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Iris Well Spring

This oasis is little visited, being off the path of the Silk Road most groups. The spring is surrounded by a field of short iris. For most of the year, it is a dreary, quiet place. However, in the spring the fields blossom in stands of rich blue flowers, creating a beautiful garden on the edge of the steppe.

At the spring there is one small farm of two buildings, the home of Atabeg Ali al-Mustasib, a former regent of Semphar, now exiled to this lonely plantation on the edge of the Teyla Shan. There he lives with his daughter, Dura, and a small bodyguard. Once a year a jailer from Semphar arrives to ensure that the atabeg has not fled and to bring a small store of supplies. At infrequent intervals, supporters from Semphar visit, bringing news and more goods. These visits can be dangerous for the former ruler since the current Phi has been known to send spies in hopes of learning who al-Mustasib’s supporters are.

The atabeg has been carefully cultivating good relations with the Tuigan, since he sees in them the possibility of regaining his power in Semphar. He has every ambition of returning someday and overthrowing the Phi and seizing the throne.

For the invasion of Semphar, Hubadai enlisted the aid of al-Mustasib. The atabeg’s advice concerning the Phi’s temperament, the quality of Semphar’s troops, and the strengths and weaknesses of the walled cities proved invaluable to the campaign. As a reward, al- Mustasib was made an advisor to the military governor of the land. To ensure his good behavior, Hubadai seized Dura and added her to his concubines, thus keeping her hostage. With the collapse of the Yamun Khanate, al- Mustasib has been plotting rebellion. Although he is willing to sacrifice his daughter, the atabeg would pay handsomely for her rescue. Unknown to al-Mustasib, Dura has borne two of Hubadai’s sons.

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