|Age in 1556||49|
Sha'il Zabbar is the only permanent member of Sultan Basbas Mustaqqi's court in the city of Almoq. She has served at the Sultan's side for several decades. According to a well-known rumor, the Sultan once proposed marriage to her, but she responded that she would rather serve at his side than at his feet. Rumor also says that Sha'il has secretly born Mustaqqi several sons over the years, and that she has spirited them away for training in far lands. Now as old and wizened as the Sultan himself, Sha'il continues to rule at his side. She often advises compassion over harsh justice.
The rumor of Zabbar bearing the Sultan's children are true. She has borne him three sons and a daughter, managing to hide her condition in court each time. The children are being raised in a monastery in the village of Farasq in the neighboring Sultanate of il-Rahm. All may be identified by a butterfly-shaped mole beneath their right eyes. The children are Nahlsim, Zafir, and Marhir (the sons); and Niquan, the daughter.
Two sets documents signed by the Sultan tell of the children's true parentage - one is in Sha'il's hands, the other in the personal library of the Caliph. A third set of documents was to be sent to Sawaal, but its carrier disappeared in the desert and was never found. Should the secret of the children be revealed, they will be suddenly swept into court life, for good or ill, with their own partisans and courtiers... and potential assassins. The Sultan will not take kindly to one who reveals their presence.