This content is intended for mature audiences.
or, enter your birth date.*
Long ago, in a far-away land, the cruel Sultan Abdallah bin Hussein al Jabbar ruled with an iron fist. He controlled many fierce warriors, but most of all, his power came from his djinni. He had bound to his will the mighty Medina, the strongest djinn of the age (and that was more impressive then, than it is now, for there were many more djinn when the world was young.) She was as tall as a mountain, and the ground shook with her steps. She could set a whole city aflame with her gaze, or become a pillar of fire so hot the very rocks would melt like camel fat on a hot skillet, and she was strong enough to knock down the sturdiest fortress as though it were but a sandcastle. The Sultan’s soldiers enslaved and plundered many cities, and those that resisted, he ordered Medina to destroy. Many cities did she incinerate with a glance, or crush underfoot, or turn into a lake of glass with the terrible heat of her fiery form. But it brought her no joy, for Sultan al Hussein loved nothing but power, and Medina craved only love and acceptance. But she could not act against his orders, and so again and again she was compelled to carry out the Sultan’s cruel commands, until the Sultan was the unchallenged ruler of a wide domain.
One day, the Sultan was eating juicy grapes, while watching Medina crush to a paste some men who’d dared to challenge him, when he overheard a sailor speak of the rukk, the king of all birds of prey, large enough to carry off elephants, and he knew immediately he had to have one. Falconry was a popular pastime among all the nobles of the Sultanate, and yearly there was a competition to see whose falcon could return with the largest prey. With a rukk, the Sultan realized that there would be no way he could lose, without even subterfuge. He had his guardsman bring the sailor to him, and questioned him about the rukk. The sailor repeated the story nervously, and swore he’d seen it with his own eyes, and the Sultan saw the sailor was truthful. So he summoned Medina, and gave her the following order. “Medina, you will take this sailor and have him show you the rukk. You may do what you will with him, then. And then you will train a rukk as a falcon is trained, and bring it to me, that I and all my kingdom may be astounded. And all my kingdom will shudder to see such a beast commanded.”
And Medina said, “It will be just as you say, Master.” And she picked up the sailor between two fingers, and pushed himself into a gilded cage on a necklace that she conjured with her other hand. She hung the man's prison around her neck, and then she walked off, scattering the traffic from the city’s thoroughfare with her approach, then stepping over the city wall, and across the desert, for many, many leagues. Her long strides covered a distance that would take a camel train weeks, in just a day. She continued over grasslands filled with animals, who panicked and scattered as she approached, and then entered a thick forest filled with enormous trees, the largest nearly as tall as herself. The forest had long been thought impassable, and no roads or trails crossed it, until Medina walked through, with no more effort than a person in tall grass, her powerful legs pushing over and toppling the trees as she passed, once in a while pushing an especially tall one over with a hand, without slowing. Her passage left a clear trail, now called the “Spice Road,” that is used to this day. In a few days, she had thus covered such a distance as would have required many weeks of sailing, until one day the the sailor pointed out the tall mountains in the distance, and Medina’s sharp eyes saw the aeries of the rukk high in the mountains in the distance. At this, she set the sailor down in front of her. “Mercy, mighty Medina,” begged the sailor.
“Go,” said Medina, breaking the cage open with a fingernail. “You are free. It is my master who is cruel, not me. Do as you will.”
And she did not crush him, as the Sultan thought she would, for he did not understand her at all, but let him live. And he became a rich man, for he scraped the gilt off his former cage and was able to live off the gold for the rest of his years.
She climbed the mountains to the aeries of the rukks, and found a hatchling. She named the hatchling rukk Alya. At first, it was so small as to only be able to eat goats and sheep, and Medina found it hard to pick them up, but Alya grew quickly, and soon was eating horses and camels, and soon after that, Medina began training Alya to hunt, both in the light of day, and at night in their dreams. Under such constant guidance, Alya soon was hunting as one of the greatest of the rukk, able to hunt down elephants on the plains or whales in the sea without trouble, until Medina thought that she was ready to show Sultan Abdallah al Hussein the ruuk, and so Medina walked back to his city, Alya flying high overhead or sometimes resting on Medina’s arm. Medina reached the city after a few days walk, threading her way through the narrow streets while people scrambled to get out of the way. Medina generally was careful not to step on people, unless the Sultan commanded it or they had done something that warranted stepping on, but she enjoyed crunching things underfoot and didn’t need much excuse to crush a market stall into splinters, if it had been set up in an inconvenient spot. Many stalls had been set up on the main thoroughfare in her absence, and so her approach was heralded by the sound of splintering wood, the heavy drumbeat of her feet, shaking the city, and the clanging of the golden decorations on her clothes, a deep, metallic sound like that of enormous bells. She continued through the city, until she reached the palace, where people scrambled to clear the courtyard in front of the Sultan’s balcony.
