Of the Muhajideen
Zaid An’Sahaad was orphaned at a young age due to a devastating fire while living in a small village deep within the Saracen Empire. Instead of staying with distant relatives, Zaid was sent to a public orphanages in one of the larger cities. There he grew up under the watchful eye of Lady Johara, a patient motherly figure who, as director of the orphanage, did her best to instill the virtues taught be the prophet Banam into her wards. Her patience and kindness was always mirrored by her ferocious defense of the children, whether from one another or the critique of the outside world. (The orphanage system in the Saracen Empire is publicly funded by the almsgivings of the church and therefore constantly under the watchful eye of the church and society.)
Because of its close ties to Banites, a substantial portion of orphans grow into the Muhajideen. Lady Johara was no slouch in eduating her children on the ways of Mithras. She ended every night with story time, which almost always centered on the stories of the heroes of the faith, her favorite being Saladin, Defender of the World.
At the age of maturation, Zaid left the orphanage and immediately enrolled as one of the Muhajideen. Although the training is grueling, he shined in the areas of divine magic and martial defense, partly due to the training by Lady Johara, partly due to his size. Standing at 6’7" with a thick hide and robust fortitude, Zaid’s physical prowess was matched by his bravery in combat and sense of honor in protecting his charge, making him a perfect candidate as the honorary protective detail for diplomats.
Although there hasn’t been any violence between the Saracen Kings and the other Empires of the world, it is customary and a sign of respect to offer the travelling diplomats and ambassadors in the land a “bodyguard.” Zaid’s first assignment was the Honorable Ambassador James Wright of Helmsly Estate in Dunland. Lord Wright was not what Zaid expected; instead of a tightly wound picture of propriety, the Ambassador was extremely friendly, encouraging Zaid to refer to him as “Uncle” throughout their years of friendship. Zaid never had to draw his weapon to protect his ward, but this never stopped him from performing his duty with the utmost precision.
More importantly than his duty as the bodyguard, Zaid and Uncle Wright engaged in many many dialogues concerning their different respective cultures, religions, and lands. Like any old man, Uncle Wright loved to wax on about Dunland and Dunnish life, often times comparing it to the Saracen lifestyle and lands. In much the same way that Lady Johara’s stories opened a void for Zaid that only his faith could fill, the Ambassador began to grow within Zaid a desire to see and experience these lands, culture, and religions for himself. He also challenged Zaid in his faith, questioning the young man’s thoughts on the end goals of Mithras and the highest virtues of our lives.
As the plight of all sentient creatures, Uncle grew ill in his old age, and the Ejderha doctors concluded he would not survive the sickness. Wanting to die in his land with his people, he petitioned the Muhajideen leaders to allow Zaid to aid and protect him on his journey back to Dunland. He also begged their indulgence to allow Zaid time to accomplish a task of “utter importance” upon his death. They reluctantly agreed.
Zaid and Uncle set off for Dunland. Unfortunately, within days of his arrival at Helmsly, the Honorable Lord James Wright succumbed to his fate and passed on. With signed papers of introduction signed and sealed by Uncle, Zaid’s remaining task is to: “Experience Dunland, its culture, its religion. Expand your knowledge of the ways of the world and the ways of Mithras in his global pursuit of peace.” There is no end date to his task. When he feels ready, he will return to the Saracen lands with lessons, skills, and his own stories to tell in hopes of pursuing the will of Mithras.
Until then, Uncle has dispatched him to the Rookhaven Hall in search of Percival Augustus, an old friend that was known for his adventuring ways. Even if he is unable to find an adventure there, Uncle was sure Percival would gladly point Zaid in the right direction.