By “Tirazzah,” an unknown Dervin female
While there is no way to learn the entire truth, the fragments of this parchment indicate that there is more to the history of the Djinn Master than had previously been known.
My hand trembles as I write this, for my escape will no doubt bring consequences that I cannot even imagine. I would not have these things forgotten by those who follow us, nor do I expect to live long should we be caught. Meleeal cannot travel with me into the city, for his kind is unknown therein.
I am called Tirazzah and my role was as First Consort of the Nameless One. Last night, Meleeal flew to the window of the room in which I had been kept and gave me the signal that I had been awaiting… and dreading. I climbed onto the ledge and jumped onto his back.
What led us to this point, where all the comforts and pleasures of my environment were not enough? Did I suddenly grow up and ralize that love is not what exists in your surroundings but what exists in your heart? I thought I loved the Nameless One and that he loved me, and yet the whispers of others caused my love to falter. Does that mean it was not love at all?
I was raised by my family, knowing my destiny. The Nameless One requires many things, including consorts, from those under his protection. From birth, I had been marked as a future consort. On the day of our joining, I went without fear as he had always been kind to his harem. The splendors of my surroundings overcame any trace of fear in my heart.
The Nameless One was indeed kind. He often spent time with me in the gardens of the Citadel, explaining things I had never seen before. He presented me with a sphinx of my own, Meleeal, that I might occasionally travel to see my parents. I visited them frequently until their deaths. The Nameless One took their remains and formed great pillars in the desert with them, so that I would always be able to see them.
As time wore on, it seemed some of the other consorts were less pleased by the Nameless One’s favor towards me. I would find little notes pinned to my pillows with daggers. Once, someone had clipped Meleeal’s wings so that he could not fly normally. Had not the Nameless One saved us when we were tumbling from the tower, we would have perished.
The whispers were the hardest for me to ignore. As anyone who has had one cricket in a room can attest, the softest sounds are often the hardest to ignore. “He uses her,” they would whisper. “He killed her parents so that she would have nowhere to run.” “She thinks he is a god, but soon she will feel his wrath.”
I knew the whispers were made by the jealous consorts displaced by my arrival. In my confusion, I turned to Samirah, who had been First Consort until my arrival. She sympathized with me, telling me that such things always happened to the First Consort. I confided my fears to her and she comforted me. For a while, at least.
The poisoning of the monkeys alarmed me the most. The Nameless One enjoyed their antics as much as I did, and he gave me several to amuse me. One night after we had supped, I called for them and they did not appear. The Nameless One and I strolled to the balcony to see if they had wandered into the gardens, and there we found their bodies, contorted in agony.
He asked if I knew who could have done such a thing, and in my grief I poured out to him the whispers I had heard in the dark. His anger was terrible to behold! He summoned forth all the other consorts, including Samirah, and demanded answers. They did not respond at first, but he pressed them, saying he would kill them one by one until he learned the truth.
Samirah, who I thought wasmy friend, then admitted to leading the other consorts in all that had happened. The Nameless One’s wrath knew no bounds! He struck her to the ground and she stood up, her lip bleeding, to curse him. But his curse was swifter and stronger, and to my horror the others changed form before my eyes. I fled the room.
I hid from him, though he begged to see me. “I did this to save you, beloved!” he cried. “Do not judge me through their eyes, the eyes of traitors!” I refused to see him, my heart pounding so hard I could scarcely breathe. Would that be my fate if I displeased him? Would he hurt me as he had the others?
And so, I fled. I do not know where I will go or how I can hide from the Nameless One. He said he loves me, but his love and his hate are both curses. Samirah and the others disappeared into the night as do I. I am afraid of what may come of this.
Editor’s note: It is difficult to check the veracity of this account, as the Dervin female “Tirazzah” has never been identified with any certainty. Obviously, if this tale is true, it is likely that she went into hiding or perhaps exile.