The Empty Waste
Half-Elf Female 19 years old 6’1" 155 lbs amber eyes amber hair
1st level bard
Knowledge – History
Perform – Dance
Tarik was the third son of Sheik Fahmi, who ruled over the small town of Sintra just outside of Furat. As the third son, Tarik was entitled to very little power. While this gave him the freedom to adventure, and later find and marry his elven wife Aamina, Tarik was jealous of the power his older brothers received.
His oldest brother, Fahmi, named after their father, became Sheik after their father passed. His second oldest brother, Iyas, gained much land as a Faris and became almost as beloved by the city’s people as the Sheik.
Tarik however, allowed his jealousy to overcome and never got along with his brothers. As a result, he received only a small portion of power and land as a Faris. Most of the city’s population couldn’t remember his name, and those who did, knew him as an angry drunk who abused his position.
Aamina, his wife, became unhappy with Tarik over the years as he grew more and more angry and depressed. Thankfully, her happiness was returned to her through twin girls, Asima and Jasmeen born on the 26th of Ferine. For a short time, the girls brought joy back to their home, but it did not last long.
Sheik Fahmi’s son, Kasim, was a little older than the girls, and his accomplishments were so spoken of throughout the town, Tarik’s jealousy returned.
Tarik demanded that Aamina give him a son. Someone who would bring pride to their family. A year later, Harun was born, and Tarik’s attention and love left Asima and Jasmeen. Instead, Tarik focused on pushing Harun as hard as he could to make him even more impressive than his cousin, Kazim.
Years went by, and the girls grew to pity their younger brother for the attention their father gave him. Most of the time Tarik was drunk, harsh, and even cruel to Harun. One day, Aamina had had enough, and planned to leave with the children. When Tarik found out, he beat her and in a rage, killed her. Though they never spoke of it, even to each other, Asima and Jasmeen had seen the entire event.
Tarik used what political power he had to stay out of jail. He called it an accident, but the girls really saw what happened. Home life was even worse after that. The children were fearful of their father and grew up knowing when to defend each other, and when to take a blow.
One day when Tarik was in a drunken stupor and Asima was absent, Yasmeen wandered into the garden. She inhaled the scents of the flowers, and found the colors soothing. She began to notice a rhythm in the winds. She felt her body relax and then noticed that she was in motion. The movement was soothing to her. She began to spend more time in the garden creating dances to different winds.
Her burgeoning dancing skills stood her in good stead when Asima and Kasim included her in weapons training. She was able to incorporate the steps into defensive maneuvers so well that she began to dream of appealing to the Daughters of Amira when she was old enough. She had heard whispers of them accepting highly skilled trainees. This dream gave her strength through the difficulties with her father that she and Asima suffered.
A few months after their seventeenth birthday, Yasmeen overheard marketplace gossip that the Daughters would be near Sintra for a few weeks. She decided that it was meant that she approach them. She was so excited for the trip that their younger brother Harun spotted her packing. Seizing his opportunity to escape Tarik’s temper, he begged to be allowed to accompany her. Perhaps it the Daughters would accept Yasmeen, they would offer hospitality to young boy. Yasmeen was extremely reluctant, but when he pointed out that he would be left to suffer their father’s wrath, she agreed to take him with her.
Believing Tarik to be asleep in his rooms, she and Harun slipped into the kitchen for provisions for the trip. Unfortunately, Tarik discovered them as they were leaving the house. He was hungover from the night before and in a worse temper than usual. He raved and cursed at Yasmeen for “stealing” his son, and charged at her to beat her. Harun tried to step in between them to protect his sister. Tarik grew further enraged at the perceived treachery and drew his knife. Yasmeen tried dancing around her father to distract him. Harun ran at Tarik to protect Yasmeen. As the three of them struggled, Yasmeen’s dagger found its way into her father’s side. He made a horrible noise and fell over into the pool. Yasmeen and Harun stared at each other in shock and then ran. They both ran in the same direction, but neither one was giving any thought to where they were going. They ended up in a section of town they would never have entered had they been paying any attention to their surroundings. Once they realized where they were, their panic doubled. They ended up running straight into a group of men who put bags over their heads and bundled them up into horse blankets.
After a long and uncomfortable ride, she was dumped unceremoniously to the ground in the middle of a strange tent. A group of dangerous looking men and women peeled her clothes off and examined her. They informed her that she was to become a dancing girl.
At first she tried to refuse to learn, but of course, she was not the first uncooperative student, and there were methods in place to force her cooperation. The beatings left no marks but were quite effective. She wasn’t allowed to starve herself skinny (and unattractive) and endured several force-feedings. Finally, they threatened to geld her brother. At that she capitulated. Now that they knew they could hold her brother’s health over her head, they forced her to learn several styles of dance. She learned quickly and easily, but she always tried to hide her level of skill so that she and Harun wouldn’t be separated. The longer it took her to learn the different styles of dancing, the longer it would be before she was sold off. Unfortunately this backfired. If she could only be a second-rate dancer, then her masters would recoup their investment in her by having her trained as a concubine.
Harun tried to rescue her and was captured. She was forced to watch his whipping. They put Yasmeen and Harun in the same quarters and then denied him any medical care. She watched him suffer as the wounds grew feverish. She gave him the majority of her food and water, only to see him fade away.When she saw her sister’s face that night, she was sure it was only a dream.
After her rescue, Asima explained that they could not go home, and Yasmeen explained what had happened with their father. Now together, the twins of Tarik search for purpose in the desolate lands of Falak.