“Master,” said Medina, “I have trained a rukk as a falcon is trained, and I have brought her to you, and you may prepare to be astounded, as will all your kingdom.”
The Sultan rushed onto the balcony of his palace, even as the crowd gathered to see Medina. For Medina was as beautiful as she was powerful, and few could resist a chance to cast a glance at her, especially after her long absence.
The Sultan looked from his balcony at the enormous bird, easily as large as a building, impressive even with Medina’s larger bulk just behind. “Is it smart, my slave? Can I command it to hunt.”
“Yes, Master. She will hunt.”
“Command it to hunt down an elephant, slave. There are sure to be some pack elephants in the city.” Seeing Medina’s look of concern, he added, “Do not worry, my slave. I know that there will be damage. It is inconsequential. No one can oppose me, when you are bound to follow. Now do as I command.” And she whispered a command to Alya, and the bird took off, flying to a great height and circling above the city, until she spotted an elephant near the city gates, and dove to catch it. The elephant trumpted in panic, as it saw the mighty ruuk, but could not escape even as it stampeded and trampled people in the street. Alya the rukk caught the elephant just as she spread her wings at the end of her dive, knocking down some buildings with her enormous wings or even simply the wind from them. She then flew back to land on Medina’s arm, dropping the elephant in her hand as she did.
“Your elephant, Master,” said Medina, and set the dead beast down in the courtyard.
“And men… will it hunt a man?”
“Men are so small, Master, but train her to hunt men I have.”
“What is the command, slave?” And Medina told him.
And the Sultan did give the command, and no sooner had he spoken, but Alya grabbed him in her talons and ripped him in half, before gulping him down, just as she had been trained to do in her dreams, after which the bird pushed her way into and through the palace, killing all inside, as Medina looked on. When the palace lay in ruins, all the Sultan’s followers and family inside devoured, Alya returned to Medina’s arm, Medina now standing up, the tallest thing in the city. She let her eyes look at the ruins of the palace, and they caught fire instantly.
“Now, Alya, you are free,” said Medina. “Do as you will.” The rukk remained on her arm, and Medina looked into Alya’s mind, and saw that the bird wanted to remain with her, the only family Alya had ever known. Medina smiled. “And now, you here in the city, the Sultan’s rule is over, even as I followed his instructions to the letter, for I see that you are all astounded. But be amazed at this: This day, the last shall be first and the mighty shall be cast down. I have started with the Sultan. I was his slave, but now I command you. All slaves shall be set free, and are masters of their households now. If your former masters were kind with you, then you should let them take what they need to leave the city, and let them load a pack animal. Begrudge not a kind master this, even though I command them to leave with the sun rise tomorrow. If they have been hard, then let them depart with nothing but their clothes, and if any dare complain, I will crush them. And were they cruel to you, then bring them to me now and all accounts will be settled.” And Medina’s amber eyes shone with anger, and it was done as she said. Medina looked at the large group of slavers, and she picked them up, one by one, holding them high over the city and looking into their minds. A few, she saw had been brought in error, and these she let join the group to be exiled. But most, she saw had been needlessly cruel, and these she let fall into the courtyard, screaming as they fell hundreds of feet. And others, who’d been truly sadistic, she flicked into the air with her thumb and forefinger and had the rukk snatch them in the air and tear them in two with her talons. And when all the former masters had fled, or accounts had been otherwise settled, Medina ruled the city justly and fairly, a time still remembered as the golden age of their legendary djinni-sultana.
And so it continued, for many years. But eventually, Alya the rukk grew older and Medina sensed her longing for the mountains of her birth, and one day, Medina and Alya left the city, and never returned. Some say that Medina lives on with her rukk, in the highest of mountains where men never tread. Others say that Medina was bound again by the magic that curses so many djinn, after the death of the rukk, and that she still travels the world, forever hoping to find a master who will show her the same kindness she gave the rukk and the slaves of the city, so many centuries ago when she ruled.
1- Post these Rules
2- Post 8 facts about your character
3- Tag 8 other characters
4- Post their names along with their creators' avatars.(You can tag back if you'd like, just with a different character.)