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in the faraway kingdom of Zukai

A sprawling and opulent jewel on the sea, surrounded on all sides by the savage and desolate Sadugal desert, Zukai was a beautiful lie. Ruled over by the seven wealthiest families, Zukai was built on the blood and backs of slaves, and paid for with their deaths. Never let it be said that Zukai was wasteful-- no, it used the most of its resources, and the most prevalent resource in Zukai is people.

The heads of these wealthy families styled themselves Sand Czars, and each owned a portion of the city, with sprawling estates of jem-encrusted walls and palaces, complete with private zoos, fleets of ships, and wealth beyond wildest measure, all granted by the eternal servitude of unpaid carpenters, seamstresses, and whores. Education was a gift reserved only for the highest classes-- my brothers and I-- and it was squandered on us doing our part to be a cog in the infernal, flesh-eating machine.

The custom was to elevate one’s sons, give them many wives, and elevate their sons in turn. Noble women who could not produce children were cast out, seen as blemishes on their families. Noble men who were born with no lust for blood faked it-- it was the only way to survive.

Everything came to the end in the slave’s revolt, which, to me, began with the poisoning of my mother, roughly five years ago, and ended with my exile from my homeland. This is, of course, extremely centric to my perspective, and does little to highlight the sacrifices made by the brave souls who rose up and slayed the seven-headed snake. In my cursed luck, I was rescued from such fate-- though wholly and unequivocally deserved-- by my guardian angel, Nashira. She cast me from my poisoned Eden and sent me adrifts on the terrible sands.

She saved my life. I only hope the revolt was truly successful, and that Zukai, and all it stood for, was toppled and reduced to ash.


Since there has been a large span of time between what @Atlas last knew of Zukai and now, I have left much of the middle parts of histories open. Their respective formulative years are there as a guide.

I am open to you using your own design or I can try designing something for you, just let me know.



Azimal II, Azimal the Younger, first son of Azimal al-Tarazad and his first wife, was raised beside his mother. His father wanted nothing to do with him from his first moments-- their interactions always strained, awkward, and attended well by Father’s silver shadow concubine-- and so he bonded well with his mother. He learned to love lavish things; he watched the bloodsports from an iced, cushioned dais and was handfed succulent fruits by seductive slaves. Frivolous and flirtatious, handsome and charismatic, he had gathered a veritable horde of Concubines by the time the Eagleblood Uprising happened just after his third birthday.

Though he had a taste for the good things in life and a superficial nature, Azimal was not cruel or bloodthirsty. In fact, he had earned the admiration and affection of a number of whores, and that was his saving grace: during his last visit to his favorite brothel, they drugged his cup, and ferried him out of Zukai on a pirate ship under the nose of the rebels.

Azimal spent the next few years adjusting to a new life of high-seas adventure, and became famous as a lover and a skog-- a teller of tales. He has a taste for plunder and thirst for gold, but lacks the barbaric nature of many pirates. He spirits himself from ship to ship, warming captain’s beds, and unchaining slaves in the night.

Azimal believes his parents are both dead (in truth, as the son of Atlas’ older brother, they are) but does not weep for Zukai. His defining personality traits are his adventurous and amorous nature, and a good heart, despite his upbringing.


Atlas-- as Azimal-- had two wives, officially, during his time as a Sand Prince. The second was a bookish, starry-eyed doe from the 5th Sand Czar family, who made their money in taxes and coin. Intelligent and soft-spoken, Situla was obsessed with Atlas from the moment she met him. She bonded well with Nashira, too, and though the act left her with a foul taste in her mouth, she also went through the ritual of bedding Atlas’ drunken older brother in order to conceive.

Situla craved a love that Atlas could never give her, and though she went through life unfulfilled in that aspect, it did not dampen her respect for him.

Secreted away in Nashira’s quarters, Situla gave birth to a daughter on the eve of the rebellion. Dubbed Bellatrix, Nashira urged Situla to leave the babe with her so she herself could escape with her life. Heartbroken at the prospect, but conscientious enough to know a newborn babe would not survive the harsh nature of the Sadugal, Situla kissed her daughter but once before setting out across the desert in a caravan of travellers.

What hardships did she undergo during her time in the desert? Were they anything like Atlas’, his poison oasis and his lonely wandering? What brings her to Novus, now, many years later? Is she hardened and bitter? Is she still soft but strong?

One thing is certain: Situla never forgot her one true love, and the daughter she left behind, and the life they could have had together.


Raised under the watchful eye and intelligent tutelage of Nashira, Bellatrix thrived in the post-rebellion land. With the oligarchy destroyed and the heads of the Sand Princes rotting on spikes atop their respective palace walls, Zukai stood at a precipice of change. Renamed Nukai, slavery was immediately abolished, and councils were set up to govern different areas of the city.

It was not always the safest place. As one of the leaders of the Eagleblood Uprising, Nashira was often a target for assassins, hired both by the Sand Czar’s secret supporters, and previous slaves and down-trodden who didn’t share in her ideals, or thought they would be better to lead. Trained in hand to hand combat, Bellatrix honed her fighting reflexes but also her mind, gaining an intricate knowledge of antidotes for various poisons. She became famous for being the fastest with a needle in a surgery suite.

But Bellatrix longed for adventure beyond the city walls, and, more importantly, she wanted to know about her father, who Nashira had touted as unique among men, brilliant and special and good-hearted. It didn’t matter to either of them that Atlas was not her biological parent-- Nashira had no doubts that he would have loved her as his child.

Nashira could see the girl’s restlessness, and so she gave her a message to proffer to Atlas-- more of a novel, really, a book of letters written and unsent, and bid her travel to a faraway land to see it delivered.

What adventures had she along her way? It is known only to Bellatrix, who has arrived in Novus full of vigor and energy to complete her quest.


Each Sand Czar had many sons, and so it is unlikely that the rebellion collected the heads of all the Sand Princes, try as they might. More importantly, each Sand Czar had many daughters, who fell by the wayside. Surely some of these individuals, cast out of their homes, surrounded by the fly-encrusted crowns of their families, still live, and have tales to tell?


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