D&D Next: Lords of Waterdeep?
أبو عبد الله محمد بن عبد الله اللواتي الطنجي بن بطوط Ibn Battuta (Salim)
He's got 95 white Persian monkey's, and to view them he charges no fee. He's got slaves, he's got servants and flunkies, proud to work for him. Bow to his whim, love serving him, PRINCE SALIM! -Popular Al Quadim Folktune
The women of Al Qadim still tell stories about our Lord Salim who they say was tall as a water tree and agile as a dervish. He bore a face which reminded many of the handsome, clever jackal, with eyes of calming blue oasis water.
“If only!” the women would wail as our Salim would pass through their villages, “my husband could dress in such rich fabrics as he, with gold like honeyed milk pouring from the pockets!”
Even the men to whom I have spoken, speak of him reverently, but with the fire of jealousy yet simmering in their eyes. They tell me that, in taming a camel or monkey, our prince-ling was unmatched. And in martial combat, javelin throwing, and dueling with the sword no man could best him.
In musicianship, Salim particularly excelled, entertaining royal Wazirs from Dalmietta to Al Barraka.
Anyone would think he would be happy here in his home, where by the age of just 17 he had already achieved a fame which rivaled the heat of the windswept sands, but this was not enough for him. North, he decided was where his fortunes awaited.
-Excerpts from Al Juzzays, Il al Shamal (To the North)
“My father, always a stern man had wished for me to study law in Madrasa Malika Madh’hab. This is what many of our family before I had done, and so this I must do. So at 14, it was here I went, but what torture it was for me! The robed priests, the dusty parchment with nigh the scent of rosewater or even the slightest sight of a woman! My only solace was the joining of my family with the Al Al Din family. An illustrious match, as father has said.” -From Salim’s journal
“My new brother is a stern fellow, friendly enough in his ways, and at least now I have anothers educated discourse at my water pipe, instead of the lonely drifting smoke. This will not suffice for long though. The scrolls of law no longer held an interest for me, and were soon supplanted by maps and story books from far off places. Swayed by the overmastering impulse within me, and a long cherished desire to visit glorious sights and sanctuaries, I resolved to quit all my acquaintances and tear myself away from home. As my mother was still alive, it weighed grievously upon me to part from her, and both she and I were afflicted with sorrow at my going, though she promised not to tell my father of my path.” -From Salims journal
“I first set out alone, finding no companion to cheer my way, and no other part of travelers in these desolate towns, twice I was set upon by robbers in the desert and would have been taken for everything I owned if not for my handling of my camel to outrun their horses the scorching sands. I owed such skills to my new brother, and it was him and my mother I prayed for in these lonely first months. This solitary way was all to be changed when I reached the southern city of Dalmietta, where I met the scholar Juzzay, and a band of fellow travelers who I joined and swiftly persuaded onto my route to see the worlds greatest wonders to the north” -From Salims Journal
“In the river nearest to where our camp was set, there was a congruence of large scaled beasts lounging. It was closest to these creatures that the servants had their peeing spot, whilst Master Salim and the rest of our retinue had to make due with a spot slightly to the left of this.” -From Al Juzzays Il al Shamal
“In time, through the charms and grand dreams of our noble boy-prince, our contingent had swelled from but 15 men to over 200, riding camels, horses, donkeys, and elephants. Everywhere we stopped campfires erupted with dancers and music flowing from outside areas and vast many couloured tents rose from the sand, dirt, or stone. In those days there was so much laughter, so much to be done and be explored. The markets here overflowed with produce like we had never seen. Fat oily birds lined the coast line for easy eating, and our party moved ever northward.” -From Al Juzzays Il al Shamal
“I saw on its bank sixteen beasts with enormous bodies. I was astonished by them. I thought they were elephants because there are plenty there. Then I saw them entering the river and said to Abu Bakr ibn Yacqub. ‘What beasts are these?’ He said ‘These are horses of the river, they have come out to graze on the dry land.’ They are more thickset than horses and they have manes and tails, their heads are like the heads of horses and their legs like the legs of elephants. _From Salims journal
“It was the removal of Lord Salim that truly disbanded most of our party. On one day a black rider appeared at the edge of our camp, the man was from Al Qadim and had traveled mightily to reach us at that point. He demanded he speak with Ibn Battuta, he brandished Salims family banner on a long pole as he rode through the camp. After they had met, it was revealed to me, as a close friend and confidant of our lord, that his father had demanded of him that he go to a city in the north we called Al Bashra, or Waterdeep. Lord Salim offered us all passage there, and many, including myself chose to follow to see what adventures lie ahead.” -From Al Juzzays Il al Sumal