Riddle of Suleiman

When the great brass tablets were complete, & the fires consumed the last of the engravers as well as his harem, the Great Sultan Suleiman the Wise finally opened the way from the visions of his dreams to the waking world. Ifreet, Sultan of the Djinn stepped from beyond to stand upon the tablets. So fearsome was the towering countenance, that the court of Suleiman fled in this, the moment of Glory! Know dear reader, that the faithless were captured, & exiled into the Desert with scorpions sewn into the six sacred orifices.

Only Suleiman remained, who cried, "Welcome mighty Sultan of the Djinn! I have brought you from your Great City to do war on my enemies & bring wealth unto my kingdom, as spoken in my dreams!"

The Giant before him spoke easily from the flames "This thing, we shall not do. We shall walk freely over the world, taking our pleasures as we will."

Great Suleiman was taken aback, yet returned with his own fire, "You shall not step across the border of the tablets lest I wish it, oh Flaming One!"

& lo, it was true.

Patient, Ifreet spake thusly, "Very well, I propose a bargain, mortal; you may query me with three riddles of your choosing. Should I answer all three correctly, you will set the Djinni free to walk the surface world. Should I fail to answer even one, the entirety of my people will serve as your most humble servants to the end of your line."

Suleiman agreed readily to the contest, for was he not Suleiman the Wise?

Consulting with the learned scholars & viziers of the nearby Library, Suleiman crafted a fiendishly clever riddle of nine interlocking parts. When even the scholars failed to guess one of the portions presented, Suleiman knew the Riddle was ready.

Carefully pronouncing the puzzle to the Djinni Sultan, Suleiman waited…he did not wait long.

With the ease of a child scattering a castle of sand, Ifreet spoke the answer true.

Suleiman tore his clothes & beard, for he now understood the trap of the clever Ifreet; soon his Kingdom, All Kingdoms, might fall to the City of Brass. For who could gainsay the power of the Djinn?

Realizing too late the failing of mortal minds, Suleiman quested to fine Wise Hedrad, said to bear wisdom & knowledge beyond mortal ken. So it came to pass, that after many trials, Suleiman was admitted into the Court of the Judge. Grovelling before the God, Suleiman plead for an impenetrable enigma, that might confound ancient Ifreet.

Hedrad chastised Suleiman for trusting in mortal magic to tamper with forces beyond his ken. Even so, Hedrad did not wish to see the Djinn free on Scarn, & thus gifted Suleiman with a riddle of his own making, one of sufficient inscrutability that Gods & Titans might be confounded.

Travelling back in haste, Suleiman found Ifreet was not alone on the great Tablets. Others of his kind had joined him, & such was the terror that the city was otherwise abandoned.

Striding to the edge of the tablets, Suleiman pronounced the Riddle of Hedrad, & was met with silence. The Djinn were confounded! Eternal Life & Endless Wealth would soon be his! Praise be to the Gods!

However, the silence stretched on. For three days & three nights Ifreet pondered, until the dawn of the fourth day, where he pronounced mildly. "Ah. I have it." & spoke the riddle true.

Suleiman's bowels were undone, such was his terror. Even now, the Fire Born massed numbers & their fearsome servants. The time of Man would soon end, enslaved to these ancient beings. Fleeing the city, stinking with fear, Suleiman wandered the desert hopeless & forlorn.

Under the light of the Verdant Moon, in the depths of the desert, he recalled a legend; It was said that the Great Sage Aeontia dwells in the warmer regions south of the Broadreach. It is said that she is ancient even beyond the Gods, It is said there is no answer she cannot divine. No riddle she cannot solve.

So it was that Suleiman sought the Great Sage. It is lost to time if he succeeded, yet he did return. Such was his visage, that his own people fled him in terror. Staggering to the plaza of the Brass Tablets, where mighty Ifreet awaited, he called out a riddle, for the riddle was the only words he could speak.

Upon hearing the Riddle, Mighty Ifreet, Sultan of the Djinn, who had trod on the Wings of Angels & through unspeakable distance to walk the face of Scarn, bent the knee at once. For Ifreet knew he was defeated.

So it came to pass that the Djinn would serve the line of Suleiman. Of Suleiman himself, no more is known, yet his cry of despair still resounds in the halls of Velanon, for he had indeed gained Endless Life, just not of his choosing.