This is a story recounted to me. I re-tell it here because it has direct bearing on the subject matter.
The serving woman Jasmina grovelled on the floor before the Kizlar Aga. The aged matron sobbed pathetically at his feet, wrapping her fingers around his silken slippers, her tears flowing over his feet. With a sigh of exasperation he offered a hand to the old woman.
“Tell me again, what happened to the ship.” The Kizlar, tried to soothe her sobs, but the woman could not be soothed.
“We were attacked by pirates, Great One! We disguised the Lady Faelyn to protect her, but I fear that they still have her! We were set free and she was as well, but she went with them! I bade her to come with me….but…but…”
“But….what?” the Kizlar prompted impatiently.
“ But the Lady refused to come with us, “Jasmina wailed, afraid, “ Aga! I believe they have taken her spirit, for she told us not to tell Nuda! How can we not tell him and expect to face him? Aga! I can do nothing but do as she has bid me to do! I told her that I would not tell the Red King – but you must! This is madness!”
“What do you mean she refused to come with you? You are the head of her serving women! It was your duty to make certain nothing befell her!”
“I did my best! All the women did, I promise you that we did. We disguised her as a boy and it worked, too. After the battle she was taken into the service of the infidels as a servant herself. They had no idea who she is. But I swear, the Amiree’s mind is gone my Lord! She went with the infidel Qua’btan….the pirate – of her own choice! He looks at least part Arab but he is an Ingrezi! A Sahib! ”
“You will tell this to His Majesty!”
“Aiiieeee!!” Jasmina wailed, hysterically, pulling her shidoor tighter around her head, “ I cannot! My Lord, I cannot!!”
The Kizlar Aga’s face if it could be said so, seemed to turn darker, only his eyes flashing and the set of his jaw revealed to the serving woman that he more livid than he had ever been to her memory, “Are you refusing me?” he hissed.
“The Amiree made me swear I would tell naught but you! I am duty bound.”
The Kizlar made a step toward the woman, growling. He was just about to reach out and find something to strike her with when he placed his hands in front of himself in a halting gesture. No, he would not wreak violence on a woman who was merely doing her duty. Had he gone along as he had wanted, and insisted the Sultan allow him to go, this would never have happened! Was he not a warrior before he had become a eunuch? Faelyn, the Daughter of his Heart! What would befall her now? Such shame! such grief! The Red King must have heard by now what had occurred, surely!
“Make certain that no one else hears of this – whatever rumors you hear, you are to immediately silence them – or I swear by the end of the day I will sell you to the meanest camel herder heading to Syria that I can find! Believe me, you would much rather I had strangled you and thrown you into the sea! Now get out of my sight!”
The Kizlar turned sharply and made a sharp but elegant gesture to the guards that stood on either side of the large doors that led to the chambers of the Red King. When they had not moved fast enough to suit him, he barked loudly, “Move faster you sons of filthy dogs! I have business with Nuada! MOVE!”
The Kizlar made his way along the long and ornate corridor known to the inmates of the imperial harem as the Golden Road, swearing under his breath for its entire length. He would insist on going now, he would leave his assistant in charge of the keys of the harem, but he would go to find Faelyn. He would not relent with He of the Silver Hand this time until he was allowed to go. He would take the newest ship, one like those of the Ingrezi, the one they called Il Lulu Aswad and he would find her – and these pirates – and he would not rest until he did. It was more likely, however, that the hand of Prince Itet would be found there rather than pirates.
If the heads of a few servants rolled while he was gone, then it would be no great loss. War would be prevented.
Muse: Fanny Fae / Faelyn
Fandom: OC / Folklore / Mythology
Time: somewhere around 1760