Five Thousand and One Nights
Closely allied with the Merchant League, the al-Malik are civilized sultans with ideological leanings towards the creation of a Third Republic. They are seen as aloof and reserved, with a tendency towards elitism. However, this is balanced by their fascination with technological wonders—something that has suffered the eye of the Inquisition more than once. On Criticorum, the House is divided between those who demand Home Rule, and those who support the Istakrian-appointed Planetary Governor.
The murder of Count Ruza has left these two factions maneuvering for power. Although Count Ruza is a native of Criticorum, he was among the first of the al-Malik to support Alexius Hawkwood’s bid for the Imperial Throne. As a reward, Count Ruza was named Lord Warden of the Ports of Criticorum, a hereditary position with considerable political clout—and Imperial influence. Count Ruza was careful never to play favorites, and got along well with the Planetary Governor, but was known to look the other way when Home Rule agitators raised their voices in his demesne.
Unfortunately, both of Count Ruza’s sons and their families were killed during the last days of the Emperor Wars, when Carmentha Decados attempted to seize the planet. Although Count Ruza’s second wife bore him one child, it was a morgantic marriage, and the child cannot inherit. The newly arrived heir is a distant cousin—a complete unknown who grew up on a different planet entirely.
Now the official mourning period for the slain Count has passed, and the Count’s heir will be holding a public memorial gathering—the first act of the new ruler of Ascalon. No one knows what actions the heir will take to find Count Ruza’s murderer. No one knows where the heir stands on Home Rule, and a rumor has arisen that the Planetary Governor may revoke the heir’s position as the new Lord Warden.
Scions of House Al-Malik, and their Retainers
- General Ruza Ishakar al-Malik, Count of Ascalon, Lord Warden of the Ports of Criticorum (deceased)
A veteran of both the Symbiot and Emperor Wars, Count Ruza was appointed Lord Warden by the Planetary Governor of Criticorum in an attempt to mollify the al-Malik seeking home rule. [NPC]
- Moddarde Van Gelder al-Malik, Dowager Countess of Ascalon
Count Ruza’s second wife by morgantic marriage. Although her child may not inherit, she is still granted the dignity of her position as the slain count’s widow.