The Tale of Shir Shaheen and the Caravanserai - Chapter 1: As Wind Along the Waste


Feb 12, 2007

“Rest now, O dear one, friend of friends. Rest and forget all thy cares, for I shall tell thee a tale of wonder – a tale of Shir Shaheen the fierce and terrible, lord of the desert waste, strong lion of the sands, swift falcon of the air. Shaheen, the greatest djinn that ever was or is or will be.”

Like the wind was Shir Shaheen as he flew across his realm of the Great Salt Desert, invisible, incorporeal, outpacing hawks and eagles – with warm zephyrs he caressed the hidden oases and the creatures that lived upon the shining salt flats, but harsh gusts he hurled at any men trespassing on his lands, and against the merchant caravans which tried to cross the desert, he raised towering sandstorms a thousand times a man’s height. Few caravans ever ventured the desert crossings; fewer still survived.

But though he wielded such great powers, there came a time when Shir Shaheen was outwitted by the humans he so hated.

In the sweet cool of evening, he sensed their foul shadows crossing the gold and ochre sands towards the ruins of Paridiz. Enraged, he sped towards them, for though the city was now a haunt of jackals, to Shaheen it remained a place of veneration for it was the finest creation of his elder brother, Safar.

From both north and south the humans came. From the north, a small party with mules laden with hateful, soul-tearing iron; from the south, a merchant caravan of many camels, bearing something so precious Shaheen trembled as he felt its call – a shard of desert glass, known to all djinn as the Tears of Safar.



Smeerp of Wonder
Staff member
Oct 13, 2008
West Sussex, UK
Hoorah! Excellent start. Very different from the last two serials, but, drawing on my stupendous powers of foresight, I predict it'll be every bit as good.

Cat's Cradle

Time, now, to read...
Mar 3, 2014
Aagh! I was so upset when
the narrator broke in and kept us from hearing the 'but'!! I wanted to see what happened next!
This is wonderful TJ, congratulations! So much potential in this world, and story set-up - and congrats, too, for receiving your third straight serial commission from Glitch. :) Excellent picture accompanying the story too, Glitch, well done.

This is a very exciting beginning, and I'm looking forward, greatly, to next month's instalment. Cool stuff, CC