances.
The Qaid was thinking about strange night-monsters when a group of horsemen came trotting up to the gate that led out of the city.
There were twenty men. They wore long robes like Bedouin, but Sufyaan could see the outline of armor hidden underneath the garments. The horses carried heavy saddlebags.
“Greetings, good sir Qaid” the lead rider yelled, as he leapt from his horse. then man ran up and shook Sufyaan’s hand vigorously. His voice carried a slur like he had a hungover, but he smelled of ash and fire.
“Ehh, greetings, good sir.” Replied Sufyaan and vainly attempted to liberate his hand “Might I inquire as to your name, sir?"
“Of course! My name is… Yoosuf… the Always-Honest… of Agrabah” the stranger said and gestured at his followers with his free hand “and these are my servants”
“Well, mister Yoosuf” said Sufyaan, and eyed the silent men suspiciously, “what are you transporting?”
“Ohh, just trade goods bound for Agrabah.” Yoosuf said, “But tell me, since when does a Qaid of the Shurta worry about whom or what leaves town?”
“Since this morning, sir” Replied Sufyaan, finally managing to release his now sweaty hand, “Vizier Jiffar instructed us to be extra vigilant.”
“Did he now?” said the other.
“So I am sorry but I have to inconvenience you with a tariff search.” Said Sufyaan, not feeling sorry at all.
“We’re not the people you’re looking for, Qaid.” Tried Yoosuf producing a gold coin in his hand. But Sufyaan contemptuously ignored the bribe. He made a sign with his hand and the other men of the Shurta closed in. The stranger looked him in the eyes for a second and then made an exasperated gesture before stepping back from his horse.
As Sufyaan stepped past him, he could see that the rearmost rider was discretely trying to hide a riderless horse behind his own. Sufyaan noted this with interest and went directly to the rider.
“Open your bag please” he said. The rider glanced towards Yoosuf, and Sufyaan momentarily feared a confrontation, but then the rider sighed and opened his saddlebag. There was a bunch of swords bundled up inside. Some of them gave off a strange glow.
“Eh, tell me, does that sword glow or is it me?” asked Sufyaan.
“…no… it, uh, doesn’t.” said the rider.
“Yes it does. It glows. Magical weapons are illegal unless you have a permit, you know.” Said Sufyaan.
Yoosuf stepped up next to him and held out two gold coins “Maybe you’re seeing things?” he suggested.
“Mhhmhmhmhmmd” suggested the saddle bag on the neighbouring horse
“Eh, what was that?” asked Sufyaan and waved away the gold coins.
“Uhh, I just said maybe you’re seeing AND hearing things.” Tried Yoosuf, now holding three gold coins.
“Mhhmhmhhhhhrrr!” objected the saddle bag.
“Welp!” Sufyaan exclaimed as he leapt back and drew his sword, “Sir, I believe your saddlebag is speaking.”
The other men of the Shurta quickly surrounded them. The stranger was clearly uneasy now.
Sufyaan ignored him for the moment and carefully poked the bag with his sword, “It’s not… a mimic, is it?” he asked. Sufyaan had seen a mimic only once before, in the course of his 10 year career, so he naturally felt reluctant to touch the saddlebag. “Nhhhhyhidt!” complained the saddlebag and Yoosuf shook his head, “No, it is not a mimic.” He said, “please stop poking it with your sword.”
Sufyaan gave Yoosuf a good hard stare and then proceeded to carefully open the mysterious talking saddlebag.
He found a young woman inside, gagged, her hair a sweat-soaked mess, and eyes that seemed unable to focus. She smelled of wine, smoke and vomit.
Sufyaan removed her gag and turned to Yoosuf “You, uh, know this girl?"
“Sadly, yes.” Yoosuf replied, “She is my sister. She’s a little crazy.”
“…Am… Ami…” the crazy sister mumbled.
“Tragic, isn’t it?” said Yoosuf and prepared to close the bag, “But, no harm done. Now, come along, sis. Time to go see the doctor.”
But Sufyaan put a hand on his arm “Wait a minute, sir.” He said, “She looks awfully familiar.”
“Ah well. She, uh, is one of the most famous belly dancers in all the cities of the coast!” explained Yoosuf.
“A famous belly dancer, really?” asked Sufyaan incredulously, clasping the medallion of Tharwah around his neck, and contemplating that a captain of the Shurta should not know any famous belly dancers.
“Wait. You’re not… abducting her, are you?” asked the Qaid, and suddenly hoped that he had uncovered the mysterious kidnapping plot that had plagued the city.
“Aaah…Amit” said the woman, “Amit, take me back to father you f…”
“Amit?” asked Sufyaan and looked at the stranger with new suspicion.
“..ucking doofus.” continued the woman.
“Uhhh…” explained the man who called himself Yoosuf.
Sufyaan turned to the woman and lifted her head. She spluttered a bit before suddenly focusing her eyes on him. He recognized that look immediately. “Unhand me, vile peasant!” cried princess Amira, daughter of Sheikh Harun Qadib.
Sufyaan reeled, let go of the princess, and stepped back from the saddlebag. His men reeled as well and fell to their knees.
“Oh, now you’ve done it, you fool” cried Yoosuf, who Sufyaan now recognized as Prince Amit.
Before Sufyaan could ask what the noble siblings were doing with all those swords, a cry could be heard; “Stop that man, if you please! He has kidnapped the princess, noneother!” Sufyaan turned in direction of the voice and saw the gallant and heroic Crown Prince Zengi riding towards them, his sword raised. “Oh, a regular family gathering” thought Sufyaan, half expecting the Shiekh to show up next. Sufyaan’s husband had always warned him to stay out of politics. Well, it looked like politics had found him anyway. But before Sufyaan could offer praise to the gathered nobles, Prince Amit made a strange move with his hand, and the world exploded around them.
When Sufyaan came to, he was lying on the ground with his men. He was in pain but he didn’t seem to be badly hurt. The Crown Prince was also lying on the ground. He had been thrown from his horse and his cape was smoldering. There was no sign of the horsemen…
- Return to the Sheikh to get your reward for stopping the Mad Magus.
- Do heroic shit and look awesome while doing it
- Collect loot