Shajar al-Durr

This is a pregenerated scenario for A Thousand and One Nights by Meguey Baker, based on the history and legend of Shajar al-Durr (شجر الدر) (~1220? - 1257). In her time, Egypt's armies were dominated by Mamluks - slaves brought from eastern Europe. Shajar was the Mamluk wife of a Sultan who lead the country in the fight against European crusaders when her husband became sick, and briefly became Sultan herself.

         The scenario is a collection of courtiers shortly after Shajar al-Durr was declared Sultan. Her future is uncertain. She was voted in as the new Sultan after the Mamluks assassinated her stepson Turanshah for his supposed impious behavior. At this point, her future is very uncertain. The royal line ended with Turanshah, but his family (the Ayyubids of Syria) and the caliph in Persia will most likely oppose this. She is respected within Egypt and indeed had been effectively ruling for some time before her official ascension. Still, she was known as Umm Khalil - the mother of Khalil - her son by her husband al-Salih Ayyub, who died when he was an infant. She could not do many of the duties of Sultan because of restrictions.

         The courtiers collected together are caught up with the court. Their situation is that they are travelling with the moving court, bearing news to the new Sultan. As characters, they have only brief titles and their Envies defined. The players should define for themselves their Qualities and Ambitions. The characters are:

Viceroy Abdallah envies...

Emir Wahid envies...

Zara envies...

Imam Douban envies...

Prince Cassim envies...

Ismalia envies...

Notes

The idea of this as a scenario is to jump quickly into play, and have focused characters each with their own distinct storytelling style. In play of A Thousand and One Nights, I felt that often it lost the story-within-a-story aspect. This scenario is designed to have extreme, archetypal character who tend to tell distinctive stories from their own points of view. They also have a topic under discussion - gender roles and rulership.


John H. Kim <jhkim-at-darkshire-dot-net>
Last modified: Sun Jun 2 11:22:49 2013