The Light of a New Day
Khalil al-Assad al Zahir
The wildly popular Grand Caliph, killed 12 years ago
Grand Caliph Khalil al-Assad al Zahir ruled for twenty-five of the most peaceful and prosperous years Zakhara had ever seen. Ascending the throne while still a young 18 years old, the incredibly charismatic Caliph shined in the role. He obeyed the tenets of Enlightenment while making everything look dashing and fun, he dealt well with ajami governments, he instituted laws and practices that allowed trade to flourish, and he appeared to have compassion for the common people. He was but a man, and so had his flaws, and detractors (in particular, he seemed a little too progressive for many of the Moralists), but any imperfections seemed minor when the success of Zakhara was examined.
Twelve years ago, the Caliph’s advisors warned of impending doom coming not just to Zakhara, but to the whole of the world. All Zakharan adventurers, from deadly assassin to mighty wizard, were called to lend aid to this threat. Adventurers and soldiers from realms outside of Zakhara were called as well, and when the army was gathered, it was surely the most diverse and mighty army ever to have been gathered in a single place; adventurers tended to lead armies or ASPIRE to lead armies, not be a foot soldier in an army. Gathering such heroes was like herding cats, but Khalil was able to do so.
The Army of the 10,000 Lions walked into the High Desert to combat whatever this enormous threat was, a threat never released to the public. Grand Caliph Khalil al-Assad al Zahir lead every single one of them into the heart of his own land.
Not a soul was ever heard from again.
The world did not end, so presumably they were successful. The lack of adventuring heroes, many of whom were heads of state or high ranking members of clergies or wizard schools, was felt throughout the entire world. In Zakhara, besides the power vacuum left by so many powerful and important people disappearing, the country had to mourn their beloved Grand Caliph. He had a daughter with one of his wives, but no other children; it was the one black mark on his reign. It seemed the succession would be clear, but in a shocking turn of events, the Grand Caliph’s inner council claimed to have found an older male successor for the throne.
His hidden son took the throne, but Grand Caliph Khalil al-Assad al Zahir’s influence never left the hearts of Zakhara. Many still mourn him, his wisdom, and his charm to this day.