Everyone knows the magi council can’t give sage advice, because they are power-hungry, incestuous and cunning.
So when the young caliph needs an honest answer, he asks a wazir.
When the caliph asked “why do the tarpits of Rhamdesh still bubble, even after so long in the summer sun?” seventeen wazirs went to find the answer. Only one returned, but was rewarded with all the riches of his fellows.
Another time, the caliph asked “why does my foolish cousin control the courts of Zarrakech?” Two days later, the cousin was found dead, an unfinished meal of saffron rice, raisins and nuts in front of him. It is known a wazir was honoured soon after, but their name has been forgotten.
Once, when the caliph was bored and in his cups, he asked “why am I not entertained?” The revels were long and arduous, and no wazirs survived.
A wazir is expected to travel far and wide, as his Caliph commands. In all places, they must present themselves as an upstanding citizen of Umberto. They must be equal parts diplomat, entertainer, rogue and assassin, and sometimes all at once. Many are not natives of the desert, but all are expected to honour Umberto’s gods and customs, like praying to the Fortunate city every day. There is no formal method of becoming a wazir, save pleasing the caliph in some fashion.
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Wazirs of the past
Kaysi Ai was a time-spanned soul, a golem of rock and purest marble. The cataclysm of the Green Scar cast her mortal form adrift in time and space, putting her several hundred years in the future amongst the soft sands of Umberto. When brought before the caliph as a curiosity, she broke the nose of the head of the city guard and called the magi an incestous cur. For the first, she was tortured for seven days; for the second, she was made a wazir. She was last seen in Chalcedon, attempting to answer the caliph’s question: “what relationship do your kind have with the quartz elementals of the west?”
Solitary, Large, Intelligent, 16 hp 1 armour, 1d10+4 damage reach; Moves: headbutt them, reveal a truth from ancient history, shrug off mundane weaponry
Wallace Beasley was a Chalcedoni noble, who delighted the caliph in his youth with the steam-powered toys and tricks of his people. When he fell out of favour in his homeland, he fled to Umberto and offered his services to the caliph instead. He is an engineer of some repute and his work into the technical applications of Umbertoan magic has already answered many questions of the royal court. He died of a heart attack in his laboratory, attempting to create an Umbertoan answer to the Chalcedoni ether-golems. His prototype was mothballed, though some say his ghost haunts its bronze gears and pulleys.
Solitary, intelligent, organised, 12 hp 1 armour, b[1d8] damage close; Moves: reveal a clever gadget, build something from magic and mundane parts
Katib Dahrir was a powerful wizard raised in the souks of Umberto city. Her rough manners put her at odds the court, but earned the caliph’s trust. When a jealous rival managed to strip her of her magic powers, the caliph took pity and offered a place among the wazir instead. Over several diplomatic missions, she visited Mirkasa, Chalcedon and even distant Xi, where she eventually met her end. Even in death she did her duty, returning to the caliph in dreams to inform him of Xi’s duplicity.
Solitary, intelligent, organised, 12 hp 0 armour, 2d6 damage close; Moves: prove immune to any magic, reveal knowledge of political affairs overseas, come to a diplomatic solution