Sheikh Bashar al-Asad is the head of the Asad Tribe and ruler of the town of Daninka in the Sultanate of Karaganda. He relocated to Alent with the other refugees after the Battle of Vanna. Like many Sarquil nobles, he doesn't like how their people now have to rely on the Magicracy of Alent for protection. He has begun a power play against Khalid al-Saif whom he sees as unfit to rule the Sarquil.
Bashar al-Asad was born in the town of Daninka in the Tronin Desert to the Asad Tribe. His father Rifaat al-Asad's family ruled the town since the previous rulers, the Dalium Tribe, had fallen from power after the events of the Rose of the Desert and the Great War against the Yamato Empire. After reaching adulthood, Bashar married a woman from a notable tribe and fathered children with her, the most precious of whom were his firstborn Sahar al-Asad and secondborn Hafez al-Asad.
In the years since the Cataclysm, Bashar eventually took the mantle of Sheikh and became a member of the Sarquil Council of Elders as one of the representatives of the tribes. He served during Sultana Adela al-Saif's reign and helped stablize the desert region for her regime. However, he wasn't entirely pleased with the Clergy of Artemicia creeping into his town under Adela's shadow and did have discussions with fellow Sheikhs and Sheikhas about the matter in private.
After Khalid al-Saif and the Grand Alliance had deposed Adela while proving the crimes she had committed against her people, Khalid claimed the throne of Vanna for himself while restoring the Old Ways which the Clergy of Artemicia had tried to suppress. The Sheikhs and Sheikhas, including Bashar, acknowledged Khalid who had bested Adela in single combat although some of them were vary of him as Khalid was the first male ruler the Sarquil would have for over a millennium. As Khalid ascended on the throne, he and his wife Axikasha Keiran also announced that the Sirithai lizard folk whom the Sarquil had been fighting against ever since the Cataclysm were no longer their enemies but their allies.
Although peace had returned to the desert, not all people were happy. Many Sarquil were suspicious of the Sirithai who they couldn't fully trust and yet they couldn't just outright oppose the Sultan either. Rumours also spread of Khalid being a mere halfbreed and not a pureblood Sarquil, which would mean that he might not be fit to take the throne. Stories of Tronin's Prophecy also circulated as the ancient texts predicted how a male ruler of Vanna would bring doom upon the Sarquil.
Bashar took notice of the tribes' anxiety but stayed in the background, helping to stabilize the government that replaced Adela's supporters in the city. He had already left Vanna and returned to his town by the time the Northern Horde began the invasion of the desert.
The Point of No Return
The Battle of Vanna ended in the Northern Horde's favour as they stormed the city, and the surviving Sarquil were spared but they had to go into exile while the demons took over the desert. Confused by why they were still alive and yet angry at losing their homes, the tribes realized that they couldn't prevail against the might of the horde in their weakened state.
Khalid and his Alliance friends decided to seek shelter within the walls of Alent, the only big city near the Sarquil refugees and the only place which should withstand demons of the horde should they expand from the desert. Bashar accompanied the refugees to Alent, noticing worry in the eyes of his people. He wasn't happy when it turned out that Alent would only take the Sarquil in if they became Alent's workforce to pay for the shelter as that deal would more or less result in Sarquil enslavement under Alent's rule.
A Cry in the Dark
When Lamashtu al-Khadra, who presented herself as a lieutenant of a Sarquil scouting force, entered Alent and led the Desert Elves she had managed to save to their owner Sheikha Karima al-Nassar, Bashar was nearby to witness the exchange and was one of the people to welcome the surviving refugees to their new home. Bashar also voiced his opinion to Khalid about the Sarquil becoming Alent's slaves, but the Sultan dismissed him and explained that they'd have to do Alent's bidding for a while as they recovered their strength.
A handful of Sarquil vanished mysteriously from their designated city block, the Sarquil Downs, over the next few days. Eventually the tribes found out that some Sarquil had actually been captured and taken forcibly to Threshold, one of Alent's districts which had an ominous reputation. Captain Razoul led a team into Threshold, aided by Lieutenant Lamashtu and Sergeant Vitani, and brought back severely injured people although they hadn't been able to save all captives. They revealed that the kidnappers hadn't been just any slum people but demons in disguise who had apparently been living in Alent's shadow for a while now.
The news angered Bashar who demanded compensation. The Sheikh wished to exterminate the demons to avenge the deaths of the Sarquil who had been tortured in Threshold, but Khalid and Ax once again tried to talk some sense into him. Alentian officers also approached the Sarquil and their Alliance companions and explained that the matter would be taken care of but under Alentian jurisdiction, and no vigilantism would be allowed.
Bashar kept an eye on the growing discontent among Sarquil and realized how this sudden revelation of demons living in Alent and kidnapping people could actually become beneficial. Khalid's popularity was already waning among the Sarquil who had been through a lot since the Battle of Vanna, and the Sheikh understood that if one were to make a move at an opportune moment, the balance of power among the tribes could shift...in his tribe's favour. His daughter would soon turn 18 and could then legitimately challenge the Sultan to a duel. Since having a male ruler had proven Tronin's ominous prophecy true, restoring a female ruler, who could end up being Bashar's daughter, would rally the Sarquil behind his clan and make him and his tribe more powerful than ever.
Although Bashar did his best to support the Sarquil and show concern over their anxiety over these recent events, his ambition didn't go unnoticed among the more observant members in Khalid's close circle. However, Bashar had gathered a big enough backing by now so the Alliance would have to deal with him carefully unless they wanted to anger a sizable number of Sarquil in the process. As this was going on, Bashar began slowly setting the stage for a daring plan which, if he was lucky, would culminate in a coup which would be legitimate under the Law of Tronin.
Heart of Darkness
Aliases and Nicknames
- Lion of the Desert
- One of his epithets.
- Sheikh of Daninka
- His title.
A muscular, tall man. Dark hair and moustache. Piercing brown eyes. Clad in robes with a mix of white and blue. Wears a turban.
Personality and Traits
Ambitious with a keen eye for opportunities to increase his power. Has fits of anger but calms down quickly. Distrusts magic.
Powers and Abilities
He's a good swordsman.
Although Bashar has tolerated Khalid, he has also voiced criticisms against him, using arguments which point out how having a male Sultan has ended up being a detriment to the Sarquil who are now forced to live in exile. He sees Khalid's status as a half-Sarquil as being detrimental to ruling over the desert tribes, which is why he is trying to belittle Khalid so that the rest of the Sarquil will turn against him and elect a more fitting leader for the tribes. Lately he has tried to take a more direct approach to depose Khalid from the Sarquil throne.
Born: 982 AE
|Sheikh of Daninka